D. Roosevelt’s speech at the First Inaugural Address and Adolf Hitler’s first
address as Chancellor of Germany, both given in 1933 during an economic
depression, have similar meanings behind their proclamations, but are orated in
two distinct tones. Both countries were similarly facing an economic depression
unemployment, and military shortage; however, the two leaders had a different
outlook on who was to blame for the problems their countries faced.
one hand, President Franklin D. Roosevelt believed that the nation’s financial
troubles were not caused by external factors, but were actually native, or home-based.
“Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have
failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted
their failure, and abdicated” (Roosevelt, 1933). Roosevelt attributed the cause
of the financial crisis to be or those who exchange currency in the foreign
exchange market from one country to another. He claimed that they were so
blinded by profit and materialism that they didn’t realize to which extent they
had impacted the economy of the United States.
the other hand, “In Germany, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933,
blaming old enemies and Jews for his country’s woes” (Leuchtenburg, 2017). Hitler spoke intensely about Germany’s need to
expand land and to reestablish its armed forces, despite signing an agreement
on demilitarization in the 1920s. Hitler alleged that “Communism with its
method of madness is making a powerful and insidious attack upon our dismayed
and shattered nation” (Hitler, 1933).
President Roosevelt intended to overcome
the issue of unemployment and agriculture in the country by “direct recruiting
by the Government itself…through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed
projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources”
(Roosevelt, 1933). He stated that there was an excess of workers in industrial
centers, who could all be employed in other positions, such as on farms or in
the government. He also stated that this would allow them to raise the value of
the agricultural crops. Hitler claimed that he would end unemployment within
four years, “the conditions necessary for a revival in trade and commerce are
provided… A concerted and all-embracing attack must be made on
unemployment in order that the German working class may be saved from ruin”
(Hitler, 1933). He also believed that it was essential to save the farmers for
the nation to prosper.
terms of banking, finance and in general, the economy, President Roosevelt called
for the “strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments” since
there is a high incidence of exploitation of money in these organizations (Roosevelt,
1933). Roosevelt expressed that the United States would respect the foreign
policy and any agreements by respecting one’s own native country and
neighboring countries to maintain positive relationships. Hitler articulated
that in terms of the foreign policy, the National Government deemed that
restoring freedom and equality to Germany would be their top priority to end
the chaos facing the nation. He claimed that if Germany restored its own nation
first, it would help strengthen peace with other countries. “In economical
administration, the promotion of employment, the preservation of the farmer, as
well as in the exploitation of individual initiative, the Government sees the
best guarantee for the avoidance of any experiments which would endanger the
currency” (Hitler, 1933).
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech at the First Inaugural Address and Adolf Hitler’s
first proclamation as Chancellor of Germany both express the need for action
given the state that their nations were in. Both leaders agreed that they
relied heavily on farmers to keep the economy flourishing as they paved the way
for the industrial centers. Roosevelt and Hitler shared a common ambition to
reestablish their nations as great world powers and prosper.