STORIES
Peacemakers

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

by Nathan Macek from Pittsford, New York in United States

FDR was a great man that helped our country out of one of our largest financial and largest military conflicts that we had ever been through. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, New York. He was born to a very wealthy businessman who graduated from Harvard law school, and his second wife, who was also his sixth cousin. His father was a big influence on his political aspirations, as can be seen when he took him to see Grover Cleveland at the White House when he was very young. Although his father had a large impact on his life, his mother claimed, "My son Franklin is a Delano, not a Roosevelt at all." As a kid, his father had taught him how to play tennis and polo, how to shoot and to row, and how to play lawn tennis. Roosevelt made frequent excursions to Europe and started to learn how to speak in French and German. He was an unremarkable student when he went to Harvard, however he had been selected to be editor-in-chief for the Harvard Crimson, which was the daily newspaper for Harvard. This position forced him to be able to manage others. This position helped him develop leadership skills that he would eventually use as president. His fifth cousin, Teddy Roosevelt, then became the president of the United States, and in the process became Franklin’s role model. He then went to Columbia Law School, where he then passed the New York bar exam and became a lawyer at Carter Ledyard & Milburn, in the Admiralty law division. Franklin then started to see his future wife, Eleanor. His mother opposed the marriage due to her believing that he was too young to get married. Despite the disapproval from his mother, he still ended up getting married, and because Eleanor’s father had been dead, Theodore Roosevelt himself stood in for her father and walked her down the aisle. He and Eleanor ended up having six children, and although he did have many children with Eleanor, he ended up having an affair with various women, including Eleanor’s social secretary Lucy Mercer.

He ended up realizing that practicing law wasn’t the thing that he wanted to do for the rest of his life. He inherited his father’s affiliation with the Democratic party. The Democrats ended up putting him up for the Senatorship for his heavily Republican area, and even though he was very likely to lose, his aggressive and effective campaigning caused him to win over the heavy Republican population, even though he was a Democrat, in a landslide victory. It was at this point when his political career became important. Soon after he took his seat, he took the lead of a group of people that tried to oust the Tammany Hall machine that had taken control. This was just the beginning of the legendary career that FDR was about to have in politics. The Tammany Hall machine was a large, corrupt organization that helped influence elections in exchange for money by giving money to poorer people to vote for the people that gave them the money in the first place. Later, FDR opposed Tammany Hall again by putting his support behind Woodrow Wilson for the Democratic candidate for the general election, as opposed to the Tammany-backed candidate. Although Theodore Roosevelt had been president before, he stepped down instead of running for his second term, and after he saw what his successor, William Howard Taft, had been doing with the country, he decided to run for a second term as an independent candidate. Despite Theodore Roosevelt being FDR’s distant cousin, he still stood for what he believed in and backed Wilson, which made all of FDR’s family very angry at him, except for Theodore himself, who praised him for standing for what he believed in.

Eventually, as we all know, Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president, and he might have been put in the worst position out of any person entering the presidency. He entered the presidency in the midst of the Great Depression, and people put very large expectations on him, expecting him to get them out of it, and get the country back to where it was. As president he was able to implement many new programs that slowed down the effects of the Great Depression and stalled it out until WWII eventually fixed the economy. Many people opposed him, but he knew what he wanted to do, and he did everything in his power to do what he knew was good for the American people. He even bent the rules a little bit, in the sense that he used an executive order to essentially let him appoint new judges, so that he could implement his policies. I chose him as my hero because in the face of adversity and people who were trying to stop him from succeeding, he did everything to help the American people, even if it was slightly bending the rules. He should be recognized as everyone’s hero, because he created policies that still benefit the people of the U.S. today.

 

Page created on 1/23/2020 2:42:28 PM

Last edited 1/29/2020 7:50:02 AM

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