Why was FDR Allowed to Serve Four Terms?

Examining the Political and Legal Factors Behind FDR’s Tenure

5 min readFeb 24, 2023
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.

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