Essay on Theodore Roosevelt's Contributions To American Political Thought

Essay on 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 agenda. Another vital contribution to American political thought was Roosevelt's idea of the "New Nationalism," an analysis of American society and the roles which government and individuals ought to play. Theodore Roosevelt's progressive attitude, adherence to a strong moral basis, and genuine concern for his fellow countrymen all define him as a quintessential American political thinker.
Teddy Roosevelt always believed that in order to be appointed to a public office, that appointment should be based on merit rather than patronage. In 1889, President Benjamin Harrison appointed Roosevelt to the four-man Civil Service Commission. This was to be the beginning of the execution of Roosevelt's ideas of reform. He wanted to ensure that all government appointments were made on the merit system. "Against nothing is fearless and specific criticism more urgently needed than against the ‘spoils system,' which is the degradation of American politics" (TR "Duties"). Ro...


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Works Cited

Abbott, Philip. Political Thought in America: Conversations & Debates. Waveland Press, Inc.
Prospect Heights, Illinois: 1999.

National Historic Site. "Theodore Roosevelt." http://www.nps.gov/thri/EdRTRBio.htm

Roosevelt, Theodore. "Duties of American Citizenship." January 26, 1883 speech delivered at
Buffalo, New York. http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trdoac.html

Roosevelt, Theodore. "The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine." Issued December
1904. http://www.thedore-roosevelt.com/trmdcorollary.html

Roosevelt, Theodore. Inaugural Address. March 4, 1905 speech delivered at Washington, D.C.
http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trinaugural.html

Roosevelt, Theodore. "The New Nationalism." August 31, 1910 speech delivered at
Ossowatomie, Kansas. http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/31.htm

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