How did Franklin Roosevelt's programs develop such a strong appeal for the "forgotten man"?How did Franklin Roosevelt's programs develop such a strong appeal for the "forgotten man"?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Part of the appeal of FDR's New Deal legislation to the "forgotten man" was that it presented government as no longer forgetting him.  Roosevelt's emphasis on providing relief to the common individual and ensuring that recovery was present in the form of employment opportunities helped to develop the impression that the "forgotten man" was no longer forgotten.  Politics in America of the 1920s emphasized the big business and rewarded individuals who moved to the head of this economic food chain.  The common individual, the regular person, was forgotten.  It was in this light that Roosevelt's approach was seen as appealing, for he emphasized that the only way America would see itself through the Great Depression is on the backs of the "regular" person who could no longer afford to be "forgotten."  This can also be seen in Roosevelt's "Fireside Chats," that reached out to all people and emphasized ideas that made the previously "forgotten" individuals important, validating their voice.  When Roosevelt opened his address with, "Good evening, friends," the previously discarded body politic felt acknowledged.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Roosevelt reached out to the people. He realized they needed reassurance. It was a difficult time for the country. With the Fireside Chats and the New Deal, he placed a priority on the common citizen, a person who was likely suffering quite a bit.