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Emilio Aguinaldo

Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy (March 22, 1869 –

February 6, 1964) was a Filipino general,
politician, and independence leader of Chinese
and Spanish descent. He played an instrumental
role in Philippine independence during the
Philippine Revolution against Spain and the
Philippine-American War that resisted American
occupation. He eventually pledged his allegiance
to the US government.

In the Philippines, Aguinaldo is considered to be

the country's first and the youngest Philippine

Early life and career

The seventh of eight children of Carlos Aguinaldo

y Jamir and Trinidad Famy y Valero, he was born
into a Filipino family on March 22, 1869 in Cavite
El Viejo (now Kawit), Cavite province. His father
was gobernadorcillo (town head), and, as
members of the Chinese Tagalog mestizo minority, they enjoyed relative wealth and

As a young boy he received education from his great-aunt and later attended the
town's elementary school. In 1880, he took up his secondary course education at
the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, which he quit on his third year to return home
instead to help his widowed mother manage their farm.

At the age of 28, Miong, as he was popularly called, was elected cabeza de
barangay of Binakayan, the most progressive barrio of Cavite El Viejo. He held this
position serving for his town-mates for eight years. He also engaged in inter-island
shipping, travelling as far south as the Sulu Archipelago.

In 1893, the Maura Law was passed to reorganize town governments with the aim
of making them more effective and autonomous, changing the designation of town
head from gobernadorcillo to capitan municipal effective 1895. On January 1, 1895,
Aguinaldo was elected town head, becoming the first person to hold the title of
capitan municipal of Cavite El Viejo.


His first marriage was in 1896 with Hilaria Del Rosario (1877-1921). They had five
children (Miguel, Carmen, Emilio Jr., María and Cristina). His second wife was María
Agoncillo (1882-1963).
Several of Aguinaldo's descendants became prominent political figures in their own
right. A grandnephew, Cesar Virata, served as Prime Minister of the Philippines from
1981 to 1986. Aguinaldo's granddaughter, Ameurfina Herrera, served as an
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1979 until 1992

Philippine Revolution

In 1895, Aguinaldo joined the Katipunan, a secret organization led by Andrés

Bonifacio, dedicated to the expulsion of the Spanish and independence of the
Philippines through armed force. Aguinaldo used the nom de guerre Magdalo, in
honor of Mary Magdalene. His local chapter of the Katipunan, headed by his cousin
Baldomero Aguinaldo, was also called Magdalo.

The Katipunan revolted against the Spanish colonizers in the last week of August
1896, starting in Manila. However, Aguinaldo and other Cavite rebels initially
refused to join in the offensive due to lack of arms. Their absence contributed to
Bonifacio's defeat in San Juan del Monte. While Bonifacio and other rebels were
forced to resort to guerrilla warfare, Aguinaldo and the Cavite rebels won major
victories in set-piece battles, temporarily driving the Spanish out of their area.

Conflict between the Magdalo and another Cavite Katipunan faction, the
Magdiwang, led to Bonifacio's intervention in the province. The Cavite rebels then
made overtures about establishing a revolutionary government in place of the
Katipunan. Though Bonifacio already considered the Katipunan to be a government,
he acquiesced and presided over elections held during the Tejeros Convention in
Tejeros, Cavite on March 22, 1897. Away from his power base, Bonifacio lost the
leadership to Aguinaldo, and was elected instead to the office of Secretary of the
Interior. Even this was questioned by an Aguinaldo supporter, claiming Bonifacio
had not the necessary schooling for the job. Insulted, Bonifacio declared the
Convention null and void, and sought to return to his power base in Morong
(present-day Rizal). He and his party were intercepted by Aguinaldo's men and
violence resulted which left Bonifacio seriously wounded. Bonifacio was charged,
tried and found guilty of treason by a Cavite military tribunal, and sentenced to
death. After some vacillation, Aguinaldo confirmed the death sentence, and
Bonifacio was executed on May 10, 1897 in the mountains of Maragondon in Cavite,
even as Aguinaldo and his forces were retreating in the face of Spanish assault.


Spanish pressure intensified, eventually forcing Aguinaldo's forces to retreat to the

mountains. Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo signed the treaty of Biak-na-Bato, which specified
that the Spanish would give self-rule to the Philippines within 3 years if Gen. Emilio
Aguinaldo was exiled. On December 14, 1897, Aguinaldo was shipped to Hong
Kong. Under the pact, Aguinaldo agreed to end hostilities as well in exchange for
amnesty and "$800,000 (Mexican)" (Aguinaldo's description of the amount) as an
indemnity. Aguinaldo took the money offered. Emilio Aguinaldo was President and
Mariano Trias (Vice President). Other officials included Antonio Montenegro for
Foreign Affairs, Isabelo Artacho for the Interior, Baldomero Aguinaldo for the
Treasury, and Emiliano Riego de Dios for War.
However, thousands of other Katipuneros continued to fight the Revolution against
Spain for a sovereign nation. Unlike Aguinaldo who came from a privileged
background, the bulk of these fighters were peasants and workers who were not
willing to settle for 'indemnities.'

In early 1898, war broke out between Spain and the United States. Aguinaldo
returned to the Philippines in May 1898. He immediately resumed revolutionary
activities against the Spaniards, now receiving verbal encouragement from
emissaries of the U. S.


The insurgent First Philippine Republic was formally established with the
proclamation of the Malolos Constitution on January 21, 1899 in Malolos, Bulacan
and endured until the capture and surrender of Emilio Aguinaldo to the American
forces on March 23, 1901 in Palanan, Isabela, which effectively dissolved the First

Aguinaldo appointed two premiers in his tenure. These were Apolinario Mabini and
Pedro Paterno.

Administration and Cabinet

President Aguinaldo had two cabinets in the year 1899. Thereafter, the war
situation resulted in his ruling by decree.

Domestic Programs

The Malolos Congress continued its sessions and accomplised certain positive tasks.
The Spanish fiscal system was provisionally retained. The same was done with the
existing taxes, save those upon cockfighting and other amusements. War taxes
were levied and voluntary contributions were solicited. Customs duties were
established. A national loan was launched. President Aguinaldo ordered schools
open. Elementary education was made compulsory and free. The Filipino educator,
Erique Mendiola, founded the "Instituto de Burgos" and were appointed by the
Director of Public Instruction. It offered courses in agriculture, surveying, and
commerce, as well as a complete A.B course.

On October 1898 a government decree fixed the opening date of the "Universidad
Literia".Couses offered were Medicine, Surgery, Pharmacy, and Notary Public. The
President of the Philippines appointed the professors thereof. They, in turn, chose
the University rector. The first to occupy this position was Joaquin Gonzales. Later,
he was succeeded by Dr. leo Ma. Guerrero.
Philippine American War

On the night of February 4, 1899, a Filipino was shot by an American sentry. This
incident is considered the beginning of the Philippine-American War, and open
fighting soon broke out between American troops and pro-independence Filipinos.
Superior American firepower drove Filipino troops away from the city, and the
Malolos government had to move from one place to another.

Aguinaldo led resistance to the Americans, then retreated to northern Luzon with
the Americans on his trail. On June 2, 1899, a telegram from Aguinaldo was received
by Gen. Antonio Luna, a disciplinarian and brilliant general and looming rival in the
military hierarchy, ordering him to proceed to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija for a
meeting at the Cabanatuan Church Convent. However, treachery was afoot, as
Aguinaldo felt the need to rid himself of this new threat to power. Three days later
(June 5), when Luna arrived, he learned Aguinaldo was not at the appointed place.
As Gen. Luna was about to depart, he was shot, then stabbed to death by
Aguinaldo's men. Luna was later buried in the churchyard, and Aguinaldo made no
attempt to punish or even discipline Luna's murderers.

Less than two years later, after the famous Battle of Tirad Pass with the death of
Gregorio del Pilar, one of his most trusted generals, Aguinaldo was captured in
Palanan, Isabela on March 23, 1901 by US General Frederick Funston, with the help
of Macabebe trackers (who saw Aguinaldo as a bigger problem than the Americans).
The American task force gained access to Aguinaldo's camp by pretending to be
captured prisoners.

Funston later noted Aguinaldo's "dignified bearing", "excellent qualities," and

"humane instincts." Of course, Funston was writing this after Aguinaldo had
volunteered to swear fealty to the United States, if only his life was spared.
Aguinaldo pledged allegiance to America on April 1, 1901, formally ending the First
Republic and recognizing the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippines.
Nevertheless, many others (like Miguel Malvar and Macario Sakay) continued to
resist the American occupation.


U.S. Territorial Period

During the United States occupation, Aguinaldo organized the Asociación de los
Veteranos de la Revolución (Association of Veterans of the Revolution), which
worked to secure pensions for its members and made arrangements for them to
buy land on installment from the government.

When the American government finally allowed the Philippine flag to be displayed in
1919, Aguinaldo transformed his home in Kawit into a monument to the flag, the
revolution and the declaration of Independence. His home still stands, and is known
as the Aguinaldo Shrine.
Aguinaldo retired from public life for many years. In 1935, when the Commonwealth
of the Philippines was established in preparation for Philippine independence, he ran
for president but lost by a landslide to fiery Spanish mestizo Manuel L. Quezon. The
two men formally reconciled in 1941, when President Quezon moved Flag Day to
June 12, to commemorate the proclamation of Philippine independence.

Aguinaldo again retired to private life, until the Japanese invasion of the Philippines
in World War II. He cooperated with the Japanese, making speeches, issuing articles
and infamous radio addresses in support of the Japanese — including a radio appeal
to Gen. Douglas MacArthur on Corregidor to surrender in order to spare the
innocence of the Filipino youth.

After the Americans retook the Philippines, Aguinaldo was arrested along with
several others accused of collaboration with the Japanese. He was held in Bilibid
prison for months until released by presidential amnesty. In his trial, it was
eventually deemed that his collaboration with the Japanese was made under great
duress, and he was released.

Aguinaldo lived to see the recognition of independence to the Philippines July 4,

1946, when the United States Government fully recognized Philippine independence
in accordance with the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934. He was 93 when President
Diosdado Macapagal officially changed the date of independence from July 4 to June
12, 1898, the date Aguinaldo believed to be the true Independence Day. During the
independence parade at the Luneta, the 93-year old former president carried the
flag he raised in Kawit.

Post-American era

In 1950, President Elpidio Quirino appointed Aguinaldo as a member of the Council

of State, where he served a full term. He returned to retirement soon after,
dedicating his time and attention to veteran soldiers' interests and welfare.

He was given Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa by the University of the Philippines in

In 1962, President Diosdado Macapagal changed the celebration of Independence

Day from July 4 to June 12. Aguinaldo rose from his sickbed to attend the
celebration of independence 64 years after he declared it.


Aguinaldo died on February 6, 1964 of coronary thrombosis at the Veterans

Memorial Hospital in Quezon City. He was 94 years old. His remains are buried at
the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. When he died, he was the last surviving non-
royal head of state (self-proclaimed) to have served in the 19th century

In 1985, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas made a new 5-peso bill depicted with a portrait
of Aguinaldo on the front of the bill. The back of the bill features the declaration of
the Philippine independence on June 12, 1898 with Aguinaldo on the balcony of his
house surrounded by crowds of rejoicing Filipinos holding the Philippine flag and
proclaiming independence from Spain.

Frank Murphy
William Francis (Frank) Murphy (April 13, 1890 –
July 19, 1949) was a politician and jurist from
Michigan. He served as First Assistant U.S. District
Attorney, Eastern Michigan District (1920-23),
Recorder's Court Judge, Detroit (1923-30). Mayor of
Detroit (1930–33), the last Governor-General of the
Philippines (1933-35), U.S. High Commissioner of the
Philippines (1935–36), the 35th Governor of
Michigan (1937-39), United States Attorney General
(1939–40), and United States Supreme Court
Associate Justice (1940–49).

Early life

Murphy was born in Harbor Beach, Michigan, then

known as "Sand Beach", in 1890. His Irish parents,
John T. Murphy and Mary Brennan,raised him as a
devout Catholic.He followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a lawyer. He
attended the University of Michigan Law School, and graduated with a BA in 1912
and LLB in 1914. He was a member of the senior society Michigamua.Murphy was
stricken with Diphtheria in the winter of 1911 but was allowed to begin his course in
the Law Department from which he received his LL.B. degree in 1914. He performed
graduate work at Lincoln's Inn in London and Trinity College, Dublin, which was said
to be formative for his judicial philosophy. He developed a need to decide cases
based on his more holistic notions of justice, eschewing technical legal arguments.
As one commentator wrote of his later supreme court service, he "tempered justice
with Murphy."

He served in the U.S. Army during World War I, achieving the rank of Captain with
the occupation Army in Germany before leaving the service in 1919.

Murphy opened a private law office in Detroit and soon became the Chief Assistant
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. He opened the first civil
rights section of a U.S. Attorney's office.

He taught at the University of Detroit for five years.

Murphy served as a Judge in the Detroit Recorder's Court from 1923 to 1930, and
made many administrative reforms in the operations of the court.

While on Recorder's Court, he established a reputation as a trial judge. He was a

presiding judge in the famous murder trials of Dr. Ossian Sweet and his brother,
Henry Sweet in 1925 and 1926. Clarence Darrow, then one of the most prominent
trial lawyers in the country, was lead counsel for the defense.

After an initial mistrial of all of the black defendants, Henry Sweet — who admitted
that he fired the weapon which killed a member of the mob surrounding Dr. Sweet's
home and was retried separately — was acquitted by an all-white jury on grounds of
the right of self-defense.The prosecution then elected to not prosecute any of the
remaining defendants. Murphy's rulings were material to the outcome of the case.

U.S. Attorney Eastern District of Michigan (1919–1922)

Murphy was appointed and took the oath of office as first assistant United States
attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan on August 9, 1919.

He was one of three assistant attorneys in the office.

When Murphy began his career as a federal attorney, the workload of the attorney's
office was increasing at a rapid rate, mainly due to the advent of national
prohibition. The government's excellent record in winning convictions in the Eastern
District was partially due to Murphy's record of winning all but one of the cases that
he prosecuted. Murphy practiced law privately to a limited extent while he was still
a federal attorney. He resigned his position as a United States attorney on March 1,

Murphy had several offers to join private practices but decided to go it alone and
formed a partnership with Edward G. Kemp.
Recorder's Court (1923–1930)

He ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for the United States Congress in 1920, when
national and state Republicans swept Michigan. He drew upon his legal reputation
and growing political connections to win a seat on the Recorder's Court, Detroit's
criminal court.

In 1923, Murphy was elected judge of the Recorder's Court on a non-partisan ticket
by one of the largest majorities ever cast for a judge in Detroit. Murphy took office
on January 1, 1924 and served seven years during the Prohibition Era.

Mayor of Detroit (1930–1933)

In 1930, Murphy ran as a Democrat and was elected Mayor of Detroit. He served
from 1930 to 1933, during the first years of the Great Depression. He presided over
an epidemic of urban unemployment, a crisis in which 100,000 people were
unemployed in the summer of 1931. He named an unemployment committee of
private citizens from businesses, churches, and labor and social service
organizations to identify all residents who were unemployed and not receiving
welfare benefits. The Mayor’s Unemployment Committee raised funds for its relief
effort and worked to distribute food and clothing to the needy, and a Legal Aid
Subcommittee volunteered to assist with the legal problems of needy clients. In
1933, Murphy convened in Detroit and organized the first convention of the United
States Conference of Mayors. They met and conferred with President Franklin D.
Roosevelt, and Murphy was elected its first president.

Murphy was an early and enthusiastic supporter of Roosevelt and the New Deal,
helping Roosevelt to become the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the
state of Michigan.

Melvin G. Holli rated Murphy an exemplary mayor and highly effective leader.

Governor-General of the Philippines (1933–1935)

By 1933, after Murphy’s second mayoral term, the reward of a big government job
was waiting. Roosevelt appointed Murphy as Governor-General of the Philippines.

Murphy demonstrated sympathy for Filipino masses, especially for the land-hungry
and oppressed tenant farmers, and emphasized the need for social justice.

High Commissioner to the Philippines (1935–1936)

When his position as Governor-General was abolished in 1935, he stayed on as

United States High Commissioner until 1936. That year he served as a delegate
from the Philippine Islands to the Democratic National Convention.

High Commissioner to the Philippines was the title of the personal representative of
the President of the United States to the Commonwealth of the Philippines during
the period 1935-1946. The office was created by the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934,
which provided for a period of transition from direct American rule to the complete
independence of the islands on July 4, 1946.

Governor of Michigan (1937-1939)

Murphy was elected the 35th Governor of Michigan on November 3, 1936, defeating
Republican incumbent Frank Fitzgerald, and served one two-year term. During his
two years in office, an unemployment compensation system was instituted and
mental health programs were improved.

The United Automobile Workers engaged in an historic sit-down strike at the

General Motors' Flint plant. The Flint Sit-Down Strike was a turning point in national
collective bargaining and labor policy. After 27 people got injured in a battle
between the workers and the police, including 13 strikers with gunshot wounds,
Murphy sent the National Guard to protect the workers. The governor didn't follow a
court's order requesting him to expel the strikers, and refused to order the guards
troops to suppress the strike.Murphy successfully mediated an agreement and end
to the confrontation; G.M. recognized the U.A.W. as bargaining agent under the
newly adopted National Labor Relations Act. This had an effect upon organized
labor.In the next year the UAW saw its membership grow from 30,000 to 500,000
members. As later noted by the British Broadcasting System, this strike was "the
strike heard round the world."In 1938, Murphy was defeated by his predecessor,
Fitzgerald, who became the only governor from Michigan to succeed and precede
the same person.

Attorney General of the United States (1939-1940)

In 1939, Roosevelt appointed Murphy the 56th Attorney General of the United
States. Murphy established a Civil Liberties Section in the Criminal Division of the
United States Department of Justice. The section was designed to centralize
enforcement responsibility for the Bill of Rights and civil rights statutes.

Supreme Court

After a year as Attorney General, on January 4, 1940, Murphy was nominated by

Roosevelt to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, filling a seat vacated by
Pierce Butler. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 16 and was
sworn in on January 18.The timing of the appointment put Murphy on the cusp of
the Charles Evans Hughes and the Harlan Fiske Stone courts.

Upon the death of Chief Justice Stone, Murphy served in the court led by Frederick
Moore Vinson, who was confirmed in 1946.Murphy took an expansive view of
individual liberties, and the limitations on government he found in the Bill of
Rights.Murphy authored 199 opinions: 131 majority, 68 in dissent.Opinions differ
about him and his jurisprudential philosophy. He has been acclaimed as a legal
scholar and a champion of the common man.Justice Felix Frankfurter disparagingly
nicknamed Murphy "the Saint", criticizing his decisions as being rooted more in
passion than reason. It has been said he was "Neither legal scholar nor craftsman"
who was criticized "for relying on heart over head, results over legal reasoning,
clerks over hard work, and emotional solos over team play.[Murphy's support of
African-Americans, aliens, criminals, dissenters, Jehovah's Witnesses, Native
Americans, women, workers, and other outsiders evoked a pun: “tempering justice
with Murphy.” As he wrote in Falbo v. United States (1944), “The law knows no finer
hour than when it cuts through formal concepts and transitory emotions to protect
unpopular citizens against discrimination and persecution.” According to
Frankfurter, Murphy was part of the more liberal "Axis" of justices on the Court,
along with Justices Rutledge, Douglas, and Black; the group would for years oppose
Frankfurter's judicially-restrained ideology.Douglas, Murphy, and then Rutledge
were the first justices to agree with Hugo Black's notion that the Fourteenth
Amendment incorporated the Bill of Rights protection into it; this view would later
become law.Though Murphy was serving on the Supreme Court during World War II,
he still longed to be part of the war effort. Consequently, during recesses of the
Court, he served in Fort Benning, Georgia as an infantry officer.On January 30,
1944, almost exactly before Allied liberation of the the Auschwitz death camp on
January 27, 1945, Justice Murphy unveiled the formation of the National Committee
Against Nazi Persecution and Extermination of the Jews. Serving as committee chair,
he stated it was created to combat Nazi propaganda "breeding the germs of hatred
against Jews." The announcement was made on the 11th anniversary of Adolf Hitler
becoming Chancellor of Germany. The eleven committee members included U.S.
Vice President Henry Wallace, 1940 Republican presidential candidate Wendell
Wilkie and Henry St. George Tucker, Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal
Church.He acted as chairman of the National Committee against Nazi Persecution
and Extermination of the Jews and of the Philippine War Relief Committee.The first
committee was established in early 1944 to promote rescue of European Jews, and
to combat antisemitism in the United States.

Death and legacy

Murphy died at fifty-nine of coronary thrombosis during his sleep at Henry Ford
Hospital in Detroit. Over 10,000 people attended his funeral in Detroit. He was
engaged to be married in August to Joan Cuddihy.His remains are interred at Our
Lady of Lake Huron Cemetery of Harbor Beach, Michigan.The Frank Murphy Hall of
Justice was home to Detroit's Recorder's Court and now houses part of Michigan's
Third Judicial Circuit Court.There is a plaque in his honor on the first floor, which is
recognized as a Michigan Legal Milestone.Outside the Hall of Justice is Carl Milles's
statue "The Hand of God".This rendition was cast in honor of Murphy. It features a
nude figure emerging from the left hand of God. Although commissioned in 1949
and completed by 1953, the work, partly because of the male nudity involved,was
kept in storage for a decade and a half.The work was chosen in tribute to Murphy by
Walter P. Reuther and Ira W. Jayne.It was placed on a pedestal in 1970 with the help
of sculptor Marshall Fredericks, who was a Milles student.In memory of Murphy, one
of three University of Michigan Law School alumni to become a U.S. Supreme Court
justice, Washington D.C.-based attorney John H. Pickering, who was a law clerk for
Murphy, donated a large sum of money to the law school as a remembrance,
establishing the Frank Murphy Seminar Room.[Murphy was awarded an Honorary
Doctorate of Law degree by the University of Michigan in 1939.
Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), 26th president of the

United States (1901-1909), one of the strongest and most
vigorous presidents in United States history. In battles
between business and labor, Roosevelt extended the
power both of the presidency and of the federal
government to protect what he saw as the public interest.
He enjoyed the responsibilities of world power and greatly
expanded United States involvement in world affairs. His
domestic social and economic reforms were the first
federal attempts to deal with the problems created by a
modern industrial society.

Roosevelt became the youngest man ever to be president

when he succeeded the assassinated William McKinley in
1901 at the age of 42. However, he was older than John F.
Kennedy when he was elected in his own right. Roosevelt
was adored by the majority of Americans. The reason, he
thought, was that he “put into words what is in their hearts
and minds but not their mouths.”


Family, Youth,
A Education

Theodore Roosevelt was a descendant of Claes Martenssen van Rosenvelt, who migrated to New
Amsterdam (now New York City) from Zeeland, Holland (now in the Netherlands), in 1649. Roosevelt’s
father, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., was a New York businessman who married Martha Bulloch, a Southern
belle from a prominent Georgia family.

The American Civil War (1861-1865) caused the Roosevelts much distress, because Mrs. Roosevelt’s
brothers fought for the Confederacy. To spare his wife’s feelings, the elder Roosevelt did not enlist in
the armed forces, although he was a staunch supporter of the Union. During the war he distinguished
himself as an adviser to Union troops on missions that took him to the front lines. To his son the elder
Roosevelt was “the best man I ever knew,” but the younger Roosevelt was ashamed all his life that his
father had not fought during the war. Although he was an uncompromising Unionist, Roosevelt also
took pride in the war exploits of his Southern relatives.

“Teedie,” as he was known in his childhood, was born in New York City on October 27, 1858, the
second of four brothers and sisters. He was educated privately. Although never a profound student and
despite having weak eyes, Roosevelt learned to read with phenomenal swiftness and breadth of
interest. His first love was natural history. The subject fascinated him all his life, and he moved with
considerable authority in its various branches.

Roosevelt suffered ill health through much of his youth, but his later battle for strength and manliness
became a model for generations of young people. Roosevelt’s frequent boxing, wrestling, riding,
hunting, and swimming activities, often under dangerous circumstances, continued during his years in
the White House, the presidential mansion. There a boxing match with a professional fighter in
December 1904 cost him the sight of one eye.
Roosevelt traveled with several members of his family to Europe and Egypt, and in 1872 and 1873 he
lived with a family in Germany. During his years at Harvard University, from 1876 to 1880, he was an
earnest student, achieving through hard work what others did through brilliance. Young men of
Roosevelt’s wealthy social position were supposed to remain distant from the aggressive pursuits of
the less wealthy, so his gusto, energy, and versatility were unusual among his fellow students. He
engaged not only in club and literary activities but in athletics as well, riding horses at every
opportunity and making numerous camping and hunting trips.

In 1878 he met Alice Hathaway Lee, with whom he fell in love. Married several months after his
graduation, they settled down to live in New York City.


Roosevelt explored several careers before entering politics. He attended law classes at Columbia
University, but he didn’t enjoy it. He worked industriously at his first book, The Naval War of 1812, for
which he had begun research while still at Harvard. A thorough study of the subject, it was published in
1882. Although people of Roosevelt’s social position often believed politics to be beneath them,
Roosevelt declared that he “intended to be one of the governing class.” Roosevelt easily won his first
election in 1881 to the state assembly in Albany, New York, as a member of the Republican Party.

A Legislator

Despite his extreme youth, his expensive clothes, upper-class manners, and his high squeaky voice,
Roosevelt immediately made his mark. He won respect by exposing a corrupt judge and by learning to
work with men of both parties, notably Democratic Governor (later President) Grover Cleveland.
Roosevelt became leader of the Republican minority but earned the ill will of powerful members of his
party. In 1884, after rejecting what would have been another term in the legislature, he went to the
Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois, as chairman of the New York delegation. There he
offended Republicans favoring reform by supporting the party’s presidential choice, United States
Senator James G. Blaine of Maine.

Roosevelt, mistrusted by both liberals and party leaders, remained unsure of his career in politics.

In 1885 Roosevelt fell in love with Edith Kermit Carow, a life-long friend, and that year they became
secretly engaged. In 1886 he went East to be the Republican candidate for mayor of New York City. He
ran a disheartening third.

Roosevelt then went abroad. On December 2, 1886, he and Edith were married in London. Roosevelt
brought her back to the new home he had built on Sagamore Hill, in Oyster Bay, Long Island. The
couple had five children, Theodore Jr., Kermit, Ethel Carow, Archibald Bullock, and Quentin. They also
raised Alice, Roosevelt’s daughter from his first marriage.

Discouraged with politics, Roosevelt enjoyed family life and literary pursuits

B er

Civil Service
1 Commissioner

Roosevelt was active in the presidential campaign of 1888, when Benjamin Harrison defeated
incumbent Grover Cleveland. During this time, Roosevelt also spoke forcefully in favor of hiring
workers for government jobs (also called civil service jobs) based on their skills. At that time many
government workers were hired not because of their skills, but because they were loyal members of
the winning political party. Giving out government jobs based on party loyalty was called patronage.
Harrison rewarded Roosevelt’s activities by appointing him U.S. Civil Service commissioner in 1889.
Roosevelt broadened his knowledge of capital politics and became an intimate of intellectuals, like
historian Henry Adams, and of scholar-politicians like Massachusetts Representative Henry Cabot
Lodge. Roosevelt injected new life into the battle for competence in government appointments. He
exposed weaknesses in the patronage system and challenged the postmaster general, a major
dispenser of federal jobs. Roosevelt made the civil service debate interesting, and, in the process,
increased his own public reputation. When Cleveland defeated Harrison and won election to a second
presidential term in 1892, he kept Roosevelt on as commissioner.

New York Police
2 Commissioner

Roosevelt’s fame as a public servant spread, and in 1895 he returned to New York City to become
president of the police board. Roosevelt had long been interested in New York municipal government,
and in 1895 people in New York, like those in the rest of the country, were beginning to demand
reform. This period of reform was called the Progressive era, and lasted from the last decade of the
19th century into World War I (1914-1918). Reformers, or progressives as they were called, were
concerned about abuses of power by government and businesses. They wanted to make the United
States a better place to live, and like Roosevelt, they believed that the government had an important
role to play in this transformation. The demands for reform in New York grew with the exposure of
alliances between criminals and police and by Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives (1890), which
exposed poverty and its effects. The book had deeply stirred Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s war on police
corruption and saloonkeepers was more apparent than real, but it directed newspaper attention to the
situation, enhanced Roosevelt’s public image, and broadened his experience.


As the war fever mounted, Roosevelt became impatient with administrative duties and eager to
participate in actual combat. He had served three years in the National Guard, gaining the rank of
captain. He then associated himself with Leonard Wood, who had been commissioned a colonel of the
First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry.

Roosevelt resigned his Navy post in May 1898 to serve as lieutenant colonel under Wood. He raised
volunteers from among both his cowboy and socialite companions. Cutting through government red
tape, he organized what became known as the Rough Riders. Roosevelt again took the initiative to get
them moved out of their training station in Tampa, Florida, and on transports to Cuba.

San Juan
A Hill

From June 22 to June 24, 1898, troops, including the Rough Riders, were landed in Cuba on Daiquiri
Beach. In engagements at Las Guásimas, Caney, and finally San Juan Hill, outside the strategic city of
Santiago de Cuba, the Rough Riders performed brilliantly under difficult conditions. The newspapers
reported stories of many U.S. heroes in the Spanish-American War, and Roosevelt, who had been the
subject of 15 years of newspaper fame and notoriety, became the best-known U.S. hero. Journalists
reported his daring under fire and his maneuvers to avoid defeat.

Roosevelt assumed the rank of colonel and the command of his regiment on July 8, when Wood was
appointed brigadier general of volunteers. Roosevelt’s determined efforts to take the soldiers home,
following the Spanish surrender in Cuba, augmented his popularity. He began to be called “Teddy” in
newspaper articles and cartoons.

Governor of New
B York
Soon after Roosevelt returned to New York City with his men on August 15, he accepted an invitation
from the state Republican leader, U.S. Senator Thomas C. Platt, to run for governor. Senator Platt
distrusted Roosevelt’s reform tendencies but needed a strong candidate for what looked like a difficult
contest. Roosevelt entered the race and did not hesitate to emphasize his recent war service.
Overcoming great political odds and campaigning tirelessly, he won by a small majority.

As governor, Roosevelt continued to be unpredictable. He had disturbed the reformers by promising to

consult with Platt, but he had not promised to accept Platt’s views. He opposed Platt on several issues,
as when he pressed independently for a tax on public-service businesses. On the other hand,
Roosevelt failed to create a broad program of reform, and his assertive attitudes were disliked by
many people. In 1900 he published his account of the Spanish-American War, The Rough Riders.
Popular humorist Finley Peter Dunne, speaking through his fictitious bartender-philosopher Mr. Dooley,
thought Roosevelt should have called his book “Alone in Cubia.” Roosevelt had the wit to appreciate
Dunne’s criticism, and the two men became close friends.

C President

Platt quickly tired of the governor’s energy and feared his independence, so he conceived a plot to
bury Roosevelt in the vice presidency. Roosevelt didn’t want an office that would make him politically
powerless, but having no political organization of his own, he decided to follow his party’s desires. He
was nominated in 1900 as McKinley’s running mate and contributed his great energy to the successful

McKinley’s victory at first seemed to be a triumph for the conservative wing of the Republican Party,
but on September 6, 1901, McKinley was shot by an assassin in Buffalo, New York. Eight days later,
McKinley died, and the 42-year-old Roosevelt assumed the presidency.


Life in the White

A House

Roosevelt had become known universally, except to his associates, as “Teddy,” a name he hated, but
which he endured for public purposes. He and his family quickly became institutions. The White House
was run with an aristocratic smartness and distinction that had been lacking for generations. Mrs.
Roosevelt also made the White House a home in which children played and in which friends were
warmly received. The country became familiar with the children: “Lady Alice,” the grown child of
Roosevelt’s first marriage, and Theodore, Jr., Kermit, Ethel, Archibald, and Quentin. Celebrities
streamed into the White House in response to the president’s universal interests and were amazed by
his detailed knowledge of their professional concerns. Roosevelt had strong and often debatable
opinions, as in his distaste for Leo Tolstoy, the great Russian novelist. On the other hand, he had to his
honor such an achievement as an unsolicited article, published in Outlook magazine on August 12,
1905, about Edwin Arlington Robinson’s volume of poems Children of the Night. This article, written
when Robinson was unknown and totally discouraged, changed the poet’s life and began his rise to

Roosevelt was known for his irrepressible energy, his rapid and continuous talk and movement, and his
joyous and explosive exclamation “Bully!” which he said when he particularly enjoyed something. He
was also famous for his expeditions, especially to Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. There he led
associates and diplomats on walking, climbing, running, and even swimming adventures, often under
astonishingly difficult circumstances. These activities were accompanied by animated discussions
across a wide range of subjects. Roosevelt was undoubtedly foolhardy in many of his ventures, but
many Americans accepted his spirit as a true expression of their own.
B Cabinet

Over the course of his two terms in office Roosevelt gradually developed what he called his Tennis
Cabinet, an informal group of people whom he trusted in matters of state and whose company he
enjoyed. They included Leonard Wood, then a major general; James R. Garfield, son of President James
A. Garfield and Roosevelt’s secretary of the interior after 1907; and Gifford Pinchot, an outstanding
conservationist and chief of the Forestry Service. The Tennis Cabinet also included such friends as the
French historian and Ambassador to the United States Jean Jules Jusserand and Sir Cecil Arthur Spring-
Rice, a member of the British embassy in the United States.

C Affairs

Roosevelt sought to reassure those who believed that an uncontrollable radical had seized the White
House. He announced that he would retain McKinley’s Cabinet of advisors and said he would continue
McKinley’s program, but he soon caused controversy. Shortly after he became president, he invited
the black educator and leader Booker T. Washington to dine with him at the White House. Southern
politicians were furious with Roosevelt. He held his ground, but he did not invite Washington to the
White House again.

Pennsylvania Coal
1 Strike

Another controversy arose over Roosevelt’s handling of an anthracite coal strike in Pennsylvania. In
May 1902, 150,000 coal miners went out on strike, demanding recognition of their union, the United
Mine Workers; a 20-percent increase in pay; and a nine-hour workday. The mine owners refused to
negotiate, and the strike dragged on for five months with no apparent hope of settlement. The nation
was faced with a severe coal shortage, with winter approaching.

In October, Roosevelt summoned the owners and the miners’ representatives to Washington, D.C.
When the owners still refused to negotiate, the president announced that he would appoint an
investigative commission and, in effect, threatened to use U.S. Army troops to run the mines. At the
same time he persuaded the financier John Pierpont Morgan to talk to the owners. Morgan got them to
agree to arbitration, and they asked Roosevelt to appoint a commission. The miners then returned to
work, and the following year the commission’s report led to the adoption of a nine-hour day, a 10-
percent increase in pay, and a process for negotiating disputes within the industry. However, the
owners refused to recognize the United Mine Workers. Although Roosevelt had made unprecedented
use of his presidential powers, public opinion was solidly behind him.

Northern Securities
2 Case

Also unprecedented was Roosevelt’s prosecution of the Northern Securities Company, a group of
several railroad companies run as though they were one company in order to reduce competition and
control prices. Huge combinations like Northern Securities were called trusts. Roosevelt, through his
attorney general, Philander C. Knox, sued Northern Securities for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act of
1890, which outlawed such mergers. The lawsuit implied that the government would enforce the
antitrust act more forcefully than it had in the past, but it also emphasized to the nation’s industrial
and financial directors that their interests were subservient to national interests. However, dissolving
the railroad trust was not followed by a wave of antitrust actions. It established a principle, rather than
set a program in motion.

C Square
3 Deal

Through these and other actions, Roosevelt sought to create what he called the Square Deal.
Americans were not to be given special privileges because they were rich or because they were poor.
He adopted a moral approach to many social problems. For example, he distinguished between what
he considered good and bad trusts and he would not respect labor organizations simply because they
represented groups of workers. As he said in a speech in Syracuse, New York, on September 7, 1903,
“We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square
deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less.”

The new president formulated his policies in the midst of a reform movement rising out of city and
farm unrest and growing to national proportions. Central to this development was the creation of a
popular press, which revolutionized periodical literature as well. Newspapers headed by such powerful
publishers as Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst, and Edward W. Scripps competed for
circulation. They discovered that Americans were interested in exposures of corruption and in the ways
in which they were being exploited by politicians.

D Policy

The Big
1 Stick

During Roosevelt’s administration many politicians and intellectuals accused Roosevelt of imperialism,
the practice by which powerful nations seek to control or influence weaker ones. European imperialism
had been characterized by territorial acquisition. Roosevelt had no intention of acquiring colonies. He
wanted treaties that would facilitate the success of U.S. businesses.

In diplomatic affairs, Roosevelt believed that it was important to “Speak softly and carry a big stick,”
which implied that effective control could be exercised without the formality of colonial rule. The “big
stick” often meant the threat of war, and while it was seldom used against powerful nations in Europe
or Asia, Roosevelt’s administration did pressure Latin American countries. “The big stick” became one
of Roosevelt’s most quoted phrases. Roosevelt was moderate in some of his decisions in diplomacy,
although he acted boldly where he thought the situation required firmness or where he thought
conditions could carry the weight of forceful action. He advocated a larger and more efficient army and
navy, but Congress and public opinion would not permit a rapid increase of military forces. However,
his secretary of the army, New York lawyer and future Nobel Prize-winner Elihu Root, made significant
reforms to improve the Department of War. They involved the creation of an effective general staff
under a chief of staff and the reorganization and enlargement of the army school system.

Roosevelt endorsed the policy of his governor for the Philippines, future U.S. president William Howard
Taft, who approved the military subjugation of the Filipino nationalists but also advocated aid and the
building of trade relations. Roosevelt later made Taft his troubleshooter and secretary of war.

Alaskan Boundary
2 Dispute

A major point of possible contention between the United States and the United Kingdom was the
question of a proper boundary between lower Alaska and Canada. The question had been aggravated
by the discovery of gold in the Canadian Klondike, as well as in Alaska. Roosevelt was first tempted to
make a show of arms, but he decided to take part in a tribunal to arbitrate the dispute and appointed
as United States representative his own trusted friend Henry Cabot Lodge. In 1903 the tribunal backed
the U.S. claims.
3 Corollary

Unlike other U.S. nationalists, Roosevelt opposed annexing Cuba and Santo Domingo (now the
Dominican Republic), despite the weakness of their regimes. With Venezuela in debt to the United
Kingdom and Germany, Roosevelt kept an eye on Venezuela’s affairs and threatened to send ships to
the vicinity if any country sent in armed forces to collect the debts. He did not, however, use the
fighting language he had used in 1895. A crisis was avoided when Germany agreed to submit its
claims to the Hague Tribunal, which would decide how to settle the question. The tribunal scaled down
the German claims from $40 million to $8 million and ruled that it was improper to use force for the
collection of debts. In 1904 Roosevelt spelled out his policy in what became known as the Roosevelt
Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.

President James Monroe had announced what became the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, saying that
Europeans were not to interfere in the affairs of the western hemisphere. Although the doctrine had no
force in international law, it had been adopted by each succeeding president. Roosevelt added a new
meaning to the Monroe Doctrine when he declared in a message to Congress that if any nation in the
western hemisphere acted “wrongly” and in a fashion that might incite foreign intervention in its
affairs, the United States would act to prevent such an occurrence. He added that the United States
did not intend to take over the governing of these countries.

Roosevelt applied his corollary first to Santo Domingo, which was having trouble paying its debts to
foreign countries. Roosevelt, fearing that the country might be occupied by a European power to force
the repayment of debts, used negotiations and veiled threats to take control of the Santo Domingo
customs house. The United States used the money collected there to pay Santo Domingo’s debts and
support its government.

4 Canal

The most notable event in foreign affairs during Roosevelt’s first administration involved the settling of
the question of a canal across the Isthmus of Panama. Roosevelt had long feared that another power
would successfully build a canal in Central America and would thus control that vital artery. A U.S.-held
canal would boost U.S. and world trade, as well as allow U.S. ships to move swiftly between the
Atlantic and Pacific oceans in case of military emergency. The Spooner Act of 1902 settled the
question of a route, giving preference to Panama (then part of Colombia). The Colombian senate
refused to ratify the treaty, wanting more than the $10 million offered as an initial payment.

Roosevelt was furious. He had no respect for the Colombian politicians and little faith that
Panamanians felt a strong loyalty to them. He therefore did not discourage native groups and foreign
businessmen when they began a revolt against Colombia on November 3, 1903. Three days later the
United States recognized the new Panamanian government. United States ships prevented Colombian
troops from suppressing the uprising, and the new Panamanian government received the money by
signing a treaty granting the United States building and supplementary rights to a 16-km (10-mi) strip
of land. Plans to build the canal started immediately.

Roosevelt believed this achievement was historic. He followed every detail of the building of the canal,
visited it in 1906, and defended his actions at all times, although the United States later paid
compensation to Colombia for its loss.

Election of
E 1904

Roosevelt wanted to win the presidency in his own right. Republican leader Mark Hanna of Ohio, who
wanted the office for himself, sought to block a resolution by the 1903 Ohio Republican convention
endorsing Roosevelt’s candidacy for the following year. Roosevelt outmaneuvered Hanna, who died
before the Republican National Convention. At the national convention, Roosevelt won the nomination
as its presidential candidate by acclamation.

Members of the Democratic Party were disappointed with the showing of Nebraska editor and reformer
William Jennings Bryan in 1900, and nominated the conservative judge Alton B. Parker of New York.
Roosevelt, however, proved himself appealing to minority groups, armed services veterans, and many
reformers. He also won support from major financiers who trusted his belief in law and order. His
election pledge not to run for a “third” term was to embarrass him on later occasions, and he regretted
having made it, nevertheless his victory in 1904 was spectacular. Roosevelt won 336 electoral votes to
140 for Parker, whose votes came entirely from the South and who fared worse than Bryan. Charles W.
Fairbanks of Indiana became Roosevelt’s vice president.


A Affairs

Roosevelt’s second administration opened in an already matured atmosphere of domestic reform. The
nation faced massive problems involving basic government policy on such issues as food, railroads,
and the public domain. Roosevelt was eager to push for conservation of natural resources and for
curbing great private fortunes through income and inheritance taxes, but he was still reluctant to
increase government controls over business.

1 Food

At a Senate investigation in 1899, Roosevelt had denounced the poorly processed beef that his
soldiers had been given to eat during the Spanish-American War and said he would as soon have eaten
his old hat. However, meat preparation, like all food and drug preparations, seemed safe from
government intervention. Investigations focused on patent medicines and helped stimulate
congressional action in favor of a pure food and drugs bill. The meat-packers were exposed in the
Upton Sinclair novel The Jungle (1906).

The novel caused discomfort because of its vivid description of unsanitary meat handling. Roosevelt,
who had earlier believed a report that meat was being safely processed, sent another commission to
Chicago and released to the press a report highly critical of the meat-packers’ methods. Succeeding
agitation during 1906 helped Congress to pass a bill providing for meat inspection. The controversy
also greatly aided the success of the fight to pass the Pure Food and Drug Act, which prohibited the
manufacture of unsafe foods or drugs.

2 Regulation

A bill for revitalizing the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) was long overdue. Unfair business
practices that the commission could not control not only led to unjust rates but also threatened public
safety. Roosevelt was suspicious of unbridled free enterprise, but he opposed Bryan’s demand that the
railroads be taken over by the government. Roosevelt was also unsympathetic to the aggressive
campaign of United States Senator Robert M. La Follette of Wisconsin to discredit the railroads’

In 1905 Roosevelt urged “government supervision and regulation of charges by the railroads,”
although he also warned against “radical” legislation. Representative William P. Hepburn of Idaho
became his congressional spokesman for a moderate regulatory measure. Reformers and journalistic
supporters helped him overcome strong conservative resistance to what was hailed as a major
precedent-setting achievement. As a farsighted conservative noted, “It saved us from government

The Hepburn Act of 1906 authorized the Interstate Commerce Commission to determine and prescribe
maximum rates and to order the railroads to conform to them within 30 days. It also extended the
regulatory powers of the commission to sleeping car, pipeline, and express companies. Four years
later it was extended to telephone and telegraph companies.

3 on

One of Roosevelt’s major interests was public land. Although he learned much about it from Chief U.S.
Forester Gifford Pinchot, his own studies in natural history and his travels about the country convinced
him of the need to preserve the country’s natural heritage. Forest, mineral, and water controls seemed
to him basic to guarantee the nation’s resources. Giving more attention to the problem than any
previous president, he set aside some 60 million hectares (150 million acres) of public lands to protect
them from exploitation by private interests. He later added 34 million hectares (85 million acres) in
Alaska and the Northwest to the public domain. The Reclamation Act of 1902 established irrigation and
other services for Western lands. One of the many tangible monuments to his program was the
Roosevelt Dam, built by the Reclamation Service, near Phoenix, Arizona. Roosevelt’s regard for natural
resources and other aesthetic and practical aspects of conservation inspired him in 1908 to convene a
“Congress of Governors” of all the states, plus many experts and legislators, to discuss national policy.
Some members of Congress were annoyed by his free spending, which they were required to support,
and sought to make political capital of the fact. Nevertheless the session was a landmark in

Panic of
4 1907

Roosevelt’s grasp of economics was weak and his regard for it small. His moral approach to individuals
and industries sufficed for him. He asked Congress to establish the Department of Commerce and
Labor in 1903 but did not make it a major instrument of policy formulation or government action. The
banking and stock-market systems were beyond his interest or experience. The so-called money panic
of 1907 occurred because banks were then totally dependent on their own currency resources. They
could thus be jeopardized by rumors or special financial crises, despite their good financial condition.
There were no preparations, official or otherwise, for such an event.

The fall of the Knickerbocker Bank, a large, powerful bank, in New York City under such circumstances
affected a large number of smaller institutions and set off a panic that threatened to throw the country
into a deep depression. Roosevelt’s leadership in the crisis was minimal. He gave his secretary of the
treasury, George B. Cortelyou, a free hand. Cortelyou worked with a group of financiers, headed by J.
P. Morgan, to support threatened financial establishments. One result of this cooperation was the
purchase of the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company by the U.S. Steel Corporation—dominated by the
Morgan interests—an act that some reformers looked on with great misgivings.

The government’s offer to place money in approved banks facing difficulties stopped the panic.
However, it did not examine the reasons for the panic, reimburse losers, or provide machinery for
making sure another panic did not occur. The fact that so powerful an institution as the Knickerbocker
Bank could fail for lack of currency, even though it owned sound assets, made an impact on
congressional conservatives. They perceived that no institution was secure simply by virtue of size.
The Aldrich-Vreeland Currency Act of 1908 was a stopgap measure intended to support unstable banks
by enabling them to issue circulating notes under particular conditions.

B Policy
Roosevelt still believed that powerful nations survived and weak ones died. He had faith in the virtues
of war, and continued to assume that the United States was playing a noble mediating role among
fighting or lesser-developed nations.

Treaty of
1 Portsmouth

In an age that saw ships as the major vehicle of foreign policy, Roosevelt carefully watched naval
developments in the far corners of the world. He also thought it necessary to balance the interests of
powers that could challenge or curb U.S. influence abroad. Roosevelt suspected Russia’s power and
designs, and he admired and respected Japan’s forceful military development. His respect was
confirmed during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, when Japan soundly defeated the Russians in
several battles. The Japanese, victorious but financially exhausted, agreed to Roosevelt’s offer to
negotiate a peace treaty. The Treaty of Portsmouth, ending the war, was hailed as a triumph of
Roosevelt’s diplomacy, and in 1906 Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

2 Agreement

Roosevelt’s policy toward Japan was a combination of courtesy and show of strength. In that same
year, San Francisco ordered the segregation of all Japanese, Chinese, and Korean children in a
separate school, greatly offending recently victorious Japan. Roosevelt was deeply disturbed and
convinced the local school board to withdraw their decision. In exchange, he discussed with Japanese
ambassadors an immigration policy that would better control the entrance of their nationals into the
United States. The so-called Gentleman’s Agreement of 1907 stopped most Japanese immigration.
Although it did not wholly please the Japanese government, it permitted Japan to save face by
voluntarily restraining its people from seeking entry into the United States.

Mediation in European
3 Affairs

Roosevelt’s attitude toward European nations was modified by what he called their more “advanced”
nature. Otherwise, his goal was the same: to maintain a balance among the powers and to advance
U.S. interests.

Although he was not interested in disarmament, Roosevelt developed an early interest in reduction of
armaments and conducted various negotiations in these connections. He also encouraged the
convening of the Second Hague Conference on peace in 1907. However, he permitted the Russian tsar
the satisfaction of calling the meeting.

4 Conference

In 1905 German Kaiser William II startled European governments by visiting Morocco and assuring its
sultan of his support of Moroccan autonomy and of its right to trade on equal terms with various
nations, including Germany. This action was widely interpreted as a challenge to France, which, with
British support, believed Morocco to be in its sphere of influence. War seemed possible.

With German encouragement, Roosevelt took the initiative in calling a conference of nations on the
Moroccan question in 1906 and sent a U.S. delegate, Henry White. This action aroused some criticism
from isolationists at home because it involved the United States in foreign affairs. Roosevelt himself
felt that he had prevented a general war when the conference found a solution to the conflict.
Great White
5 Fleet

Roosevelt thought it wise to implement diplomacy with displays of U.S. power. In 1907 he ordered a
world tour by the U.S. fleet. It was intended particularly to impress the Japanese, who, however,
received the Great White Fleet, as it was called, with enthusiasm.

At home, Roosevelt continued to urge a stronger and more efficient U.S. Army. When army officers
protested against an order to keep fit, Roosevelt himself led a party on a 160-km (100-mi) ride in
inclement weather to show how little was being asked.

Election of
C 1908

Roosevelt could almost certainly have won renomination and reelection to the presidency in 1908, but
he honored his pledge not to run again. William Howard Taft had won his full confidence as a loyal and
competent supporter of his ideas. Roosevelt was not disturbed by the criticism of labor leaders that
Taft was an “injunction judge” quick to prevent effective labor action. Roosevelt believed that labor
required the same curbing as capital when its leaders were “bad” or “wrong,” as, in his view, they had
been in several major cases during his administration. Roosevelt, therefore, strongly and effectively
backed Taft for the nomination and subsequently saw him elected to the presidency.


African and European

A Adventures

When Roosevelt left the White House in 1909, he went to Africa on a hunting and collecting tour, partly
in pursuit of long-established interests and recreations and partly not to embarrass the new president
with his vivid presence at home. The African adventure produced a unique collection of animals for the
Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and a book, African Game Trails (1910). After the tour his
family joined him and he made a triumphal tour of Europe, reviewing armies and lecturing at

While in Europe, Roosevelt received letters from progressives who complained that Taft was
abandoning his program. Gifford Pinchot went abroad to meet him and personally inform him that the
government was moving away from the conservation strategies that he and Roosevelt had
established. Pinchot accused Richard Achilles Ballinger, Taft’s secretary of the interior, of abandoning
Roosevelt’s conservation policies. Ballinger was supported by President Taft, who in 1910 dismissed
Pinchot for insubordination, but Roosevelt refused to take a stand in opposition to Taft.

Break with
B Taft

Roosevelt returned to the United States to receive a stirring and exceptional welcome. Political
observers watched his movements closely for light on his attitude toward the Republican
administration. The Republicans had received a severe rebuff by voters in the congressional elections.
Taft had antagonized those who wanted a lower tariff by signing the Payne-Aldrich Bill, which raised
taxes on many items, and compounded the injury by calling it “the best tariff bill that the Republican
Party ever passed.” Taft also supported the speaker of the House of Representatives, Joseph Cannon,
who was the target of discontented progressives in the House. Taft told his side of the controversy to
Roosevelt but received neither support nor repudiation.
Roosevelt was much impressed by Herbert Croly’s The Promise of American Life (1909), a book that
denounced the individualism of Thomas Jefferson and called for unity behind a national program of
improvement and control. This among other influences was the basis for what became Roosevelt’s
New Nationalism program. He undertook a Western tour that drew many Republicans to his side. At
Osawatomie, Kansas, on August 31, 1910, he put “the national need before sectional or personal
advantage.” He took a radical stand on the Supreme Court of the United States, accusing it of having
restricted necessary social action. He also demanded stronger executive action.

Roosevelt continued to establish a progressive plan of action, helped by Republicans who called for his
candidacy in 1912 and who rejected the progressive La Follette. Roosevelt decided to run for the
presidency in 1912 when Taft’s attorney general filed a law suit to dissolve the U.S. Steel Corporation.
The suit noted U.S. Steel’s acquisition of the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company as one reason for the
suit. The charge enraged Roosevelt, who regarded it as a personal insult because he had approved the
purchase as part of J. P. Morgan’s strategy for ending the Panic of 1907. Roosevelt broke openly with
Taft. On February 21, 1912, he announced,”My hat is in the ring.”

Election of
C 1912

Roosevelt hoped that his tactics would cause delegates to the Republican National Convention to flock
to his banner and permit him to overthrow the alliance supporting Taft’s renomination. Roosevelt’s
showing in the Republican direct primaries before the Chicago convention encouraged this hope;
unfortunately most delegates were not chosen in direct primary elections. Taft’s managers were thus
able to keep control of the convention. Roosevelt charged fraud with long-practiced forthrightness and
led his followers out of the convention. His supporters reconvened in Chicago on August 5 and
nominated Roosevelt as their so-called Bull Moose, or Progressive, candidate in the election (see
Progressive Party).

The split in the Republican Party was inevitable in view of the basic split between conservatives and
progressives. Moreover, it practically ensured the election of the Democratic candidate, Woodrow
Wilson. Nevertheless, Roosevelt conducted a whirlwind campaign. The Kansas journalist William Allen
White, analyzing the New Nationalism program, as distinguished from Wilson’s New Freedom program,
concluded that the difference was between “Tweedledum and Tweedledee.”

On October 14, 1912, Americans were shocked by an attempt to assassinate Roosevelt while he was
visiting Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The bullet fired at him just missed entering his right lung, but Roosevelt
delivered his scheduled speech before entering the hospital.

In the electoral college, Wilson won by a landslide, with 435 votes. Roosevelt was still a popular hero.
His 4,126,020 votes topped Taft’s 3,483,922. Both totals added up to substantially more than Wilson’s
6,286,124 votes, which constituted only 42 percent of the popular vote. Some Progressive Party
members hoped Roosevelt had begun a crusade that he might fulfill in later elections. Roosevelt had
promised as much in the course of the campaign. However, although Roosevelt continued to support
the Progressive Party, he turned to other concerns.

Prophet of
D Preparedness

Roosevelt had developed an uncompromising antipathy to President Wilson’s temperament and

political approach, which he called “ridiculous and insincere.” He particularly despised Wilson’s
“pacifism,” which to him was the product of fear and ineptitude, rather than of strength and the ability
to control events. Roosevelt believed that Wilson’s incapacity, as he interpreted it, compounded crises
at home, as well as abroad. Thus a major strike against the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company, bringing
troops into bloody conflict with mine workers, seemed to him to require a kind of government action
Wilson could not comprehend.

Wilson’s response to the overthrow of the Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz in 1911 and the subsequent
struggles of revolutionary generals did not impress Roosevelt favorably. Wilson’s policy infuriated him.
He scorned it as “grape juice diplomacy,” a reference to Wilson’s secretary of state, William Jennings
Bryan, a firm pacifist who drank no alcohol.
At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Roosevelt hesitated to take a stand against either the Allies or
the Central Powers. He had many close friends on both sides, and each urged him to understand their
causes. However, his dilemma did not make him more sympathetic to Wilson’s predicament as
president. Wilson’s appeals for Americans to be neutral “in fact as well as in name” impressed
Roosevelt as feeble.

Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality won Belgium Roosevelt’s sympathy, although he restrained
expression of it at that time. On May 7, 1915, a German submarine torpedoed without warning the
British steamship Lusitania off the southern coast of Ireland. The ship sank in less than 20 minutes
with the loss of 1198 people, including 128 Americans. Thereafter Roosevelt felt less restraint and
without specifying an enemy, he distinguished between those who advocated action and those who
temporized. He denounced “hyphenated Americans,” theoretically both German Americans and those
overly sympathetic to the United Kingdom. However, as the United States identified more with the
Allied cause and Roosevelt’s own sympathies shifted, the phrase became criticism of those opposed to
the British.

Roosevelt’s insistence on preparedness made him impatient with the very word “peace.” His slogan
became, “Fear God and take your own part.”

Election of
E 1916

Early in 1916 Wilson began to take a position in favor of national defense, he did so in roundabout
ways that irritated Roosevelt. Wilson, in praising what he termed American “passion for peace,”
probably better reflected the mood of a nation divided by minority sympathies. Nevertheless,
Roosevelt was convinced that the American public was tired of Wilson and would not reelect him. He
therefore supported Charles Evans Hughes, the Republican candidate for president in 1916. The
famous Democratic Party slogan, “He kept us out of the war,” which contributed to Wilson’s victory,
was evidence that Roosevelt was part of a minority.

In a letter, Roosevelt himself admitted that the country’s need of him “has probably passed.” He
continued, summing up what seemed to him his achievements: “My great usefulness as President
came in connection with the Anthracite Coal Strike (Pennsylvania), the voyage of the battle fleet
around the world, the taking of Panama, the handling of Germany in the Venezuelan business, England
in the Alaska boundary matter, the irrigation business in the West, and finally, I think, the toning up of
the government service generally.”

F Efforts

The entry of the United States into the war in 1917 did not reconcile Roosevelt to his great antagonist,
Wilson. He protested against the belief, held by many of his friends, that it was their duty to stand
behind the president. It was their duty, he thought, to support Wilson when he was right and to attack
him when he was in error. Nevertheless, Roosevelt made a strenuous effort to get into the war himself.
His call for a voluntary division of soldiers roused a great popular response from would-be recruits but
failed to gain Roosevelt a commission from Wilson’s secretary of war. Roosevelt even promised Wilson
himself that, given any chance to serve overseas, he would abstain from active politics. These pleas
failed, however.

As spokesman for an all-out military effort, Roosevelt took the belligerent tone in his public speeches
and writings that opposition always incited in him. He expected patriotic Americans to express
“intense Americanism.” He considered anyone who did less to be no American at all. He opposed
tolerance on the issue. Because he then held Germany in the greatest abhorrence, he also felt free to
characterize those who, in his view, interfered with the efficient prosecution of the war as among “the
Huns within our own gates.”

Roosevelt took great satisfaction in the congressional elections of 1918, which, in effect, repudiated
Wilson. The president had asked for a Democratic majority, thus injecting politics into pursuit of the
war. Roosevelt and Taft, friends once again, declared that Republican candidates would be more
dependable in ensuring the unconditional surrender of Germany. The statement was widely read and
probably contributed to the Republican victory.

Republican leaders looked forward with confidence to the 1920 election, cheered by the upsurge of
their party and Americans’ uneasiness with Wilson’s commitment to the League of Nations, an
association of the world’s nations that was the first organization dedicated to international peace.
None of the outstanding Republicans had Roosevelt’s prestige or record of principles. Many observers
were confident that he would receive the Republican nomination without difficulty.

G Days

Roosevelt, however, was a sick man and complained of being old. He was ill during 1918 and late in
the year was hospitalized. He lost the hearing in one ear. The death of his youngest son, Quentin, in
action overseas had been a severe blow. To one correspondent he wrote that it was indeed a serious
thing for a father to encourage a son to actions that might bring him death, “but I would not have
cared for my boys and they would not have cared for me if our relations had not been along that line.”
Roosevelt remained active to the end and died in his sleep at his Oyster Bay home on January 6, 1919.