Presidential Paper Theodore Roosevelt
At the start of the 20th Century, the branch in the national government looked upon as the one holding the most power was the United States Congress. The average age of the presidents up until 1901 was about 60 years old, and they were not viewed as the political head like they are today. That all changed in 1901 when Theodore Roosevelt was sworn into office.
Considered the first modern president, Theodore Roosevelt significantly expanded the influence and power of the executive office. believing that it was the exclusive right of the President to use all powers available, except for the powers specifically denied to the office, to accomplish goals. Roosevelt pushed the governmental boundaries of the early 20th Century, challenging against the ideas of limited government.
After graduating from Harvard University, Roosevelt started studies at Columbia University for law, however he dropped out a year after to pursue what would become a lifetime career in politics. Winning a seat in the New York assembly in 1882, Roosevelt left politics briefly, moving out to the western frontier to deal with the death of his wife death from childbirth, and his mothers’ death, both happening on the same day. This event is what led him to become an extreme advocate for the outdoors and famed big game hunter. In 1886, Roosevelt returned to New York City, attempting to revive his political career with a failed attempt campaigning for mayor. In 1889, He was appointed Civil Service commissioner, retaining the office until 1895. Roosevelt was later tapped to be president of the New York City Board.
1897 is the year Theodore Roosevelt stepped into national politics, joining President William McKinley’s administration as assistant secretary of the Navy. With the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, in which Roosevelt saw coming, and actively prepared for while in office, he resigned from his position, and volunteered to be the commander of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, known historically as the Rough Riders. With stories of his heroics in Cuba, such as ones of the famed charge at San Juan Hill, Roosevelt returned home a war hero. Using this new fame, he launched a successful bid for governor of New York in 1898. In 1900, Roosevelt was chosen to be the Republican candidate for Vice President, running along side President McKinley. Successfully elected, he was only able to hold vice-presidency for 194 days, due to the tragic death of President McKinley after being shot in Buffalo, New York.
At the age of 42, Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest President of the United States. Referred to as the People’s President, Roosevelt worked to push the government to improve the lives of Americans, creating a domestic-first approach; initiating legislation for welfare, placing government regulation on industry, and advocating for reform in the workplace. As a tip to the outdoors that helped him recover years ago, he became the first environmentalist in office, designating almost 200 million acres of natural land for the National Parks and wildlife conservatories. America’s foreign policies where drastically changed, as Roosevelt wanted to expand the country’s influence around the world. He worked diligently, securing the rights to build the Panama Canal and establishing the United States are the policeman of the Western Hemisphere. In 1905, President Roosevelt furthered his pursuit in American influence, with successfully being the mediator between Russia and Japan, allowing them to negotiate peace in the United States. President Roosevelt believed that the world should settle international disputes through diplomacy rather than war, however described his own foreign policy as the idea of negotiating peacefully, but also having strength incase diplomacy failed.
Theodore Roosevelt significantly expanded the influence and power of the Presidency while in office, accomplishing goals that set the United States on the path towards becoming a world power. As the most popular president of his time, President Roosevelt created the modern view of the presidency; one where the president would forever shape issues, mold opinions on topics, and essentially become the face of American politics. Through his personality and enthusiasm, he forever changed the view of the American political system.
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