Theodore Roosevelt 2 Essay, Research Paper
The life of Theodore Roosevelt (1858 1919)
was one of constant activity, immense energy,
and enduring accomplishments. As the
twenty-sixth President of the United States,
Roosevelt was the wielder of the Big Stick, the
builder of the Panama Canal, an avid
conservationist, and the nemesis of the
corporate trusts that threatened to monopolize
American business at the start of the century.
His exploits as a Rough Rider in the
Spanish-American War and as a cowboy in the
Dakota Territory were indicative of his spirit
of adventure and love of the outdoors. Reading
and hunting were lifelong passions of his;
writing was a lifelong compulsion.
After graduating magna cum laude, from the
Harvard University, Theodore began to lay the
building blocks for his public career. He began
one of the most historic political careers ever.
Roosevelt put his early political years in these
words, I rose like a rocket .
After being a New York Assemblyman, United
States Civil Commissioner, Assistant Secretary
of the Navy, Roosevelt played a significant role
in the Spanish-American War. The Spanish, who
once thrived in the new world, really only
controlled Cuba now. But the Cubans attempted
several times to receive their independence. The
Cubans were mistreated, so the United States
stepped in. War was declared against Spain by
the United States. As the war went on Roosevelt
began a group called the Rough Riders. This
group consisted of largely cowboys, Indians, and
college athletes. The group was led by Teddy and
Colonel Leonard Wood.
On June 30, the Rough Riders marched to
Santiago. Then On July 1, the Rough Riders
played a huge role in the American victory at
San Juan Hill. Now with the Hills, Teddy the
Rough Riders and the rest of the American
troops, were ready to attack Santiago. Later,
because Spain could not fight anymore, Spain
asked for a peace agreement. Now Teddy was a
war hero, this is nothing but help his chances
for the U.S. President spot.
After holding the governor spot over New
York, Theodore ran as Vice President with
William McKinley. On September 6, 1901 President
McKinley was assassinated by, a anarchist named
Leon Czolgosz. And the Rough Rider, cowboy, was
now the President of the United States.
Although only 42, by far the youngest president
in the nation s history up to that time,
Roosevelt brought solid qualifications to the
office. No event had a more profound effect
on Theodore Roosevelt s political career.
As the President, Roosevelt look out for the
best interest of the United States. In dealing
with business, President Roosevelt was
determined to see that no Big Business had a
monopoly. As a result in early 1902, the
attorney-general was ordered by Teddy to file a
suit against The Northern Securities Company,
which was a railroad investment company. The
company controlled 3 major railroads in the
Northwest. The Northwest Securities Company was
charged with being a monopoly, under the Sherman
Antitrust Act. The Supreme Court later ruled on
the case a said the Northern Securities Company
must be broken up because they were combination
in restraint of trade. Because of the success
that Roosevelt won in this case, he brought
charges on over 40 more Big Businesses. The
most important businesses broken up by the
Supreme Court, as a result of Roosevelt s
actions were the Standard Oil Company and the
American Tobacco Company. Because the antitrust
cases were took so long to get to the Supreme
Court, Roosevelt asked Congress to pass the
Expedition Act, which sped the process.
Roosevelt did not discriminate big businesses
simply because they were big, he looked for the
businesses that posed a threat to the public.
Roosevelt s action against big businesses won
him the title trust buster .
One of the biggest challenge Roosevelt took
on was getting the Panama Canal built. The
United States and Great Britain signed a treaty
which gave the U.S. exclusive rights to build,
and operate a canal in Central America. There
was some disagreement where the canal would be
built, but the final decision was Panama, where
a French company had been digging but went
bankrupt. In June of 1902 congress passed the
Isthmian Canal Act, which authorized the
purchase of the French land for $40 million.
But the United States also had to get control of
the canal zone from what was then Colombia.
Secretary of State made an agreement with Thomas
Herran to purchase, the right to control the
land, for $10 million plus $250,000 yearly. The
U.S. Senate accepted it but, the Colombian
senate rejected the offer, hoping to get more
money. At this point Roosevelt considered
taking the land by force. He called
them(Colombian senate) corrupted, and he said
they were trying to black-mail the United
States. But the people who lived in Panama were
resentful to Colombia government, and a revolt
was inevitable. The revolt was funded by the
French Company. Roosevelt ordered the U.S. Navel
forces to keep Colombian troops from getting
into Panama, to end the revolt. Panama
succeeded, mainly due to the help of the U.S.
Navy. An agreement was made and the U.S. began
to build the Panama Canal.
Roosevelt was an outdoorsman, he enjoyed
everything about the outdoors. He was
determined to conserve nature. He made huge
steps to conserve nature. He called National
Conservation Conference at the White House.
Which resulted in many states creating a
conservative commission. He also added 150
million acres to the national forest reserve.
And passed several acts to conserve and benefit
the United States natural resources. Conserving
nature is just a part of his great legacy.
Teddy Roosevelt led a highly successful
life, until his last day. He will be forever
remembered as one of the United States greatest
1. A Beka Book: United States History p. 439-56
2. Bob Jones: United States Hitstory p.384-94
3. Bob Jones: American Government p.150-51
4. The American Nation p.585-90