Comparison: William Jennings Bryan &Theodore Roosevelt Essay

Comparison: William Jennings Bryan &Theodore Roosevelt Essay

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The United States has a long history of great leaders who, collectively, have possessed an even wider range of religious and political convictions. Perhaps not unexpectedly, their beliefs have often been in conflict with one another, both during coinciding eras, as well as over compared generations. The individual philosophies of William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, with regard to America’s roles in world affairs and foreign diplomacy; are both varied and conflicted. Despite those conflicts however, each leader has left his own legacy behind, in terms of how the U.S. continues to engage in world affairs today.
William Jennings Bryan, despite being a thrice-failed presidential candidate, was a well respected Congressman known for his impassioned speeches. Due to his experiences in the Spanish-American War, he was also staunchly opposed to Imperialism; and he wrote and delivered many speeches dedicated to this philosophy. Leading the charge for American neutrality in foreign affairs, Bryan argued that the U.S. acting as an imperial power over foreign colonies would produce negative outcomes. Holding that his anti-imperialistic views were a direct result of his sense of social justice, Bryan declared that colonial governments were a threat to democracy and represented exploitation.
In 1900, delivering a speech in Indiana, Bryan defended his approval of the Treaty of Paris, which had annexed the Philippines (as well as Guam and Puerto Rico) from Spanish rule; stating that he “thought it safer to trust the American people to give independence to the Filipinos than to trust the accomplishment of that purpose to diplomacy with an unfriendly nation.” (Bryan, “Imperialism”) Essentially, his view was that the Ph...


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...Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/bryan.htm
Roosevelt, T. (n.d.). "Obstacles to Immediate Expansion" Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts. Retrieved May 2, 2011, from http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/trmahan.htm
Wilson, T. W. (n.d.). "A Declaration of Neutrality" PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved April 14, 2011, from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/wilson/filmmore/fm_neutrality.html
Wilson, T. W. (n.d.). "Fourteen Points" Avalon Project - Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy. Retrieved April 14, 2011, from http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/wilson14.asp
Wilson, T. W. (n.d.). "This is War" American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States. Retrieved April 14, 2011, from http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/wilsonwarmessage.htm

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