In this question I will explain Roosevelt’s life and his upbringing and how this effected his knowledge of knowing the fears and concerns of ordinary Americans: In 1932 America saw one of it its closest ever elections between Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt. After a long hard campaign Roosevelt’s countless speeches and promises claiming he would give relief to the poor and unemployed, give protection to workers with irresponsible employers and to introduce government schemes to provide more employment opportunities finally paid off he was elected as Americas new president.
Roosevelt came from a very wealthy background, born in 1882 to wealthy parents, he was an only child. He went to an expensive private school and then on to Harvard university. The fact that Roosevelt was blessed with such a wealthy background later posed questions that he could not possibly understand the situations which millions of Americans were being faced with. Personally I don’t think Roosevelt did understand ordinary Americans. I think this because he had come from a background which was extremely sheltered from the outside world, he was also educated privately.
Up to a certain age Roosevelt had probably never met middle or lower class Americans and would of always mixed with the far more wealthy Americans. In 1905 he married Eleanor Roosevelt she is the person who makes him aware of the poverty in the slums of New York. In the 1921 he went on a holiday with Eleanor to Campobello island it was here when Roosevelt’s life was turned around, he suffered a polio attack. He could of considered himself extremely lucky to be alive although he was still very depressed as he had been paralysed from the waist down.
In those days disabled people were considered useless and were very unpopular. Roosevelt was no exception he was thoroughly disliked by the American public. After hiding away for some time he decided to buy a boat and take a trip to Florida leaving Eleanor alone with the kids, she then got involved in politics and became very skilled at writing speeches, she moved to a separate house from Roosevelt as they had now split up although she would not divorce Roosevelt as she knew that this would diminish her chances of maybe one day becoming president.
Roosevelt, now with far much more time on his hands opens a rehabilitation centre costing $195,000, this was the first national treatment centre. For the first time In his life Roosevelt had spent money to help others he is now becoming closer to understanding ordinary Americans. He learns about lack of schools high rental costs and poverty from other polio sufferers, something he never would have from people of his own background. In 1928 he became governor of new York.
In 1929 Roosevelt helps with unemployment benefit by starting up soup kitchens and he said that if anybody goes to his house asking for food he would give them some. Before his polio attack he did not realise any of this. Therefore my conclusion is that before his polio attack Roosevelt did not understand ordinary Americans, but having mixed with other polio sufferers he learns far more about them and can now understand the everyday fears and tests that ordinary Americans face.