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To paraphrase the famous Britishism, the primary message of FDR's inaugural address is keep calm and get to work.
While not downplaying the severity of the country's current predicament, he emphasizes that this bump in the road doesn't mean the end of the world. The financial failures of the present can't hold a candle to the dilemmas that faced the Founding Fathers.
And most importantly, FDR proves he is a man of action by outlining his plan of attack. He admits that circumstances dictate the international community takes a backseat to more pressing domestic issues, saying, "I favor as a practical policy the putting of first things first."
The first things for FDR? To get people back to work and pull the bank industry back from the edge of complete collapse.
President Roosevelt's New Deal legislation completely blew up the idea of what government could be by showing people the lifelines that government could provide; programs like Social Security have their roots in these policies and have grown to be respected and depended upon by millions of Americans.
Despite the success of the public works programs that are the trademarks of the New Deal, the most effective thing Roosevelt did was get Americans to buy into his ideas.
Inauguration speeches are a tradition as American as a game of baseball (and unfortunately just as long).
But with the country still reeling from the stock market crash, the American public looked to the incoming president for help, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered an address that invigorated the people by promising them the United States would persevere.
Get it, FDR.
FDR's inauguration was a much-heralded event for citizens across the country after years of suffering. Following the financial collapse, banks collapsed, taking families' entire life savings with them and sending the unemployment rate sky high.
So when Roosevelt called for swift and decisive action, the people were ecstatic. His plans to mobilize the full might of the U.S. government to put people back to work were the decisive actions citizens were clamoring for; his message that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" (5) were just the words America needed to hear.
FDR successfully soothed the panicky masses with reassurances of American exceptionalism while outlining the steps the country needed to take to right itself from ruin.
That's why, to this day, his first inauguration speech remains as stirring and patriotic as ever.
America is still awesome, banks are big bullies, and Congress can't stop FDR.