Roosevelt by xiangpeng


									Roosevelt Essay, Research Paper

Roosevelt was born at his family?s estate at Hyde Park, in Dutchess County, New York on
January 30,1882. He was the only child of James Roosevelt and Sara Delano Roosevelt. James
Roosevelt was a moderately successful businessman, with a variety of investments and a special
interest in coal. He was also a conservative Democrat who was interested in politics. His home
overlooking the Hudson River was comfortable without being ostentatious, and the family
occupied a prominent position among the social elite of the area. Sara Delano, 26 years younger
than her previously widowed husband, brought to the marriage a fortune considerably larger than
that of James Roosevelt. The Delano family had prospered trading with China, and Sara herself
had spent some time with her parents in Hong Kong. So, Franklin was born into a pleasant and
sociable home, with loving wealthy parents.

Roosevelt?s parents sent him off to school in 1896. They selected Groton School in
Massachusetts, which had a reputation as one of the finest of the exclusive private schools that
prepared boys for the Ivy League colleges. Young Roosevelt was a good student, popular with
his fellow students as well as with his teachers.

Roosevelt moved to New York City, where he entered the Columbia University Law School in
1904. Although he attended classes until 1907, he failed to stay on for his law degree after
passing the state examinations allowing him to practice law. For the next three years he was a
clerk in a prominent law firm in New York City, but the evidence is clear that he had little
interest in law and little enthusiasm to be a lawyer.

Well before he finished his work at Columbia, young Franklin Roosevelt had married his distant
cousin Anna Eleanor Roosevelt. They had been in love for some time and were determined to
marry in spite of the opposition of Franklin?s mother. The bride?s uncle, President Theodore
Roosevelt, was present at the ceremony in New York City on March 17, 1905. Five of their six
children grew to maturity: Anna, James, Elliott, Franklin, Jr., and John. The chief problem faced
by the young couple during the early years of their marriage was Sara Roosevelt?s possessive
attitude toward her son. Eleanor?s forbearance mitigated this situation, but the problem remained
for many years.

Roosevelt entered politics in 1910, when he became a candidate for the New York State Senate
in a district composed of three upstate farming counties. Democratic leaders had approached
young Roosevelt because of his name and local prominence?and because he might be expected
to pay his own election expenses. The 28-year-old Roosevelt campaigned hard, stressing his
deep personal interest in conservation and other issues of concern in an agricultural area and also
his strong support of honest and efficient government. In the first good year for Democrats since
the early 1890s he was narrowly elected. He was only the second Democrat to represent his
district after the emergence of the Republican Party in 1856.

In the state capitol at Albany, Roosevelt gained statewide publicity as the leader of a small group
of upstate Democrats who refused to follow the leadership of Tammany Hall, also known as the
Tammany Society, the Democratic Party organization of New York City. In particular, they
refused to vote for the rich politician William F. ?Blue-Eyed Bill? Sheehan for U.S. senator.
Roosevelt?s group succeeded in blocking the election of Sheehan, which infuriated Tammany
Hall. The dramatic struggle drew the attention of New York voters to the tall vigorous new state
senator with the magic name of Roosevelt. He soon became a dedicated social and economic
reformer, and a political independent. He was reelected in 1912, in spite of a case of typhoid
fever that kept him from campaigning.

Even before his reelection to the New York legislature, Roosevelt had entered the national
political arena by taking part in the campaign of Governor Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey for
the Democratic nomination for president. Once again the young state senator was a member of a
minority group among New York Democrats. When Wilson won at both the convention and the
polls in 1912, his early supporters were rewarded, and Roosevelt became assistant secretary of
the United States Navy. Roosevelt resigned his state senate seat and moved to Washington, D.C.,
to take over the position once occupied by his cousin Theodore Roosevelt.

Franklin Roosevelt?s years as assistant secretary, from 1913 to 1920, taught him both how to get
things accomplished and, just as important for an executive, how to avoid unnecessary trouble.
He had the devoted assistance of Louis Howe, who came along to the nation?s capital as
Roosevelt?s assistant. Roosevelt?s superior was Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, a North
Carolina editor. Daniels was a close friend and devoted follower of Nebraska editor and former
Representative William Jennings Bryan, three times the Democratic candidate for president and
Wilson?s secretary of state. Like Bryan, Daniels was concerned about agrarian issues and was a
progressive reformer. He was also an isolationist (someone who believed that the United States
should avoid alliances with other nations), who hated the idea of war. Young Roosevelt, an
energetic supporter of a bigger navy and soon a warm friend of most of the leading admirals,
inevitably had many disagreements with his chief, especially during Wilson?s first term. Daniels
had the confidence both of the president and of the most influential Democrats in the Congress of
the United States; Roosevelt had neither of these. However, in time the two men came to have
genuine respect for one another?s different talents, and they remained good friends.

Personal tragedy struck Roosevelt in August 1921, when he contracted what was diagnosed, after
an unfortunate delay, as poliomyelitis. He had been plagued by illness of various sorts during the
previous decade, and he had overexerted himself swimming and hiking at Campobello. In great
agony and completely unable to walk, Roosevelt seemed to have reached the end of his active
public career. Indeed, his mother wanted him to return to Hyde Park for the peace and quiet of
the life of a country gentleman. However, backed by the determination of his wife and Louis
Howe, Roosevelt decided to return to his work as soon as possible. In spite of the efforts of
numerous specialists and of his strenuous exercises, particularly swimming at his ?second home?
in Warm Springs, Georgia, he was never again able to walk unaided. He spent most of his
working hours in a wheelchair, and he walked with leg braces and canes, usually with help.
Through the worst years of his paralysis, Roosevelt was amazingly cheerful. Eleanor Roosevelt
often acted as her husband?s eyes and ears, bringing him information and conferring with people
he was no longer readily able to meet. Howe remained close by Roosevelt, assisting him in many
ways and planning for his return to public life.

Roosevelt continued to busy himself with Democratic politics after his illness. And in 1928
Roosevelt made a run for the Governor of New York, and won by a narrow margin.
In October 1929 the economic prosperity that the United States had enjoyed for most of the
1920s came to an abrupt end. Following the stock market crash of October 1929 Roosevelt found
himself a depression governor, with new problems to face. In 1930 he was reelected by the
unprecedented number of 725,000 votes.

In 1932 there was a presidential election and Roosevelt got the Democratic nomination, but had a
tough time doing it. Roosevelt had more difficulty in winning the Democratic nomination in
1932 than he had in defeating President Hoover. In spite of Hoover?s unprecedented efforts to
use the power of the federal government to overcome the Great Depression, he was completely
identified with the policies of former U.S. presidents Warren Harding and of Calvin Coolidge,
since he had served as secretary of commerce in both administrations. Roosevelt?s task was
essentially a simple one: to convince the American people that because the Republicans had
claimed full credit for the prosperity of the 1920s, they should receive full blame for the
depression. Roosevelt was spectacularly successful at this.

Roosevelt?s first inaugural address, with its pledge to make war upon the depression and its
ringing phrase, ?we have nothing to fear but fear itself,? brought a new style to the U.S.

Not long after being in office Roosevelt started a new program, that would hopefully get the U.S.
out of the depression called the ?New Deal?. After many great accomplishments in office
Roosevelt was re-elected in 1936 to his second term, after this term most expected him not to run
again in 1940, out of tradition that no president before him served no more than two terms, but
he ran anyway and won by a fair margin.

In 1938 Hitler of Germany started WWII by invading Poland, and Roosevelt knew it wouldn?t
be long until the U.S. was brought into the war, so he started supplying the Allies with weapons
and ships on a ?lend-lease program?. Then on December the 7th 1941, Japan bombed Pearl
Harbor and brought the U.S. into the war.

Roosevelt did not live to see the end of World War II. During the war years he had not appeared
often in public, but during his campaign for a fourth term in 1944 many who saw him said that
he looked pale, thin, and old. The election, which resulted in his victory over New York
Governor Thomas E. Dewey, was a strain on the president, as was the long trip to Yalta. In the
early spring of 1945 he went to Warm Springs, Georgia, in an effort to recapture his lost energy.
There he died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage on April 12, 1945. Harry Truman took the oath
of office to become president the same day.


To top