Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected on a post of the U.S. President in March, 1933. It is significant that in January of the same year, in Germany, Adolf Hitler was elected on a post of the Reichschancellor, the future instigator of the World War II. In the first 100 days of his staying in power, Roosevelt, first of all, tried to restore a banking system, signed laws supporting hungry and unemployed people, made an attempts to refinance the farmer debt and industry restoration. In 1935, the laws on the social security and taxation were adopted on his initiative. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the most outstanding U.S. President; no politician, except him, was ever elected in the USA on a high post of the President for four terms in a row.
As a result of his actions, the situation in the country began to improve, the heavy phase of the crisis passed. Roosevelt fulfilled the election pledges. In 1940, he was elected for the third term. The World War II had already started in Europe. In 1941, Roosevelt signed the program “land-lease”, according to which the USA transferred almost gratuitously ammunition, equipment, food, oil products to the allies of the anti-Hitlerite coalition, including the Soviet Union. The total amount of deliveries made over 50 billion dollars, including Great Britain – 31,4; the Soviet Union – over 11,3.
Roosevelt did not want to involve the country in the war. Only unexpected attack of the Japanese on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 compelled him to declare the war to Japan, then Germany and Italy. He was greatly impressed by the victories of the Red army, and he agreed to participate in the Teheran conference in 1943 where he met Stalin and Churchill. The leaders of the world powers discussed the questions of the Second front opening.
In 1944, Roosevelt was re-elected for the fourth presidential term. In February, 1945 he participated in the Crimean conference, planned to meet the Russian and English colleagues once again. But after his return to the States, his health worsened greatly. The doctors were powerless, and he died of a cerebral hemorrhage. It was a big loss for America and the whole world.
His key expression was “we have nothing to fear but fear itself”. Roosevelt repeated it not once when the speech came about the consequences of the Great depression. He bravely went on experiments and looked for new forms (public works, social security, codes of the fair competition, control on the prices, help to the unemployed, farmers and others).
Franklin Roosevelt possesses a historical merit on the United Nations creation. The activity of the President Franklin Roosevelt scarred not only the events of the international history but also the sphere of domestic social and economic policy, in respect of the overcoming of the hardest consequences of the economic crisis and depression, fallen upon the USA in the 1930’s of the XX century. The experience and lessons of this policy are of great importance and are in many respects similar to those economic and social problems which the country has faced for the last years.
The severity of the crisis and Roosevelt’s belief led to the quantitative and qualitative change in the value of the institute of presidents. In a wider scale than even during the Theodor Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson’s rule, the White house became the power center of the whole American governmental system, a source of new ideas, a motive power of the trade, an engine of the social transformation and therefore, in Roosevelt’s opinion, an embodiment of the general benefit. For the most part of the American population, for the first time, the federal government and the President became a recognizable component of their everyday life, the center of their expectations and hopes.
The formation of the modern American institute of presidents proves that Roosevelt deduced consequently the whole country from the world economic crisis and from the greatest war in the human history. In a certain sense, the USA has been constantly at war for these twelve years, at first, with economic needs, then with external enemies. The double state of the emergency became the time of the executive power.
The working class first in the history of the USA obtained as a reward the right of the free organization above the enterprise and the right to carry on collective negotiations. The maximum working day and the lowest wages were coordinated, the work of children till 16 years old was completely forbidden.
“The solving step of the union on the way to the social state was noted by the law on the social welfare in 1935”, which entered the insurance of the unemployed and old age life pensions. Though the beginnings of the social welfare were “extremely modest”, nearly a half of the Americans had a possibility to use these insignificant payments.
Roosevelt had open relations with the press. He did not escape from the questions of the media, showed his knowledge of the situation and explained the background of the accepted decisions. He was skillful to joke and could quickly find a witty answer. Any of his predecessors could be compared to him neither by a quantity nor by a quality of the press conferences. Franklin Delano Roosevelt had “a strong weapon” — a business and frank communication with the majority of the Americans. He created a resistant belief that his government does not resist people, but carries out their will, responds with practical affairs for needs and cares of people. Such a policy changed radically the views of the Americans on the governmental role, called to cooperation and joint actions.
In my opinion, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the most outstanding, powerful and productive politician of the USA of the twentieth century. He was the President of the wartime. The most serious economic crisis from the beginning of the industrial revolution, the largest world war in the history, in which he showed a strategic vision, political wisdom, courage in decision-making – all these defined his historical importance. The whole life of Franklin Roosevelt was directed towards the fight against political opponents, stabilization of the country’s economy and industry where he showed the most important qualities of the personality and the leader.