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The First Modern American President

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Presentation on theme: "The First Modern American President"— Presentation transcript:

1 The First Modern American President 1858-1919
“Teddy” The First Modern American President

2 A Timeline of Early Occupations

3 Civil Service Commissioner
Assemblyman Colonel U.S. Coast Guard Governor of New York Naturalist Author Vice-President President

4 Born with asthma, TR “forced his body” to become strong through exercise.
Because of his sickness, much of his schooling was at home, through tutors. He briefly attended Harvard later in life, and built friendships there. His favorite sports including sculling and boxing, at which he excelled. His life took an abrupt left turn on February 14,1884.

5 On that day his wife Alice, weak from the birth of birth of their first child, died. As he was mourning, he received news that his mother had also died that day. He took refuge in the wild lands of North Dakota, working in various outdoor jobs. There he gained an appreciation of the outdoors and a reputation as a woodsman.

6 In 1886 TR married his childhood friend Edith. They had six children.
By this point he had done the following: New York state legislator, author, Civil Service Commissioner, and author of various books. Later he would become New York city’s police commissioner, Governor of New York state, and Vice President of the United States. The goal was to put him somewhere that he could be safely ignored.

7 In 1898 TR raised a volunteer regiment, which included cowboys and schoolboys (typically college athletes) as those who knew him from various times in his life joined to fight the Spanish in Cuba. On July 1, 1898, the Rough Riders would play a critical role on Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill during the battle of San Juan Heights. TR led one charge on horseback and one charge on foot, inspiring his troops but exposing himself to enemy fire.

8 When President McKinley was shot at in Buffalo, NY in 1901, TR became the youngest person ever to become President. He was only 42. This elicited a quote from Mark Hanna, who was a “party boss” in New York: “Now look. That d-----d cowboy is President of the United States!

9 The famous bear hunt in 1902 would forever link Theodore Roosevelt and the "Teddy" bear in political cartoons, children's stories and toys. The bear hunt had been unsuccessful and the guides and dogs captured an old female bear and tied it to a tree for the President to get "his shot". TR refused. Political cartoonist Clifford Berryman captured both the sportsmanship and the politics of the day in his cartoons.

10 As President, TR was a seething mass of contradictions
As President, TR was a seething mass of contradictions. He was best known for: The “Bully Pulpit” “Trust-busting” “The Square Deal” The Panama Canal “Big Stick” Diplomacy Conservationism “The Bull Moose Party” As TR’s presidency matured, he became the model for future modern Presidents.

11 Teddy Roosevelt considered public office to be a “bully pulpit”—an opportunity to present his view of America and American life. (“Bully” for TR meant “wonderful.”) Rather than working through the system, Roosevelt preferred to take his case directly to the people. However, he was very much also a believer in the political process, and a lifelong politician.

12 Roosevelt earned the reputation as a “trust-buster.”
“Trust” – a monopoly over production or sale of merchandise “Trust-busting”– Using the power of the government to force trusts to break up into smaller companies Railroads Pure Food and Drug Act Sherman Anti-Trust Act

13 However, TR actually oversaw the creation of more trusts in his time as President that he broke up. It was up to his successor, Taft, to give full force to the (mostly toothless) Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Some historians have characterized TR’s attitudes towards the trusts as “with this hand I take away, and with the other hand I give.”


15 He promised Americans a “square deal”:
TR came up with a campaign slogan that typified his populist, trust-busting, I-can-take-of-it type of approach: He promised Americans a “square deal”: conservation of natural resources control of corporations consumer protection Later he added: Protection from activist courts. This would become the basis for future campaigns.

16 One major project TR pushed for was the building of the Panama Canal in Considered impossible due to yellow fever , TR pushed it through as a strategic imperative for the US fleet. Millions of dollars were spent on mosquito abatement to make the canal construction possible. Spending millions to build a canal in a foreign country made sense to TR.

17 “Big-stick” diplomacy referred to TR’s famous saying, that it life it often pays to “speak softly and carry a big stick.” The U.S. most visible “big stick”? The “great white fleet,” which sailed around the world in 1907. Oddly enough, he also won a Nobel peace prize in 1906 for preventing war between Japan and Russia, and later between Germany and France.


19 Regarding conservation, TR was no less a puzzle
Regarding conservation, TR was no less a puzzle. He was a dedicated conservationist, who pushed through the setting aside of dozens of national parks. The National Park Service was a legacy of the Roosevelt presidency. He also was a dedicated hunter and naturalist. He identified and brought hundreds of species to the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History from his expedition to East Africa with son Kermit (shown sitting next to TR), after leaving the office of President.

20 Finally, after returning, in 1912 he ran against his hand-picked successor, Taft, under a third-party called the Progressive or “Bull Moose Party.” This name came from TR’s reply when asked about his health: “I am as fit as a bull moose.” The only real effect of this party was to split the Republican vote and allow Wilson to win. TR retired, although he volunteered to raise a unit and go fight in World War I ( ). He died in 1919.

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