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tv   Lectures in History Theodore Roosevelt  CSPAN  June 29, 2022 9:34pm-10:30pm EDT

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well, good morning. everybody.
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good to see you. we've been looking at aspects of gilded age and progressive era american life for the last couple weeks. we've looked at the west we've looked at the jim crow south. we've looked at capital and labor and progressive reforms. today we're looking at how the life of one crucially important figure from this period helps the flesh out. and kind of concrete life some of those abstract ideas that we've been looking at so today we're looking at the life and career theodore roosevelt. not the last time that we'll come back to him in this class. but today kind of just specifically geared toward him. his life does fit the themes of the gilded age progressive era very well, and it's also part of my area of research. so taylor is primarily teaching institution, but all of your faculty are doing research on their own is time permits. and for me, i've finished writing a book last year on the religious life of theodore roosevelt. so this is a time for me to get to actually talk about some things. i've done some specialized research on so that's just some of the backgrounds of what we're looking at here.
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again start with stop with questions along the way as appropriate. let me ask you one to start with which is simply i want to know any kind of background information you might know about theodore roosevelt. he's not, you know, rutherford b hayes that maybe never heard of before. i think you least have heard of theodore roosevelt. so one or two pieces of information that kind of get our minds going on that direction. yeah, delanie like the man the pants may eyeglasses. yes. they look weird to us. it wouldn't look weird to his friends. but yes, okay pants the eyeglasses. yeah, andy. a lot about because conservation like this. yeah of the national park. yeah, we'll talk about that. so someone who really believed in conserving america's wildlife and beauty also hunted a lot as their contradiction there we can we can talk about that. yeah. anything else? yeah, okay. president i'm starting with the industrial revolution and i was starting to keep her off. oh, yeah at the same time. we've been talking about with
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the carnegies and rockefellers the first decade of the 20th century at the time of tr's presidency. yeah, great. okay, so we know a little bit about him. he is not his fifth cousin franklin roosevelt in the new deal world war two. that'll come in a few weeks. this is the first and the greater maybe roosevelt so we'll talk about him. a little bit of background here on where and when was he born his bringing up ears? the roosevelt's born october of 1858 in new york city he's a kind of symbolically. anyway, the kind of hardened center of american life born to a very wealthy family. we'll talk about that in a little bit. he is very much a child of the civil war who was only you know, five years old kind of when a lot of this was happening, but it impacted him greatly. i'll come back to the slide in a second. here are two photographs. this is a photograph of president lincoln's funeral
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procession in the spring of 1865 after he had been assassinated. his body came back from washington dc to springfield, illinois where he was going to be buried and as part of that procession for americans to pay their last respects to him came down broadway in new york city. and here's the photograph of the procession and you can see right here. there's 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 theodore roosevelt's grandfather's house. and that this is tr in his little brother elliot who actually had kind of a front row to lincoln's funeral procession. lincoln would be a hero and a model for tr during his own presidency is very interesting that again he's kind of a front-row witness to some of these events. so the civil war era. even though he would eventually become known as kind of a man's man and advocate of the strenuous life. that was not always the case.
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he grew up weakened by various ailments as a young boy. asthma was probably the greatest plague that he suffered from and he had asthma really badly. i won't ask for show of hands if anyone in here has asthma if you know someone who does but it was a very difficult time for him as a young boy. he also had poor eyesight and when he got his first pair of glasses as made me some of you can relate to really change this whole world what was possible. the way he over strive to overcome some of these physical problems was through workouts through bodybuilding weight lifting wrestling things of that nature and even though probably in hindsight. i really didn't do a lot for him. he thought that it did and 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. and again psychologically, i think i had a lot of impact on him.
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he's also a lover of the outdoors and andy alluded to this near common about conservation. he was a great bird lover as a young boy. this was his one of his have his passions was ornithology. looking for birds writing down the kind of birds that he saw keeping track of that as well as rowing and hunting and pretty much anything you could do outdoors. that's 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 there were majors anything like that. he just took classes that he wanted to basically took a lot in history took a lot in natural philosophy and in science. and he married a local girl from boston alice lee. we're to say about her in a second. so it's a little bit of the background to who he would become later on as an adult. then take a few minutes to explain how roosevelt came to
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prominence before he became president. his first kind of career was as a new york assembly man. so 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 1896 and trying to understand the word of the gilded age and progressive era through it. remember the characters of pastor henry maxwell and of the president of lincoln college in that novel and how they were very aversed to politics how they thought of politics is low and dirty and was a great struggle for them to get involved. that's the kind of attitude that roosevelt's family has about politics in the early 1880s. he comes from a wealthy upper crust elite family who sees politics as run by saloon keepers as run by immigrants who they're kind of prejudice against is run by new york democrats who they're definitely against roosevelt bucked the trend in his family by deciding like maxwell or like president marsh of lincoln college and the
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novel two plunge into politics and he got himself elected. in 1881 from what they called the silk stocking district of new york the kind of wealthiest of the wealthy and manhattan. and he served as an assemblyman for several years. he knew samuel gompers the afl leader. we read a document from samuel gompers a few weeks ago and he began at this stage to get involved with some of those kinds of progressive reforms. so it's assemblyman for several years but in february of 1884 roosevelt experience the tragedy that will come to mark the rest of his life. so picture this his wife alice is pregnant and in new york city. he's living in albany in the state capitol during the weekdays doing his legislative stuff and coming home on weekends. february 1884 roosevelt got a telegram that his wife had given birth and it's all very exciting. he gets. congratulations.
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then he gets a second telegram urging him to come home right away that there's something seriously wrong. he boards the train in albany. it's a kind of dark foggy night. it takes him five hours to get back to new york city by train from albany. and when he gets home his brother elliot has remarked. there's a curse on this house mother is dying. and alice is dying, too. february 14th 1884 his mother died of typhoid fever and then a few hours apart his wife. pictured here alice roosevelt passed away from brights disease. that was probably just not detected during her presidency. so the two deaths weren't related to there wasn't a plague or whatever. but they both passed away within a few hours of each other. at this point in his life roosevelt wasn't writing as consistently in his diary as he had as a younger man, but he took up his pen.
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to record the document you see here. a big black x and then that one kind of haunting sentence. the light has gone out of my life. and he's 25 when this happens. okay, so you just have to use your imagination your historical empathy to think about what it would be like at 25 years old to be a brand new father as alice a given birth to a daughter also named alice. but then to lose your wife and your mother in the same house on the same day. this is a defining tragedy for roosevelt and one he had to cope with in the immediate aftermath. his way of dealing with this was to go out west. pause there for questions before i get in anything else. so several years before roosevelt had purchased two ranches and the dakota territory
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not yet a states of north and south dakota is just the dakota territory. he purchased two ranches there and in the aftermath of this tragedy he decides he's going to go out west and he's going to start ranching. he did not think of himself as a cowboy cowboys worked for him. he was the boss. he owned the land. he was the rancher, but that didn't prevent him from purchasing this kind of outfit from being photographed. okay, and some of the stuff is like tiffany knives and so forth. i mean he gets the best of the best for this, okay. and he goes and becomes a rancher. he never lives in the dakota terry full territory full-time. he commutes back and forth as it were between new york and the the dakotas for several years. but during this time he becomes acquainted with a different type of american. more of that hard bitten blue collar type of american the people who were settling in the west and dispossessing native americans as we talked about the
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second week of the class, but it sheds some of his elitism for him. he comes to realize that there are a lot of people who didn't grow up in the kind of wealthy atmosphere that he did and then he really likes spending time with these blue collar cowboy types. as a historian he also takes an interest in the conquering and settlement of western territories for him. this is more like kentucky and indiana the things that were the west, you know, the early days of the republic but he has kind of now personal connection with this. so often on until 1887 is living in the west. at that time he remarries his second wife edith. they would have a very happy marriage lasting until roosevelt's death in 1919. but the west shaped him here the romance of my life began he would recall later on when he is visiting in that area. system connections are things we talked about with the west. then he gets appointed to a
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political position by president benjamin harrison, indiana's own in 1889 as civil service commissioner. the civil service is another one of these progressive reforms that'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 upland, indiana if i was elected mayor of upland i could appoint my friends to positions like street cleaning commissioner. so isaac or who knows somebody is campaigned for me. he's knocked on doors. i'd be very glad to make him street cleaning commissioner whether or not he knows anything about it. okay as kind of a reward and kayden contributed to my campaign so he will be deputy postmaster. okay. that was the old patronage system. by the 1880s people were concerned that this was not actually putting the best people bureaucratic positions and that maybe there should be some kind
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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 as part of the civil service commissioner office was charged with making sure that the right people or people who qualified passed exams were appointed these kinds of positions and not just the friends of those who happen 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 these six years in late 80s and early 1890s. then in 1895 he was kind of called back to new york city and appointed as the as a police commissioner for the ny pd. now this despite the fact that he had no experience in the police department and maybe a little bit ironic right for a civil service commissioner to me a point of something. he didn't really have all that many qualifications for but he went on the surf for several years as one of four police
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commissioners in new york. some of you perhaps have seen the tv show blue bloods. okay, if you recognition maybe watch it to your parents watch it. tom selleck's character in blue bloods is very loosely based in some instances on theodore roosevelt's time as police commissioner and you see the portrait of tr that's featured in the show and his office and there are a few episodes where again things loosely the plot is loosely based on things that happened during trs time as police commissioner. one of the things that tr did is police commissioner was he tried to enforce a law that prevented the selling of alcohol on sundays. so we've talked about prohibition a good bit already in his steps and kind of the progressive push towards regulating alcohol consumption. tr himself really didn't believe in prohibition. he wasn't an advocate of prohibition, but he believed that the new york law said you can't sell alcohol on sundays. well, then that had to be enforced. and the only reason it wasn't being a forced was the political
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machines were cooperating with the big saloons who could pay the who could pay off the police departments. basically not to enforce that law. so again think about themes of political corruption and things like that. roosevelt believe that was unethical and he tried to close all the saloons 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 who didn't see anything wrong with drinking on sundays who resented this busy body commissioner overturning the old ways and by 1897. he had kind of made himself an annoyance to most of new york and he was able to get out and do something else we could be more effective. i know there's a lot of positions here, but he just held a lot of positions during his 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 is one of the more
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celebrated episodes of roosevelt's career. where at the age of i think 39 it was he resigned his position as 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 we'll be looking the spanish-american more you have a document from mckinley to read for that. so the context will be a little more clear then but roosevelt believed that the spanish were mistreating cubans and cuba who wanted to be free from spanish empire he also believed the spanish had blown up the uss maine the battleship and nevada harbor. they probably hadn't but he chose to believe that. and he believed that this was a righteous war the he personally needed to fight him. so he resigned his position. he cobbled together this rough riders regiment. he got himself appointed lieutenant colonel again. no real military experience, but
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he knew the right people. okay, and there was a real colonel who was above him and this rough riders regiment really did fight in battles and that they really did consist of kind of a cross-section of american life of cowboys from the west of some outlaws who were kind of on the run from the police in the west of harvard graduates and the best polo player in america. roosevelt's idea was we will bring all these people together and they will effectively fight they'll show what how americans can cooperate a kind of across these class lines. the most famous episode of this was the battle of san juan hill in july of 1898 where roosevelt and his rough riders charged up san juan hill or really, kettle hill. and capture the stronghold roosevelt shot and killed a spanish soldier who was in his line of fire and they helped take that position which eventually helped them capture cuba. the war itself was only four months long and it's the kind of this great moment for as a military triumph.
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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 if the political bosses he has an independent streak and reform streak that they don't really appreciate. but he gets himself elected governor of new york in 1898 and serves for one two year term. then he and the bosses are really at loggerheads. they really can't get along very well and they're looking for a way to get rid of him. so they have this idea that we should make roosevelt vice president. vice presidents have typically not been attracted to the stage. we'll say in american life. they tend to be figureheads rather than kind of impressive, you know, substantive shapers of policy. and so they thought well make roosevelt mckinley's vice president.
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he'll have to hide away in an office in washington dc will be out of our hair. we won't hear from him again. the roosevelt was not really enthusiastic about taking on the job of the vice presidency. he didn't want to be a mirror figure head. 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 roosevelt was now president of the united states not exactly what the boss's had predicted or really wanted when they tried to get rid of him and make him vice president. so again pause there for clarifications questions yeah, delotti. i can't remember. was it fdr our theater? was it about that had a really long term?
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yeah, so franklin roosevelt the fifth cousin will be elected four times. the only present to be elected four times serves 12 years roosevelt's the theater was but you're not entirely wrong to associate that with him because we'll talk in a few minutes about how he had almost two full terms and then we'll try for a third term on unsuccessfully in the 1912. yeah, audrey. you think his multiple whole city had made it 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 be running a state or to be in charge. i think that was an asset to him again. i think meeting different kinds of people in the west people who he didn't grow up with wasn't asset to him. understanding the political deals that had to be made understanding the leadership of the republican party and its machine i think was an asset to him and then his military experience the effectiveness of
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that can be debated. for example when he was leading the charge up san juan hill he he forgot to give the order to his men to follow him. so he just charges up and then realizes nobody's behind him yells at them for cowardice and then like, oh, i didn't i need to give the order so we can question how effective he was, but i think that experience of combat the sense of how the military works is probably an asset to him as well. yeah. good question. okay, well the shift to think about some key events of roosevelt's presidency. roosevelt's presidency began with a rather rocky start when in the fall of 1901 just really a few weeks after he had become president. he invited the african-american educator booker t washington to have dinner with him in the white house. you know about booker t, washington, we write a document from booker t, washington on friday the leader of the tuskegee institute and a an advocate of cautious approaches
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for african americans to overcome jim crow. washington was a republican. washington spoke for a segment of the black population in the united states and roosevelt valued him as a political consultant. but when word leaked out that the president had sat down as 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 i won't quote to you, but they were just outraged it upset all the social order in the south that jim crow ordered we talked about on friday at overturned all of that when a white president sat down on terms of at least rough equality with an african-american. roosevelt defended his actions in the aftermath. he i think looked down his nose at the racism and prejudice that these white southern newspaper editors and letters he was getting were showing but he was also savvy enough to know that
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this was unpopular in parts of the country and though he defended his actions and said he would do it as often as he pleased. he 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 president at the same affairs and so forth. so roosevelt and race is a very interesting and tangled question we can get into that with questions if you'd like to later on but this is maybe one of his more noble achievements as president. the following year then roosevelt got involved with issues of 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 pictures of the coal mines and so forth you can imagine the conditions these men were laboring under and we talked about strikes as kind of a last resort for that laboring population. a strike in the coal mines was particularly important in
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significant to the country because cole was the primary way that americans he did their homes in 1902. electric heating is not really in use yet. right the light bulbs invented only a few decades before coal is pretty much the way this happens. so if you don't have coal 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 is president took in 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 he that the president. had no constitutional authority to mediate coal strikes that he was stretching the powers of the presidency. you know, i find this very interesting especially looking as religious life, but his response to that was to tell a congressman that the constitution was made for the
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people and not people for the constitution. the constitution was made for the people and not the people for the constitution. some of you recognize the illusion to christ's teaching about the sabbath the sabbath is 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 could discuss that but i think there he's actually drawing on at least. tangentially one of jesus teachings is certainly shows us familiarity with the bible. so that coal strikeout resolved roosevelt got credit for it. the same year we have this interesting then story something all of you can relate to the creation of teddy bears. so roosevelt was a big game hunter and he liked to hunt bear. this is his idea of his hobbies in the good times who goes to mississippi in 1902, and he just has the worst luck you can have trying to hunt these bears.
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they won't be found. he's down there. it's kind of an embarrassment because he's every porter's tagging along with him in the party has been really gotten worth talking about well, finally the dogs had found a bear. they had chased the bear they kind of corned it or whatever and one of his hunting party it kind of hit the bear on the head with the -- of his rifle but preserved it so that roosevelt could get credit for the kill. and they called me mr. 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. it's about the most scraggly looking bear. 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 a kill. and so he refused to do it. he said just put this bear out of its misery somebody else did that. but word leaked back to the press and to the nation of what he had done of the sportsmanlike refusal to kill an injured animal in the cartoonist clifford berryman. do this cartoon of roosevelt, you know refusing to shoot now
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this kind of cute little bear. well enterprising new york. businessman got the idea that we could capitalize on this image of bears by creating teddy's bears. okay, so you have these plush stuffed animals the teddy bears that you all know that are produced in mass after this as a response to this episode here. so the teddy bears the teddy is teddy roosevelt. i'm in the theodore roosevelt association today, which is a group of admirers of tr. they still give out teddy bears to sick kids and hospitals today was kind of a part of the legacy of this. well in 1904 i say he's re-elected in quotation marks. it wasn't really elected the first time 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 their approbation for him and they they did that in overwhelming fashion in 1904.
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just a few highlights again as we look at his career roosevelt won the nobel peace prize. and a second term for another mediation that he supervised, which was working out of treaty details between the russians and japanese who have 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 didn't want to destabilize things too much and so he let it be known to both parties he would be willing to supervise. the meeting between them to bring peace. and he wasn't 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.
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some policy positions. he took again related to things we have talked about or we'll 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 people's rights to drink. so he was not a person who? abstained from alcohol himself, although he was always a moderate drinker. and eventually he kind of changed 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 women's suffered. he wasn't a passionate advocate for it, but he came to feel that if that's what the american people wanted then that was fine the women had the right to vote, but that also didn't change his rather traditional views of women's roles as primarily as wives and mothers. those work on conservation is worth talking about a little bit. we mentioned this at the very
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beginning that during his presidency. roosevelt signed a piece of legislation called the antiquities act in 1906 the presidents in our system aren't dictators. they have 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 and he didn't create the national park system that had already been in place, but he expanded it by creating five new 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 this 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 his work there. and pause for clarifications questions about roosevelt and his presidency yeah, audrey.
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this but what are his opinions on world affairs besides obviously that alleviating that he did yeah a good question. so his opinions on world affairs beyond the russo japanese war well on friday, we'll 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 and acquired guam and puerto rico and exercised 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 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 in their own form of democracy. this is one of roosevelt's views
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that we tend to find less tasteful today right and more objectionable and we'll 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. good question. other questions look at his life a little bit after the presidency with which if anything was maybe even more exciting than his time is president. many presidency the united states after they leave office they sort of fade into obscurity. we could 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 fact that president theodore roosevelt took after he stopping president. in 1908. he was technically eligible to run for a essentially third term. number one.
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there was no constitutional prohibition against that at this point american history. it was only the precedent that george washington had said of two terms that would have prevented him from running. and secondly, he haven't even really had a fool first term because he was shared it with mckinley. nevertheless roosevelt believed in 1908. it was not wise for him to run for a third term that it would essentially be violating. the precedent the wise precedent that george washington has set of only two terms for anyone person. and so he voluntarily chose not to run in 1908 instead. he supported his friend and cabinet member william howard taft is the republican nominee and taft 1 and 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
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africa from 1909 to 1910. they start in british east africa and they worked 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 specimens in this big game expedition that they did. 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 then 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 at a scientific purpose, but this is part of his enthusiasm for empire. also the british are in control of east africa, they give him permission to go and you know, shoot up the countryside, but you know the local kenyans don't give him any permission right
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there enlisted is porters and as assistants and so forth, but this is part of the imperial world that roosevelt believed in and participated in so he does that for fun and really has a kind of grand time with this. but he comes back to the united states in 1910 and is dismayed by reports of about what president taft is doing. he hears the president taft is not as strong on conservation as roosevelt had been and then in fact he had fired roosevelt's friend chief forrester a man named gifford pincho. p-i-n-c-h-o-t he's also concerned that taft doesn't have the kind of energy and drive the roosevelt himself had brought to the presidency and that taft is more content to let congress do some things. he doesn't have the kind of energy. the roosevelt would have liked. truth be told roosevelt's own policies had begun to drift
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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, so this is you know, 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 as giving a hand to the other party but roosevelt believed or at least told himself. he believed the taft was doing such a poor job that it was time for roosevelt to return to the white house. he challenges roosevelt. he challenges taft for the nomination. 1912 loses doesn't get it. he alleges fraud at the convention the convention and 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.
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and he broke precedent further by creating a new party that he was still going to run for president even without the republican label. this party was the progressive party or called the bull moose party for roosevelt statement that he felt strong as a bull moose. so again progressivism the progressive party, there's things will come back to next week roosevelt runs as a third party candidate in 1912. he gained some support. he'll 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 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 a car an assassin. shoots him at point blank range a bullet enters into his body. taste his mouth a little bit to see if he's coughing up blood.
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he's not he concludes that his lungs have not been punctured and that he can probably go ahead 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 i've i've been shot and people kind of not heard this they don't really believe him 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 injury is kind of shocks him a little bit and he also seems to realize her it should realize that the only thing that it 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 and the speech had seemed to slow down the bullet. so he said i can't give a very long speech today in the doctors are trying to get him off the stage and take him to the hospital and he says if they don't bathe himself, they can't look at me at all. okay, but he goes it gives a speech he goes about 45 minutes
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and you know seems to be kind of wobbly a little bit and says well i'll go just a little bit longer. he goes another half an hour. so throwing the pages with the bullet marks down on the floor and it kind of turns into this great moment of roosevelt's idea of persistence and this idea of kind of the strenuous life of some of that body building and things had talked about and he played it off that my friends from the west back in the cowboy days and so forth when they heard that i gave this speech. they weren't surprised at all. they just thought that's what you would do and those 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 and he's not really able to campaign anymore. whether this injury really changed the outcome the election is doubtful. i don't think there originally a path for him to win the electoral college in any kind of sense, but it really kind of put the kai bosh on any efforts. he was really going to have to win at all and he comes and actually second poor taft comes in 30 only the only wins a few states.
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the democrat woodrow wilson is elected instead. questions on any of that and this is the after daughter. yep. it's not really into this. it's is right because i know about like gaglaw. and i'm not too sure. about like dates and stuff is roosevelt like a part of the gag law or part of the problem per se explain to the class what you mean by so the gag law is a law. that was from puerto rico where they couldn't like use their flags or like seeing any patriotic songs or anything as a way almost. ate them to the united states. so that's a good question. i actually don't know the answer that i don't know if he had any role in that or not when we talk about empire. there's the most resistance to that comes from the philippines by far and so puerto rico gets a lot less attention and most of the historical writing so i don't know the answer to that but that's that's worth
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investigating further. yeah. okay, stay roosevelt was gonna be presidents running a third party that are a third party to win the states and an election night because i've never been done. um, 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 haven't been there before they shift the political conversation 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 intellectual college, but he's one of the most successful third parties andy and then chloe. yeah. yeah. right yeah, it's a great great question about roosevelt and native americans especially as time in the west. in his younger days. he did make statements like i
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wouldn't say the only good indian is a dead indian, but that's true nine out of 10 cases, and i wouldn't want to look too closely into the case of the tenth. okay, so we did have those very kind of disturbing statements. by the 19 teens by the time we're about to get into he actually takes a trip to navajo reservations and i think pueblo reservations to there's there's 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 has a 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'd 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 and like government in high school about how like third parties were normally intended to split a party. so was his thought to like was he hoping that he would win or was he just hoping that by splitting the party taff would lose.
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um, i think he really hoped to win. he hated woodrow wilson. we'll come to hate him more as time went on. he took no joy and wilson victory, but i think he was also angry at the republican leadership for having denied him what he thought of as his delicates the convention. he should have been their nominee. there wasn't a lot of love loss between them too between those two either. i think he hoped to win. and he will try to get back into the good graces the republicans in the last few years of his life without a whole lot of success because they're pretty angry with him before he did in 1912, but some people think he might have been the republican's nominee in 1920 how he looked that far good question. well a few things here to wrap up then. after his time with the that's a bull moose candidate 1912. he leaves once again, and this seems to be one of his ways of dealing with disappointment or loss of power to go to the west to go to africa to go to south america. so he goes to brazil in 1913 and
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1914. it's not his initial plan to explore an unknown river. but if he comes the plan when he's down there brazilian official kind of suggests to him off hand that we have this river called the river of doubt and no one except the locals really knows where it goes. it's not really in 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 is very ill prepared. but he and his men. spend 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 endpoint. they do put this river on the map in a way that hadn't been before so. candace millard's book the river of doubt theodore roosevelt's darkest during is a great read that kind of tells you that story if you take the roosevelt's class with me and j-term, we'll read that and
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discuss that more. but again kind of he said later on this is my last chance to be a boy to do something adventurous. okay, even though he was in his fifties and not really in the greatest shape. last thing that maybe we'd say is world war one and that's something we'll talk about without a week and a half as we kind of wrap up our time with the gilded age and progressive era. like world war two the united states was on evolved in world war one from the moment that it broke out. it would be about two and a half years before the nation would really get involved. was about a very strong opinions about world war one. 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 to cuba. well again now he's in his 50s. he's already going through these ordeals. it's not been a good idea. wilson was not anxious to do him any favors. he shot down the rough riders idea pretty quickly. the roosevelt sent all four of his sons to fight in his place one of whom was shot and killed
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in an aerial duel and one of these early days of ariel warfare in world war one and then only about six months after that a few months after the armistice was signed and november 1918 roosevelt died january 6 1919. at the age of 60 so, let me hit our last slide and then take any final questions you might have here. well, here's a picture of a doubt. his expedition i hope you've seen as we've looked at this some retrospective looks at our previous lectures and readings. as roosevelt's life embodied many of these themes of the gilded age and progressive era. labor and capital race the westin native americans progressive reforms and the things that we'll look at here in the coming days the spanish-american war and empire political developments and world war one. roosevelt was and is an extraordinarily popular figure. he's one of the four presidents
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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 even started today, it's evidence of the way that his popularity continues to shine. even if it's only in the night of the museum or something like that. the roosevelt also continues to be controversial in some respects and no areas so much. this is 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 commitments to equality that they needed to move it somewhere else. it's now in arizona's way to
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south dakota where they're building a presidential. i'm sorry north dakota where they're building a presidential museum and library for roosevelt and where that 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 guys since that if you took an outline, there's a quote from richard washburn child that you go to the roosevelt. do you go to the white house you meet with roosevelt you shake hands with them and then you go home. they bring the personality out of your clothes, right? they just kind of this magnetic figure. always work on conservation or is endorsement of women suffering something like that, but then most people also find something that they dislike about tr. it's views on race his ego, which was not very small. we'll put it that way. okay that grasping for power and there's a lot of cautions to be said to which conclude that like him or hate him right? he was an extraordinary human
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being who helped shape the modern united states the modern presidency. he took the presidency from being subservient to congress and he along with wilson made it above congress. now that might be good that might be bad depending on your views, but it definitely happened and he's one of the people who's responsible for that and for helping shape the nation the way it is. thoughts final thoughts questions. we've got a few seconds left. yeah. so yeah, just out of curiosity. what was his family life like in like his relationships? with children yeah, great question. um, so mostly positive relationships with his children his oldest daughter alice who was born to the first alice as an infant. she lived to like 1979 case you listen to her 90s. she was the most cantankerous the children, but she 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 shunted away. alice felt that the worst. partly because roosevelt never spoke a word to her about her
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mom because it was too painful for him, but we have no record ever roosevelt ever talking about the first alice after 1884. so that maybe wasn't 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 committed suicide in 1940s quinton died in world war one, but mostly they were supportive of them and his wife was protective of him burn some of their correspondence. hate that because you'd like to see what was but she was just private that our feelings and our family life are not for us to read, you know, 100 years later. yeah, one more. yeah. why do guys going on? yeah, see he died in yeah, 60 years old. impossible to know some historians for some doctors kind of did some like retrospective investigations in 2010 something
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to do with heart problems, but it's hard to know because he suffered from a lot of ailments from war injuries from where i should say at least kind of like malaria. he got in cuba then he got it again in south america heart issues. he had abscesses on various parts of his body laid in life so hard to pin down exactly but probably a hard issue if you want to be more romantic about it. he died of a broken heart when his youngest son quinton died in world war one, so if that's something to do with it, right. well good work today. thanks for your participation. dialogue. we back in here on wednesday to look at the spanish-american war and more detail. have a good rest of your monday.
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