Franklin D Roosevelt – “The Man who Conquered Fear”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a good man who lead the country out of the Great Depression in 1939 and helped people to regain faith in America. The recovery from the great Depression began in 1933 because of FDR, with the signing of the new deal. Roosevelt has on many occasions been referred to as “the man who conquered fear.” FDR has more than likely been labeled this for bringing his country out of the worst depression it has ever faced and through many of the largest global conflicts in all of history.

Franklin Roosevelt, who is probably best known for his famous inauguration speech in which he said “the only thig to fear is fear itself-nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror that paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance,” was the longest serving president, serving 12 years, and caused the government to impose a two term rule to the presidency. When he was first elected as president of the United States in 1933 the country was at the lowest point it has ever been. FDR’s first 100 days in office were the most productive out of any other presidency. He initiated the Emergency Banking Act that shut down all banks for days to help stabilize the economy. He did exactly that and stabilized the American economy and ended the bank runs that were worsening the Great Depression. Months later, in June 1933 Roosevelt signed the Banking Act to provide insurance to people investing in banks so that they were protected in the case that the bank could not pay them back what they were owed.

The first new deal (1933-1934) was enacted to promote economic recovery and social reforms in America. This New Deal included the Federal Emergency Relief Administration which administers grants and loans to states to operate relief programs for American citizens. Two other major influences of the New deal Are the Civilian Conservation Corps which helped with conservation and development of natural resources and hired millions of young men over the course of almost a decade and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration to increase farm income by one half by paying farmers to reduce crop production. The most influential New Deal advancement was most likely the Public Works Administration which built many large scale public works and built the biggest construction effort of the decade, spending over six million dollars. The Second New Deal (1935-1936) was enacted to help combat the continuously growing unemployment in America and started the Social Security Act, Works Progress Administration, and Wagner Act. The Social Security Act, probably the most influential of the three, gives a monthly pension to senior citizens, people who were disabled at work, and unemployment benefits. The WPA, costing over ten million dollars, employed many Americans and paid about forty dollars a month. Simplified, the Wagner Act provides basic rights to employees.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was reelected in 1936 after he defeated Alfred Landen in the election. Roosevelt wan by a landslide, gaining over sixty percent of the popular vote. He is yet again elected again in 1940 with over fifty percent of the popular vote with a promise not to send American troops into foreign wars, this is after the outbreak of World War II. The Lend-Lease Act of signed earlier that year allowed the United States to aid allied powers without actively joining the war. In 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor leading the Unites States to declare war on the Axis powers, Germany, Italy, and Japan. A little over two months later, on February 19th, 1942, Roosevelt signed the Executive Order 9066 which imprisoned many Japanese Americans which lived on American soil. While this act was quite controversial, Roosevelt had good intentions. People were not able to tell is a Japanese American was a spy or not and after the bombing of Pearl Harbor he did not want to risk his people getting hurt again. The major turning point for World War II was D-Day, June 6th, 1944. On this well known historical day, in which nearly three million people were killed, the allied forces which included America, Canada, France, and Great Britain, attacked the German forces on the coast of Normandy, France.

Five months after D-Day, on November 7th, 1944 Roosevelt was elected for his fourth and final term in office. He served until his death on April 12th, 1944. Roosevelt suffered from a hemorrhagic stroke and passed away while on vacation in Georgia. Roosevelt faced his and his country’s fears head on and did everything in his power to bring his people out on top and out of harm’s way, and for this he can safely be labeled a good leader and a great man. 

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