FDR’s Unprecedented Third Term Nomination

US History |


 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, having taken office in 1933 as the 32nd president of the United States, was given the nomination for the unheard of third term. Roosevelt was a democrat to thus go on a fourth term even after his third; recording him as the on U.S. president to serve more than two terms.

Born on January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, NY, Roosevelt went on to serve as the senator of New York from 1911 through 1913, assistant secretary of the Navy from 1913 to 1920 and finally to be placed in the office of governor of New York from 1929 through to 1923. It was in 1932 he defeated Herbert Hoover and was first elected president. It was his intention as president during his first term to enact what was known as his New Deal social programs; aiming efforts to lift the U.S. up and out of the Great Depression. Roosevelt then beat Kansas governor, Alf Landon for the office of President in 1936, by a landslide.

Nominated for a third presidential term at the democratic party on July 18, 1940, it would be predictable that the president received no small amount of criticism. The law that no American president should serve more than two terms had not yet been written. It was up to then a custom set by General George Washington and first president of the United States. In 1796, President Washington declined a third term. It was Roosevelt who believed it was his duty to perpetuate his office further as the pandemonium of Europe was getting worse and the social and political crisis loomed heavily throughout the entire world: where Hitler’s Nazi Germany was meteorically amplifying. The Republican, Wendell Wilkie, was defeated in the general election and Roosevelt’s third term in office was whelmed by the United States’ involvement in World War II.

Furthermore, in 1944, as the war still raged, Roosevelt defeated the governor of New York at the time, Thomas Dewey and established forthright his fourth term in the office of the United States president. Contradictorily, Roosevelt did not fully see his fourth term to the full four years. It was on the 12th of April, 1945, Roosevelt, suffering from severe health issues, passed away at 63 in Warm Springs, Georgia. Vice President, Harry S. Truman, took his succession. Finally, it was on March 21, 1947, where congress had passed the 22nd Amendment to the United States Constitution: no person could be elected into the office of president for more than two terms. The amendment and its ratification was voted by the required number of states in 1951.

 We can all assuredly find the humility in George Washington, as was his historical wont. It was even John Adams who plead to his tall and husky friend to become general; with pressure also from John Adams’ mate through the ratification and debate of independence, Benjamin Franklin. George Washington, though indeed quite tall and strong, had always distributed an air of passiveness and a countenance often with no small amount of consternation. It is thus such a historical figure as him which can carry his methods of honesty and humility through the years where congress themselves follow his code of character by enacting a very American law dictated by naught but pure honor.

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