Essay, Research Paper: Theodore Roosevelt 


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Theodore Roosevelt “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 Presidents.
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