Theodore Roosevelt Essay Research Paper OutlineThesis Theodore — страница 3

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States for the last time as a totally inward-looking nation. Although a metal standard would not disappear from United States currency until well into the mid-twentieth century, and the question of the purchase of silver would again be raised by President Franklin Roosevelt, the Free Silver campaign of William Jennings Bryan versus the Gold Standard enforced by McKinley shows the last internal economic agitation until the great depression. The National Grange died upon McKinley’s election, and “after the excitement of Bryan’s Free Silver campaign died down, the agrarian ferment largely subsided” (Barck 21). The end of the old era could now begin. It is ironic that McKinley’s presidency ended in assassination, for without the sudden change of leadership in the White

House in 1901, the transformation undergone by the United States may have appeared as gradual as it was intended to be. McKinley was president over the “closing years of the nineteenth century, mark[ing] the end of comparative isolation and the beginning of an epoch during which the United States emerged as a world power” (Barck 77). Indeed, McKinley fits this description of the end of the nineteenth century well. He was a very transitionary character; not as bland or powerless as the three who had come before him, yet still figurehead enough to be led by Mark Hanna, the national republican boss. McKinley’s stare typifies his character: “His stare was intimidating in its blackness and steadiness…Only very perceptive observers were aware that there was no real power

behind the gaze: McKinley stared in order to concentrate a sluggish, wandering mind” (Morris 586). McKinley was president when the United States’ first modern military interventions began. However it is clear McKinley was not an expansionist at heart. He declared in his inaugural address, “We want no wars of conquest; we must avoid the temptation of territorial aggression”(Cashman 315). However, much of America did want war with Spain, and after the American ship Maine blew up in Havana, killing 266 soldiers, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt called for war with Spain to free Cuba. The subsequent defeat of the Spanish in 100 days and the capture of the Philippines demonstrates the expansionist nature of the United States increasing. During the election of

1900, Bryan ran against McKinley again. This time, both men campaigned on the same side of the same issue, advocating annexation of overseas territories (Cashman 329). This confused Democrats and allowed McKinley’s re-election for the last year of the nineteenth century. The progress of the United States from the death of Lincoln to the Assassination of McKinley has shown the trend away from Jeffersonian views of a loose government, allowing the people to be independent, and into one more pro-government, like that of Hamilton. Coupled to this was a tendency to look outside United States borders into the global community. The pendulum of history had passed its middle mark and was sweeping upward. It needed, however, an individual to carry it to its apex. Theodore Roosevelt was

in the right place at the right time. Whether he was the right person for the job remains a matter that must be dealt with. His foundations and his career demonstrate that he was the perfect person to succeed McKinley and take the United States into its modern era. Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858, one week before Buchanan was elected president, and two and a half years before the outbreak of the Civil war. Not having much in the way of genuine learning skills at such an early age, Roosevelt, in a sense, “slept through [the war]” (Hagedorn 11). In another sense, he did not. Theodore Roosevelt was born into a house of strikingly opposite leaders. His father was a large, cheerful, powerful man, who tended to be joyful and move quickly. It is safe to say Theodore

Roosevelt, junior, received his stature from the man bearing his name (Morris 34). If Roosevelt’s father was a “northern burgher,” his mother was an archetypal Southern belle, refined and elegant. By all accounts she was absolutely lovely, and had a wonderful taste for the beautiful things in life (Morris 36). From her, young Theodore inherited his love of the natural, his sense of decorum, and his strong wit. The even balance that existed in the Roosevelt home fell into a disarray of sorts as war broke out. TR, Senior was a Lincoln Republican and desired strongly a chance to fight, however his wife, her sister, and her mother, all staunch confederates, resided in the same house. To compromise, TR, Senior hired someone to fight for him and served the army in a civilian