Roosevelt Theodore

(27.10.1858 06.01.1919)  


American statesman, 26th President of the United States.

Roosevelt was born in Sagamor Hill, Oyster Bay, New York in the family of the descendants of the Dutch old-timers of New York.

He graduated from Harvard University, he also studied at Columbia University. After the publication of the book “The Sea War of 1812”, Roosevelt gained a reputation as a serious historian and subsequently alternated active political activity with literary work.

The year 1884 was tragic for him: one day he lost his mother and wife, in the same year he lost the regular elections to the legislature and went to Dakota, where he lived on a ranch. Returning to New York, Roosevelt worked for the Civil Service Commission, where he headed the New York Police Department. He was a supporter of William McKinley and after the election of the latter as president, he became deputy naval minister. At the beginning of the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt formed a volunteer cavalry detachment and became famous in the battles in Cuba. After returning from war, he was elected governor of the state of New York. As a politician, Roosevelt was a supporter of a forceful, expansionary foreign policy, especially in Latin America and the Pacific, demanded the construction of a large navy. In domestic politics, he established himself as a reformer.

In 1900, he was elected Vice-President of the Republican Party, and after the assassination of President McKinley on September 14, 1901, he became the youngest US President by then. One of his first presidential initiatives was the application of Sherman’s antitrust law against monopolies, primarily against Standard Oil’s Rockefeller. Roosevelt was convinced of the need to strengthen the role of the state in the internal life of the country and put forward a reform program in order to establish state control over the activities of corporations. The president paid special attention to the protection of natural resources, he created a system of reserves, which conserved some of the forest, mineral, and coal oil resources of the USA, and achieved a fivefold expansion of the area of national parks and reserves.

The main objectives of foreign policy, Roosevelt believed the construction of the inter-oceanic canal in Panama and the prevention of interference by European powers in the political life of the Western Hemisphere, especially the Caribbean. His name is associated with the big stick policy regarding Latin America. The Roosevelt government in 1901 imposed on Cuba, which was occupied by US troops, with the so-called “amendment of payment” and other inequitable agreements, suppressed the national-liberation uprising in Cuba. After Panama’s separation from Colombia and the formation of an independent republic in its territory, the United States established control over the Panama Canal zone, and later economic control over Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.

In 1904, Roosevelt won the presidential election. In its second term, Congress passed laws that ensured the country's sanitary security, and an amendment was made to the Monroe Doctrine, which claimed for the United States the place of protector and "policeman" of the Western Hemisphere. Its essence was that in order to prevent European powers from interfering in American affairs, the United States had the power to put pressure on Latin American policies. In the Russian-Japanese war, the United States provided financial and diplomatic support to Japan. The US President mediated at the conclusion of the Portsmouth Peace between Russia and Japan, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1908, Roosevelt rejected the proposals of his supporters to run for the next term and supported the candidacy of the new Republican presidential candidate William Taft at the elections.

On March 4, 1909, Roosevelt left the White House and headed for the scientific expedition to Africa. Then he traveled to European countries. Upon his return to the United States, Roosevelt re-engaged in the political struggle, putting forward the program of "new nationalism". By that time, President William Taft firmly held the reins of government of the Republican Party. If Roosevelt was supported by progressive Republicans, then moderate and conservative elements rallied around Taft. In 1911, Roosevelt created a new Progressive Party, which led to a split of the Republican camp. In the presidential election of 1912, Theodore Roosevelt acted as a candidate from the Progressive Party and collected about 4 million votes, taking second place in the vote. Under the conditions of the split of the republican electorate, the candidate of the Democratic Party, Woodrow Wilson, won the elections.

After the defeat in the elections of 1912, Roosevelt’s political activity declined markedly. In 1912 he was elected president of the American Historical Association, in 1913 he went on an expedition to South America, in 1914 explored the unknown river in Brazil, named after him Rio Teodoro. After the US entered the First World War, Roosevelt came up with a plan to form a volunteer division, at the head of which he intended to take part in the hostilities in Europe. All four of his sons took part in the First World War; the youngest of them, Quentin, died in 1918 in a dogfight. Roosevelt worked out plans to assist revolutionary Russia, sought his appointment as head of the official delegation sent there (the so-called mission of Ruth). The way out of the crisis for post-revolutionary Russia was to find the right path between the “Romanov Scylla and the Bolshevik Charybdis”. Throughout his life, Theodore Roosevelt was engaged in literary activities, has published about 40 books and many articles on the topics of history, politics, travel, nature. He left a huge epistolary legacy, for many years led a correspondence controversy with L.N. Tolstoy, criticized his ethical concept and views on the problems of war and peace, although he himself promoted the charms of "simple life" and closeness to nature.

He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Wright County, Iowa, USA.

Territory (Roosevelt Land) in northern Greenland.

Cape in the southwest of the island of Payer in the archipelago of Franz Josef Land. Named in 1904 by the American expedition A. Fiala.


Return to the main page