Accomplishments and Analysis of President Theodore Roosevelt
When President McKinley was assassinated, Theodore Roosevelt, who was only 43 years old became the youngest president in the nation’s history. It was the year 1901 and with him becoming President coincided a new vigor in the Presidency, he led congress and the American Public into a new age of reforms and stronger foreign policy. Until his time America had withdrawn herself from wordily affairs. He believed that a President should “take whatever action necessary for the public good unless expressly forbidden by law or the constitution, I did not usurp power, but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power,” wrote Theodore Roosevelt.
Unlike earlier Presidents who were raised in rural areas or who became know as the “log cabin presidents” Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City in 1858 into a wealthy family. Throughout his childhood and entire life he continuously struggled with ill health. In 1884 his first wife and his mother died on the same day. Greatly overcome with sorrow Theodore Roosevelt moved to a ranch in the Badlands of Dakota Territory where he master his problems with sorrow along with driving cattle and hunting big game. His skills that he adapted while living in Dakota would lead to him becoming a lieutenant colonel of the infamous Rough Rider Regiment, where he would lead the charge at the battle of San Juan making a him one of the hero’s of the Spanish-American war. That amazing feat established his reputation throughout the United States.
In New York Boss Tom Platt was in need of a hero to draw attention away from the various scandals occurring throughout the state. Theodore Roosevelt fit the puzzle perfectly and within a few months he became Governor of New York in 1898. Coincidentally it was Boss Platt that tried to “ease” Roosevelt out of the state and onto the McKinley’s ticket as vice president. He succeeded in doing so. Though Roosevelt’s term as vice president was shorty, obviously due to the assassination of President McKinley, he would carry on McKinley’s policies into his Presidency.
As President, Roosevelt “held the ideal that the government should be the great arbiter of the conflicting economic forces in the Nation”, especially between capital and labor, “guaranteeing justice to each and dispensing favors to none.” He became known as a “trust buster” by forcing a disolvement of the great railroad combination in the North West. Under the Sherman act many more antitrust suits followed. He realized that to send ships around South America would cost company’s a great deal to ship goods, so also being aware of the need for a shortcut from the Atlantic ocean to the pacific ocean Roosevelt secured the construction of the Panama Canal. He later won a Nobel peace prize for mediating the Russo-Japanese War. He turned the United States into world politics using his favorite proverb, “ Speak softly and carry a big stick....” He greatly increased the reserved land for national forest in the west, and started many irrigation projects. “He crusaded endlessly on matters big and small, exciting audiences with his high-pitched voice, jutting jaw, and pounding fist,” which led to the creation of the “bully pulpit.” After leaving the Presidency in 1909 he went on a safari in Africa, and then jumped back into politics until he died in 1919. Towards the end of his life he said, “No man has had a happier life than I have led; a happier life in every way.”
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