Teddy Roosvelt Vs. Harry Truman Essay, Research Paper
History has offered a variety of presidents to the United States. Some were strong fighters and generals, some were calm and peaceful, and others were known for their personality and wisdom. Two such presidents were Theodore Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. Although there lies several differences in their Presidencies they had the same basis of personality. Their leadership was compelled by a passion for wit and energy, which shaped their Presidencies?s. This audacious way of controlling the Presidency was not easy and did not have a outcome as great for Truman as it did for Roosevelt. Their unconventional attitude, methods and personality, completely reshaped the presidency and left a lasting impression on it?s people.
Truman and Roosevelt were both vice presidents when something tragic overcame the President. Truman became President after Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, 1945 (Hamby 149). Roosevelt was placed in office in 1901 succeeding William Mckinley?s assignation (Oates 111). Both of these presidents had to face the hardships of having to carry out someone else plans. One of the few things that separated these men was that Roosevelt and Truman came from two different political parties. Truman was a Democrat and Roosevelt was a Republican (Bernstein 237; Oates,111). When Truman ran for a second term ?Republicans ?beat
Truman to a pulp?? (Rose 49), but it was not the same for Roosevelt. The
two parties in Roosevelt?s re-election were not as harsh and were actually friendly towards one another (Oates 116).
One of the biggest issues in the Roosevelt?s and Truman?s presidency was their control over Congress. Roosevelt had a very strong relationship with Congress (Morris
14). It is thought that Roosevelt?s ?influence over Congress as greater than that of
Kaiser Wilhelm II over the Reichstag? (Morris 14). Truman, on the other hand, had a very hard time when dealing with Congress. Truman tried to carry out the policies Franklin D. Roosevelt had laid out but Congress refused to support him; therefore, he had to drop the plans (Hamby 362).
Truman and Roosevelt had very similar ways of handling the presidency. Truman’s leading saying was ?Give ‘Em Hell? (Hamby 540), while Roosevelt preferred a West African proverb saying of: ? Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far? (?The Turning Point?). Each of these sayings portrayed their attitudes about their policies and getting what the people wanted. That gave each of them a great deal of support from the citizens (Hamby 540; Bernstein 233).
Dealing with stress is an important part of being president. Truman and Roosevelt each had a great amount to deal with. Truman, however, was not as resourceful in handling stress as Roosevelt was. Truman had several faults when it came to stress. He became ?suspicious of those around him, was capable of vindictiveness, and seethed with unfocused hostility,? due to the large amount of pressure put upon him (Hamby 485). Truman had a tendancy to quarreled with the press. ?His irritation with them border on obsessive? (Hamby 485). Roosevelt, on the other hand, showed no sign of stress or strain through his presidency (Bernstein 233).
The energy which these two men contained was really what shaped their presidency. Roosevelt?s amazing ?presence? is supposably why everyone loved him (Oates 114). After meeting President Roosevelt, people come out of the office, ??flushed, short-breathed, energized?? , which shows how powerful his presence really was (Oates 114). He was actually compared to Niagara falls by John Morley because ??both are great wonders of nature? and because they were both so powerful. This energy which engulfed all things around him made many people believe that he thought faster, ate more, and enjoyed more then any other human
(Oates 113). He was also extremely intelligent with an abundant vocabulary. He was acquainted with almost every topic that could be thought of (Morris 19). In fact he was so mentally and physically well-rounded that he could be thought of as two great men combined (Oates 113).
Truman also had a great intensity. ?? Newsmen were frankly horrified at Harry Truman?s endless cheerfulness and energy? (?Mowing ?Em Down?). Truman worked very hard and put much effort in to the presidency (Bernstein 214). He was a man of ?decisions, honesty and uncommon bluntness? (Bernstein,212). But even his energy pales in comparison to Roosevelt?s.
Each of these Presidents also brought a new style with them to the presidency. Truman brought a homely Missouri boy look (?Mowing ?Em Down?). Theodore Roosevelt brought a cowboy style to the presidency. He would often take hunting trips, owned a cattle ranch, and was part of the ?Rough Riders? ( Morris 292). The people liked the rougher, friendly style because they could relate to it easily, which gave both the Presidents a great start with the citizens.
The presidents faced was racism and religious oppression. Roosevelt was against racism and faced heavy criticism for it. He started out by appointing a Jewish cabinet member (Morris 14). After trying to integrate San Fransico schools, he was thought to be dangerous (Morris 12). He was also the first president to entertain a black man in the White House. The press was very upset about this, and let it be known that they were displeased with the president to the public. Truman was a self-proclaimed racist. Truman was extremely touchy about being questioned by a black man. Truman did promote civil rights, but that was mainly only in order guarantee the African American population?s vote for his second term. In private he was also know to use racial slurs in reference to African Americans (Hamby 365).
Truman and Roosevelt also had different in personality. Truman had a very hard time trusting those around him. He tended to be very harsh and spiteful. Truman had
problems with anger, which made it extremely hard to be around him (Hamby 485). Contrary to Truman, Roosevelt was very open and extremely easy to get along with. It was said that Roosevelt was: ??impetuous to the point of rudeness, displayed a gentleness and a tactfulness that only a truly great man can command? (Morris 19). These thrilling characteristics made Roosevelt very likable and gregarious. Roosevelt also had a way of making people around him laugh, many even laughed till they cried. This added to his personality made it easier for people to think of Roosevelt more as a person than a President, which gave him more support ( Morris 18). ?His vituperation was extremely amusing and he had had a most extraordinary vocabulary… never in our lives have we laughed as often as when Theodore Roosevelt of those days was our host? (Morris 554).
One of the biggest similarities between Harry Truman and Roosevelt was that they both loved being President, which helped make them both very successful. ?Truman loved being president and the people loved him for loving it? (Hamby 482). Their enthusiasm toward the presidency made them it easier for the people to be more excited about them as the president. Theodore Roosevelt loved everything down to the paperwork and was quoted saying: ?I love being president? (Morris 17). Truman felt that, ? I wasn?t the greatest president, but I had a good time trying to be one, I can tell you that? (Bernstein 214)
Morals and values have always been a top priority for presidents and both Roosevelt and Truman prided themselves upon them. Truman was extremely proud of his honesty (Hamby 363). Roosevelt was proud that he put the peoples needs above all else ( Mr. Citizen 42). Roosevelt and Truman also stuck with very traditional morals, which the people respected and appreciated ( Morris 364; Bernstein 212).
Although both presidents were very well respected and highly liked, it is easy to
tell that one wins favor over the other. Due to some flaws in Truman?s behavior it was hard at times for him to be completely cordial, but Theodore Roosevelt kept his friendly
appeal constantly. Many think Theodore is irreplaceable; there will never be anyone like him ever again, especially not president (Oates 114).
It is unmistakable that Roosevelt and Truman left and impression on American society using their deviser personality, attitudes and methods. Their upbeat personalities and radiant energy will be a legend for many years. The leadership they presented was remarkably different from just by the way they presented themselves, which made the people of American hold them in high regards. Therefore Roosevelt and Truman personable spirits will always be something Americans will look for their presidential candidates t have, although to find anyone as significant as Truman or Roosevelt will be extremely difficult.
Bernstein, Barton J., and Matusow, Allen J.. The Truman Administration: A documentary History. New York: Harprer and Row, 1966.
Hamby, Alonzo. Man of the People. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
Morris, Edmund. The Rise of Theadore Roosevelt. New York: Coward, McCann and
Geoghegan, Inc., 1979.
?Mowing ?Em Down? . 1995 Almanac- TIME.1995. CD-ROM. TIME Magazine, 1995.
Mr. Citizen- Harry S. Truman. New York:Bernard Geis Associates, 1953.
Oates, Stephen B.. Protrait of America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991.
Phillips, Cabell. The Truman Presidency: The History of a Triumpant Succession. London: The MacMillion Company, 1966.
Rose, Lisle A.. The Cold War Comes to Main Street. Kansas City: University Press of Kansas, 1999.
?The Turning Point? . 1995 Almanac- TIME.1995. CD-ROM. TIME Magazine, 1995.