Theodore Roosevelt Essay

2077 words - 8 pages

Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States (serving from 1901 to 1909), was born October 27th, 1858, in New York City, and died January 6th, in Oyster Bay, New York.1 He is considered the first modern President because he significantly expanded the power and influence of the executive office, rather than Congress, which had been the seat of governmental power since the Civil War.2 As President, Theodore Roosevelt challenged the ideas of limited government and individualism, advocating government regulation in order to create social and economic justice in the United States.3 Theodore Roosevelt is most famous for his trust-busting crusade, the building of the Panama Canal, the negotiations of the Russo-Japanese war peace treaty, and the charge up San Juan Hill as a Rough Rider.4 As illustrious as he was, many do not know much about the former President beyond those happenings. Theodore was an author with multiple famous works to his name (comprised of books, magazine articles, speeches, and letters), including an autobiography and war histories, which he wrote from 1882 to 1915, as well as a lawyer and public official for most of his life.5 Teddy is shown in Figure 1 of the Appendix.
Roosevelt was extremely well-liked and his life was a hugely popular story for many Americans. Born in a brownstone on East Twentieth Street in New York City, Theodore was the second of four children: He had an older sister, Anna (Bamie), who married naval officer W. Sheffield Cowles; a younger sister, Corinne, who wed Douglas Robinson; and a younger brother, Elliott, who took to drinking early in life and died a miserable failure.6 Teddy was a sickly child, and an asthmatic; his attacks could last for hours or days.7 In his teenage years, however, Roosevelt developed a rugged physique, and advocated exercise throughout his life.8 Theodore was not sent to school, except a local one, briefly; he was mostly taught by tutors, and became adept at taxonomy at an early age – he also collected a private zoo of snakes, turtles, and mice, much to the chagrin of his family.9 Teddy attended Harvard College and graduated in 1880, when he married a soft-spoken woman named Alice.10 The topic of Teddy’s senior essay was quite interesting: “the practicability of equalizing men and women before the law,” and that he did not believe that a woman should take her husband’s name in marriage.11
Teddy’s first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee, died the same day as his mother, in the same house. Alice died of Bright’s disease (a kidney disease) after the safe delivery of a daughter named Alice. Despite their different temperaments, Theodore loved Alice deeply; after her passing, Teddy wrote in his diary: “And when my heart’s dearest died, the light went out from my life forever.”12 It is well known that Theodore would never talk about his deceased first wife, even to their daughter.13 Theodore Roosevelt utterly disapproved of second marriages, but he overcame his feelings in...

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