FDR: A POLITICIAN in a WHEELCHAIR Voters were in a ugly mood as the presidential campaign of 1932 neared The “chicken in every pot” of 1928 had seemingly laid a pink slip in every pay envelope. Herbert Hoover was re-nominated in Chicago without great enthusiasm. Their platform praised Republican anti- depression policies, while halfheartedly promising to repeal national prohibition. The rising star of the Democratic party was Gov. Franklin Roosevelt of New York. Describe his background.How did his paralysis impact his political philosophy?
Another of FDR’s great personal and politicalassets was his wife, Eleanor. Describe herprofile and her impact on FDR’sadministration.FDR’s political appeal was amazing. Hiscommanding presence and his golden voicecombined to make him the premier Americanorator of his generation.As governor of New York he sponsored heavystate spending to relieve human suffering.Though favoring frugality, he believed thatmoney, rather than humanity, was expendable.How did the wealthy perceive him?Exuberant Democrats meeting in Chicagonominated FDR – describe the Democraticplatform.
PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFULS of 1932In the campaign FDR seized the offensive with a slashing attack on the Republican Old Dealers. Heconsistently preached a New Deal for the “forgotten man,” but was annoyingly vague and somewhatcontradictory. FDR rashly promised a balanced budget and berated heavy Hooverian deficits, amidcries of “Throw the Spenders Out!” and “Out of the Red with Roosevelt.”In contrast to FDR’s optimism, grim-faced Hoover remained in the White House,conscientiously battling the depression. His supporters half-heartedly assured half-listening voters, “The Worst Is Past,” “It Might Have Been Worse,” and “Prosperity IsJust Around the Corner.” To the end, Hoover re-affirmed his faith in Americanenterprise & individual initiative. Why did he resent FDR?
THE HUMILIATION of HOOVER in 1932Hoover had been swept into office on the rising tide of prosperity; he was swept out ofoffice by the receding tide of depression. FDR won in a landslide.One striking feature of the election was the beginning of a heavy shift of blacks,traditionally grateful to the Republican party of Lincoln, over to the Roosevelt camp.Why did many blacks switch parties?Hard times unquestionably ruined the Republicans, for the election was as much anti-Hoover as it was pro-Roosevelt. An overwhelming majority voiced a demand for change.How did political posturing affect the lame duck period until March, 1933? Whatwas the Hooverite’s accusation aimed at the in-coming Roosevelt camp?
FDR and the THREE R’s: RELIEF, RECOVERY, REFORMOn a dreary Inauguration Day, March 4, 1933, FDR provided Americans with inspirationalnew hope. He declared that the govt. would wage war on the Great Depression as it wouldwage war on an armed foe.
FDR moved decisively. He boldly declared a nation-wide banking holiday, March 6-10, as aprelude to opening the banks on a sounder basis.
FDR summoned Congress into special session to cope with the national emergency. Forthe so-called Hundred Days (March – June), members hastily cranked out anunprecedented array of remedial legislation.FDR’s New Deal programs aimed at three R’s- relief, recovery, and reform. How did FDRenvision his economic evolution to pulling out of the depression?
Firmly in the driver’s seat, FDR cracked the whip. The new Congress fully shared thepanicky feeling of the country and it was ready to rubber-stamp bills drafted by WhiteHouse advisors. Most significantly, Congress gave the president extraordinary blank-check powers. FDR was delighted to exert executive leadership, and Congress responded to it – what was the public’s response to FDR’s initiative, even if he sometimes readily admitted that he was not always sure of the outcome?
Reforms passed by the Hundred Days Congress owed to the legacy of the earlierprogressive movement. The New Dealers embraced such progressive ideas asunemployment insurance, minimum wage regulations, conservation, the development ofnatural resources, and restrictions on child labor.