Stefan Brandt • Universität Siegen • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • TALK • ›The finest type of existing marriage‹ • Family and Statehood • in Theodore Roosevelt’s Writings Annual Conference of the DGfA, Heidelberg May 15-18, 2008 The American Presidency and Political Leadership Workshop 6, »Family Values: The Politics of Private Representation«
I. Teddy Roosevelt – The ›Family President‹ II. T.R. and the Role of Women III. T.R.’s Concept of Family and Statehood
I. Teddy Roosevelt – The ›Family President‹ »I don't think that any family has ever enjoyed the White House more than we have. I was thinking about it just this morning when Mother and I took breakfast on the portico and afterwards walked about the lovely grounds and looked at the stately historic old house. It is a wonderful privilege to have been here and to have been given the chance to do this work […].« Letter to Kermit, June 21, 1904, T.R., Letters to His Children (1919)
I. Teddy Roosevelt – The ›Family President‹ »One night I came up-stairs and found Quentin playing the pianola as hard as he could, while Archie would suddenly start from the end of the hall where the pianola was, and, accompanied by both the dogs, race as hard as he could the whole length of the White House clean to the other end of the hall and then tear back again. Another evening as I came up-stairs I found Archie and Quentin having a great play, chuckling with laughter, Archie driving Quentin by his suspenders, which were fixed to the end of a pair of woollen reins. Then they would ambush me and we would have a vigorous pillow-fight […].« Letter to Kermit, March 19, 1906, T.R., Letters to His Children (1919)
Alice Ted, Jr. Kermit Ethel Archie T.R. Edith Roosevelt Quentin
II. T.R. and the Role of Women II. T.R. and the Role of Women »There are certain old truths, which will be true as long as this world endures, and which no amount of progress can alter. One of these is the truth that the primary duty of the husband is to be the home-maker, the bread-winner for his wife and children, and that the primary duty of the woman is to be the helpmeet, the housewife and mother.« T.R., »The American Woman as Mother.« In: The Ladies’ Home Journal, July 1905. »race suicide«
II. T.R. and the Role of Women II. T.R. and the Role of Women »The Woman who is a Good Wife, a good mother, is entitled to our respect as no one else; but she is entitled to it only because, and so long as she is worthy of it. Effort and self-sacrifice are the law of worthy life for the man as for the woman; though neither the effort nor the self-sacrifice may be the same for the one as for the other.« T.R., »The American Woman as Mother.« In: The Ladies’ Home Journal, July 1905. Are Women Retaliating on Men? Grover Cleveland, »Woman’s Mission and Woman’s Clubs.« In: The Ladies’ Home Journal, May 1905.
II. T.R. and the Role of Women II. T.R. and the Role of Women »…woman suffrage wherever the women wish it.« T.R., American Problems (1910) »The vital need for women, as for men, is to war against vice, and frivolity, and cold selfishness, and timid shrinking from necessary risk and effort.« T.R., American Problems (1910) Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)
II. T.R. and the Role of Women II. T.R. and the Role of Women »The highest ideal of the family [can be obtained] only where the father and the mother stand to each other as lovers and friends.« T.R., »National Life and Character« (1894) »The important thing to work for in marriage is to raise the average marriage relations to those that already obtain in the finest type of existing marriage.« T.R., American Problems (1910)
II. T.R. and the Role of Women III. T.R.‘s Concept of Family and Statehood »In the last analysis, the welfare of the State depends absolutely upon whether or not the average family, the average man and woman and their children represent the kind of citizenship fit for the foundation of a great nation; and if we fail to appreciate this we will fail to appreciate the root morality upon which all healthy civilization is based.« T.R., »The American Woman as Mother.« In: The Ladies’ Home Journal, July 1905. »homely duties« <=> »stately duties«
II. T.R. and the Role of Women Conclusion »The family is the bedrock of our nation, but it is also the engine that gives our country life. […] It’s for our families that we work and labor, so we can join around the dinner table, bring our children up the right way, care for our parents, and reach out to those less fortunate. It is the power of the family that holds the Nation together, that gives America her conscience, and that serves as the cradle of our country’s soul.« Ronald Reagan, public speech held in Chicago, Sept. 30. 1988.