Theodore Roosevelt

By. The honorable Demarcko Edwards

Theodore Roosevelt's early life

Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858, in New York City to parents Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., and Martha Bulloch Roosevelt. Both his parents came from wealthy families, his father's ancestors having settled on Manhattan Island in 1644. Teedie, as he was called as a child, was sickly growing up. He suffered primarily from asthma, but also from stomach pains and headaches. His inability to breathe often kept him indoors, and he turned to reading books for amusement. He came to love reading and learning. In 1876 young Roosevelt moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and enrolled in Harvard University. During his third year at Harvard he met and fell in love with his future wife, Alice Hathaway Lee. Teddy graduated from Harvard in 1880.

Roosevelt's political stance

Roosevelt was a supporter of the growing suffrage movement that happened under his watch, though the 19th Amendment (giving women the right to vote) didn’t happen until a couple of years after he left office. Roosevelt also supported desegregation in the South, though it would be decades after his death until that occurred. Furthermore, he was the first president to invite a black person to the White House–Booker T. Washington.

His contribution to his time

  • Trust-Busting - While TR was the US Attorney General, he went after large corporations with a ferocious intensity. While he was president, the aggressive enforcement of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act continued under his tutelage. In fact, he saw himself as a "steward" to all people -- laborers and wealthy alike. Legally and politically speaking, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was an unprecedented use of the federal power to regulate interstate commerce. We have TR to thank for aggressively using federal power to govern.
  • Expansion of Executive Power - Trust-busting is just one expample of how TR expanded the Executive Branch's powers. He used his executive powers to establish national parks. TR was also known to exercise his personal charisma to wrangle reform from Congress. (He didn't have a very high opinion of Congress.)
  • Interventionist Foreign Policy - TR started the tradition of interventionist foreign policy. When a revolution in Panama put the Canal up for grabs, TR seized upon that opportunity to establish an American right-of-way. He even negotiated the end of the Russo-Japanese war and won a Nobel Peace Prize for his troubles. He was the first world leader to submit a complaint to the Hague, legitimizing international law.
  • Consumer Protection (Food) - he advocated and helped pass the Meat Inspection and Food and Drug Acts.
  • National Parks - TR transferred millions acres (!) to the federal government for wildlife and nature conservation. He was truly the first (and perhaps the only) "environmentalist" in office.
  • Agencies - He set up the Departments of Commerce and Labor.
  • Naval Power - TR, as the Commander-in-Chief, built up the Navy to a point where America had one of the best Navies in the world. An invaluable legacy during WWI and WWII.
  • Formation of a Short-Lived 3rd Party (*) - When Taft, TR's protege, didn't follow in TR's reformist path, TR left the Republican party and formed the Progressive Party. Under the Progressive/Bull-Moose banner, TR ran for presidency against Taft and Woodrow Wilson. Many historians think that TR siphoned away so many votes from Taft that Wilson ended up winning the Presidency. Just think, TR did it better than Nader.

Are the effects of his administration still felt today

Yes, because he established so many parks and wild life reserves. It should be a crime to go to your state park and not realize teddy made this possible.

Was he a Good president?

Yes, Because also made the executive branch the center of American politics. Without him congress would still be the most powerful branch of the government.

what did his opponents say?

A focus on Roosevelt and the Republican Party obscures the origins of progressive reform, as well as the most persistent sources of its strength. The effort to tame unbridled capitalism originated not in the mind of Theodore Roosevelt but in the rural Midwest and South—in the Populist movement of the 1890s. It was absorbed and carried forward by the populist wing of the Democratic Party. Under Bryan’s leadership, the Democrats took a left turn in 1896; they remained committed to a progressive agenda until World War I.

what are some things you can learn from his presidency?

Roosevelt was a fine president he not only focused on the middle class but America as a whole from nature and schooling to the national debt. He didn't care what all his doubters said he demonstrated courage just as he did fighting for this country as a commander in the military,

Quotes from his presidency.

1. “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”

2. “Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”

3.“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

4. “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”