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tv   Franklin Delano Roosevelts Presidency  CSPAN  June 4, 2017 7:59am-10:00am EDT

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>> professor shauna devine and
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neville teach a class about franklin delano roosevelt's time in office. they described his policies as -- they talk about president roosevelt's relationship with winston churchill. both of these representatives talk about an expanding powers too roosevelt's relationship with far. this class is about one hour 50 minutes. >> welcome to today's lecture on franklin roosevelt. this is history 2131 b. the introduction to american presidency. his is a second level course. in this class, we trace the development and evolution of the office of the presidency and we look into particular the presidents that have had the most impact on the shaping of the office. not all presidents get their own lecture, lincoln of course did, and the second
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one that has his own lecture is of course, franklin roosevelt who we will look at today. as i said earlier, i will be speaking on franklin roosevelt and his domestic presidency and challenges, initiatives, successes, and failures. i will turn it over to my dearest friend, neville thompson, who is guest lecturing in the class today and we are very honored to have him sharing his research with us so thank you very much for being here and we will turn over to you shortly. we will look today at the histories and election of franklin roosevelt. we begin looking at his early life, political career, and some of the challenges that he was forced to confront as president. this is our theme, as always, it will be posted online so keep this in mind as you are doing your reading. we ove into franklin roosevelt,
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and who was he? he was born january 13 1882. he was born in a country estate and raised in affluent surroundings. he was paradoxically absolutely loved by the common people. he graduated from harvard, ttended columbia law school, and, before graduating from loss will, he took the bar exam and passed. that was not uncommon in those days. he arried his distant cousin, eleanor roosevelt, who was one of his great heroes. theodore roosevelt's needs. that was in march of 1905. he was very influenced and impacted by his presidency of roosevelt and he admired him very much. he won the state senate seat for dutchess county and, interestingly, no democrat had held that seat for over a quarter of a century. he worked
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on, and we look at this lens into his early political views and we see, during his first tenure as state senator, he worked on passing farm and labor bills and to develop social welfare programs. as i said, he married eleanor roosevelt in march of 1905. this became a very important, not only personal relationship, but i would also say, elliptical partnership. she was an important first lady. she transformed the expectation of what a first lady might contribute to the office, and to the white house. she was an active participant in politics, gave press conferences, wrote a newspaper column, and later, served in the u.n.. she became known as an advocate and a
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leader of women and civil rights. they had five children together, and it was by all accounts, and happy marriage. that was until one day, eleanor roosevelt discovered, by accident, a package of love letters that her husband was having an affair with her secretary lucy mercer. she was promptly fired. eleanor offered franklin a divorce, and he considered it, but the politician that he was, and with considerable pressure from his mother, he realized that divorce was not in his best interest. though he promised to stop seeing her, the affair lasted four years. the evidence suggested that it became more infrequent. by all accounts, a very happy marriage early on, and i think they forged an important political partnership moving later. she was always
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active. you can see here, eleanor roosevelt giving a fireside chat. she was suggesting new possibilities to hat a woman might be able to contribute not only to the administration, but to -- in answering the larger social issues of the day. franklin roosevelt began his early career, after he passed the bar exam, he went to work for a all street law firm. he wasn't very engaged with the matter at hand, and he soon set his ights on political office. after he was elected state senator, some of his early views about the role of government and its relationship and responsibl ity to the people began to emerge. he was on the heels of a progressive era, the greed the effect that
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competition had on the people, and he advocated for cooperation. he started to suggest, in this position, that the role of government was to protect the general welfare. he won reelection of his seat in 1912, but, instead, following in the footsteps of who he admired greatly, he accepted the post of assistant secretary of the navy in woodrow wilson's administration. with the africa world war i, he wanted to take a more active role for some kind of commission, but, instead, he worked for preparedness and naval expansion and work in the civilian sphere. he led civilian missions to inspect naval stations, primarily in the european theater of war. in 1920, he first came to prominence -- or first became
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nown in the national theater hen he accepted the nomination for vice president as james cox's running mate. some historians suggest that it was a devastating loss for roosevelt, but this was an important time in his political development as it served to bring him national recognition. many people are aware that roosevelt suffered a severe bout of polio at age 39. polio mellitus, also known as infantile paralysis, caused by the polio virus, causes muscle eakness and paralysis. it is
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spread by direct contact or by agent best buy a contaminated food -- or by a contaminated food. the cure was not invented until the later 1950's and 60's. far earlier -- later than ould have benefited roosevelt. roosevelt contracted the virus, and this was one of the rare photographs that we actually have a roosevelt in a wheelchair. he always relied on crunches and heavy still braces. he pours a relationship with the media, that they would not photograph him and any sort of state that made them look global herbal -- made them look vulnerable. for roosevelt, he was hiding this illness and navigating the disease, it proved as much a psychological difficulty as a physical one. he spent years and years
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developing techniques to diverge people's attention for developing techniques to diverge people's attention for his inability to walk or stand unsupported. one of the funny quotes that roosevelt had, he loved to speak to the press and he would always say as the culmination of his press conference, ok, i have to run now. he would take off. he would never sort of except the fact that he could never get up and walk. he would never sort of except the fact that he could never get up and walk. while accounts, this would be a debilitating illness for roosevelt, and one that was not part of consciousness. he did such a good job hiding it. you can see images here. we just never get a sense that he was reliant on any sort of device to move. from here, he moved forward and his mother worried that this debilitating illness was going to detract from his development in american politics. it did not. he persevered. he was able to continue on in his shaping as a politician and political figure. in 1928, he gained prominence in the democratic party as a two-term governor of new york. again, we see roosevelt in the. maturing as a olitician. his views on social
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reform crystallized. he was charismatic, energetic, and had a wonderful ability early on of being able to connect with the eople. in his run as governor, he ran for protective labor legislation, projective this progressive government, and other things. in 1931, as the depression continue to worsen, he ran for protective labor he created the temporary emergency relief administration which provided food and clothing and housing, and even jobs if possible. he advocated support for social issues over individual concern, and as the depression worsened, he called for government intervention in the economy at a time when that as largely unthinkable. that was to provide relief and
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economic recovery. fdr, by 1932, had not only gained national prominence, he had caught the attention of the democratic party through his two terms as governor, and by 1932, he was a leading contender by the democratic -- for the number -- democratic presidential nomination. some suggested it was an unprecedented move, he traveled to the democratic convention in chicago to accept the nomination and, some historians suggested it was to prove that his physical limitations would never get in the way of his efficacy and ability to lead the country. he promised there, ask the convention, "a new deal for the american people, one that would guarantee work and one that would guarantee security." 1932 elections was
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the beginning , the beginning of a new political era. fdr was lected president for the majority of the national vote, and, it was as much a vote for roosevelt as it was against hoover. as you can see, it was a mandate . the electoral college was overwhelmingly in favor of roosevelt. he carried 42 states. the congress, emocrats had a mandate. they outnumbered republicans 6235 in he senate -- 60 to 35 in the senate. it was a firm desire of the american people to use government, as an agency of human welfare. roosevelt took the oath of office march 4, 1933. in 32 states, on that today, in 32 states, every bank had been closed by a state government hiatus. on the moment of the inauguration, the stock exchange closed his door, enate. it was a firm desire of
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and the editor of nations business noted "beer or during on panic, loss of everything, our fellow man, our institutions, private and government, worst of all, no big and ourselves or the future." between 12 million and 15 million americans, about 25% of the workforce were unemployed. millions of people had lost their life savings and many had lost their homes and lived in uncertain conditions. many were even forced to stand in long lines for free super and bread and, 11,000 americans
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-- a blood of america's banks have failed. panic and fear roosevelt -- 's after hoover inability's to effectively manage the crisis or opera olution to the people, fdr and his approach was welcomed. roosevelt responded to the crisis in his mandate with confidence and revolution. he suggested the republican party's talk down -- top-down policies would not allow for economic recovery. the country needed new initiative that would "put their faith once more in the forgotten man of the economic pyramid." this was
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a war. he demanded that the nation mobilized to meet it. we see him emerging in washington to one of the largest inauguration crowds ever seen in history. and, to an tmosphere of fear of also hope that and also hope. he stood on the chilly platform, as you can see, with no hat and no vercoat, and recognized that the country was in turmoil, but promised, with a certain resoluteness, that he would be able to wage the war and handle he domestic crisis. >> this is a day of national and i'm certain, my fellow americans. ur forefathers father will have so much to be
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hankful for. the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. unjustified terror which paralyzes efforts. god. [inaudible] unemployed t, the
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grim existence. [inaudible] yet we are stricken by fauble inaudible our forefathers we have so much to the be thankful for. shauna: just to highlight, when we see roosevelt talk, even in the lecture there. playing it gain. when we see, even in that small clip, how enraptured people were with roosevelt, it was silent, and it was the same
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thing when his radio fireside chats could be heard. people would say, you can almost hear up and drop when roosevelt was speaking. from his inauguration n word, he promised stability, hope, and answers. as we could see, they weren't always the right answers but they were solutions that took shape. one of the most interesting ways that roosevelt was able to constantly connect with the people, but also to be able to disseminate his a ideas about reform, and the ways he were able to promised stability and
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hope in the future, was through hope in the future, was through this carefully and very interesting and widely studied relationship with the press. it is one of the most interesting avenues in which to understand the presidency, and the reason nd weight in which the presidency was able to connect with so many different people. he was fond of having his press rooms in the white house, his press conferences, and he used to love to refer to them as his school room. he often resorted to terms like seminar, or having a budget textbook. he would constantly use these opportunities to educate and to talk about, and to control the message. he could be very manipulative, very regulated -- calculating, and he was a masterful and a skillful -- the masterful and skillful use of the press, was unprecedented. we'll never see quite like it. in january of 1934, he invited 35 washington correspondents to his study to explain his budget message to them, and he said
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afterwards, "it was like a football coach going to practice with his squad." he saw himself as this person that was going to be able to masterfully disseminate the message, and he did. the press absolutely loved him. it was one of the first times that press conferences were no longer scripted. they were informal, colloquial, and he had a very pleasant manner that resonated with members of the press corp. he posted more than 1000 press conferences, which was many more than any of his predecessors had thought about doing. the press was gleeful. in addition to his regular press conferences, used the radio, film, and he used these
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tools to his greatest advantage. that was to be able to reshape the politics of the. in the way that he wanted to. he had considerable charm, wrist of a -- charm, charisma, and all of these things work well together to control the relationship. we see at times, very turbulent relationships as we do with the press. he was able to masterfully handled the press, and he had a really great knack of disarming those. it might've -- disarming foes. it might be to send a reporter into the corner, call them by their first name, and he use different skills to be able to negotiate the press. throughout the presidency, this became a very important relationship, but also, tool, for understanding roosevelt's vision. in his very first action, it was a dizzying array of legislation that was passed. on march 5, he immediately issued in bank holiday proclamation. he followed that with the emergency banking
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ill. that remarkably was enacted in less than eight ours. roosevelt, -- the next headline, was listed and it gave him such extraordinary powers. he demonstrated, that he was going to use the full ower of the office, the full powers of the executive office to address the national emergency. he likened it to a war. on march 12, he had his ery first fireside chat to
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romised the american people, "your savings are secure." he connected with, reassured the people, and in doing so, hrough these fireside chats, he was able to lift the spirit of the country and forge the kind of link between government and people that we had never seen before. on monday morning, there were no runs on the bank when they reopened that's monday, and march 13, for the first time, since the bank had ollapsed, he deposited withdrawals and currency was redeposited back in the bank. as he spoke in his fireside hats, you can see people
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listening. listening and being listening. listening and being comforted by the stability he promised. it was a dizzying array of legislation that was assed in these first hundred days -- first 100 days. we take a look at roosevelt's views, what i call the shipping of the e was able to lift the spirit modern presidency, and i think how roosevelt thought was that new sigkind of social contract between the people and the government. the administration emerged as the nation's source of popular leadership. he talked about, in response to criticism, as he sort of started to move toward with his legislative agenda, people believed that the president was, with this plan,
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in acting some of the measures he proposed, was going to be an abuse of executive authority. we have seen this before. we have had a lecture on lincoln who was criticized with similarly extending too far the power of the executive office. roosevelt responded, and i put it here and read "the state had the possiblility of relieving stress of the federal government has always had and continues to have a sponsor -- responsibility for the broader public welfare." the advent of the welfare statement's transferring -- state meant transferring the private sector to the national government. in doing so, it created new responsibilities, not only for the president, but for the national government. he redefined traditional individualism. the government modern presidency, and i think must regulate and sustain agency, they must help people navigate the uncertainties of he market. that was an unthinkable -- what his unthinkable -- what his opponents would say, an unthinkable a trooijen into people's lives. roosevelt believed that to manage the great depression, he had to build the welfare state and that would only happen through a very strong executive office.
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we looked last week at woodrow wilson, and teddy roosevelt. he built upon an institutionalized the modern concept of presidential power that wilson and tr first inaugurated. tr first inaugurated. the new deal, we can look at roosevelt's second 100 days, roosevelt's second 100 days, the new deal, which did not have the same array of dizzying legislation, but the laws that were passed and legislation proposed had a significant impact on the shaping and development of the country. he explained in 1934, that to the development of a national industrial society made it very
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difficult for people to achieve financial security. that was within the traditional bounds of family and neighborhood, that people had been used to. the complexities of the city, organized industry, required that the federal government help secure their welfare in a time of need. he illustrated the thinking and 1934 fireside chat, which he likened the situation to the remodeling of the old rickety white house. "it is the combination of the old and the new benchmarks or delete peaceful progress, not only in buildings, but in building government itself. all that we do seeks to fulfill the historic tradition of the american people." when congress convened in 1935, roosevelt called for an unprecedented system of social welfare. early deal programs were designed, not so much to reform but to stabilize and produce recovery. these ideas would move the country in a new direction. the new deal drew on many sources, a brain trust, as it had been described. academic advisors,
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advice from cabinet members, democratic congressional eaders, and as a has story written -- a historian noted, it's a rose from no mass of and and did not fit deeply into one ideological bond. it was very much roosevelt's vision. in justifying what some saw as expanded use of presidential power, he drew on lincoln street lincoln's precedentsce. the promotion of life liberty and happiness of all people. roosevelt promoted
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a new idea and a new deal that suggested " necessitous men are not free men ." the new deal, to protect individual security and to try to remedy the broader economic problems that underlay the great depression, here, i have just a sampling of some of the most important pieces of legislation that were passed, which you can read further about in the textbook for purposes today. i will not go through each one. the new deal sauce to ensure that the economic social and political benefits of american capitalism were distributed more equally among american's large and diverse population. social security was established for the age of unemployed, and the precedentsce. the promotion of disabled widows, dependent children. work projects were fostering immune eyes asian
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largely because of the act. this is to provide relief through public employment, to help of federal control of a nation bank and even electric -- ms. devine: in talking about the new deal, roosevelt summed it up in an address to congress in 1938. we get a since of his he is when he said "government has a final responsibility for the well-being of its citizens. if rivate and cooperative and effort fails to provide work for willing hands and relief for the unfortunate, those suffering hardship from no
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fault of their own, they have the right to call on the government for aid, and a government worthy of its name must make a fitting response." so in looking at roosevelt and the shaping of the modern presidency, the government entered into a new and unprecedented era of esponsibility for the american people. one example, in his fireside chats, he had such a wonderful ability of connecting with the people and offering a sense of hope that prior to roosevelt, they needed one person to handle white house mail. with roosevelt, thousands upon thousands of letters made it to the white house, and slowly but surely other areas burgeoned as the government expanded its powers and roosevelt expanded the staff of the white house. he appointed a committee which proposed the creation of what was called the executive office of the residency, which was a
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brand-new office. we are thinking about the growth of the modern presidency and the institutionalization of new ideas and reforms. this was created to mediate and help with political and policy objectives. it expanded the reach of the executive branch of government. dozens of new agencies were created, an alphabet soup of agencies were created. not all were going to live to survive congress's recommendation, but some of them do survive. in reforming government administration, roosevelt's aim was to continue to achieve the broad social purposes of the new deal, to fulfill his mandate. it led to a squabble as they tend to do between congress and the
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executive, who should control he agencies. one historian has suggested that the eop wasn't epoch making an event. the institutionalization of the presidency established a new organizational apparatus that presidents and their appointees could use to short-circuit the separation of powers, accelerating the transfer of authority from the congress to the executive. the 1936 election by this point, there ere many anti-new dealers that actively opposed roosevelt's lection, so he made this
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campaign a referendum on the campaign a referendum on the elfare state, and he won. he on by a landslide. interestingly, the 1936 election revealed a new voting pattern for the democratic party, southern whites, northern blacks, rural men, middle-class homeowners, and unemployed men and women. we see a new shaping or reshaping nd coalition form within the democratic party. what was so important about the 1936 election was the most important political changes of his first term would end your. in 1932, it was as much a rejection of
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uber and his policies at the 1936 victory was a confirmation of his leadership and the new deal, and the election strengthened the democratic hold on congress. now, on the heels of the selection, he had to deal with one of the most severe constitutional crises of his the mystic presidency, which was his very controversial plan to expand the supreme court to as many as 15 judges, allegedly to make it more efficient. critics immediately charge that roosevelt was trying to pack the court and that neutralized supreme court justices hostile to his new deal. during the previous two years, the high ourt had struck down several
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key pieces of new deal legislation on the grounds that the laws delegated an unconstitutional amount of authority to the executive branch. so flush with his landslide victory in 1936, roosevelt proposed retirement of full pay for all members of the court over 70. if a justice refused to a tire to retire, there would be an appointment assuring the majority. most republicans and democrats oppose the so-called court packing plan. don't you love his cartoon? it is wonderful. his bill is defeated ultimately and the congress and senate, and in what roosevelt calls his constitutional revolution of 1937, he is able to a .8 of the nine justices, so the court is ultimately called the roosevelt court. roosevelt set i may not have won the battle, but i won
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the war, so he is able to validate his new deal, but meddling cost him dearly. we ee what are some cases unrepairable ideological fissures among the democratic arty. so the court packing scandal revealed some fissures in the democratic party, and in 1938, roosevelt made the very poor choice of intervening in the democratic primary to try to weed out those conservative democrats who were not supportive of his new deal legislation. he believed that their opposition and vocal opposition to his extension of the new deal was becoming insurmountable, and his chief targets were southern democrats. many southern democrats had a close court packing, opposed his executive reorganization, but also threaten not to back one of his
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et projects, which was the united states housing act, which would have supported ow-cost housing. of 10 democrats that he oppose come all but one were reelected. so this cost him dearly. so did the men have critics? ow we see a president elected, and historically, roosevelt always ranks among the top, him and washington, with lincoln being number one. he is widely regarded as one of the best presidents ear it now if you went back to 1936, 1935, 1934, 1939 and asked his critics some might quote that man in the
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white house. i will not say his ame. did not like -- there were charges he was a president, not a king had abused the office and had executives from the far left to the far right and whole lot in between. somewhere congressman. many were on the supreme court of the early part of his administration. many businessmen who felt the government intrusion into what they saw as the business life of americans was not appropriate. there were those led by herbert herbert hoover who said the new deal subverted freedom and does nothing but extend bureaucracy. the american community balked at fdr's demands -- he suggested ou recognize the superiority of the federal government in
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regulating matters of business. critics charge that his executive reform and court packing plan proved he was power-hungry, and some critics suggested he did not promote anti-lynching laws or other civil rights legislation for fear of alienating southern white voters. his goals were mbitious and extensive and while he had many supporters, is enemies were plentiful. liberals attacked from the left for not providing enough relief nd for maintaining the fundamental aspects of capitalism, and conservatives claimed his policies were merely socialism in the skies -- in the skies, and that an
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interfering activist government was trying across history of self-reliance. it was simply, as herbert hoover argued, a challenge to liberties , but were his critics fair? in 1937, loss of support for his new deal mounted. part of this was because this was on the heels of a recession in 937, over a 10 month period, industrial production fell, stock prices also fell, and national income fell, all the while unemployment grew. people suggested that the slump occurred because the administration in attempting to balance the budget had simply cut expenditures to far. they rgued that fdr needed to instead cut spending more, repeal taxes, and stop the reform measures. roosevelt
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watched and waited, which was uncharacteristically roosevelt. it sharply contrasted his energetic style in 1933, but influenced by the resurgence of john maynard, roosevelt asked congress to recertify the $3.7 billion. historians have suggested that his decision to adopt a policy to combat the recession marked a turning oint in the new deal. it was now less about punishing the economic royalists and more about producing stabilizing features to the economy and allowing growth to occur. but the recession and fdr's association with it badly hurt democrats in the 1938 midterm election, and by 1939, congress
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took a very conservative turn. his critics continue to mount. people suggested the new deal hardly resolved the economic crisis. it was more of a stabilizer than a radical departure. moreover, it did not solve the fundamental forces of social marginalization, the segregation of african-americans, the discrimination against women come the exploitation of sharecroppers, the exclusion of jewish refugees fleeing nazi horror in europe, and many epublicans despise the shift
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to big government and prolabor policies. moreover, his disregard for civil liberties during the war, the attornment -- internment of japanese men and women after pearl harbor was widely denigrated as not being justified, and moreover shaped as a result of racist policies. the business community who helped to pay for the bill that many roosevelt programs had adopted through taxes and regulatory fees vilified roosevelt and race, class, and identities so deeply and are twined 1930's as now, and critics suggested the new deal did not reach far enough to cure the endemic poverty among some of these groups. they did not address discrimination in hiring, and african-american leaders championed for initiatives that would go further in addressing issues of racial inequality. so fdr's new deal failed to cure the impression-induced bills of the american economy, and many
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measures would not survive his residency, but they had substantial impact. they laid important contributions for the nation's infrastructure, schools, airports, playgrounds, bridges, and municipal buildings. it gave emotional and physical sustenance to people and forge their future expectation for a responsive government. the one lasting achievement, the social security act of 1935, which became the cornerstone of the american welfare state for the rest of the century, provided pensions for the elderly, insurance to the unemployed come and direct assistance to the disabled, elderly, poor, and single mothers and is still considered the new deal's most enduring monument. fdr emerged on the national scene as president during a very difficult national crisis. the great depression created enormous fear and a loss of optimism and democracy itself. fdr responded to the crisis in
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a series of actions, and in doing so, he inspired hope, a new kind of hope in bodied in the president of the united states. from his compelling and stabilizing inaugural address, summoning congress into an emergency session, resolving the financial crisis, but most of all by his manner. he promised relief, and through his confidence, his resilience, his communication, and his action, people were moved. in one of his fireside chats, one of my favorite, we get a lens into his views when he said "when andrew jackson, old ickory dark, someone ask him a will he go to heaven? he will if he wants to. if i will ask the american people will pull themselves out of this depression, i answer, they will if they want to. i have no sympathy with the professional economists who insist that
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things must run their course and that human agency can have no influence on economic ills." will he go to heaven? and thus the new deal was born and a real of american government and a new partnership and social contract between the government and society. he constantly communicated with the public hrough the press, educated ewspaper writers, public members of the government, and guided the nation through the complex measures he was advocating. he constantly members of the government, and promoted his ambitious legislative program, and though not the first chief executive to a doctor parole role of legislator, chief legislator, he developed a that function to an unprecedented extent, changing the possibilities and expectations of a president forever. he advocated tirelessly and worked with a receptive congress, wrote
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letters to urge passage of his proposals. he summoned congressional leadership to the white house to conferences on legislation and appeared in person before congress. he gave hundreds of speeches, hundreds of press conferences, and wrote countless letters, memoranda, and issued numerous executive orders, though not without its tensions, so not without its critics, and as some of his answers to the questions were ot always the right answers, fdr demonstrated that individual freedom and government regulation which promoted economic security could indeed be reconciled. as fdr demonstrated that one historian noted, "if the problems the american people face in the years between 933-1945 where in some measure and soluble, proximate solutions were found, and
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that was fdr's ultimate domestic egacy. " and i turned the lectern over to professor neville thompson, who now talk about roosevelts lectures. [applause] mr. thompson: i hope i can give up to my predecessors eloquence. if franklin delano roosevelt had served out the customary to terms -- two terms, if he had served from 933-1941, he would have been known above all as a domestic president, a president who tackled the very great problems of the great depression, which professor devine talked about. a different president might not ave paid much attention to the
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est of the world. this was only 20 years after the end of what was called the great war, what we now call the first world war. what americans hat we now call the first wanted to do was stay out of the affairs of the rest of the world. if there were problems in the rest of the world, these were four other countries to olve, and not for the united tates. roosevelt was different
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in the sense that he had a great interest in the world as well as in his own country, but even roosevelt really only began to turn his attention to the problems of the rest of the world and how these problems might affect the united states about the time of his second election in 1936. it was about that time that he begins to worry that some of the things happening in the world could affect the united states. in retrospect, 19 37, the year after his election, and the troubled decade of the 1930's, it looks like a relatively peaceful year, but this is not how it seemed at the time. there were lots of things to be concerned about in the world and how they might affect the united states. in 1936, nazi germany sees the rhineland, the demilitarized zone between germany and france, which now meant germany's borders were smack up against those of france. in 1935-1936, fascist taly had attacked ethiopia and
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italy and conquered it. in italy and conquered it. in 1937, july, japan attacked mainland china having already these things was the spanish civil war that broke out in july, 1936. at first, this war seemed like an endless series of wars in spain going back to the area of napoleon in 1808, but this time this was not a short civil war and was not how it seemed at the time. there were lots of things to be confined to the state. by 1937, it was becoming a european ntellectual -- international event, with the german and attain governments supporting the rebels, fascists so to speak, and soviet russia, communist, supporting the government, which was made up of a coalition of various people. what worried roosevelt was this revolution might spread to the united states. this now perhaps seems unrealistic since nothing of
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he kind happened, but this was what was bothering him by 1937, and indeed he thought as many presidents might not have done, that any big war in europe would affect the united states, even as the united states managed to stay out of it. it would affect trade in europe and the fact that the united states had ties with europe. roosevelt was above all worried about the spanish civil war. what he thought might happen was that germany and italy on the one hand, and japan on the other hand, might get basis in south america, and from those bases they would at some point attacked the united states. perhaps they might even move into mexico which would be a closer base to the united states . none of this happen, but it seemed to roosevelt that it might happen. to most americans of course they were not concerned. they wanted the united states to stay out of
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wars, and for that reason in 1935 and 1937, neutrality acts were passed by congress, which did their best to keep mericans, the american people, american arms, american ships, american loans, well away from any country that was fighting. oosevelt was then in a sense out on a limb for seeing dangers that were not shared by most people in this country. but he had a clear duty to do what he thought was to protect the united states. he did this by securing the western hemisphere, by securing the americas. shortly after his election before his inauguration as president in 1936, he traveled to bonus hours -- when is harry's, address them and said the united states was going to be a
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good neighbor. it was not going to fully the countries of south america around. it was going to get along with them. it was oing to be their friend. the reason he was doing this was to undermine any overtures by japan or germany to those countries, to make them into friends. in august, 1938, he traveled to kingston, queens university, where he accepted an honorary degree, and in the course of this visit, wrote a declaration that the united states would not stand idly by if canada were attacked or invaded. the primus of canada a few days later in a speech that she was caught off guard and was not expecting this -- said candidate would do the same. it
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was not that roosevelt was afraid of an attack from canada, what an attack through canada if canada got involved in a war and some enemy would be able to attack the united states. so by 1938, the hemisphere was relatively safe, relatively safe in south america and to the north in canada. in addition to this at the beginning of 1938, roosevelt had a great idea that perhaps the problems of the world could be solved having the leaders of the major countries get together, talk about their differences, and this raised a question, where were they going to have such a conference? they could not have it in the united states because most americans wanted to stay out of the war. they could not have it in europe. switzerland was the bvious place, but the league
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of nations was discredited because it had not been able to top was -- stop mussolini in ethiopia. probably the best place to have it would be in the azores, halfway across the atlantic. this was his idea. it was probably never going to appen for a number of reasons. one, stalin would never go that far from his own country. it was not possible. it was also highly unlikely that hitler's and mussolini would accept such an invitation. the british prime minister, neville chamberlain, sort of turned it own because he said, look, there is not enough detail. we can't get people together unless we have something in mind. roosevelt said, well, fine. roosevelt really had nothing in mind. he did not
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have anything specifically in mind, what they could talk ver. probably what he wanted o do was increase trade by reducing tariff barriers and somehow or other settled the territorial disputes by the various countries by conciliation, in other words what we would call today and was called then, what is now a ery derogatory term, by -- the conference did not happen and appeasement. theit was regarded as one of the great missed opportunities of the late 1930's, but it probably was there was not enough basis or some kind of agreement. when in september, october, 1938, the british and french governments enter the german-speaking part of
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czechoslovakia, roosevelt showed where he stood by sending a cable to neville chamberlain saying, good man. he seemed to have solved the problem, given germany what it wanted, saved the piece for europe, saved the threat to the united states. . the situation for the united states in relation to europe became much more series of course when war began in september 1939, when britain and france went to war against germany as germany refused to withdraw its troops from poland. again, this was not how most americans thought. again, this was not how most americans thought. if germany was to attack poland, that is germany's business and it has nothing to do with the united states, but it very much concerned roosevelt, who was afraid what would happen if a major war developed and it had
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an effect on the united states. after poland fell very rapidly, divided up by germany and the soviet union, in which germany had made an agreement and that there was no land fighting, but there was a lot of sea fighting the between germany and essentially the british navy. the british had a much bigger navy than the french navy. roosevelt had a very clever idea of sort of getting in touch with the most important person who was concerned with this war, and this is winston churchill. winston churchill had been one of the big critics of the government in the 1930's, even though he was nominally a supporter of it, a backbench member of that government. he was taken into the government when the war began and given the job of running the admiralty, which is where the war was after the fall of poland, so what roosevelt proposed then was a secret correspondence with winston churchill.
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churchill was of course delighted at this and he got the agreement of prime minister neville chamberlain that he could do this. what roosevelt wanted was information, and he knew churchill was a good person, a writer, a journalist who published in american papers and american magazines. he had written many books, some of which roosevelt had read, so a good writer, good analyst, and so on them is so a secret correspondence began between the two. roosevelt was getting information that few other people had. this raised the question, if roosevelt was engaged with the secret correspondence, was he trying to get the united states involved in war? this is a big question on which many books have been written, and a question which can never be answered.
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the reason it can't be answered was because roosevelt always very cleverly hedged all his bets. perhaps he did not know himself. he waited to see what would happen. he hated putting his views in writing. he would say contradictory things, one thing to one person, another thing to another person. on one occasion his wife said to churchill just because franklin keep saying yes, yes, yes doesn't mean he agrees with you. it means he is listening to you. many people thought they knew what roosevelt's mind was. two people of different views with similar offices had options. in many ways, he exercise control by sowing confusion, which was a contrast to the orderly methods of winston churchill, who put everything in
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writing and said not to except orders from him unless they were in writing. so whether roosevelt was trying to get the united states into war or not is a question that can be answered. -- can't be answered. one thing he was certainly doing whether united states got into this war or not, he was going to do his best to keep the fighting away from the united states, and he was going to support the two great democracies of western europe, britain and france, by all the means that he could, partly because he had huge admiration for their society. he traveled a lot in europe as a young man and had had both french and german governesses, so he knew the languages. like many wealthy people on the east coast of the united states, he was almost european, partly because he admired the societies, but also because they
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will be bulwarks for the united states. his method then was all method short of four. he called congress, it took a while to pass, what was called the cash and carry neutrality act so that the president had the power to sell armaments to countries that were fighting on two bases, one they had to pay cash, no credit. cash, and secondly they had to come and get the stuff and take it away themselves. american ships could not sale to countries that were fighting, so this with the cash and carry act passed in 1939, which benefited britain and france far more than
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germany because britain had a big navy and germany was notionally blockading britain, but it was not effective. so it was much easier for british and french to get across the atlantic than german ships. he was saying any belligerent could buy these goods from the united states. frankly, delano roosevelt allowed britain and france to buy a american ships so they could transport the stuff if they did not have enough ships of their own. his argument for this was that it was keeping the war away from the united states. the problem is that in the spring of 1940, his calculation almost seemed to collapse when france suddenly capitulated to germany in june of 1940. in may of 1940, germany launched
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a huge offensive against western europe and the french crumbled before it. on the very day that germany launched this attack, may 10, 1940, winston churchill became the british prime minister. the two events were not really connected. they seem to be connected, but they were not. the decision had been made the day before. still, churchill became prime minister. it seemed like a perfect example of the hour being matched with the person. this is not how it seemed to the people at the time. churchill had a reputation for being impulsive, rash, volatile, and so on. even roosevelt said he supposed to churchill was the best they had come even if he was drunk half the time. and where roosevelt got this impression of being churchill drunk half the time was a diplomat that roosevelt trusted
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whom he had sent to europe to travel around the capitals to find out what was going on and give him information. this diplomat had a three hour session with winston churchill in which he told roosevelt that churchill started out drunk and talked himself sober. that is where roosevelt got the idea that churchill was drunk half the time. he turned out to be the best by any standard. churchill, knowing that roosevelt was his correspondent, immediately sent off a cable with a long list of military requirements and said, if you will provide this stuff, then we can stop germany despite this great offensive. roosevelt looked through the list and could not possibly supply it. there would have been too much of an uproar in his own country, so he sent back a letter then saying it needed congressional approval. the united states was well enough armed for its own need, which was perfectly true, and it would take time to assemble this sort of stuff, so he could not meet it. he ended the message by saying, the best of luck to you. well, thanks a lot, thought churchill in a way to let but as disappointed as he was, he could not afford to let it show. churchill desperately needed the united states. perhaps britain and france could
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hold off germany, but they certainly could not hold them off without the assistance of the united states. they could not face another war like the first world war. this is a terrible blow, because britain had depended on the french army. the british had a good navy, good air force, but they did not have a big army. the french had the army. now the army was gone. furthermore, now that the france battle was over, the next target was obvious he going to be britain, and this began in the summer of 1940. mostly in the air, to some extent at sea. churchill was confident they could win the battle of britain. he was one of the very few that thought that germans could not invade and that the navy and air force would prove strong enough, but not everybody agreed with it, and if germany failed, perhaps it would succeed again in 1941. what most people did not know, what churchill in a sense knew, deciphering the german messages, was that germany was now preparing to attack the soviet union, so even though there were massive bombing attacks on britain in the early part of
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1941, it was not a prelude to an invasion. churchill was confident they could win the battle of britain. he was one of the very few that thought that germans could not invade and that the navy and air force would prove strong enough, but not everybody agreed with it, and if germany failed, perhaps it would succeed again in 1941. what most people did not know, what churchill in a sense knew, deciphering the german messages, was that germany was now preparing to attack the soviet union, so even though there were
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massive bombing attacks on britain in the early part of 1941, it was not a prelude to an invasion. but this was not necessarily of course how it seemed at the time. by the summer of 1940, by late 1940, britain against germany and not clear if it would prevail. roosevelt was coming to the end of his second term. he was preparing to retire. he had built a library for his papers and memorabilia, where he intended to work. a cottage for himself, as the big house was owned by his mother and she still lived in it, build a cottage for himself with access for a wheelchair easily, and signed a contract to
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write an article every two weeks. it looked as though he was going to retire, but he also hinted that he might except renomination as unusual as this was because of the danger situation which the country faced. the other problem, the other issue, was that the democrats had nobody of anything comparable in popularity to roosevelt. in june of 1940, the republicans met at their convention and nominated wendell wilkie, a former democrat, popular man, handsome, utilities lawyer, who supported the new deal, but was very much against government regulation, which he thought went too far, especially in taking over his utilities company, and thought the executive power was being
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exercise to an excessive extent by roosevelt, so he seemed like an appealing candidate then in many sort of ways. the next month, the democrats met in considerable distress and in uncertainty in chicago. the men who open the convention gave the keynote address, a long speech, and after midnight, finally at the end read out roosevelt's in which he said he had no wish to being a candidate again. this wasn't quite a refusal, but it seemed like it. there was a stunned silence in the hall as the delegates thought, what exactly does this mean? and while they were thinking came a voice, the voice of god, filling the hall, saying, we want roosevelt.
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we want roosevelt. this turned out to be the superintendent of chicago sewers, a loud voice hidden in the basement, speaking into a microphone into the public address system. this thereafter was known by those who did not like roosevelt as the voice of the sewers, only the voice of the sewers would demand roosevelt be president again. the cry was taken up by delegates, we want roosevelt. california wants roosevelt. kansas wants roosevelt. the world wants roosevelt. the band begin to play roosevelt's theme song all the way back to 1932, happy days are here again. the whole place is pandemonium for an hour, but of course, the fix was in. it had all been arranged. the next day, roosevelt was nominated and overwhelmingly accepted.
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he modestly announced from the white house by radio under the circumstances he felt he could not refuse. he had of course rigged the whole sort of thing. the campaign between wendell wilkie and roosevelt was the most peculiar campaign, because both of them were in favor of a two britain, strengthen britain to keep the war away from the united states, but they were also careful that the united states would not get involved, that american soldiers would not be sent to europe again, so in a sense they were to some extent saying the same kind of thing. roosevelt won, and after his election, wendell wilkie went to britain to find out what the situation was. roosevelt called him to the white house, gave him a letter to take to winston churchill, and sent him on his behalf as
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well, so once again it seemed as if roosevelt was acting in a bipartisan fashion, sending his great opponent to britain on his behalf in a sense as an emissary, saying our good wishes and support are with you. so in some sense then, perhaps this does not matter whether wendell wilkie or roosevelt was elected in 1940, but undoubtedly the way the war was conducted and the way in which roosevelt wants to shape the post world war world would have been different if it had been wendell wilkie instead of him. on such things, such contingencies, does history turn. even before the election in november 1940, wendell wilkie supported this, roosevelt already agreeing to give britain 50 old destroyers left over from the first world war on their way to the wrecking yard on return for 99 leases from newfoundland in the north down to the west indies and the south. this would give the united states defensive bases off its
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coast, again protecting the united states, in return for these old destroyers which were headed for the scrapheap. churchill was delighted by this. he thought that it was assigned the united states was getting involved in the war, but there was no reason whatsoever to think that it was. this was a help to britain, even as i say, agreed to by both of the candidates, so there was another issue that came up, much more serious, at the end of 1940, and that was britain did not have any money left to buy the armaments under cash and carry from the united states. what was it going to do? after the election was safely over, what roosevelt announced was a program of lend lease.
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we will lease to any country. the analogy was ridiculous, but that's what he said. he probably never expected to get this back at all, but went back through the motions. how britain was going to repay it was a very good question. in 1946, when britain after the war desperately needed a bigger loan from the united states and canada to rebuild its economy,
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what happened was that most of the lend lease was written off and they forgot about it altogether, but the fiction was kept up in 1940-1941 that the money would be paid back. the terms for this lend lease were demanding. the british had to sell their gold reserves, sell their investments in north america and knockdown prices and so on, but they had no alternative. even then, congress argued until march before they would agree to lend stuff to britain. the next thing that happened was that hitler, as i mentioned a few moments ago, was not going to attack britain, but was going to attack the soviet union in june 1941. the exact same day on which napoleon attacked russia in 1812
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and with similar disasters results, but this was not thought to be the case of the time. and it wasn't clear until the end of the year, december 1941 that the soviet union really was able to hold off the germans. by the fall of 1941, roosevelt had enough confidence that the soviets would at least hold off the germans, not win, that he extended lend lease to the soviet union in october 1941. there was even less chance that he was going to get it back from the soviet union, so the soviet union was now communist soviet union was acting as a defender
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of the united states so to speak. whether the united states got involved directly in the war or not, roosevelt was determined that after the war that there should be a better world and this should be a world that was based on american ideals, not on american reality. he knew that the united states did not live up to its ideals, but it should be a world based on these ideals. in his address to congress, the state of the union address, after his reelection, he outlined what these ideals were, four freedoms. freedom of speech, everyone should have that. freedom of religion, freedom of fear.
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what this meant by implication was that the countries had to win. if totalitarian countries won, it would not be shaped along those lines. this was another commitment to britain in a way. in august 1941, roosevelt and churchill met secretly. this was not announced afterwards, off the coast of newfoundland and a conference on which they agreed on the atlantic charter. this is a charter telling a whole world that they stood for freedom. it was basically an elaboration of the four freedoms that they had announced earlier in the year. this meeting was one of the great meetings in history, two of the greatest figures of the 20th century or for that matter of any century meeting on warship surrounded by a flotilla
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of warships and so on, the meeting of two great minds. winston churchill said, not on that occasion, but on other occasions, saying, meeting franklin roosevelt was like opening your first bottle of champagne, a beverage which did a great deal to sustain churchill for 90 years. roosevelt set on another occasion it is fun being in the same decade as you. they had a great meeting, but it did not fulfill what churchill thought it was going to. he thought this was going to be a declaration of war. it wasn't. it was just a declaration of how the world was going to be shaped after the war, and when roosevelt went back to the united states he said, no, we just had a meeting, and exchange of opinions and things of that kind. it seemed as though the united states would never get involved in the war. when suddenly on december 7, sunday, december 7, 1941, the japanese without any warning bombed the american fleet at
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pearl harbor in hawaii. both roosevelt and churchill expected the japanese were expanding in asia would attack somewhere in southeast asia but they thought they would never dare attack a british or american base. this was pearl harbor then. the next day, roosevelt went to congress and ask for declaration of a state of war with only one dissension, a pacifist who had voted against war in 1917. so britain and the united states were now engaged in war. britain immediately declared war on japan. indeed it might be disastrous for war in europe because
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material might be taken from europe and sent to the pacific, except the situation was transformed four days later by hitler making the greatest stake of his career, which was to declare war on the united states. mussolini, italy was allied with germany, also declared war. this was completely unnecessary. he did not need to declare war just because they were allies with japan, but saw it as a mark of solidarity and genuinely believed that japan from one side and germany from the other side would be able to crush the united states, which is a decadent sort of country and so on, so he made his mistake and declaring war on the united states, which meant that the united states was now involved
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in the european war as well as in the war in the far east. this is now truly a world war. there has never ever been a war like it before, a truly world war, a massive war in the pacific, and a massive war in the atlantic. no leader has ever fought such a war. roosevelt was not a military person, but he had a great strategic sense. he had an even better sense of strategy than winston churchill, which was saying a lot. he was a true commander in chief, just not a nominal commander at all. he knew the world very well from apps. he had a fascination with maps and studied maps all the time. he was an avid stamp collector and collected stamps from all over the world was spent hours sticking stamps into our rooms in which he learned about all kinds of countries. this is one of his few amusements. he could not sail or golf, but he could stick stamps. he was presented with a huge globe that could be moved and all sorts of directions so he could look at the world from peru, australia, and so on. he was fascinated by maps and by
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the world and had a great strategic sense. it was he personally who picked the major commanders of the second world war of the united states got involved. he picked all of the commanders, and he determined the strategy as winston churchill discovered when he hurried over to washing to stay at the white house for three weeks not long after pearl harbor. he thought he was going to tell roosevelt what should be done. what he discovered was that roosevelt knew what he wanted to do, and the united states had the power to insist on the predominance of its abuse. the united states still had a lot of rearming to do, but had a huge potential. winston churchill came over for three weeks and was stimulating. he thought he was going to tell roosevelt what should be done. what he discovered was that roosevelt knew what he wanted to do, and the united states had the power to insist on the predominance of its abuse.
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-- of its views. the united states still had a lot of rearming to do, but had a huge potential. winston churchill came over for three weeks and was stimulating. he was a demanding guest, full of energy. he was seven years older than roosevelt. he had a heart attack in which the doctor kept from the white house, but was still full of energy, working all the time, food entering, smoking, drinking, talking, talking, talking. they were both great talkers, but were competitive talkers. they wanted to out talk the other all the time. churchill went away to give a speech to the canadian parliament, it was a considerable relief to
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roosevelt. but roosevelt was the dominant partner from the beginning in this relationship. it was one of the great partnerships of all time, but it was roosevelt who was calling the show. even though the war was in principle a partnership between the two of them, no other countries were admitted. it is often seen as a victory that churchill insisted on the predominance of the war in europe. the war in europe was more important, but in fact, this is what roosevelt wanted. within the war in europe, it was a matter of did they sort of, did the americans support the british and the mediterranean with the british were fighting, or do they launch an invasion from britain across the channel? it was also considered a great victory that churchill got the americans to support the war in the mediterranean. in fact, this is what roosevelt himself wanted, and the recent
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roosevelt wanted this is because american troops could not be launched against mainland europe until they had some training them a so he is willing to support the war and the mediterranean only up to a point, and the point was when the americans have got some training him and the point came at the end of 1943. there was going to be a big invasion from the north, what we know as d-day, which could not be launched too soon or it would be disastrous. it took until june 1944 until that was organized. when it was launched in june 1944, it turned out to be a huge success. 160,000 troops landed in the first day, and one million within a month. it was still hard fighting. in the pacific, the war was practically an american one. the british had interest, colonies in the pacific, but the americans were not fighting for british colonies.
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they did not want british aid. the british were not strong enough to support the war in pacific. they might have been if the war had gone on longer, but it did not. while roosevelt was concerned about the fighting, he was also concerned with what was going to happen to the war after the war -- world after the war. never again in his mind was there to be another war. he wanted an arrangement before the war ended. the great mistake of the first world war, he thought, was leaving it until the fighting was over. what he proposed was now the united nations. the united nations was his term for the allies that were fighting. the allies would form an organization, the united nations after the war, which would keep the peace. there would be a kind of
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parliament of all the countries of the world in which they would talk about things in a general assembly. the key to it was the big powers. they would be the policeman of the world. the four policeman would keep the peace. who were these policeman? it was the united states, britain, soviet union, and china. if you know anything about the united nations, you know there are five powers. france is also one of the permanent members of the security council. the way this was arranged, churchill was always exciting that china was not a great power, it is riddled with civil war, not a power at all. roosevelt said no, it is a power or is going to be a power. churchill said france is a power. roosevelt said in effect, stop pestering me about china and france will be a great power.
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on this basis more often than you might think great decisions are made. this would be the post world war world. the key to it was to get the soviet union involved. without the soviet union, then of course this system would not work. roosevelt worked hard on stalin, conferences in tehran and later -- he worked hard with stalin. and later at yalta. he worked hard with stalin. he knew he was a hard case. he knew stalin was concerned about a security boundary. roosevelt's dream was at least these countries dominated by the soviet union will be allowed to be free and have democratic elections.
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the alternative was another war against the soviet union. that was too terrible to contemplate. how roosevelt would have handled that honest problem can only be a matter of speculation, because he died just a few weeks before the european war ended. he had been a sick man for a year. terrible heart problems, blood pressure twice what would be acceptable today. clementine churchill, winston churchill's wife, who saw him at a conference in québec city september 1944 said, i don't see how he can work more than four hours a day. and she was right.
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there was nothing wrong with his mind. he managed to put on a great show of physical strength traveling the pacific, campaigning in the election. he was a sick man. he went to warm springs in georgia. the placed that he loved. there was a rehabilitation center for polio victims, in which he poured a huge amount of his money in the 1920's and encouraged others to do the same. he went there to his little college to rest and prepare a speech for the opening of the united nations on the 25th of april, 1945. he would give a great speech, then he would leave. he was just going to set the tone for this organization. this was a very important
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speech. he was working on it when he suddenly fell forward just before lunch, complaining of a massive headache on the 12th of april. 2 hours later, died of a massive stroke. he was 63 years old. harry truman, vice president, was immediately sworn in as president. roosevelt and his wife wanted simple funerals. they didn't like big elaborate funerals. but he was a president. it was a small funeral by presidential standards, but still big by other ones. his coffin was brought back to washington slowly. the train car in which the coffin was put and the lights on all night so that people could stand on the tracks as it slowly moved by and see it. the ceremony was conducted by the episcopal bishop of
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washington, a simple 20 minute service in the east room of the white house. the only addition was a few sentences that eleanor roosevelt asked for specifically. he would quote the words at the end of roosevelt's life which he had begun his presidency, "there is nothing to fear but fear itself." the coffin was taken back to the train and sent to hyde park, roosevelt's home, where he was buried the next day sunday morning in the rose garden. this was a ceremony for the family, friends, and neighbors. the only foreign dignitary was mackenzie king. he was there as a friend and not representative of his country. he was buried in the rose garden beside the library he had built.
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next day across the atlantic in war-ravaged london, a much more magnificent service was held in st. paul's cathedral, attended by the british royal family, and all the greater good that can be assembled. much music, much singing, much blaring of trumpets and so on. that afternoon in parliament, winston churchill gave a eulogy to roosevelt, to the greatest champion of freedom who have ever brought help and comfort from the new world to the old. in terms he could only have hoped would be used of you if he fell at such a stage. what an enviable death was his, churchill's words. he brought the country through
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the worst of its toils. victory had cast a sure and steady beam on him. what churchill was also saying was that roosevelt in a way was lucky to escape the problems of the postwar world. how he would have dealt with them if he lived to his term could only be a matter of speculation. his plan for keeping the peace depended on the cooperation of the countries that won the war. such unities were fast disappearing by 1945. nor did britain, china, or france have the strength to play the part in enforcing world peace. the only two great powers still standing where the united states
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and the soviet union. soon the cold war, mercifully nothing worse than between them. even in the united states the values of roosevelt were soon under siege from anti-communist fears and accusations. as a result of anti-communist fears and accusations. however he had handled these matters, he would have faced disappointment an continued to be criticized as he always was. roosevelt did not sufficiently appreciate the depth of different in -- dpeths of difference in countries and was too optimistic, even naïve in thinking they would sacrifice their concerns for the benefit of all humanity. there are more grievous faults in a leader than appealing to what lincoln, one of the few presidents with whom he could be compared, turned to the better angels of our nature.
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roosevelt was a symbol of hope. hope for peace. hope for freedom. hope for prosperity. it was a noble vision and will the so to the end of time. people of all times and all places will always yearn to think not merely in aspiration, but with hope and conviction, happy times, happy nights, happy days are here again. [applause] >> thank you very much professor thompson for sharing your research with us today. that was excellent. we do have another class coming in right after this. we do have to start packing up at 6:15.
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i think we have time for a couple questions. that went a little bit long, that i think we still have time for questions. any questions? >> continuing on from our discussion last week about the factors influencing the popularity of residence, do you -- of presidents do you believe the events that president roosevelt faced in office, mainly the great depression, world war ii caused him to be ranked favorably by historians? or do you think his presidency would have been well received regardless? >> that is a good question. that is one of those interesting questions that we have surrounding presidential history. was lincoln great because of the civil war? was george washington great because he brought the constitutional presidency to life? we start to see some of franklin roosevelt's currently views about how he perceives presidential power and
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government and people crystallizing early when he was governor of new york. he brought with him ideas that were going to possibly -- because it is hard to answer -- he brought with him a new vision of government that would have transformed the office in ways that had begun with his cousin before him. i think he would have taken it to greater levels because of the force of his personality, the way he was able to cultivate this relationship with the press. he worked at building a democratic coalition. he influenced democratic politics at all levels from the federal to the local level. he was able to great a coalition in which his vision of the presidency and of government in relation to the people could be shaped and developed. it is hard to know for sure.
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he had a rigorous legislative agenda. at least at the beginning he had a receptive congress. i do think we see some of the seeds of his ideas taking shape as governor. i think he would've brought within transformative ideas to the presidency. he did lead the country through the second world war. he had a personality, a forceful personality. he was able to impress everyone he came into contact with. in combination with this exceptional vision and unique idea of government and people, i think he would have been one of the greats. that is one of those questions that are always up for debate. thanks, that is a great question. noah? >> under president roosevelt approximately 110,000 japanese americans were interred in
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camps. my question is, what was the constitutionality of that? was it in overall constitutional move? mr. thompson: that is hard to answer because the president was operating in wartime conditions. what is quite clear is that it contradicts american values and contradicts the 4 freedoms roosevelt talked about. roosevelt thought even before the japanese attacked pearl harbor that japan was going to do some damage to the united states. they really believed that germany or japan would try to make an attack on the united states. they feared that japanese americans would be collaboration there is no reason to think that they would be.
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they were loyal citizens. these were panicked conditions. constitutionality is another matter. same thing happened in canada. the japanese were also evacuated from the west coast. in both cases there were investigations and later apologies for it. that doesn't make it right. but at least it was a recognition by the united states is was a wrong thing to do. does that answer the question? i am, that is the best answer i can give to it. >> my question is about the emergency banking act. do you think it sets a precedent for government getting involved in economic affairs in terms of turmoil? >> it is a great question. a recent comparison is president obama's actions in 2008. one of the things roosevelt realized early on -- he started talking about his approach to
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the financial crisis. when we see him call the first special session of congress, the thing he wanted to do was first create a plan that would stabilize the banking system. then he would deal with covering later. he wanted to be sure that he provided stability. he was going to provide calm and reassuring american people, if you redeposit money in the bank, your savings will be safe. when obama came in in 2008. we could chart that rising panic. he came in. if you remember the newspapers -- there were all these comparisons to the great depression.
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how did roosevelt handle it? obama came in much in the same way. he sort of quoted roosevelt when he said, roosevelt always said it is the government's responsibility to provide security to its citizens and to create a situation in which there can be work. obama came in and said the same thing. i am going to go to congress and get approval for this huge stimulus package in the billions. upwards of $700 billion. i will have congress approves this stimulus package. we are going to bail out the auto industry and create jobs. above all he told people to stay calm. he reassured people that -- above all, it was creating stability and quelling this
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rising panic. that was a precedent set by roosevelt. this is a lasting legacy of roosevelt's. it is this new expectation, a social contract between the people and government that obama understood in mediating the crisis. i think we have time for one more. >> didn't roosevelt and stalin have a positive diplomatic relationship in the second world war? what aspect do you think roosevelt's death had won the cold war? mr. thompson: if roosevelt had lived even for another couple years, that somehow he would be able to get along with stalin. i think it's very unlikely. it was not possible to get
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stalin to agree that the countries of eastern europe, in which the soviet armies were already occupying, that they would really be free. i don't think it would not have been possible. that is a sad commentary, but i think it was a situation even beyond roosevelt's great optimism, great ability to get along with people. he knew the limits of stalin. he hoped for the best. i think he would have been miserably disappointed. i am sorry i can't give you a better answer. [laughter] >> i agree with you. that brings a conclusion to our history class today. i thank you all for coming a bit later today, for your great questions.
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if you have any further questions from today's lecture, email me. otherwise we will reconvene next thursday at our usual time. i hope you have a terrific week. let me know if you have any questions about your upcoming essays. thank you for coming out today. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> interested in american history tv? visit our website, c-span.org/history. you can preview upcoming programs and watch college lectures, museum tours, archival films and more. american history tv at c-span.org/history. author and journalist will be our guest on in-depth. >> if you grew up looking at
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thousands and thousands of faces y you see that one face that was put on earth just for you. you follow love in that moment. thate, trump was like except, it was the opposite. when i first thought him on the campaign trail, i thought this ,as a person whose unique horrible, and amazing terrible characteristics were put on earth specifically for me to appreciate or un-appreciate or whatever the verb is. because i had really been 10-12ng a lot of the last years without knowing it, prepared for donald trump to happen. >> he's a contributor to rolling stone magazine and is the author of several books, including " dispatches from a rotting empire," the "great derangement,"
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most recent book, "ins ane clown president, dispatches from the 2016 circus." we will take your calls, tweets and facebook questions on h iswatch indepth with author matt taibbi live from noon to 3 p.m. eastern today. ♪ [video clip] the president received the first one of the fighting at 4:00 in the morning the fifth of june. mass of hadfamiliar been replaced with the eastern mediterranean. the president had spent every
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effort for two weeks to avert hostilities and now that diplomacy had given way to war, his one task was to contain it, tap it out. the team had been assembled. men for whom foreign affairs have become a way of life and is one columnist observed, for whom foreign crises have become the coin of daily living. progressed, false charges would attempt to brand the united states and great britain as active participants. the unspoken peril lurking behind each cable was the ever present threat of direct confrontation between the united states and the soviet union. with fighting in progress, it was imperative to avoid miscalculation, misunderstanding. premier and soviet the president of the united states exchange direct teletype messages advising that their respective governments would not intervene with armed force. that one exchange set more than
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weeks of diplomatic effort. theworld was apprised that two powers could prevent conflict from spreading and ultimately engulfing others. directly following their initial conference and the situation room, he asked secretary rusk and secretary met the merits are briefed the senate and the house. the president returned to the oval office to monitor the initial exchange of statements on the floor of the united nations security council. the council had been called into session upon the outbreak hostilities. it was through this form the united states would concentrate its energies to bring about an immediate cease-fire, as the day developed, the major obstacle to agreement on the cease-fire l ay in the question of troop withdrawal. under the leadership of the security council president, a dr aft resolution of agreeable to the competing interests would be growdrawn up. as in the agreement to contain a limit the conflict, the key to
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the unconditional cease-fire lay in the parallel actions of the united states and the soviet union. the news flashes clarify the situation. apparent that the middle east power patterns of a decade were being changed in a matter of hours. military analysts called it a lightning war. although the fighting with continue for six days, the verdict of the battlefield have been rendered during the opening round. the road to a permanent peace in the middle east would be a long one. far more issues were raised by the fighting that were settled. to coordinate american policy on the problems the government would face in the aftermath, president johnson established a special committee of the national security council. george bundy to serve as its executive secretary. the war on the sinai involves far more than governmental concerns. deep citizen but these made themselves felt virtually to the doorstep of the white house.
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more israel! no more israel! our time is now! one million refugees. we want our lives. justice.without no peace without justice. no peace without justice. r: by the eighth of june, only jordan had agreed to accept the cease-fire. at the moment that president johnson was drafting a statement on the current situation to senator mike mansfield, word was passed to the white house and the nation that egypt had agreed to the cease-fire.
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[singing] ♪ the 10th of june, syria agreed to a cease-fire. the fighting was now stopped. conference, news the president advised the best
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action for the moment was to let things clear up and let the people of the area and the world realize just what happened. sions that had built during the first 10 days in june were dissolved in a round of old-fashioned partisan party politics. returning to austin, texas, lyndon johnson was greeted by jake pickle. it was a good time to meet a whole new generation of constituents, including one who seemed unsure of his political convictions. little persuasion from the number one party leader was all that was needed to bring him into the fold. the main event of the evening was the southwest democratic dinner with loyal fundraisers from five states attending. also sharing the festivities -- daughter lucy, and be visited by the stork. was $1000 for
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plate but on the menu besides crabmeat cocktail and strip storylines was a democratic party approaching solvency. and, for the president, it was a chance to relax and a down-home atmosphere. -- in a down-home atmosphere. president johnson: after three weeks of wrestling with the middle east, it is a real pleasure to come home tonight to the peace and quiet texas politics. in case there should be an evidence tonight, any differences of opinion, i want to make my own position abundantly clear in the beginning. e, territorial integrity, political independence and the un restricted navigation in the houston ship channel. ♪ where history unfolds daily. in 1979,

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