Why was FDR Allowed to Serve Four Terms?

Examining the Political and Legal Factors Behind FDR’s Tenure

5 min readFeb 24


Official campaign portrait, 1944

Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, is widely known for leading the country through some of its most challenging times, including the Great Depression and World War II. He served an unprecedented four terms in office, from 1933 until his death in 1945.

Many people wonder how FDR was able to serve four terms, as the U.S. Constitution only allows for a President to serve two terms. In this essay, we will explore the historical context and political climate that led to FDR’s four-term presidency.

Before we delve into the specifics of FDR’s four-term presidency, it’s important to understand the historical context in which he was elected. When Roosevelt first took office in 1933, the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression. The stock market crashed in 1929, leading to widespread unemployment, poverty, and social unrest. Many Americans were looking for a leader who could guide the country through this crisis and restore prosperity.

FDR’s First Two Terms: The New Deal and Its Critics

Roosevelt’s first term in office was marked by a series of ambitious programs and reforms known as the New Deal. These programs aimed to provide relief to those suffering from the effects of the Great Depression, stimulate the economy, and reform the financial system to prevent future economic crises.

The New Deal included measures such as the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which provided employment for young men in conservation projects, and the Social Security Act, which established a system of old-age pensions and unemployment insurance.

FDR’s first term was widely seen as a success, and he was re-elected by a wide margin in 1936. However, his second term was marked by controversy and political turmoil. Many of his New Deal programs faced legal challenges, and the Supreme Court struck down several key measures, including the National Industrial Recovery Act and the Agricultural Adjustment Act.

In addition, FDR’s attempts to pack the Supreme Court with his own appointees were met with resistance from Congress and…




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