Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United states Was the youngestPresident in the nations history. he took office at the age of 42. Roosevelt hadbeen vice President for only six months when president William McKinley wasassassinated. He vigorously led Congress and the American public towardprogressive reforms and a strong foreign policy. He took The view that thepresident as a “steward of the people” should take whatever actionnecessary for the public good unless expressly forbidden by law or theconstitution. “I did not usurp power, ” he wrote, “but i didgreatly broaden the use of executive power.
” Roosevelt’s youth differedsharply from that of the log cabin Presidents. he was born in New York city onOctober 27,1858 into a wealthy family, but he too struggled–against illhealth. When Theodore was about 12, his father told him that he would need astrong body to give his mind a chance to develop fully. The next year, while ona trip to Maine, Theodore was tormented by two mischievous boys.
He felt ashamedbecause he was not strong enough to fight back. Roosevelt’s father built agymnasium in the family home, and Theodore exercised there regularly. Heovercame his asthma and built up unusual physical strength. Roosevelt studiedunder tutors until he entered Harvard University in 1876 at the age of 18.
Heearned good grades in college. Roosevelt graduated fromHarvard in 1880. In October 1879, Roosevelt met Alice Hathaway Lee.
Rooseveltcourted Alice during his senior year at Harvard. They married on his 22ndbirthday. A double tragedy struck on Feb. 14, 1884. Alice Roosevelt died twodays after the birth of a daughter.
On the same day, Roosevelt’s mother died iftyphoid fever. Roosevelt spent much of the next two years on his ranch in thebadlands of Dakota Territory. There he mastered his sorrow as he lived in thesaddle, driving cattle, hunting big game–he even captured an outlaw. On a visitto London, he married Edith Kermit Carow in December 1886. During theSpanish-American War, Roosevelt recruited men for a cavalry regiment. This unitbecame the First Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. Under Roosevelt s command, it wonfame as the Rough Riders. He led the Rough Riders on a charge at the Battle ofSan Juan.
Roosevelt was one of the most conspicuous heroes of the war. Twentyyears 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. Rooseveltwon and served with distinction.
As president, Roosevelt held the ideal thatthe Government should be the great arbiter of the conflicting economic forces inthe nation, especially between capital and labor, guaranteeing justice to eachand dispensing favors to none. Roosevelt emerged spectacurlarly as a “trustbuster” by forcing the dissolution of a great railroad combination in thenorthwest. During Roosevelt’s presidency, the government filed suits against 43other corporations.
In major cases, the government ended John D. Rockerfeller’soil trust and James B. Duke’s tobacco trust. Roosevelt steered the united Statesmore actively into world politics. He liked to quote a favorite proverb ,”Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far. Aware of thestrategic need for a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, Rooseveltensured the construction of the Panama Canal. His corollary to the monroeDoctrine prevented the establishment of foreign bases in the Caribbean andarrogated 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 wasthe first American to win a Nobel Prize. He reached a Gentleman’s agreement onimmigration with Japan. In 1907, Roosevelt decided to display American navalpower. He sent 16 new battleships on a good-will tour of the world. These shipsbecame known as the Great White Fleet because they were painted white. Rooseveltviewed the tour as a part of “big stick” diplomacy. Some of TheodoreRoosevelt’s most effective achievements were in conservation. He added about 150million acres to the national forests and in 1905 established the United StatesForest Service.
he also set up five new national parks. By executive order, hecreated the first 51 federal bird reservations and the first four national gamepreserves. The Roosevelt children and their friends became known as the”White House Gang.” The President sometimes joined in the children’sgames. One day, he heard thet the gang was preparing an “attack” onthe White House. he sent a message to the children through the War Department,ordering them to call off the “attack.” Leaving the Presidency in1909, Roosevelt went on an African safari, then jumped back into politics.
In1912 he ran for president on a Progressive ticket. To reporters he once remarkedthat he felt as fit as a bull moose, the name of his new party. Whilecampaigning in Milwaukee, he was shot in the chest by a fanatic. Roosevelt soonrecovered, but his words at that time would have been applicable at the time ofhis death in 1919: “No man has had a happier life then I have led; ahappier life in every way.”