Theodore Roosevelt 26th President of the United States
Background • Theodore Roosevelt was born the son of wealthy parents • He had been very sick and frail as a child • Theodore decided to set his goal on physical strength and fitness as a teen • At Harvard he joined the boxing and wrestling teams • He began his career in politics while in college
Roosevelt entered the political arena of NY City. He battled political bosses and became a strong opponent of them. • He later held a key role in the defense department overseeing the Navy. • He won fame as a “Rough Rider” during the Spanish American war.
Roosevelt’s fame won him a spot as William McKinley’s Vice President during McKinley’s second term of office. • Upon McKinley’s assassination in 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest man to ever be a President of the US at age 42.
President Roosevelt was a man of action and realized that his position as President afforded him the power of change. • On one of his many hunting trips Roosevelt spared the life of a bear cub. Newspaper cartoonists caught on to the story and called the cub “Teddy’s Bear.” Soon a toy maker borrowed the idea for making stuffed bears.
The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt • The Square Deal Program…. • Progressive reform
Roosevelt called his office the “Bully Pulpit” • He felt that he could influence the media, Congress, and even the world.
Square Deal Progressivism • Coal Miner’s strike of 1902 • The strike threatened to deny the nation of coal for the upcoming winter • Roosevelt treats the striking workers and the mine owners as equals • Roosevelt invites everyone to the White House to discuss terms • The success of the meeting proved that the government could intervene in a strike crisis
Square Deal Progressivism • Trust Busting • Roosevelt realized that Trusts controlled most of America’s businesses. • Roosevelt wants government regulation of big businesses. He uses the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to prosecute 44 trusts.
Square Deal Progressivism • Roosevelt strengthens the Interstate Commerce Commission through the Elkins Act • This act denied rebates for railroad companies and stabilized shipping rates
Square Deal Progressivism • Roosevelt has Congress pass the Hepburn Act which limited the distribution of Railroad passes and allowed the Interstate Commerce Commission to set maximum railroad rates.
Roosevelt loved the Great Outdoors • He consults two of the world’s best conservationists and preservationists, John Muir and Gifford Pinchot • Muir believed in Preserving Nature as it is without ever disturbing it. • Pinchot believed in conserving resources for later use. • Roosevelt names Pinchot as head of US Forestry Service
Roosevelt pushes congress to act on conserving America’s natural wonders and resources • National Parks are created at Yellowstone and elsewhere • National Reclamation Act of 1902 funds irrigation projects for farmers • National Forests are designed to conserve our timber resources
Roosevelt and Civil Rights • Roosevelt promoted African Americans to offices in the government although he received much criticism for it • The NAACP is founded
End of Roosevelt’s Presidency • Roosevelt served two terms. He decided to step down and he prepared William Howard Taft to succeed him. • Taft wins the Presidency however he makes such a mess of things that Roosevelt tries to run for a third term in 1912. • The Republican party chooses Taft over Roosevelt for its candidate. Roosevelt protests and forms his own party called the “Bull Moose” Party. His party runs on a progressive platform
While on the campaign trail, Roosevelt is shot by an insane man. Roosevelt’s glasses case and thick speech papers saved his life. Though badly wounded in the chest, Roosevelt drives on and gives an hour long speech to supporters before going to the hospital for treatment • The Bull Moose Party • 1. Direct Primary for political parties • 2. Initiative, recall, and referendums need to be allowed for voters. • 3. Women need the right to vote, an 8hour workday, and no child labor
Roosevelt looses the election because Republican voters split between Taft and Roosevelt. • The democratic candidate Woodrow Wilson wins the election • Roosevelt retires to his home in New York and dies a few years later