Steven Napier

Date of Award


Degree Name

Political Science


College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Jean Edward Smith

Second Advisor

Simon D. Perry

Third Advisor

Robert W. Behrman


This qualitative analysis of the monetary policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his administration covers his entire presidency. Through scholarly research based on arguments presented in major scholarly publications, great questions are raised as to the primary causes of the economic successes of the Roosevelt administration. Some of the most conservative and reputable scholars in history, while disagreeing with most of the measures taken by Roosevelt to regulate the economy, agree that the goals by the administration to raise the prices of basic commodities was generally achieved. The thesis demonstrates that almost all of FDR’s economic successes were the direct result of the gold and silver purchase programs sought by the United States and the restoration of America’s banking and financial institutions. The thesis also challenges the claim that World War II alone brought our nation out of the great depression and that America merely transferred the depression entirely to other nations. Although other nations faced difficulties maintaining either gold or silver monetary standards, once currency stabilization was reached, many countries financed war and recovered from economic hardship by selling gold and silver to the United States. Roosevelt’s monetary policies had tremendous implications and applications, both domestic and international, and continued to be a driving force behind a postwar economy in which the United States became the world’s largest creditor nation.


United States -- Economic conditions --20th century.

Roosevelt, Franklin D. -- (Franklin Delano) -- 1882-1945.

Monetary policy -- United States.