October 1960 | Volume 11, Issue 6
ROOSEVELT, Franklin (born 1882)—outstanding American statesman. From 1907—an active Democratic [party] leader. Became a member of the New York State Senate in 1910; Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy, 1913-21; Governor of the State of New York, 1928-32. Became President of the U.S.A. in 1933. Having become President under conditions of a severe economic crisis that had greatly affected the American economy, Roosevelt proclaimed the socalled New Deal, consisting of the passage of a number of laws designed to regulate industrial and agricultural production, and in the creation of a number of organizations aimed at combatting the aftereffects of the crisis (NIRA and others). In foreign affairs Roosevelt’s most outstanding achievements were the establishment of normal diplomatic relations between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. (November 16, 1933), and the proclamation of the Good Neighbor policy toward Latin American countries. Roosevelt’s measures met with the approval of the American people, thus assuring his re-election in 1936. Having survived the most critical years of the crisis, the reactionary circles of financial capital now came out against Roosevelt’s policy, pressuring the Supreme Court into declaring the New Deal unconstitutional. However, later on, under the influence of the movement of the masses who supported Roosevelt, the Supreme Court ceased its opposition to Roosevelt’s measures.
From the very beginning, Roosevelt took up a conspicuously hostile position with regard to Hitlerite Germany and other fascist powers. In 1937 Roosevelt urged a “quarantine for the aggressors,” but isolationist developments in the United States impeded his efforts to wage a struggle against the preparaions for aggression. After fascist Germany unleashed the war in Europe, Roosevelt promoted active aid to the democratic countries, considering their fate to be closely tied to the security of the United States. At his urging, Congress appropriated huge sums of money for the defense of the U.S.A. Roosevelt’s popularity with the broad masses assured his re-election for a third term in 1944, despite the tradition according to which a President could not serve for more than two terms. After his re-election, Roosevelt still further accelerated America’s preparations for a struggle against the aggressors.
At the very inception of Roosevelt’s Presidency, Comrade Stalin, in a conversation with the English writer [H. G.] Wells in 1934, emphasized Roosevelt’s most outstanding personal qualities—his initiative, courage, and resoluteness.