• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why was Franklin Roosevelt such a successful President? What role did Eleanor Roosevelt play? How did she redefine the role of 'First Lady'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Clair Peach , Access to Teaching Why was Franklin Roosevelt such a successful President? What role did Eleanor Roosevelt play? How did she redefine the role of 'First Lady'? 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. Eleanor's terms in the White House formed a bridge between the First Ladies of the past, where domesticity and duty to family were the main requirements, and modern day First Ladies such as Hilary Clinton who have successful careers and ambitions of their own. We will Eleanor's role as First Lady, whether it changed over the twelve years her Husband was in office, and how (and whether) she redefined it. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in many ways fortunate to inherit a country desperate for a leader. Herbert Hoover, President 1929 -1932, was a straight laced, prohibition supporting President who favoured the Laissez Faire approach to governing the country. ...read more.

Middle

In modern times Presidents spend vast amounts on media consultants and press relations; Roosevelt seems able to have had an innate aptitude for this. As well as being a natural leader, imbued with both charm and self belief, Roosevelt was fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time. When Roosevelt campaigned for Presidency, there were doubts whether capitalism and democracy could survive the Depression; Stalinism in the USSR and the rise of the Nazi party in Germany show evidence for this concern. Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr was particularly concerned with the 'threat' from the Communist party: 'Capitalism is dying.. Let no-one delude himself by hoping for reform within'. (Time Magazine 100). In fact, by combining to some extent the national control of a dictator with philanthropy, humanitarianism and a belief in Democracy, Roosevelt maintained the 'American Way'. As well as having the right personality and the right situation for such a successful career, Roosevelt had one major asset- his Wife. Eleanor Roosevelt was the fifth cousin of Franklin, orphaned at ten and educated at a progressive French school, where she spent time performing social work. She married in 1905 and had six children, although the third sadly died aged about seven months. At this time, Eleanor's life revolved around her Husband- first supporting his legal studies, then his political career- and dealing with his Mother Sara, who exerted much control over the family. ...read more.

Conclusion

He was the great leader, oozing charisma and confidence: she was the humanitarian support act, making sure the marginalized were considered, and managing to see the statistics of poverty as individual people in need of help. He gave her the power to change lives; she gave him the credibility to seem great. However, we must not forget that both Eleanor and Franklin owed a debt to the fortunate era of their existence. Franklin happened to be politically mobile when a charming leader was required; Eleanor happened to be present at the dawn of both American feminism and racial tolerance, and to be a humanitarian at a time of great need. Had they been born at an earlier time in history, their particular brand of politics may have been viewed very differently indeed. To conclude, if I had to choose one word to sum up the root cause of Eleanor and Franklin's success, I would choose 'confidence'. Franklin managed to propose radical measures and deal with failures because he believed in himself. America may indeed have been saved by the War, but Franklin had the confidence to halt the escalating Depression, if not reverse it. As for Eleanor, as she said, 'the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dream' (Womenshistory.about.com). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1919-1941 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE USA 1919-1941 essays

  1. A Midsummer Night’s Dream

    Homelessness was a major result of the high numbers of jobless people, as many could no longer afford to pay for their rent or mortgages. As a result many people took shelter in car parks and train stations or as tramps.

  2. Why people supported Roosevelt in the 1932 election

    The rich also believed in this idea. They believed that by providing people with government jobs, food, homes, loans and benefits, it would only lead to people becoming lazy and becoming "dependant on the government". Towards the end of the source, we are told that "If you want a dog who hunts, you have to let him get hungry."

  1. How do the philosophies of President Hoover with those of President Roosevelt compare, in ...

    Requiring State and Local Governments to Provide Their Own Relief Towards Recovery (1929-1930): Hoover absolutely refused to allow federal funds and grants to be given to the poor and unemployed (which had risen from 3 to 10 million). It was up to the community to create the programs to provide relief.

  2. In 1920 Warren G Harding took over the presidency from Woodrow Wilson, who had ...

    Nominated for re-election in 1932, Hoover was defeated by Franklin D. Roosevelt. After studying about all 3 presidents in detail, I believe Calvin Coolidge was the most successful president. Both Warren G. Harding and Herbert Hoover had problems while they were at office.

  1. Explain why Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduced the New Deal.

    They didn't need details, they just wanted hope and confidence, and Roosevelt provided this. Roosevelt won the election by a landslide. He won in all but three states. It was the worst defeat the Republicans had ever suffered. This is because the previous three American Presidents had all been Republicans and these were Harding, Coolidge and Hoover.

  2. Describe the main events in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s political career in the years to ...

    He had not been elected for very long before he was having a rebellion against them. Each State in America was allowed to choose two people to be State Senators. These people would be sent to Washington. These people were not voted for by the general public, but by the members of the Assembly of the State.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work