Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt

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Roosevelt (1904)

The presidency of Theodore Roosevelt began on September 14, 1901, when he became the 26th President of the United States upon the assassination and death of President William McKinley, and ended on March 4, 1909. Roosevelt had been Vice President of the United States for only 194 days when he succeeded to the presidency. A Republican, he ran for and won a full four-year term as president in 1904, easily defeating Democratic nominee Alton B. Parker. After the Republican victory in the 1908 presidential election, Roosevelt was succeeded by his protege and chosen successor, William Howard Taft.

Roosevelt, a Progressive reformer, earned a reputation as a "trust buster" through his regulatory reforms and anti-trust prosecutions. His presidency saw the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, which established the Food and Drug Administration to regulate food safety, and the Hepburn Act, which increased the regulatory power of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Roosevelt took care, however, to show that he did not disagree with trusts and capitalism in principle, but was only against monopolistic practices. His "Square Deal" included regulation of railroad rates and pure foods and drugs; he saw it as a fair deal for both the average citizen and the businessmen. Sympathetic to both business and labor, Roosevelt avoided labor strife, most notably negotiating a settlement to the great Coal Strike of 1902. His great love was nature and he vigorously promoted the conservation movement, emphasizing efficient use of natural resources. He dramatically expanded the system of national parks and national forests. After 1906, he moved to the left, attacking big business and anti-labor decisions of the courts.

In foreign affairs, Roosevelt sought to uphold the Monroe Doctrine and establish the United States as a strong naval power. He inherited the colonial empire acquired in the Spanish-American War; while he ended the U.S. military presence in Cuba, he committed to a long-term occupation of the Philippines. Much of his foreign policy focused on the threats posed by Japan in the Pacific Ocean and Germany in the Caribbean Sea. Seeking to avoid the presence of European empires in the Western Hemisphere, Roosevelt mediated the Venezuela Crisis and declared the Roosevelt Corollary, in which the U.S. promised to uphold legitimate European claims on Latin American countries. Roosevelt also mediated the Russo-Japanese War, for which he won the Nobel Prize. He pursued closer relations with Great Britain, allowing for the beginning of the construction of the Panama Canal, which increased U.S. security and trade opportunities.

Historian Thomas Bailey, who generally disagreed with Roosevelt's policies, nevertheless concluded, "Roosevelt was a great personality, a great activist, a great preacher of the moralities, a great controversialist, a great showman. He dominated his era as he dominated conversations...the masses loved him; he proved to be a great popular idol and a great vote getter."[1] His image stands alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln on Mount Rushmore. Although Roosevelt has been criticized by some for his perceived imperialist stance, he is often ranked by historians among the top-five greatest U.S. Presidents of all time.[2][3]


Roosevelt's Inauguration

Roosevelt had served as Governor of New York from 1899 to 1900 before winning election as Vice President of the United States in the 1900 election. Roosevelt became president following the assassination of William McKinley, who was shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz in Buffalo, New York on September 6, 1901, and died on September 14. Roosevelt was sworn into office on the day of McKinley's death at the Ansley Wilcox House in Buffalo. John R. Hazel, U.S. District Judge for the Western District of New York, administered the oath of office.[4] Being a few weeks short of his 43rd birthday, Roosevelt became the youngest president in U.S. history, a distinction he still retains.[5]

When asked whether he was ready to take the oath, Roosevelt answered,[6]

I will take the oath. And in this hour of deep and terrible national bereavement, I wish to state that it shall be my aim to continue, absolutely without variance, the policy of President McKinley, for the peace and honor of our beloved country.



The Roosevelt Cabinet
Office Name Term
President Theodore Roosevelt 1901–1909
Vice President Charles Fairbanks 1905–1909
Secretary of State John Hay 1901–1905
Elihu Root 1905–1909
Robert Bacon 1909
Secretary of Treasury Lyman J. Gage 1901–1902
Leslie M. Shaw 1902–1907
George B. Cortelyou 1907–1909
Secretary of War Elihu Root 1901–1904
William Howard Taft 1904–1908
Luke E. Wright 1908–1909
Attorney General Philander C. Knox 1901–1904
William H. Moody 1904–1906
Charles J. Bonaparte 1906–1909
Postmaster General Charles E. Smith 1901–1902
Henry C. Payne 1902–1904
Robert J. Wynne 1904–1905
George B. Cortelyou 1905–1907
George von L. Meyer 1907–1909
Secretary of the Navy John D. Long 1901–1902
William H. Moody 1902–1904
Paul Morton 1904–1905
Charles J. Bonaparte 1905–1906
Victor H. Metcalf 1906–1908
Truman H. Newberry 1908–1909
Secretary of the Interior Ethan A. Hitchcock 1901–1907
James Rudolph Garfield 1907–1909
Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson 1901–1909
Secretary of Commerce & Labor George B. Cortelyou 1903–1904
Victor H. Metcalf 1904–1906
Oscar S. Straus 1906–1909
Roosevelt's cabinet on his last day in office, 1909.
At far left: Roosevelt
Left to right in back of table: George B. Cortelyou, Charles Joseph Bonaparte, Robert Bacon, James Wilson, Truman Handy Newberry.
Left to right in front of table: Oscar S. Straus, Luke Edward Wright, George von Lengerke Meyer, James Rudolph Garfield

Anxious to ensure a smooth transition, Roosevelt convinced the members of McKinley's Cabinet, most notably Secretary of State John Hay and Secretary of the Treasury Lyman J. Gage, to remain in office after McKinley's death.[7] Secretary of War Elihu Root had been a Roosevelt confidante for years, and he continued to serve as President Roosevelt's close ally.[8] Another McKinley holdover, Attorney General Philander C. Knox, also emerged as a powerful force within the Roosevelt administration.[9] Once Congress began its session in December 1901, Roosevelt replaced Gage with L. M. Shaw and appointed Henry C. Payne as Postmaster General, earning the approval of powerful Senators William B. Allison and John Coit Spooner.[10] In 1904, Root returned to the private sector and was replaced by William Howard Taft, who had previously served as the Governor of the Philippines.[11] Knox accepted appointment to the Senate in 1904, and was replaced by William H. Moody. After Roosevelt appointed Moody to the Supreme Court, Charles Joseph Bonaparte served as Attorney General. After Hay's death in 1905, Roosevelt convinced Root to return to the Cabinet as Secretary of State, and Root remained in office until the final days of Roosevelt's tenure.[12] In 1907, Roosevelt replaced Shaw with George B. Cortelyou, who had also served on Roosevelt's staff and in two other Cabinet positions.

Press corps

Building on McKinley's effective use of the press, Roosevelt made the White House the center of news every day, providing interviews and photo opportunities. Noticing the White House reporters huddled outside in the rain one day, he gave them their own room inside, effectively inventing the presidential press briefing.[13] The grateful press, with unprecedented access to the White House, rewarded Roosevelt with ample coverage, rendered the more possible by Roosevelt's practice of screening out reporters he didn't like.[13]

Judicial appointments

Roosevelt appointed three associate justices of the Supreme Court.[14] Roosevelt's first appointment, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. had served as Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court since 1899 and had earned notoriety within legal circles for his moral skepticism and deference to elected officials. Confirmed in December 1902, Holmes remained on the court until 1932.[15] Roosevelt's second appointment, former Secretary of State William R. Day, became a reliable vote for Roosevelt's anti-trust prosecutions and remained on the court from 1903 to 1922.[16] In 1906, after considering Democratic appellate judge Horace Harmon Lurton for a Supreme Court vacancy, Roosevelt instead appointed Attorney General William Henry Moody.[17] Moody remained on the court until health problems forced his retirement in 1910.

Roosevelt also appointed 71 other federal judges: 18 to the United States Courts of Appeals, and 53 to the United States district courts.

Domestic policy

Determined to create what he called a "Square Deal" between business and labor, Roosevelt pushed several pieces of progressive legislation through Congress. Progressivism was among the most powerful political forces of the day, and Roosevelt was its most articulate spokesperson. Progressivism had dual aspects. First, progressivism promoted use of science, engineering, technology, and social sciences to address the nation's problems, and identify ways to eliminate waste and inefficiency and promote modernization.[18] Those promoting progressivism also campaigned against corruption among political machines, labor unions, and trusts of new, large corporations, which emerged at the turn of the century.[19] In describing Roosevelt's priorities and characteristics as president, historian G. Warren Chessman noted Roosevelt's

insistence upon the public responsibility of large corporations; publicity as a first remedy for trusts; regulation of railroad rates; mediation of the conflict of capital and labor; conservation of natural resources; and protection of the less fortunate members of society.[20]

Trust busting and regulation

In the late-nineteenth century, several large businesses, including Standard Oil, had either bought their rivals or had established business arrangements that effectively stifled any competition. Standard Oil organized itself as a trust in which several component corporations were organized under the supervision of one board of directors, and several other businesses followed suit. While Congress had passed the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act to provide some federal regulation of trusts, the Supreme Court had limited the power of the act in the case of United States v. E. C. Knight Co.[21]

First term

After the 1902 elections, Roosevelt called for a ban on railroad rebates to large industrial concerns, as well as for the creation of a Bureau of Corporations to study and report on monopolistic practices.[22] To pass his anti-trust package through Congress, Roosevelt appealed directly to the people, casting the legislation as a blow against the malevolent power of Standard Oil. Roosevelt's campaign proved successful, and he won Congressional approval of the creation of the Bureau of Corporations and the Department of Commerce and Labor. He also won passage of the Elkins Act, which restricted the granting of railroad rebates.[23]

In Swift and Company v. United States the administration won a major Supreme Court victory and broke up the "Beef Trust," which accounted for at least half of beef sales in the United States. In 1902, Roosevelt directed Attorney General Knox to bring a lawsuit against the "Beef Trust" on antitrust grounds using the Sherman Antitrust Act. The evidence at trial demonstrated that the "Big Six" leading meatpackers were engaged in a conspiracy to fix prices and divide the market for livestock and meat in their quest for higher prices and higher profits. They blacklisted competitors who failed to go along, used false bids, and accepted rebates from the railroads. When they were hit with federal injunctions in 1902, the Big Six decided to merge into one National Packing Company in 1903, so they could continue to control the trade internally and not have to use conspiracies. The case was heard by the Supreme Court in 1905, shortly after it struck down a similar consolidation in the Northern Securities case of 1904. Speaking for the unanimous court, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. broadened the meaning of "interstate" commerce by including actions that were part of the chain where the chain was clearly interstate in character. In this case, the chain ran from farm to retail store and crossed many state lines. The government's victory in the case encouraged it to pursue other antitrust actions. Public opinion, which had been outraged by Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle, supported the decision.[24]

Second term actions

Following his re-election, Roosevelt sought to quickly enact a bold legislative agenda. Facing intra-party opposition regarding tariff reform, Roosevelt chose to focus instead on passing legislation which would build upon the regulatory accomplishments of his first term and increase the government's power over interstate commerce. Roosevelt believed that states were incapable of regulating large trusts that operated across state lines and that the overworked Department of Justice was unable to provide an adequate check on monopolistic practices through anti-trust cases alone. Roused by reports in McClure's Magazine, many Americans continued to call for an end to railroad rebates, and a central plank of Roosevelt's proposal to increase government regulation was the replacement of the deficient Elkins Act.[25] He also sought legislation regarding child labor, food safety regulation, and the supervision of insurance companies. Roosevelt's call for regulatory legislation, published in his 1905 message to Congress, encountered strong opposition from business interests and conservative Congressmen.[26]

Roosevelt asked Senator Jonathan P. Dolliver of Iowa to introduce a bill that would incorporate Roosevelt's railroad regulatory proposals, and set about mobilizing public and Congressional support for the bill. The bill was also taken up in the House, where it became known as the Hepburn Bill, named after Congressman William Peters Hepburn.[27] Roosevelt advocated for a provision in the bill which would allow the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to set railroad rates for passengers,[28] though he disappointed many of his progressive supporters by accepting the Allison Amendment, which granted courts broad powers of review over this rate-setting.[29] While Roosevelt was confident of the bill's chances in the House, the Senate, dominated by conservative Republicans such as Nelson Aldrich, posed a greater challenge to the Hepburn Bill.[30] However, with the inclusion of the Allison Amendment, the bill won bipartisan support and passed the Senate with only three dissenting votes. Roosevelt signed the bill into law on June 29, 1906. In addition to rate-setting, the Hepburn Act also granted the ICC regulatory power over pipeline fees, storage contracts, and several other aspects of railroad operations.[31]

In response to public clamor for food safety regulations, Roosevelt pushed Congress to pass the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which created the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. These laws provided for labeling of foods and drugs, inspection of livestock and mandated sanitary conditions at meatpacking plants. Congress replaced Roosevelt's proposals with a version supported by the major meatpackers who worried about the overseas markets, and did not want small unsanitary plants undercutting their domestic market.[32]

Roosevelt did not reflexively oppose all trusts, and he allowed them to operate so long as they consented to regulation by the Bureau of Corporations. Among the companies that voluntarily agreed to regulation was U.S. Steel, which allowed the Bureau of Corporations to investigate its operations. Having won the cooperation of U.S. Steel, Roosevelt chose not to press an antitrust case against the company.[33]


TR's conservation policies

Roosevelt was a prominent conservationist, putting the issue high on the national agenda.[34] Roosevelt's conservation efforts were aimed not just at environment protection, but also at ensuring that society as a whole, rather than just select individuals or companies, benefited from the country's natural resources.[35] He worked with all the major figures of the movement, especially his chief advisor on the matter, Gifford Pinchot. He encouraged the Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902 to promote federal construction of dams to irrigate small farms and placed 230 million acres (360,000 mi² or 930,000 km²) under federal protection. In 1906, Congress passed the Antiquities Act, granting the president the power to create national monuments in federal lands. Roosevelt set aside more federal land, national parks, and nature preserves than all of his predecessors combined.[36][37] Roosevelt established the Inland Waterways Commission to coordinate construction of water projects for both conservation and transportation purposes, and in 1908 he hosted the Conference of Governors to boost support for conservation. After the conference, Roosevelt established the National Conservation Commission to take an inventory of the nation's natural resources.[38]

In 1903 Roosevelt toured the Yosemite Valley with John Muir, who had a very different view of conservation, and tried to minimize commercial use of water resources and forests. Working through the Sierra Club he founded, Muir succeeded in 1905 in having Congress transfer the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley to the Federal Government. While Muir wanted nature preserved for the sake of pure beauty, Roosevelt subscribed to Pinchot's formulation, "to make the forest produce the largest amount of whatever crop or service will be most useful, and keep on producing it for generation after generation of men and trees." [39]

Labor relations

"The Washington Schoolmaster," An editorial cartoon about the Coal strike of 1902, by Charles Lederer

On taking office, Roosevelt believed that labor unrest posed the greatest potential threat facing the nation. Labor union membership had doubled in the five years preceding his inauguration, and Roosevelt feared that disgruntled laborers could threaten the growing economy. Yet he also sympathized with many laborers due to the harsh conditions that many faced.[40] Resisting the more radical demands of labor leaders such as Samuel Gompers, Roosevelt established the open shop as official government policy.[41]

Roosevelt was reluctant to involve himself in labor-management disputes, but he believed that presidential intervention was justified when such disputes threatened the public interest.[42] A national emergency was averted in 1902 when Roosevelt found a compromise to the anthracite coal strike that threatened the heating supplies of most homes. Roosevelt forced an end to the strike when he threatened to use the United States Army to mine the coal and seize the mines. By bringing representatives of both parties together, the president was able to facilitate the negotiations and convince both the miners and the owners to accept the findings of a commission. The labor union and the owners reached an agreement after this episode: the labor union agreed to cease being the official bargainer for the workers and the workers got better pay and fewer hours.[43]

Civil Rights

Although Roosevelt did some work improving race relations, he, like most leaders of the Progressive Era, lacked initiative on most racial issues. Booker T. Washington, the most important black leader of the day, was the first African American to be invited to dinner at the White House, on October 16, 1901, where he discussed politics and racism with Roosevelt. News of the dinner reached the press two days later. The white public outcry following the dinner was so strong, especially from the Southern states, that Roosevelt never repeated the experiment.[44] Nonetheless, Roosevelt continued to consult Washington regarding appointments and shunned the "lily-white" Southern Republicans who favored excluding blacks from office.[45]

After the dinner with Washington, Roosevelt continued to speak out against lynchings, but did little to advance the cause of African-American civil rights.[46] In 1906, he approved the dishonorable discharges of three companies of black soldiers who all refused his direct order to testify regarding their actions during a violent episode in Brownsville, Texas, known as the Brownsville Raid. Roosevelt was widely criticized by contemporary newspapers for the discharges, and Senator Joseph B. Foraker won passage of a Congressional resolution directing the administration to turn over all documents related to the case.[47] The controversy hung over the remainder of his presidency, although the Senate eventually concluded that the dismissals had been justified.[48]

Panic of 1907

In October 1907, Roosevelt faced the greatest domestic economic crisis since the Panic of 1893. The U.S. stock market entered a slump earlier in 1907, and many in the financial markets blamed Roosevelt's regulatory policies for the decline in stock prices.[49] The slump reached a full-blown panic in October, when two investors failed to take over United Copper. Working with Secretary of the Treasury Cortelyou, financier J.P. Morgan organized a group of businessmen to avert a crash by pledging their own money. Roosevelt aided Morgan's intervention by allowing U.S. Steel to acquire the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company despite anti-trust concerns and by authorizing Cortelyou to raise bonds and commit federal funds to the banks.[50] Roosevelt's reputation in Wall Street fell to new lows following the panic, but the president remained broadly popular despite a short recession.[51] The Panic of 1907 would be the last major financial crisis before the 1913 passage of the Federal Reserve Act, which created a central bank in the form of the Federal Reserve System.

Radical shift, 1907–09

In his waning days in office, Roosevelt proposed numerous reforms

In his last two years in office, Roosevelt became increasingly distrustful of big business, despite its close ties to the Republican Party. Abandoning his cautious approach toward big business, Roosevelt freely lambasted his conservative critics and called on Congress to enact a series of radical new laws.[52] Roosevelt sought to replace the 19th-century laissez-faire economic environment with a new economic model which included a larger regulatory role for the federal government. He believed that 19th-century entrepreneurs had risked their fortunes on innovations and new businesses, and that these capitalists had been rightly rewarded. By contrast, he believed that 20th-century capitalists risked little but nonetheless reaped huge and, given the lack of risk, unjust, economic rewards. Without a redistribution of wealth away from the upper class, Roosevelt feared that the country would turn to radicals or fall to revolution.[53]

In January 1908, Roosevelt sent a special message to Congress, calling for the restoration of an employer's liability law, which had recently been struck down by the Supreme Court due to its application to intrastate corporations.[54] He also called for a national incorporation law (all corporations had state charters, which varied greatly state by state), a federal income tax and inheritance tax (both targeted at the rich), limits on the use of court injunctions against labor unions during strikes (injunctions were a powerful weapon that mostly helped business), an eight-hour work day for federal employees, a postal savings system (to provide competition for local banks), and, finally, campaign reform laws.[55]

Roosevelt's increasingly radical stance proved popular in the Midwest and Pacific Coast, and among farmers, teachers, clergymen, clerical workers and some proprietors, but appeared as divisive and unnecessary to eastern Republicans, corporate executives, lawyers, party workers, and Congressmen.[56] Populist Democrats such as William Jennings Bryan expressed admiration for Roosevelt's message, and one Southern newspaper called for Roosevelt to run as a Democrat in 1908, with Bryan as his running mate.[57] Though Roosevelt's move to the left was supported by some Congressional Republicans and many in the public, conservatives such as Senator Nelson Aldrich and Speaker Joseph Gurney Cannon remained in control of Congress.[58] These Republican leaders blocked the more ambitious aspects of Roosevelt's agenda,[59] though Roosevelt won passage of a new Federal Employers Liability Act and other laws, such as a restriction of child labor in Washington, D.C.[60]

States admitted to the Union

One new state was admitted to the Union while Roosevelt was in office:

Foreign policy

A political cartoonists' commentary on Roosevelt's "big stick" policy

Historian William N. Tilchin identified three core principles that guided Roosevelt's foreign policy: broadly conceived U.S. interests, the strengthening of the United States Navy, and close cooperation between Britain and the United States on a wide range of issues.[62] Roosevelt, who had traveled widely and was well informed on international affairs, was determined to make America a great world power while avoiding war.[63]

Aftermath of the Spanish–American War

The United States and its colonial possessions when Roosevelt entered office

Roosevelt inherited a country torn by debate over the territories acquired in the Spanish–American War. Roosevelt believed that Cuba should be quickly granted independence and that Puerto Rico should remain a semi-autonomous possession under the terms of the Foraker Act. He wanted U.S. forces to remain in the Philippines to establish a stable, democratic government, even in the face of an insurrection led by Emilio Aguinaldo. Roosevelt feared that a quick U.S. withdrawal would lead to instability in the Philippines or an intervention by a major power such as Germany or Japan.[64]

The Filipino insurrection largely ended with the capture of Miguel Malvar in 1902.[65] The insurgents came to accept American rule and peace prevailed, except in some remote islands under Muslim control. Roosevelt continued the McKinley policies of removing the Catholic friars (with compensation to the Pope), upgrading the infrastructure, introducing public health programs, and launching a program of economic and social modernization. The enthusiasm shown in 1898-99 for colonies cooled off, and Roosevelt saw the islands as "our heel of Achilles." He told Taft in 1907, "I should be glad to see the islands made independent, with perhaps some kind of international guarantee for the preservation of order, or with some warning on our part that if they did not keep order we would have to interfere again."[66] By then the President and his foreign policy advisers turned away from Asian issues to concentrate on Latin America, and Roosevelt redirected Philippine policy to prepare the islands to become the first Western colony in Asia to achieve self-government.[67]

While the Philippines would remain under U.S. control for several years, Cuba won its independence in 1902.[68] The Platt Amendment, passed during the final year of McKinley's tenure, made Cuba a de facto protectorate of the United States.[69] Roosevelt sought a trade agreement with Cuba to lower tariffs on Cuban imports, and he won Congressional approval for the reciprocity agreement in December 1902.[70] In 1906, an insurrection erupted against Cuban President Tomás Estrada Palma due to the latter's alleged electoral fraud. Both Estrada Palma and his liberal opponents called for an intervention by the U.S., but Roosevelt was reluctant to intervene.[71] When Estrada Palma and his Cabinet resigned, Secretary of War Taft declared that the U.S. would intervene under the terms of the Platt Amendment, beginning the Second Occupation of Cuba.[72] U.S. forces restored peace to the island, and the occupation ceased shortly before the end of Roosevelt's presidency.[73]

Puerto Rico had been something of an afterthought during the Spanish-American War, but it assumed importance due to its strategic position in the Caribbean Sea. The island provided an ideal naval base for defense of the Panama Canal, and it also served as an economic and political link to the rest of Latin America. Prevailing racist attitudes made Puerto Rican statehood unlikely, so the U.S. carved out a new political status for the island. The Foraker Act and subsequent Supreme Court cases established Puerto Rico as the first unincorporated territory, meaning that the United States Constitution would not fully apply to Puerto Rico. Though the U.S. imposed tariffs on most Puerto Rican imports, it also invested in the island's infrastructure and education system. Roosevelt and his successors incorporated Puerto Rico into the American Empire, but nationalist sentiment remained strong on the island and Puerto Ricans continued to primarily speak Spanish rather than English.[74]

Military reforms

The United States Army, with 39,000 men in 1890, was the smallest and least powerful army of any major power in the late 19th century. By contrast, France's army consisted of 542,000 soldiers.[75] The Spanish–American War had been fought mostly by temporary volunteers and state national guard units, and it demonstrated that more effective control over the department and bureaus was necessary.[76] Roosevelt gave strong support to the reforms proposed by his Secretary of War Elihu Root, who wanted a uniformed chief of staff as general manager and a European-type general staff for planning. Despite being stymied by General Nelson A. Miles, the Commanding General of the United States Army, the Secretary succeeded in enlarging West Point and establishing the U.S. Army War College as well as the General Staff. Root changed the procedures for promotions and organized schools for the special branches of the service. He also devised the principle of rotating officers from staff to line.[77]

With the publication of The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783 in 1890, Navy Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan had been immediately hailed as an outstanding naval theorist by the leaders of Europe. Roosevelt paid very close attention to Mahan's emphasis that only a nation with a powerful fleet could dominate the world's oceans, exert its diplomacy to the fullest, and defend its own borders.[78][79] As president, Roosevelt made building up a world-class fighting fleet a high priority. By 1904, the United States had the fifth largest Navy in the world, and by 1907, it had the third largest. He sent what he dubbed the "Great White Fleet" around the globe in 1908-1909 to make sure all the naval powers understood the United States was now a major player. Roosevelt's fleet still did not challenge the superior British fleet, but it did become dominant in the Western Hemisphere.[80][81][82] As a tribute to him, several Navy warships have been named after Roosevelt over the years, including a Nimitz class supercarrier.

Rapprochement with Great Britain

The Great Rapprochement between Britain and the United States had begun with British support of the United States during the Spanish–American War, and it continued as Britain withdrew its fleet from the Caribbean in favor of focusing on the rising German naval threat.[83] Roosevelt sought a close relationship with Britain to ensure peaceful shared hegemony over the Western hemisphere. With the British acceptance of the Monroe Doctrine and American acceptance of the British control of Canada, only two potential major issues remained between the U.S. and Britain: construction of a canal across Central America and the Alaska boundary dispute. Under McKinley, Secretary of State Hay had negotiated the Hay–Pauncefote Treaty, in which the British consented to U.S. construction of the canal. Roosevelt won Senate ratification of the treaty in December 1901.[84] To settle the Alaska boundary dispute, the U.S. and Britain each appointed three individuals to a tribunal empowered to set the borders.[85] The tribunal favored set a favorable border for the U.S., accepting most American claims.[86]

Venezuela Crisis and Roosevelt Corollary

Roosevelt regarded the Panama Canal as one of his greatest achievements

In December 1902, an Anglo-German blockade of Venezuela began an incident known as the Venezuelan Crisis. The two European powers enforced a blockade of the South American republic due to money owed by Venezuela to European creditors. Both powers assured the U.S. that they were not interested in conquering Venezuela, and Roosevelt sympathized with the European creditors. But Roosevelt became suspicious that Germany would demand territorial indemnification from Venezuela, and he was determined to uphold the Monroe Doctrine and keep German military bases out of the Western Hemisphere. As the blockade began, Roosevelt mobilized the U.S. fleet under the command of Admiral George Dewey.[87] Roosevelt threatened to destroy the German fleet unless the Germans agreed to arbitration regarding the Venezuelan debt, and Germany chose arbitration rather than war.[88]

Though Roosevelt would not tolerate European territorial ambitions in Latin America, he also believed that Latin American countries should pay the debts they owed to European credits.[89] In late 1904, Roosevelt announced his Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. It stated that the U.S. would intervene in the finances of unstable Caribbean and Central American countries if they defaulted on their debts to European creditors and, in effect, guarantee their debts, making it unnecessary for European powers to intervene to collect unpaid debts. Roosevelt's pronouncement was especially meant as a warning to Germany, and had the result of promoting peace in the region, as the Germans decided to not intervene directly in Venezuela and in other countries.[90]

A crisis in the Dominican Republic became the first test case for the Roosevelt Corollary. Deeply in debt, the nation struggled to repay its European creditors. Fearing another intervention by Germany and Britain, Roosevelt reached an agreement with Dominican President Carlos Felipe Morales to take temporary control of the Dominican economy, much as the U.S. had done on a permanent basis in Puerto Rico. The U.S. took control of the Dominican customs house, brought in economists such as Jacob Hollander to restructure the economy, and ensured a steady flow of revenue to the Dominican Republic's foreign creditors. The intervention stabilized the political and economic situation in the Dominican Republic, and the U.S. role on the island would serve as a model for Taft's dollar diplomacy in the years after Roosevelt left office.[91]

Panama Canal

Roosevelt at the controls of a steam shovel excavating Culebra Cut for the Panama Canal, 1906

Roosevelt sought the creation of a canal through Central America which would link the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. There were two plausible locations for such a canal, the completion of which would increase the military and economic strength of the United States. Most in Congress preferred that the canal cross through Nicaragua, which was eager to reach an agreement, but Roosevelt preferred the isthmus of Panama, under the loose control of Colombia. Colombia had been engulfed in a civil war since 1898, and a previous attempt to build a canal across Panama had failed under the leadership of Ferdinand de Lesseps. A presidential commission appointed by McKinley had recommended the construction of the canal across Nicaragua, but it noted that a canal across Panama could prove less expensive and might be completed more quickly.[92] Roosevelt and most of his advisers favored the Panama Canal, as they believed that war with a European power, possibly Germany, could soon break out over the Monroe Doctrine and the U.S. fleet would remain divided between the two oceans until the canal was completed.[93] After a long debate, Congress passed the Spooner Act of 1902, which granted Roosevelt $170 million to build the Panama Canal.[94] Following the passage of the Spooner Act, the Roosevelt administration began negotiations with the Colombian government regarding the construction of a canal through Panama, but the Nicaraguan route remained an option should the negotiations fall through.[95]

The U.S. and Colombia signed the Hay–Herrán Treaty in January 1903, granting the U.S. a lease of the across the isthmus of Panama.[96] The Colombian Senate refused to ratify the treaty, and attached amendments calling for more money from the U.S. and greater Colombian control over the canal zone.[97] Panamanian rebel leaders, eager to break off from Colombia, appealed to the United States for military aid.[98] Roosevelt dispatched the USS Nashville to prevent the Colombian government from landing soldiers in Panama, and Colombia was unable to re-establish control over the province.[99] Shortly after Panama declared its independence, the U.S. recognized Panama as an independent nation and began negotiations regarding construction of the canal. According to Roosevelt biographer Edmund Morris, most other Latin American nations welcomed the prospect of the new canal in hopes of increased economic activity, but anti-imperialists in the U.S. raged against Roosevelt's aid to the Panamanian separatists.[100]

The U.S. and Panama, represented by French diplomat Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla, quickly negotiated the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty. In February 1904, Roosevelt won Senate ratification of the treaty in a 66-to-14 vote.[101] Under the terms of the treaty. Panama sold the Panama Canal Zone to the United States for $10 million and a steadily increasing yearly sum.[102] Roosevelt established the Isthmian Canal Commission, supervised by Secretary of War Taft, to oversee the construction of the canal.[103] Roosevelt traveled to Panama in 1906 to inspect progress on the canal, becoming the first U.S. president to travel outside the country while in office.[104] The canal would open in 1914.

Actions in the Pacific

Ending the Russo-Japanese War

In February 1904, the Russo-Japanese War broke out due to the rivalry the two great powers in Korea and Manchuria. The U.S. quickly declared its neutrality while the Japanese established naval superiority over the Russian Empire.[105] Hoping to maintain the Open Door Policy in China, Roosevelt sought to mediate the conflict.[106] In the summer of 1905, Roosevelt persuaded the parties to meet in a peace conference in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, starting on August 5. His persistent and effective mediation led to the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth on September 5, ending the war. For his efforts, Roosevelt was awarded the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize.[107]

Relations with Japan

Roosevelt saw Japan as the rising power in Asia, in terms of military strength and economic modernization. He viewed Korea as a backward nation and did not object to Japan's attempt to gain control over Korea. With the withdrawal of the American legation from Seoul and the refusal of the Secretary of State to receive a Korean protest mission, the Americans signaled they would not intervene militarily to stop Japan's planned takeover of Korea.[108] In 1905, Taft and Japanese Prime Minister Katsura Tarō jointly produced the Taft Katsura Memorandum. In the memorandum, Japan stated that it had no interest in the Philippines, while the U.S. stated that it considered Korea to be part of the Japanese sphere of influence.[109]

Vituperative anti-Japanese sentiment among Americans, especially on the West Coast, soured relations during the latter half of Roosevelt's term.[110] In 1906, the San Francisco Board of Education caused a diplomatic incident by ordering the segregation of all schoolchildren in the city.[111] The Roosevelt administration did not want to anger Japan by passing legislation to bar Japanese immigration to the U.S., as had previously been done for Chinese immigration. Instead the two countries, led by Secretary of State Elihu Root and Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Tadasu, reached the informal Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907. The agreement banned emigration of Japanese laborers to the U.S. and Hawaii, while also ending the segregation order of the San Francisco School Board, which had humiliated and angered the Japanese. The agreements remained in effect until the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, in which Congress forbade all immigration from Japan.[112][113] Despite the agreement, tensions with Japan would continue to simmer due to the treatment of Japanese immigrants by local governments. Roosevelt never feared imminent war with the Japanese during his tenure, but the friction with Japan encouraged further naval build-up and an increased focus on the security of the American position in the Pacific.[114]

Charles Neu concludes that Roosevelt's policies were a success:

By the close of his presidency it was a largely successful policy based upon political realities at home and in the Far East and upon a firm belief that friendship with Japan was essential to preserve American interests in the Pacific.... Roosevelt's diplomacy during the Japanese-American crisis of 1906-1909 was shrewd, skillful, and responsible.[115]

Algeciras Conference

In 1906, at the request of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Roosevelt convinced France to attend an international conference to resolve the First Moroccan Crisis over the degree of influence of European powers in Morocco. France was positioning itself to dominate Morocco, which angered Germany. Germany was annoyed that it had no presence in North Africa, and hinted darkly that a failure to adjust the crisis might lead to war between Germany and France. The Sultan of Morocco was a weak figure who could not control his own cities. The conference was held in the city of Algeciras, Spain, and 13 nations attended. The American delegate was Henry White, who mediated between France and Germany. The main issue was control of the police forces in the Moroccan cities, and Germany, with a weak diplomatic delegation, found itself in a decided minority. Roosevelt secretly supported France and did not want Germany to gain a more powerful position in Morocco. Roosevelt cooperated closely with the French ambassador, while gaining from the Germans a promise that Roosevelt would have a decisive role. Agreement was reached on April 7, 1906, which slightly reduced French influence by reaffirming the independence of the Sultan and the economic independence and freedom of operations of all European powers. Germany gained nothing of importance but was mollified and stopped threatening war.[116]


Election of 1904

1904 electoral college results

At the outset of Roosevelt's presidency, many expected Senator Mark Hanna, a confidante of former President McKinley, to win the 1904 Republican nomination.[117] Throughout most of Roosevelt's first term, conservative business interests urged Hanna to run against Roosevelt in the upcoming election.[118] But with the death of Hanna and Matthew Quay in 1904, and with the waning of Thomas C. Platt's power, Roosevelt faced little effective opposition for the 1904 nomination.[119] In deference to Hanna's conservative loyalists, Roosevelt at first offered the party chairmanship to Cornelius Bliss, but he declined. Roosevelt turned to his own man, George Cortelyou. To buttress his hold on the party's nomination, Roosevelt made it clear that anyone opposing Cortelyou would be considered to be opposing the President.[120] The President secured his own nomination, but his preferred vice-presidential running mate, Robert R. Hitt, was not nominated.[121] Senator Charles Warren Fairbanks of Indiana, a favorite of conservatives, gained the nomination.[119]

The Democratic Party's nominee in 1904 was Alton B. Parker, the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. Democratic leaders hoped that Parker, whose political positions were largely unknown, would be able unify the populist followers of William Jennings Bryan with the conservative supporters of former President Grover Cleveland. Nonetheless, Democrats remained divided after the candidacies of William Jennings Bryan, and several conservative Democrats supported Roosevelt.[122] Democrats alleged that the Republican campaign extorted large contributions from corporations, but these allegations had little impact on the election, as Roosevelt promised to give every American a "square deal".[123] Roosevelt won 56% of the popular vote while Parker received 38% of the popular; Roosevelt also won the electoral vote 336 to 140. Roosevelt's victory made him first president to be elected to a full term of his own after having succeeded to the presidency upon the death of a predecessor. His popular vote margin of 18.8% was the largest margin in U.S. history until the 1920 election. Before his inauguration ceremony, Roosevelt declared that he would not serve another term.[124] Democrats afterwards would continue to charge Roosevelt and the Republicans of being influenced by corporate donations during Roosevelt's second term.[125]

Election of 1908 and transition

Republican William Howard Taft defeated Democrat William Jennings Bryan in the 1908 election

Roosevelt had mixed feelings about a third term, as he enjoyed being president and was still relatively youthful, but felt that a limited number of terms provided a check against dictatorship. Roosevelt ultimately decided to stick to his 1904 pledge not to run for a third term, and he threw his support behind a successor so as to avoid a potential pro-Roosevelt delegate stampede at the 1908 Republican National Convention. Roosevelt personally favored Secretary of State Elihu Root, but Root's ill health made him an unsuitable candidate. New York Governor Charles Evans Hughes loomed as potentially strong candidate and shared Roosevelt's progressivism, but Roosevelt disliked him and considered him to be too independent. Instead, Roosevelt settled on his Secretary of War, William Howard Taft, who had ably served under Presidents Harrison, McKinley, and Roosevelt in various positions. Roosevelt and Taft had been friends since 1890, and Taft had consistently supported President Roosevelt's policies.[126] Senator Joseph Foraker, who like Taft was from Ohio, briefly emerged as the main conservative candidate for the GOP nomination.[127] However, Taft defeated Foraker's attempt to win control of the Ohio Republican Party, and entered the convention as the strong favorite over Foraker, Hughes, and Senator Philander Knox.[128]

At the 1908 Republican convention, many chanted for "four years more" of a Roosevelt presidency, but Taft won the nomination after Roosevelt's close friend, Henry Cabot Lodge, made it clear that Roosevelt was not interested in a third term.[129] In a speech accepting the Republican nomination, Taft promised to continue the policies of Roosevelt, but as the campaign progressed he minimized his reliance on Roosevelt, and did not ask the president to publicly campaign for him.[130] The Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan, who had been the party's presidential candidate in 1896 and 1900. Bryan, a populist Democrat widely regarded as a strong speaker, thought that Taft was a weak candidate and hoped that the public would tire of the Republican leadership the country had experienced since the 1896 election.[131] The platforms of the two parties differed little: both called for anti-trust actions, railroad and labor regulations, and a revision of the tariff.[132] As election day approached, it became clear that Taft would retain the loyalty of Republican voters and win a wide victory over Bryan, who had failed to find a winning issue on which to campaign. Taft won 321 of the 483 electoral votes and 51.6% of the popular vote. Republicans also retained control of both houses of Congress. Roosevelt regarded the victory of his chosen successor as a vindication of his policies and presidency.[133] As he left office, Roosevelt was widely regarded as the most powerful and influential president since Abraham Lincoln.[134] Taft's decision to retain few members of Roosevelt's Cabinet alienated Roosevelt, although Roosevelt continued support his successor throughout the transition period.[135]


Roosevelt in Pennsylvania on 26 October 1914

Historians credit Roosevelt for changing the nation's political system by permanently placing the presidency at center stage and making character as important as the issues. His notable accomplishments include trust busting and conservationism. He is a hero to modern liberals for his proposals in 1907–12 that presaged the modern welfare state of the New Deal Era, and put the environment on the national agenda. Conservatives admire his "big stick" diplomacy and commitment to military values. Dalton says, "Today he is heralded as the architect of the modern presidency, as a world leader who boldly reshaped the office to meet the needs of the new century and redefined America's place in the world."[136]

However, the New Left has criticized him for his interventionist and imperialist approach to nations he considered "uncivilized". Conservatives reject his vision of the welfare state and emphasis on the superiority of government over private action. Historians typically rank Roosevelt among the top five presidents.[137][138]

See also


  1. ^ Thomas A. Bailey, Presidential Greatness (1966) p. 308
  2. ^ "Impact and Legacy", Biography, American President, The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, 2005, retrieved March 7, 2006 .
  3. ^ "Legacy", T Roosevelt, PBS, retrieved March 7, 2006 .
  4. ^ "The Swearing In of Theodore Roosevelt: September 14, 1901". Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Retrieved April 24, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Theodore Roosevelt". Washington, D.C.: The White House. Retrieved April 25, 2017. 
  6. ^ Wilcox, Ansley (1902). "Theodore Roosevelt, President" (PDF). National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved January 23, 2017. 
  7. ^ Morris (2001) pp 9-10
  8. ^ Morris (2001) pp 22-23
  9. ^ Morris (2001) p. 62
  10. ^ Morris (2001) p. 78
  11. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 308-309
  12. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 394-395
  13. ^ a b Rouse, Robert (March 15, 2006). "Happy Anniversary to the first scheduled presidential press conference - 93 years young!". American Chronicle. 
  14. ^ "U.S. Senate: Supreme Court Nominations: 1789-Present". Washington, D.C.: U.S. Senate. Retrieved March 25, 2017. 
  15. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 129-131
  16. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 313-314
  17. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 458-464
  18. ^ see George Mowry, The Era of Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of Modern America, 1900-1912 (1954), ch. 1
  19. ^ see Lewis L. Gould, The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. (1991), ch 1
  20. ^ Chessman, p 6
  21. ^ Morris (2001) pp 27-30
  22. ^ Morris (2001) p. 195-196
  23. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 205-208
  24. ^ "The Supreme Court upholds Prosecution of the Beef Trust," in Frank N. Magill, ed., Great Events from History II: Business and Commerce Series Volume 1 1897-1923 (1994) pp 107-111
  25. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 417-419
  26. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 422-429
  27. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 428-433
  28. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 433-435
  29. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 444-445
  30. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 442-443
  31. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 445-448
  32. ^ Blum (1954) pp 43-44
  33. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 477-478
  34. ^ Benjamin Redekop, (2014). "Embodying the Story: The Conservation Leadership of Theodore Roosevelt" in Leadership DOI: 10.1177/1742715014546875. online
  35. ^ Morris (2001) pp 32-33
  36. ^ W. Todd Benson, President Theodore Roosevelt's Conservations Legacy (2003)
  37. ^ Douglas Brinkley, The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America (2010)
  38. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 515-519
  39. ^ Gifford Pinchot, Breaking New Ground, (1947) p. 32.
  40. ^ Morris (2001) pp 31-32
  41. ^ Morris (2001) pp 271-272
  42. ^ Morris (2001) p. 131
  43. ^ Brands, TR (1997) pp 434-62
  44. ^ Brands, TR (1999) pp 421-26
  45. ^ Morris (2001) p. 172
  46. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 455, 472
  47. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 471-473
  48. ^ Morris (2001) p. 511
  49. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 495-496
  50. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 497-501
  51. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 501, 504-505
  52. ^ Gary Murphy in "Theodore Roosevelt, Presidential Power and the Regulation of the Market" in Serge Ricard, ed. A companion to Theodore Roosevelt (2011) pp 154-72.
  53. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 430-431, 436
  54. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 505-507
  55. ^ Brands, TR (1997) ch 21
  56. ^ Mowry (1954)
  57. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 508-509
  58. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 510-511
  59. ^ Brands, TR (1997) ch 27
  60. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 510-511
  61. ^ "Today in History: November 16". Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. 
  62. ^ William N. Tilchin, Anglo-American Partnership: The Foundation of Theodore Roosevelt's Foreign Policy, in Serge Ricard (ed.), A Companion to Theodore Roosevelt (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011). ISBN 978-1-4443-3140-0.
  63. ^ Warren Zimmermann, First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power (2004)
  64. ^ Morris (2001) pp 24-25
  65. ^ Morris (2001) pp 100-101
  66. ^ H. W. Brands, Bound to Empire: The United States and the Philippines.. (1992) p. 84.
  67. ^ Stephen Wertheim, "Reluctant Liberator: Theodore Roosevelt's Philosophy of Self-Government and Preparation for Philippine Independence," Presidential Studies Quarterly, Sept 2009, Vol. 39 Issue 3, pp 494-518
  68. ^ Morris (2001) pp 105-106
  69. ^ Morris (2001) p. 456
  70. ^ Morris (2001) p. 299
  71. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 456-457
  72. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 461-462
  73. ^ Morris (2001) p. 554
  74. ^ Herring, pp. 364-365
  75. ^ Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987) p. 154, 203
  76. ^ Graham A. Cosmas, An Army for Empire: The United States Army and the Spanish–American War (1971)
  77. ^ James E. Hewes, Jr. From Root to McNamara: Army Organization and Administration, 1900-1963 (1975)
  78. ^ Peter Karsten, "The Nature of 'Influence': Roosevelt, Mahan and the Concept of Sea Power." American Quarterly 23#4 (1971): 585-600. in JSTOR
  79. ^ Richard W. Turk, The Ambiguous Relationship: Theodore Roosevelt and Alfred Thayer Mahan (1987) online
  80. ^ Carl Cavanagh Hodge, "The Global Strategist: The Navy as the Nation’s Big Stick," in Serge Ricard, ed., A Companion to Theodore Roosevelt (2011) pp 257-73
  81. ^ Stephen G. Rabe, Theodore Roosevelt, the Panama Canal, and the Roosevelt Corollary: Sphere of Influence Diplomacy," in Ricard, ed., A Companion to Theodore Roosevelt (2011) pp 274-92.
  82. ^ Gordon Carpenter O'Gara, Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of the Modern Navy (1970)
  83. ^ Miller 1992, pp. 387–388.
  84. ^ Morris (2001) pp 25-26
  85. ^ Morris (2001) p. 207
  86. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 281-282
  87. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 176-182
  88. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 187-191
  89. ^ Morris (2001) p. 201
  90. ^ Frederick W. Marks III, Velvet on Iron: The Diplomacy of Theodore Roosevelt (1979), p. 140
  91. ^ Herring, pp. 371-372
  92. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 26, 67-68
  93. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 201-202
  94. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 115-116
  95. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 201-202
  96. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 201-202
  97. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 262-263
  98. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 276-278
  99. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 282-283
  100. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 293-298
  101. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 297-303, 312
  102. ^ Julie Greene, The Canal Builders: Making America's Empire at the Panama Canal (2009)
  103. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 320-321
  104. ^ "This Day In History: 1906-Teddy Roosevelt travels to Panama". A+E Networks. 
  105. ^ Morris (2001) p. 311
  106. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 380-382
  107. ^ Greg Russell, "Theodore Roosevelt's Diplomacy and the Quest for Great Power Equilibrium in Asia," Presidential Studies Quarterly 2008 38(3): 433-455
  108. ^ Howard K. Beale, Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power (1956)
  109. ^ Raymond A. Esthus, "The Taft-Katsura Agreement - Reality or Myth?" Journal of Modern History 1959 31(1): 46-51 in JSTOR.
  110. ^ Raymond Leslie Buell, "The Development of the Anti-Japanese Agitation in the United States," Political Science Quarterly (1922) 37#4 pp. 605-638 part 1 in JSTOR and Buell, "The Development of Anti-Japanese Agitation in the United States II," Political Science Quarterly (1923) 38#1 pp. 57-81 Part 2 in JSTOR
  111. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 482-483
  112. ^ Carl R. Weinberg, "The 'Gentlemen's Agreement' of 1907-08," OAH Magazine of History (2009) 23#4 pp 36-36.
  113. ^ A. Whitney Griswold, The Far Eastern Policy of the United States (1938). pp 354-60, 372-79
  114. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 493-494
  115. ^ Charles E. Neu, An Uncertain Friendship: Theodore Roosevelt and Japan, 1906-1909 (1967), p. 319.
  116. ^ Raymond A. Esthus, Theodore Roosevelt and the International Rivalries (1970) pp 66-111
  117. ^ Morris (2001) pp 95-96
  118. ^ Morris (2001) pp 299-300
  119. ^ a b Miller 1992, p. 437-438.
  120. ^ Brands 1997, pp. 501–3.
  121. ^ Brands 1997, p. 504.
  122. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 339-340
  123. ^ Chambers 1974, pp. 215–217.
  124. ^ Brands 1997, pp. 513–14.
  125. ^ Chambers 1974, pp. 217–218.
  126. ^ Miller 1992, pp. 483–485.
  127. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 506-507
  128. ^ Morris (2001) p. 520
  129. ^ Miller 1992, pp. 488–489.
  130. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 533-536
  131. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 528-529
  132. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 534-535
  133. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 537-539
  134. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 554-555
  135. ^ Morris (2001) pp. 548-552
  136. ^ Dalton 2002, pp. 4–5.
  137. ^ "Impact and Legacy", Biography, American President, The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, 2005 .
  138. ^ "Legacy", T Roosevelt, PBS .

Further reading

  • Brands, H.W. Theodore Roosevelt (2001) online edition
  • Gould, Lewis L. Theodore Roosevelt (2012) 105pp, very short biography by leading scholar
  • Gould, Lewis L. The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. (1991), the major scholarly study
  • Harbaugh, William Henry. Power and Responsibility The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt (1961), a standard scholarly biography emphasizing politics. online
  • Keller, Morton, ed., Theodore Roosevelt: A Profile (1967) excerpts from TR and from historians.
  • Morris, Edmund Theodore Rex. (2001), unusually well-written biography covers 1901–09
  • Mowry, George. The Era of Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of Modern America, 1900-1912. (1954)
  • Pringle, Henry F. Theodore Roosevelt (1932; 2nd ed. 1956) online edition

Domestic policies

  • Blum, John Morton The Republican Roosevelt. (1954). essays that examine how TR did politics
  • Brinkley, Douglas. The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America (2009) ch 15-26 online review; another online review
  • Cooper, John Milton The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. (1983) a dual biography and comparison
  • Harrison, Robert. Congress, Progressive Reform, and the New American State (2004)
  • Rhodes, James Ford. History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the Roosevelt-Taft Administration (1922); vol. 8 is a detailed narrative from 1897 to 1909 online edition
  • Sanders, Elizabeth. Roots of Reform: Farmers, Workers and the American State, 1877-1917 (1999)
  • Wiebe, Robert H. Businessmen and Reform: A Study of the Progressive Movement (1968)

Foreign policy

  • Beale Howard K. Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power. (1956). standard history of his foreign policy
  • Bradley, James (2009). Imperial Cruise. Back Bay Books / Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-00895-2. 
  • Herring, George (2008). From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776. Oxford University Press. 
  • Holmes, James R. Theodore Roosevelt and World Order: Police Power in International Relations. 2006. 328 pp.
  • Jones, Gregg. Honor in the Dust: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America's Imperial Dream (2012) excerpt and text search
  • Marks III, Frederick W. Velvet on Iron: The Diplomacy of Theodore Roosevelt (1979)
  • David McCullough. The Path between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 (1977).
  • Ricard, Serge. "The Roosevelt Corollary." Presidential Studies Quarterly 2006 36(1): 17-26. online.

Primary sources

  • Brands, H.W. ed. The Selected Letters of Theodore Roosevelt. (2001)
  • 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 at [1]
  • 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 (1999). Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography. 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


  • Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia...1901 (1902); highly detailed compilation of facts and primary documents online edition
  • The Annual Cyclopedia ...1902 (1903) online edition

External links

  • Extensive essay on Theodore Roosevelt and shorter essays on each member of his cabinet and First Lady from the Miller Center of Public Affairs
  • Booknotes interview with Eric Rauchway on Murdering McKinley: The Making of Theodore Roosevelt's America, September 21, 2003.
U.S. Presidential Administrations
Preceded by
T. Roosevelt Presidency
Succeeded by
  1. ^ The Theodore Roosevelt Centennial CD-ROM
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