.. Garner were renominated to represent the Democrats. They were running against Alfred Landon and Frank Knox. The Republicans tried to bring Roosevelt down, saying he failed in keeping his promise to balance the budget. But Roosevelt responded by sharing how he succeeded in ending the Depression and bringing the U.S.
back to a prosperous nation. FDR’s speech in New York City in 1936 left a very strong message to the world, saying, I should like to have it said of my first administration that in it the forces of selfishness and lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second administration that in it, these forces are mastered (Freedman 1990, p. 194). Again, that was all it took to convince the American people, because Roosevelt won the election in another landslide, carrying almost every U.S.
State. In Roosevelt’s second inaugural address, he told the United States that the test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little (Freedman 1990, p. 213). FDR’s first problem that needed to be dealt with in his second term of office was the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court declared many portions and laws under the New Deal as unconstitutional. So, in 1937, the President decided to reorganize the Supreme Court. He wanted to make it so that the Supreme Court justices were constantly changing, bringing the Court different views and opinions from time to time.
This proposal did not pass because people thought that Roosevelt was doing this just to prevent the New Deal from failing. Before long, though, most of the Supreme Court justices had retired or died, so new ones had to be appointed. The next problem came up in 1937, when Japanese attacks on China started to threaten world peace (Schuman 1996, p. 107). Roosevelt wanted to help China get armed for defense. He believed that Japanese should respect U.S.
rights to aid China and demanded that Japan apologize and pay for the U.S. ship that went under by China. The Japanese people agreed to this at once (Schuman 1996, p. 108). The third major issue that came about in Roosevelt’s second term was the Neutrality Acts.
Roosevelt was not a huge fan of these acts because he wanted to help nations in time of need, especially ones opposing the Axis Powers: Germany, Italy and Japan (Schuman 1996, p. 110). Even after World War II began in 1939, the U.S. managed to stay isolated from the last Great War. But later that year, the U.S. passed the Neutrality Act of 1939, allowing other nations to purchase weapons from the U.S.
for war. Hard to believe, but very true, it was time for yet another Presidential election, which led to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s third consecutive term in office. There were many factors that lead to his reelection. He appointed a few Republicans to his Cabinet, hoping to gain some Republican support. He was the only President to ever be nominated for three terms, which led to the 22nd Amendment. Roosevelt was, so far, keeping the United States out of war and promised to continue to do so.
And, guiding the U.S. through two successful terms, the people thought that at the time, the nation needed a president with good experience and leadership skills (Schuman 1996, p. 132). As FDR entered his third term of office, he decided to give Great Britain all the help they needed with the war. In 1941, he met with the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and together made up the Atlantic Charter. Under this charter, there were no territorial gains and all nations had the right to choose their own government, there were freedom of the seas, and all could conduct world trade peacefully (Burns 1970, p.
591). Roosevelt also granted all Americans Four Freedoms which were: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom of want, and freedom from fear. Later that year, Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act, allowing the U.S. to provide war supplies to any nation vital to U.S. security. To reassure them in doing so, Roosevelt told Congress that, Our security is not a matter of weapons alone.
The arm that wields them must be strong, the eye that guides them clear, the will that directs them indomitable (Burns 1970, p. 601). As time went on, relations with Japan got increasingly worse. The United States reduced trade with Japan and issued warnings, but nothing seemed to help. Finally, the U.S. officials decided to meet with Japanese diplomats, unaware that the Japanese planes were attacking U.S. fleets in Pearl Harbor.
This is what finally led to the U.S. entering World War II. Now having entered the war, Roosevelt had to decide where to send troops first. He met with Churchill, along with officials from the Soviet Union, and they all formed the United Nations, or Allies that opposed the Axis Powers. He was the first President to leave the U.S.
during war, but it was necessary so that he could meet with other Allied leaders (Schuman 1996, p. 197). He mostly met with Churchill and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union. Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin became known as The Big Three, and together created a strong pact to stick together and defeat the Axis Powers. Their goal was to drive all Germans, Italians, and Japanese out of any territory where they did not belong, starting with North Africa. Besides being involved with the war outside the country, Roosevelt’s home life changed during this time as well. The Roosevelt’s could not entertain guests as much anymore because security regulations were added to the White House.
Machine guns were set on the roof, Secret Service agents posted throughout the grounds, and even a bomb shelter was put in the basement. These regulations were necessary in order to keep everyone safe and the White House under control. In the election of 1944, Roosevelt was ready to retire, but felt it was his duty to run for the fourth term, especially since the war was still going on. He had no problem getting renominated and Harry S. Truman was nominated as Vice-President.
The Republicans thought that the fourth term was unfair and felt that Roosevelt was in poor health. But this did not stop him from winning yet another election, this one also a landslide. In his final inaugural address, he told the United States that they learned they cannot live alone at peace, that their own well-being is dependent on the well-being of nations far away (Johnson 1967, p. 353). When Roosevelt started his fourth term, his health was really starting to weaken.
But his Presidency still went on, so he never let a cold or minor weight loss stop him. In February 1945, he met with Churchill and Stalin for the Yalta Conference in the Soviet Union. The Big Three discussed plans for organizing a peace treaty with the United Nations once the war ended. But it was at this time that Roosevelt began to have doubts about the Soviets. He told Churchill to keep on top of Stalin and keep Roosevelt posted if any changes occurred. Franklin D.
Roosevelt was then headed to Warm Springs for a break from politics and time to just relax and rest. He spent only a very short time there before his death. The night of April 12th, the President had a horrible headache, which caused a cerebral hemorrhage that then spread throughout his body. With the news of his death, Americans gathered around the White House, filled with silence and grief. Roosevelt had prepared a fireside chat for the following day, which the First Lady later shared with the nation.
The last words written by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the nation, that he brought such a long way, were, To you, and all Americans who dedicate themselves with us to the making of an abiding peace, I say: the only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith (Freedman 1990, p. 492). When you think about all the amazing accomplishments of one man, it is easy to understand why Franklin Delano Roosevelt will always be among the most remembered United States Presidents. He not only faced the truth himself, but made the rest of the country face it as well.
Roosevelt had the incredible ability to look truth in the face and deal with it as best as he could. He left behind him a country that had greatly changed from what it was in 1932 (Johnson 1967, p. 384). Besides that, Roosevelt left Americans a story about history that will always interest them. It is more than a tale that is just told for fun; it is one of our legends (Johnson 1967, p.
385). President Roosevelt lived quite a life. Besides being a wonderful father to his children, a loving husband to his wife, and fighting an endless battle with polio, FDR lead a nation through many difficult obstacles and to tremendous heights with more strength and confidence, and that in itself made him a great man. But what made Roosevelt even more of a man was his ability to not only help others, but make the American nation believe in themselves as individuals. For he once told his nation, True individual freedom cannot exist without security and independence (Freedman 1990, p.
494). That quality was his real claim for being known as the man that he was. Bibliography Abbott, P. (1990). The Exemplary President and the American Political Trust, University of Mass. Press, Boston.
Burns, J. (1970). Roosevelt, the Soldier of Freedom, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., New York City. Freedman, R. (1990). Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Clarion Books, New York City.
Johnson, G. (1967). Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Portrait of a Great Man, William Morrow and Co., Englewood Cliffs. Schuman, M. (1996). Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Fourth Term President, Enslow Publishers, Inc., Springfield.
Sullivan, W. (1970). Franklin Delano Roosevelt, American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., New York City. Political Issues Essays.