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Brief history of President Roosevelt

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was born in 1882 and he served as the 32nd president in United States. He is highly credited for successfully leading United States during the economic crisis which faced the country during the time of the great depression of 1930s and also for his role during the Second World War which gave Americans the victory. President Roosevelt was a charismatic leader and he as a president served for four terms making him the only president in history of the United States who have served the country for two a period exceeding two terms.

Roosevelt had succeeded president Hoover and he served from the year 1933 through to the year 1945 when he died while still in office and shortly before conclusion of the second world war. Harry Truman who had served as Roosevelt’s vice president took over the presidency after Roosevelt’s death. He was married to his far cousin Eleanor Roosevelt and they had five children four of whom survived the infant stage . President Roosevelt during the Second World War Roosevelt played major role during the Second World War. During the Second World War era, Roosevelt was the president of the United States.

During the Second World War, Roosevelt formed an ally against Germany with Joseph Stalin who was form Russia and the then great Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill. These three leaders are the ones who held this ally together all through the Second World War and the victory over the Nazis composing of the Japanese and the Germans is attributed to their bravery and consistency. In the onset of the Second World War, United States was not prepared for war although it was paramount that war was going to break which could affect the country.

This was even clearer after Germany defeated Czechoslovakia in 1938. Roosevelt was sure that war was going to erupt in Europe and that the United States could possibly be drawn into it. French and British were the possible allies although the United States was hesitant to immediately to form an ally during this time partly because the country was opposed to any form of war. Formation of an ally was even made almost impossible because some individuals felt that Russia was the real enemy and not Hitler since Russia was practicing communism which United States had tried to eliminate all through .

The opposition of war by the United States made Roosevelt unable to rescue or even support countries which were being taken over by the Nazi’s. United States thus did not engage in the Second World War when it began in 1939 until later in 1941 after it was provoked by the Pearl Harbor attack. In 1938, Roosevelt started preparing the country for war but this had to be done in a way so as not to raise opposition from the isolationists. This process thus had to be systematic and on incremental basis. In the same year that is 1938, Roosevelt advocated for the manufacture of 10,000 aircrafts for military purposes by 1940.

However, some of his advisors were not pleased with this proposal of Roosevelt. The production of the aircrafts was supposed to send a message to Hitler that if aroused, America would be prepared to fight. Also, Roosevelt hoped that this message could help in discouraging Hitler’s aggression. In 1939, a military order was issued by Roosevelt which required all agencies serving in the defense to make direct reports to Roosevelt instead of the department heads of government offices. This order helped the president to form personal relationship or bonds with the military heads or chiefs.

Also, by ensuring that military chiefs were reporting to him, this helped in esteeming these chiefs thus he was able to prepare the country for war . The major breakthrough to war came in 1940 when Roosevelt made a deal with Britain which was known as the destroyer deal. Under this deal, United States exchanged 50 destroyers for some bases in Caribbean. Following this agreement a selective service act was enacted and the drafting of Americans began immediately. Lend lease act was also passed in 1941 by the congress under the directives of the president.

This lease act provided the Russians and the Britain’s with fire arms on lease although the leasing agreement did not contain any conditions for their repayment. The president was quoted saying that “When your neighbor’s house is on fire, one does not haggle over the price to put it out, the hose is readily loaned and the price is figured later” . The attack of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese near the close of the year 1941 led to the total involvement of America in the Second World War. Germany under the reign of Hitler declared war on United States which led to their full participation in the Second World War and they were prepared for it.

During this period, Britain had defeated the Nazis together with its allies. However, shortly after winning most of the common wealth countries flew away their coops leaving Britain as the only super power left. This was dangerous for the British Empire and they were relieved when America fully joined the war. Britain and America formed an ally which led to the combination and formation of chiefs of staff who were responsible for overseeing the all operations of the British American joint military.

Another development that arose after the formation of this Joint Chiefs of Staff was the second front which was in France which led to atomic bomb development, United Nations agreement formation and the ultimate axis power defeat . Before the American engagement in the Second World War, President Roosevelt had taken the role of the commander in chief of the country’s armed forces. Although this authority is vested in all presidents by the constitution, only a few of them exercise it. Roosevelt was at a personal level involved in the formulation of major decisions regarding the armed forces and war in general.

The Nazis had learned that America had been preparing for the war and that the Americans had formulated some strategies to win the battle. United States and its allies had planned to make the Germans surrender unconditionally first then followed by the Japanese. This strategy was bound to be successful but it could have lengthened this war. This strategy had to be changed which saw Roosevelt involve more in the planning process. The troop had increased necessitating president Roosevelt to relinquish his control over it.

However, he kept close contact with Churchill as well as his military advisors who were having top ranks in the army. During the war, the president was not in control of the events which were taking place like he had done before the war began. The control of the military shifted from Roosevelt during the war to commanders who were close to where the war zone. Harry Hopkins and William Leahy an admiral were the one who were briefing the president on the events of the war . Roosevelt was very vital in solving major war differences which were erupting in between the British troops and the United States troops.

For example, in 1943, a joint decision by the American British to invade France through a cross channel had been accepted by the Americans while the British troop were reluctant about it. The division that had erupted on whether to carry out the attack or abandon it delayed this invasion until 1944. American army had even suggested that if the British army were not going to carry on the attack, the first strategy of the Europeans could be dropped. Roosevelt intervened in this dispute and highly condemned the divisions and the intention to move the forces to the pacific from Europe.

Though President Roosevelt’s intervention, the approach of British won and instead of taking an aggressive Europe invasion, forces were landed in North Africa which was referred to as the operation TORCH. This operation delayed the OVERLORD invasion strategy of Americans and this helped in ensuring cohesion of the American British coalition. It also led to the preservation of European first strategy. Unlike his counterpart Churchill, Roosevelt did not meddle with the operations of the war forces unless it was really important. Churchill often intervened in the tactics and strategies of the forces always leading to collision.

Also, Roosevelt was more of a political leader who avoided controversies and used and indirect approach while dealing with the forces. Churchill on the other hand liked a more direct approach and enjoyed debate and controversy . Conclusion President Roosevelt is one of the most celebrated 20th century American leaders who successfully led the American through the depression period of 1930s as well as through the Second World War. When he became the president, Roosevelt knew war was inevitable and it he was almost sure that America could be involved in it.

He thus spearheaded the country to prepare for the war. His approach of preparing the country for the war also ensured that this process was successful especially due to the kind of administration and opposition which was in the country regarding war. During the Second World War, Roosevelt played a vital role in ensuring that cohesion was maintained between the three allies and this was vital if victory was to be found. Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt were the leaders who helped win and end the Second World War as well as the rule of Hitler.

Bibliography: Beschloss, Michael R. : The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1941-1945. 2003. ISBN 0743244540, Simon & Schuster Black, Conrad: Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom. 2005. ISBN 1586482823, Perseus Books Group Cook, Van: President Roosevelt – World War 2 Leader. Retrieved on 10th April 2009 from, http://vanrcook. tripod. com/presidentroosevelt. htm. Jenkins Roy, Neustadt Richard E. & Schlesinger Arthur Meier Jr. : Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 2003. ISBN 0805069593, Times Books

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