Was the youngest President in the nations history. he took office at the age of 42. Roosevelt had been vice President for only six months when president William McKinley was assassinated. He vigorously led Congress and the American public toward progressive reforms and a strong foreign policy.
He took The view that the president as a “steward of the people” should take whatever action necessary for the public good unless expressly forbidden by law or the constitution. “I did not usurp power, ” he wrote, “but i did greatly broaden the use of executive power.
Roosevelt’s youth differed sharply from that of the log cabin Presidents. he was born in New York city on October 27,1858 into a wealthy family, but he too struggled–against ill health. When Theodore was about 12, his father told him that he would need a strong body to give his mind a chance to develop fully. The next year, while on a trip to Maine, Theodore was tormented by two mischievous boys.
He felt ashamed because he was not strong enough to fight back. Roosevelt’s father built a gymnasium in the family home, and Theodore exercised
there regularly. He overcame his asthma and built up unusual physical strength.
Roosevelt studied under tutors until he entered Harvard University in 1876 at the age of 18. He earned good grades in college. Roosevelt graduated from Harvard in 1880.
In October 1879, Roosevelt met Alice Hathaway Lee. Roosevelt courted Alice during his senior year at Harvard. They married on his 22nd birthday.
A double tragedy struck on Feb. 14, 1884. Alice Roosevelt died two days after the birth of a daughter. On the same day, Roosevelt’s mother died if typhoid fever. Roosevelt spent much of the next two years on his ranch in the badlands of Dakota Territory. There he mastered his sorrow as he lived in the saddle, driving cattle, hunting big game–he even captured an outlaw. On a visit to London, he married Edith Kermit Carow in December 1886.
During the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt recruited men for a cavalry regiment. This unit became the First Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. Under Roosevelt s command, it won fame as the Rough Riders. He led the Rough Riders on a charge at the Battle of San Juan. Roosevelt was one of the most conspicuous heroes of the war. Twenty years later he declared:”San Juan was the great day of my life.
Thomas C. 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 spectacurlarly as a “trust buster” by forcing the dissolution of a great railroad combination in the northwest. During Roosevelt’s presidency, the government filed suits against 43 other corporations. In major cases, the government ended John D. Rockerfeller’s oil trust and James B. Duke’s tobacco trust.
Roosevelt steered the united States more actively into world politics. He liked to quote a favorite proverb , “Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far. Aware of the strategic need for a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, 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.
Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the Russo-Japanese War. He was the first American to win a Nobel Prize. He reached a Gentleman’s agreement on immigration with Japan. In 1907, Roosevelt decided to display American naval power. He sent 16 new battleships on a good-will tour of the world. These ships became known as the Great White Fleet because they were painted white. Roosevelt viewed the tour as a part of “big stick” diplomacy.
Some of Theodore Roosevelt’s most effective achievements were in conservation. He added about 150 million acres to the national forests and in 1905 established the United States Forest Service. he also set up five new national parks. By executive order, he created the first 51 federal bird reservations and the first four national game preserves.
The Roosevelt children and their friends became known as the “White House Gang.” The President sometimes joined in the children’s games. One day, he heard thet the gang was preparing an “attack” on the White House. he sent a message to the children through the War Department, ordering them to call off the “attack.”
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. 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. Roosevelt soon recovered, but his words at that time would have been applicable at the time of his death in 1919: “No man has had a happier life then I have led; a happier life in every way.”
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