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Theodore Roosevelt Case

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Theodore Roosevelt

As the 26th president of the United States and also the youngest president ever elected, Theodore Roosevelt faced many challenging decisions, but he knew how to handle them. He fought for what he believed and never backed down from that belief. Theodore Roosevelt faced challenging circumstances while growing up which made many consider him to be frail and not likely to succeed; however, he came to be known as a notable statesman, military leader, governor, vice-president of the United States, and finally the most powerful leader in the free world, President of the United States of America.

Theodore Roosevelt's family ancestors were successful Dutch glass importers that were one of New York's leading families in the late 1800s. His father, also named Theodore, pursued a life of civic and charitable activities (Markham 16). Theodore senior founded the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History. When Roosevelt's father was helping others, the younger Theodore learned that he had a responsibility to help those that were less fortunate than himself. The future president's mother, Martha Bullock Roosevelt, was born in Georgia. Her main interests were her home and caring for her family. Martha Roosevelt gave birth to Theodore on October 27, 1858. He had the worst health of the family as he suffered from nervousness, a week stomach, and harsh attacks of asthma. He had an older sister, Anna, a younger brother, Elliot, and a younger sister, Corinne. With both of his parents devoted to the four children, their home was a loving and lively environment that often included relatives and friends.

As Theodore was completing college, he met a woman by the name Alice Hathaway Lee. Alice was from a prominent Boston family. They courted for almost two years and were married in June of 1880. While in his third term of the legislature, he received a telegram on February 13, 1884 that told his wife had given birth to a baby girl. Theodore arrived to be welcomed by his brother, who thought a curse was on Theodore's house. After giving birth, Alice died of Bright's disease, an inflammation of the kidneys. His mother was also sick with what they thought was a cold, but it actually was typhoid fever. By 2:00 p.m. on February 14, both Alice and his mother were dead. Theodore wrote in his diary, "The light has gone out of my life" (Markham 33). As life moved on for Theodore, he began to meet with an old childhood friend, Edith Carrow. He still suffered the pain of the death of Alice and never forgot her beauty and strong personality. Edith was just the woman he needed. On December 6, 1886, they were married in London. Their first son, Theodore junior, was born in 1887, followed by Kermit, Ethel, Archibald, and Quentin, the last of his children with Edith. With all of these children and also Alice, his daughter from his first wife, Roosevelt expressed the boyish enthusiasm that had always been the central part of his life.

Theodore Roosevelt's childhood education started at home with private tutors. He attended Harvard University to pursue a career in science. Since his health almost never permitted him to go to school, he continued to have tutors help him at home. After graduation from Harvard in 1880, he decided to enroll in the Columbia University Law School. When he was offered to run for New York State legislature in 1881, Roosevelt dropped out of law school. After he won the election, Roosevelt became a prominent person in political areas of our nation's history.

Theodore Roosevelt's military career began when he became Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He campaigned vigorously for the Republican presidential candidate, William McKinley. When McKinley took office, he made Roosevelt Assistant Secretary of the Navy. At the time, the Secretary of the Navy, John D. Long, was inactive in the department, which gave Roosevelt control over all of it. Roosevelt trained the Navy for the Spanish-American War, always testing the U.S. military and said "I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one"("Theodore Roosevelt" Wikipedia). On February 15, 1898, the U.S. battleship, Maine, went up in an explosion while visiting Havana, Cuba. Since Cuba had been in a revolt against the Spanish rule, people believed Spain caused the explosion to happen. President McKinley wanted to negotiate peace, but Roosevelt believed in war. On April 25, 1898, the United States declared war with Spain. By this time, Roosevelt was glad he had the opportunity to prove himself in combat. He immediately resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and accepted a commission as lieutenant colonel in the First Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, also known as the Rough Riders. Roosevelt trained the Rough Riders and then went to Cuba. On July 1, 1898, Roosevelt and the Rough Riders charged up Kettle Hill in the Battle of San Juan Hill. This moment in his military career showed the passion and courage he had for the war. During the Spanish American War, Theodore Roosevelt was said to be the hero of it (World Book Encyclopedia 465).

Theodore Roosevelt had a very active political career. Roosevelt's service in the state of New York included many political positions. He served the New York state legislature for three one year terms, writing more bills than any other legislator. Roosevelt was a strong Republican and attended the Republican National Convention in 1884. During the 1888 presidential election, Roosevelt campaigned for Benjamin Harrison. Harrison appointed Roosevelt to serve on the United States Civil Service Commission. In his term on commission, he fought the spoils men, who were owners of large monopolies, and enforced the civil service laws strictly. Roosevelt became the president of the New York City Police Commissioners in 1895, and worked to dramatically transform the police department. He established new disciplinary rules, created a bicycle squad, and standardized the use of pistols by officers. Being an energetic man, Roosevelt regularly walked around at night and early in the morning to make sure the officers were doing their job (Encyclopedia Britannica 666).

In 1898, Roosevelt was elected governor of New York. Republican boss, Thomas Collier Platt, desired for Governor Roosevelt to run to for vice-president in the election of 1900. Roosevelt was a powerful campaigner for the Republican Party. McKinley promised prosperity through high tariffs and the restoration



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