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Theodore Roosevelt: A Major Influence On Foreign Affairs

957 words - 4 pages

Born on October 27, 1858, in New York City, Roosevelt grew up in poor health. He ailed from asthma and other activity limiting diseases. Despite this, he tried to exercise and box growing up to attempt to improve his health. Roosevelt was born into an old Dutch family that had settled in America in 1644.1 In his youth, Roosevelt was able to have the experiences of traveling to Europe and Egypt due to the wealth of his family. His father, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., was a wealthy merchant and his mother, Martha Bulloch Roosevelt, was a Georgia Southerner sympathetic to Confederate ideals. He had two sisters and a brother. Roosevelt was educated by his aunt in his early years, but then received the rest of his education until his admission to college by various tutors. When he was 18 years old, Theodore Roosevelt Jr attended Harvard University for four years. He excelled equally at both sports and studies. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 18802. Upon his graduation, he married Alice Hathaway Lee and went to study at Colombia Law School. Not even a year later, Roosevelt dropped out to begin his political life.

At 23, Roosevelt was elected the youngest member of the New York State Assembly. He was a passionate reformer and made himself known as such. He later stated, “At that day, in 1880, a young man of my bringing up and convictions could join only the Republican party, and join it I accordingly did.”3 In 1884, Roosevelt temporarily abandoned his political career due to the ill health, and later death, of his wife. After she died, he moved to a cattle ranch in the Badlands of Dakota Territory, financed by the inheritance he received from his father. He became an accomplished and passionate big game hunter and outdoorsman. As a result, his health and strength prospered. Two years after the death of his wife, Theodore moved back to New York City, remarried, and reentered politics.

In 1889, President Harrison appointed Roosevelt as a member of the Civil Service Commission after his election. Roosevelt left presidency of the Civil Service Commission to become President of the New York City Police Board from 1895 to 1897. In 1897 he resigned from his position to join the military.4

Roosevelt joined President McKinley’s administration as the assistant secretary of the Navy. While holding this position in office, he helped to prepare for the Spanish-American War. When war broke out, Roosevelt joined the United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, who later were known as the ‘Rough Riders.’ He served from May to September of 1898. Although he was only enlisted for a short amount of time, he quickly rose to the position of Lieutenant Colonel. The ‘Rough Riders’ had a significant victory at San Juan, storming Kettle Hill. Theodore Roosevelt was a part of the conquering force of Santiago.

Roosevelt was elected as Governor of New York in 1898 and spent his two years as Governor with robustness...

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