He was the 32nd and longest serving president of the United States in history, 12 years from 1933 to 1945. On taking office, the nation was in a deep economic recession. To millions of Americans, the future looked far from good during the Big Depression. Many lived below the minimum level of sustenance after having lost their jobs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in short FDR, brought them new hope. The charming and socially devoted president, who came from an elitarian environment himself, wanted to make life for the common American bearable again. in his opinion, revolutionary measures were required to achieve this. He wanted to be more than just a disassociate ruler. "The presidency is no clerical function," he declared shortly after taking office. "It is a place where moral leadership is executed from."
President Roosevelt also had to cope with a new world war. The United States had come to the assistance of the Western Allies during the First World War but when Roosevelt took office, an isolationist attitude prevailed in the country. Few Americans were ready to sacrifice their sons once again for peace in Europe. The President however, despite strong opposition in Congress, refused to stand by idly and watch befriended democracies be run over by Nazi Germany. He supported the Allied cause by delivering weapons to their armed forces. Following the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, America went to war herself. After having guided the United States through the Big Depression, from 1941 onwards, Roosevelt stood at the helm of a world power at war.