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Roosevelt’s Upbringing, Character and Background.

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Introduction

Roosevelt's Upbringing, Character and Background. For this question I will split it up into 3 main areas and analyze each separately. Roosevelt's upbringing, his background and his character. After analyzing each section of his life I will decide if he would have found it easy to understand ordinary Americans. I will start with Roosevelt's upbringing and in what ways it may have hindered his understanding of ordinary Americans. A main factor in his upbringing was that he was from an upper-class family and so would have lived in luxury. This would have made him believe that most people lived like him and had all the advantages he had. This belief caused him to lose elections early in his political career. As the Roosevelt family was very rich they had many trips to Europe and stayed in expensive resorts. A lot of time in Roosevelt's early years were spent in Europe and this meant that he was a long way form ordinary Americans and so making it harder for him to understand them. Roosevelt had a private tutor until he was 14, this meant that it was very unlikely that he left his house much and defiantly would not have socialized with people of other classes. ...read more.

Middle

This meant that the Roosevelt family knew a lot of important and rich people as well as many politicians. This meant that Roosevelt would have known them and been influenced by their attitudes, belief and prejudices. Many of these people would not have understood the poor and would not have been helpful in that but they would have helped him to appeal to the poor. Once Roosevelt had finished schooling he lived in New York City and so would have seen a lot of the poorer areas of the city. New York City had a lot of slums that Roosevelt would have come into contact with even if he lived in the richer part of the city. He saw a lot of the problems of the poor while he was a lawyer. New York had a population of 4 million and of that 1 million were immigrants. Because there were so many immigrants in New York City Roosevelt needed to understand them as well. He backed an Irish immigrant. A Smith, in an election and gained a lot of support because of this. This shows Roosevelt understood them and that his policies were similar to those of the immigrants. ...read more.

Conclusion

He also did not hold any prejudices when he was young and so accepted that some people were worse off but did not believe it was their fault and was willing to help them. Roosevelt was a good listener and this meant that he could easily find out what ordinary Americans wanted because he was willing to listen. He was also very good at talking to people as he demonstrated later on in his 'fire side chats.' These showed he was able to communicate well with the lower classes. Roosevelt's wife was also very strong willed and this helped Roosevelt to be more confident and also helped with his understanding of the poor. Roosevelt instilled confidence in people with his willingness to help and his strength of character. His strong character came from having Polio and his strength to carry on. This was an inspiration to others and showed them that they could carry on their lives with their problems as Roosevelt had with his. Overall I think that Roosevelt's character, background and upbringing all helped him. Even though he was very different to ordinary Americans in that he had money he was still able to understand them and help them. He very effectively bridged the class divide between him and them. ...read more.

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