Theodore Roosevelt's Contributions To American Political Thought

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Theodore Roosevelt's Contributions to American Political Thought

Throughout his tenure as a civil servant, Theodore Roosevelt perpetually involved himself in matters of reform. Well read and well traveled, Roosevelt expressed his wide array of political thought out of experience as well as an underlying desire to see the United States establish itself as a world power under the ideals of a democratic republic—a wolf amongst sheep on the world scene. The nation's twenty-sixth president laid the framework for foreign policy as we know it. He pressed reform amongst big business, and rallied for the rights of the laborer. Conservationism as well as environmental protection and preservation became issues at the forefront of Teddy's
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The true level of Roosevelt's reform-mindedness was unbeknownst to most Americans until he became the twenty-sixth President on September 14, 1901, following the assassination of President William McKinley. Teddy ventured into territory that most presidents had done their best to stay away from: big business. He introduced the idea into American political thought that, to an extent, government regulation of industry and commerce is necessary. While Roosevelt supported the fact that business conglomerates increased productivity and raised the standard of living, he was against the dissipation of free enterprise and competition. After gaining Congress' support of the fact that stronger supervision and control of big business was essential, Theodore Roosevelt became known as the "trust buster." Roosevelt also supported the rights of the laborer within business. "Big business gives the people a square deal; in return we must insist that when anyone engaged in big business endeavors to do right he shall himself be given a square deal" (TR www.nps.gov). Teddy's thoughts led to the 1903 Congressional establishment of the Department of Commerce and Labor, which would oversee the regulation of business as well as arbitration in labor-management

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