Franklin D Roosevelt's Influence On War

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For over a decade Franklin Delano Roosevelt led the America people, through the nation’s worst economic collapse and against authoritarian regimes that encapsulated the world in its second, and bloodiest, war. The only President to ever be elected to four consecutive terms, Roosevelt’s political success and immense popularity left a mark on the United States, though some authors contend his legacy is far from unblemished. A controversial figure, not only for his domestic policies but more importantly for his initial role in the Second World War, Roosevelt never wrote an autobiography and as such his role in shaping the nation in the 20th century has been a matter of scrutiny for historians and political theorists alike, and as Kissinger points …show more content…
However, this same relationship shows how Roosevelt’s vision for the American future came into conflict with his duties as President, a negative attribute Kimball implicitly reinforces. While Roosevelt dreams of the United States ascending to a global role and acting as one of the policing states of this new order, he prioritizes this goal for the nation over the isolationist sentiment that is deeply rooted in society and the political landscape. The President understood this and strove to get “the American public ‘involved’ in the war against Hitler. Propaganda, gift programs like Bundles for Britain, war bond campaigns, rationing, and industrial mobilization” were all initiated to achieve Roosevelt’s goal. Thousands of American men would pay the ultimate price to see the “Anglo-American forces liberate Western Europe” because a personal and political relationship between two heads of state ran deeper than a commitment to the American sentiment at the time. Kimball does not paint Roosevelt as a narcissist concerned with his dreams alone, but the emphasis on the relationship the President formed with Churchill over correspondence and in …show more content…
Gellman at times is harsh on Roosevelt and the manner in which he managed his bureaucracy, primarily with Secretary of State Hull and his Under Secretary Welles, but nevertheless the author identifies positive traits that made the President as successful as he was in foreign affairs. He sees Roosevelt’s strongest characteristic as preparedness, nearly clairvoyance in the face of war and a dynamic political world. Throughout his book and despite his criticism of the President, Gellman states that Roosevelt was no political pushover and had the sensibility to prepare for eventualities. “Roosevelt unquestionably understood those prerequisites for mobilization and moved energetically toward that objective,” and the President not only assembled a fighting force with supplies for foreign invasions, but also worked to persuade the American people. In a matter of months, Roosevelt had won his propagandist battle and “an overwhelming majority of his constituents supported the initiative,” with nearly “70 percent [wanting] the British to win, even at the risk of war.” This marked a dramatic change from the isolationist sentiment that had dominated post World War I, and highlighted the

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