Theodore Roosevelts Accomplishments

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Theodore Roosevelts Accomplishments

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Theodore Roosevelt - 60-Second Presidents - PBS

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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 added enormously to the national forests in the West, reserved lands for public use, and fostered great irrigation projects.

He crusaded endlessly on matters big and small, exciting audiences with his high-pitched voice, jutting jaw, and pounding fist. Leaving the Presidency in , Roosevelt went on an African safari, then jumped back into politics. In he ran for President on a Progressive ticket. To reporters he once remarked that he felt as fit as a bull moose, the name of his new party. While campaigning in Milwaukee, he was shot in the chest by a fanatic. The Presidential biographies on WhiteHouse. Copyright by the White House Historical Association. We'll be in touch with the latest information on how President Biden and his administration are working for the American people, as well as ways you can get involved and help our country build back better.

You have JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use this feature. Toggle High Contrast. Grant Rutherford B. Hayes James Garfield Chester A. Roosevelt Harry S. Truman Dwight D. Eisenhower John F. Kennedy Lyndon B. She, however, thought him rather eccentric and refused his first marriage proposal. He was undeterred and continued to court her during his senior year. She finally agreed and they were married on his 22nd birthday, October 27, Four months before the wedding in June , Theodore had been awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree.

He ranked twenty-first in his class and graduated cum laude. Not in any hurry to establish himself in a permanent career, Theodore enrolled in Columbia University Law School. He reasoned that a law background was vital to the public service profession he chose to pursue. While a law student, Theodore was so bored that he used his time to write his first book, History of the Naval War of He dropped out after one semester. In Theodore ran for public office. Entering politics as a means of public service, he embarked on a campaign that was to elect him to the assembly of New York State. He was reelected twice, once in , and again in Roosevelt served a short term as Republican minority leader in Due to his independent thinking, reform-minded policies and his refusal to obey party bosses, Roosevelt was removed from this post; however Roosevelt's influence in the Assembly did not wane.

He began working closely with Governor Grover Cleveland, a Democrat. During this period Roosevelt gained a strong influence in civil service reform. It was also at this time that he first met Ansley Wilcox. Governor Cleveland appointed both men to a commission to restore the area around Niagara Falls, New York back to its natural state. In the summer of , while his wife Alice was pregnant, Theodore set off for a vacation in the Dakota territories.

Eating and sleeping out in the open and accompanying cattlemen on roundups brought impulsive ideas to Theodore's mind. The year marked the third term in the assembly for Roosevelt. He was to sit on a committee to judge the merits of a new bill designed to establish new labor and health standards in the cigar industry. Theodore's tour caused him to realize for the first time the terrible working conditions that existed in the slum factories of New York. He saw two families working and living in two rooms for a total salary of one dollar a day. The following year brought double tragedy to Roosevelt's home.

The tragedies overshadowed the birth of Alice, Theodore's first child, on February 12, Theodore was in the middle of an assembly debate in Albany when he received news from his sister via telegram announcing the birth. Not long after, a second telegram arrived with the news that his wife Alice was gravely ill. He raced home that night to find his mother dying of typhoid fever and his wife dying of kidney disease. Upon his arrival his brother, Elliott, uttered the phrase, "There is a curse on this house. Mother is dying and Alice is dying too! Twelve hours later his beloved Alice passed away. In his grief Theodore remarked, "The light has gone out of my life. It was an election year and Roosevelt was in the limelight as a leader of the young Republican reformers.

Party bosses overrode Roosevelt's views on party reforms and his choice for the presidential candidate. Much to his dismay, Roosevelt was forced to compromise his views in order to remain in politics. After much soul searching, Theodore stated his position as such: "The Republican Party has made its selection. I'm a Republican. It's that simple. Learning to rope, ride, and survive in the wilderness revitalized Roosevelt. The conviction grew within Roosevelt that the American wilderness was responsible for the strong sense of individualism, the love of liberty and the intellectual independence that had so long shaped the nation.

He began writing "The Winning of the West," a study of frontier living and the character of his frontier neighbors. The beauty and solitude of the west also helped ease the grief of the loss of Alice. He occasionally returned home to New York to visit his daughter who was living with his sister and to check on the ongoing construction of his Oyster Bay home, Sagamore Hill. In , after drought and blizzards had decimated his herd, he returned to New York. Though ready to re-enter politics again, Roosevelt never regretted his two years in the Dakotas. He always believed that he would never have become president if he had not gone out west.

Upon his return, he jumped right back into politics by becoming the Republican candidate for Mayor of New York City. He knew he would lose, but in a confidential letter he wrote, "I have returned to the thick of the battle of New York. I'm recognized everywhere and have won even though I've lost. They began to meet during his trips back east and correspond regularly. Eventually Theodore proposed marriage to Edith. A few days after he lost the mayoral election, Roosevelt sailed to England to marry Edith. Between and , Edith and Theodore had five children: Theodore, Jr. Theodore continued to write books while waiting for the right moment to re-enter politics.

In the family moved to Washington, D. Through the power of his new office, Roosevelt was able to instigate reforms. His major reform was to have all government appointments made on the merit system. With this new appointment he hoped to expand his ideas of reform into new areas. Just like the Civil Service Commission, Roosevelt wanted the Police Department appointments and promotions to be based on merit rather than patronage. He tirelessly hounded corrupt and incompetent policemen, often replacing them with men who had no connection to any political machine.

Roosevelt's loyalty paid off when he was later appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy, a position he had long coveted. Knowing that a strong Navy was essential for the United States to become a world power, Roosevelt began building up the Navy by constructing new ships, adding more modern equipment and enhancing training procedures. Roosevelt seemed to know that war with Spain was imminent and wanted the U.

Navy to be prepared for it. With the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in , Roosevelt left his job as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in order to lead a volunteer cavalry regiment as a Lt. Colonel in the Army. Roosevelt was hailed as a hero and finally achieved the glory he had dreamed of as a boy. Crowds enthusiastically welcomed Roosevelt upon his return from Cuba. He adopted a moderate line as Governor, rejecting the extreme demands of the reformers and quietly sapping the power of the conservatives. In Roosevelt felt sure of re-election to the governorship. However, some of the Republican political bosses thought differently.

Roosevelt's reform-mindedness and swashbuckling approach to public life often infuriated old-line politicians. The Republican national chairman, Mark Hanna, called him "that damned cowboy. Exasperated, Hanna exclaimed, "Don't any of you realize there's only one life between that madman and the presidency? He reasoned that perhaps he might be able to run for the presidency in In retrospect, Mark Hanna's words seem prophetic. Roosevelt took the oath of office on September 14, at the home of Ansley Wilcox. At the age of 42, Roosevelt was the youngest man to ever become President. At that time of national tragedy, Roosevelt promised to follow McKinley's policies "absolutely unbroken," but everyone realized that someone of Roosevelt's energetic and forceful personality had too much originality to follow another man's plans.

It would only be a matter of time before Roosevelt was enacting his own policies. One of the first areas Roosevelt tackled was business. Roosevelt's earlier reforms as governor of New York State resulted in stricter government control of industry. It's little wonder that "captains of industry" grew increasingly concerned about the reforms that Roosevelt might institute. Roosevelt appreciated the fact that trusts increased productivity and raised the standard of living, but he was against the dissipation of free enterprise and competition. He succeeded in convincing Congress that stronger supervision and control of big business was necessary. In the government sued the Northern Securities Company, charging that the company had attempted to reduce competition.

The Supreme Court upheld the charge, and the company was dissolved. Forty-three other suits were successfully filed. Roosevelt became know as the 'trust buster", but he declared that he wanted the government to regulate, not "bust', the trusts. During labor-management disputes, the government's alliance had usually favored management.

Roosevelt felt that labor as well as management should receive a square deal. His personal arbitration of the United Mine Workers strike proved his point. In when the United Mine Workers went on strike, Roosevelt proposed an end to the dispute through arbitration. The Union agreed, but management refused. Roosevelt threatened to have the Army seize and operate the mines since winter was approaching and fuel was running short. In the past the Army had been called in to break up strikes, but this time Roosevelt wanted to send management a message: settle the strike or lose control of the mines.

At Roosevelt's request, J. Morgan helped reach a compromise with management. The strikers were to receive a raise in pay 5 months later. Later Roosevelt said that he attempted to give the miners a "square deal. It was through his relations with the great powers of Europe that Roosevelt gave the American people a new understanding of their country's growing role in world affairs. Still more important was the fact that these relations caused Roosevelt to enunciate a policy that would come to be known as the "Roosevelt Corollary" to the Monroe Doctrine.

Roosevelt declared, "we cannot afford to let Europe get a foothold in our backyard, so we'll have to act as policemen for the West. Both Germany and Great Britain sent warships to force Venezuela to make payment. Roosevelt was willing to see that Venezuela paid her debts, but he could not allow an American nation to be threatened. The enforcement of Roosevelt Corollary forced the warships to withdraw and permitted Roosevelt to act as arbitrator for the dispute. Two weeks after taking office, President Roosevelt directed his cabinet to begin an intensive study of a canal that would link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The canal was to be constructed somewhere in Central America. For years Roosevelt had believed a canal was necessary to American security as well as to the economic development of America. Throughout most of the 's Nicaragua was the chief center of efforts to build such a canal because a large lake was located in the center of the country. In Congress authorized a Commission to survey possible canal routes. A Nicaraguan route was recommended but turned down. In , Congress gave Roosevelt permission to accept the French offer to purchase the rights to a canal through Panama, but only if Colombia would be willing to give the United States permanent use of the canal. Agreement could not be reached between the Colombian legislature and the United States over financial remuneration.

By prospects for a canal seemed especially dim. Then in November of that year Panamanian rebels, prodded by French and American offers of help, declared independence from Colombia. Three days later the United States recognized the Republic of Panama and the dream of an isthmian canal became a reality. In , Roosevelt became the first president to travel outside of the United States while in office. He journeyed to Panama to inspect the progress and even worked a steam shovel to dig part of the canal.

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