Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt by John Singer Sargent, 1903.jpg
Official presidential portrait, oil on canvas, by John Singer Sargent (1903).
26th President of the United States
In office
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
Vice President none (1901-1905),[1]
Charles W. Fairbanks (1905-1909)
Preceded by William McKinley
Succeeded by William Howard Taft
25th Vice President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1901 – September 14, 1901
President William McKinley
Preceded by Garret Hobart (until 1899)
Succeeded by Charles W. Fairbanks (from 1905)
33rd Governor of New York
In office
January 1, 1899 – December 31, 1900
Lieutenant Timothy L. Woodruff
Preceded by Frank S. Black
Succeeded by Benjamin B. Odell, Jr.
Personal details
Born October 27, 1858
New York City
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Oyster Bay, New York
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) (1) Alice Hathaway Lee (married 1880, died 1884)
(2) Edith Kermit Carow (married 1886)
Religion Dutch Reformed

The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt was the executive branch of the United States government from September 14, 1901 to March 4, 1909. Before serving as 26th President of the United States of America, Roosevelt, a Republican, was 25th Vice President. He also previously served as Police Commissioner of New York City, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and Governor of New York. Roosevelt was sworn-in as President upon the assassination of William McKinley. Owing to his charismatic personality, his extremely high energy levels and span of interests, and his reformist policies, which he called the "Square Deal", Roosevelt is considered one of the ablest presidents and an icon of the Progressive Era.[2]

Roosevelt was a Progressive reformer who sought to move the dominant Republican Party into a more liberal camp. He distrusted wealthy businessmen and dissolved 44 monopolistic corporations as a "trust buster." He took care, however, to show that he did not disagree with trusts and capitalism in principle, but was only against their corrupt, illegal 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. He avoided labor strife and negotiated 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. In the 1904 election, Roosevelt became the first vice president who took over upon the death of a president to win a full presidential term in his own right. After 1906, he moved to the political left, attacking big business and suggesting the courts were biased against labor unions. He made sure his friend William Howard Taft replaced him as president.

In foreign affairs, Roosevelt, as president, showed none of the bellicosity that made his reputation when he called for war with Spain in 1898. Indeed, he became the first American to be awarded, in 1906, the Nobel Prize for peace, for negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese War. Roosevelt was a naval strategist, often discussing history and theory with Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, and taking a close interest in the Navy. The president emphasized the strategic necessity of the Panama Canal for reasons both military (to be able to use the Navy in both the Atlantic and Pacific) and commercial (to tie the East Coast to the West Coast and Asia). He negotiated US control of its construction in 1904; he felt that the Canal's completion was his most important and historically significant international achievement.

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."[3] 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.[4][5]

Leadership style

Roosevelt's Inauguration

President William McKinley was shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz in Buffalo, New York on September 6, 1901, and died on September 14, leaving Roosevelt to inherit the presidency. Being a few weeks short of his 43rd birthday, Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest person to hold the office. He retained McKinley's cabinet and promised to maintain his predecessor's policies. One of his first notable acts as President was to deliver a 20,000-word address to Congress on December 3, 1901,[6] asking it to curb the power of large corporations (called "trusts") "within reasonable limits." For his aggressive attacks on trusts over his two terms, he earned the label "trust-buster." Roosevelt relished the Presidency and seemed to be everywhere at once.[7] He took Cabinet members and friends on long, fast-paced hikes, engaged in boxing in the White House state rooms (during one bout of which he was permanently blinded in one eye), romped with his children, and read voraciously.

In 1904, Roosevelt ran for President in his own right and won in a landslide victory.

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.[8] The grateful press, with unprecedented access to the White House, rewarded Roosevelt with ample coverage.,[8] rendered the more possible by Roosevelt's practice of screening out reporters he didn't like.[8]

Domestic policy

Before entering the White House Roosevelt had learned a great deal as governor of the richest state, New York. He especially studied current economic issues and political techniques that proved relevant to his presidency. He came to understand the complexities of such issues as the trusts, monopoly, labor relations, and conservation. Chessman argues that Roosevelt's gubernatorial program "rested firmly upon the concept of the square deal by a neutral state." The rules for the Square Deal were "honesty in public affairs, an equitable sharing of privilege and responsibility, and subordination of party and local concerns to the interests of the state at large." [9] Chessman says that as governor Roosevelt developed the principles that shaped his presidency, especially

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.[10]


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.[11] Roosevelt, trained as a biologist, identified himself and his programs with the mystique of science.

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.[12] Roosevelt, the former deputy sheriff on the Dakota frontier, and police commissioner of New York City, was keen on law and order. Indeed, he was the first president with significant law enforcement experience, and his moralistic determination set the tone of national politics.[13][14]

Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902

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. '[15]

TR teaches the childish coal barons a lesson; 1902 editorial cartoon

Trust busting

Room in the Wilcox Mansion, where Roosevelt was sworn into the Presidency

Trusts increasingly became a central issue, with fears that large corporations would impose monopolistic prices to defraud consumers and drive small, independent companies out. By 1904, 318 trusts including those in railroads, local transit, and banking industry controlled two-fifths of the nation's industrial output.

There are historians who credit McKinley with starting the trust-busting era, but it was Roosevelt who acted most powerfully as the "trust buster." Once he became President, Roosevelt worked to increase the regulatory power of the federal government. Regulation of railroads was strengthened by the Elkins Act of 1903 and the Hepburn Act of 1906, which curbed the monopolitistic power of the railroads. Under the president's leadership, the Attorney General brought 44 suits against monopolists. Notably, J. P. Morgan's Northern Securities Company, a huge railroad combination, was broken up. To deal with the labor and management issues, Roosevelt established the Department of Commerce and Labor.[16]

Food and Drugs

Beef Trust

In Swift and Company v. United States the Adminsitration won a major Supreme Court victory and broke up the "Beef trust" that monopolized half or more of beef sales. The case originated in 1902 when Roosevelt directed his Attorney General Philander Knox to bring a lawsuit against the "Beef Trust" on antitrust grounds using the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. 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. The six companies involved were Swift, Armour, Morris, Cudahy, Wilson and Schwartzchild. Together they did $700 million a year in business and controlled half of the national market, and up to 75% in New York City. 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 and 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 that depicted horribly unsanitary conditions in Chicago's meatpacking plants, supported the decision.[17]

Pure Food and Drug Act

In response to public clamor, Roosevelt pushed Congress to pass the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, 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.[18]

Railroad regulation

Roosevelt firmly believed that "The Government must in increasing degree supervise and regulate the workings of the railways engaged in interstate commerce." Inaction was a danger, he argued. "Such increased supervision is the only alternative to an increase of the present evils on the one hand or a still more radical policy on the other." (Annual Message, December 1904)

The Elkins Act was the administration's first effort to regulate railroad rates. It proved ineffective in enforcement, however. Roosevelt agreed with the shipping interests who wanted lower rates and stronger power of the Interstate Commerce Commission to enforce them. As Roosevelt told Congress, "Above all else, we must strive to keep the highways of commerce open to all on equal terms; and to do this it is necessary to put a complete stop to all rebates."

Politically, the measure was action on behalf of shippers. It was assumed that the railroads would always be powerful, and no amount of regulation would seriously weaken them. Roosevelt encountered opposition in his party, led in the Senate by Nelson Aldrich of Rhode Island, the party leader; Joseph B. Foraker of Ohio; Chauncey Depew of New York (the president of the New York Central Railroad); Stephen Elkins of West Virginia; Philander Knox of Pennsylvania (formerly Roosevelt's Attorney General); and one of his closest friends Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts. Roosevelt therefore relied on a group of midwestern Republicans, especially William Allison of Iowa.

He wanted to avoid collaborating with Ben Tillman of South Carolina, whom he considered "one of the foulest and rottenest demagogues in the whole country." In the end Roosevelt convinced the conservatives that the courts would protect the railroads' interests, and he carried the bill without Tillman.[19]

The Hepburn Act authorized the Interstate Commerce Commission to set maximum railroad rates and stop the practice of giving out free passes to friends of the railway interests. In addition, the Interstate Commerce Commission could examine the railroads' financial records, a task simplified by standardized booking systems. For any railroad that resisted, the Interstate Commerce Commission's conditions would be in effect until a legal decision of a court is issued. By the Hepburn Act, the Interstate Commerce Commission's authority was extended to bridges, terminals, ferries, sleeping cars, express companies and oil pipelines.

The main beneficiaries of the antitrust measures were merchants who received lower shipping rates.[20]


Roosevelt was a prominent conservationist, putting the issue high on the national agenda.[21] He worked with all the major figures of the movement, especially his chief advisor on the matter, Gifford Pinchot. Roosevelt was deeply committed to conserving natural resources, and is considered to be the nation's first conservation President. 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. Roosevelt set aside more Federal land, national parks, and nature preserves than all of his predecessors combined.[22][23]

TR's conservation policies

Roosevelt established the United States Forest Service, signed into law the creation of five National Parks, and signed the 1906 Antiquities Act, under which he proclaimed 18 new U.S. National Monuments. He also established the first 51 Bird Reserves, four Game Preserves, and 150 National Forests, including Shoshone National Forest, the nation's first. The area of the United States that he placed under public protection totals approximately 230,000,000 acres (930,000 km2).

Gifford Pinchot had been appointed by McKinley as chief of Division of Forestry in the Department of Agriculture. In 1905, his department gained control of the national forest reserves. Pinchot promoted private use (for a fee) under federal supervision. In 1907, Roosevelt designated 16 million acres (65,000 km²) of new national forests just minutes before a deadline.

In May 1908, Roosevelt sponsored the Conference of Governors held in the White House, with a focus on natural resources and their most efficient use. Roosevelt delivered the opening address: "Conservation as a National Duty."

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." [24]

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.[25] Roosevelt was reluctant to use federal authority to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution guaranteeing voting rights to African Americans.

Booker T. Washington, whom Roosevelt invited to dinner at the White House in 1901. Born into slavery, Washington became a civil rights advocate in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Publicly, Roosevelt spoke out against racism and discrimination. He appointed many blacks to lower-level Federal offices, and wrote fondly of the "Buffalo Soldiers", who had fought beside his Rough Riders at the Battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba in July 1898. However, soon after returning from San Juan Hill, Roosevelt changed his story concerning African-American soldiers and their conduct in battle, saying "Under the strain the colored infantrymen (who had none of their white officers) began to get a little uneasy and drift to the rear… This I could not allow." [26] Roosevelt opposed school segregation, having ended the practice in New York State during his governorship, and also rejected anti-Semitism — he was the first to appoint a Jew, Oscar S. Straus, to the Cabinet.

Like most intellectuals of the era, Roosevelt believed in social evolution;[27] as an authority on biology he paid special attention to the issue. He saw the different races as having reached different levels of civilization, with whites thus far having reached a higher level than blacks. Every race, and every individual, was capable of unlimited improvement, Roosevelt felt. Furthermore, a new "race" (in the cultural sense, not biological) had emerged on the American frontier, the "American race," and it was quite distinct from other ethnic groups, such as the Anglo-Saxons. Roosevelt identified himself as Dutch, not Anglo-Saxon.[28] After criticism of his invitation of Washington to the White House, Roosevelt seemed to wilt publicly on the cause of racial equality. 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.

In 1905, Roosevelt wanted the city of San Francisco to allow 93 Japanese students to attend public schools with whites; they were assigned to the public school for Chinese students, which Japan had protested. Roosevelt threatened a lawsuit. Finally a compromise was reached where the School Board would allow the Japanese students to attend public school with whites and Roosevelt would ask Japan to stop issuing passports to laborers. By the "Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907," Japan did stop issuing passports to unskilled workers.[29]

Radical shift, 1907–08

By 1907–08, his last two years in office, Roosevelt was increasingly distrustful of big business, despite its close ties to the Republican party in every large state. Public opinion had been shifting to the left after a series of scandals, and big business was in bad odor. Abandoning his earlier cautious approach toward big business, Roosevelt freely lambasted his conservative critics and called on Congress to enact a series of radical new laws — the Square Deal — that would regulate the economy.[30] He wanted a national incorporation law (all corporations had state charters, which varied greatly state by state), a federal income tax and inheritance tax (both targeted on the rich), limits on the use of court injunctions against labor unions during strikes (injunctions were a powerful weapon that mostly helped business), an employee liability law for industrial injuries (preempting state laws), an eight-hour law for federal employees, a postal savings system (to provide competition for local banks), and, finally, campaign reform laws.

TR Farewell speeches sought Progressive goals but did not pass Congress

None of his agenda was enacted, and Roosevelt carried over the ideas into the 1912 campaign.[31] 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.[32]

Roosevelt's move allowed Senator Nelson Aldrich to tighten his control of Congress.[32] In 1908, Aldrich introduced the constitutional amendment to establish an income tax. The same year he wrote the Aldrich–Vreeland Act which created the National Monetary Commission, which he directed. It made an in-depth study of central banking in Europe—which was far more effective than America in that regard. Aldrich's dramatic proposals for comprehensive reform became the Federal Reserve in 1913. He wanted the president to have little power because the president wasn't going to be in office for long.

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.[33] He had traveled widely and was well informed on international affairs, as well as military and naval affairs around the world. He was determined to make America a great world power while avoiding war.[34]


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 had 542,000.[35] The Spanish–American War of 1898 was fought mostly by temporary volunteers and state national guard units. It demonstrated that more effective control over the department and bureaus was necessary.[36]

Roosevelt gave strong support to the reforms proposed by his Secretary of War Elihu Root (1899–1904), 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. Root was concerned about the new territories acquired after the Spanish–American War and worked out the procedures for turning Cuba over to the Cubans, wrote the charter of government for the Philippines, and eliminated tariffs on goods imported to the United States from Puerto Rico.[37]


Roosevelt, a friend of Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan and an advocate of his doctrine of sea power, worked to build the Navy into a force befitting a major world power. He sent the Great White Fleet (named after its gleaming white paint) on an around-the-world cruise in 1908-09. By 1904, the United States had the fifth largest Navy in the world; by 1907, it had the third largest.[38] As a tribute to him, several Navy warships have been named after Roosevelt over the years, including a Nimitz class supercarrier.

Roosevelt Corollary

Roosevelt regarded the Panama Canal as one of his greatest achievements

In late 1904, following the Venezuela Crisis of 1902–03, 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. In the case of Venezuela's default, Germany had threatened to seize the customs houses in her ports. Thus, 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.[39]

Ending the Russo-Japanese War

In the summer of 1905, Roosevelt persuaded the parties in the Russo-Japanese War 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.[40]

Japan and Korea

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 Japanese moves to control the strategic Korean Peninsula. 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.[41] (There is a myth regarding a so-called Taft–Katsura Agreement of 1905; it was a conversation that did not produce an agreement).[42]

Vituperative anti-Japanese sentiment (especially on the West Coast) soured relations in the 1907-24 era.[43] Washington did not want to anger Japan by passing legislation to bar Japanese immigration to the U.S. as had been done for Chinese immigration. Instead there was an informal "Gentlemen's Agreement" (1907-8) between the U.S. and Japan whereby Japan made sure there was very little or no migration of unskilled Japanese workers to the U.S., and the public schools of San Francisco stopped the segregation of Japanese students. The agreements were made by Secretary of State Elihu Root and Japan's Foreign Minister Tadasu Hayashi. The Agreement banned emigration of Japanese laborers to the U.S. or Hawaii and ended the segregation order of the San Francisco School Board in California, which had humiliated and angered the Japanese. The agreements remained effect until 1924 when Congress forbade all immigration from Japan.[44][45]

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.[46]

Panama Canal

President Theodore Roosevelt sitting on a steam shovel excavating Culebra Cut for the Panama Canal, 1906

In 1903, Roosevelt encouraged the local political class in Panama to form a nation independent from Colombia after that nation refused the American terms for the building of a canal across the isthmus. Roosevelt dispatched navy vessels to the area to apply political pressure on the Colombian government, allowing the Panamanian rebels to secede without much opposition. The new nation of Panama sold a canal zone to the United States for $10 million and a steadily increasing yearly sum. Roosevelt felt that a passage through the Isthmus of Panama was vital to protect American interests and to create a strong and cohesive United States Navy that could easily move warships between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The resulting Panama Canal was completed in 1914 and brought greatly increased trade to Central America and to the American West Coast.[47]

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.[48]


After the official end of Philippine–American War in 1902, the insurgents accepted 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."[49] 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.[50]

Administration and Cabinet

Group portrait of the cabinet of President of the United States
At far left: Theodore 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
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

Judicial appointments

Roosevelt appointed three Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States:

States admitted to the Union

  • Oklahoma – November 16, 1907 46th state

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. The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. (1963)
  • 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • 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 [51]
  • 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

See also


  1. Until the ratification of the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1967, there was no provision for filling a mid-term vacancy in the office of Vice President. Find Law for Legal Professionals - U.S. Constitution: Twenty-Fifth Amendment - Annotations
  2. H. W. Brands, T.R.: The Last Romantic (1997) p. 477.
  3. Thomas A. Bailey, Presidential Greatness (1966) p. 308
  4. "Impact and Legacy", Biography, American President, The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, 2005, retrieved March 7, 2006<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  5. "Legacy", T Roosevelt, PBS, retrieved March 7, 2006<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  6. Almanac of Theodore Roosevelt - Speeches of Theodore Roosevelt - Teddy Roosevelt
  7. Brands, TR (1997) ch 16
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Rouse, Robert (March 15, 2006). "Happy Anniversary to the first scheduled presidential press conference - 93 years young!". American Chronicle. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. G. Wallace Chessman, Governor Theodore Roosevelt: The Albany Apprenticeship, 1898-1900 (1965) p 6
  10. Chessman, p 6
  11. see George Mowry, The Era of Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of Modern America, 1900-1912 (1954), ch. 1
  12. see Lewis L. Gould, The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. (1991), ch 1
  13. Joshua Hawley, Theodore Roosevelt: preacher of righteousness (2008) p. 91, 99, 110
  14. Henry F. Pringle, Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography (1931) pp 132-51
  15. Brands, TR (1997) pp 434-62
  16. Gould (1991)
  17. "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
  18. Blum (1954) pp 43-44
  19. Brands, 545-8; Harbaugh ch 14; Blum (1954)
  20. In the long run, the measures eroded the competitiveness of railroad industry with respect to trucking, according to the historian Albro Martin. Enterprise Denied: Origins of the Decline of American Railroads, 1897-1917(1978)
  21. Benjamin Redekop, (2014). "Embodying the Story: The Conservation Leadership of Theodore Roosevelt" in Leadership DOI: 10.1177/1742715014546875. online
  22. W. Todd Benson, President Theodore Roosevelt's Conservations Legacy (2003)
  23. Douglas Brinkley, The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America (2010)
  24. Gifford Pinchot, Breaking New Ground, (1947) p. 32.
  25. Brands, TR (1999) pp 421-26
  26. Spanish–American War Buffalo Soldiers[dead link]
  27. Theodore Roosevelt Center - Essay Details
  28. Thomas G. Dyer, Theodore Roosevelt and the Idea of Race (1992)
  29. David Brudnoy, "Race and The San Francisco School Board Incident: Contemporary Evaluations," California Historical Quarterly, 1971, Vol. 50 Issue 3, pp 295-312
  30. Brands, TR (1997) ch 21
  31. Brands, TR (1997) ch 27
  32. 32.0 32.1 Mowry (1954)
  33. 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.
  34. Warren Zimmermann, First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power (2004)
  35. Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987) p. 154, 203
  36. Graham A. Cosmas, An Army for Empire: The United States Army and the Spanish–American War (1971)
  37. James E. Hewes, Jr. From Root to McNamara: Army Organization and Administration, 1900-1963 (1975)
  38. Gordon Carpenter O'Gara, Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of the Modern Navy (1970)
  39. Frederick W. Marks III, Velvet on Iron: The Diplomacy of Theodore Roosevelt (1979), p. 140
  40. Greg Russell, "Theodore Roosevelt's Diplomacy and the Quest for Great Power Equilibrium in Asia," Presidential Studies Quarterly 2008 38(3): 433-455
  41. Howard K. Beale, Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power (1956)
  42. In 1924 Tyler Dennett uncovered notes of a secret meeting between Secretary of War William H. Taft and the Japanese prime minister in Tokyo in 1905. Dennett misinterpreted it to involve giving a free hand in Korea in return for Japan promising to stay out of the Philippines. However, the documents in the U.S. Department of State archives and Roosevelt's papers show that Taft, Roosevelt and Premier Taro Katsura privately denied the existence of any "bargain." Rather there was a discussion that did not produce any agreement. See Raymond A. Esthus, "The Taft-Katsura Agreement - Reality or Myth?" Journal of Modern History 1959 31(1): 46-51 in JSTOR.
  43. 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
  44. Carl R. Weinberg, "The 'Gentlemen's Agreement' of 1907-08," OAH Magazine of History (2009) 23#4 pp 36-36.
  45. A. Whitney Griswold, The Far Eastern Policy of the United States (1938). pp 354-60, 372-79
  46. Charles E. Neu, An Uncertain Friendship: Theodore Roosevelt and Japan, 1906-1909 (Harvard University Press, 1967), p. 319.
  47. Julie Greene, The Canal Builders: Making America's Empire at the Panama Canal (2009)
  48. Raymond A. Esthus, Theodore Roosevelt and the International Rivalries (1970) pp 66-111
  49. H. W. Brands, Bound to Empire: The United States and the Philippines.. (1992) p. 84.
  50. 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
  51. The Theodore Roosevelt Centennial CD-ROM

External links