“The Exhilarating Depression of Franklin Roosevelt”
Answer the following question in a coherent response of 300-400 words. You should refer to specific points in the article to illustrate and support the claims you make in your answer.
In his chapter “The Exhilarating Depression of Franklin Roosevelt,” the journalist Robert Bendiner acknowledges that hard economic times continued in the U.S. after Franklin Roosevelt became President, but argues nonetheless that the national mood changed to one of hope and optimism once FDR took office.
Why did the national mood change? How did Roosevelt’s style of leadership help bring about this change? What specific steps did his administration take to restore the confidence of the American people and to improve Americans’ quality of life?
Organize your essay into four sections.
1) An introductory paragraph that gives your overall answer to the question — introducing your reader to the case you will make in the next two paragraphs for why the national mood changed.
2) A second section that could be one or more paragraphs that focuses on Roosevelt’s style of leadership. Cite specific aspects of his personality, approach, and communication skills and explain how they helped produce a change in the national mood from one of despair to one of hope.
3) A third section that could be one or more paragraphs that focuses on specific steps the Roosevelt administration took to improve conditions for the average American. These “steps” are policies — laws, executive orders, etc. — that brought changes to the daily lives of Americans. Explain how the changes these policies brought about contributed to changing the mood of the people for the better.
4) A brief concluding paragraph that DOES NOT repeat or summarize what you have already written, but rather ties everything together in a conise manner. You can imagine your conclusion as completing this sentence: “If you take nothing else away from what I’ve written, at least remember this….” Your conclusion is what follows “remember this…” It need not be more than 2-3 sentences.