The New Deal was an important piece of legislation that marked the presidency of Roosevelt. It helped boost the economy and get the nation out of trouble. If you are looking to buy a sample social studies paper on this topic, then see the sample paper written below to see an example of our model writing services.
Roosevelt, The New Deal, and World War II
During his unprecedented thirteen years in the Oval Office, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was faced with some of America’s most trying times. The wealthy New Yorker led America through the Great Depression and World War II with a steely determination to keep his country safe and stable. Few presidents have faced as many trials as Roosevelt and even fewer would have been able to navigate them as adeptly as he did. PBS’s documentary about Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency examines the politician’s life and career. The movie focuses on his New Deal legislation and the economic reforms of the Great Depression era, as well as the United State’s involvement in World War II. This documentary is a huge help in understanding the nuances of the era as Roosevelt pulled the United States out of the Great Depression and fought the Axis in World War II. The following research paper shows how Franklin Roosevelt was able to pull America out of the Great Depression and contribute to the Hitler’s death during World War II because of the expansion of government and his strong leadership skills.
Background of President Roosevelt
The son of a prolific political family, Franklin Delano Roosevelt grew up around money and power. He married a woman who was his equal in terms of the fierce intelligence, but also already a Roosevelt and Franklin’s distant cousin. His wife, Eleanor, was his equal in terms of fierce intelligence and also a Roosevelt by blood—Franklin’s distant cousin, in fact. Needing a guide through the twisted world of the American political system, Roosevelt teamed up with Louis Howe, a poor journalist. The unlikely duo worked together to craft the campaign that led Roosevelt to his White House victory in 1933. Roosevelt took office in a time of great desperation for the American people and was determined to bring them the relief from poverty and financial woes that they desperately needed. Roosevelt wasted no time initiating change, and immediately began implementing New Deal legislation, which focused on jump-starting the country’s economy.
Roosevelt and his team, dubbed the Brain Trust, quickly reformed the banking system with the Emergency Banking Act. He then moved onto creating jobs with legislature like the Civilian Conservation Corps, which provided employment opportunities for Americans and the National Industrial Recovery Act, which dictated minimum wage laws (The Presidents: FDR). Legislation like this served to provide jobs and protection for the nation’s unemployed. As Roosevelt was waging a war against the Depression, a literal war was taking place elsewhere in the world.
Roosevelt led the United States into its involvement in World War II as an effort to halt the expansion of Hitler’s control in Europe. America, still reeling from the effects of World War I, was initially hesitant to enter another war and Roosevelt assured the country that America would only become involved if an attack took place on American soil. Despite the assurances he made to the public, Roosevelt knew that Hitler wouldn’t be appeased and took steps to prepare the nation for war by increasing the defense budget. America’s initial involvements in the war were limited to trading with Britain, but when Japan, Italy and Germany joined together under the Tripartite Pact, Roosevelt knew that America would have to take larger role in the war efforts if Hitler’s reign of terror was going to be brought to an end (The Presidents: FDR). America’s involvement, under Roosevelt’s leadership, increased from the Lend-Lease Act to the Atlantic Charter.
The Atlantic Charter, signed by Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, called for the disarmament of aggressor nations. It wasn’t until an attack on American soil took place, however, that Roosevelt declared war on the Axis. Pearl Harbor was the tipping point for the American public and after this egregious attack, Roosevelt was able to garner enough support for America to officially enter World War II. Roosevelt used the vulnerability of the nation during the war to justify his seeking reelection four times. The nation, he said, needed stability under one president, and the American public agreed, electing him to four terms until the leader eventually died in 1945 while still in office.
Historical Context of Roosevelt’s Presidency
Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s time as president of the United States straddled several important eras in American history, including the end of the Great Depression. When Roosevelt took office, the nation was downtrodden and desperate for change. Roosevelt’s predecessor, Herbert Hoover, had implemented several misguided policies in attempt to invigorate the economy, however, nothing was able to put a dent in the massive unemployment and poverty rates. Hoovervilles, or camps of homeless people living on the streets together, erupted all over the country. Children across the nation became malnourished, banks went out of business, and hundreds of thousands of people couldn’t find stable employment. The American people were desperate for anyone who could reverse their luck and bring them a steady job and a meal. Roosevelt was a perfect fit for a nation struggling through the Great Depression.
Roosevelt garnered massive levels of support from the American public for his ability to lift the country out of its economic and cultural depression. His swift and visionary legislative ability gave the unemployed nation the opportunity to work. After all, this president is known as the father of the modern welfare system. Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation, including the Social Security Act and the Agricultural Adjustment Act, moved the nation towards the end of the Great Depression. The New Deal also signaled a shift in American politics. Roosevelt’s rapid expansion of government services and programs represented an expansion of the role of government. Suddenly, Washington had influence in a huge number of sectors and industries that it had no bearing on before. Though many right-wing politicians opposed this expansion of government, the programs that Roosevelt began were able to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty. Essentially, an era in American history came to an end because Roosevelt and his Brain Trust were able to act quickly to provide employment opportunities and relief for the nation. Just as the era of the Great Depression ended, however, Roosevelt and the nation stepped into a new set of problems.
As the years of the Great Depression came to an end, America quickly entered the era of World War II. As World War I was still fresh in the minds of many Americans, the majority of the American public was hesitant to engage in another war. Remembrance of the troubles caused by World War I caused many citizens to be proponents of neutrality. After the attack on Pearl Harbor and United States officially entered World War II, the culture and society of American experienced major changes. A noticeable change that occurred after troops were deployed to Europe to fight against the Axis was the rise of women in the workplace as well as the general expansion of liberty.
During World War II, as the men were recruited to fight in the war, women became commonplace in factories and manufacturing plants. Unions also began to gain more power and strength during the years of World War II. Under Roosevelt’s inspiring leadership, America united under the goals of ending fascism. Nationalism spiked during the World War II era as the country became united under the ideals of ridding the world of totalitarianism and Hitler’s evil (The Presidents: FDR). As the research paper shows, Roosevelt encouraged this nationalism through his “fireside chats” where he made the American public feel included in his decision making and reassured that the president had their best interests in mind. The public adored and respected Roosevelt for his ability to lead the country through the dark times of both the Great Depression and World War II. Read more about American society during WWII.
Documentary Review of FDR and World War II
This documentary did a great job of conveying the politics behind Roosevelt’s decision to enter the war, as well as his expansion of the New Deal. I thought that the most interesting thing about this video was how it showed that Roosevelt had wanted to enter the war long before the attack on Pearl Harbor. This desire to eliminate fascism by joining forces with Britain could be seen in Roosevelt’s request to repeal the Neutrality Act in 1939(The Presidents: FDR). America, however, was not ready for this end to the isolationism of the times, yet Roosevelt kept moving forward, readying the country for war. The documentary helped me understand this era in American history because it presented the factors and nuances that led Roosevelt to make the decisions that he did. For example, Roosevelt didn’t feel that neutrality would be able to stop Hitler’s domination of Europe and instead recruited members for his administration that favored intervention.
This documentary also showed how Roosevelt’s behind-the-scenes manipulation of the national budget and trades with Britain ultimately allowed America to enter the war successfully and bring an end to fascism in Europe. This episode of “The American Experience” also demonstrated how Roosevelt was committed to avoiding debt, and instead maintained a balanced budget despite during all of the expenditures of the New Deal. I originally had some doubts that this kind of spending could help the economy, but the film showed that Roosevelt’s careful budgeting allowed the country to become financially solvent. This documentary helped me learn about the politics behind America’s entry into World War II and gave me a better idea of the kinds of policies that brought the country out of the Great Depression.
“The Presidents: FDR” is a balanced portrait of the great leader. The movie presents both the personal issues that Roosevelt faced as he was president, and political problems that he tackled. I thought that the documentary did a good job of documenting his illness in the final years of his life. I also thought it did a good job of conveying the instability that drove the country to elect Roosevelt into office on four separate occasions. I wish that this film had shown more of the culture and society of America during World War II. I think it would have been interesting to see more of how the war affected people’s lives on a day-to-day basis. In all, I thought that this documentary was really interesting and useful to American history studies because of the detail in which it looked at Roosevelt’s presidency and the events leading up to World War II.
Franklin Roosevelt remains one of the most fondly remembered presidents, in part thanks to his contributions to the end of Hitler’s reign and internal projects that rejuvenated America’s economy. A testament to his popularity is the fact that he garnered four presidential nominations from the American public. “The Presidents: FDR” documents Roosevelt’s rise from a New York socialite to powerful politician. It documents the relationships that got him to the Oval Office, including his professional relationship with Louis Howe and the support that his wife Eleanor provided him. Roosevelt was a capable leader during a turbulent period in America’s history (which resulted in him testing the concept of presidential term limits). His legacy will remain as the president who brought an end to the Great Depression and greatly aided in the demise of Hitler and fascism.
American Experience: FDR. Dir. David Grubin. Perf. Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, David McCullough (II). PBS, 2008. Film.