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Franklin D. Roosevelt 32 nd President. Overview Brief Background Brief Background Body Politics Body Politics “Fear Itself” “Fear Itself” “Day of Infamy”

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Presentation on theme: "Franklin D. Roosevelt 32 nd President. Overview Brief Background Brief Background Body Politics Body Politics “Fear Itself” “Fear Itself” “Day of Infamy”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Franklin D. Roosevelt 32 nd President

2 Overview Brief Background Brief Background Body Politics Body Politics “Fear Itself” “Fear Itself” “Day of Infamy” “Day of Infamy” Fireside Chats Fireside Chats

3 Political Life New York Senator: 1910, 1912 New York Senator: 1910, 1912 Assist. Sec. of the Navy: 1913 Assist. Sec. of the Navy: 1913 VP candidate: 1920 VP candidate: 1920 Governor of New York: 1928 Governor of New York: 1928 32 nd President: 1933-1945 32 nd President: 1933-1945 –Depression and New Deal –WWII

4 Changing Presidency Convention nomination Convention nomination New Deal New Deal Policy drafter Policy drafter First and only 4 term president First and only 4 term president

5 FDR’s Body Politics Contracted polio in 1921 Contracted polio in 1921 Public Perceptions of Polio Public Perceptions of Polio “Splendid Deception” “Splendid Deception”

6 FDR’s Body Politics Re-Figuration Hoover as bringing ills “Brought upon us a terrible retribution” Masculinity Control his body ‘Walking’ Orality Face-to-Face Speech Train Campaigns Social Construction Hide disability No Images

7 FDR’s Body Politic ACTIVE and PHYSICAL Flying to Convention Flying to Convention Nomination Acceptance Nomination Acceptance Presidential campaign Presidential campaign

8 “…Let us now and here highly resolve to resume the country's interrupted march along the path of real progress, of real justice, of real equality for all of our citizens, great and small...” “…And you can accept my pledge that I will leave no doubt or ambiguity on where I stand on any question of moment in this campaign…” “…I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people. Let us all here assembled constitute ourselves prophets of a new order of competence and of courage. This is more than a political campaign; it is a call to arms. Give me your help, not to win votes alone, but to win in this crusade to restore America to its own people.” Nomination Acceptance

9 FDR Memorial How do you think FDR would have wanted to be portrayed?

10 “Washington and Lincoln, among our Presidents, were men of destiny, apparently God sent, raised up to redeem a people desperately in need of leadership, lights of deliverance in darkness and uncertainty. But you are the man of destiny of destinies to meet the greatest crisis that has ever confronted this republic! You are the man that this country will rise up and call ‘Blessed’ in days to come. You are an instrument in God’s hands to right the wrongs that have been imposed upon this country by unscrupulous individuals by selfish class legislation.”

11 Origins the speech has developed an almost mythic quality about its conception the speech has developed an almost mythic quality about its conception history would like to portray this speech as being written by Roosevelt in his own home on a cold wintry night history would like to portray this speech as being written by Roosevelt in his own home on a cold wintry night however, the speech was not even written by Roosevelt however, the speech was not even written by Roosevelt Raymond Moley wrote the speech at the request of Roosevelt Raymond Moley wrote the speech at the request of Roosevelt

12 The Effect Herbert Wilchens states that rhetorical criticism should be concerned mostly with effect. Herbert Wilchens states that rhetorical criticism should be concerned mostly with effect. the response of the American people was threefold the response of the American people was threefold –the new president had restored the nation’s confidence –his mandate to lead was a Divinely sanctioned one –he could and should arrogate powers for himself, even dictatorial powers

13 Restored Confidence if the nation’s confidence could be restored, economic recovery would take hold if the nation’s confidence could be restored, economic recovery would take hold fear had gained the upperhand among the American people because of Hoover’s protracted but unsuccessful battle to gain public confidence fear had gained the upperhand among the American people because of Hoover’s protracted but unsuccessful battle to gain public confidence -showed an important discontinuity between Herbert Hoover and Roosevelt -Hoover used soft optimism and tried to optimistically forecast improvements -Roosevelt was going to tell the truth

14 Restored Confidence The nation was starved for a program of action The nation was starved for a program of action -nothing was getting accomplished with Hoover Hoover -partisan bickering and lack of cooperation Roosevelt recognized this need for rapid legislative action and proposed a specific plan of action Roosevelt recognized this need for rapid legislative action and proposed a specific plan of action

15 “It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing great -- greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our great natural resources. Hand in hand with that we must frankly recognize the overbalance of population in our industrial centers and, by engaging on a national scale in a redistribution, endeavor to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land. Yes, the task can be helped by definite efforts to raise the values of agricultural products, and with this the power to purchase the output of our cities. It can be helped by preventing realistically the tragedy of the growing loss through foreclosure of our small homes and our farms. It can be helped by insistence that the Federal, the State, and the local governments act forthwith on the demand that their cost be drastically reduced. It can be helped by the unifying of relief activities which today are often scattered, uneconomical, unequal.”

16 Divine Intercession  while campaigning in February, there had been an assassination attempt  the American people believed that Roosevelt had been saved from the bullets in order to fulfill a greater purpose -they believed he was God’s chosen man sent to deliver the nation in much the same way Washington and Lincoln had sent to deliver the nation in much the same way Washington and Lincoln had

17 Divine Intercession Many Americans accepted the belief that Roosevelt himself had alluded to throughout the speech –that of a savior. Many Americans accepted the belief that Roosevelt himself had alluded to throughout the speech –that of a savior. After all if was Christ who had expelled the moneychangers from the temple After all if was Christ who had expelled the moneychangers from the temple

18 “Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men. True, they have tried. But their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit, they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They only know the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish. Yes, the money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths.”

19 Dictatorial Powers Title IV was an amendment to the Treasury- Post Office Bill known as the “Reorganization of Executive Departments” provision Title IV was an amendment to the Treasury- Post Office Bill known as the “Reorganization of Executive Departments” provision -gave Roosevelt almost dictatorial powers in which he could reorganize the entire in which he could reorganize the entire executive branch of the federal government executive branch of the federal government previous drafts of the address did include the word ‘dictatorship’ previous drafts of the address did include the word ‘dictatorship’ Roosevelt alluded to it in his address Roosevelt alluded to it in his address

20 “I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption. But, in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis - - broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.”

21 Pearl Harbor

22 on December 7, 1941 the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on December 8 th, President Roosevelt appeared before Congress and addressed the nation on December 8 th, President Roosevelt appeared before Congress and addressed the nation the speech was very brief the speech was very brief -Roosevelt thought that it would have a more dramatic effect have a more dramatic effect

23 Roosevelt’s Intent the wording was intended to produce a strong emotional impact the wording was intended to produce a strong emotional impact it appealed to the outrage felt by Americans at the nature of the Japanese attack it appealed to the outrage felt by Americans at the nature of the Japanese attack Roosevelt framed the speech around the perceived low moral character of the Japanese government Roosevelt framed the speech around the perceived low moral character of the Japanese government

24 “A Day of Infamy” originally read “a date which will live in world history” originally read “a date which will live in world history” later replaced it with “infamy” later replaced it with “infamy” –stronger because of its insistence that posterity would forever endorse the American view of the attack meant to be a statement on behalf of the entire American people meant to be a statement on behalf of the entire American people unified the response of the nation into a collective response of resolve unified the response of the nation into a collective response of resolve

25 An Innocent Nation carefully worded to portray the United States as the innocent victim of unprovoked Japanese aggression carefully worded to portray the United States as the innocent victim of unprovoked Japanese aggression - very passive - meant to emphasize America’s status as a victim  further reinforced by Roosevelt's recounting of the ongoing diplomatic negotiations with Japan - characterized as having been pursued cynically and dishonestly

26 An Appeal To Patriotism Roosevelt sought to avoid making the more abstract appeal that had been made by President Wilson to Congress in 1917 Roosevelt sought to avoid making the more abstract appeal that had been made by President Wilson to Congress in 1917 - Wilson had stressed the idealistic goals - American public opinion had turned strongly against such themes Roosevelt made an appeal that was aimed much more at the gut level Roosevelt made an appeal that was aimed much more at the gut level - an appeal to patriotism rather than to idealism

27 Historical Traces previous speeches of this nature had used the source of intense national outrage and a determination to take the fight to the enemy previous speeches of this nature had used the source of intense national outrage and a determination to take the fight to the enemy –defeats were portrayed as being a springboard towards an inevitable victory towards an inevitable victory As Professor Sandra Silberstein observes, Roosevelt's speech followed a well-established tradition of how "through rhetorical conventions, presidents assume extraordinary powers as the commander in chief, dissent is minimized, enemies are vilified, and lives are lost in the defense of a nation once again united under God." As Professor Sandra Silberstein observes, Roosevelt's speech followed a well-established tradition of how "through rhetorical conventions, presidents assume extraordinary powers as the commander in chief, dissent is minimized, enemies are vilified, and lives are lost in the defense of a nation once again united under God."

28 A Convincing Reassurance the overall tone of the speech was one of determined realism the overall tone of the speech was one of determined realism Roosevelt made no attempt to gloss over the great damage that had been caused Roosevelt made no attempt to gloss over the great damage that had been caused he emphasized his confidence in the strength of the American people he emphasized his confidence in the strength of the American people sought to reassure the public that steps were being taken to ensure their safety sought to reassure the public that steps were being taken to ensure their safety

29 Isolationists No Longer he sought to silence the isolationist movement he sought to silence the isolationist movement –"our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger“ –highlighted reports of Japanese attacks in the Pacific If the United States was seen as being under direct threat, isolationism would no longer be a viable option If the United States was seen as being under direct threat, isolationism would no longer be a viable option

30 Impact of the Speech a declaration of war was issued a declaration of war was issued the isolationist movement collapsed almost immediately the isolationist movement collapsed almost immediately “on that Sunday we were dismayed and frightened, but your unbounded courage pulled us together” “on that Sunday we were dismayed and frightened, but your unbounded courage pulled us together”

31 Fireside Chats Approximately 29 over 12 years Approximately 29 over 12 years Ryfe: identification with audience over new medium Ryfe: identification with audience over new medium Lim: FDR’s intimacy is a myth Lim: FDR’s intimacy is a myth Fireside Chats Fireside Chats Fireside Chats Fireside Chats


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