Theodore Roosevelt Essay Research Paper OutlineThesis Theodore — страница 6

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unique aspect of Roosevelt’s presidency was his foreign policy. Although McKinley had been involved in Cuba and the Philippines, he had never expressed a wish to dominate as a world power. Roosevelt had, indeed, operated a large part of the United States’ aggressive role towards Cuba, and in his presidency went even further to secure the United States as a dominating power. In 1904 he declared what would become the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine in a letter to Secretary of War Elihu Root (Miller 394). Roosevelt argued that it was a civilized nation’s right to intervene if its neighbors are engaged in wrongdoing. To that end, Roosevelt began to use force to preserve peace and order in the Western Hemisphere. The Dominican Republic needed Roosevelt’s help first,

as it was being harassed by Italy and France, to whom it owed large sums of money. To alleviate the problem, a loan was set up from the United States. Although the Dominicans eventually settled on the loan, anti-imperialists felt the United States was preparing to annex the Dominican Republic. It has been said that “The Roosevelt Corollary['s]…promulgation was proof that the United States realized its position as a world power” (Barck 100). Of course, this was all contingent on Roosevelt’s enforcement of his doctrine. Roosevelt confirmed the role of the U. S. further by providing a strong military presence to wrest the boundary line of Alaska from Canada in 1902 and most importantly, by determination and perhaps a little impropriety in the annexation of the Panama Canal

zone. Colombia had been a friendly country to the U. S., and when Panama revolted it seemed suspect that the United States should allow such an operation. But, as tends to be the case, Roosevelt wanted Panama free for other means. In his words, he wanted to “take Panama,” for a canal and he did, demanding independence from a contract with England and grumbling when the deal ended up to be a 100 year lease of the canal zone, rather than an outright purchase. The Panama canal was, in Roosevelt’s mind, to be as great a feat as the Louisiana purchase or Texas annexation. It was a controversial measure, and showed Roosevelt’s beliefs in the superiority and rights of civilization (Miller 399). In 1907 Roosevelt finally decided he had had enough and, rather than run for a third

term, which he could have easily done, virtually appointed William Howard Taft as his successor and went off to enjoy retirement. Taft was a good friend of Roosevelt and shared many of his views. Under Taft, Congress expanded the Conservation Laws, keeping alive TR’s national parks service. In addition, 80 suits were initiated by Taft’s attorney general on companies violating the Sherman Anti-Trust act. Unfortunately, Taft’s presidency was not nearly as successful as Roosevelt’s, for while the country became more and more progressive, Taft stood pat, remaining mostly conservative (Barck 68). In response to Taft’s conservative stance, progressives united to form the National Progressive League. Meanwhile, Roosevelt returned to politics. Bored with the quiet life, he

desired the presidency once again, and naturally went for the Republican ticket. However, Taft decided to give Roosevelt a little taste of his own medicine, and refused to accede to Roosevelt, who was now playing the political boss. The friendship that had existed between these two was splintered, and Roosevelt, in a rage, formed the Progressive party and ran as a third candidate. Although he feared he would be defeated if the Democrats nominated a progressive candidate (which they found in Wilson), Roosevelt ran with his soul, as he did everything in life. At the Progressive party convention, Roosevelt read aloud his “Confession of Faith,” a sweeping charter for reform that outlined the agenda for the twentieth century (Miller 528). The confession advocated direct senate

elections, preferential primaries, women’s suffrage, corruption laws, referendum and recall, a federal securities commission, trust regulation, reduced tariffs, unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, anti-child-labor laws, and food purity laws (Miller 528). Roosevelt lost the 1912 election, but he certainly did not lose power. Over the next century, he would have every single part of his agenda made national law. The turn towards progressivism was only beginning, and continued with Wilson. Although a democrat, his views were remarkably progressive. They were also remarkably Rooseveltian. Like Roosevelt, Wilson had a strong will and did not take kindly to dissent, as can be seen by his appointment of Louis Brandeis to the supreme court over the objections of at least six