The passage of the National Industrial Recovery Act led to creation of NRA (National Recovery Administration) which crowned the work of the Hundred Days. Thus within 3 months of his accession to the Presidency he had redeemed the pledge to act for the plain people. The Right wingers condemned ‘the New Dole.’ An enraged Judge complained that ‘King Franklin was playing tiddlywinks with the entire universe.’ ‘Roosevelt’s program’, wrote historian Samuel Elliot Morrison, ‘was a new deal of old cards, no longer stacked against the common man.’
Impervious to attacks FDR went on with his programs. On Dec, 5 Prohibition, a major source of violence, crime and political corruption was repealed. The passage of the Social Security Act on Aug, 14,’35 made it obligatory on Federal Government ‘to provide its citizens, a measure of protection from the hazards and vicissitudes of life.’
America was preoccupied with domestic recovery and overwhelmingly opposed to involving in European affairs.
His success owed to his utter mastery of the art of politics. He met the Press twice a week in a sporting free give and take atmosphere. Besides he reached millions of homes via radio, explaining his programs in a reassuring voice that calmed as well inspired the listeners.
When crossed he was formidable and ruthless. He pursued an almost overt policy of divide and rule, pitting one of his trusted lieutenants against another, thus assuring himself of ultimate control of his cabinet. Though crippled and confined to his wheelchair he stood ten feet tall in the mind of his nation.
At the end of his first term he could claim ‘a strong government had met the crisis and solved it.’
Inaugurated for the second time on Jan 30,1937 he had to confront the Supreme Court which had cut down many of the New Deal Legislation. His proposed court packing plan with the right to appoint one new Justice to replace the one who refused to retire six months after reaching the age of seventy was defeated.
From New Deal his term in office saw America’s increasing involvement in world affairs.
His third term is noted for his ‘Four Essential Freedoms’. He formulated a national emergency Lend-Lease that extended even to Stalin who was embroiled in fighting the Nazism.He affirmed Anglo-American solidarity,proclaimed the Atlantic Charter that would pave way for the UN .
Roosevelt faced a bitter campaign in his bid for the Fourth term in office. In 1944 he chose Harry S. Truman for his running mate. By the time he called for the Yalta conference he was a shadow of his old self and ravaged by ill-health. On April,10 1945 while sitting for a portrait he was felled by a massive cerebral hemorrhage and died.
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