Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady

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Veronica Hobson Professor John Hollitz History 102 3 April 2012 Eleanor Roosevelt as First Lady Thanks to the big influence of Eleanor Roosevelt, the twentieth century produced dramatic changes and opportunities for women. Eleanor Roosevelt was the wife of ex-president Franklin D. Roosevelt. For more than 30 years, she was one of the most powerful women in America. According to an article on Eleanor Roosevelt, she was a “charismatic woman of charm and contradictions. Aristocratic in voice and manner, she was also one of the best politicians of the 20th century” (PBS). During her husband's presidency, Eleanor gave press conferences and wrote a newspaper column. As a first lady, she worked very hard to help solve many problems that America at that time was suffering from. In the middle of a depression, she encouraged many people, especially women to read and learn about economics and politics, so they could have their own opinion. In this essay, I will discuss what Eleanor Roosevelt’s activities revealed about the limitations of women in the early twentieth century. I will also examine whether she challenged or reinforced traditional conceptions of women’s “proper” role. I will also comment on historian Allida Black’s conclusion about Eleanor’s achievements and biggest failure as a first lady. First, Eleanor Roosevelt fought very hard in order to encourage women to become more knowledgeable. One of the biggest restrictions that ER found was that women at that time did not know how to read the newspaper. ER proclaimed that “very few women know how to read the newspapers.” She encouraged women to be involved and have knowledge of political and economic issues of that time. Although women were active in the society, they did not have much knowledge of politics. Eleanor became more and more involved and wanted one way or another to help solve these issues. She

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