Theodore Roosevelt

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Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt by John Singer Sargent 1903.jpg
26th President of the United States
From: September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909[1]
Vice President Charles W. Fairbanks (1901-1905)
Predecessor William McKinley
Successor William Howard Taft
25th Vice President of the United States
From: March 4, 1901 – September 14, 1901
President William McKinley
Predecessor Garret Hobart
Successor Charles W. Fairbanks
33rd Governor of New York
From: January 1, 1899 – December 31, 1900
Lieutenant Timothy Lester Woodruff
Predecessor Frank Swett Black
Successor Benjamin Barker Odell, Jr.
Former Deputy United States Secretary of the Navy
From: April 19, 1897 – May 10, 1898
President William McKinley, Jr.
Predecessor William McAdoo
Successor Charles Herbert Allen
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Alice Hathaway Lee
Edith Kermit Carow
Religion Dutch Reformed

Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt (b. Oct. 27, 1858, Manhattan, NY[2] - d. Jan. 6, 1919, Oyster Bay, NY) was the 26th president of the United States of America, 1901–1909, a populist leader of the Republican party and (in 1912–16) the Progressive "Bull Moose" Party.[3] Roosevelt is best known for his enthusiasm for a strong and English-speaking American citizenry, and his opposition to moderate Republicans. He was a nationalist who opposed the globalist Woodrow Wilson and world government, and Wilson's unsuccessful plan for a League of Nations. Roosevelt was committed to America First, individual self-responsibility, law and order, active leadership, and civic duty.

A vigorous, emotional, and outspoken man both personally and in politics, Roosevelt created the enduring international image of an America with cowboy values of courage, initiative and hardiness.

Roosevelt enlarged the presidency because he made it a "bully pulpit" for national uplift and inspiration. He preached as much as he politicked. He felt responsible for the well-being and morals of the whole country. He set an example of how a large, strenuous life could be led, and he invited others to renew their energies and apply them to public causes. He strongly endorsed motherhood and criticized women who had careers while neglecting motherhood.[4] Roosevelt promoted having large families, and opposed the use of birth control, believing that it would result in more abortions,[5] which was something that he particularly hated.[6]

In the contest between conservation and environmentalism, Roosevelt supported the conservation and optimum use of natural resources and opposed the environmentalists of the day, such as John Muir.

Theodore Roosevelt in 1918


The Roosevelts could trace their family to Claes Martenssen van Rosenvelt, an immigrant from Zealand, Holland (Netherlands) who came to America in 1649, settling in New Amsterdam (New York City). Theodore was born on October 27, 1858, the second child of a very successful New York businessman, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., and his wife Martha Bulloch, a Southern belle from Georgia. His early childhood was marked by frequent illness and asthma, of which his father spent many an evening bundling up "Tedie" - as young Theodore was often called - and taking him out for carriage rides in the fresh air. By age 10 his father would have enough of the possibility of his son growing into an unhealthy weakling and forced on him a regimen of weights and daily physical exercise.

Young Theodore Roosevelt


Roosevelt was home schooled by tutors and his parents. He was solid in geography (thanks to his careful observations on all his travels) and very well read in history, strong in biology, French and German, but deficient in mathematics, Latin and Greek. He became one of the outstanding naturalists of the era, specializing in very careful study of birds.[7] He attended Harvard College, graduating in 1880 "magna cum laude". He lived very well—his annual $4000 allowance was higher than the president of the college—the days of equalitarian houses were decades in the future. His father's sudden death in 1878 was a stunning blow; Roosevelt redoubled his efforts.[8] In academics he did well in science, philosophy and rhetoric courses, as well as German; but fared poorly in Latin and Greek. Harvard did not have majors, but he took all the advanced biology he could. Classmates considered him an odd bird—he kept snakes in his room and knew all about them. He also dressed in the latest fashions and kept his own horse and buggy. A crack shot, he brought his friends along on hunting parties to the north woods. The perfect gentleman, he was invited into the best clubs. Roosevelt joined Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

Roosevelt had amazing powers of concentration. He had a photographic memory and developed a lifelong habit of devouring books, memorizing every detail. He was an unusually eloquent conversationalist who, throughout his life, sought out the company of the smartest men and women. He could multitask in extraordinary fashion, dictating letters to one secretary and memoranda to another, while browsing through a new book. During his adulthood, a visitor would get a not-so-subtle hint that Roosevelt was losing interest in the conversation when he would pick up a book and begin looking at it now and then as the conversation continued.

Mrs. Alice Roosevelt

First marriage

Roosevelt married Alice Lee of Boston in 1880. on February 14, 1884, Roosevelt's young wife died after giving birth to the couple's first child. Only a few hours earlier, his mother, Martha Bulloch Roosevelt had died in the same house. After the double funeral and the christening of his new baby daughter, Alice, on February 17, 1884, the bereaved husband wrote:

For joy or for sorrow my life has now been lived out.

He never again ever mentioned Alice Lee.

Early career

Given a chance to run for the state legislature in a "silk stocking" (rich) district in Manhattan, he astonished his upscale friends by dropping out of Columbia Law School and was elected. His goal, he explained, was to join the "ruling class" not merely watch it passively.

Young Roosevelt was a Republican reformer in the legislature, writing more bills than anyone. Already a major player in state politics, he attended the Republican National Convention in 1884 and fought alongside the Mugwump reformers; they lost to the Stalwart faction that nominated James G. Blaine. Refusing to join other Mugwumps in supporting Democrat Grover Cleveland, the Democratic nominee, he stayed loyal to the GOP.[9]

Roosevelt held many offices. He was on the federal Civil Service Commission, then headed the New York City Police Department. After campaigning vigorously for William McKinley in the momentous 1896 presidential election, he became Assistant Secretary of the Navy, the #2 position. He loved ships and had written solid naval history; his goal was to modernize the Navy, bringing it up to world class standards.

War with Spain, 1898, and Medal of Honor

When the battleship Maine was blown up in Manila harbor on February 15, 1898, Roosevelt, immediately resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and worked with Colonel Leonard Wood to recruit a volunteer cavalry regiment composed of his Ivy League friends and western cowboys for the coming war against Spain. Hundreds answered his invitation to join in this grand endeavor and, after brief training, the "Rough Riders" arrived in Cuba. On July 1, 1898, Roosevelt seized the initiative and led his men on the celebrated charge of San Juan Hill where 89 of the 490 who followed were killed. Nevertheless, the press and Roosevelt made this the most important battle of the campaign. The "splendid little war" (as termed by John Hay, State Ambassador to England[10]) was soon over and Roosevelt returned to a hero's welcome in New York City.

After the battles in Cuba, malaria, yellow fever and typhoid became an issue for the troops. Roosevelt, not constrained by a military career, complained to both the White House and the press about the need for the troops to return home for better care. This, coupled with a bias against volunteers, is most likely the reason that when Roosevelt was nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery during the battle at San Juan Hill, the nomination was not approved.[11]

President Bill Clinton posthumously bestowed the Medal of Honor to Roosevelt on January 16, 2001, saying,

...TR was a larger-than-life figure who gave our nation a larger-than-life vision of our place in the world. Part of that vision was formed on San Juan Hill. His Rough Riders were made up of all kinds of Americans from all walks of life. They were considered unpolished and undisciplined, but they were true citizen soldiers. By taking San Juan Hill, eventually they forced the enemy fleet into the Battle of Santiago Bay, where it was routed. This led to the Spanish surrender and opened the era of America as a global power.[11]

Roosevelt and his eldest son, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., are one of only two father/son pairs to earn the Medal of Honor. Roosevelt Jr. posthumously received his for actions on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day during World War II. Roosevelt is the first and only president to receive the Medal of Honor.

Governor of New York

A few weeks after his return Roosevelt was elected governor of New York as a Republican in 1898. As governor of New York, Theodore Roosevelt promoted greater accountability and efficiency in government by ending patronage handouts, supporting an effective civil service system and forcing the Republican machine to hold fair elections.

Vice president, 1900

Senator Tom Platt and other party bosses distrusted him, and they forced his nomination as vice president on William McKinley in 1900. Roosevelt demonstrated his amazing energy by his campaign work. Nationally, Roosevelt covered 21,209 miles by train. In Nebraska alone, some 300,000 men, women and children turned out for his 673 speeches at 40 cities and towns as he covered 1,500 miles in the state. His arguments for McKinley prosperity and America's role in the Philippines were accepted wholeheartedly or dismissed scornfully by his audiences. The GOP ticket carried Nebraska, the home state of Democratic nominee William Jennings Bryan, by 7,000 votes.

Once in office, He had little to do.


Time July 3, 2006

For a more detailed treatment, see Political positions of Theodore Roosevelt.

In 1901, President McKinley was fatally shot by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist. Roosevelt automatically became President. He was reelected in 1904 against a challenge by the Democratic candidate Alton B. Parker.

Roosevelt redefined the modern presidency by drawing attention to the office through his dynamic personality, thus creating a 'public obsession' over his executive actions and attracting a permanent public eye toward the presidency that endowed it with new power.

Domestic policy

Roosevelt was the chief leader of the Progressive movement in politics— and he tried to move the dominant Republican Party into the Progressive camp. He distrusted wealthy businessmen and dissolved 40 monopolistic corporations as a "trust buster". He did not disagree with trusts and capitalism in principle but was only against their corrupt, illegal practices. His "Square Deal" promised a fair shake for both the average citizen, including regulation of railroad rates and pure foods and drugs and the businessmen. As an outdoorsman, he promoted the conservation movement, emphasizing efficient use of natural resources.

In his last two years in office (1907-1908), Roosevelt moved left, attacking big business and suggesting the courts were biased against labor unions.

Pure food and drugs

For more detailed treatments, see Pure Food and Drug Act and Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906.

Widespread outrage followed publication in 1906 of Upton Sinclair's novel, The Jungle, which detailed the horrible conditions in Chicago's packinghouses. Roosevelt sent Labor Commissioner Charles P. Neill and social worker James Bronson Reynolds[12] to investigate the meat-packing industry in Chicago. Their report to the president was 'revolting,' but since Roosevelt feared the impact on ranchers and European meat importers, he withheld the Neill-Reynolds report from publication. Sinclair was so upset that he provided specific information to newspapers. Roosevelt then had the commissioners put their report in writing and sent it to Congress. This led to a hearing before Congress; witnesses were asked about seeing a dead hog slide partway into a men's privy. Although Sinclair was a Socialist and his main interest was in the stockyard workers, not consumers, the turmoil over tainted meat helped move Congress to enact the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. The act itself had been drawn up by experts in the Department of Agriculture and remains in effect in the 21st century.[13]

Coal strike

The Coal strike of 1902 was a strike by the United Mine Workers of America in the anthracite coal fields of eastern Pennsylvania. The strike threatened to shut down the winter fuel supply to all major cities.[14] Roosevelt jumped in and personally negotiated with the mine leaders and financiers. Acting as a neutral party, he set up a fact-finding commission that suspended the strike. The strike never resumed, as the miners received more pay for fewer hours; the owners got a higher price for coal but did not recognize the union as a bargaining agent. It was the first labor episode in which the federal government intervened as a neutral arbitrator and it made Roosevelt's reputation as a peacemaker.

Roosevelt teaches the childish coal barons a lesson; 1902 editorial cartoon

Railroad regulation

For more detailed treatments, see Elkins Act and Hepburn Act.

Roosevelt worked closely with Congress to pass important laws such as the 1903 Elkins Act and the 1906 Hepburn Act, that regulated railroad rates for the benefit of shippers and consumers. Ultimately, these bills injured the railroads (which were assumed to be so rich that they could always pay). The new laws retarded the growth of the South, which the railroads could no longer afford to subsidize.[15]


Main article: Sherman Anti-Trust Act

Roosevelt expressed an antitrust image within a pro business framework. Critics who have measured Roosevelt's success by the number of antitrust suits he brought or won miss the essentially rhetorical purposes of his involvement with corporate America. His primary emphasis involved the promotion of the proper attitude in corporate leaders and the general public regarding the role of big business in American society. This Roosevelt did in two ways. First, he argued metaphorically for the necessity of corporations and the restraint of muckraking journalists. Second, along with employing metaphors to chastise big business, Roosevelt assumed the role of moral guardian and preached to corporate leaders to adhere to an ethical standard in business. For Roosevelt, corporate America could be effectively regulated only by its leaders' sense of morality and spirit of public service.[16]

Executive Orders

For a more detailed treatment, see Political positions of Theodore Roosevelt#Executive_Orders.

Roosevelt believed that good policy could come from a multitude of quarters from within the government, even if it lacked congressional approval. During his presidency, Roosevelt issued over 1000 executive orders, a first for any American president.[17] In many instances, Roosevelt's use of Executive Orders was directly linked with his conservation views.[18]

Moving left

Roosevelt moves left in his 1908 Farewell Address

Roosevelt moved left in 1907-08, criticizing the courts, promoting labor unions and attacking big business. The Republican leadership in Congress ignored his radical proposals and waited for his successor-Taft-to take over the White House.

View of the Constitution

Roosevelt's administration marked the shift to a more activist conception of the presidency, in peace as well as war,[19][20] and was both internationalist and aggressive in asserting Presidential power.[21] He would write in his Autobiography:

I declined to adopt the view that what was imperatively necessary for the Nation could not be done by the President unless he could find some specific authorization to do it. My belief was that it was not only his right but his duty to do anything that the needs of the Nation demanded unless such action was forbidden by the Constitution or by the laws. Under this interpretation of executive power I did and caused to be done many things not previously done by the President and the heads of the departments. I did not usurp power, but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power. In other words, I acted for the public welfare, I acted for the common well-being of all our people, whenever and in whatever manner was necessary, unless prevented by direct constitutional or legislative prohibition.[22]

This view came to be known as the Stewardship Theory,[23] by William Howard Taft.[24]


As was common during the Progressive Era, Roosevelt came to believe in the doctrines of Eugenics. He wrote about the dangers of "race suicide",[25][26] in that people were not having enough children.

Common with eugenists, he did believe in sterilization. In an article titled "Twisted Eugenics", he wrote that "I wish very much that the wrong people could be prevented entirely from breeding; and when the evil nature of these people is sufficiently flagrant, this should be done. Criminals should be sterilized and feeble-minded persons forbidden to leave offspring behind them."[27] Additionally, he wrote a letter to Charles Davenport expressing the same sentiment. He wrote: "Society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind. It is really extraordinary that our people refuse to apply to human beings such elementary knowledge as every successful farmer is obliged to apply to his own stock breeding."[28]

Roosevelt's eugenic beliefs have at times been misunderstood, and can be best categorized as Neo-Lamarkist.[29]

Foreign policy

Roosevelt's administration was marked by an active approach to foreign policy. He followed four basic principles:

  1. promoting broadly defined American interests worldwide
  2. building American military and naval power and control over strategic points (especially the Panama canal and its approaches)
  3. cooperation with the British
  4. there was a social contract between the nation's citizens and its government, such that civilized nations had a right of intervention in cases in which such a contract had been broken. His foreign policy was well suited for the challenges of the world; he anticipated later attitudes and developments well into the 20th century and even the 21st century, as exemplified by John McCain in 2008.[30] He combined a credible realist and internationalist approach with great attention to detail and full appreciation of the importance of diplomatic finesse.

Civilization and modernization

Roosevelt saw it as the duty of more developed ("civilized") nations to help the underdeveloped ("uncivilized") world move forward. In Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and the Panama Canal Zone, he used the Army's medical service, under Walter Reed and William C. Gorgas, to eliminate the yellow fever menace and install a new regime of public health. He used the army to build up the infrastructure of the new possessions, building railways, telegraph and telephone lines, and upgrading roads and port facilities.

Army and Navy

Roosevelt and his Secretary of War Elihu Root modernized the Army by creating a general staff system and structuring the military away from small frontier forts to modern combat roles.

The New York World newspaper, mouthpiece of liberal Democrats, blasts Roosevelt as a dangerous militaristic dictator in 1904

Roosevelt, convinced that American military preparedness hinged on the nation's ability to develop and exploit new technologies, worked to make the technology of the army and navy as modern as possible. Among other things, he took an active interest in the army's consideration of the role of the machine gun and the airplane and in the navy's development of both the submarine and a new and more powerful type of battleship.[31]

By identifying and working with two talented junior officers in the Navy Department, Albert Lenoir Key and William S. Sims, Roosevelt assembled an ad hoc staff on naval policy. This staff funneled technical information to Roosevelt that allowed him to dominate policy discussions with Congress and the senior Navy staff. The president annoyed his admirals by micromanaging their responsibilities and ignoring the chain of command.[32]

Roosevelt dramatically increased the size of the navy, forming the new warships into a "Great White Fleet" for display purposes and sending it on a world tour in 1907. This display was designed as a show of force to impress the Japanese and even more to motivate Americans to support naval power and be aware of the new role in the Pacific. Yet, the ships were almost forced to return because of the inadequacy of American ports in the Pacific.[33]

Great Britain

Typical of his eagerness for closer cooperation with London was Washington's support for Britain in the Boer War, despite public opinion that favored the underdog Boers. the British reciprocated, so that in settling the boundary dispute between Canada (controlled by Britain) and Alaska, the British sold out the Canadians to gain American favor—a stunning shock to the Canadians.


The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War by James Bradley shows that Teddy Roosevelt made it clear that he will get Japan to take Korea by closing the US embassy in Seoul, but won a Nobel Peace Prize for arranging a meeting place between Russia and Japan.

Balance of power considerations shaped Roosevelt's role as the successful mediator who ended the 1904-05 war between Russia and Japan. Japan had clearly won, but was not allowed to grab too much, thus allowing Russia to keep a certain power base in the region. Roosevelt justified his actions as consistent with American interests and American values. Moral principles in politics and diplomacy, Roosevelt claimed, help make clear the inescapable tension between ideals and reality. The moral problem persists, he thought, because diplomacy involves choices often obscured by faulty perception, controlled by national interests and complicated by multiple purposes and goals.[34]

At the time Japan was consolidating its colonial rule over Korea. Roosevelt supported Japan because he viewed Korea as an backward nation fit to be a protectorate of Japan, which he hoped would protect American economic interests in Manchuria, where Japan was largely in control.[35]

Roosevelt Corollary

The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine was a substantial expansion in 1904. Roosevelt asserted the right of the United States to intervene to stabilize the economic affairs of small nations in the Caribbean and Central America if they were unable to pay their international debts and were at risk of intervention by European powers. The new policy primarily prevented intervention by Britain and Germany, which loaned money to the countries that did not repay. The catalyst of the new policy was Germany's aggressiveness in the Venezuela affair of 1902-03. The intervention took the form of takeover of the customs collection and disbursement of the funds to the debtors and claimants. The policy was unpopular abroad.[36]

Mitchener and Weidenmier (2006) show the economic benefits to the small countries. The average debt price for countries under the US "sphere of influence" rose by 74% in response to the pronouncement and actions to make it credible. That is, their bonds rose 74% because buyers now believed they would be repaid. The increase in financial stability reduced internal conflict because political factions could not count on winning control of the national treasury if they won a civil war. The program spurred export growth and better fiscal management, but debt settlements were driven primarily by gunboat diplomacy.[37]

“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” The phrase was initially used by Roosevelt to explain his relations with domestic political leaders; later the phrase was associated with him and came to refer particularly to his foreign policy with Latin America.[38]

Panama Canal

Roosevelt builds the canal—and shovels dirt on Bogota, the capital of Colombia

Roosevelt felt that the Panama Canal was his most important and historically significant international achievement.

Inspired by Alfred Thayer Mahan's extraordinarily influential book The Influence of Sea Power upon History (1890), Roosevelt believed that American security and geopolitical power could be secured only through naval supremacy. This was particularly important in the Caribbean because of its proximity to the United States, European interest in the area and its status as a critical juncture of trade routes. Roosevelt was able to maintain US dominance of the Caribbean without resorting to major military action.[39]

In particular, Roosevelt understood the strategic significance of the Panama Canal, which opened up the Pacific Coast and Asia to cheap shipping and made it possible for the Navy to move rapidly between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

A central issue was which route the canal would take; across Nicaragua and Costa Rica or through the Panama region of Columbia. Intense lobbying resulted in the Congressional decision to follow the Panama route. However, the Colombian Senate rejected the terms of the American Hay-Herran Treaty (1903) and tried to extort more money from the Americans. Roosevelt rejected Colombia's devious strategy and blocked Colombia from suppressing an insurrection in Panama against Colombia. With the success of the revolution, the United States initiated a treaty with the now independent Panama and began construction of the canal, which was completed in 1914.[40]

Break with Taft

The Platform of Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive Party

When Roosevelt's term was up he decided not to run again but chose Secretary of War William Howard Taft as his successor.

Long-term disputes inside the GOP, especially regarding tariffs, and the tension between Eastern industry and Midwest agriculture, pulled the party apart. While Roosevelt was in Africa and Europe, his friends grew alarmed that Taft was betraying the progressive cause by collaborating with reactionaries in the GOP. Roosevelt finally broke with Taft in 1910 but was outmaneuvered by Taft, who won the GOP nomination in 1912. Roosevelt walked out of the convention and the party, running as an independent on his own "Progressive" ticket, nicknamed the "Bull Moose Party". Roosevelt was shot before giving in a speech in Milwaukee. The bullet lodged in a copy of the speech stuffed into his breast pocket, saving his life. He gave the speech anyway that day, beginning the speech with the famous line, "I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose."

Dale Carnegie wrote, "A quarrel between Roosevelt and Taft split the Republican Party.[41]".

Both he and Taft lost to Democrat Woodrow Wilson in the election of 1912. The Taft conservatives, however, kept control of the GOP.


After leaving office, Roosevelt took a trip along the Amazon River and wrote a book about his experience, Through the Brazilian Wilderness. While in South America, Roosevelt contracted malaria and nearly died. At one point, he requested that his expedition leave him behind. His son, Kermit, helped nurse him back to health, and Theodore credited Kermit with saving his life.


More than any president before or since, Roosevelt insisted that conservation of natural resources be high on the agenda. As a world-class hunter and explorer, he mobilized support among American hunters, fishermen and outdoorsmen. He promoted both the national park system and the national forest system. Long before becoming President, Roosevelt believed that large sections of land ought to be under the control of the federal government. In 1892 he wrote:

We need, in the interest of the community at large, a rigid system of game laws rigidly enforced, and it is not only admissible, but one may almost say necessary, to establish, under the control of the State, great national forest reserves, which shall also be breeding grounds and nurseries for wild game.[42]
Roosevelt was a leader in Conservation, fighting to end the waste of natural resources

In the early 20th century there were three main positions. The laissez-faire position held that owners of private property—including lumber and mining companies, should be allowed to do anything they wished for their property.

The conservationists, led by Roosevelt and his ally Gifford Pinchot, said that was too wasteful and inefficient. In any case, they noted, most of the natural resources in the western states were already owned by the federal government. The best course of action, they argued, was a long-term plan devised by national experts to maximize the long-term economic benefits of natural resources.

The third position, led by the Sierra Club, held that nature was almost sacred, and that man was an intruder. It allowed for limited tourism (such as hiking), but opposed automobiles in national parks. It strenuously opposed timber cutting on most public lands and vehemently denounced the dams that Roosevelt supported for water supplies, electricity and flood control.

Especially controversial was the Hetch Hetchy Dam in Yosemite National Park, which was built after Roosevelt had left politics. The dam still stands despite efforts by members of the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations as well as the Sierra Club to demolish the dam. Nancy Pelosi and the California Democratic Party have been staunch critics of these proposals, as the reservoir is used for a back up water supply for Pelosi's district (Don Pedro Reservoir is the main source).

Race and Ethnicity

Roosevelt was keenly sensitive to the issues surrounding race and ethnicity, particularly the heated debated on immigration restriction. He considered himself Dutch, not Anglo-Saxon . He welcomed the vitality of new immigration, while holding that America's first responsibility was to its literate, native-born, working poor. In balancing these competitive goals, the president backed legislation that limited the immigration of poverty- and disease-stricken people regardless of ethnicity. He blocked harsh anti-Japanese efforts in California, but negotiated an informal agreement whereby Japan would no longer send immigrants.

During World War I he attacked certain "hyphenated Americans," especially German-Americans and Irish-Americans, saying they put loyalties to their homeland above American interests.[43]

In recent years, he has been criticized for referring to blacks[44] as "the backward race" and whites as "the forward race".[45][46]

Historian of the frontier

In The Winning of the West, a four-volume history of westward expansion, Roosevelt developed the thesis that the western experience shaped and created a new ethnic group or people (what he called a "race"), the true American people. His ideas helped shape the popular culture, especially since his own cowboy persona exemplified all the strengths of the new people. Meanwhile, Professor Frederick Jackson Turner developed his famous Frontier Thesis, based in part on Roosevelt's ideas. Turner's views came to dominate professional historiography and shaped the teaching of history for a century–and is still influential in the 21st century. Roosevelt and Turner shared the view that the frontier was the most significant force in America's cultural and political development, but Turner stressed the complex social and political processes simulated by the frontier, while Roosevelt emphasized that national growth and progress came from the West. Turner envisioned political problems that could befall America if cheap land resources were exhausted. Roosevelt saw a new, highly capable cohort of ruling elites growing out of the conquest of the frontier and leading America to new frontiers.[47]


Roosevelt once declared:[48]

We must have but one flag. We must also have but one language. That must be the language of the Declaration of Independence, of Washington’s Farewell address, of Lincoln’s Gettysburg speech and second inaugural. We cannot tolerate any attempt to oppose or supplant the language and culture that has come down to us from the builders of this Republic.

In the last year of his life Roosevelt was quoted in the Kansas City Star newspaper about the need for truth in regards to the presidency:

The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.

Turn to the left

A cartoon satirizes Theodore Roosevelt reversing his promise not to seek a third time in office.

About 1907, Roosevelt turned more to the left in domestic policy, and in his 1912 campaign he called for movement toward what would later be called a "welfare state." His move to the left annoyed conservatives and fueled the split in the GOP that exploded in 1912, with Roosevelt on the losing side. His "New Nationalism" and his chivalry predisposed him toward an enlarged protective state, along with his admiration for what the British were doing at the time.[49] Roosevelt preached the manly protection of the family and a state led by manly men who insisted on protecting all women and children. He believed that "the ruin of motherhood and childhood by the merciless exploitation of the labor of women and children is a crime of capital importance." His solution was to support labor's right to bargain collectively and to denounce employers who mistreated women and child workers.[50]

Direct Election of Senators

The direct election of senators (which later became the 17th amendment) was an important initiative for progressives of the era, representing a major shift in policy from the Founding Fathers Constitutional Republic to a form of direct Democracy, with Roosevelt being among the supporters of the idea. He spoke frequently[51] on the campaign trail[52] about the issue, and it is included in the platform of the Bull Moose Party.[53]

Conservative or liberal?

Metaphorically, there were 15 different Roosevelts; conservatives admire 10 of them, liberals admire 10, with some overlap. Conservatives are more apt to admire his patriotic speeches, masculinity and foreign military achievements, his stress on national greatness, his buildup of the nation's military forces, his resolution of the 1902 Coal Strike without forcing business to recognize the unions, his attacks on hyphenated Americans (people with divided loyalty in wartime), and his bold histories of the frontier. Liberals are more likely to admire his domestic agenda of trust-busting and hostility to big business, his promotion of liberal programs in 1907-8 and 1912, his revival push for the income tax and support for the death tax, support for popularly electing senators, support for price controls, his excessive use of executive orders to get around congress, and his break with the GOP in 1912 when he denounced it as too conservative. Ronald Reagan noted in 1972, "I admire 'Teddy' greatly and quote him often."[54]

Conservation was always high on Roosevelt's agenda. His optimal use policy has largely been adopted by conservatives and businessmen, while the Sierra Club and related groups reject Roosevelt's policies.

Everyone admires his amazingly dynamic style and willingness to confront the issues of the day by bringing everyone to the negotiating table, his "big stick" foreign policy, his settlement of the war between Japan and Russia (which led to Roosevelt's winning the Nobel peace prize), and his building of the Panama Canal (though liberals complain he was too rough with Colombia).

During his career, Roosevelt saw himself as a "progressive conservative".[55]

Assassination attempt

On October 14, 1912, John Flammang Schrank attempted to murder Roosevelt. His attempt failed, with Roosevelt recognizing that since he was not coughing up blood, the bullet did not reach his lung. Roosevelt proceeded to give the speech which he was intending, despite warnings from health officials. The title of the speech was "Progressive Cause Greater Than Any Individual". He opened the speech, informing the crowd of the attack. He said "Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot, but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose". The bullet from Schrank had pierced a metal eyeglass case as well as the speech transcript he was carrying.

At the time, it was not considered safe to remove the bullet, so Roosevelt carried the bullet in his chest for the rest of his life.[56]


Life in the White House

Roosevelt relished the presidency and seemed to be everywhere at once. He took Cabinet members and friends on long, fast-paced hikes, boxed in the state rooms of the White House, romped with his children and read voraciously. In 1904, he was permanently blinded in his left eye during one of his boxing bouts, but this injury was kept from the public at the time.[57] His many enthusiastic interests and limitless energy led one ambassador to wryly explain, "You must always remember that the President is about six."[58]

Roosevelt's oldest daughter, Alice Roosevelt, was a controversial character with a tart tongue and a spirit of adventure. When friends asked if he could rein in his elder daughter, Roosevelt said, "I can be President of the United States, or I can attend to Alice." In turn, Alice said of him that he always wanted to be "the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral."[59]

Roosevelt rebuilt the White House building, adding a new West Wing to free up the second floor rooms in the residence that formerly housed the president's staff. To this day, "west Wing" signifies the presidential staff. He and Edith also had the entire house renovated and restored to the federal style, tearing out the Victorian furnishings and details (including Tiffany windows) that had been installed over the previous three decades.

Teddy Bear

The Teddy Bear is named for Theodore Roosevelt. After it was reported that Roosevelt had refused to shoot a bear on a hunting expedition a toy shop owner placed a sign next to a toy bear in his shop window announcing that this was "Teddy's Bear". The name stuck.

Spelling reform

Roosevelt shoots holes in the dictionary as the ghosts of Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dr Johnson moan.

During his presidency, Roosevelt failed in efforts to simplify the spelling of common words. He (and other spelling reformers) wanted to replace "dropped" and "chased" with "dropt" and "chast" and replace "through" with "thru" and "thoroughly" with "thoroly." He tried to force government to adopt the system, sending an order to the Public Printer to use the system in all public documents. The reform annoyed the public, forcing him to rescind the order. Roosevelt told his friend, literary critic Brander Matthews, one of the chief advocates of the reform, "I could not by fighting have kept the new spelling in, and it was evidently worse than useless to go into an undignified contest when I was beaten. Do you know that the one word as to which I thought the new spelling was wrong — thru — was more responsible than anything else for our discomfiture?" Next summer Roosevelt was watching a naval review when a launch marked "Pres Bot" chugged ostentatiously by. The president waved and laughed with delight.[60]

Football reform

Both Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson took an intense interest in the controversy over the reform of college football to make the game more efficient and less brutal. In the 1890s and early 1900s, football faced widespread harsh criticism over injuries and the exaggerated role of athletics in college life. Roosevelt and Wilson, loyal followers of Harvard and Princeton, had defended football in the 1890s. In the fall of 1905, however, Roosevelt called a conference of football experts at the White House to discuss brutality and unsportsmanlike conduct. Thereafter, Roosevelt worked behind the scenes to bring about sufficient reform to preserve football and ensure that it would continue to be played at Harvard. In the years 1909-10, when college football again faced an injury crisis, Woodrow Wilson, president of Princeton University worked with the presidents at Harvard and Yale to make reasonable reforms. Both Roosevelt's and Wilson's approaches were consistent with their strategies for national political change. In the years that followed the reforms on the gridiron, football evolved rapidly into the 'attractive' game that Wilson had advocated and a far less brutal game than the unruly spectacle that Roosevelt had tried to control.[61]

Religion and character

In a speech in 1911 Roosevelt said the King James Version was "the book to which our people owe infinitely the greater part of their store of ethics, infinitely the greater part of their knowledge of how to apply that store to the needs of our every-day life." The former president was characteristically dramatic:

"No other book of any kind ever written in English—perhaps no other book ever written in any other tongue—has ever so affected the whole life of a people as this authorized version of the Scriptures has affected the life of the English-speaking peoples."

Roosevelt could base his conclusions less on specific Christian reasoning than on broad humanitarian appeal. He urged his auditors to study the Bible, not necessarily "as an inspired book," but as an essential volume for every person "who seeks after a high and useful life."[62]

Paradoxically however, Roosevelt was not sworn in on a Bible. He remains the only president in history not to do so.[63]

Like his Roosevelt ancestors, Roosevelt was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church. In Oyster Bay there was no Reformed church, and so from 1887 onward he went to Christ Church (Episcopal) with his wife Edith and the children, where he took part in the service, loudly singing the hymns. In Albany and Washington Roosevelt attended a Dutch Reformed church.

Unlike many presidents, Roosevelt was an enthusiastic churchmen. Biographer George Grant writes,

He grew up in the church, raised his children in the church, and remained in the church into his dying day... His reasoning was simple and straightforward: man was made for covenant.

Roosevelt's personal experience with the Church was a happy one—and he grew great strength from it. As he confessed to his friends, "after a week of wrestling with perplexing problems, it does so rest my soul to come to the House of the Lord and to sing—and to mean it—Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.

[Roosevelt] refrained from hunting, fishing, playing games, or transacting any sort of business on Sunday.[64]

Roosevelt provided Nine Reasons Why a Man Should Go to Church,[65] such as

In this actual world, a churchless community, a community where men have abandoned and scoffed at or ignored their religious needs, is a community on the rapid down grade.
He will listen to and take part in reading some beautiful passages from the Bible. And if he is not familiar with the Bible he has suffered a loss.
He may not hear a good sermon at church. He will hear a sermon by a good man who, with his wife, is engaged all of the week in making hard lives a little easier.
I advocate a man's joining in church work for the sake of showing his faith by his works.[66][67][68]


Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords.[69]
I have always believed that it would also be necessary to give the National Government complete power over the organization and capitalization of all business concerns engaged in inter-State commerce.[70]
A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.
To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
There is not in all America a more dangerous trait than the deification of mere smartness unaccompanied by any sense of moral responsibility.[71]
A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.
Alone of human beings the good and wise mother stands on a plane of equal honor with the bravest soldier; for she has gladly gone down to the brink of the chasm of darkness to bring back the children in whose hands rests the future of the years.[72]
The one thing I want to leave my children is an honorable name."[73]
It is better to be faithful than famous.
There are good men and bad men of all nationalities, creeds and colors; and if this world of ours is ever to become what we hope some day it may become, it must be by the general recognition that the man's heart and soul, the man's worth and actions, determine his standing.[74]
I have a perfect horror of words that are not backed up by deeds.[75]
Men can never escape being governed. Either they must govern themselves or they must submit to being governed by others.[76]
A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.[77]
This country has nothing to fear from the crooked man who fails. We put him in jail. It is the crooked man who succeeds who is a threat to this country.[78]
No man can lead a public career really worth leading, no man can act with rugged independence in serious crises, nor strike at great abuses, nor afford to make powerful and unscrupulous foes, if he is himself vulnerable in his private character.[77]
Criticism is necessary and useful; it is often indispensable; but it can never take the place of action, or be even a poor substitute for it. The function of the mere critic is of very subordinate usefulness. It is the doer of deeds who actually counts in the battle for life, and not the man who looks on and says how the fight ought to be fought, without himself sharing the stress and the danger.(1894)
I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.[79]
The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight.
There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother.[80]
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.[73]
The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything.
...any nation which in its youth lives only for the day, reaps without sowing, and consumes without husbanding, must expect the penalty of the prodigal whose labor could with difficulty find him the bare means of life.[81]
Conservation means development as much as it does protection. I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us."[82]
Is America a weakling, to shrink from the work of the great world powers? No! The young giant of the West stands on a continent and clasps the crest of an ocean in either hand. Our nation, glorious in youth and strength, looks into the future with eager eyes and rejoices as a strong man to run a race.[83]
Now to you men, who, in your turn, have come together to spend and be spent in the endless crusade against wrong, to you who face the future resolute and confident, to you who strive in a spirit of brotherhood for the betterment of our Nation, to you who gird yourselves for this great new fight in the never-ending warfare for the good of humankind, I say in closing what in that speech I said in closing: We stand at Armageddon, and we battle for the Lord[84]
No abounding of material prosperity shall avail us if our spiritual senses atrophy. The foes of our own household shall prevail against us unless there be in our people an inner life which finds its outer expression in a morality like that preached by the seers and prophets of God when the grandeur that was Greece and the glory that was Rome still lay in the future.[85]
Every thinking man, when he thinks, realizes that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole social and civic life that it would be literally impossible to figure what life would be like if these standards were removed. We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals.[86]
There are those who believe that a new modernity demands a new morality. What they fail to consider is the harsh reality that there is no such thing as a new morality. There is only one morality. All else is immorality. There is only true Christian ethics over against which stands the whole of paganism. If we are to fulfill our destiny as a people, then we must return to the old morality, the sole morality. And if we are to do that the church must prepare us for the task.[87]
[T]he teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally….impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teachings were removed.[88]

In modern culture

Joe Wiegand is a well known Roosevelt impersonator, who has traveled the country lecturing about the life of Theodore Roosevelt.[89]

See also



  • Buenker, John D. and Joseph Buenker, eds. Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. (3 vol 2005), 1280pp; articles on all the major people, events and causes of Roosevelt's era
  • Mowry, George. The Era of Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of Modern America, 1900–1912. (1954) general survey of era


  • Brands, H.W. T.R.: The Last Romantic (1998), scholarly biography online edition
  • Chessman, G. Wallace. Theodore Roosevelt and the Politics of Power, (1969), short biography by scholar
  • Cooper, John Milton The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. (1983), well-written a dual scholarly biography excerpt and text search
  • Dalton, Kathleen. Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life. (2002), full scholarly biography that stresses his late crusade for social welfare excerpt and text search
  • Harbaugh, William Henry. The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. (1963), full scholarly biography; good on politics
  • Keller, Morton, ed., Theodore Roosevelt: A Profile (1967) excerpts from Roosevelt and from historians.
  • McCullough, David. Mornings on Horseback, The Story of an Extraordinary Family. a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt. (2001) popular biography to 1884 excerpt and text search
  • Morris, Edmund. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, to 1901 (1979); vol 2: Theodore Rex 1901–1909. (2001); Pulitzer prize for Volume 1. Biography; unusually well-written and well-researched vol 1 excerpt and text search
  • O'Toole, Patricia. When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt after the White House. (2005). 494 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Pringle, Henry F. Theodore Roosevelt (1931; 2nd ed. 1956), scholarly political biography - highly recommended
  • Putnam, Carleton Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography, Volume I: The Formative Years (1958), only volume published, to age 28; written by prominent conservative

Scholarly studies

  • Barsness,John A. "Theodore Roosevelt as Cowboy: The Virginian as Jacksonian Man." American Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Autumn, 1969), pp. 609–619 in JSTOR
  • Blum, John Morton The Republican Roosevelt. (1954). Influential essays that examine how Roosevelt did politics
  • Brinkley, Douglas. The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America (2009), best coverage of Roosevelt and conservation excerpt and text search
  • Burton, David H. Taft, Roosevelt, and the Limits of Friendship, (2005) online edition
  • Chace, James. 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft, and Debs - The Election That Changed the Country. (2004). 323 pp; popular account excerpt and text search
  • Cutright, Paul Russell. Theodore Roosevelt: The Making of a Conservationist (1985)
  • Dorsey, Leroy G., and Rachel M. Harlow, "'We Want Americans Pure and Simple': Theodore Roosevelt and the Myth of Americanism," Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2003, pp. 55–78 in Project Muse
  • Ellsworth, Clayton S. "Theodore Roosevelt's Country Life Commission." Agricultural History, Vol. 34, No. 4 (Oct., 1960), pp. 155–172 in JSTOR
  • Dyer, Thomas G. Theodore Roosevelt and the Idea of Race (1980)
  • Fehn, Bruce. "Theodore Roosevelt and American Masculinity." Magazine of History (2005) 19(2): 52–59. Issn: 0882-228x Fulltext online at Ebsco. Provides a lesson plan on TR as the historical figure who most exemplifies the quality of masculinity.
  • Friedenberg, Robert V. Theodore Roosevelt and the Rhetoric of Militant Decency (1990) online edition
  • Gerstle, Gary. "Theodore Roosevelt and the Divided Character of American Nationalism," The Journal of American History, Vol. 86, No. 3, (Dec., 1999), pp. 1280–1307 in JSTOR
  • Gosnell, Harold F. Boss Platt and His New York Machine: A Study of the Political Leadership of Thomas C. Platt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Others (1924) online edition
  • Gould, Lewis L. The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. (1991), standard history of his domestic and foreign policy as president
    • Gatewood, Willard B. "The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. by Lewis L. Gould" Reviews in American History, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Dec., 1992), pp. 512–517 in JSTOR
  • Havig, Alan. "Presidential Images, History, and Homage: Memorializing Theodore Roosevelt, 1919-1967 ". American Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 4 (Autumn, 1978), pp. 514–532 IN jstor
  • Johnson, Arthur M. "Theodore Roosevelt and the Bureau of Corporations". The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 45, No. 4 (Mar., 1959), pp. 571–590 in JSTOR
  • Millard, Candice. River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey. (2005), exploring the Amazon
  • Mowry, George E. Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement. (2001) focus on 1912
  • Mowry, George E. "Theodore Roosevelt and the Election of 1910," The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 25, No. 4 (Mar., 1939), pp. 523–534 in JSTOR
  • Oyos, Matthew M. "Theodore Roosevelt, Congress, and the Military: U.S. Civil-Military Relations in the Early Twentieth Century," Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 30, 2000 online edition
  • Pietrusza, David. "TR's Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, the Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy" Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2018.
  • Powell, Jim. Bully Boy: The Truth About Theodore Roosevelt's Legacy (2006). Denounces TR policies from libertarian perspective; poorly researched
  • Rhodes, James Ford. The McKinley and Roosevelt Administrations, 1897-1909 (1922) online edition
  • Scheiner, Seth M. "President Theodore Roosevelt and the Negro, 1901-1908," The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 47, No. 3 (Jul., 1962), pp. 169–182 in JSTOR
  • Slotkin, Richard. "Nostalgia and Progress: Theodore Roosevelt's Myth of the Frontier," American Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 5, (Winter, 1981), pp. 608–637 in JSTOR
  • Testi, Arnaldo. "The Gender of Reform Politics: Theodore Roosevelt and the Culture of Masculinity," The Journal of American History, Vol. 81, No. 4 (Mar., 1995), pp. 1509–1533 in JSTOR
  • Watts, Sarah. Rough Rider in the White House: Theodore Roosevelt and the Politics of Desire. (2003). 289 pp.

Foreign and military affairs

  • Beale Howard K. Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power. (1956). standard history of his foreign policy
  • Buchanan, Russell. "Theodore Roosevelt and American Neutrality, 1914-1917," The American Historical Review, Vol. 43, No. 4 (Jul., 1938), pp. 775–790 in JSTOR
  • Burton, David H. "Theodore Roosevelt: Confident Imperialist" The Review of Politics, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Jul., 1961), pp. 356–377 in JSTOR
  • Burton, David H. "Theodore Roosevelt's Social Darwinism and Views on Imperialism," Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1965), pp. 103–118 in JSTOR
  • Collin, Richard H. "Symbiosis Versus Hegemony: New Directions in the Foreign Relations Historiography of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft." Diplomatic History 1995 19(3): 473-497 online in EBSCO
  • Gould, Lewis L. The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. (1991), standard history of his domestic and foreign policy as president
  • Holmes, James R. Theodore Roosevelt and World Order: Police Power in International Relations. 2006. 328 pp. case studies of intervention in the Philippines, Cuba, Venezuela, Panama, Santo Domingo, and Morocco
  • Marks III, Frederick W. Velvet on Iron: The Diplomacy of Theodore Roosevelt (1979)
  • McCullough, David. The Path between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870–1914 (1977).
  • Neu, Charles E. "Theodore Roosevelt and American Involvement in the Far East, 1901-1909," The Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 35, No. 4 (Nov., 1966), pp. 433–449 in JSTOR
  • Oyos, Matthew M. "Theodore Roosevelt and the Implements of War," The Journal of Military History, Vol. 60, No. 4 (Oct., 1996), pp. 631–655 in JSTOR
  • Ricard, Serge. "The Roosevelt Corollary." Presidential Studies Quarterly 2006 36(1): 17–26. Issn: 0360-4918 online edition
  • Stillson, Albert C. "Military Policy Without Political Guidance: Theodore Roosevelt's Navy," Military Affairs, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Spring, 1961), pp. 18–31 in JSTOR
  • Tilchin, William N. and Neu, Charles E., ed. Artists of Power: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Their Enduring Impact on U.S. Foreign Policy. Praeger, 2006. 196 pp. online edition
  • Tilchin, William N. Theodore Roosevelt and the British Empire: A Study in Presidential Statecraft (1997)

Primary sources

  • Auchincloss, Louis, ed. Theodore Roosevelt, The Rough Riders and an Autobiography (Library of America, 2004) ISBN 978-1-93108265-5; Theodore Roosevelt, Letters and Speeches (Library of America, 2004) ISBN 978-1-93108266-2
  • Brands, H.W. ed. The Selected Letters of Theodore Roosevelt. (2001)
  • Butt, Archie. The Letters of Archie Butt, Personal Aide to President Roosevelt, (1924) online edition
  • Gould, Lewis L., ed. Bull Moose on the Stump: The 1912 Campaign Speeches of Theodore Roosevelt. (2008). 256 pages,
  • Harbaugh, William ed. The Writings Of Theodore Roosevelt (1967). A one-volume selection of Roosevelt's speeches and essays.
  • Hart, Albert Bushnell and Herbert Ronald Ferleger, eds. Theodore Roosevelt Cyclopedia (1941), Roosevelt's opinions on many issues; online version at [2]
  • Morison, Elting E., John Morton Blum, and Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., eds., The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt, 8 vols. (1951–1954). Very large, annotated edition of letters from TR.
  • Roosevelt, Theodore. Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography (1910). online at
  • Roosevelt, Theodore. The Works of Theodore Roosevelt (National edition, 20 vol. 1926); 18,000 pages containing most of TR's speeches, books and essays, but not his letters; a CD-ROM edition is available; some of TR's books are available online through Project Bartleby
  • Theodore Roosevelt books and speeches on Project Gutenberg
  • Roosevelt, Theodore. "Theodore Roosevelt on Motherhood and the Welfare of the State," Population and Development Review, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Mar., 1987), pp. 141–147 in JSTOR
  • Shaw, Albert, ed. A Cartoon History of Roosevelt's Career (1910) full text and cartoons online


  3. Roosevelt was not a "progressive" as that term is used today, and the party which he headed was called the "Bull Moose" Party in recognition of Roosevelt's leadership of it for a relatively brief time.
  4. See "Theodore Roosevelt on Motherhood and the Welfare of the State," Population and Development Review, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Mar., 1987), pp. 141-147 online
  5. Burke, Jack H. (July 11, 2019) Theodore Roosevelt Considered Abortion ‘Pre-Natal Infanticide’ National Review. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  6. Theodore Roosevelt, A Biography 305 (1913)[1]
  7. Brands (2001) p. 49–50
  8. His inheritance was worth $8000 a year, about triple what the average doctor or lawyer earned.
  9. Edward Kohn, "Crossing the Rubicon: Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and the 1884 Republican National Convention." Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 2006 5(1): 18-45. Issn: 1537-7814
  10. Frank Freidel, The Splendid Little War, (Boston: Little, Brown and Co. 1958)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Roosevelt Medal of Honor
  12. Conditions in Stockyards Described in the Neill-Reynolds Report, Chicago Tribune
  13. James Harvey Young, "The Pig That Fell into the Privy: Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle' and the Meat Inspection Amendments of 1906." Bulletin of the History of Medicine 1985 59(4): 467-480
  14. Most homes and apartments were heated with anthracite or "hard" coal because it had higher heat value and less smoke than "soft" or bituminous coal.
  15. Albro Martin, "The Troubled Subject of Railroad Regulation in the Gilded Age - a Reappraisal." Journal of American History 1974 61(2): 339-371 in JSTOR
  16. Dorsey, Leroy G., "Theodore Roosevelt and Corporate America, 1901-1909: a Reexamination," Presidential Studies Quarterly 1995 25(4): 725-739
  17. The Debate Over Executive Orders Began With Teddy Roosevelt’s Mad Passion for Conservation
  18. Theodore Roosevelt, Conservation, and the 1908 Governors' Conference
  19. (1984) The President, Congress, and the Constitution: Power and Legitimacy in American Politics. Simon and Schuster, 68–69. ISBN 978-0029253809. 
  20. TR: No Friend of the Constitution. Cato Institute (November/December 2002).
  21. (1997) The Making of US Foreign Policy. Manchester University Press, 56–57. ISBN 978-0719048227. 
  22. (1913) Theodore Roosevelt, an Autobiography. Charles Scribner's sons. 
  23. (May 2, 2013) Take Up Your Pen: Unilateral Presidential Directives in American Politics. University of Pennsylvania Press, 31–33. ISBN 978-0-8122-4511-0. 
  24. (1916) Our chief magistrate and his powers. Columbia University Press, 139–140. 
  25. Theodore Roosevelt : Political Cartoons : "Race Suicide" Controversy
  26. [When some eugenists wrote about "race", they meant "Human Race" and not racial superiority]
  27. The Outlook, Volume 106
  28. T. Roosevelt letter to C. Davenport about "degenerates reproducing"
  29. Thomas G. Dyer, Theodore Roosevelt and the Idea of Race (1980), p. 160
  30. M. Patrick Cullinane, "Invoking Teddy: the Inspiration of John Mccain's Foreign Policy." Diplomacy & Statecraft 2008 19(4): 767-786
  31. Matthew M. Oyos, "Theodore Roosevelt and the Implements of War." Journal of Military History 1996 60(4): 631-655 25p
  32. Peri E. Arnold, "Policy Leadership in the Progressive Presidency: the Case of Theodore Roosevelt's Naval Policy and His Search for Strategic Resources". Studies in American Political Development 1996 10(2): 333-359
  33. James R. Reckner, "The Rebirth of the Fleet." Naval History 2007 21(6): 16-25 online at EBSCO; Edward S Miller,War Plan Orange (1991)
  34. Greg Russell, "Theodore Roosevelt's Diplomacy and the Quest for Great Power Equilibrium in Asia." Presidential Studies Quarterly 2008 38(3): 433-455
  35. Ki-jung Kim, "Theodore Roosevelt's Image of the World and United States Foreign Policy Toward Korea, 1901-1905." Korea Journal 1995 35(4): 39-53 1
  36. Serge Ricard, "The Roosevelt Corollary." Presidential Studies Quarterly 2006 36(1): 17-26. Issn: 0360-4918, online
  37. Kris James Mitchener and Marc Weidenmier, "Empire, Public Goods, and the Roosevelt Corollary." Journal of Economic History 2005 65(3): 658-692. Issn: 0022-0507; online
  38. Big Stick Policy.
  39. James R. Holmes, "Roosevelt's Pursuit of a Temperate Caribbean Policy." Naval History 2006 20(4): 48-53 in EBSCO
  40. David McCullough, The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 (1978) excerpt and text search
  41. Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People, page 6
  42. The Wilderness Hunter, 1892, p. 270
  43. The German-Americans did not support Germany, but did want the U.S. to remain neutral. The Irish Catholics were so hostile to Britain that they did not want the U.S. to support it.
  44. Presidential addresses and state papers
  45. The (Not So) Secret Racist Moments of American Presidents
  46. Teddy Roosevelt discusses America’s race problem
  47. Richard Slotkin, "Theodore Roosevelt's Frontier Hypothesis," European Contributions to American Studies 1989 16: 44-71
  48. Theodore Roosevelt, "The Children of the Crucible," 14 Annals of America 1916-1928, 129, at 130 (1968).
  49. David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, key leaders of the British Liberal Party, started the welfare state in Britain, 1908-11, with unemployment insurance and old age pensions; American conservatives accepted these policies by the 1950s.
  50. Kathleen Dalton, Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life (2004)
  51. (April 3, 1912) Who is a Progressive?, 8–9, 15. 
  52. (1912) A Charter of Democracy: Address by Hon. Theodore Roosevelt, Ex-president of the United States, Before the Ohio Constitutional Convention on February 21, 1912. U.S. Government Printing Office, 9. 
  53. (1913) Progressive Principles: Selections from Addresses Made During the Presidential Campaign of 1912. Progressive national service, 315. 
  54. Text in Ronald Reagan Reagan: A Life in Letters (2004) p 266
  55. Lurie, Jonathan. "William Howard Taft: The Travails of a Progressive Conservative. New York, New York, USA: Cambridge University Press, 2012": 196.
  56. Theodore Roosevelt Dies Suddenly at Oyster Bay Home; Nation Shocked, Pays Tribute to Former President; Our Flag on All Seas and in All Lands at Half Mast, The New York Times
  57. Brands, (1997) 565
  58. Cecil Spring Rice, The Letters and Friendships of Sir Cecil Spring-Rice, (1929) p 437
  59. Carol Felsenthal, Princess Alice: The Life and Times of Alice Roosevelt Longsworth (1988) pp. 60, 105
  60. Pringle 465-7; Brands 555ff
  61. John S. Watterson, "Political Football: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and the Gridiron Reform Movement." Presidential Studies Quarterly 1995 25(3): 555-564
  62. Mark Noll, "'The Most Democratic Book in the World'" Christian History & Biography 2008 (99): 26-29 in EBSCO
  63. Library of Congress Presidential Inauguration Precedents and Notable Events
  64. THE RELIGION of THEODORE ROOSEVELT Relative little has been written on Roosevelt 's religion, although a book, ROOSEVELT'S RELIGION by Christian Reisner, George Grant, "The courage and character of Theodore Roosevelt. A hero among leaders.", pp. 170,71
  66. The Works of Theodore Roosevelt - National Edition, H-BAR Enterprises
  70. Theodore Roosevelt, an Autobiography, p. 560
  71. Abilene, KS, May 2, 1903
  72. The Great Adventure, 1918
  73. 73.0 73.1 Chicago, IL, April 10, 1899
  74. Letter, Oyster Bay, NY, September 1, 1903
  75. Oyster Bay, NY, July 7, 1915
  76. Jamestown, VA, April 26, 1907
  77. 77.0 77.1 An Autobiography, 1913
  78. Memphis, TN, October 25, 1905
  79. Des Moines, Iowa, November 4, 1910
  80. Pasadena, CA, May 8, 1903
  81. Arbor Day - A Message to the School-Children of the United States" April 15, 1907
  82. The New Nationalism" speech, Osawatomie, Kansas, August 31, 1910
  83. Letter to John Hay, American Ambassador to the Court of St. James, London, Written in Washington, DC, June 7, 1897
  84. A Confession of Faith, delivered in Chicago, Illinois, 6 August 1912
  85. Theodore Roosevelt, The Foes of Our Own Household, New York, 1917, p.132
  86. James Willis, The Letters and Speeches of Theodore Roosevelt, 1937, p.86
  87. David Johnson, Theodore Roosevelt: American Monarch, 1981, p.91
  88. Ferdinand Cowle Iglehart, D.D., Theodore Roosevelt, The Man As I Knew Him (New York: The Christian Herald, 1919), p. 307.
  89. The Teddy Roosevelt Show - Joe Wiegand

External links