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Did Roosevelt's upbringing background and character make it easy for him to understand the concerns and fears of ordinary Americans? Explain your answer.

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Introduction

Did Roosevelt's upbringing background and character make it easy for him to understand the concerns and fears of ordinary Americans? Explain your answer. 'Roosevelt was the first president to master the technique of reaching the people directly over the radio. In his fireside chats he talked like a father discussing public affairs with his family in the living room. As he spoke he seemed unconscious of the fact that he was addressing millions.' William Leuchtenberg Roosevelt was one of America's most popular presidents, he was the first that reached out to them and through the radio talked to them directly. But what made this man the 'father' figure of Leuchtenberg quote? What gave him the ability to empathise with America's ordinary citizens. On this surface his upbringing and life before presidency would appear to make him unable to understand. ...read more.

Middle

This relatively sheltered and padded lifestyle would make may people think it unlikely that he ever could empathise with the general public as his own life had been so different. He ha everything money could buy and he had all the financial security that they lacked. However, beneath the polished exterior of Roosevelt's life there were many challenges and sorrow which may have given him the insight into the life of the poor American. Although Roosevelt was brought up by a very affluent family, he was taught from an early age that, with the money he had, came a responsibility to the poor. He never forgot that lesson especially when he became president. The first half of Roosevelt's life, though sheltered, cushioned and protected, must also have been very lonely. Denied of the companionship of someone his own age when growing up he must have felt the boredom and yarning of those who are ultimately alone. ...read more.

Conclusion

Roosevelt's illness caused him to become stronger, he had overcome a great personal trial and he saw his own disability as a parallel with the 'humiliations and defeat of depression America', he had conquered his own devils and he was confident that he could conquer America's. Roosevelt's birth did not make it easy for him to understand the fears of ordinary Americans, but his trials after the initial few years gave him a sense of sympathy for them. He saw the loneliness of the people and after feeling some of his own he was able to understand having been through it. His struggle against polio made him even more conscious of the struggle of depression America, he saw the loss of hope and the suffering of the people and he was able to empathise it with his own struggles when hope was bare and the world was difficult. ...read more.

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