Franklin Roosevelt Leadership Analysis

analytical Essay
2303 words
2303 words

The Leadership and Presidency of Franklin Roosevelt: Response to crisis Great Presidents are remembered most by successful responses to the crises of their time. Franklin Roosevelt, president from his 1933 until his death in 1945 was unfortunate enough to have had to handle two great crises in The Great Depression and The Second World War. It is in his response to these and through his leadership qualities that Roosevelt was able to forge a legacy that sees Roosevelt ranked as third best all time president in Schlesinger Jr.’s 1996 poll and has him consistently ranked within the top 3 all-time presidents alongside Lincoln and Washington. This essay will chronicle key parts of Roosevelt’s promised ‘New Deal’ and his response to the impending …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Describes franklin roosevelt's successful response to the great depression and second world war, and his leadership qualities. roosevelt ranked third best all-time president in schlesinger jr.
  • Analyzes the impact of roosevelt's leadership on the world during the great depression. the 1932 presidential election was seen as america’s chance to take a new path.
  • Explains that roosevelt's inauguration marked the beginning of a new era and the urgency on capitol hill that had not been seen since the founding fathers.
  • Explains that the new york stock exchange saw the largest ever single day trading price increase on march 15th, two days after the banks had re-opened. roosevelt and his advisors recognised the need for meaningful economic recovery.
  • Explains that roosevelt campaigned on a policy of balancing the budget and reducing government spending during the first one hundred days of his administration.
  • Argues that the new deal was a humanitarian success, political triumph, and an economic failure. roosevelt faced fragmentation and discord during his first term, whereas landon and the republicans won the 1936 election.
  • Explains that america was still working under the 1937 neutrality act that prevented arms being traded to parties involved in the spanish civil war. roosevelt approved the long term leases of fifty american destroyers to the british.
  • Analyzes how the bombing of pearl harbour, december 7 1941, worked to silence critics and unify those on capitol hill once again in response to a great crisis.

Hamby comments that, “as a whole it was a humanitarian success, a political triumph, and an economic failure.” While the policies had gone a long way to providing social welfare and protection, the economy had failed to recover and the country was still in conditions of depression. Roosevelt had seen the earlier coalition of unity that allowed the reform of his first term become fragmented. Chafe rightly notes, “In 1937, as would happen repeatedly throughout the rest of the century, a president overwhelmingly elected to a second term encountered fragmentation and discord rather than acclamation and progress.” The fact that Roosevelt in his second term faced the level of disagreement that he did could explain why it took until the US entered into the war in 1941 for the depression to be over. Had Roosevelt obtained the sort of unity he had during his first term, it is arguable whether it would have taken the time it did for the economy to recover. Following Hamby’s above statement, it could have taken the US even longer to recover because, had New Deal policies continued, the economy could have fallen into an even worse state. This hypothesis seems doubtful however as following Keynesian thinking and having the New Deal follow on, more people would be dragged out of unemployment hence having more money to spend resulting in …show more content…

Given this public sentiment, it is no wonder that America was still working under 1937 Neutrality Act that had prevented arms being traded to parties involved in the Spanish Civil War. The war initially was largely seen as a European conflict, entry into which, would not fit with isolationism that had reigned during the depression. Roosevelt was perceived as willing to enter the war and this coupled with the fact that Roosevelt was running for a third term, was unsuccessfully campaigned upon by Wendell Willkie and the Republican Party in the 1940 Election. This initial neutrality and ignorance of a major conflict could not last long however as on September 2 1940, Roosevelt formally approved the long term leases of fifty American destroyers to the British. This served as a precursor to the Lend Lease Act of 1941 which typified US unofficial involvement in the war by enabling mass amounts of military and financial aid to reach the allied powers. During this time huge amounts of armaments and munitions orders were being placed which resulted in a massive decrease in unemployment and sparked further economic recovery which built on the New Deal and had a statistically greater impact. Republicans in early 1941 sceptical of the seemingly wartime preparation policies

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