Theodore Roosevelt




TheodoreRoosevelt was the second born in a family of four siblings. Rooseveltwas born on October 27 in the year 1858. During his birth,Roosevelt`s parents resided in East 20thStreet in the city of New York. He was a son of a philanthropist anda glass businessman named Senior. 1His mother, Martha Stewart, was a socialite. Roosevelt’s youth washighly impacted by the poor health condition. He suffered from achronic asthma that terrified the entire family, including hisparents. However, Roosevelt remained mischievously inquisitive andenergetic throughout his life. He gained an interest in the field ofzoology at the age of about seven years when he found the remains ofa dead seal in the market. He took its head and used it to establisha makeshift museum at his home.

Sourcesof influence

Hisfather, Roosevelt senior, influenced him in many ways. Roosevelt’sfather assumed several leadership positions, including a managementposition in a committee that facilitated the development of theMetropolitan Museum of Art in the City of New York. He also mobilizedthe residents to support the Union war. Roosevelt learned a lot ofleadership and public speaking skills from his active father. Hedescribed his father as the best man that he knew, and as a personwho was able to combine courage with tenderness and gentleness. 2The holiday trips that his family had in different parts of Europeand the northern parts of Africa (such as Egypt) also left a lifetimeimpact in Roosevelt’s life. He learned the significance of having aregime of physical exercise as part of a long-term

1.U.S. Department of Interior. “The life of ”.U.S.Department of Interior. (Accessed 5 August 2016), p. 1. 2. Center. “, 1858-1919”.TheodoreRoosevelt Center. (Accessed 5 August 2016), p. 1.

strategyfor staying healthy and managing his asthma. He also learned a lot ofvalues and leadership experiences through the literature and storiesof influential people, including the soldiers of the Valley Forge.


Rooseveltwas eager to acquire the formal education, in spite of the fact thathis poor health could not allow him to attend school like otherchildren. A combined effort of his parents and tutors helped him gothrough a successful home schooling program. The travels that heenjoyed with his parents increased his strength in geography. He wasalso strong in history, and languages, such as France and Germany.After the home schooling program that gave him the basic education,Roosevelt joined the Harvard College in September 1876. The death ofhis father in 1878 motivated him to double his efforts at thecollege. The weakened body did not hinder Roosevelt from leading anactive life while at the college. He took part in boxing and rowing.3He also joined several clubs, including the Alpha Delta Phi and thePorcellian Club before graduating in 1880.

Involvementin naval strategy

Rooseveltgot an interest in the navy while at Harvard College. His main focusin the field of navy was the determination of the role of youngofficers in the war that occurred in 1812. He accomplished thispurpose by reviewing the literature and records kept by the U.S.Navy, with the help of his two uncles, who worked with the militaryunit. This study helped Roosevelt published one of the mostcomprehensive books known as “The Naval War of 1812” 4

3.Sheffield, J. “, “Conservation as a nationalduty” (13 May 1908)”. Voicesof Democracy5 (2010), p. 105. .

4. Center. “, 1858-1919”.TheodoreRoosevelt Center. (Accessed 5 August 2016), p. 101.

Roosevelt’spublication has remained a standard literature of war to-date. Heused this opportunity to demonstrate his writing style and aninterest in history as well as the national defense.

Marriageand family life

Rooseveltmarried his first wife, Alice Lee, at the age of 22 years. Alice Leewas a socialite and the daughter of a U.S. banker, Cabot Lee. 5They got their first daughter, Alice Roosevelt in the year 1884.Unfortunately, Roosevelt lost his wife two days after delivery. Herdeath was associated with a kidney failure that had taken long beforebeing diagnosed. It was a tough day for Roosevelt since his motherhad died about 11 hours earlier and her death was attributed to atyphoid fever. He married his second wife, Edith Carow, in the year1886. He got five children (including Ted III, Kermit, Ethel,Quentin, and Archibald) with his second wife.


Rooseveltstarted pursuing a career in politics in 1882, when he was sponsoredby the Republican Party to vie for the seat of the District House inAlbany. He used the values (such as integrity) that he had learnedfrom his father to fight corruption in Albany and the state of NewYork. His ability to expose corporate corruption deals enhanced hispolitical profile. 6He pushed his political career a notch higher by getting involved inthe presidential elections that took place in 1884. During this time,Roosevelt endorsed George Edmunds, the senator

5.Miller Center. “: Life in brief”. MillerCenter. (Accessed 5 August 2016), p.1.

6.Heyse, L. “, “Address of president Roosevelt atthe laying of the corner stone of the office building of the house ofrepresentatives Saturday, April 14, 1906 (The man with theMuck-Rake)” (14 April 1906)”. Voicesof Democracy5 (2010), p. 5.

forVermont, but the GOP chose Chester Arthur. After having an experiencein the national politics, Roosevelt vied for the position of the NewYork City’s mayor as a Republican Candidate in 1886, but he lost toa Democratic Candidate. 7

Hecampaigned for Benjamin Harrison, who won the presidential electionsin 1888. Harrison appointed Roosevelt to the Civil ServiceCommission, where he enhanced his public image by enforcing the civilservice laws. He then became a Police Commission of the City of NewYork in 1895 after refusing to vie for the position of the mayor inelections that were held in 1894. 8Roosevelt played other critical roles at the national as well as thestate levels that portrayed him as a national figure. Examples ofthese roles include the position of the Assistant Secretary of theU.S. Navy, involvement in the War in Cuba in the late 1898s,reelection as the Mayo of New York in 1898, and appointment as thevice president in 1899. A series of these political and publicservice jobs, coupled with his exceptional performance increased hispopularity and prepared him for the highest office (presidency) inthe U.S.


Rooseveltbecame the president in the year 1901, when McKinley the presidentwho appointed him as the vice president was shot dead. He was swornin as the president until 1904 when he was re-elected for a fullterm.9During his first term, he had to deal with a wide range of issuespertaining to foreign and domestic policies. For example, Rooseveltaddressed the issue of potential financial crisis by requesting theCongress to contain the powers of the trust corporations that were atthe risk of bursting. He also advocated for the establishment of anorganized labor, which enhanced his popularity among employees.

7.Sheffield, J. “, “Conservation as a nationalduty” (13 May 1908)”. Voicesof Democracy5 (2010), p. 92.

8.Ibid,p. 92.

9.Ibid,p. 92.

TheCoal Strike that occurred in 1902 was another critical issue thatRoosevelt had to address during his first term. He made a deal withthe workers, which resulted in a reduction in the working hours andan increase in hourly wage. During his second term, Roosevelt made alot of achievements in reducing corruption in the railwayconstruction projects and conservation of the natural resources,where he increased the Federal protection to wildlife as well asland. 9

Interms of foreign policy, Roosevelt managed to arbitrate on theconflict between Venezuela and European countries, including Italy,Germany, and Britain. These countries had imposed a significant navalblockade that was intended to force Venezuela to honor its delinquentloans. 10Roosevelt’s intervention resulted in the settlement of the matterunder a Hague-based tribunal. He made several proposals that failedand contributed to his defeat in 1908. For example, a proposal toincrease the level of control on the court system was one of thedrawbacks that made Roosevelt lose to William Howard, which markedthe end of his political career.

Endof the political career, death, and legacy

Rooseveltleft the public office as a president in 1909, but he did campaignswith the objective of being re-elected on a progressive party’sticket in 1912. During campaigns, Roosevelt met with a tragedy whenhe was shot in the chest. The tragedy was considered as an attemptedassassination. He recovered from the shot, but died in 1919. 11

9.Sheffield, J. “, “Conservation as a nationalduty” (13 May 1908)”. Voicesof Democracy5 (2010), p. 9.

10.U.S. Department of Interior. “The life of ”.U.S.Department of Interior. (Accessed 5 August 2016), p. 1.

11. Center. “, 1858-1919”.TheodoreRoosevelt Center. (Accessed 5 August 2016), p. 1.

Heleft a legacy of a conservationist president. In addition, he playeda critical role in placing the president’s office at the centerstage of the national maters, including issues that affectedlaborers. His ability to handle the trust burst and fight corruptionat the state as well as the federal levels depicted him as a popularleader who served the interest of the people.


Heyse, L. “,“Address of president Roosevelt at the laying of the corner stoneof the office building of the house of representatives Saturday,April 14, 1906 (The man with the Muck-Rake)” (14 April 1906)”.Voices of Democracy5 (2010): 1-17.

Miller Center. “TheodoreRoosevelt: Life in brief”. MillerCenter. (Accessed 5 August 2016).

Sheffield, J. “TheodoreRoosevelt, “Conservation as a national duty” (13 May 1908)”.Voices of Democracy5 (2010): 89-108.

Center.“, 1858-1919”. TheodoreRoosevelt Center. (Accessed 5 August 2016).

U.S. Department of Interior. “Thelife of ”. U.S.Department of Interior. (Accessed 5 August 2016).