Mount Rushmore is used by people to list their greatest of all time, whether that’s in sports or entertainment, it is a symbol of greatness.
So, how do four presidents earn the spot to have their face carved into a mountain? Sure Washington was the first, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln freed the slaves. But how did Theodore Roosevelt earn his spot? Not only was he friends with the designer, without his accomplishments as president, the United States wouldn’t be how we see it today.Born in New York City on October 27, 1858, Theodore Roosevelt was a very sickly child growing up, which resulted in him and his three siblings being homeschooled throughout their youth. His father, Theodore Sr, was a businessman and was a member Union league club during the civil war, improving the life of union soldiers and their families(Sargent,2014). His father would take him out for rides into the wood for some fresh air to help with his asthma; there he fell in love with the outdoors. It was his father who showed Roosevelt the wilderness and introduced him to his love for hunting. Due to his allergies, little Roosevelt was tiny for his age.
His father built him a gym for him to “make his body” to overcome his physical weakness and bullies (Milkis,2014). The badass that he was, Roosevelt took part in physical activities like weightlifting, boxing, and wrestling and excelled in all sports.After year of working out he transformed his scrawny frame into a muscular built(2014). In his teen years Roosevelt took a trip abroad to Europe with his family hoping it would help with his asthma. He stayed in Germany with a host for a few months.
There in a different country, he experienced different view of other coulter giving him awareness and knowledge of global politics which would later influences his political views as president(Marx). Shortly before his eighteenth birthday, Roosevelt entered Harvard University to study natural history. In 1878, Theodore’s father died after being diagnosed with stomach cancer. Milkis explained how the death of Roosevelt’s father and mentor changed his life’s direction causing him to switched his major with history and government. As an undergraduate, he studied the naval aspect of the war of 1812 which he later wrote a book called the The Naval war of 1812(Sargent,2014). After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree, Roosevelt enrolled Columbia University Law school but, later dropped out to serve in the New York state assembly. Sidney Milkis also wrote that in 1884, after the death of his mother and wife Theodore left politics and went on a trip to Dakota Territory where he learned to survive in the wilderness. It was his way of to step away from politics and spend some time for himself while his children stayed with his sister in New York.
According to Marx TR later moved his family to Washington D.C. where he was appointed Civil Service Commission by President Benjamin Harrison. Six years later he resigned to be the Police Commissioner of New York City (Marx,2012). Roosevelt campaigned for Presidential candidate William Mckinley and would later award awarded him as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.
After the USS Maine was sunk in 1898, Roosevelt saw an opportunity to suggest his tactics and strategy. Supported by congress he prepared the Navy for war with spain. After gaining the supplies and sailors he requestested, Roosevelt and the Navy were set for war(lemelin, 2002). TR would later resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to lead the Rough Riders as Lt. Colonel.
With the help of his friend Colonel Leonard Wood, the two men would successfully organize the first U.S. Volunteer Cavalry. Twenty three thousand who volunteered that made up the Rough Riders were mainly cowboy, hunters, Native Americans, and polo players(2015). The Rough Riders fought two battles in Cuba. The first battle fought was the Battle of Las Guasimas and the second was The Battle of San Juan Heights. Roosevelt led a series of charges on his horse with his troops on foot which resulted to the American flag being raised(2015). The Treaty of Paris allowed the United States to possess Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico,and the Philippines (Lemelin,2002).
Theodore Roosevelt was welcomed a hero in his return, which pushed him to the seat of Governor of New York State (Thomsen, 2013). Roosevelt was nominated as the Vice President for William Mckinley because Republican leaders wanted to regulate him in a position where he could do no harm(2012). Mckinley won in a landslide at 292 electoral college votes making it the largest in years(Miller). Just months after the inauguration Mckinley was assassinated making Theodore Roosevelt the 26th and the youngest president at 43 at the time. He pledged to follow Mckinley’s policies but, knowing his forceful personality the people knew that it wouldn’t last long until he would enact his own policies.
One of the first thing TR did as president had the U.S. and Great Britain sign Hay Pauncefote Treaty for the rights of buying the property and equipment into building the Panama Canal (Gerstle,1999). Terrible work condition plus Malaria and yellow fever killed 420 men making it easy of the French to give up the project to the Americans. The As travel and trade increased, the need for a canal to save time from sailing to the Atlantic to Pacific grew more obvious.
The American’s first year with the canal was the same result to the French. Once John Stevens took over as the chief engineer, the first thing he did was to clean the area killing the mosquitoes that carried the harmful diseases. After spending millions of dollars into building the canal, it finally opened on August 15, 1914.Roosevelt was known as the “trust buster” for the belief of the government regulating big business and tackling them to protect the welfare of society(Foner,2016). He convinced Congress to control and supervise the big business and to ensure social justice and economic opportunity through government regulation. Big business was part of economic growth so there was no need to abolish it(2016).
The country had coal shortage in 1902 just before winter because of the United Mine Workers going on strike. According Carter TR felt the need to intervene as winter approached and there was a heating shortage. Roosevelt invited both owners of the mines and the representative of the labor to the White House to negotiate a deal.
TR threatened the owners that he would take the mines and run them as the federal operation when they refused to negotiate. The settlement was called a “square deal” a fair treatment for both parties. The Department of Commerce and Labor was established in 1903 to settle a similar dispute in the future. (2015)Theodore Roosevelt became the first president to win the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the war between Russia and Japan.
The Treaty of Portsmouth was signed in September 5, 1905.The Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) of 1906 allowed the Secretary of Agriculture to inspect any meat before it was shipped and sold to consumers. On the same day, the Pure Food and Drug Act(PFDA) was created to work with the FMIA.
TR loved being in the outdoors. When he saw the destruction of the American landscape while traveling around the country, he acted quickly and created the Antiquities Act of 1906. This allowed the federal agency to preserve public land and landmark by making them into National Monuments.
TR saw these places as heirloomed of America and they needed to be saved for the future generation of Americans. Without The Antiquities Act The Grand Canyon and approximately 230 million acres of land would have been whipped out(Thomson,2011). President Theodore Roosevelt was regarded as the first modern president(Tullai,1998). TR had countless accomplishment throughout his lifetime.
At age 42 years, 10 months and 18 days, he was the youngest man to be president at the time. He was also the first president to win a Nobel Peace Prize. While campaigning Roosevelt was shot in the chest but still managed to give a 90 minutes speech(1998). He did so much for the American people by creating better work conditions. He regulated big businesses from monopolizing the business industries. He also settled dispute of other countries. Theodore Roosevelt was not just a politician and a hunter, he was also an author and a poet who wrote countless books and poetry. He wrote so much a speech that he wrote and prepared to deliver saved his life because it was so thick.
He wrote about his research of the Naval war and his experiences being a hunter in the wilderness. After losing all is fortune in the Dakota Territory, Roosevelt managed to support his family and make a living with his writing. A collection of letters to his children were published into a book called Theodore Roosevelt’s letter to his Children. On 1904 Roosevelt ran for president and wanted to win the election his own way(Milkis,2014). He ran against Democrat nominee Alton Parker who was Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. Milkis said that there was little differences between the two race was said to be based on their personalities(2014). TR easily defeated parker with 336 electoral votes to Parker’s 140.
He got the vote of every states except the south (Mieczkowski,2014). After the victory he had the public’s full support unlike the country had ever seen. He vowed not to run for a second term which he would later regret that promise. Believing he had more to accomplish, TR choose a successor in William Howard Taft (2014). Taft Promised to run the country just like how Roosevelt did.
With Roosevelt traveling around Africa and Europe with his son, Taft would dismiss Roosevelt’s cabinet and would hand pick his secretaries without his knowledge. Once Roosevelt returned home, he was welcomed by one of the largest greeting reception given in New York. Upon his arrival TR smothered with feedbacks on Taft and how he was running the country(Miller,2014). After being disappointed with Taft’s action, TR rounded a third party called the Bull Moose party (King,2013). During his second presidential campaign of 1912 TR was scheduled to deliver a speech in Milwaukee.
King wrote that while leaving the hotel he stayed, TR was shot in the chest. After hitting his steel glasses case and a fifty page copy of his speech the bullet penetrated his chest. With only minor injuries, he still managed to deliver his speech with the bullet in his chest. After losing the election to Woodrow Wilson in 1912, Roosevelt and his son Kermit went on a seven month expedition to the Amazon jungles. During his expedition Roosevelt was bitten by a malaria infected mosquito(Miller). Once World war 1 broke out the former president tried to convince the nation to prepare and to join the war but, the United States stayed neutral. When finally entering the war in 1917 TR offered to recruit volunteers to fight along his side but, he was denied by the War Department. Although TR didn’t participate in the war, all four of his children all volunteered to fight.
His son would get shot down while flying on a mission in Germany and two of his sons were wounded in battle.Theodore Roosevelt would spend most of his time writing essays and history books. He still managed to tour around the country making speeches but you start to hear that sadness in his voice never fully recovering from his son’s death.
On January 6, 1919, the former president Theodore Roosevelt died in his sleep due to a blood clot in his heart.Theodore Roosevelt is widely known the first modern president. He had charisma which helped him win the presidency.
He was the most popular president in his time and the people voted for him not the party. He shaped and molded his beliefs for the good of the people. Without most of his ideas and policies the United States would be how we see it today.