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- THEODORE ROOSEVELT
- THEODORE ROOSEVELT BIOGRAPHY
- Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest President of the United States at the
age of 42. He was a statesman, police commissioner, Nobel Peace Prize winner, author,
hero, cowboy, soldier, hunter, naturalist, explorer and leader of the Rough Riders!
Roosevelt's policy was "SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK."
- Theodore Roosevelt, known as "Teddy" or "T.R." was born in
New York City, NY on October 27, 1858. From birth until his late teens,
Roosevelt suffered greatly from asthma, was a weak and sickly, and was near-sighted, which
forced him to wear glasses. His father took him for rides in the night to help him breathe
with fresh air and encouraged him to build up his body with strenuous exercises and sports
in efforts to build his body and mind. In 1876, Roosevelt was accepted to Harvard
College. After graduating, he decided to enter politics and in 1881, at the age
of 23, he won election to the first of three terms in the New York State Assembly as a
- In 1889, Roosevelt was appointed to the U.S. Civil Service Commission and
then in 1895 appointed to the post of N.Y. City Police Commissioner. As
Police Commissioner, he modernized the entire police force and monitored the officers
suspected of illegal activites.
- In 1897, Roosevelt became the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, where he
began to really show his aggressiveness. As the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Roosevelt
FORCED the U.S. to build up the Navy fleet to get rid of Spainish control
from the Western Hemisphere (Cuba and Puerto Rico). In 1898, The U.S. declared war on
Spain in the Spanish American War. Roosevelt resigned as Assistant
Secretary of the Navy and organized the FIRST UNITED STATES VOLUNTEER CAVALRY
REGIMENT, known as the "ROUGH RIDERS". Roosevelt
commanded the regiment in CUBA, and on July 1, 1898 led the charge up Kettle Hill, which
surrounded the Spanish blockhouse on San Juan Hill, near Santiago, Cuba.
He attacked with his troops and captured the hill. He became a national hero and the Rough
Riders were nationally famous.
- Upon his return to New York in 1898, Roosevelt was immediately nominated for governor
and won the election due to his war record. Roosevelt described his policy as "SPEAK
SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK." He began implementing numerous reforms,
including taxation on corporation franchises, regulation of sweatshops and a conservation
program. These reforms infuriated the businessmen who supported the Republicans. So the
party forced Roosevelt to accept the Vice-Presidential nomination in 1900 to get rid of
him as N.Y. Governor. The Presidential candidate, McKinley and Roosevelt won the election
and in 1901, Roosevelt became the Vice-President of the United States.
- In 1901, only six short months after the inauguration, McKinley was assassinated and at
42 years old, Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest President of the United
States and the 26th President. Roosevelt's goals as President were to represent
all people: farmers, laborers, businessmen and white-collar workers. Roosevelt started the
Square Deal Program, which asked for anti-trust proceedings against big
businesses, an attack on social problems, control of the railroads and conservation of
natural resources. Roosevelt became known as the "trustbuster" and
believed that large businesses were good for the economy, but the government must regulate
large corporations, instead of destroying them.
- Roosevelt worked to make the U.S. a world leader, which included strong armed forces. He
strengthened the Navy and kept European nations from interefering in Latin America.
Roosevelt believed that civilized nations had the RIGHT to interfere with
uncivilized nations to PUSH CIVILIZATION AHEAD. In 1902 during The Venezuela Affair, Roosevelt
threatened the Germans to stop from taking over Venezuela. In 1903, Roosevelt acquired the
Canal Zone after Panama broke free from Colombia. The Panama Canal was
one of Roosevelt's proudest accomplishments: "I took Panama," Roosevelt
bragged. Roosevelt was known to greatly broaden the use of the presidency to
accomplish his goals.
- Roosevelt won in 1904 a landslide victory for re-election to the presidency. He then
lowered the taxes on imports and made the "Pure Food and Drug Act"
and pushed conservation forward. Roosevelt built friendships with the Japanese and offered
them to help mediate the Russo-Japanese War, which earned Roosevelt a Nobel Peace
Prize in 1906. During his presidency, automobiles, lights and telephones
started widespread usage and the Wright Brothers flew the first successful airplane.
- After finishing his presidency in 1909, Roosevelt went to Africa to hunt big game. After
returning to the U.S., Roosevelt saw that President Taft began sliding to the old policies
of the Republicans. Roosevelt set his progressive policies in the "New
Nationalism" speeches and challenged Taft for the presidential nomination, but
failed. In 1912, Roosevelt then started the BULL MOOSE PARTY to attack
Taft. On Oct 14, 1912, Roosevelt was shot by a saloonkeeper in an assassination
attempt. The bullet hit him in his chest, but the impact was deflected by his
glasses case. He STILL went on to deliver his speech that night. Ultimately, Woodrow
Wilson won the Presidential election, but Wilson began writing a big section of
Roosevelt's ideas into law.
In 1912, Roosevelt wrote his autobiography and in 1913, he went to the River Of Doubt
in the Brazilian jungle to explore. He almost died from malaria, but survived, but was
severely weakened. In 1914, when the outbreak of World War I started,
Roosevelt decided that the U.S. must support the Allies, led by Britain and France against
Germany, who he feared could dominated Europe. In 1915, Roosevelt led the movement to
prepare the U.S. to go to war. The U.S. declared war against Germany in 1917, but
Roosevelt was forced to fight the war at home. On January 6, 1919, Roosevelt died
unexpectedly of a blood clot in the heart at Sagamore Hill.
Theodore Roosevelt was one of the greatest, most innovative and rebellious
presidents in U.S. history, who enlarged federal power to react to technological
revolutions and is one of only four presidents who faces are carved on Mount Rushmore.
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