Franklin D. Roosevelt
The United States has had forty-four presidents after it stopped being a colony and won its independence from the British Empire in the 19th century. All presidents have contributed to making the United States a superpower in the world. However, not all of them have had a positive influence on the country. To come up with criteria to identify the best president of all time in the United States, several determining factors have to be considered. The first determinant is the number of terms that the president was elected to hold the office. Additionally, it is important to analyze the impact of the policies, ideologies, and the decisions of the president in question on making the United States a great country. Following the above criteria, the greatest president of all time in the country is President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This essay discusses the policies and ideologies that make Franklin D. Roosevelt the greatest president that the United States has ever had.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the 32nd president of the United States ruling from 1933 to 1945. He was a Democrat who won four consecutive US presidential elections. His time of entry into the presidency is what helped to show to the country what a great leader he was, and the impacts of the decisions he made during his tenure can be used to support the above assertion. Roosevelt was elected during the time when the United States and the world, in general, were hit by the Great Depression. His policies and ideologies helped the country to recover from the Depression, as well as improved the lives of the citizens during this period. Additionally, his role as a great leader can also be seen in the impact that he had in his party. In terms of the whole world, the president had several contributions, including the implementation of a war strategy that led to the end of the Second World War and the influence he had in the formation of the United Nations.
The first reason that demonstrates that Roosevelt is the best president the country has had is the support of the US people. The United States is the best democracy in the world, and as such, the best way to measure the greatness of a certain president is by looking at what the people thought about him. By voting, the citizens empower the leader who they think is concerned about their welfare and interests. As mentioned above, the president won four consecutive elections, which shows that the people of the United States had confidence in his policies and, therefore, elected him to lead the country.
Another reason Roosevelt can be seen as the greatest president in the United States is his influence in lifting the country out of the Global Depression that was experienced in the world during the period when he became president. The Depression began in 1929 and caused a reduction in the country’s GDP, huge rates of unemployment, deflation, the poverty experienced by the citizens, and lost opportunities for the economic growth, among others. Particularly, during Roosevelt’s entry into the presidency, the country was in the middle of a financial crisis and panic where people had lost confidence in the banks and, as a result, they were withdrawing their money. During his inaugural speech, Roosevelt addressed this issue by telling the people that they have nothing else to fear but the fear itself. Afterward, he started the implementation of his first strategy, known as the First New Deal, to help the country to recover from the Depression. The first policy revolved around the banks, and with the help of the Congress, the Emergency Banking Act was passed. The president also restored trust in the banking system by signing the Glass-Steagall Act that resulted in the creation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that underwrote savings deposits. He continued to implement relief measures addressing the unemployed by establishing different agencies such as the Civilian Conservation Corps. By the beginning of the Second World War, it employed more than 3 million unemployed individuals to work in different local projects. In the First New Deal, Roosevelt also introduced a minimum wage rate, which aimed at ensuring that various industries did not take advantage of the labor that existed in the country. The Second New Deal saw the setting up of the Works Progress Administration that served as a national relief agency that employed about two million heads of family. Through the Congress, the president also passed the Social Security Act that ensured that the sick, poor, and the elderly were economically protected. Although the measures taken by the president may be criticized, it is clear that the US economy would have further experienced the recession if Roosevelt had not introduced the New Deal. The way Roosevelt handled the Global Depression is one of the major reasons for him to be considered the greatest of all presidents in the United States.
Additionally, the decisions made during the Second World War prove why Roosevelt is the greatest president. He did not want to repeat the same mistakes made during the First World War. The president and the leaders of the Allies came up with a strategy to win the war on two fronts. The main role of the United States was to serve as the "Arsenal of Democracy" by providing resources and supplies to the rest of the Allies to help to win the war. One of the fronts was the Soviet Union, and another front in Asia and the Pacific was fought by Britain, China, and the United States. These fronts are what led to the annihilation of Adolf Hitler, thus ending the Second World War. After the war, the leaders of the Allies discussed through conferences the direction of the world after the war. At the Tehran Conference, President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, the then prime minister of the United Kingdom, discussed plans to create an international organization. This paved a way for the creation of the United Nations. The contributions made during and after the Second World War show the kind of a leader that Roosevelt was and the contribution of his strategies and decisions to Hitler’s defeat. His actions after the war aimed at laying a foundation to form the United Nations, and they were important to the entire world to ensure that it would not go to such a war again.
One great lesson that can be learned from the leadership of the president is the need for the entire nation to come together irrespective of the political differences, gender, or race. The president as the leader of the Democrats built the New Deal Coalition that united labor unions, different industries, African Americans, and the White people of the United States. Such tolerance is needed in the country today, especially because of the religious and racial intolerance that is being currently observed.
In conclusion, President Franklin D. Roosevelt is the greatest president that the United States has had. His success can be seen in addressing two major calamities of the world: the Great Depression and the Second World War. During the Depression, the president developed policies that ensured that the economy of the United States recovered. His policies restored confidence in the banking sector and improved employment, hence lifting the country out of the recession. Additionally, during the Second World War, the president made critical decisions that resulted in the end of the war. He was also among the pioneers of the formation of the United Nations to prevent such huge wars from recurring in the future. As such, he drove America to become the superpower that it is today in the world.