President Roosevelt, Essay Example

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Essay

Franklin Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States (Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum), is also considered by many as one of the best U.S. Presidents of all time. This is not surprising given the goals accomplished during Roosevelt’s presidency. Following are some of the achievements occurring during each of President Roosevelt’s terms:

1932-1936: President Roosevelt’s first term is primarily associated with the First New Deal which involved measures to deal with the Great Depression. President Roosevelt believed in capitalism but he also believed that capitalism cannot function properly without government’s support (Miller Center, University of Virginia). This is why during his first tenure, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was created through the Securities and Exchange Act in 1934. The purpose of SEC was to monitor financial markets and ensure that the publicly listed corporations provide accurate information to the public and do not mislead them so that the public confidence in the markets could be restored. Unlike most of the politicians during the time, President Roosevelt believed that government has a responsibility to intervene in the economy to create jobs for its citizens because unemployed people are a huge waste of the nation’s resources (Foner). This is why President Roosevelt worked for the passage of National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA). NIRA helped create Public Works Administration (PWA) which didn’t only produce jobs for Americans but also provided business to American manufacturers (Miller Center, University of Virginia).  

1936-1940: President Roosevelt’s second tenure is primarily marked by the Second New Deal. President Roosevelt was criticized by some that he ignored the common citizens during his first tenure. One of President Roosevelt’s responses to such critics was the creation of Farm Security Administration in 1937. The agency not only provided loans to the farmers to purchase land, equipment, or seed etc. but also provided healthcare, education, and training services (Oklahoma Historical Society). Another landmark achievement of the Roosevelt presidency during this period was the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The Act banned child labor, set minimum legal wage at 25 cents and maximum workweek at 44 hours (United States Department of Labor).

1940-1944: President Roosevelt’s third term was dominated by the events of World War II and allowed President Roosevelt to demonstrate his foreign policy skills as well. One of the defining moments of President Roosevelt’s third term is his Four Freedoms speech on January 6, 1941 before the Congress. In this speech, President Roosevelt presented his vision of an ideal world where four rights will be available to every single citizen. These rights are Freedom of speech and expression, Freedom of every person to worship God in his own way, Freedom from want, and Freedom from fear (The National Archives). Another important event during President Roosevelt’s third term was declaration of war against Japan. President Roosevelt initially tried to keep the country out of the war even though Americans were ideologically supporting the Allied forces. But the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor made it difficult if not impossible for U.S. to stay neutral and on the urging of President Roosevelt, Congress declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941 (Miller Center, University of Virginia). 

1944-1948: Even though President Roosevelt did win fourth term but his death prevented him from completing the final term as U.S. President. Nonetheless, his final term is also marked by two important military events known as the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Battle of Okinawa. The islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, located to the southeast and south of Japan, were crucial for the targeting of major Japanese political and military targets. Both islands were conquered but not without the loss of precious lives though the costs to the Japanese were even higher. America lost 7,000 lives in the Battle of Iwo Jima while 18,000 were wounded and similarly, 12,000 allied soldiers died in the Battle for Okinawa while 38,000 were wounded (Shmoop).

References

Foner, E. (n.d.). Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Greater Security for the Average Man” (1934). In Voices of Freedom (pp. 172-173). W.W. Norton Company, Inc.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. (n.d.). Biographies. Retrieved July 7, 2012, from http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/education/resources/biographies.html

Miller Center, University of Virginia. (n.d.). Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Domestic Affairs. Retrieved July 7, 2012, from http://millercenter.org/president/fdroosevelt/essays/biography/4

Miller Center, University of Virginia. (n.d.). Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Foreign Affairs. Retrieved July 7, 2012, from http://millercenter.org/president/fdroosevelt/essays/biography/5

Oklahoma Historical Society. (n.d.). Farm Security Administration. Retrieved July 7, 2012, from http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/F/FA015.html

Shmoop. (n.d.). Iwo Jima and Okinawa in World War II: Home Front. Retrieved July 7, 2012, from http://www.shmoop.com/wwii-home-front/iwo-jima-okinawa-battle.html

The National Archives. (n.d.). Powers of Persuasion. Retrieved July 7, 2012, from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/powers_of_persuasion/four_freedoms/four_freedoms.html

United States Department of Labor. (n.d.). Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Retrieved July 7, 2012, from http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/flsa1938.htm

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