Franklin D Roosevelt's Speech To The Commonwealth Club

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Document Analysis President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech to the Commonwealth Club on proposing an Activist Government was addressed during the U.S. Great Depression on September 23, 1932. The document on that speech excerpts Roosevelt’s lecture to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco that outlined his plans about fundamental historical changes he has in store for America. He argued that the U.S. has entered a new era in which only through an active government could individual peace and opportunity be protected from the abuse and the unbalanced distribution of resources. In the beginning of his speech, Roosevelt characterizes America as youthful, promising, but exhausted. America is in need of a courageous government to step up for its current economic dilemma. FDR presents a Progressive history of America to disguise his expansive view of government powers. He describes Alexander Hamilton as an advocate of “autocratic” centralized government that individuals must serve and his opponent Thomas Jefferson as an advocate of a government that would “intervene,…show more content…
Threatened by “economic oligarchy” which leads to “a drab living for our people”, Americans can no longer enjoy their liberty and blessings. Roosevelt’s new social contract between government and individuals will guarantee new rights and new powers for government. The contract requires the government to protect the individual against the “princes of property”. Each right corresponds with new assurances, backed by a federal government program. First: “Every man has a right to life; and this means that he has also a right to make a comfortable living.” Second: “Every man has a right to his own property; which means a right to be assured, to the fullest extent attainable, in the safety of his savings.” With Franklin Roosevelt’s four elections, the New Deal would institute a series of

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