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Measuring excellence by morality is a difficult thing to do. One way this can be done is by looking at how a person has helped others and how many people this person has helped. Using these measuring tools it easy to see how President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a very morally excellent person. FDR was one of the best presidents that the U.S. has ever had, he helped millions of Americans in the country’s greatest time of need. The great depression was one of the worst times in American history but FDR was able to help the American people push through and carry on.
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, New York. Roosevelt was the son of James Roosevelt I, a successful American businessman, and Sara Ann Delano. FDR’s family was very wealthy in all aspects of life, especially monetary. Franklin’s mother was very protective of her son and is often said to have been somewhat of a father figure as well as a mother. FDR often took family trips to Europe where he learned some French and German, these trips helped to make Franklin much more worldly and cultured than many Americans at the time. Roosevelt attended Groton School in Massachusetts where he met headmaster Endicott Peabody. Peabody was a major influence throughout Roosevelt’s, even into his presidency. Peabody pushed FDR, like of all of his students, to help the less fortunate and encouraged Franklin to go into public service. Peabody claimed that this was their Christian duty. FDR attended Harvard College and later Columbia Law School, where he dropped out after passing the New York Bar Exam. Franklin married his wife Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905 that he later had six children with. FDR began his political career as a New York Senator, followed by hi position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and finally was elected President of the United States of America in 1932. In 1921 FDR contracted Polio in Canada. His illness left him paralyzed from the waist down. Roosevelt’s paralysis became a symbol for what he stood, pushing through hard times and always being optimistic.
When FDR was elected in 1932 the U.S. was in the beginning stages of the Great Depression. This was a terrible time in American history and it would have been hard for any president to step into office with this to face. However, the Great Depression is really what led Roosevelt to be the excellent person that he was. FDR’s excellence can be shown by looking at how many people he helped with his reforms and efforts as President. For example the CCC gave 250,000 jobs to young men and this was implemented almost as soon as FDR stepped into office. We can also see FDR’s excellence by looking at how many people looked up to him and loved. FDR is one of the most loved presidents of all time; he is the only president to serve more than two terms. He would have served at least four had he not died. Overall FDR’s excellence is proven by how he was able to rise the U.S. from dirt and into a period of prosper that lasted for decades after his time. FDR’s excellence can be measured in the lives he saved and the jobs he created to help the American people. Without FDR’s programs thousands of families would have gone hungry because they would not have any money due to unemployment. The jobs Roosevelt created during his presidency helped average, everyday working people stay alive and well during a great time of need. FDR’s excellence can also be measured in the number of programs that he implemented that we still have today. For example, Social Security was implemented to help the elderly in the United States and it has done just that for over 70 years. FDR’s long lasting impact on the way that Americans live to this day is a testament to his excellence. It is hard to say exactly what made up FDR’s moral excellence, but a few things are for sure. Franklin Roosevelt had within him a strong desire to help those in need. He had a passion for generosity and knew that it was his duty to give the shirt off of his back to someone who needed it more than he did. This belief system is what led Roosevelt to do the things he did as President.
FDR achieved his excellence through years of working his way up through the ranks of political office. Starting as a young Senator working his way up to Governor and finally President, FDR proved himself time and time again. Roosevelt grew up in a very wealthy and conservative family that did not agree with the platform of the Democrats. Despite this FDR ran throughout his political career as a Democrat. This must have been a hard thing to do considering most of his family disagreed with his beliefs. However, Roosevelt stayed true to what he believed because he knew in his heart that it was right. One of the most negative things that happened to FDR was the loss of the use of his legs because of polio. Although this would have happened without his excellence it can be seen as a cost to his excellence because he was very embarrassed by it. FDR was always very careful not to be seen in public and made standing speeches by using the support of a cane. FDR eventually used his disability to help others. Roosevelt was constantly receiving rehabilitation in an effort to walk again and through this he set up the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, which is still in operation today. Roosevelt also helped establish the March of Dimes, which continues to raise money for the problem of infantile paralysis.
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Throughout his career Roosevelt’s main motivation was to help those in need. Whenever he had an opportunity to help those less fortunate than himself he jumped at it. FDR could not stand to see people suffer and saw it unfair that some had to live in such a way. This is why he strove to give poor people an opportunity to better themselves and to provide for their families. It can be said that FDR’s telos was simply to help as many people as he could. All FDR ever wanted to do was give the less fortunate a fighting chance, after all that is the American Dream. Roosevelt personally believed that it was his duty to help those that he could in any way that he could and this idea was likely given to him by his headmaster Peabody. Peabody always told FDR that he needed to embark in public service affairs and that he needed to give to charity. This stuck with Roosevelt throughout his life and led to him establishing programs during his presidency such as the National Park System, the FDIC, the CCC, the Emergency Banking Act which helped to stabilize the banking system, the TVA, the list goes on and on. It is obvious that FDR’s main goal in life was to help those in need and to give everyone he came across a fighting chance for survival.
I believe that FDR was one of, if not, the best president the United States has ever had. No other President has taken the country from such a low point to such a high point in such a small amount of time. Roosevelt almost single handedly stabilized the economy of the U.S. at the direst time. Without FDR the Depression would have likely lasted much longer and thousands of more lives would have been lost. Personally I hope that I can one day reach the point of excellence that FDR achieved in his life. I would even be happy to help half of the people that FDR was able to help. To me, FDR is a person that we should all look up to in the field of moral excellence.
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