Roosevelt, Franklin D. (1882–1945)

IN NOVEMBER 1932, Franklin Roosevelt, popularly known as FDR, won the presidential election in the midst of the worst depression the country has ever known. Ignoring the tradition of a twoterm limit on the office begun in 1799 by George Washington (1732–99), Roosevelt also won the next three elections. Roosevelt led the United States through the twin crises of the Great Depression and World War II and is ranked along with Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) as the two best presidents in American history. Lincoln was often called a “constitutional dictator” because of the extensive powers he used to deal with the Civil War. In turn, Roosevelt reshaped the office of the presidency by amassing extensive emergency executive powers that changed presidential powers and defined the modern ...

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