The man who was inaugurated as the 32nd President of the United States on 4 March 1933 was to become one of the most eminent holders of that office. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or FDR as he is known, stands alongside Washington and Lincoln as a saviour and shaper of his nation. In common with these illustrious

In the early years of the 1930s the economic and social situation in the US worsened. Manufacturing output and investment fell as people put purchases of goods such as cars and refrigerators on hold. By 1933 unemployment officially stood at 25 per cent. In addition, many of those with work suffered a reduction in hours and wages. Agriculture, as well as industry, was in crisis as farms produced more to pay off debts only to see the prices for their produce fall still further. As deflation became entrenched, people queued to withdraw their money from banks and from Saving and Loans schemes. This contributed significantly to waves of bank collapses throughout the early 1930s. The nation was in a dire state and as the final weeks of Hoover’s ‘lame duck’ period dragged on there seemed no way out of the crisis. People and business alike turned to President-elect Roosevelt.