Two Presidents took up the Presidential seat under the time of an economic recession in the United States. These two are Former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (widely known as FDR) and President Barrack Obama, the newly elected President in last year’s elections. Both have entered the presidential scene in a time of great economic crisis; in FDR’s time was the Great Depression and in Obama’s, a mirror or reoccurrence of the Great Depression.
The former successfully dealt with the Great Depression, rescuing the country from economic collapse and impending civil unrest—if the crisis would continue. The latter is expected by the public to deliver the same performance under the same economic situation, hoping that everything would be fine in the nearest possible future. Comparing the two president’s first hundred days in the presidential seat, they exert the aura of hope as seen by the public eye when they first took up the presidential seat, to deliver the country from a worsening economic meltdown.
In his first few days of office, President Franklin D. Roosevelt immediately aimed for rescuing the United States’ economy from the Great Depression—a massive economic recession. It was a challenge for the President-elect to save the country from such a sinkhole but he already laid out plans on how he would be able to achieve this primary goal.
The first thing that he aimed for was to close all the banks in the country, declaring a bank “holiday”. This was done in order for the government and these bankers to assess the situation and plan out a strategy in order to regain control of the deteriorating economy.
The Emergency Banking Bill was implemented in order to reorganize banks in the country, and later to reopen these under a new structure, which proved to be a great move by the president. After his terms in the office, he was regarded as a model for succeeding presidents to follow as he was able to achieve so many great things in the face of crisis—from the Great Depression to the Second World War. During his first hundred days, he was able to stabilize the American economy, avoiding its further downfall. Presidents that followed tried to recreate FDR’s term.
The recent president-elect Barrack Obama has probably felt the same pressure as what FDR felt during his first hundred days in the office, entering the scene upon which the country is suffering a similar economic downturn; Déjà vu as many economists and historians would believe. However, the question still remains: would he be able to pull off the same stunts as that of the late FDR? Somehow, President Obama is showing some signs of promise in his first few days in the office.
He initially concentrated with the stabilizing the country’s economy but later on concentrated on establishing better relationships with other countries—some of which are “enemies” of the United States. Even so, it still did not replicate the great achievement of FDR in his first few days in office: saving the economy from a deep sinkhole. However, it could also be assumed that Obama’s version of the “rescue” is still on the planning stages as the administration could not afford any mistakes in conducting this economic rescue plan. Also, the people have not given up hope on President Obama to deliver them from this economic tragedy in the United States.
There is not much difference between the two except for the fact that FDR has successfully stabilized the economy to a more controllable level in his first hundred days in the office. He exercised an immediate relief plan for the United States government and its people, in order to save them from the spites of the Great Depression. President Obama aims to replicate this achievement as the country is currently facing the same situation. At the same time, he aimed to establish better relationships with other nations, control overseas matters, and turn the government into a transparent entity.
These two presidents have shared a similar fate when they entered the presidency. They were expected by the public to relieve the country from further economic downfall, as these people considered them as a ray of hope for a better America in the future.
Kangas, S. (1997). The First 100 Days. The Great Depression: Its Causes and Cure. Retrieved April 27, 2009 from <http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/First100days.htm>
Smith, J. E. (2009, January 16). How F.D.R. Made the Presidency Matter. 100 Days: Starting the Job, From F.D.R. to Obama. Retrieved April 27, 2009 from < http://100days.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/how-fdr-made-the-presidency-matter/>
Talev, M. (2009, April 26). Obama’s first 100 days in office haven’t been quite. McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved April 27, 2009 from <http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20090426/pl_mcclatchy/3217776>
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