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Fdr's Influence as President

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FDR's Influence as president

Some have called him the best president yet. Others have even claimed that he was the

world's most influential and successful leader of the twentieth century. Those

claims can be backed up by the overwhelming support that he received from his citizens

throughout his four terms in office. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt began a new

era in American history by ending the Great Depression that the country had fallen into in

1929. His social reforms gave people a new perspective on government. Government

was not only expected to protect the people from foreign invaders, but to protect against

poverty and joblessness. Roosevelt had shown his military and diplomatic skill as the

Commander in Chief during World War II. This wartime leadership and international

relations policy won him an award in the hearts of many Americans.

Roosevelt threw his hat in the ring in 1931 in order to prepare for the

election of 1932. Democratic Party chairman James A Farley directed his campaign.


started a nationwide radio address, outlining a program to meet the economic problems

of the nation. He coined the term "forgotten man" to mean all of those who had been

hard hit by the evils of the depression. These radio addresses were the start to what he

called the "fireside chats". Overall, Roosevelt was the most energetic and dynamic

candidate, and he was nominated by the party on the fourth ballot. Although he

displayed excellent characteristics, his competition was fairly tough. He was up against

John Nance Garner of Texas (who would be his Vice Presidential running mate);


D. Baker of Ohio, who was former Secretary of War; and former Governor Alfred E.

Smith of New York. For three ballots, Roosevelt held a large lead, but lacked the two-

thirds margin necessary for victory. Farley then promised John Garner the vice

presidential nomination, which he accepted grudgingly. Then FDR took the presidential

nomination on the fourth ballot.

One of the purposes of the national convention is to bring the party together in a

movement of support behind the nominated candidate. Although there was rough

competition during the choosing process, most party leaders were happy with the

Roosevelt choice. It would help pull votes from the urban-Eastern region of the country.

Also, Roosevelt made a dashing introduction at the Chicago convention by being the first

nominee to ever write an acceptance speech. In this speech, he brought emotions from

the audience in his last line, "I pledge to you, I pledge to myself, to a new deal for the

American people."

During the November campaign against Hoover, Roosevelt suggested a few parts

of the so called "New Deal". He spoke of relief and public works money. He wanted to

develop a plan to cut agricultural overproduction. He was for public power,


and unemployment insurance. The repeal of prohibition and stock exchange regulation

were also big items on his platform.

However, other than the aforementioned items, Roosevelt was quite vague about

other plans. He mentioned little about his plans for industrial recovery or labor laws. As

much foreign policy experience as he had, he talked very little of it during the campaign.

Many believe that he was simply trying to home in on the problems that the American

public saw most prominent at the time.

When it came to election day, Roosevelt was the only viable alternative to

Hoover, who many blamed for the Great Depression, although critics argue that it was



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