Theodore Roosevelt “The life of Theodore Roosevelt (18581919) was one of constant activity, immense energy, and enduring accomplishments. As the twenty-sixth President of the United States, Roosevelt was the wielder of the Big Stick, the builder of the Panama Canal, an avid conservationist, and the nemesis of the corporate trusts that threatened to monopolize American business at the start of the century. His exploits as a Rough Rider in the Spanish-American War and as a cowboy in the Dakota Territory were indicative of his spirit of adventure and love of the outdoors. Reading and hunting were lifelong passions of his; writing was a lifelong compulsion.” After graduating magna cum laude, from the Harvard University, Theodore began to lay the building blocks for his public career.
He began one of the most historic political careers ever. Roosevelt put his early political years in these words, “I rose like a rocket”. After being a New York Assemblyman, United States Civil Commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Roosevelt played a significant role in the Spanish-American War. The Spanish, who once thrived in the new world, really only controlled Cuba now. But the Cubans attempted several times to receive their independence.
The Cubans were mistreated, so the United States stepped in. War was declared against Spain by the United States. As the war went on Roosevelt began a group called the Rough Riders. This group consisted of largely cowboys, Indians, and college athletes. The group was led by Teddy and Colonel Leonard Wood.
On June 30, the Rough Riders marched to Santiago. Then On July 1, the Rough Riders played a huge role in the American victory at San Juan Hill. Now with the Hills, Teddy the Rough Riders and the rest of the American troops, were ready to attack Santiago. Later, because Spain could not fight anymore, Spain asked for a peace agreement. Now Teddy was a war hero, this is nothing but help his chances for the U.S. President spot.
After holding the governor spot over New York, Theodore ran as Vice President with William McKinley. On September 6, 1901 President McKinley was assassinated by, a anarchist named Leon Czolgosz. And the Rough Rider, cowboy, was now the President of the United States. “Although only 42, by far the youngest president in the nations history up to that time, Roosevelt brought solid qualifications to the office.” ” No event had a more profound effect on Theodore Roosevelts political career.” As the President, Roosevelt look out for the best interest of the United States. In dealing with business, President Roosevelt was determined to see that no “Big Business” had a monopoly. As a result in early 1902, the attorney-general was ordered by Teddy to file a suit against The Northern Securities Company, which was a railroad investment company.
The company controlled 3 major railroads in the Northwest. The Northwest Securities Company was charged with being a monopoly, under the Sherman Antitrust Act. The Supreme Court later ruled on the case a said the Northern Securities Company must be broken up because they were “combination in restraint of trade.” Because of the success that Roosevelt won in this case, he brought charges on over 40 more Big Businesses. The most important businesses broken up by the Supreme Court, as a result of Roosevelts actions were the Standard Oil Company and the American Tobacco Company.
Because the antitrust cases were took so long to get to the Supreme Court, Roosevelt asked Congress to pass the Expedition Act, which sped the process. Roosevelt did not discriminate big businesses simply because they were big, he looked for the businesses that posed a threat to the public. “Roosevelts action against big businesses won him the title trust buster. One of the biggest challenge Roosevelt took on was getting the Panama Canal built. The United States and Great Britain signed a treaty which gave the U.S.
exclusive rights to build, and operate a canal in Central America. There was some disagreement where the canal would be built, but the final decision was Panama, where a French company had been digging but went bankrupt. In June of 1902 congress passed the Isthmian Canal Act, which authorized the purchase of the French land for $40 million. But the United States also had to get control of the canal zone from what was then Colombia.
Secretary of State made an agreement with Thomas Herran to purchase, the right to control the land, for $10 million plus $250,000 yearly. The U.S. Senate accepted it but, the Colombian senate rejected the offer, hoping to get more money. At this point Roosevelt considered taking the land by force. He called them(Colombian senate) corrupted, and he said they were trying to black-mail the United States. But the people who lived in Panama were resentful to Colombia government, and a revolt was inevitable.
The revolt was funded by the French Company. Roosevelt ordered the U.S. Navel forces to keep Colombian troops from getting into Panama, to end the revolt. Panama succeeded, mainly due to the help of the U.S. Navy. An agreement was made and the U.S.
began to build the Panama Canal. Roosevelt was an outdoorsman, he enjoyed everything about the outdoors. He was determined to conserve nature. He made huge steps to conserve nature. He called National Conservation Conference at the White House. Which resulted in many states creating a conservative commission.
He also added 150 million acres to the national forest reserve. And passed several acts to conserve and benefit the United States natural resources. Conserving nature is just a part of his great legacy. Teddy Roosevelt led a highly successful life, until his last day. He will be forever remembered as one of the United States greatest Presidents.