Theodore Roosevelt Essay Research Paper OutlineThesis Theodore — страница 5

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the battle, Harrison managed to have Paul resign, and Roosevelt accepted half of a victory. He had successfully stopped the wheels of the political machine once. It was not to be the last time (Morris 403-8). Roosevelt spent several years as a commissioner of police in New York City, eventually rising to become president of the board of commissioners. In these years, the true signs of the presidency that was to come shone through. Two of Roosevelt’s closest acquaintances were Lincoln Steffens, and Jacob Riis (Morris 482), both reporters of New York newspapers. It was through them that Roosevelt communicated to the people, and he found it good practice to have the relayers of his messages be his friends. Through Riis’ book How The Other Half Lives, Roosevelt had learned of the

plight of the poor. Roosevelt saw the awful living conditions present in police lodging houses, and had them done away with (Cashman 123). He battled police corruption, trying hundreds of officers and finding corruption and graft in every corner of the department (Morris 491). When McKinley’s first vice-president, Hobart, died, Roosevelt found himself in the capacity of Governor of New York. He had already fought in a war and been Assistant Secretary of the Navy, where he helped to orchestrate the United States’ roles in Cuba and Panama. Roosevelt’s expansionist views were here seen. As governor, he continued to defy the old political tactics, including bossism. Platt, the political boss of New York, had gotten Roosevelt elected governor, yet constantly ran up against

Roosevelt, who would not follow any of his orders. Roosevelt spent a good time of his governorship attempting to outmaneuver Platt and his agents who were heavily present in the state legislature (Morris 708). Hobart’s death, in 1899, forced the search for a new vice-presidential candidate, especially due to the upcoming election. Roosevelt emerged as the leading candidate, to the dismay of the Republican National Party’s boss, Senator Mark Hanna. Hanna considered Roosevelt quite dangerous; in the previous term Hanna had done a great deal of controlling the president, and he feared what would happen if Roosevelt became vice-president. McKinley did not show any special preference. Hanna chose his own candidate, John D. Long, but was convinced through some slightly shady

political maneuvering to vote for Roosevelt against his own better judgment (Morris 727). Hanna’s personal dislike of Roosevelt did not diminish in the slightest, however. Shortly after the 1900 elections, Hanna sent McKinley a note saying “Your duty to the Country is to live for four years from next March (Miller 342). McKinley was re-nominated unanimously, receiving all 926 votes. Roosevelt received 925, the single vote against him cast by himself (Morris 729). Roosevelt served four days as Vice President before Congress adjourned until December. And when the news of McKinley’s sudden death on September 14 came to him he said, in a very un-Roosevelt-like manner, that he would “continue, absolutely unbroken, the policy of President McKinley for the peace, the prosperity,

and the honor of our beloved country” (Barck 45). This was tradition for replacement presidents, although it certainly seemed odd coming from such a strong-willed man as Roosevelt. Roosevelt had already made himself extremely well known in the public eye, so his transition to president was not as awkward as it might have been. Roosevelt campaigned furiously during 1900, traveling a total of 21,209 miles and making 673 speeches in 567 towns in 24 states (Morris 730). Only Bryan had campaigned more in the 19th century. For this reason, Roosevelt was able to manipulate, to a certain degree, the popular press. Although he disliked those “Muckrakers,” as he called them, who looked for wrongdoing everywhere and served mostly to stir sensationalistic ideas, Roosevelt had a certain

penchant for those like Steffens and Riis, who wrote copiously on the need for social reform. To do his part, Roosevelt attempted reforms that would benefit the working class. Unlike previous presidents, Roosevelt refused to use national force to break strikes. He also instituted the Interstate Commerce Act, which, with the Hepburn Act, allowed government regulation of transportation systems, preventing the railroad monopolies from instituting unfairly high prices (Barck 52). Taking a cue from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, which detailed in vivid description the atrocious handling of meat at sausage factories, Roosevelt had the Pure Foods and Drugs Act and the Meat Inspection Act passed, preventing the manufacture of harmful foods and requiring inspection of meat facilities. A