Sample Term Paper

Words 2,100

The presidency as we know it today begins with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. To be positive, many of the rudiments of the executive office date from the earliest years of the republic, and, in the nineteenth century, figures such as Andrew Jackson established how the president could serve as tribune of the people. In this century, too, both Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson demonstrate that the White House could radiate power. With Franklin Roosevelt’s administration, the presidency began to undergo not a shift but rather a transformation. Indeed, so powerful an impression did FDR leave the office that in the most recent survey of historians he was ranked as the second greatest president in our history, surpassed only by the celebrated Abraham Lincoln. As Kennedy points out:

“America’s half-century-long ideological, political, and military face-off with the Soviet Union may appear far less consequential than America’s leadership in inaugurating an era of global economic interdependence” (p. 855).

“During the ten years between 1929 and 1939,” marveled a grateful social worker in 1940, more progress was made in public welfare and relief than in the three hundred years after this country was first settled. Since that time, few scholars have differed with the assessment that the New Deal broke new ground in the area of social welfare by expanding the federal government’s role in providing aid to the unemployed and greater sanctuary for workers. In addition to the many temporary agencies created in the 1930s to battle the effects of the Great Depression, the Roosevelt administration left as a lasting legacy a federal-state system of unemployment insurance, an obligatory, federally administered retirement system, aid to families with dependent children, maternal and child care programs, and several public health programs.


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