tv Lectures in History Theodore Roosevelt CSPAN May 24, 2022 2:06pm-3:00pm EDT
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well, good morning. everybody. good to see you. we've been looking at aspects good morning everybody. good to see you. we've been looking at aspects of the gilded age and the progressive era progressive life. in early weeks we looked at the west, the south, the capital and labor progressive reforms. today, we are looking at the life of one crucially important figure in this period helps to flesh out the concrete life of some of those asked abstract ideas we've been looking at. today we are looking at the life and career of theodore roosevelt. not the last time we will come back to him in this class. this is specifically geared toward him. this life does fit the theme of the gilded age progressive area very well is. also part of my area of research. taylor is primarily a teaching
institution. all faculty are doing research on their own, as time permits. for me, i finished writing a book last year on the religious life of theodore roosevelt. this is a time for me to get to actually talk about some things i specialized in recently. this is some of the background of what we are looking at here. again, start with questions along the way, as appropriate. let me ask you want to start with. this is simply, i want to know any background information you might know about theodore roosevelt. he is not rather furred behaves, he may not have heard of before. i think you have heard of roosevelt. one or two pieces of information to get our minds going in that direction. yeah, go ahead. [inaudible] the pant in a eyeglasses. it didn't look weird to his friends, but yes. [inaudible] yet, we will talk about that.
he really believed in conserving american wildlife. he is there a contradiction there? we can talk about that. anything else? yeah. [inaudible] same time we've been talking about. the carnegies, the rockefellers, the first decade of the 20th century as the time of tiara's presidency. we know a little bit about him. he is not his fifth cousin, franklin roosevelt and the new deal. that will come in a few weeks. this is the first, and the greater, maybe, roosevelt. we will talk about him. a little bit of background here on where and when he was born. his bringing up years. roosevelt was born october of 1858 in new york city. he's a kind of symbolic -- the hardened center of american life, born into a very wealthy family, we will talk about that in a bit. he is very much the child of the civil war.
he was only five years old when a lot of this was happening. it impacted him greatly. i will come back to the slide in a second. here are two photographs. this is a photograph of president lincoln's funeral procession, in the spring of 1865, after he had been assassinated, his body came back from washington to springfield illinois where he was going to be buried. that's for americans to pay their last respects for him. he came down broadway, in new york city. here's the photograph of the procession. you could see, right here, some people looking out of windows. if we zoom in over here, you can see these two little boys looking out the window. we know that this was a roosevelt's grandfather's house. this is tr and his little brother elliott, who had a front row seat to lincoln's funeral procession. lincoln was a hero and model for tr during his own
presidency. it's interesting that he was a front row witness to these events of the civil war era. even though he would eventually become known as a man's man, and advocate of strenuous life, that was not always the case. he grew up weekend by various illnesses, as a little boy. as my was probably the greatest played he suffered from. he had asthma really badly. a show of hands if anybody who has asthma, if you know anybody who does it. was a very difficult time for him as a young boy. he also had poor eyesight. when he got his first bear glasses, maybe something you can relate to, it changed his whole world. all was possible. the way he strive to overcome some these physical problems was through workouts. bodybuilding, weightlifting, wrestling. things of that nature. even though in hindsight it didn't do a lot for him, he thought that it did.
he began to believe that the way to overcome hardship in life, the way to overcome difficulties, was to work harder. to advocate for that strenuous life, to build yourself up. again, psychologically i think it had a lot of impact on him. he's also a lover of the outdoors. conservation -- he was a great bird-watcher. as a young, boy this was one of his hobbies, his passion was or ornithology. looking for boards birds, keeping track of the birds he saw, as well as rolling, hunting, pretty much anything he could do outdoors. just a little bit of what he was like as a young boy, as a teenager. when he was 18, he went off to harvard, where he studied for four years. this was before the were majors and things like that. he just took the classes he wanted to, basically. took a lot of history, a lot in natural philosophy, and then science. and he married a local girl
from boston, more about her in a second. it's a little bit of a background who he would become as an adult. then take a few minutes to explain how roosevelt came to providence before he became president. his first kind of career was as a new york assembly but -- think of the state house of representatives, that's what we're talking about for new york. we've been reading the novel in his steps, written in 1890, six trying to understand the world of the gilded age and progressive area -- henry, maxwell the president of lincoln college, in that novel. how they were very averse to politics, how they thought of it as low and dirty. it was a great struggle for them to get involved. that's the kind of attitude that roosevelt family has about politics, in the early 18 80s. he comes from a wealthy, upper class, elite family who sees
politics as run by immigrants, who they are prejudiced against. by new york democrats, who they are definitely against. roosevelt but the trend and astoundingly by deciding that maxwell -- lincoln college in the novel, to plunge into politics. he got himself elected in 1881 for what they call the silk stocking, the district of new york. the wealthiest of the wealthy in manhattan. he served an assemblyman for several years. he knew samuel gomperts, the a fail leaders -- a few weeks ago. he began, at this stage, to get involved with some of those kind of progressive reforms. he's an assemblyman for several years. in february of 1884, roosevelt experienced a tragedy that would come to mark the rest of his life. picture this: his wife, alice, it is pregnant.
in new york city, he is living in albany, in the state capital, during the weekdays, doing his legislative stuff, coming home on weekends. february 1884, roosevelt got a telegram that his wife had given birth. it's all very exciting, he gets congratulations. then he gets a second telegram, urging him to come home right away, that there is something seriously wrong. he boards the train in albany. it's a dark, foggy night. it takes him five hours to get back to new york city by train from albany. when he gets home, his brother, elliott, had remarked there is a curse on this house. mother is dying. alice is dying to. february 14th, 1884. his mother died of typhoid fever. and in a few hours apart, his wife, pictured here, alice roosevelt, passed away from
rights disease. -- the two that's weren't related, there wasn't a plague, or whatever. they both guessed away within a few hours. at this point in his life, roosevelt wasn't writing as consistently in his diary as he had as a younger man. he took up his pen to record the -- document you see here. a big black ex and that hunting sentence. the life has gone out of my life. he is 25 when this happens. you just have to use your imagination, your historical empathy, to think about what it would be like a 25 years old to be a brand new father, as alice had given birth to a daughter, also named alice, but then to lose your wife and your mother at the same time, on the same day. this is a defining tragedy for roosevelt and when he had to cope with in the immediate by aftermath. his way of dealing with this was to go out west.
plus your four questions before i -- anything else? so several years before, roosevelt had purchased two wrenches in the dakota territory. not in the state, so not in south dakota is the dakota territory. he purchased to ranches their, and the aftermath of this tragedy he decides he's going to go out west and he's going to start crunching. he did not think of himself as a cowboy. cowboys work for him. he was the boss. he owns the land. he was the mantra. but that didn't prevent him from purchasing this kind of outfit from, being photographed [inaudible] some of the stuff was like different absence of what and he gets the best of the best for this, okay. and he goes and becomes a rancher. he never lived into dakota territory full-time he. commutes back and forth as it were between new york and the
dakotas for several years. but during this time, it becomes acquainted with a different type of america. more of that hard britain blue-collar type of american, the people who were settling in the west and dispossessing native americans. we talked about the second week of the class. but it sheds some of his elite is in for him. he comes to realize that there are a lot of people who didn't grow up in the kind of what the atmosphere that he did, and that he really like spending time with the blue collar cowboy tax. as a historian he also takes an interest in the conquering on settlement of western territories. for him this is more like kentucky, indiana, the things that were the west of the early days of the republic. but he has kind of, now, a personal connection with this. so often until 1887, he's living in the west. at that time he remarries. his second wife edith, they would have a very happy marriage that was lasting until roosevelt's death in 1919.
but the west shaped here at the romance of my life began he, would call, later on, when he was visiting that area. so some connections with things we talked about with the west. then he gets the point into the political position by president benjamin harrison in the [inaudible] in 1889, the civil service commissioner. there's a false surface is another one of these progressive reforms. it's happening in this time. before the civil service commission, people were appointed to bureaucratic positions just basically by being friends with the president, okay? so, example i would use here, in a plant, indiana, if i was elected mayor of a plant, i could appoint my friends to positions like street cleaning commissioner. so i stack, or you know, somebody who has campaigned for me, he's knocked on doors. i'd be very glad to make him strictly commissioner whether
or not you know anything about it, okay, it was kind of a role will work. and hayden contributed to my campaign so he would be deputy pokes master. this was your patronage system. by the 18 80s people are concerned that this was not actually putting the best people in bureaucratic positions. and maybe that should be some kind of merit test, a civil service exam. you had to pass before you could be appointed to one of these positions. we still have these civil service exams today. this is part of the legacy of the progressive era. so roosevelt is part of the civil service commissioner office was charged with making sure that the right people or people who qualified or past exams or appointed these kinds of positions and not just the friends of those who happened to be elected. it's not the most exciting time in his life, so we'll pass over it rather quickly, but this is what he was doing for his six years in the late 80s and early 18 90s. then, in 1895, he was kind of called back to new york city
and appointed as a police commissioner for the nypd. now this despite the fact that he had no experience in the police department may be a little ironic right for someone [inaudible] pointed to something he didn't have all that media qualifications for. but he went on to serve for several years as one of four police in the bridges of new york. some of you perhaps have seen the tv show, blue bloods. and we'll see if you recognized [inaudible] you watch, did your parents watched it. thompson's character in blue blood is very loose lee based, in some instances, on theodore roosevelt's time's police commissioner. you see a portrait of cars that's featured in the show and in his office, that there are of you have visits episodes where the blood is loosely based on things that happened doing tr's time's police commissioner. one of the things that tr they does police commissioner once he tried to enforce a law that prevented the selling of alcohol in [inaudible] . so we talked about prohibition a good point already and his stepson kind of the progressive
push towards regulating alcohol consumption. tr himself really didn't believe in prohibition he, wasn't that active inquisition, but he believed is the new york state you couldn't sell alcohol on sundays than that had to be enforced. and the only reason it wasn't being enforced was the political machines were cooperating with the big solutions who could pay who, could play off to police departments, basically, to not enforce that law. so you can think about things of political corruption and things like that. roosevelt believed that was unethical, and he tried to close all the solutions in new york. well, this was an impossible task, but he succeeded pretty well during the summer of 1895, but really alienated a lot of new yorkers we didn't see anything wrong with drinking on sundays, who resented this belief of the commissioner overturning the old ways. and by 1897, he had kind of made himself an annoyance to those in new york, and he was able to get out and do something else where he could be more effective. i know there's a lot of positions he where he just held a lot of positions during his
time as a public servant. next thing he did was, president william mckinley appointed him as assistant secretary of the navy. and he was only there for a short time before the spanish american war broke out. this was one of the more celebrated episodes of roosevelt's career, where at the age of, i think, 39 it was, he resigned his position as assistant secretary of the navy, and volunteered to fight in the spanish american war and developed this rough riders regiment that we'll look at more on wednesday. so, wednesday will be looking at the spanish american war. you've been documenting it for mckinley to reach for that. so the context will be a little more clear than. but roosevelt believed that the spanish were mistreating cubans in cuba. they wanted to be free from spanish empire. he also believed the spanish had blown up the uss main, the battleship, in havana harbour. they probably hadn't but he chose to believe that.
and he believed that this was a righteous war that he, personally, needed to fight it. so he resigned his position, he called together this rough riders regiment, cocky self appointed lieutenant colonel, and no really military experience but you do the right people, okay? and there was a real criminal who is above him. and this rough riders regiment really did fighting battles. and it really did consist of kind of a cross section of american life, of cowboys from the west, of some outliers from who were apparently on the run from police in the west, of harvard graduates at the best polo player in america. roosevelt idea was we will bring all this people together and they will effectively fight, they'll show what, how americans got a covert in times, across the soft lines. and the most famous episode of this was the battle of someone won hill in july of 1819 eight, where roosevelt and is a rough riders charged a, he'll look at
ellen roosevelt charged and shot at spanish soldier who is in his line and fire and they helped take that position which eventually helped them capture cuba. the boy itself was only four months long and so it was kind of this great moment for him as a military triumph. he comes back then when the war is over, and the republicans are in need of a candidate for the governorship of new york. because the current governor is, kind of, mired in a scandal. and so roosevelt is a war hero, is a natural choice. he hasn't always worked very well with the political bosses. he has an independent district and reform street that they don't really appreciate. but he gets himself elected governor of new york, in 1898, and served for one to your term. then he and the bosses are really at loggerheads, they can't get along really well and then looking for a way to get rid of him so they had this idea that we should make roosevelt vice president.
vice presidents are typically not been attracted to the stage, will say, in american life. they tend to be figureheads rather than, kind of, impressive, you know, substantive shapers of policy. and the so they thought, we'll make roosevelt mckinley's vice president. he'll have to hide away in an office in washington, d.c., you'll be out of our hair and we won't hear from him again. roosevelt was not really enthusiastic about taking on the job of the vice president. so he didn't want to be a mere figurehead, he wanted to be someone who was actually shaping policy, but he believed that duty had called, and therefore he must go. well that worked fine until president william mckinley was assassinated in september of 1901. shot to death, and therefore, all of a sudden, theodore was vote was no president of the united states. not exactly what the boxes had predicted all really wanted when they tried to get rid of him in making him vice president. so we can pause there for very clarifications, questions.
yeah, [inaudible] . >> i can't remember. was it fdr or theorized felt that had a really long term? >> yeah. so, franklin roosevelt, his cousin would be elected four times as president, would be elected four times and served [inaudible] roosevelt, though, the outdoor roosevelt's. you're not entirely wrong to associate that with him because we'll talk a few minutes about how he had almost four times and tried for a fifth term in [inaudible] 1912. >> yeah, audrey. >> [inaudible] in the hopes that he had [inaudible] more successful as a president? >> that's a good question. i think it did. i think they did. because as governor, he had some executive experience to actually running in a state or being in charge i. think that was an acid to him. i think again meeting different kinds of people in the west,
people he didn't grow up with was an asset to him. understanding the political details that had to be made, understanding the leadership of the republican party at this machine, i think, was an asset to him and. then in his military experience, defective of the effect of that could be debated. for example when he was leading the charge up san juan hill, if we got to give the order to his bed to follow him. so he just charges up and that realizes nobody is behind him, yells at them for cowardice, and then, oh, i didn't give the order. so we can question how effectively was, but i think that experience of combat, the sense of how the military works, was probably an acetate as well. yeah, good question. >> [inaudible] >> okay then shift to think about some key events of roosevelt's presidency. roosevelt's presidency began with the rather rocky start when he in the fall of 1901 this is really a few weeks after he had become president he invited the african american
educator book to washington to have dinner with him in the white house. you know above boioker t. washington. we read a document about booker t. washington of the founder of the tuskegee institute an advocate of chalk cautious approaches to [inaudible] . section of the black population in the united states and roosevelt valued him as a political consultant. when word leaked out that the president had sat down has an equal, basically, to dinner with a black man in the white house, the white south exploded in rage. the headlines some, of them were really unprintable and things that one quite two but. they were just outraged. upset all the social order in the south, that jim crow that we talked about on friday, it overturned all of that when a white president sat down on terms with at least rough
equality with an african american. roosevelt defended his actions in the afternoon in the aftermath. he, i think, looked down his nose at the racism and prejudice that these white southern newspaper editors and electricity was getting which showing. but he was also savvy enough to know that this was unpopular in parts of the country and there he defended his actions and said he would do it as often as he pleased, you never did it again during his time as president and by some accounts he kind of went out of his way to avoid booker t. washington when they would be presidents at the same affairs and so forth. so result in race and races are very interesting a tackle question. we'll begin with that with questions if you'd like to later on, but this is maybe one of his more noble achievements as president strike or a strike by labor and capital that we've been discussing in class as well. in 1902, there was a coal strike or a strike by coal workers in eastern pennsylvania. and we talked a little bit about the conditions of labor,
i showed you some conditions of the coal mines and so forth. you can imagine these conditions these men were laboring under. when we talk about strikes, it's kind of a last resort for that laboring population. a strike in the coal mines was particularly important, significance of the country, because coal was a primary way that americans heeded their homes in 1902. electric heating is not really a -- light bulbs weren't invented until a few decades before. coal was pretty much the way this happens. so if you don't have cool, it's going to be a very cold winter for most of the country. which would be very bad for the sitting president, right, not to mention the humanitarian issues this would cause. so, roosevelt as president took a really unprecedented step of trying personally to get labor and capital to sit down together, to work out their differences, and to have some kind of compromise in this. and he's roughly able to do this. he gets credit for it, anyway. some people were concerned that
the president had no constitutional authority, -- cold strikes and he was stretching the powers of the presidency. i find this very interesting, especially when with his religious life. but here's a response to that was to tell congressman that the constitution was made for the people and not the people for the constitution. the constitution was made for the people, and not the people for the constitution. so let me recognize the illusion to christ teaching about the sabbath. the sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath. so, the extent to which roosevelt was really just using rhetoric and really appropriating new testament teachings, i guess we can discuss that. but i think there, he's actually drawing one at least -- one of jesus's teachings, certainly shows his familiarity with the bible. so, that coal strike got resolved, roosevelt got credit for it. the same, here we have this interesting story. something all of you can relate to, the creation of teddy
bears. so, roosevelt was a big game hunter and he likes to hunt bears, this was his idea of his hobbies and the good times he goes to mississippi in 1902 and he just has the worst luck he can have trying to hunt these bears. they won't be found, he's down there, it's kind of an embarrassment because he has reporters tagging along with him in the party hasn't got anything worth talking about. well finally, the dogs have found a bear, they had chased the bear, they kind of cornered or whatever, and one of his hunting party kind of hit the bear on the head with the butt of his rifle. but preserved it so that roosevelt could get credit for the kill. and they called, mister president, we found a bear, it's time for you to come in for the kill. and they had this poor thing, like, tied up to a tree, not the most gradually looking where you could find. it was already injured and roosevelt refused to shoot it. this is not what i came here to do, to shoot a bear that's tied up to a tree, just to get credit for it. so he refused to do, it he said
just put this bear out of its misery, somebody else did that. the word leaked back through the press and through the nation of what he had done and the sportsmanlike refusal to kill an injured animal. the cartoonist, clifford bearing, drew this cartoon of roosevelt, you know, refusing to shoot now this kind of cute, little bear. on enterprising new york businessman got the idea, we can capitalize on this image of bears by creating teddies bears, okay? so you had these plush stuffed animals, the teddy bears that you all know, that are produced en masse after this as a response to this episode here. so, the teddy bears, the teddy is teddy roosevelt. and the heroes vault association today, which is a group of admirers of pr, they still give out teddy bears to sick kids in hospitals today. that's kind of part of the legacy of this. well, in 1904, he's reelected in quotation marks, it was not
really like the first, but he was elected in his own right and that was important to him psychologically, i think, that he not just be brought into the presidency via assassination, but that the american people actually voted there half a provision for him and they did that in an overwhelming fashion in 1904. just a few highlights again, as we look at his career. roosevelt won the nobel peace prize on his second term for another mediation that he supervise, which was working out of treaty details between the russians and japanese, who had engaged in war for the last year and a half. roosevelt was concerned about the balance of power in east asia, he respected the japanese as a rising power in the world, but he did not want to destabilize things too much. and so, he let it be known to both parties that he would be willing to supervise a meeting between them to bring peace. he was not really personally at that peace conference too much
when it happened in portsmouth, new hampshire, in 1905, but it was his direction that brought these two powers together. they worked out a treaty and again, kind of like the coal strike, he got credit for ending this major conflict in the world. some policy positions he took. again, related things we have talked about or will talk about in this class. i mentioned that he was not really a proponent of prohibition. i think the republican party and probably himself believed that it was unconstitutional and un-american, interfering in peoples rights to drink. so, he was not a person who abstain from alcohol himself, although he was always a moderate drinker. and eventually, you kind of change his mind, like a lot of people did, on women's suffrage later on in his career. i would say he was a tepid supporter, a lukewarm supporter, of women's suffrage, he wasn't a passionate advocate for it. but he came to feel that that is what the american people wanted, then that was fine.
women had the right to vote, but that also did not change his rather traditional views of women's roles as primarily as wives and mothers. then his work on conservation is worth talking about a little bit. we mentioned that that this at the very very beginning that during his presidency, roosevelt signed a piece of legislation called the antiquities act in 1906. the presidents and our system are not dictators, they had to work with congress, right? so the antiquities act was passed, but he interpreted that act loosely to give himself the authority to set aside bird reservations, national parks, sanctuaries of various kinds. he did not create the national parks, that's a system that hunter already been in place, but he expanded on it by creating five national parks during his time as president. this is one of those legacies that a lot of people appreciate about roosevelt. even if they don't agree with his policies, even if they disagree about other aspects of him, most people respect his
work on conservation. and indeed, there is now theodore roosevelt national park, that honors is -- we can pause for clarifications, questions about roosevelt and his presidency. yeah, audrey? >> -- what are his opinions on world affairs besides, obviously, mediating that he did? >> yeah, good question. so, his opinions on world affairs beyond the russo japanese war. on friday, we will spend some time looking at the aftermath of the spanish american war, which is the time when america began to gain a global empire. and acquired the philippines, it acquired guam and puerto rico, and exercise indirect influence in cuba. roosevelt was a full-throated imperialist. he was enthusiastic about as much empire as americans could gain. and he believed that some
groups, like the filipinos, that they were not competent for self government, that they needed to be tutored by the united states to eventually maybe decades, maybe centuries later, be able to have their own independence and their own form of democracy. this is one of roosevelt's views that we tend to find less tasteful today, right? and more objectionable. we will spend more time with that on wednesday and friday. but yes, he was definitely an advocate of empire, the extension of american influence as far as possible. yeah, good question. other questions? look at his life a little bit after the presidency which, if anything, was maybe even more exciting than his time as president. many presidents in the united states after they leave office, they sort of fade into obscurity. we can think of some recent examples of this, you know, we don't see former president bush or obama, or trump kind of campaigning for new offices or,
you know, things like that. that was not the tact that president theodore roosevelt took after he stopped being president. in 1908, he was technically eligible to run for a, essentially, third term. number one, there was no constitutional prohibition against that at this point in american history. it was only the president that george washington had set of two terms that would've prevented him from running. secondly, he hadn't really had a full first term because he is here to -- nevertheless, roosevelt believed in 1908, it was not wise for him to run for a third term, that it would essentially be violating the president, the wise president that george washington set of only two terms for any one person. and so, he voluntarily chose not to run in 1908, instead, he supported his friend and cabinet member, william power taft, as a republican nominee and taft won in 1908. roosevelt then decided to leave
the country for a year and a half. maybe to give taft some breathing room and also to fulfill, i think, a lifelong ambition to hunt big game in africa. so, he and his son, kermit, and a large party go on safari in africa from 1909 to 1910. they start in british east africa and they work their way in the interior a little bit, and eventually north before they emerge in cairo. and roosevelt and his party shot and killed over 500 specimen in this big game expedition. yes, that is quite a few. roosevelt's justification for this was that this was not hunting just for sport, that they ate some of the animals that they killed and the vast majority of these skins that were preserved and sent back to museums, in the united states, to be studied for scientific purposes. so, it wasn't just mindless slaughter for him, it had a
civic purpose and a scientific purpose. but this is part of his enthusiasm for the empire also, the british are in control of east africa, they give him permission to go and, you know, shoot up the countryside, but the local kenyans don't give him any permission, right? they are listed as porters and as assistance, and so forth. but this is part of the imperial world that roosevelt believed and and participated in. so, he does that for fun and really has a kind of grand time with this. he comes back to the united states in 1910 and is dismayed by reports of what president taft is doing. he hears that president taft is not as strong on conservation as roosevelt had been. and matter-of-fact, he had fired roosevelt's friend, chief forester a man named gifford pincher. p i and c h o t. he's also concerned that half does not have the kind of
energy and drive that roosevelt himself had brought to the presidency, and that taft was more content to let congress do some things, he doesn't have the kind of energy that roosevelt would've liked. truth be told, roosevelt's own policies had begun to drift leftward in these years, as well. during the course of his presidency, and especially by the early 19 teens, he had gotten more radical and more progressive in his views. he decided in 1912 to take just about the unprecedented step of challenging taft for the republican nomination. this happens once in a while in american politics, but not very often, okay? itso, this would be in 2024 if another democrat would challenge president biden for the nomination. this is usually seen as disloyal to the party, it's usually seen as unwise, that's giving a hand to the other party. for roosevelt, it believed or at least told himself he believed that taft was doing such a port job that it was time for roosevelt to return to the white house. he challenges roosevelt, or he
challenges taft for the nomination in 1912, loses. does not get it. he alleges fraud at the convention. the convention had not treated his delegates fairly, that's a very arcane issue that we won't try to solve right now. i don't know there's a whole lot of validity to it, but that's what he told himself. and he broke precedent further by creating a new party, that he was still going to run for president even without republican label. this party was the progressive party, or called the bull moose party for roosevelt seeming that he felt strong as a bull moose. so, progressivism, the progressive party, things will come back to next week, roosevelt runs as a third party candidate in 1912. he gains some support. he will eventually win, i think about seven states or so in the electoral college. but his campaign was cut rather short in october by one of roosevelt's closest brushes with death. so, in october of 1912, he's in the city of milwaukee. he's there to give a speech. he gets out of the car, as he's
getting out of the car, an assassin shoots him at point blank range. the bullet enters into his body, he tastes his mouth a little bit to see if he's coughing up blood, he's not. he concludes that as long as his lungs had not been punctured and you can probably go on and give his speech anyway. so, he goes into the auditorium in milwaukee, he addresses the crowd, he says, i don't know if all of you have just realized that i've been shot. and people kind of had not heard this and only didn't really believe, so he opens his sport coat to reveal the increasing blob of blood on his chest. and he seems to actually, at that moment, realize maybe the full extent of his injuries. you know, shocks him a little bit. he also seems to realize, or he should realize, that the only thing that had really prevented that bullet from going in further was that his speech had been folded many times and put in his pocket over his heart. the speech had seemed to slow
down the bullet. so, he said, i can't give a very long speech today and the doctors are trying to get him off the stage, taken to the hospital. and he says, if they don't pay themselves, they can't look at me at all, okay? but he goes in, gives the speech, he goes about 45 minutes and, you know, seems to be kind of wobbly a little bit and says, well, i will go just a little bit longer. he goes another half hour, so throwing the pages, the bullet marks down on the floor, and it kind of turns into this great moment of roosevelt's idea of persistence. this idea of kind of the strenuous life is something that bodybuilding, things that we had talked about, and he had played it off that my friends from the west, back in the cowboy days and so forth, when they heard that i gave the speech, they were not surprised at all. they just thought that's what you would do in these kind of circumstances. so eventually, he goes to the hospital. eventually, he gets x-rayed. and he's kind of put on bed rest for a while. not really able to campaign anymore. whether this injury really
changed the outcome of the election is doubtful, i don't think there was really a path for him to win the electoral college and any kind of sense. but it really kind of put the caution on any efforts that he was winning -- have to win at all and he actually comes in second, protest comes in third. he only wins a few states. his democrat, woodrow wilson, was elected instead. questions on any of that? -- >> i have a question, it's not really for this. it's, like, going the whole -- i know about, like, gag lilac kind of stuff. i'm not too sure about, like, dates and stuff. is roosevelt, like, a part of the gag law or a part of the problem, per se? >> explain to the class what you mean by. >> so, the gag law is a law that was -- they couldn't use their flags or, like, seeing any patriotic songs or anything as away almost to assimilate them to the ignited states. >> that's a good question. i actually don't know the
answer to that. i don't know if he had any role in that or not. when we talk about empire, the most resistance to that comes from the philippines, by far. puerto rico gets a lot less attention in most of the historical writings, so i don't know the answer to that. but that is worth investigating further, yeah. >> -- teddy roosevelt [inaudible] third party to win states in election, had that ever been done before? >> yeah, i think it has been done, but he's one of the more successful third party candidates. so, third parties typically push issues into the limelight, that maybe have not been there before. they shift the political conversations sometimes, but it's rare for them to actually win a lot of states. so yeah, he's not the only candidate to win any states in the electoral college, but he's one of the most successful third parties. and he and then chloe here. >> -- [inaudible]
>> great question about roosevelt and native americans, especially his time in the west. in his younger days, he did make statements like, i wouldn't say the only good indian is a dead indian, but that is true. nine out of ten cases, like, -- okay, so he did have those very kind of disturbing statements. by the 19 teens, by the time we are about to get into, he actually takes a trip to navajo reservations and i think probably reservations too. there was another group he goes to and he actually is invited in to see some of their ceremonies. he meets with some of the chiefs, and he still had we would say a condescending dismissive view, but he does have a sense that their cultures are interesting and worth preserving. so, it may not be where we would like him to be, but i think he does shift and evolve on those issues in some cases
over the decades, yeah, good question. chloe? >> so, we talk about government in high school about how, like, third parties were normally intended to split a party. so, what's his thought to, like, was he hoping that he would win or was he just hoping that, by splitting the party, taft would lose? >> i think it really hoped to win. he hated woodrow wilson, we are going -- he took no joy in wilson's victory. but i think he was also angry at the republican leadership for having denied him what he thought of as his delegates, the convention, he should have been their nominee. so it wasn't a lot of love lost between those two. i think he hoped to win. and he will try to get back into the good graces of the republicans in the last few years of his life, without a whole lot of success. they were pretty angry with him for what he did in 1912, but some people think he might have been a republican's nominee in 1920, had he lived that far. good question. well, a few things here to wrap up, then.
after his time with president bull moose candidate in 1912, he leaves once again and this seems to be one of his ways of dealing with disappointment or a loss of power, go to the west. go to africa, go to south america. so he goes to brazil in 1913, 1914. it's not his initial plan to exploit unknown river, but that becomes the plan when he was down there, a brazilian official kind of suggested him offhand that we have the server called the river of doubt and no one except the locals really knows where it goes. it's not really on the map. why don't you explore that? and he kind of pivots at the last moment from giving a speaking tour to doing an exploration trip. for which he, truth be told, was very ill prepared. but he and his man spent several months on this unknown river. it's a horrible ordeal for them. one, two, three members of their party are lost, killed by various motives and reasons. he gets malaria, he loses 55
pounds, but they do make it to their end point. they do put this river on the map in the way that had not been before. so, candice miller's book, the river of doubt, fetal roosevelts -- and a great read that kind of tells you that story. if you take the roosevelt class with me in jay term, we will read that and discuss that more. but again, he said later on, this was my last chance to be a boy. to something adventurous, okay, even though he was in his 50s. not really in the greatest shape. last thing that maybe we would say, is world war i, and that's something we will talk about with about a week and a half, as we kind of wrap up our -- progressive era. like world war ii, the united states was -- from the moment it broke out, would be about two and a half years before the nation would really get involved. roosevelt had very strong opinions about world war i. he believed the united states needed to intervene on the side of the british and the french. and he tried to resurrect the rough riders. he tried to start a new division that was going to go to europe and fight in the same way the rough riders had gone on in cuba.
well, again, now he's in his 50s, he's already going through his ordeals, it's not a good idea. wilson was not anxious to do him any favors, he shot down the rough riders idea pretty quickly. roosevelt sent all four of his sons to fight in his place. one of whom was shot and killed in an aerial duel, one of these early days of aerial warfare in world war i. that only about six months after that, a few months after the armistice was signed in november 1918, roosevelt died january 6th, 1919. at the age of 60. so, we had our last slide than take any final questions that you might have. well, here's a picture of river of doubt. and his expedition. so, i hope you've seen, as we looked at this, some retrospective looks at our previous lectures and readings. as roosevelts life embodied many of the seams of the gilded age and progressive era. labor and capital. race, the west, and native
americans. progressive reforms, the things that we will look at here in the coming days. spanish american war and, political developments in world war i. well we're -- an extraordinarily popular figure. he's one of four presidents to be on mount rushmore, for example, okay? along with washington and jefferson, and lincoln. he's routinely ranked highly by presidential historians and by the general public. again, the fact that some of you knew some things about tr before we got started today is evidence of the way that his popularity continues to shine, even if it's only in the night at the museum or something like that. roosevelt also continues to be controversial and in some respects, in no air is so much as his advocacy of empire. national museum of american history in new york city, within the past few weeks, has removed a statue of him that was set out there for a long time of him on horseback flanked by an african and a
native american. which was interpreted to be, and probably correctly, as an endorsement of roosevelt's imperial image. and the museum felt that that was so controversial and not in keeping with their commits to a quality, that they needed to move it somewhere else. it's now on its way to south dakota, where they are building a presidential, i'm sorry, north dakota, where they are building a presidential museum and library, where the statue can be studied in context. so, he has his popularity but especially in terms of race, he's very conflicted and very difficult to analyze today. most people find something they like about tr. the personality, you got a sense of that if you took an outline, there was a quote from richard wash brain child if you go to the roosevelt, you go to the white house, you meet with roosevelt, you shake hands with him, and then you go home to ring the personality out of your clothes, right? he's kind of just this magnetic figure. or his work on conservation, or his endures endorsement of women's suffrage, things like that. but most people also find something they dislike about tr.
his views on race, his ego, which was not very small, put it that way, okay? that grasping for power, and there's a lot of cautions to be said to. so to conclude that, like him or hate him, he was an extraordinary human being who helped shape the modern united states, modern presidency. he took the presidency from being subservient to congress and he, along with wilson, made it above congress. that might be good, that might be bad, depending on your views. but it definitely happened and he's one of the people who is responsible for that and for helping shape the nation the way it is. thoughts, final thoughts, questions? we have a few seconds left. yeah. >> i have a question. just out of curiosity, what was his family like sam family life like in personal relationships and stuff like that? >> great question. so, mostly positive relationships with his children. his oldest daughter, alice, who was born to the first alice, -- she lived in 1979. she live into her 90s. she was the most cantankerous
of the children. but she felt that she never got her father's full attention and that's a pretty common thing when you have presidents and leaders, that some of their kids feel like they kind of get shoved in the way. alice felt that the worst, partly because roosevelt never spoke a word to her about her mom. because it was too painful for him. , but we have no record ever of roosevelt ever talking about the first alice after 1884. so, that maybe was not the best relationship. his other kids really admired him, seemed to idolize him. they went on to various kinds of careers. ted into politics in some ways, kermit was troubled and then committed suicide in the 1940s. clinton died in world war i, but mostly they were supportive of him and his wife was protective of him. burn some of their correspondents, hate that because you would like to see what was. but she was just private that our feelings and our family life are not for us to read 100 years later. yeah, one more.
>> we're curious, why did he die so young? >> yeah, so 60 years old, impossible to know. some historians or some doctors kind of did some retrospective investigations in 2010. something to do with heart problems. but it's hard to know because he suffered from a lot of ailments from war injuries, from or i should say, at least kind of malaria he got in cuba, then he got it again in south america. heart issues, he had abscesses on various parts of his body late in life. so, hard to pin down exactly, but probably a heart issue. if you want to be more romantic about it, he thought of a broken heart when his youngest son, clinton, died in world war i. so maybe that had something to do with it. all right, good work today. thanks for your participation, dialogue. we'll be back in here on wednesday to look at the spanish american war in more detail. have a good rest of your monday.
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