Contrasting Two Loved American Presidents: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald W. Reagan

When Ronald W. Reagan was growing up, he admired the democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt. As a democrat, Reagan shifted to the right. But even during his presidency, Reagan admired FDR’s great leadership style and appreciated FDR’s optimistic Fireside Chats. Both these men caused America to flourish during their presidencies. They are still widely considered two of America’s greatest presidents, even though Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald W. Reagan had different backgrounds, accomplishments, and views of government.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was born into an upper-class family and lived the typical wealthy life in New York. He went to Harvard, Colombia, and Gorton to practice law. Before his presidency, FDR served in the New York state legislature, was assistant secretary of the navy and was governor of New York (UK Essays). Ronald Reagan was born in northwestern Illinois, during the Great Depression. Reagan majored in economics and sociology at Eureka College. He took jobs on the radio moved to California to act. Reagan was convinced to become governor of California after giving a speech supporting a right-wing republican (UK Essays). Therefore, prior to becoming presidents, FDR had more political experience than Reagan.

Both presidents had different accomplishments during their days in office. FDR came into office during the great depression and had four terms. He was able to put people back into work and get America back on track after the depression. He demonstrated to be a good war leader during WWII and approved the development of the atomic bomb. Although Ronald Reagan was not in office for as long as Roosevelt, he also improved the economy, invaded Grenada and is credited for defeating the communism from the Soviet Union.

A very striking contrast between the two former presidents was in their views of the government’s role. Unlike Reagan, FDR believed government was used to better people’s lives. The democratic president increased governments role to help the unemployed and established stronger economic security. In contrast, Reagan believed government was not the solution but rather, the problem (Zogby). During WWII, he realized the effects of too much government had and stood heavily for individual responsibility. Reagan believed one should live within a budget, which was not what Roosevelt had in mind. Wealthy citizens during Roosevelt’s presidency were taxed very heavily to attain more money for the war, unlike Reagan who, during his presidency, implemented tax cuts.

These two outstanding American presidents, different as they were, in their backgrounds, accomplishments, and views of government, had much in common. Both these presidents came into office with economic crisis. They formed strong policies that improved the nation’s economy. These iconic presidents brought hope to a country right after their preceding presidents disappointed the nation. Both presidents were great at appealing to the public’s emotion, FDR with his fireside chats on the radio, and Reagan with the powerful media that followed him. America is still torn between the two economic policies formed by Roosevelt and Reagan; however, it is no mystery as to why these two presidents are highly looked up to from American history.