Theodore Roosevelt could be considered the best president of the United States because of his efforts made in 1904 to 1909 during his full term of being president. Not only did he help the country while president, but he also was a commander of the first U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment in the Spanish-American War, the youngest member of the New York assemble at the age of 23, the president of New York City Police Board from 1895- 1897, assistant secretary of the Navy, governor of New York, and Vice President of the U.S. With this background, Roosevelt became the youngest President in the Nation?s history at the age of forty-two. Theodore brought new excitement and power to the Presidency, as he vigorously led Congress and the American public toward progressive reforms and a strong foreign policy. All of this helps to make President Roosevelt the best President of the United States of America.
Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858 at 7:45 p.m. at the family brownstone, 28 East 20th Street, New York City. He weighed 8 ? pounds and was described by his mother as ?a cross between a terrapin and Dr. Young?(Doris Faber 175). Roosevelt was the second of four children; he had two sisters and a brother. His parents were Theodore Roosevelt Sr. and Martha ?Mittie? Bulloch Roosevelt. As a young boy he was very sick with asthma so most of his childhood he spent in bed propped up or slouched in a chair. Because of Theodore?s many illnesses, he was tutored and learned fundamentals from his aunt Annie Bulloch. While studying German and French his tutor Anna Minkwitz predicted, ?he will surely one day be a great professor, or who knows, he may become president of the United States?(Morris 73). As a teenager he joined the Dutch Reformed church.
Theodore Roosevelt married Alice Hathaway Lee when he was twenty-two and she was nineteen on October 27, 1880 at the Unitarian Church in Brookline, Massachusetts. Alice was a tall, charming, pretty and intelligent, young woman. They met on October 18, 1878 at the home of her next-door-neighbors, the Salstonstalls. He proposed but Alice didn?t accept until 6 months later. Their engagement was announced on Valentines Day, 1880. Alice died on February 14, 1884 on their fourth anniversary from Bright?s disease. When Roosevelt was twenty-eight he remarried Edith Kermit Carow, twenty-five, on December 2, 1886 at Saint George?s Church in London. They grew up together because they lived next door to each other. Since Theodore went off to Harvard and met Alice, they drifted apart. Him and Edith ran into each other at his sister?s house and began seeing each other again. He proposed on November 17, 1885 and they were soon married.
Theodore Roosevelt served in the military as a member of the New York national guard during 1882-1885, rising from second lieutenant to captain. He was the commander of the first U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, better known as the Rough Riders. In the Spanish-American War, he rose from lieutenant colonel to colonel. At San Juan on July 1, Roosevelt and his Rough Riders distinguished themselves and shocked the nation in a valiant charge up Kettle Hill. Theodore?s heroism was described by his commanding officer Major General Leonard Wood as:
Colonel Roosevelt, accompanied only by four or five men, led a very desperate and extremely gallant charge on San Juan Hill, thereby setting a splendid example to the troops and encouraging them to pass over the open country intervening between their position and the trenches of the enemy. In leading this charge, he started off first, as he supposed, with quite a following of men, but soon discovered that he was alone. He then returned and gathered up a few men and led them to the charge?Everybody finally went up the hill in good style?During the assault, Colonel Roosevelt was the first to reach the trenches in his part of the line and killed one of the enemy with his own hand. (Morris 262-263)
Teddy Roosevelt?s career before his Presidency was full of important jobs that made differences in our country that helped to make him a strong President who made smart decisions. As the New York State Assemblyman from 1882-1884, he was the youngest member of the assembly when he took his seat in Albany in January 1882. Teddy earned the nickname Cyclone Assemblyman because of his energy and persistent struggle against machine politics. Roosevelt sponsored the civil service reform act and secured passage of a billing reforming the method of electing alderman. In 1883 he served as a minority leader but was defeated for speaker. As a New York delegate to the Republican national convention in 1884, Roosevelt supported Senator George F. Edmunds of Vermont for President and trying to prevent the nomination of James G. Blaine of Maine. From June 1884 to October 1886, Teddy worked as a cattle rancher in the Dakota Territory and was a deputy sheriff of Billings County. He ran for Mayor of New York in November of 1886 and was defeated by Abram S. Hewitt. Writing became his main concentration and he campaigned in the Midwest for Benjamin Harrison for president.
From 1889 to 1895 Roosevelt was a Member of U.S. Civil Service Commission and was appointed commissioner by President Benjamin Harrison at a salary of three thousand, five hundred dollars a year. During his term the number of jobs to come under civil service classification more than doubled.
As president of New York City Police Board from 1895 to 1897 he rooted out corruption in the Police Department, which he described as ?utterly demoralized?(Degregorio 379). A campaign that won him attention as far away as Europe, he enforced the Sunday Excise Law, banning the sale of alcohol on the Sabbath. Theodore closed saloons in the city and fined proprietors. He defended his actions with ?I do not deal with public sentiment, I deal with the law. How I might act as a legislator, or what kind of legislation I should advice, has no bearing on my conduct as an executive officer charged with administrating the law?(Degregorio 379-380).
Theodore Roosevelt went on to be the Assistant Secretary of the navy and was appointed by President William McKinley at an annual salary of four thousand, five hundred dollars. During his time as an assistant, he often filled in as secretary during the prolonged absences of John D. Long. When Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, 1898, Roosevelt set out to put the navy on full alert. Theodore was also one of the first to see the military potential of airplanes.
Theodore Roosevelt became Vice President of the United States because of the death of Vice President Garret Hobart. Boss Platt began promoting Roosevelt to fill his place on the ticket with President McKinley. At first Teddy really didn?t want to give up his governorship for the boring duties of vice president. Thanks to the added encouragement from Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, who believed that the office might serve as a springboard to the presidency so he said yes. Since Theodore was a New York delegate to the Republican national convention in 1900, he delivered a second speech for the re-nomination of President McKinley. He delivered six hundred, seventy-three speeches in five hundred, sixty-seven cities and towns in twenty-four states. Vice President Roosevelt was away with the Vermont Fish and Game League on Lake Champlain when he received the news that President McKinley had been shot at Buffalo, New York. Roosevelt rushed to the President?s side and was assured that he was recovering so he left for a family vacation at Camp Tahawus in the New York Adirondacks. He soon received the word that the President was dying and by the time he returned the President had passed away.
On September 14, 1901 U.S. District Court Judge John R. Hazel swore in Roosevelt as president at the home of Ansley Wilcox. At the age of forty-two he was the youngest man to become president yet. With this very experienced background with making decisions and holding important jobs, is more proof to why Roosevelt is the best president.
Roosevelt like most public officers enjoyed the thrill of power so when he faced problems gives more of reason to be the best president. He faced issues such as trust busting in which the American Sugar Refining Company?s monopoly of sugar production could not be legally be stopped By Congress. The Philippines was a matter he also faced. Roosevelt felt the United States should keep the Philippines but the nation felt it should receive independence. Another big decision was what to do about the coal miners that went on strike. Coal was the main source of fuel in the country, which would cause problems economically. Roosevelt also was the first American to win a Noble Prize.
With this information about his presidency and background in other areas, believing that Theodore Roosevelt is the best president is true. He proved himself and his love for his country in numerous ways throughout his life and especially during his presidency.
Morris, Edmund. The Rise Of Theodore Roosevelt. New York: Coward, McCann, and Geoghegan, 1979.
Theodore, Roosevelt. An autobiography. New York: Scribner?s Sons, 192.