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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                Dale Hiscocks


Did Roosevelt’s upbringing, background

and character make it easy for him to understand the concerns and fears of ordinary Americans?

        Roosevelt’s upbringing, background and character in some cases helped him understand the concerns and fears of ordinary people but there were a number of factors which made it harder.


        Roosevelt’s background and upbringing, as a child didn’t help him understand, feel, the concerns and fears that ordinary Americans were going through and experiencing. This was too his wealthy, privileged and pampered lifestyle. His mother Sarah Delano Roosevelt was devoted towards him, she enjoyed looking after him, made him feel that he could do anything, this also meant that he spent most of his time with and around adults. However, Roosevelt did have a formal relationship with his father. Roosevelt and his father, Mr James Roosevelt, explored the countryside’s, rides on horses, visiting in and around the city, doing fatherly things.

        Furthermore, Roosevelt’s early education made it even harder, as Franklin was being taught at his home by a personal tutor. This meant that he didn’t mix with other children and was isolated from them. Moreover, Franklin turned into a more thoughtful person and had time, as a child, to learn from his parents and other adults that he was surrounded by. Then sadly at the age nine, Franklin saw the horrifying effects of his father’s illness, Polio. For Franklin this put a lot of pressure on him, being a young child it broke his heart to see his father in this much pain. While this tragic event was happening, Franklin, being a distant figure, never revealed himself and showed no emotion. Having spent the first part of his childhood with adults and having a personal tutor to teach him, Franklin made a manger leap. He left home at fourteen years of age, to go to study at one of the top boarding schools, Groton, Massachusetts. The headmaster, Endicott Peabody, encouraged the boys, throughout their stay at the school, to help the less fortunate in society. He also wanted the boys to be able to ‘stand on their own two feet’ and to be independent. As Franklin started school he had many problems, as when being taught at home he didn’t mix with children, so this was the first time, Franklin was around a big group of children. Franklin never felt part of things, as he was never mixing or involved with group activities.

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        Franklin moved from boarding school to Harvard University, he was very successful but, being Franklin he had one disappointment. From being surrounded by children at boarding school he made another great leap, which was that he now had to stay with the pupils twenty four hours a day. This was not a place for ‘outsiders’ like Franklin, but this made Franklin even more determined to stay on. The university had many sports activities, one being baseball. Franklin really enjoyed baseball, but he never actually played it, he was the one who would run and collect the balls. Franklin now ...

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