Franklin Roosevelt Redefined the American Presidency

Franklin Roosevelt Redefined the American Presidency

Length: 1411 words (4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt assumed the Presidency on March 4, 1933, he gained leadership of a deeply isolationist country struggling to survive a depression and yearning for change. When Roosevelt died twelve years and one month later, he had lifted the United States to world power status, provided recovery from economic depression, incorporated rhetoric as a means to reach the masses, and expanded the powers of the Presidency. In short, FDR had created the Modern Presidency. Through his New Deal Programs, his ability to increase the United States’ worldwide influence, his Fireside Chats, and his expansion of Presidential powers, Roosevelt became the first Modern President and established the precedent all future presidents were to follow.

In order to understand Franklin Roosevelt as the first modern President, it is crucial to examine how the “modern” presidency differed from past presidencies. Renka asserts that the modern presidency’s power comes from four features: “the rise of the United States to world power status, rise of the central government within the American federal system, creation of a modern electronic communication networks enabling the rhetorical presidency to expand, and the creation of a modern administrative apparatus for the president and the White House” (The Modern Presidency from Roosevelt through George W. Bush). Each of these came about under the “entrepreneurial leadership” of Roosevelt (Greenstein 3).

Roosevelt paved the United States’ path from isolation to power. When World War II broke out in Europe, the country was largely isolationist. “Isolationist rhetoric reflected real public sentiment, as Roosevelt knew” (Renka, The Modern Presidency…). Roosevelt, however, seemed a step ahead of the nation. He stood firmly against Hitler and strove to align the United States with Western democracies and to strengthen the military (Greenstein 20). In 1938, Roosevelt’s foreign policy speeches began to reveal an obvious swing away from isolationism (Renka, Roosevelt’s Expansion of the Presidency). When Churchill reported in 1940 that the United Kingdom could no longer afford to pay for American weapons, Roosevelt used this opportunity to increase the United States’ influence in European affairs and lean his country slightly away from isolationism. Knowing Congress would oppose a loan to the United Kingdom, he created an entirely new program he called “lend-lease” (Greenstein 20).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Franklin Roosevelt Redefined the American Presidency." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Aug 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=88250>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Redifining Presidency: Franklin Delano Roosevelt

- There have been many powerful figures throughout history that have played key political roles to change history such as Napoleon, Agnes Macphail, Gandhi,etc. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States, is the only president in American history to be elected four consecutive times. No other president in history led America through some of its greatest domestic, complex and potentially lethal crisis’s, including the Second World War. He redefined each crisis as a chance of opportunity and strived for change of the American people....   [tags: United States, president, American History]

Research Papers
1254 words (3.6 pages)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Essay example

- The monument of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt honors the man who served almost four terms of office and is also known as one of America’s greatest leaders. The life of FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) was first memorialized in a funeral procession that started in Georgia and ended up in Washington D.C. Hundreds of thousands of Americans observed the procession. These were people who loved him and appreciated what he did for the United States of America. “Men stood with their arms around the shoulders of their wives and mothers....   [tags: Politics, American Leaders]

Research Papers
1128 words (3.2 pages)

The Success of Franklin Roosevelt Essay

- The Success of Franklin Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt was President of the USA during a period encompassed two of the most significant events of recent history- the American Depression and the Second World War. In this essay we will look at the qualities that made FDR such a notable President; we will also examine some of the circumstances surrounding the Presidency to discover if perhaps that also had an impact on perceptions of both the man and his Presidency. We will also be looking at Eleanor Roosevelt, his wife and one of his strongest political assets....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1441 words (4.1 pages)

The Leadership And Presidency Of Franklin Roosevelt Essay

- 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....   [tags: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Great Depression]

Research Papers
2303 words (6.6 pages)

Essay on Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Presidency

- Franklin Delano Roosevelt was our nations thirty second president. Unlike all the other presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected for four consecutive terms. However he died in the first year of his fourth term. During his prolonged presidency Franklin Delano Roosevelt did many incredible things as our Nations leader. He pulled us out of the great depression, dealt with civil rights issues, created many reforms for our nation including the twenty-first amendment, handled the attack on Pearl Harbor, and handled World War Two efficiently....   [tags: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Presidents, USA, ]

Research Papers
1175 words (3.4 pages)

The Democratic Leadership Council Discusses Its Strategy to Redefine the Democrat Party

- Manuscript Homework NEW DEMOCRATS MOVE TO THE MIDDLE The Democratic leadership council discusses its strategy to redefine the Democrat Party Reforming a political party gives new meaning to the Democrat and Republican Party mascots, the donkey and the elephant. Like trying to lead a stubborn donkey or an elephant that doesn't want to budge, it isn't easy to move a political party. For more than 15 years, New Democrats have pushed and pulled our donkey party back into the political mainstream....   [tags: American Politics]

Research Papers
1779 words (5.1 pages)

The Career, Persona, and Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt Essay

- Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most influential people in the early 20th century. His leadership style, his reforms, and his personality shaped an America that was rapidly becoming a world power. Theodore Roosevelt is admirably remembered for his energetic persona, his range of interests and achievements, his leadership of the Progressive Movement, his model of masculinity and his “cowboy” image (). He was a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the short-lived Progressive Party of 1912 ()....   [tags: presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, history, USA, ]

Research Papers
696 words (2 pages)

Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Presidency Essay

- Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Presidency Assuming the Presidency at the depth of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt helped the American people regain faith in themselves. He brought hope as he promised prompt, vigorous action, and asserted in his Inaugural Address, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Despite an attack of poliomyelitis, which paralyzed his legs in 1921, he was a charismatic optimist whose confidence helped sustain the American people during the strains of economic crisis and world war....   [tags: President Franklin Delano Rossevelt FDR]

Research Papers
1935 words (5.5 pages)

The Presidency of F.D. Roosevelt Essay

- The Presidency of F.D. Roosevelt In the ancient world, the only way a person could become famous through out the world was to be some sort of king, master warlord, or a descendent of a holy entity. Monarchies, that lasted long enough, kept the memories of their former leaders alive, conquered peoples never forgot the names of their conquerors, and religions have a knack for constantly worshiping the same divine prophets. Some remain of the ancient celebrities are still famous to this day, many of them now shrouded in the mists of time and have become slightly warped by literature and business....   [tags: American America History]

Free Essays
593 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt

- After the assassination of President McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt inherited a growing empire when he took office in 1901. The U.S. had annexed Hawaii in 1898 and Spanish-American War granted the U.S. control of the Philippines. It also led the U.S. to establish a protectorate over Cuba and grant territorial status for Puerto Rico. By taking on the Philippine Islands as an American colony after the Spanish-American War he had ended the U.S.'s isolation from international politics. Theodore Roosevelt believed that nations should pursue a strenuous life and do their part to maintain peace and order....   [tags: American History]

Research Papers
829 words (2.4 pages)

Related Searches

This process of loaning armaments to Britain to be returned after the war allowed the United States to increase its European involvement and oppose Hitler without directly entering the war. It proved a critical first step in the growth of America as a world power. The process was completed when the United States was launched into two wars at once and “emerged with nuclear weapons, a robust economy, and a permanent economic and military presence in Europe and Asia” (Renka, Roosevelt’s Expansion…). As the first president of America as a super power, Roosevelt set leadership standards that have continued to today. Moreover, his New Deal legislation strengthened the central government’s authority both abroad and at home.

Roosevelt used his skills as a lawmaker to increase the power of the President and the central government. In the beginning of his first term, Congress passed an unprecedented amount of legislation during the “Hundred Days” between March 9 and June 6, 1933 (Greenstein 19). Roosevelt played a key role in the Hundred Days—“He approved policies, set strategies, met with legislators, explained his purposes, and courted the press” (Greenstein 19). Although a President had acted as “chief legislator” once before (Woodrow Wilson in 1913-1916), this role only became an expectation of Presidents after Roosevelt (Renka, The New Deal Political Coalition of Franklin D. Roosevelt). The Hundred Days were crucial in providing direct relief from depression, but a more appropriate model of the president as chief legislator comes from FDR’s creation of the New Deal political coalition (Renka, The New Deal…). FDR garnered support for his New Deal programs by granting policy payoffs for supportive factions instead of material rewards, as had been typical of the past (Renka, The New Deal…). For example, Renka points out that urban machines received work relief, organized labor received the right to organize and strike, and the West received public water projects (The New Deal…). This system redefined liberalism, which came to mean “using central government to expand rights” (Renka, The New Deal…). A wealth of economic and social welfare programs came into being, including Social Security, unemployment relief, WPA jobs, and minimum wage and hours law (Renka, The New Deal…). Such programs were intrinsically linked with the expanse of the Presidency and central government, and “the public took on greatly expanded expectations of what an American president could and should do in office” (Renka, The New Deal…). Undoubtedly, FDR’s New Deal programs led to the creation of a modern political coalition that greatly expanded the powers of the presidency. With the addition of new government programs, Roosevelt needed a means by which to communicate more effectively with the American people. His thirty Fireside Chats became the vehicle by which Roosevelt shared the most important elements of his agenda.

FDR became the first president to communicate personally with Americans across the nation at the same time. He utilized the radio to deliver his series of Fireside Chats in which he addressed citizens as “my friends.” His calm and encouraging rhetoric inspired Americans to renew their faith in banking and to trust Roosevelt’s administration. For the first time, Americans could listen to the President and feel personally connected to him. Rather than reading the president’s words in a newspaper, they could listen to his voice from the comfort of their living rooms. Roosevelt took care, however, to limit the frequency of his Fireside Chats so as not to overwhelm Americans. Roosevelt also captivated his audience with superior rhetoric skills in his formal addresses. Even though speechwriters composed most of his speeches, “Roosevelt’s oratory made poetry of even the least memorable prose” (Greenstein 16). Greenstein says plainly, “FDR sets a benchmark for his successors. His soaring rhetoric roused imaginations and stirred souls” (22). FDR was also the first president to give voice to the fact that Americans consider themselves different than other parts of the world: as a beacon of peace and democracy, the United States had “a rendezvous with destiny.” FDR established rhetoric as a vital part of the modern presidency, and his skills and public presence are traits successive presidents have hoped to emulate. In order to satisfy his goals, however, Roosevelt needed more than Americans’ support. He needed to expand his administrative authority.

Under Roosevelt, the demands of the president increased dramatically. With the creation of many new commissions and programs such as the TVA and the WPA, Roosevelt was unable to oversee every aspect of the expanding government on his own. The Brownlow Committee summarized this problem when it stated, “The President needs help” (Renka, Roosevelt’s Expansion…). As a solution, the 76th Congress passed the Reorganization Plan No. 1 which at last provided Roosevelt the help he needed through six administrative assistants. Roosevelt immediately took charge, issuing Executive Order 8248 on September 8, 1939 which created the first personal staff positions (Renka, Roosevelt’s Expansion…). Finally, the last element of reorganization occurred with the establishment of the Executive Office of the President, which put the Bureau of the Budget directly under presidential control (Renka, Roosevelt’s Expansion…).The creation of these basic administrative tools gave the president the ability to organize a vast agenda. Though Roosevelt’s tactic of pitting his aides against one another often led to “needless rivalries,” and is therefore unlikely to ever be modeled, FDR did succeed in laying “the groundwork for the organization-minded Harry Truman” (Greenstein 22-23). It is extremely difficult to imagine a current president fulfilling his duties without the assistance of these basic aide positions established under Roosevelt’s leadership.

Franklin Roosevelt redefined the American presidency. By leading America from an isolationist to a world power, strengthening the central government through the establishment of the New Deal Coalition, using encouraging rhetoric to establish a connection with Americans, and expanding the president’s administrative capabilities, Franklin Roosevelt set standards of leadership and conduct all current and future presidents would be wise to emulate.




Works Cited

Greenstein, Fred I. The Presidential Difference. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.

Renka, Russell. “The Modern Presidency from Roosevelt through George W. Bush.” 22 Jan. 2006. 6 Feb. 2015.
.

Renka, Russell. “The New Deal Political Coalition of Franklin D. Roosevelt.” 31 Jan. 2003. 7 Feb. 2015.
.

Renka, Russell. “Roosevelt’s Expansion of the Presidency.” 2 Feb. 2005. 8 Feb. 2015.
.
Return to 123HelpMe.com