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Theodore Roosevelt

 


"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

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Attribution: “Lincoln and Free Speech,” The Great Adventure

Date: 1926

Theodore Roosevelt

1858–1919
26th President of the United States (1901–9) Born in New York City, NY. With the assassination of President McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest President in the Nation's history. He brought new excitement and power to the Presidency, as he led Congress and the American public toward progressive reforms and a strong foreign policy. He was born into a wealthy family, but struggled against ill health--and in his triumph became an advocate of the strenuous life. In 1884 his first wife, Alice Lee Roosevelt, and his mother died on the same day. Roosevelt spent much of the next two years on his ranch in the Dakota Territory. On a visit to London, he married again to Edith Carow. During the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt was lieutenant colonel of the Rough Rider Regiment, which he led on a charge at the battle of San Juan. He was one of the most conspicuous heroes of the war. Boss Tom Platt, needing a hero to draw attention away from scandals in New York State, accepted Roosevelt as the Republican candidate for Governor in 1898. Roosevelt won and served with distinction. 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. Roosevelt emerged as a "trust buster" by forcing the dissolution of a great railroad combination in the Northwest. Other antitrust suits under the Sherman Act followed. Roosevelt steered the United States more actively into world politics. Aware of the strategic need for a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific, Roosevelt ensured the construction of the Panama Canal. His corollary to the Monroe Doctrine prevented the establishment of foreign bases in the Caribbean and arrogated the sole right of intervention in Latin America to the United States. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the Russo-Japanese War, reached a Gentleman's Agreement on immigration with Japan. Some of Theodore Roosevelt's most effective achievements were in conservation. He added enormously to the national forests in the West, reserved lands for public use, and fostered great irrigation projects. Leaving the Presidency in 1909, Roosevelt went on an African safari, then jumped back into politics. In 1912 he ran for President on a Progressive ticket. While campaigning in Milwaukee, he was shot in the chest. Roosevelt recovered, but his words then would have been applicable at the time of his death in 1919: "No man has had a happier life than I have led; a happier life in every way."
 

 

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