Skip to Main Content


POL 499: Senior Seminar in Political Science: FDR: Your Assignment

Summary of Assignment


Each student will independently select and analyze a book about Roosevelt.  The book must be purchased, as you are expected to write in the book (marginalia), highlight the book, and treat it as a research instrument. You will develop a min-thesis.

Some possible topics include (not all encompassing)

  • Roosevelt as a Leader
  • Roosevelt's first 100 days
  • The New Deal
  • etc. (see Tabs on this LibGuide for some possible ideas)

Secondary sources should include scholarly interpretations of the topic


Pre-Roosevelt Philosophy of Government   Roosevelt Philosophy of Government
The federal budget must be balanced, and the dollar tied to the Gold standard   Deficit spending can be justified. The dollar is disconnected from the gold standard
Rugged Individualism. People who are poor are lazy. They have to prove they are poor and in need before any relief should be considered.     The people's welfare is a direct federal obligation. Direct relief is necessary, but jobs are even more critical than a hand-out.
It is not the government's place to interfere with the Economy or with the running of businesses. Wages, hours and working conditions are best left unregulated. The people's welfare is a direct federal obligation. Wages, hours and working conditions are must be regulated.
It is the job of the church and the family, as well as the individual and community, to care for the sick, the old, and the disabled. The people's welfare is a direct federal obligation. Unemployment and old-age insurance (social security) were implemented.
Banking is a private industry, which like other industries should be unregulated. No insurance or other safety net needed. Banks must be made secure if people are to trust in them. Banks will be regulated and backed by the federal government.
Each community can decide whether or not to provide educational opportunities for its citizens.   Literacy levels affect employment potential. Every citizen should have access to educational opportunities, and reading materials, even adults.