Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the President of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. He was the only President to serve more than 2 complete terms before the 22nd Amendment limited the maximum to 2 terms. He saw the United States through the worst of the Great Depression as well as World War II. His New Deal policies established the first comprehensive American welfare program, although their success is controversial.
When Roosevelt took office in 1933, he immediately enacted his so-called New Deal to alleviate the effects of the Great Depression. This established the Social Security Administration, which taxed income to provide assistance to the elderly and disabled. The Civilian Conservation Corps created hundreds of thousands of jobs by recruiting unemployed young men on public service projects. The Tennessee Valley Authority was established to electrify that impoverished part of the nation. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insured bank accounts for up to $100,000.
In the beginning, the New Deal policies were effective and the economy improved, although they greatly increased government debt. However in 1937 a second severe crash occurred and the United States again plummeted into a depression.
World War IIEdit
On December 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack against Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian islands. The United States immediately entered World War II, and Roosevelt decried the attack as "a day which will live on in infamy."
The American economy was revitalized by World War II. Skyrocketing production requirements put hundreds of thousands of workers, increasing female, in factories making ammunition, airplanes, and other supplies for the war effort.
Roosevelt generally allowed his generals to pursue their own course without interference. He attended the Casablanca Conference of 1943, and helped start the Manhattan Conference. He was also part of the Big Three at the Yalta Conference.
Roosevelt was distantly related to the former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. He married Eleanor Roosevelt, also a distant cousin. After an affair in the 1930s, they grew apart, but never formally divorced.