Rhetoric of Restoration and Reform: Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1932 Campaign for the Presidency

Faculty Sponsor

Heath Carter


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-2-2015


Oftentimes, President Franklin Roosevelt's first One Hundred Days in office and his New Deal are treated as a rupture, according to the most recent histories. But did Franklin D. Roosevelt frame his 1932 campaign for the presidency as a revolution and rupture or a restoration and reforming of the American republic? Therefore, this paper undergoes a thorough rhetorical analysis of speeches made by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the 1932 campaign as Roosevelt tries to send a message of why the American people should vote for him. This paper will show that Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1932 campaign for the presidency employed rhetoric of restoration and reform. Firstly, F.D.R. employed rhetoric of restoration as an appeal to nostalgia to persuade the American people in the hopeful promise of restoring the republic to its prior greatness. Secondly, F.D.R. employed rhetoric of reform as an appeal to change to convince Americans in reforming what was wrong within the United States. As a result, Democratic New York Governor Franklin Roosevelt won the 1932 presidential election over incumbent Republican President Herbert Hoover.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Alexander Uryga is a Valparaiso University Christ College Honors College Scholar and previous president of the student body. He is receiving his Bachelor of Arts in political science and history in May. After his successful spring 2013 campaign for student body president, his interest in rhetoric and speeches skyrocketed. Alex became enthralled with the campaign of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Someday, he hopes to use history to help him earn a graduate school doctoral degree in political science.

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