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The USA, 1919-1941 - Did Roosevelt's upbringing, background and character make it easy for him to understand the concerns and fears of ordinary Americans?

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Introduction

Depth Study C: The USA, 1919-1941 Question one: Did Roosevelt's upbringing, background and character make it easy for him to understand the concerns and fears of ordinary Americans? The fears and concerns of ordinary Americans came about due to the Wall Street Crash in 1929. The Wall Street Crash occurred because people realised that share prices had risen too high and wanted to sell before they fell. The fears now of the ordinary Americans were things that were all related together, like unemployment, which led to homelessness and starvation. All these problems were feared due to the Depression during which millions lost their jobs. By 1933 the number out of work had risen to 14 million, so people could not afford to keep their homes and most had barely enough to feed themselves as their wages were low or they were out of work. ...read more.

Middle

Franklin Delano Roosevelt's upbringing was a good one. Firstly he went to Groton school in Massachusetts. Also what helped him to understand the ordinary Americans was a teacher who at this school, named Endicott Peabody tried his hardest to influence young students their obligations towards those who were less fortunate in society, and one of these students was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He then went on to Harvard University where he graduated in 1904 in which after he attended Columbia University law school. Also in 1905, despite his widowed mothers objections he married a distant cousin, the niece of Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt. FDR was also an excellent athlete, an expert at boating and swimming, he also collected stamps, birds and model ships, hobbies which he pursued his whole life which most Americans would never be able to do. ...read more.

Conclusion

This showed that he could understand the struggle and fears of the ordinary Americans, his wife said, 'Perhaps the experience, above all others, which shaped my husband's character and gave him a strength and a depth he did not have as a young man was the long struggle of polio. A strength of character was built up during those days, which made him able to give complete confidence to the people of the nation when they needed it, so that when he said 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,' they knew he believed it. He had lived through fear and come out successfully. These sources show that Roosevelt could understand the fears and concerns of the ordinary Americans. David Flanagan ...read more.

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