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Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is generally regarded as one of the United States’ most
effective Presidents. Whether the accolades are entirely justified or Roosevelt’s
effectiveness was simply a product of the time period in which he served as President will
always be debated. However, one thing that no one can deny is that Roosevelt took an
atypical route on his way to becoming President. Whether he was fighting an illness or
coping with the death of a loved one, Roosevelt always managed to keep himself on track
and to persist towards his goals and those of the country. People remember FDR for his
actions during the Great Depression and World War II, but those actions were preceded
by and intertwined with a tough, yet interesting, life that prepared him for his future
endeavors. On January 30, 1882, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, New
York to Sara Delano and James Roosevelt ( In 1886, at the age of four,
Franklin and his family permanently settled into a house in Campobello, New Brunswick,
Canada, which was previously a summer getaway (Conkin 34). Two years later,
Roosevelt began his formal education under a governess of Archibald and Edmund
Rogers. It was here that Roosevelt learned to speak German and received the opportunity
to study abroad the next year. While abroad, however, he contracted a mild case of
typhoid fever, the first of a multitude of illnesses that he would battle during his life. He
returned to Hyde Park in 1890, and was tutored by Miss Riensberg. On September 28 of
the same year, Roosevelt began studies under a Swiss governess, Jeanne Sardoz, which
lasted for two years. Sardoz taught him some of the ins and outs of the British lifestyle in
addition to teaching him the French language. (Conkin 35) In 1891, Roosevelt and his
family traveled to Bad Nauheim, Germany, where he studied at a German public school
for a short time. Eventually, they returned to the United States where Franklin received
additional personal tutoring. For the most part, Arthur Dumper was his main tutor.
(Conkin 36) Clearly, Roosevelt’s life did not start out in typical fashion. While most
children went to school to receive an education, FDR learned from a wide variety of
tutors coming from very diverse nationalities and backgrounds. This diversity may have
been part of the reason that Roosevelt was so successful later in life when he became
President. Once he completed his years of tutoring, Roosevelt entered Groton school,
where he studied under headmaster, Endicott Peabody. While at Groton, he made his first
ever political speech on the topic of the Nicaragua Canal Bill. (Ginna 33) On January 17,
1898, Warren Delano II, Franklin’s grandfather, passed away (Eisenhower 44). True to
form, Roosevelt pushed forward only two days later by delivering an address during a
debate at Groton. In April, Scarlet fever struck Roosevelt badly, forcing him to leave
Groton. Intent on finishing his education at the school, he returned to Groton, as soon as
he was physically able, for his final year. Finally, on June 25, 1900, Roosevelt graduated
from Groton and was awarded the Latin prize. (Eisenhower 45) In September of 1900,
Franklin Roosevelt entered Harvard University and tried out for the football and crew
teams. He did not make either team, but he was elected to be an editor of Harvard’s
school newspaper Crimson. (Diggins 69) Unfortunately for FDR, his father passed away
on December 8 after battling a long-term illness and a heart condition (Diggins 57). It
seemed Roosevelt simply could not escape hardship, and this reality must have prepared
him emotionally for anything that could possibly happen. A significant event happened in
1901. Theodore Roosevelt became President of the United States following the

and named him Franklin Delano. Theodore Roosevelt. Gerard. FDR continued to further his career and keep himself in the public’s eye. (Asbell 99) With such a marriage. Also that year. On November 8. In March of 1916.assassination of William McKinley. Senate by James W. the Roosevelts had their last child. he organized The Empire State Democracy with seventy other progressives to support Wilson’s campaign and to oppose Tammany’s domination of the state ticket. While attending Harvard. (Eisenhower 111) On August 24. he was re-elected to the state senate on November 5. From this point on. Two years later. D. was born. FDR played a minor role at the Democratic Convention in Baltimore. and Milburn. The next year. In July. in May. The next year. the couple had a very successful marriage. Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.S. who was born on September 23. he was born at Compobello. Germany had announced its intention . Despite his illness and attacks from Tammany. Roosevelt passed the New York Bar Examination and found employment as a junior clerk at a law firm on Wall Street in New York City named Carter. but he could not campaign because he contracted typhoid fever. Elliott.. if a family member could become President of the United States. On March 17. Franklin and Eleanor married and took a three month delayed honeymoon for themselves in Europe that June. Roosevelt was elected to the New York State Senate by a wide margin. the same place Roosevelt had frequented as a young boy. D. Franklin Roosevelt began his senior year at Harvard and was elected president of the Crimson. However. Roosevelt must have seemed to be impervious to any obstacle. John Aspinwall. he made a speech before the Navy League in Washington. (Diggins 75) Now. the boy died the following year marking yet another dramatic setback in Roosevelt’s life. Without campaigning and battling an illness. 1913. the couple gave birth to their first child. Roosevelt received word from Secretary Daniels while he was in Santo Domingo on business that he needed to return to Washington. who was born in Washington. (Eisenhower 113) Even during a hectic time in his life when he and Eleanor had three young children to care for. Roosevelt was defeated in the Democratic primary for the U. that stressed the need for a larger navy. the Democrats nominated Roosevelt for State Senator for New York’s 26th District. The setback would not discourage Roosevelt from continuing to pursue his ultimate goal of becoming President.. Roosevelt’s career took another giant step forward when President Wilson appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy. someone to provide something tangible for him to strive for.C. he still managed to return to the state senate for one more term. After all. who was Theodore Roosevelt’s niece. 1910. James. one must believe that Roosevelt dealt with a good deal of criticism. The next year. supporting Woodrow Wilson’s nomination for the presidency. 1917. (Ginna 66) In 1905.C. in New York City. and they were one of the most well known couples in the world for the next 40 years. Franklin and Eleanor had another son. (Diggins 132) At this point. Roosevelt was renominated for the state senate. In 1907. Soon after. Roosevelt attempted to model his career after his role model and fifth cousin. Roosevelt engaged Miss Eleanor Roosevelt. they had another son. In June of 1904. After considerable work campaigning and marketing his name. FDR had someone to look up to. Less than one month later. why would FDR himself not be able to? In 1903. Ironically. However. Jr. his first son. In June of 1912. Jr. Franklin Delano. in memory of the son they lost. Roosevelt graduated from Harvard and immediately entered the Columbia University School of Law. his second son. He served under Secretary Josephus Daniels. (Diggins 135) On February 3. Eleanor’s father was actually one of Franklin’s godparents. was born. Ledyard.

1920. However. Wilson convinced Roosevelt that the United States had to join the League of Nations. on a destroyer for an inspection trip in Europe in July of 1918. he resigned his post as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in order to better concentrate on this position. (Conkin 159) In 1926. However. they stopped in Boston and had a luncheon meeting with Wilson. He entered into a new partnership with D. Another book. also known as poliomyelitis. On June 26. 1924. He was taken to Presbyterian Hospital in New York City when the condition worsened. (Eisenhower 118) The influence of FDR is evident in the fact that the President of the United States felt the need to acquire Roosevelt’s approval before making a decision of such magnitude. Marvin and Roosevelt. Roosevelt was nominated for Vice President to run with Governor James M. most people will agree that the most successful part of his career did not occur until after this major setback. (Eisenhower 117) In November. FDR delivered the nominating speech for Smith in Madison Square Garden on crutches. He won the election. he founded the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation for the treatment of polio victims. after overcoming the illness. and Italy until September. Franklin Roosevelt left Brooklyn. Roosevelt ended his law partnership with Marvin and Emmet. Roosevelt sailed on the George Washington with his wife. The Happy Warrior. On April 2. The Republican senators made an attempt to involve FDR in a Navy scandal at Newport. A couple months later. When he returned to New York. At this time. and he still did not see anything blocking his path to the presidency. Whither Bound. polio had to be the most serious. Basil O’Connor. He also became the presidential campaign manager for Alfred E. Leave it to Roosevelt to accomplish something that improbable. Alfred E. or polio for short. Harding and Calvin Coolidge (nscds. Roosevelt contracted infantile paralyses. (Diggins 177) Of all the illnesses Roosevelt was stricken with in his life. he was also named vice president of the Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland. charging that he had authorized highly objectionable methods in collecting evidence in homosexual cases. He called Smith the “Happy Warrior” of the political battlefield. Roosevelt returned to law practice with a firm called Emmet. Through all of this hardship. is published later in 1927. Later in 1921. he listened to Wilson’s war message and learned that war against Germany was imminent. Roosevelt and Cox lost by a landslide in this election on November 2 to Warren G.pvt. The next year. At the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco on July 6. FDR published his first book titled. Roosevelt felt that his time would come. (Ginna 164) Unfortunately. Smith. ( A nomination for Roosevelt came in 1928 by Alfred Smith for the governorship of New York. Toward the end of that year. Upon losing the election. . and he was treated for one month. Three months later. Cox of He inspected installations in begin submarine warfare. a name that stuck with Smith throughout his career. New York. citing oldfashioned styles that were not conducive with his own beliefs as the he once again became seriously ill with influenza.k12. the situation is yet another example of Roosevelt’s tough-mindedness (Conkin 130). The boat was headed for Europe on a mission to dismantle American Navy installations. Roosevelt’s had his plan for a North Sea mine barrage approved after a long dispute amongst Navy officials. Roosevelt still managed to become president of the American Construction Council for six years. he went home and was basically bed-ridden until he was fitted with steel leg braces that helped him walk. Smith. After. in charge of the New York office. and he immediately began to campaign in Chicago.pvt. On the way to These charges were eventually dropped. One month later. France.

pvt. Roosevelt became the first President of the United States to be inaugurated for the third straight term (nscds. which removed income tax hardships from justices who retired at 70. Then. His first year in office was an extremely successful one. Industrial Commissioner Dr.k12. He won the election on November 8. he did. and it may have helped him move closer towards his goal of becoming President (nscds. he signed the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA). 1941. he was inaugurated once again. and on January 20. In the next two years. but he was also re-acclimated to the political environment. Throughout this term. among other beneficial decisions. Panay on the Yangtze River.” as the first three months have come to be known. He signed the Federal Securities Act. and decided not to reappoint Belle Moskowitz as his secretary. Roosevelt was nominated for President of the United States on the fourth ballot. On May 1. he was re-elected on November 4 of the following year. Japanese planes sunk the United States gunboat. Roosevelt signed a bill establishing the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to create employment for young men and to aid in reforestation work. On March 1. and they would support any decision he made.” Roosevelt signed the Johnson-O’Malley Act. which provided regulations to require full disclosure to investors on new securities.pvt. This supervised industry’s attempt at self-regulation by establishing fair trade in competition. he signed the Neutrality Act. and the people began to have faith in his decisions.D. Roosevelt forced Japan to apologize and pay $2 million in reparations. and gave the address at the opening of the Empire State Building. 1937. This movement placed banks under federal control and provided for their reopening. It is possible that because he was President when the Depression ended. hence raising domestic prices. He changed everything Governor Smith had set up by replacing Secretary of the State Robert Moses with Edward J. many important events occurred under Roosevelt’s leadership. In 1936.pvt. (Asbell 212) It would seem that this position was a major steppingstone for Roosevelt in his quest to become On August 26. the United States was involved in World .us). which proved to be very useful.and in 1929. Proof is in the fact that many people attributed the end of the Great Depression directly to Roosevelt. some saw him as almost superhuman. he signed the Revenue Act of 1937. James A. On the Way (nscds. Lastly. Roosevelt’s first term was very successful as he finally got a chance to implement his own ideas. FDR’s Government – Not Politics was published in 1932. 1932.k12. Roosevelt called for a banking reform to protect FDR was inaugurated. which tried to help income taxes. was inaugurated governor. F. During his first “Hundred Days. he signed the Retirement Act. The United States also eliminated the gold standard. Another extremely important decision was his request that Congress create a Tennessee Valley Authority. (Conkin 215) One act of extreme importance was the Emergency Banking Relief Act. He had power like no other President in the United States’ history. which created today’s National Recovery Administration (NRA).k12.R. Hamilton with Miss Frances Perkins. This would prove beneficial in the coming years. which provided federal aid to states for Indian welfare. (Eisenhower 200) It is almost as if everything Roosevelt tried to do. Roosevelt was re-elected. which gave him much power. (Conkin 220) FDR also published another book in 1934 entitled. On July 1. During this On January 20. For this reason. approved bill regulating hours of labor for women and children in New York State. the Economy Act was signed. Not only was he given a chance to implement some of his own ideas. and in 1933. During the “Hundred Days. which saved about $243 million. on December Also.

whitehouse. On April 12. it seems that none of these barriers ever hindered Roosevelt from accomplishing what he wanted to accomplish.pvt. However. Crowell Company. Roosevelt could not complete even the first year of his final term. Georgia. 25 March 2000. Ginna. Robert and Robert Graff. Conkin. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is seen as a superior leader and President of the United States. However. The FDR Memoirs. Bernard. past and present. Available WWW: http://www. Roosevelt was inaugurated for his unprecedented fourth and final term (nscds.html/ Internet. John P. Inc. among others. what cannot be debated and must be commended is the path that Roosevelt took in becoming President and in carrying out his duties. both on the European front and the Pacific front. their and their way of life when America stood at the brink of disaster during the Depression.. Garden City. but it had also lost one of the greatest leaders in the nation’s history during that same year. Bibliography Asbell. Garden City. the fact that life on the mainland carried on as smoothly as it did is often attributed directly to Roosevelt’s leadership. Many Americans. 1963.html#1880 Word Count: 2933 . Without question. Many hardships served as obstacles between Roosevelt and his Both are statements of debate. FDR and the Origins of the Welfare State. Some even attributed the end of World War II solely to FDR. their homes. New York: Doubleday and Company.k12. remember him as the man who saved their jobs. 1974. FDR. but the future implementation of some of these decisions can undoubtedly be directly linked to Roosevelt. 17 March 2000. Sure. 1967. Paul K. he attended the Yalta Conference along with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Russia’s Premier Joseph Stalin. From February 4 -11.. The fact that this term would be so short was obviously unknown at the time. The President Is Calling. On January The Proud Decades. He was buried in the Rose Garden at Hyde Park on April 15. only death could bring a halt to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s success. New York: Doubleday and Company. (Eisenhower 227) The end of the war later that year was a bittersweet victory for the U. 1945.nscds. Furthermore. Available WWW: http://www. Only death could remove him from Diggins. New York: W and W Norton and Company. Likewise. Eisenhower. (Diggins 226) Unfortunately. Roosevelt’s reputation as one of our greatest Presidents was taken to a new level during these years. Internet.k12.War II. the nation had defeated the extremely powerful Adolph Hitler and Germany. Milton S. New York: Thomas Y. 1945. probably due to the success that the United States had in the war. and passed away. he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs. Most decisions from this meeting were not released until after the war. Inc. 1974.S. but Roosevelt was intent on completing the war and restoring peace among the involved countries. New York: Harper and Bow Publishers.

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