Theodore Roosevelt

This essay Theodore Roosevelt has a total of 4764 words and 67 pages.

Theodore Roosevelt


Thesis: Theodore Roosevelt's political presence altered the course of the

United States,

transforming it into a superpower fully ready to handle the challenges of

any opposition,

and changed the role of the president and executive branch of US

government, making it a

force to be reckoned with.

I. Introduction

II. Before Roosevelt

A. Post-Reconstructionist Views

B. The Industrial Revolution

C. The Gilded Age

1. Railroads

2. Robber Barons

3. Immigration

4. Standard Question

D. McKinley

III. The Roosevelt Era

A. Early Life

1. Influence of Parents

2. Invalidism

B. Early Political Career

1. Ending Corruption/Enforcing Laws

2. Political Bosses

3. Governorship

C. Presidential Era

1. Vice Presidential Race

2. Manipulation of the Press

3. Federal Regulatory Laws

4. Foreign Policy

5. Strong Executive Branch

D. Post-Presidential Era

1. Taft

2. The Progressive Party

IV. Post-Rooseveltian America

A. Wilson

1. Continued Progressivism

2. World War I

a. Inactivity

b. Activity

B. Life After Wilson

1. Implementation of Roosevelt's Reforms

2. Roosevelt's Influence Today

3. Influences in the Future

V. Conclusion

Theodore Roosevelt:

The Founder of an Era

The turn of the century has always been a big deal for modern

civilizations. One hundred

years of life is quite large compared with the average 70 or so given to

most. Because of

that, people tend to look in trends of decades, rather than centuries or

millennia. When it

does come time for a new century, when that second digit rotates, as it

does so seldom,

people tend to look for change. Events tend to fall before or after the

century, not on top

of it, and United States history, particularly, has had a tendency for

sudden change at the

century marks. Columbus' accidental discovery of the West Indies in 1492

brought on the

exploration age in the 1500s. Jamestown colony, founded in 1607, was

England's first

foothold on the New World. A massive population surge, brought on in part

by the import of

Africans, marks entry into the 18th century. Thomas Jefferson's

presidency, beginning in

1800, changed the face of American politics. 1900 was a ripe year for

change, but needed

someone to help the change arrive. That someone was Theodore Roosevelt.


political presence altered the course of the United States, transforming

it into a

superpower fully ready to handle the challenges of any opposition, and

changed the role of

the president and executive branch of US government, making it a force

with which to be

reckoned. As the first president with progressive views, Roosevelt enacted

the first

regulatory laws and prosecuted big businesses who had been violating them

and others for

years. Roosevelt also initiated the United States' active interests in

other countries, and

began to spread the benefits of democracy throughout the world. Before

Roosevelt, the

United States was an inward-looking country, largely xenophobic to the

calls of the rest of

the world, and chiefly concerned with bettering itself. As one critic put

it, "Roosevelt

was the first modern president"(Knoll). After Roosevelt, the United States

would remain a

superpower, chiefly interested in all the world's affairs for at least a

century (Barck 1).

It would be foolish to assume that Roosevelt was a fantastically powerful

individual who

was able to change the course of the United States as easily as Superman

might change the

course of a river. It would be more accurate to say Roosevelt was the

right person in the

right place at the right time. It is necessary, though, to show how the

United States was

progressing, and how Roosevelt's presence merely helped to catalyze the

progression. It

has been said that when John Wilkes Booth murdered Abraham Lincoln, he

"extinguished the

light of the republic" (Cashman 1). While this is a small hyperbole, it

serves as an

example of the general mood that pervaded the period from 1865 to 1901.

The early

dominating factor was, of course, Reconstruction. Reconstruction was a

dirty game, and

nobody liked it. Johnson fought with congress and the end result proved

very little had

changed. The South was still largely agrarian, and the North was

commercial. Most

importantly, the Southerners and the Northerners still felt they had as

little to do with

each other as a fish does with a bicycle. To the young "Teedie" Roosevelt,

this must have

made itself apparent. He was born in a mixed household, where "Theodore

Roosevelt (Sr.) was

as profoundly...for the North as Martha Roosevelt was for the south"

(Hagedorn 10). The

fact that the family was able to live, from all accounts, very

harmoniously, is quite

astonishing and gives credit to the fine parents who raised young


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