Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States being the youngest man to serve as President. Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 27th, 1858 to the parents Theodore Roosevelt Sr. and Martha Stewart Bulloch. As a child, Theodore Roosevelt suffered from the medical condition known as asthma. The condition kept Roosevelt inactive but it also helped develop his intellectual interests. Roosevelt was mostly homeschooled being educated privately by tutors and his parents. As Theodore grew older he decided on his sixteenth birthday that he would attend Harvard University. He originally chose to study natural history and considered teaching as a career. In 1878, Theodore Roosevelt Sr., died after being diagnosed with stomach cancer. Grieving from the death of his father, Theodore Roosevelt decided to switch his major to history and government he felt as though this was the best way to honor his father and his legacy. Throughout college he played tennis, boxed and read hundreds of books unrelated to his major. He soon began to write his own, The Navy War of 1812, it was published two years after he received his B.A. In 1880, Roosevelt graduated from Harvard being ranked the twenty-first in his class as well as awarded magna cum laude. During those times he met Alice Hathaway Lee; marrying her in 1880 later having the couple’s first child. On Valentine’s Day in 1884, Roosevelt’s mother passed away from typhoid fever. In the same house one floor above, his wife Alice died from Bright’s disease due to the complications from giving birth to the couple’s child just two days before. Roosevelt spent two years out West in the Dakota Territory trying to recover from the tragedy. He obtained writing, ranching, and tending to cattle. In 1886, he returned to New York and later married his childhood friend Edith Kermit Carlow. Together they raised six children including his daughter from his first marriage. Before Theodore Roosevelt became President, he served in many government jobs such as U.S. Civil Service Commission, President of the New York City Board of Police, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and Vice President. Theodore Roosevelt had a significant impact on America. There are many reasons why Theodore Roosevelt is important to the United States History. Roosevelt revolutionized foreign affairs and believed that the U.S. had the responsibility to do so. Some of Theodore Roosevelt’s most effective achievements was because he was a conservationist. He dedicated himself to protecting wildlife and natural resources. During his Presidency he protected about 230,000,00 acres of land.
Steering the U.S. more actively into world politics, Roosevelt transformed American foreign and domestic policy in many different ways that would impact our country for many years to come. Roosevelt is responsible for the help of building the Panama Canal which strengthened the U.S. Navy. He strongly believed that this would protect them and prevent them from being a target for the enemies. Roosevelt presumed in expanding American power in the world. Many years’ people yearn for building a canal across America to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. France was essentially the first country to attempt the task, but with the push from President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 Colombia signed a treaty to permit the U.S. to build the Panama Canal giving the United States assets in the canal zone. Roosevelt was considered the first “modern” President. In 1906, Roosevelt earned the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in negotiating peace between Russia and Japan. Thus making him the first controversial American Nobel Peace Prize winner. President William McKinley named Roosevelt Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1897. However, after the outbreak of the Spanish American War Roosevelt resigned from his position and organized the volunteer cavalry regiment as a Lieutenant Colonel. This regiment was known as the Rough Riders.
Theodore Roosevelt became President of the United States in 1901 after the assassination of William McKinley. For the next seven and half years Roosevelt bought a different type of power and excitement into the White House. Throughout his many different speeches and appearances, he appealed more to the common man. As President, Roosevelt’s first focus was the mainstream businesses. Convincing Congress that more regulations and control over big business was inevitable. With the United States entering the Industrial Revolution, many factories were producing important products such as meat, steel and textile. But due to the high demand of labor and unemployed people many companies didn’t care about the safety and because of that the health portion of all of these factories weren’t up to par. Workers were always treated like the machines they were using to produce product. One of the main industries that was truly at its highest point of being considered unsafe was the meat packing plant of Chicago. Upton Sinclair wrote the novel “The Jungle” and it exploited the harsh conditions of immigrant workers that were in these factories. President Theodore Roosevelt read the works of Sinclair and eventually investigated and found out the allegations were true. Before Roosevelt could do anything he had to convince congress to pass a drug and meat inspection bill but congress refused, so he threatens to release parts of the information he found out about the meatpacking industry. Congress eventually agreed to the bill and created the Pure Food and Drug Act. which lead to the bill that’s known as the Food and Drug Administration which is still used today.
Even though Theodore Roosevelt was a member of the Republican Party for the majority of his life, he is best described as a Progressive. While Roosevelt became exceedingly important during the Progressive Era. After a coal strike broke out in May 1902, Roosevelt mediated the problem to negotiate a solution. Roosevelt developed what is now known as the Square Deal Domestic Policy that incorporated many reform programs. The Square Deal impacted America because it helped the middle class and it attacked the bad trusts. Which were monopolies that were providing unfair and unsafe places of businesses and caused multiple companies workers to go on strike. These policies focused primarily on controlling corporations, the conservation of nature, and public welfare. Roosevelt reformed American political life and establishing liberal reform which counteracted the power of monopoly trusts.
Theodore Roosevelt was more than just the 26th President of the United States. Not only did he contribute to the growth of the country, Theodore Roosevelt was a remarkable leader. He was a true Progressive and consistently fought for reform throughout his career thus making him one of the most important Presidents.