What Roosevelt Thought: The Social and Political Ideas of Franklin D. Roosevelt

By Thomas H. Greer | Go to book overview

4
A More Perfect Union: The American Constitutional System

POLITICAL CONSTITUTIONS AND STATECRAFT held a special fascination for Roosevelt. Naturally, his main interest was in the American system, and his commentary upon it is the fruit of long service and reflection. Few men of the twentieth century have had the opportunity which was his: to observe, from the grass roots to the heights of power, the spectacle of American government and politics.


The Founding Fathers and the Constitution

On the river side of Poughkeepsie's Market Street, at the corner of Main, stands the brick County Court House of Dutchess. The building today attracts no more than ordinary notice, but a bronze plaque, fastened to the outer wall, calls softly to history. For on this site, in a long-departed courthouse, delegates to the New York State Convention gathered to deliberate upon the Constitution. The Federalists, led by Hamilton, argued there, in the hot summer of 1788, against Clinton and the Anti-Federalists. At long last (with "full faith and confidence" that a Bill of Rights would be adopted), the Convention voted to ratify. Thus, the participation of New York, vital to success of the federal venture, was assured. It was ever a source of pride to Roosevelt that his great-great-grandfather, Isaac, sat in that ancient courthouse and cast his vote with Hamilton.

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What Roosevelt Thought: The Social and Political Ideas of Franklin D. Roosevelt
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Preface - Roosevelt: A Practical Philosopher ix
  • Contents xiii
  • 1 - Vision of the Abundant Life 3
  • 2 - Unto Unto Caesar What is Caesar's 26
  • 3 - Government and the Economy 45
  • 4 - A More Perfect Union: The American Constitutional System 75
  • 5 - The People's Choice: The Presidency 88
  • 6 - The Great Game of Politics 114
  • 7 - Truth and Citizenship 142
  • 8 - The Good Neighbor 158
  • 9 - Strategy for Survival 183
  • 10 - Roosevelt: Radical or Conservative? 206
  • Notes and Bibliography 215
  • Notes 217
  • Bibliographical Note 229
  • Index 235
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