Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address (1933), Great Depression primary source document with reading questions


Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address (1933)

Speaking ofAmerica: Volume II Since 1865 by Laura A. Belmonte

The Depression was the central issue in the 1912 presidential election. Despite Herbert Hoover’s efforts to improve the national economy, many voters found him cold and insensitive. Accordingly, they gravitated to the optimism of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and elected him in a landslide. Born into a privileged New York family, Roosevelt was educated at Groton, Harvard, and Columbia Law School. After a brief stint in the New York senate, he served as assistant secretary of the Navy during World War I. His nomination as the Democratic candidate for vice president in 1920 only confirmed his political promise. But a year later, polio dramatically changed FDR’s life. Although he never recovered the use of his legs, his determination and personality enabled him to continue his political career. In 1928, he won the governorship of New York and earned praise for his efforts on behalf of farmers, the unemployed, the elderly, and consumers. His successes helped him win the 1932 Democratic presidential nomination.

When Roosevelt took the presidential oath in March 1933, the nation was on the verge of economic disaster. The majority of banks had closed, industrial production was only half of its 1929 level, and over 13 million people were unemployed. FDR used the occasion to calm and inspire his anxious countrymen.

Document with Reading Question: Roosevelt First Inaugural Address with Reading Questions


About historymartinez

Social Studies Department Chair, Room A305 Tutoring Mondays @ 4:15 pm & Wednesdays @ 8:00 a.m.
This entry was posted in Roaring Twenties & the Great Depression Era, U.S. History. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s