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Home : Biography : American Presidents
BIOGRAPHY : American Presidents


 

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Theodore Roosevelt

26th President of the United States (1901-1909)

Theodore Roosevelt was an energetic and dynamic leader who gave the nation a square deal. During his presidency to a position of international leadership.

Roosevelt belonged to an aristocratic New York family. He attended Harvard Univerity. Theodore Roosevelt fought in the Spanish-American war with the Rough Riders at the battle of San Juan Hill. He had served as police commissiores of New York, assistant secretary of the navy, governor of New York, and vice president of the United States. When president McKinley was assassinated on September 14, 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became, at the time, the youngest (43 years) president in hist ory.

The president saw himself as a man of the middle who would meditate the struggle between capital and labor. He said that business must be protected against itself and he tended to favor regulatory commissions that provided nonpartisan supervisi on by experts of business practices. As president he succeeded in getting additional authority over the railroads for the interstate commerce commission. He was also instrumental in the passage of the meat inspection act and the pure food and drug act. Ro attitude toward the poor and towards the labor movement was that of an enlightened conservative. He supported many labor demands such as shorter hours for women and children, employers' liability laws and limitations on the use of injunctions against workers in labor disputes.

In reform, Roosevelt wanted gradual change. He moved in the direction of the reformers and ended up as the candidate of the progressive party in the Bull Moose presidential campaingn in 1912. He had broken with the Repub lican party.

In 1907 immigration reached its all-time high 1,285,000 in one year. Theodore Roosevelt said, "There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have ro om but for on language here and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality; we have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people."

Ro l ed the United States into continous armed interventions in the caribbean. In 1906 an insurrection in Cuba caused the United States to intervene in its affairs. The American government withdrew its power when ordr was restored.

In the Philippines c ivil government was put into operation, and a communications cable was laid across the Pacific.

Roosevelt intervened in the war betwwen Russia and Japan. He invited the Russian and Japanese governments to send peace commissioners to America where a peace treaty was sighned in 1905. The following year the president was awarded the nobel peace prize.

People had wanted a canal connectiong the Atlantic and Pacific for hundreds of years. A French company, which went bankrupt, had started the pro ject. The company sold the panamanian rights to build the canal to the United States government. Colombia, whose territory included Panama, didn't agree to the terms offered by the Uninted States. Ro did not think much of he of Latin Americans to begin with. He called he colombians "foolish and homicidal corruptionits." The Roosevelt administration supported a revolt by the Panamanians against Colombia. The new country of Panama signed a canal treaty favorable to the United States in 1903. The Pana ma canal was completed August 15, 1914.

President Theodore Roosevelt died at Sagamore hill, his home at oyster bay, New York, on January 6, 1919.



 

 



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