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History of the United States by Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard
» PART VII. PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRACY AND THE WORLD WAR
» CHAPTER XXI

«·CHAPTER XXI · Foreign Affairs·»


THE EVOLUTION OF REPUBLICAN POLICIES (1901-13)

The Personality and Early Career of Roosevelt.—On September 14, 1901, when Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office, the presidency passed to a new generation and a leader of a new type recalling, if comparisons must be made, Andrew Jackson rather than any Republican predecessor. Roosevelt was brusque, hearty, restless, and fond of action—“a young fellow of infinite dash and originality,” as John Hay remarked of him; combining the spirit of his old college, Harvard, with the breezy freedom of the plains; interested in everything—a new species of game, a new book, a diplomatic riddle, or a novel theory of history or biology. Though only forty-three years old he was well versed in the art of practical politics. Coming upon the political scene in the early eighties, he had associated himself with the reformers in the Republican party; but he was no Mugwump. From the first he vehemently preached the doctrine of party loyalty; if beaten in the convention, he voted the straight ticket in the election. For twenty years he adhered to this rule and during a considerable portion of that period he held office as a spokesman of his party. He served in the New York legislature, as head of the metropolitan police force, as federal civil service commissioner under President Harrison, as assistant secretary of the navy under President McKinley, and as governor of the Empire state. Political managers of the old school spoke of him as “brilliant but erratic”; they soon found him equal to the shrewdest in negotiation and action.

Copyright by Underwood and Underwood, N.Y.
Roosevelt Talking to the Engineer of a Railroad Train

«·CHAPTER XXI · Foreign Affairs·»