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Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Study Questions and Essay Topics

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1. What were the names of FDR's parents?

2. What fault in his upbringing did FDR's experience at Groton reveal?

3. Which school did FDR enter in 1900?

4. Which characteristic led to Roosevelt's success at Harvard and election as editor-in-chief of the school paper, the Crimson?

5. Biographers speculate that despite the differences in their upbringing, Franklin and Eleanor may have shared:

6. How did Sara Roosevelt react to her son's decision to marry so early in his life?

7. How many surviving children did the Roosevelts have?

8. To which state legislature was Roosevelt elected in 1910 at the age of twenty- nine?

9. Who was the campaign manager whose successful partnership with FDR would last well into the White House Years?

10. When FDR lost his first battle to Tammany Hall in the legislature, which presidential candidate did he support in order to further his chances of an appointment in Washington?

11. To what position was FDR appointed in the Wilson administration?

12. When World War I broke out in Europe, what course of action did Roosevelt actively support while in office?

13. Why do historians surmise that James Cox, with Roosevelt as his vice- presidential running mate, running on the platform of support for the League of Nations and administrative reform in Washington, lost so decidedly?

14. What disease struck Roosevelt unexpectedly as he vacationed with his family at Campobello?

15. What effect do many biographers believe that paralysis had on Roosevelt?

16. Which member(s) of Roosevelt's closest circle kept his name alive in politics while he recovered from his illness?

17. What political motive did Al Smith have for asking Roosevelt to run for governor in New York during his campaign for President in 1928?

18. Why do historians suspect that Roosevelt began to encourage state spending to offset the effects of the Depression in New York?

19. What was the name given to the group of advisers Roosevelt gathered together to help him secure the Presidential nomination in 1932?

20. Which of the following is a good description of Herbert Hoover in office during the Depression?

21. Roosevelt's behavior to Hoover during the lame duck period, the time between the election and the inauguration of the new President, can be best described as:

22. What crisis did President Roosevelt attack first in office?

23. For approximately how many days did the Emergency Session of Congress convened by President Roosevelt meet?

24. What was the primary mechanism the Agricultural Adjustment Act of May 1933 used to increase farmers' profits?

25. Which of the following programs, one of Roosevelt's favorites, paid young men to do conservation work in work camps run by the army?

26. The National Recovery Administration (NRA) represented the Roosevelt administration's uneasy initial alliance with

27. The Civil Works Administration, the organization that enabled many American to survive the bitter winter of 1933–1934, was under the able leadership of :

28. Which group of businessmen and conservatives attacked Roosevelt's policies from the right?

29. Which left-wing opponent of Roosevelt created the "Share our Wealth" movement, which called for all large fortunes to be liquidated, and for all citizens to receive a yearly income of $2,500?

30. What effect did the Supreme Court decision overturning the NRA have on Roosevelt's political agenda?

31. Who ran against Roosevelt in the election of 1936?

32. Which group of voters, hardest-hit by the Depression and reliant on the New Deal relief programs, became strong supporters of the Democratic Party in this election?

33. What plan of Roosevelt's, introduced in the wake of his landslide victory in the 1936 presidential election, was roundly denounced by citizens and legislators?

34. Roosevelt would often say of the court-packing plan that he had lost the battle but won the war. What apparent benefit did the court-packing plan have for Roosevelt?

35. What ill effects did the court-packing plan have for Roosevelt?

36. What is the primary cause of the economic downturn of 1937?

37. The New Deal almost completely ended in 1938 because of Roosevelt's preoccupation with

38. Roosevelt was the first President to actively pursue a friendly relationship with:

39. Roosevelt actively sought out an alliance with the Soviet Union because

40. Most Americans at the beginning of WWII in Europe believed that American intervention in WWI had been:

41. Roosevelt decided to run for a third term because

42. Which of Roosevelt's opponents was a former Democrat who shared many of his views?

43. Which acts passed by an isolationist Congress did Roosevelt circumvent through the Lend-Lease Act, which allowed a penniless Britain to borrow or lease munitions from the United States?

44. Like President Wilson before him, Roosevelt hesitated to ask Congress for a declaration of war against Germany, Italy, or Japan because:

45. Why do most historians reject the idea that Roosevelt conspired or encouraged the attack at Pearl Harbor, which brought the US into WWII?

46. What part of the war effort did Roosevelt realize, from his days as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, was the most important piece in securing an American victory?

47. Where did most of the funds for the war effort come from?

48. Why did Churchill want to postpone a cross-channel invasion of Europe even though Roosevelt and American military leaders and Stalin desperately desired it?

49. Where did the "big three" meet for the last time?

50. What do historians, in hindsight, view as Roosevelt's primary failure at Yalta?

51. Which woman was Roosevelt spending time with when he died in Warm Springs on April 12, 1945?

52. Which characteristic of Roosevelt's is often ignored by historians who are full of praise for his defeat of Hitler and his creation of a welfare state?

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