Theodore Roosevelts Political Life As a president Theodore Roosevelt was a strong leader and ruled with an iron fist. Not only did he conquer the frontier but he went on to conquer other countries. Roosevelt started out life as a born leader. When he was a child he overcame his sickness by physical exercise and rugged outdoor activities. He went to college at Harvard and after graduating he went straight into politics. Starting his career as the president of the New York Board of Police Commissioners, and later went on to Washington as an assistant secretary of the navy.
Then he became a Rough Rider during the Spanish-American War. Afterwards, he returned home he went on to become the Governor of New York and Vice President of the United States in 1900. Roosevelt then became President in 1901 when William McKinley was assassinated. Roosevelt held office until 1908 where William Taft took his place. Roosevelts main concern when he was a president was the rapid business consolidations taking place in the American economy. He and the Justice Department took on JP Morgan, the owner of Transcontinental Railroads.
This case went all the way to the Supreme Court as Northern Securities v. US(1904). The court held that the stock transactions constituted an illegal combination in restraint of interstate commerce. Roosevelt was considered a trustbuster after that case. Later in 1906, in response to public pressure for greater government intervention into businesses, he and Congress passed the Hepburn Act. This Act says that railroads can only charge the amount that is set by the government, and that the government was able to inspect financial records.
The Pure Food and Drug Act, which brought about the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was next. This act says that all foods and drugs had to be tested and approved by a government official before they went onto the market. The Meat Inspection Act, empowered the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to inspect and label meat products. Roosevelts concern with the destruction of the forest, prairies, streams, and wilderness led to putting the government in charge of the regulation of the environment with the start of the US Forest Service. Not only was Roosevelt a strong leader in the US, but he was also one of the most aggressive advocates of an overseas empire.
Along with men such as Senator Henry Lodge, Admiral Alfred Mahan, and Brooks Adams, Roosevelt pushed for expansion. He not only wanted to free Cuba and the Philippines from Spanish rule and annexing Hawaii, he wanted to assert American military around the world. He also believed that the Protestants Anglo-American culture should be spread abroad. Roosevelt summarized his views with this quote, Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far. In wanting to build a canal across the Isthmus of Panama, Roosevelts attempt to lease the ground was unsuccessful.
He then came up with a new strategy: take over Panama. On November 3, 1903 it happened, and only for ten-million dollars. The positive effect of the canal was that it gave the US a tremendous strategic and commercial advantage. The negative effect of the canal was that the newly exposed areas needed to be policed. Roosevelt called for proper policing of the world.
Roosevelt was concerned that Europe might try to take it if the US didnt. To prevent this proclaimed what came to be known as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. The Document said that Chronic wrongdoing, or an importance which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, the exercise of an international police power. Roosevelt also used this to justify armed intervention in the internal affairs of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Mexico. Another thing that Roosevelt did that proved him strong not only in America but over seas was that he mediated a settlement of the Russia-Japanese War at Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1905.
In doing that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906. He showed his strength again in 1908 when he sent battleships to visit Japan in a muscle-flexing display of sea power. He did this because of the tension in California about the anti-Japanese racism. In the cartoon, Two Views of The President, they are showing two different sides of Roosevelt. On one side it shows him as a mad savage and the other shows him a clean-cut man. Starting with the mad savage picture.
It appears as a frontiersman side. There is a dead bear skin on the wall with two guns holding it there. The bear skin symbolizes his courage, for it takes a lot of courage to kill a bear. To the side of the bear skin is an arrangement of hatchets. Theses could describe Roosevelts ability to survive on his own.
The statue of the Spartan symbolizes the strength of the warrior in Roosevelt. Other items in the room such as the guns and knives and the cannon wastepaper basket can only describe the feeling of war and survival. The last thing that caught my attention was the spurs, these are showing the Power Roosevelt has over his country and other countries. On the other side of the picture is the side where Roosevelt is sitting up straight, has on a suit, and is very clean looking. This shows the seriousness of Roosevelts presidency and his beliefs.
This picture in a whole shows the Two Views of the President in that it shows his strong side the frontiersman, and it shows his serious and business side as a world leader. The essay In Cowboy-Land again Roosevelt shows his strength as a frontiersman, that he took to the presidency. He tells about how the thrills of the wilderness can lead a man to kill another man. He said that these people had good sides but that the man-killers were drove to kill by there surrounding conditions. After killing a man these peoples good sides were useless.
He also tells about how unpredictable the west could be. In one of his stories he states that a man was killed by his own horse that he thought was well trained. The horse had never bucked before yet one day he got thrown off and landed on his head, killing him instantly. In another story he tells how a friend was out hunting and had to fight off Sioux Indians. There are many other stories that tell how hard it was to live on the frontier. Having these experiences made Roosevelt s greater man and greater leader for our country.
In the document The Strenuous Life Roosevelt reaches out to Americans saying we have to do our duty. What is our duty? According to Roosevelt the fathers and sons of our nation must do hard labor and be proud to be doing it, and the mothers and daughters should be doing housework and tending to children. He sternly says, When men fear work or fear righteous war, when women fear motherhood, they tremble on the brink of doom. He goes on to say that not only as individuals do we have a duty, but as a nation we do. He says that we strive as a country, that we need to make a history for ourselves. Even though war is detrimental and so much is lost we will strive and learn from it the end.
Kind of like a quote I heard before attack before you are attacked. It is saying that we need to get rid of the filth and evil threats from other countries before they try to attack us. We as a nation have responsibility to help Hawaii, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. If we undertake the solution there is of course, always danger that we may not solve it right; but to refuse to undertake the solution simply renders it certain that we cannot possibly solve it right. In this he means that we need to take action or we would be seen as a weak country and he a weak president; as strong a leader Roosevelt was he would not stand to be even associated with the work weak.
He had some good ideas in how we should interface with other the countries. He believed that we were strong enough to take on any country and win. He started with Puerto Rico, he said that it is too small that we must govern it wisely. Cuba, he thought could stand on its own as a independent state or an internal portion on the mightiest republics. But that we had to keep our forces there until order was obtained. Roosevelt also noted that the Philippines were warlike Moslems and wild pagans that they were unfit to govern themselves and would not become fit to govern themselves.
He believed that we needed to keep our military in there also. He ends this speech with some words of encouragement saying that we need to stand and deliver for the good of our nation and for the good of the nations around us. In closing, Theodore Roosevelt was not only a strong leader to our nation but he also had a large influence on other countries as well. In our country he helped to set straight the commercial business world with acts like the Hepburn Act, that stopped the monopoly of the railroads. He set up the FDA and The Meat Inspection Act, these cleaned up the packing industry.
He also started the US Forest Service, that helped saved the wilderness and the environment. In other countries he managed to be able to put his strong hold on them by military action. In Panama he took control so that we now have a canal through there. He led this country in the overseas imperialism. He helped distribute military troops overseas to help control the interests of the US He was a good leader but he often was trigger-happy to engage in war to gain an advantage to the US.