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Yesterday featured Part I of this two-part biography of President Theodore Roosevelt. Part I dealt largely with Roosevelt’s life and achievements outside of the presidency; today’s post will examine his accomplishments as President of the United States.
Upon the death of William McKinley—a great, if now neglected, president in his own right—the young Theodore Roosevelt ascended to the presidency. Old Guard Republicans had sought to smother Roosevelt’s career in national politics with a long, dull tenure as Vice President. Now—thanks to the tragedy of an assassin’s bullet—Roosevelt took the “bully pulpit.”
Roosevelt was a Progressive, in the context of the time—he embraced a number of ideas Progressive reformers pushed—but he was also fundamentally conservative. Roosevelt sought to conserve America’s promise of a “square deal to every man,” a promise that was seriously threatened.
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