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Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    This is the beginning of a series of threads. I will post a thread about each president and turn it over to the forum to discuss.

    Overview:
    FDR, as president ended the Great Depression with his spending and public works programs. He also ended Prohibition, passed the G.I. Bill, created Social Security, the minimum wage, and unemployment insurance. Also, he ended child labor. Finally, he lead America through the Second World War, turning America into the world's premier country and setting up the economic boom times of the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

    All in all, I consider FDR to be the greatest of all presidents.

    What are your opinions?
    "My opponent is a humble man, he is a man with much to be humble about."

    -Winston Churchill

  • #2
    He certainly had the most interesting presidency. I see him as a statesman and a politician, and as someone who could do both jobs very well. Far from perfect, of course, but I've never met a perfect human.
    Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
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    • #3
      hmmmmm, before we deify FDR a couple of other items might be suggested. First, FDR's attempt to pack the Supreme Court is an event I consider something of a stain on the Presidency. Also his continuing beyond the traditional two terms which, had he been healthy, could easily have led to a lifetime deal. The two events combine to give me a slight chill.

      Then, there is the question of World War II. I understand we won and all that but, did FDR really do a particularly good job or did he just happen to serve during a time of great events? I'm not sure his handling of the Russians was particularly skillful for a man who had already been the President for a decade.

      Greatest Presidents always turn out to be those who happened to serve during time of Great Crisis. Question might be, Could the Depression have been handled better? Could WWII been handled better on the diplomatic end? Do we really wish to hold a man up as the greatest when he scared us so much with his quest for power we passed an amendment to the Constitution so no man could again come so close to being our dictator/Presidente' for life.

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      • #4
        Elijah,

        There wasn't really much he could do about the Russians save starting World War III, and I credit him for not doing so.

        FDR had many failures, such as the disastrous packing of the Supreme Court, but these are overshadowed by the sheer good he did.

        Also, I don't believe the 22nd Amendment was a repudiation of FDR. Harry Truman, who supported the act, also called FDR 'the greatest man I have ever known'.
        "My opponent is a humble man, he is a man with much to be humble about."

        -Winston Churchill

        Comment


        • #5
          Nobody's perfect, of course. I do find the vigorous attempts by the fringers to demonize him to be the best compliment that could be paid, however.
          Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
          Hyperwar, Whats New
          World War II Resources
          The best place in the world to "work".

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          • #6
            Something tells be this is in the wrong forum. What do you think?

            American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion

            FDR does not fit. Try the rest in PC.
            "Ask not what your country can do for you"

            Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

            you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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            • #7
              I consider FDR very over-rated.

              - Seized private gold holdings and set market price on a whim.

              - Actions debatedly extended the Great Depression.

              - Created the Social Security system, but also made it into the government piggy bank two years later.

              - Enacted a massive increase in the power of the executive.

              - Attempted to stack the Supreme Court by creating more seats.

              - Imprisoned, by Executive Order, thousands of American citizens during WW2.

              - Created, by Executive Order, a 100% tax on income over $20,000.

              He did have a hands off approach to warmaking and provided strength to America during WW2, but otherwise I see him as one of our consummate politicians. I'll also give him credit for "forcing" one of our greatest Presidents to be his last running mate.
              If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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              • #8
                He had to be the president who overcame the greatest personal and physical handicaps to accomplish his work.

                By the time war broke out, he couldn't move his legs at all and worked from a wheelchair. The only way he could move in an upright position was by thrusting his torso forward in increments - a very difficult and painful thing to do. But on the day he addressed Congress to officially declare war, he didn't want to present an image of weakness on that historic day, so he traversed the long aisle of the Congress in just that manner.

                Quite heroic in my opinion.


                Philip
                "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."— Bertrand Russell

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by philiplaos View Post
                  He had to be the president who overcame the greatest personal and physical handicaps to accomplish his work.

                  By the time war broke out, he couldn't move his legs at all and worked from a wheelchair. The only way he could move in an upright position was by thrusting his torso forward in increments - a very difficult and painful thing to do. But on the day he addressed Congress to officially declare war, he didn't want to present an image of weakness on that historic day, so he traversed the long aisle of the Congress in just that manner.

                  Quite heroic in my opinion.


                  Philip
                  Phil,
                  Glad to see you here. I have a question you might be in a good position to answer.
                  You've seen posts above attacking FDR's court packing plan. He is pretty well universally assailed for this. My question to you is this: Do Asquith and Edward VII get equally assailed for the threat of the creation of additional Liberal peers to get acquiesence in the passage of the Parliament Act of 1911? Effectively, it was the same thing. Thanks

                  ps
                  While the post is directed at Phil, obvously everyone is free to answer.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Douglas MacArth View Post
                    Elijah,


                    Also, I don't believe the 22nd Amendment was a repudiation of FDR. Harry Truman, who supported the act, also called FDR 'the greatest man I have ever known'.
                    Not a repudiation of the man but still recognition that we didn't want anyone holding such long-term power.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by philiplaos View Post
                      He had to be the president who overcame the greatest personal and physical handicaps to accomplish his work.

                      By the time war broke out, he couldn't move his legs at all and worked from a wheelchair. The only way he could move in an upright position was by thrusting his torso forward in increments - a very difficult and painful thing to do. But on the day he addressed Congress to officially declare war, he didn't want to present an image of weakness on that historic day, so he traversed the long aisle of the Congress in just that manner.

                      Quite heroic in my opinion.


                      Philip
                      I just recently watched a TV program that was describing his declaration of war address and the difficulty of him "walking" down the aisle.
                      If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thread moved to Research, Reference and Historical Study.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
                          Phil,
                          Glad to see you here. I have a question you might be in a good position to answer.
                          You've seen posts above attacking FDR's court packing plan. He is pretty well universally assailed for this. My question to you is this: Do Asquith and Edward VII get equally assailed for the threat of the creation of additional Liberal peers to get acquiescence in the passage of the Parliament Act of 1911? Effectively, it was the same thing. Thanks

                          ps
                          While the post is directed at Phil, obviously everyone is free to answer.
                          I know that question isn't to me, but I'd like to answer it.

                          Edward VII reign ended May 6, 1910 - so George V was king not Edward VII when that incident occurred.

                          George V was bound to accept the advise of his Prime Minister. If he did not accept the advise of his Prime Minister then the PM would have had to resign, which would have precipitated a constitutional crisis in that situation.
                          No choice for George.

                          I think it's generally accepted that this action was a constitutional win for the democratically elected House of Commons versus the power of the undemocratic House of Lords - a stepping stone in the evolution of British democracy.

                          As Britain doesn't have a formal constitution, the power to decide constitutional issues that the supreme court has in the United States does not have a parallel in Britain.

                          This situation was a power struggle between two houses of Parliment.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sparlingo View Post
                            I know that question isn't to me, but I'd like to answer it.
                            Thanks for doing so.

                            Edward VII reign ended May 6, 1910 - so George V was king not Edward VII when that incident occurred.
                            Oops. I should have included George. IIRC, however, the issue first came up with regards to Edward. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

                            George V was bound to accept the advise of his Prime Minister. If he did not accept the advise of his Prime Minister then the PM would have had to resign, which would have precipitated a constitutional crisis in that situation.
                            No choice for George.
                            Fair point.

                            I think it's generally accepted that this action was a constitutional win for the democratically elected House of Commons versus the power of the undemocratic House of Lords - a stepping stone in the evolution of British democracy.

                            As Britain doesn't have a formal constitution, the power to decide constitutional issues that the supreme court has in the United States does not have a parallel in Britain.

                            This situation was a power struggle between two houses of Parliment.
                            This I understand. However, the US Constitution does not set the number of Justices for the Supreme Court, and that number had fluctuated over the years as Congress increased, then decreased the number. Asking Congress to pass a law to increase the number of Justices would not have been unconstitutional, and shouldn't have provoked any sort of constitutional crisis.

                            Packing the court was intended to effectuate the will of the "people" since the Supreme Court at the time was viewed by many as being out of touch. That's the apparent parallel to your point. It might well be a poor one though.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
                              Thanks for doing so.

                              Packing the court was intended to effectuate the will of the "people" since the Supreme Court at the time was viewed by many as being out of touch. That's the apparent parallel to your point. It might well be a poor one though.
                              I didn't see the parallel before, but you make a good point.

                              On the other hand, the US situation is seen as a case where the executive and the legislative branches breached the checks and balances of the constitution. Two branches of government ganging up on the third. The British example holds no similiar long standing controversy, but rather sets a precedent where the will of the House of Commons, when adament, will prevail over the House of Lords.
                              Last edited by Sparlingo; 23 Dec 11, 15:04.

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