Franklin Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler

Essay by paulius_the_greatHigh School, 11th grade March 2004

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Franklin Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler were both charismatic and vigorous leaders who successfully led their respective nations through the politically and economically tumultuous thirties. However, whilst it could be argued that many of their social and economic policies were similar, their methods differed greatly in that one's administration was characterised by democratic socialism with the other by strict and brutal authoritarianism. The depression of the 1930s created many economic and political problems for the United States and Germany. Roosevelt and Hitler both gained power because they offered their people a sense of hope and a viable solution to these problems. Both leaders espoused similar polices in response to the crisis, which included: the creation of relief agencies, public works schemes and significant government intervention in the economy. However, their policies differed in that Hitler advocated ideas of Aryanisation, violence as a means to hold power and the state sanctioned slaughter of any opposition and minority groups whereas Roosevelt endorsed peace and prosperity.

During the 1920s the United States and Germany were both vastly different nations. The Twenties in America brought a period of unprecedented freedom, individualism and prosperity. The 'Roaring Twenties,' as the decade was termed, was aided by a thriving economy. Consumer confidence was high and the average income grew rapidly. As a result of this, investment levels were high and the agricultural and manufacturing sectors boomed. "At year's end in 1925, the market value of all stocks totaled $27 billion. By early October 1929, that number had grown to $87 billion." (Sparknotes) All seemed to be prospering. Conditions in Germany; on the other hand, were far more disconsolate. The Versailles Treaty, signed in 1919, had treated Germany harshly. The country struggled to overcome the humiliation and massive reparations payments associated with the treaty. The country was led the...