The Roosevelt Legacy in Transatlantic Relations
The RSC’s research agenda is inspired by the political legacy - both domestically and internationally - of the three leading Roosevelts: Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor. Each in their own way has contributed to defining transatlantic relations during the 20th century and beyond, leaving a lasting legacy across the policy spectrum:
- Theodore Roosevelt was a determined diplomat who sought not only to expand his nation’s role as arbitrator among the great powers but also to involve it constructively in European affairs. This reversed a century-long American reluctance to engage in the continent’s affairs. His diplomatic efforts earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1906.
- Franklin, the four-time President, laid the basis for transatlantic relations in the post-WW II era and provided the vision for U.S. foreign policy with the ‘Four Freedoms’ speech of 6 January 1941.
- Eleanor Roosevelt’s most famous achievement is the completion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the United Nations in 1948. However, her role in promoting civil liberties on the national and international stage spanned the 1930s to the 1960s.
Based on these three legacies, the RSC’s research profile concentrates on how these three legacies have defined transatlantic relations over the past century:
- Theodore: Power Politics and Peacemaking
- Eleanor: Human Rights and Equality
- Franklin: International Institutions and the Four Freedoms:
- Freedom of Speech and Expression
- Freedom of Worship
- Freedom from Want
- Freedom from Fear