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Who Were the Villains of Roosevelts Famous Address - Essay Example

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The essay “Who Were the Villains of Roosevelt’s Famous Address?” portrays the US President's message during the Great Depression to the US stock market, banks, and corporations, demanding to normalize the economic situation, to help the Americans to make their living and feed their families. …
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Who Were the Villains of Roosevelts Famous Address
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Who are the villains of Roosevelt’s famous address? What political purpose does this serve?
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or FDR as he was commonly called, was elected president shortly after the United States was plunged into the Great Depression. He faced a time of uncertainty for the nation, where many were out of jobs and struggling to find food to eat each day. Many had invested thousands in the stock market, and the crash had impacted everyone from big business down to the smallest consumer. He took pains in his first inaugural address to address those banks and big businesses, which he considered the villains of the nation at that time for mishandling the money of the people. Roosevelt did this for both political and personal reasons, because in doing so he was assured of letting the people know that he was aware of their suffering, and that he would fight for the small man, not large corporations.
Roosevelt clearly addresses banks and big business as the villains of the nation at that time. He states, “The rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and have abdicated.” Roosevelt was speaking directly to the people about those that had been in business, had made their money in the stock market and by credit, and had found that, once the market crashed, it was no longer a viable playground. Overnight those that had money suddenly did not, and neither did the rest of the country. Roosevelt also spoke of their unnecessary existence by saying, “Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” In this way, he was also denouncing those that had made their money in the stock market, for too many had been eager to sink everything that they possessed into it, only to find that the promises that had been made were empty.
Politically and personally, Roosevelt made no assumptions that fixing the country of its problems would take place overnight, but rather invited people to stay with him for the long haul. In denouncing the banks and big businesses, he let people know that, first and foremost, he was not out of touch with the woes of the common person. Roosevelt knew that people were suffering. He also knew both politically and for the good of the country as well as his presidency that he had to unite them and show them that their suffering was something to be endured together, as was rebuilding the country. He even made sure to let the people know that things would change without the usual political red tape, stating that he would ask Congress, if they failed to take his recommendations into account, for “broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency.” By doing this, he made sure that the people knew that he was behind them, not big businesses, and would work to put them back to work and see the nation back on the road to prosperity.
Roosevelt called the nation to work as one, with him and not against him, to restore the country to its former greatness. His eloquence as an orator during this crucial time in history, as well as his willingness to see the problems of the common layperson, would see the country through the dark days of the Great Depression. Read More
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