Theodore Roosevelt

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No time like the present, therefore, to study that giant personality in color and fine detail. When referring to Theodore Roosevelt I do not use the word giant loosely.

Nature up close: Theodore Roosevelt, the conservation president - CBS News

Yet unquestionably his initial impact was physical, and it was overwhelming. People actually tingled in his company; there was something sensually stimulating about it. They came out of the presidential office flushed, short-breathed, energized, as if they had been treated to a sniff of white powder. But TR was not just a physical phenomenon.

In many ways the quality of his personality was more remarkable than its quantity. Here again, I have discovered recurrences of the same words in contemoorarv descriptions. One of the more frequent images is that of sweetness. Such a combination was simply irresistible.

By the time the Roosevelt era came to an end, Adams was inconsolable. Moreover, TR usually took the sting out of his insults by collapsing into laughter as he uttered them. A reporter who spent a week with him in the White House calculated that he laughed, on average, a hundred times a day—and what was more, laughed heartily. Consider merely this random list of attributes and achievements:. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University.

He was the author of a four-volume history of the winning of the West which was considered definitive in his lifetime, and a history of the naval war of which remains definitive to this day. He also wrote biographies of Thomas Hart Benton, Gouverneur Morris, and Oliver Cromwell, and some fourteen other volumes of history, natural history, literary criticism, autobiography, political philosophy, and military memoirs, not to mention countless articles and approximately seventy-five thousand letters.

He spent nearly three years of his life in Europe and the Levant, and had a wide circle of intellectual correspondents on both sides of the Atlantic. He habitually read one to three books a day, on subjects ranging from architecture to zoology, averaging two or three pages a minute and effortlessly memorizing the paragraphs that interested him.

He could recite poetry by the hour in English, German, and French. He married two women and fathered six children. Now all these achievements predate his assumption of the Presidency—in other words, he packed them into his first forty-three years. I will spare you another list of the things he packed into his last ten, after leaving the White House in , except to say that the total of books rose to thirty-eight, the total of letters to ,, and the catalogue of careers expanded to include world statesman, big-game collector for the Smithsonian, magazine columnist, and South American explorer.

They might be traced back to childhood. Each seam stood out bright and clear in youth and early middle age, but they began to merge about the time he was forty. Indeed the white heat of the Presidency soon fused them all into solid metal. But so long as they were distinct they may be identified as aggression, righteousness, pride, and militarism. The most fundamental characteristic of Theodore Roosevelt was his aggression—conquest being, to him, synonymous with growth. From the moment he first dragged breath into his asthmatic lungs, the sickly little boy fought for a larger share of the world.

Just as the struggle for wind made him stretch his chest, so did the difficulty of relating to abnormally contrasting parents extend his imagination. Theodore Senior was the epitome of hard, thrusting Northern manhood; Mittie Roosevelt was the quintessence of soft, yielding Southern femininity. The Civil War—the first political phenomenon little Teedie was ever aware of—symbolically opposed one to the other.

There was no question as to which side, and which parent, the child preferred. For weeks he watched in fascination while a tiny shrew successively devoured a mass of beetles, then a mouse twice her size, then a snake so large it whipped her from side to side of the cage as she was gnawing through its neck.

During his first years in politics, in the New York State Assembly, he won power through constant attack. The death of Alice Lee, coming as it did just after the birth of his first child—at the moment of fruition of his manhood—only intensified his will to fight. He hurried West, to where the battle for life was fiercest. The West did not welcome him; it had to be won, like everything else he lusted for.

Win it he did, by dint of the greatest physical and mental stretchings-out he had yet made. Theodore Roosevelt, Eastern son of a Northern father and a Southern mother, could now call himself a Westerner also. Privately educated, he suffered none of the traumas of school.

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The Speech That Saved Teddy Roosevelt’s Life

Thanks to the security of his home, the strong leadership of his father, and the adoration of his brother and sisters, Teedie entered adolescence with no sexual or psychological doubts whatsoever. His three great bereavements the death of his father in , and the deaths of his mother and wife in the same house and on the same day in came too late in his development to do him any permanent emotional damage. They only served to convince him more that he must be strong, honest, clean-living, and industrious.

Experiment after experiment proved the correctness of his instincts—in graduating magna cum laude from Harvard, in marrying successfully, in defying the doctors who ordered him to live a sedentary life, in winning international acclaim as writer and politician long before he was thirty.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919)

In wild Dakota Territory, he proceeded to knock down insolent cowboys, establish the foundations of federal government, pursue boat thieves in the name of the law, and preach the gospel of responsible citizenship. One of the first things he did after Benjamin Harrison appointed him Civil Service Commissioner was call for the.

A Presidential Library for Theodore Roosevelt

The effect, in a column of gray newsprint, was of buckshot at close range. This did not stop TR from using the personal pronoun thirteen times in the first four sentences of his account of the Spanish-American War. From birth, servants and tradespeople deferred to him.

Men and women of high quality came to visit his parents and treated him as one of their number. He accepted his status without question, as he did the charitable responsibilities it entailed. In his two terms as president, he increased federal oversight of big business and expanded the reach of government. However, he failed to transform the Republican Party, which remained mired in conservative, pro-corporate interests.

He focused on educating the public and used his power broadly to improve the lives of the lower class and to expand the rights of women. A racist whose beliefs reflected those of the elite of this period, Roosevelt thought African Americans to be inferior to white citizens. Although he invited Booker T.

Federal Power: Theodore Roosevelt

Washington, one of the leading philosophers of the time and African American to dine at the White House, he also dismissed black soldiers from service, assuming them all to have colluded in a criminal shooting spree. National Portrait Gallery. Knowing the Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt. Share Icon. 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 Carow in December 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 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.


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Other antitrust suits under the Sherman Act followed.

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