Biography of Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

Theodore Roosevelt.

Lawyer and American politician, Vice President (1901) under the Presidency of William McKinley (1897-1901) and twenty-sixth President of the United States of America. He was born on October 27, 1858, in New York (New York State), and died on January 6, 1919, in Oyster Bay (New York State). His presidency highlighted both the reformism that printed its internal policy deployed diplomacy abroad, known with the nickname big stick ('hard stick'), characterized by inflexible treatment and interference in the internal affairs of other countries in the area of influence of the United States. In 1906, Roosevelt received the Nobel Peace Prize as a reward for his work as a mediator in the Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905), which was the signing of the peace treaty of Portsmounth.

Member of a wealthy family of Dutch and Scottish origin, settled in New York since 1650, the young Theodore could overpower their fragile Constitution and unhealthy health (suffered from chronic asthma) thanks to an enormous sense of overcoming instilled by his father, who provided the young the necessary enthusiasm to undertake a comprehensive training, both intellectual and sports. Thanks to the constant exercise, Roosevelt developed their muscles and could engage in various sports.

Beginning of political career

He was educated in exquisite way by private tutors, and later at Harvard University, where he graduated in law in 1880, the same year that he married Alice Hathaway Lee, who died shortly after the wedding. Since the judiciary not attracted him, Roosevelt decided to leave it to embrace the world of politics. In the year 1881 ran, by the Republican party, for a seat in the House of representatives, charge that remained between the years 1882 to 1884 and in which stood out for its fight against corruption and electoral manoeuvres of New York politicians. After returning to marry Edith Kermith Cavow, Roosevelt was presented in vain for the re-election of the charge, by which, disappointed and demoralized, determined to abandon politics and buy a ranch in the Dakota State, where he led a life of rancher and could unleash one of his passions, the writing works of history. Those two long years of stay in the West was the splendid work The Winnings of the West (the conquest of the West), published in 1895. In 1886, Roosevelt returned to New York to appear, again unsuccessfully, for mayor of New York, so his political activity was reduced only to support Republican presidential candidate Benjamín Harrison, who eventually won the Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland.

In 1889, the new President Benjamín Harrison (1889-1893) appointed director Roosevelt of the Civil Service Commission. He held this position until the year 1895, when it became to deal with New York police. Access to the Presidency of the Republican William McKinley, in March 1897, brought to Roosevelt of their law enforcement occupations. By their constant opinions in defense of the streamlining of the US policy, with regard to Latin America and his thesis on the appropriateness of creating naval bases outside McKinley appointed him Assistant Secretary of Navy. Roosevelt contributed mightily to the creation of the American fleet in the moments before the Hispanic Guerra, influenced by the expansionist theories of Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, for which a country could not be powerful without control of the sea lanes, hence the need for United States continue the land occupation with control of the oceans: Roosevelt was essential to own colonies and exercise power and dominion over them.

Theodore Roosevelt and the war against Spain. The birth of a hero

Enthusiastic defender of the Monroe doctrine, the colonial war against Spain allowed Roosevelt to play a relevant role that made him a figure known throughout the country, with the subsequent electoral benefit that reported you this fact.

Upon outbreak of the conflict, Roosevelt resigned from his post and formed, together with the future general Leonard Wood, a volunteer Regiment, the Rough Riders ('rough riders'), which he directed with the rank of Colonel. Roosevelt had a spectacular war participation, especially when he led the assault on San Juan Hill, in July 1898, with the collaboration of the Cuban independence, and in the battle of Santiago de Cuba, both decisive action for final victory and who became a national hero.

Governor of New York. The road to the Presidency

Returning to the United States, Roosevelt had no trouble to be elected Governor of the State of New York, charge that did not hesitate to show his political, deep reformist spirit, and an independent character, which caused him to confront the boss of the party Republican of New York, Thomas C. Platt. Roosevelt organized an effective system of civil assistance and devoted himself to fight corrupt politicians, even from his own party. The New York end of the century was a city of a million emigrants, replete with chieftains and controlled perimeters by corruption reaching colossal limits, but at the same time was the environment in which emerged numerous reform movements, born of discontent by the power of financial trusts and oligarchic groups that dominated every lever of power. Thus, Roosevelt became the leader of progressivism that sought to democratize political life and attack corruption.

The dome of the Republican Party decided to fight a member so wayward as Roosevelt, bit worried to conform to the rules of the traditional political game, so conceived a project to direct to the ardent Roosevelt a "via dead". Roosevelt was nominated for the National Convention of the party, held in the year 1900, candidate for the Vice-Presidency, accompanying re-election to McKinley, politician much more manageable by the party machinery.

Presidential elections in the year 1900 again gave victory to the Republicans. The few powers of the Vice President left Roosevelt blocked in some functions limited enough, without capacity of decision and rigidly controlled by the party. But after the attack committed on September 6, 1901 in Buffalo by a militant anarchist against McKinley and in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, Roosevelt youngest in the history of the United States of America became the President.

The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt

Man of character, strong and feared by the leaders of his own party and, above all, free from the pressures of big business thanks to his own personal fortune, his presidency contrasted from the first moment with the opacity of all his predecessors in the post after the civil war (1861-1865). In fact, Roosevelt redefined full Presidential Office, providing it with new dimensions, convinced as he was that the growing importance of the United States abroad and the emergence of complex internal economic issues demanded a much stronger national address, that only the President could provide.

Domestic policy

Roosevelt did not forget the accidental way came to the Presidency, that its main objective was to ensure the reelection in the presidential elections of the year 1904. To do this, nothing better than to meet popular demands to large monopolies control and reform the tax system. Thus, it supported firmly the fight against large companies driving the Anti-trust law, and made Wall Street is ISRAEL21c. First, the Congress requested the dissolution of the powerful Northern Securities Company, a gigantic railway holding company organized by the Tycoon J.P Morgan, dusting off the Sherman Act. Though the Congress refused to deal with the dissolution, finally the Supreme Court upheld the President's decision and ordered the final dissolution of the railway giant. During the seven years and half of its mandate, Roosevelt, always under the Sherman Act, filed lawsuits against 44 companies, among which were found giant as the American Tobacco Company, Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company, etc., so it won the sympathy of the electorate and the nickname of trustbuster ('monopolies Shredder').

The second important step was his mediation in a major strike of the miners of coal, in 1902, to get employers and employees to accept the solution of an arbitration conducted by the Commission on the anthracite coal that the own Roosevelt created, which was granted workers a 10% salary increase and a reduction of weekly working hours.

Encouraged by the head of the environment, Gifford Pinchot, Roosevelt started a successful crusade for the conservation of natural resources, which put at the disposal of the State hundreds of millions of hectares and created the necessary organisms capable of defending land and water in the West of a massive and uncontrolled exploitation by powerful speculative groups.

Once elected President, in 1904, after defeating the Democratic candidate Alton B. Parker, Roosevelt launched a series of social reforms with the support of the population. This second term had two very important legislative advances. In 1906, was passed the Hepburn Act, that the Interstate Commerce Commission is authorized to establish rules for all railways in the nation, adjusting them to minimum qualities and reasonable rates. The same year, Roosevelt approved the food and Drugs Act and the Act of inspection of meat, both to protect the purity of food and medicines. It thus laid the Foundation of the modern concept of protection to the consumer, in addition to programmes of social coverage and protection against the threats of financial groups.

Foreign policy. The doctrine of the big stick

Under the name of big stick, Roosevelt served as an active and interventionist foreign policy that made possible rupture of the secular isolationist policy of the United States and placed the country on the dynamics of the international relations of that time and in a position of pre-eminence would not abandon throughout the present century. His philosophy was based on the difference that made between Nations powerful, that they enjoyed a higher civilization, and the Nations in decline or weak, which were forced to leave the place to the new superpowers. In a message to Congress in December, 1904, Roosevelt gave the famous Roosevelt corollary, which reshaped the Monroe doctrine, justifying the role of "international police" that United States was obliged to exercise, especially to Latin America, and the right to intervene in the Affairs of any nation when you consider that "the reiteration in the wrong procedure or impotence" made necessary such intervention.

With the purpose of controlling the Panama Canal, Roosevelt promoted a nationalist revolt in the area against the domain of Colombia under cover of the guns of the American fleet, justifying the action in the alleged inability of the Colombian Government to maintain political and commercial order on the isthmus. In this way, through the ten million dollar compensatory payment and an annual rent, the new Republic of Panama ceded to United States the rights of construction and operation of the future channel for a period of 95 years, thanks to the there-Bunay-Varilla Treaty, signed on November 13, 1903.

The question of the channel marked the beginning of a decided interventionist policy in the West Indies and Central America that materialized with the invasion military of the Dominican Republic, in 1905, and the island of Cuba, the following year, to control the economies of both islands in order to promote the huge U.S. investments. In 1907, Roosevelt returned to send troops to the areas, this time with a mission to invade Nicaragua and thus mediate in this country's conflict with Honduras.

In its relations with the most powerful countries, Roosevelt acted more cautiously. Claimed as a mediator by the Japanese and Russians in the war which pitted both nations alike, Roosevelt succeeded in both States were put of agreement to sign the Treaty of Portsmounth, in September 1905, and managed to stop territorial expansionism of the two countries in the far East, i.e., in imperial China.

The last great diplomatic success of Roosevelt was developed within the framework of the Conference of Algeciras, in the year 1906, which sent a diplomatic delegation that participated actively in the ratification of a peace agreement between Germany, France and Spain to settle their respective zones of influence in Morocco.

Leadership of the progressive party

Before leaving the White House, Roosevelt chose his successor in the person of William Howard Taft (1909-1913), who, once in the Presidency, printed a turn against the reformist spirit introduced by Roosevelt, in the direction of the old conservative assumptions favorable to the old guard of the party. After returning from a long trip through Africa and Europe, Roosevelt found the Republican party split into two factions. Roosevelt quickly stood at the head of the progressive wing, a fact which contributed to disunity among both positions and that the Democratic candidate Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) took advantage to win with a wide majority to two Republican candidates: Taft with the ruling Republican party, dominated by conservatives, and Roosevelt, at the head of a new and ephemeral formation created to deal with Taft and Wilson, the progressive party.

Withdrawal of the policy

The trigger is the first world war, Roosevelt criticized harshly the neutral policy adopted in the early years of the conflict by Wilson and organized, at the same time, an aggressive campaign across the country for the purpose of awakening in the population anti-German sentiment. Also set out to recruit and send a division of volunteers to fight in the French front, but Wilson flatly forbade it. In 1918, he tried to be nominated again for the next election. But the years of inactivity led him to suffer a resounding failure. He died suddenly whilst I was sleeping at his home in Oyster Bay, on January 6, 1919, months before the debate of ratification in the Senate of the Treaty of Versailles and the birth of the League of Nations, projects of the President Wilson would have not stopped fighting with his usual energy to be alive.

Bibliography

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