Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a popular president and he went into power unprecedentedly for four terms and he served longer than any other president in America. His popularity also stemmed from the fact that he led America during the time of the Great Depression and in the Second World War.
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Roosevelt enacted policies that ensured the social welfare of the people and as a result, he became a hero in the eyes of the average person. Through his ambitious programs referred to as the “New Deal”, he helped the hungry and unemployed masses and rescued agriculture and businesses from collapsing (Divine 2006). He was a refined and intelligent orator who spoke with great eloquence and he impressed many with his knowledgeable speeches. He knew how to win people to support his ideas and this came in handy because it enabled him to persuade Congress to support his ideas during times of crisis. He managed to control Washington politics through this talent.
Franklin Roosevelt though paralyzed from polio from his waist down for his entire political career, was one of the most influential presidents in the nation. He led the American people through times of crisis as well as extending his presidential power in solving complex puzzles during times of war.
His administration left a lasting mark on the history of the American people because of the way he handled the two largest threats to the world’s stability namely the Second World War and the Great Depression. Furthermore, his aggressive policy popularity known as New Deal Programs left an everlasting mark on American history. His leadership during the Second World War eventually led to the victory of the allies.
Franklin Roosevelt helped Britain through lend-lease when Hitler attacked her. He offered them material support by sending over $50 billion worth of arms and equipment. Roosevelt was also a man of action and when the Pearl Harbor got bombed on the 7th Dec 1941, he sprang into action and declared war on the Japanese. For him, it was now clear that appeasement could not work against the aggressors instead of a full war that was urgent to rid the world of dictatorship (Divine 2006).
Roosevelt became president at the time when America faced the greatest economic crisis of the century namely the Great Depression and the Second World War. These were the two gravest periods of the 20th century. During the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt helped many people who had no work and no money. He created jobs to help those affected by the Great Depression. His New Deal programs helped in providing food for the need and in creating jobs for the unemployed. At the time of war, Roosevelt acted as a war leader. With the attack of Pearl Harbor, he ordered the manufacture of war equipment in proportions never seen before.
Roosevelt is also popular because he participates in founding the United Nations. The Second World War had an immense effect on him and he felt that for the world to have a lasting peace he had to do something. Roosevelt in these bad times helped the American people to regain faith. He delivered hope according to his promised move to act. He and Churchill set up a world organization that would make sure that no war ever occurred again. He, however, died before the birth of the United Nations.
Evaluate Franklin Delano Roosevelt leadership in the Second World War
Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to power in November 1932 and by March, 13 million people were left unemployed and most of the banks closed. He embarked on a program called “The New Deal” to save both business and agriculture and to create jobs for the unemployed. (Divine 2006)
At the onset of the Second World War, America had drifted back to isolationism. In 1930s Roosevelt became increasingly concerned about Hitler’s aggression. However, he could not do anything because of the isolationist policies held by the electorate and by congress. These policies prevented America from involving itself in war and Roosevelt despite his feelings could not do anything.
However, when Hitler invaded and conquered France, Roosevelt took action. He started to help Britain through the lend-lease. America sent over $50 billion worth of arms and equipment and this signaled the end of isolationism. It did not, however, join the war but just offered material support. When the Pearl Harbor got hit on the 7th Dec 1941, America woke up and sprang into action.
Before this America had no intention of joining the war but the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor sparked a passion and inflamed Americans into wanting to fight. Roosevelt reiterated that it was now clear that appeasement could not work against “iron wolves” instead a full war would only rid the world of dictatorship and anarchy.
Roosevelt became president at the time when America faced the greatest economic crisis of the century namely the Great Depression and the Second World War. These were the two gravest periods of the 20th century. During the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt helped many people who had no work and no money. He created jobs to help those affected by the Great Depression. His New Deal programs helped in providing food for the need and in creating jobs for the unemployed.
The United States of America came into the second world after the surprise attack of Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces (Borg 1998). Till then, Roosevelt had always taken a neutral attitude of isolationism and always took neutral place in world affairs even with the rise of dictators like Hitler and Mussolini.
At the time of war, Roosevelt acted as a war leader. With the attack of Pearl Harbor, he ordered the manufacture of war equipment in propositions never seen before. Roosevelt felt bad about the Second World War and he felt that for the world to have a lasting peace he had to do something. He and Churchill wanted to set up a world organization that would make sure that no war ever occurred again. He wanted an organization that would be more effective than the League of Nations that had failed miserably. He, however, died before the birth of the United Nations.
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Who do you think was most responsible for the cold war?
The cold war started in 1945 and ended in 1990 and it emerged through conflicts of national interest between the United States of America and the Soviet Union. After the end of the Second World War, the United States of America and the Soviet Union emerged as the world superpowers. Each had its own ideological beliefs namely capitalism and communism. They both had a network of alliances and possessed deadly nuclear weapons.
In the 1960’s many people believed that Stalin’s aggressive ventures to expand soviet’s territories were the sole reason and the main cause of the cold war. The argument further claimed that Americans only responded to this aggression. However, in the following decades, this argument changed. According to most historians, the cold war was inevitable as the conflicts between the two superpowers had reached a breaking point because of many reasons.
The common concerns that had united the two powers disappeared with the end of the Second World War leaving two giants with radically different systems politically, socially, economically, and ideologically.
Many other reasons had contributed to heightening the tensions between the superpowers. Among such factors included that Stalin for a long time refused to join the United Nations. Stalin, however, was angry that Britain and America had deliberately delayed their entrance in the way to allow Germany to weaken the Soviet Union. Then in the Tehran conference that was held in 1943, Stalin clashed with Winston Churchill over how much control the Soviet Union would be allowed to have over countries in Eastern Europe. Stalin wanted a huge reparations from Germany.
Furthermore, he needed to build a ‘buffer’ of friendly states around the Soviet Union to protect themselves from future attacks. Britain and the USA, on the other hand, wanted to protect democracy and help Germany to recover. Another reason that contributed to the cold war was the propaganda wars that both sides waged on each other. All, these underlying ideological differences together with historical resentments that turned the earlier allies into enemies led to the cold war which was an inevitable war between the different ideologies.
The main concern of the west during the cold war was their fear that the Soviet Union might gain control over Western Europe. They feared that through his aggressiveness, Stalin would manage to take over most countries in Europe and Asia. In response to this fear, the US adopted the Marshall plan and founded NATO to enable the US to give financial aid to countries of Western Europe to help them in reconstruction. To counter the US, the Soviet Union also signed the Warsaw pact to help the Eastern countries in their reconstruction.
The cold war emerged from the Soviet Union’s immense acts of aggression coupled with America’s fear of the communist movement expanding into countries in Europe and Asia. Fear and Paranoia gripped the Americans over soviet’s influence on smaller countries where the US had vast interests. To stop these smaller countries from being influenced by communism, the US adopted the Truman doctrine and the Marshall Plan to aid them.
During the cold war, each superpower feared that other countries might have nuclear weapons and as a result of this, each superpower embarked on a nuclear arms race where each superpower produced tens of thousands of nuclear weapons.
In 1946, when the United States and Britain were trying to unify Germany, the Soviets erected a wall dividing Berlin into two.
Through the Soviet Union and the United States sought the second world war as allies, they were not friends. Both nations viewed each other with suspicion and the relationship between them was that of mutual distrust. Americans had long expressed suspicions and skepticism towards communism and alarmed of the way Stalin ruled his own country.
The soviets however deeply resented the fact that Americans had for decades refused to recognize the Soviet Union as a member of the international community. They also hated them for the isolationist policies that the US had adopted which barred them from entering the world war until it was a little too late and tens of millions of Russians had already been killed. When the Second World War ended both countries emerged as superpowers and the overwhelming sense of distrust that had existed between them now became increasingly severe. During the cold war, though the relations between the two countries were at its worst, it did not escalate into a full-blown war. No one, however, is responsible for starting the cold war because the war was entirely inevitable.
Compare presidencies of Truman and Eisenhower
Harry S Truman was the 33rd president of the United States and the Successor of President Roosevelt. He governed the United States of America from 1945 -1953. Eisenhower, however, was the 34th president of the United States and he ruled from 1953-1961.
Both presidents governed the United States at the time of the cold war and in a bid to maintain stability in the international arena; they had to adopt the policy of containment towards what they perceived as the Soviet Union’s aggressiveness. Truman focused more on maintaining power balance within the international community than focusing on domestic politics like fiscal policies. Eisenhower, on the other hand, focused more on domestic and internal politics and public opinion mattered more than what was happening in the international arena.
Truman was more concerned with keeping power balance in Europe and Asia and he did this through military expenditures with little regard to internal policies in the US. He sent aid to Europe and Asia to help those countries to develop because economic stability was essential in ensuring that peace and order prevailed in the international arena. Eisenhower, on the other hand, was a conservative leader who paid more attention to the government’s fiscal policies and controlled government spending (Divine 2006). He saw that it was more important for the US to trade with countries in Europe than giving them aid packages.
Eisenhower did not accept the government intervening on economic matters of other countries because interfering with the affairs of these countries was socialism which they were fighting in the first place.
The government of both Truman and Eisenhower pursued different military strategies. For Truman, a strong conventional military was more effective in achieving foreign policy goals while Eisenhower believed that more conventional armies were unnecessarily expensive. He preferred nuclear weapons and he said that he was willing to use them anytime compared with conventional weapons.
The differences in the way they handled the policy of containment relates largely to the times of their governance. Truman pursued the policies of the balance of power because he needed to contain Stalin’s aggressiveness. He governed the United States at the time when the soviet union under Stalin was pursuing expansionist strategies and the Soviet Union’s hostility and aggression coupled with their military capability affected Truman.
Furthermore, Stalin’s aggression of expanding to all the strategic parts of the world hence threatening the US security and economic interests disturbed him. For Truman, if the Soviet Union managed to control Iran and Turkey, this would pose an immediate threat to the international balance of power as well as the balance of capabilities would be upset. He was certain that what he was doing was right and he managed to convince Congress to support him in his endeavors since most of the time Truman had to make quick decisions to avoid conflict with Stalin. Congress, however, controlled Eisenhower and he did only the things that during congress needed approval.
The reason for the difference between Truman and Eisenhower’s policies attributes to different times of governance. Two months after Eisenhower took power, Stalin died and the idea of Stalinization of Europe died with him. He therefore unlike Truman did not face many problems. His administration entirely relied on public opinion which came to largely shape his containment policies. His worries were about the US becoming over-inflated and the economy becoming over-heated hence affecting America’s reputation in the global arena. He believed that a strong American economy was the most valuable thing and an effective tool in controlling the politics of the International arena. His use of nuclear warfare as a tool of deterrence was an effective strategy in containing the Soviet Union’s aggression.
Comment on why Vietnam was a bad mistake
Vietnam was a result of the cold war and it was fought between the nationalists’ forces of North Korea allied to the communists, and the United States assisted by South Vietnamese (Moss 1998). The United States went into war with the northern Vietnamese forces because they saw their efforts of trying to unify Vietnam as part of the communists’ quest for expansion. The US determined to stop what they saw as the Soviet’s aggression adopted the policy of containment to stop the communists from expanding further.
Ho Chi Minch was a communist Vietnamese revolutionary leader who always tried to woo the US into supporting him against the French. He even supplied the US with military intelligence about the Japanese during the Second World War but despite this, the US went ahead to attack them because of their dedication to the foreign policy of containment. Furthermore, the US feared that if one country in Southeast Asia for the communists, then all the others would follow suit. The US, therefore, went into Vietnam to help the French to fight against Ho Chi Minh.
However, in 1954, the French pulled out of the war after experiencing a humiliating defeat at Dien Bien Phu. After the withdrawal of the French forces, the US refused to give up as they feared that the communists would conquer the entire country of Korea. In 1960, the communists’ sympathizers in South Korea established the National Liberation Front (NLF) which was also known as Viet Cong which then fought the Americans using guerilla warfare.
The Vietcong and the Vietnamese government saw the war as a colonial war where the United States like the French wanted to colonize Korea. The Vietcong using extremely organized logistics to supply their forces and this largely contributed to the humiliating defeat of the Americans. The Americans had underestimated the power of the Vietnamese and had gone into war with confidence that they would win.
However, the Vietcong hid in a complex web of tunnels that ran through parts of North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia which made it very hard for the Americans to attack them. The United States advisors had rejected ground attacks and as a result, communist forces took advantage and moved massive amounts of troops and weaponry into South Vietnam.
Provide your opinion of Richard Nixon. Was he our worst president? Provide examples
Richard Nixon became the 37th president of the United States from 1969 to 1974. He was the only president that decided to resign on his own. Nixon succeeded his presidency after the withdrawal of President Johnson after the primary elections. Nixon during the general elections showed himself as a person with ability. His inauguration as the 37th president of the United States was on January 20, 1969, and sworn in by Chief Justice Earl Warren.
After Nixon took over the presidency, close to 300 American soldiers died every week in Vietnam. The war in Vietnam was so bad and so violent. Richard Nixon’s enemies including politicians, activists, intellectuals, and academicians, who opposed the war continued to unleash attacks on his government (Divine 2006). These attacks grew fiercer and tighter and Nixon’s government to them was a bad scheme, mad bomber as well as a domestic failure. Nixon was the worst president of the postwar time and of that century. He disregarded public opinion and refused to get out of Vietnam. He instead initiated the civil war arguing that war was not warred until victory was got. The voters of America could not trust the government because of the secret bombing of Nixon as well as the betrayal of the voters.
Nixon’s waste of time in Vietnam left 15,000 Americans dead. Nixon turned Vietnam’s neighbors Cambodia into a war ground. On August 15, 1971, President Nixon established the freezing of wages and prices to control inflation of the country’s economy. This became an act of authoritarianism and abuse of power and as a result, people suffered from Nixon’s arrogance. During his tenure, the country became overinflated and the government ordered the control of prices.
Farmers in the country went into losses as they could not feed their animals because of the hiked prices and they were not allowed to talk about it or raise any issues about it. During the night farmers were shooting their calves and piglet. Wage and price controls rose due to the shortages in beef, pork, and food. President Nixon introduced new products for people in the market and raised the prices of the commodities to the extent that people could not help themselves financially.
The cost of living among the people became more expansive as children and wives were to stay at their homes while their husbands worked to finance their families and life became hard for the people.
Nixon together with Kissinger handled the Mideast diplomacy so badly and America suffered for not getting oil for more years. Corruption and abuse of power were one of the leading crimes in Nixon’s administration as he destroyed the Republican brand and turned their states to blue. Richard Nixon opened up US relations with china and reached an arms-limitation agreement with the Soviet Union. He supported the Environment Protection Agency and Consumer Product Safety commission policies.
Nixon officially agreed on the secret bombing campaign in Cambodia in 1969 where his mission was to destroy the headquarters of Viet Cong. Through all this, it led to serious and violent bombings in Cambodia than the one in the Second World War which left many people dead. Nixon sent letters to the leaders of North Vietnamese to bring peace among themselves in mid-1969 whereby talks later took place in Paris.
Nixon obstructed investigation about the crime committed by his campaign team by breaking into Democratic National Headquarters which its name was the Watergate scandal.
Evaluate the Clinton administration. What were some of the positive and negative aspects of his administration?
Bill Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States and he served the country from 1993-2001. He was the second democratic president after Franklin Roosevelt and elected by the people on a second term. Clinton’s administration is known for the federal deficit and he managed to set up the strongest economy in American history. He was part of the 1990’s boom in the United States. His economic teams including Robert Rubin of the National Economic Council have received a lot of praise for the exceptional and uncommon fiscal discipline that existed in America in 1993. This enabled the country to develop confidence in the financial markets through exceptional surplus (Divine 2006).
His greatest accomplishments include an economic globalization creation by advocating for free trade through organizations like NAFTA; GATT.etc. He ratified the North American Free Trade Agreements which allowed for the unrestricted trade between Canada, Chile, the US, and Mexico. He is even praised for solving some of the most serious economic catastrophes in developing countries.
Clinton further helped in ending the conflict in the Balkans which had threatened both the European security and the practice of transatlantic trade agreements.
Despite the achievements of Bill Clinton, he also faced serious challenges. First, his policies appeared too many Americans as short-listed. His economic successes largely benefited Americans of that era and many of his critics argue that great presidents must create programs that endure the test of time, unlike Clinton’s policies.
Another setback for Clinton was on the failure of his administration to intervene and stop the genocide in Rwanda. America stood by and watched Rwanda burn without intervening. Then the worst part of all this was Clinton’s impeachment. Clinton is the second American President to suffer the disgrace of impeachment. The damage done by this was much greater, more pronounced and more permanent than all his achievements
A huge defeat to Clinton’s presidency was also experienced when his plan for a national health care system failed. Bill Clinton was president of the United States from 1993-2001. During his tenure, America enjoyed a time of peace and relatively economic wellbeing than any other time in history. He managed to make budget supplies in decades. He upgraded education, protected and created jobs, restricted the sale of handguns and fought against racial discrimination
Borg, Dorothy. The United States and the Far Eastern Crisis, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1993.Print.
Divine, Robert et al. America Past and Present: Volume 2: Since 1865, Prentice Hall: Pearson Education, 2006. Print.
Moss, George Donelso. Vietnam: An American Ordeal, Third Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1998. Print.