Theodore Roosevelt grew up in a wealthy family in New York. He was a sickly, asthmatic child. His father suggested that he exercise and stay active in order to improve his health.
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This worked and Teddy became a strong young man who liked the outdoors and staying active. Theodore went to Harvard University and then studied law at Columbia. He soon went into politics and won a seat on the New York state legislature. However, tragedy struck when his first wife and his mother passed away. Theodore was devastated and went to the American west to work on a ranch as a cowboy.
Roosevelt returned to New York in 1886 and got married soon after. He began to work for the government again and held a variety of jobs over the next several years including the U.S. Civil Service Commission under President Benjamin Harrison, New York City Police Commissioner, and Assistant Secretary of the Navy. In 1898 the Spanish-American War broke out. Roosevelt gathered a bunch of volunteers and formed a volunteer cavalry regiment that became known as the Rough Riders. Roosevelt and the Rough Riders became famous war heroes for their charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba. After the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt was elected governor of New York. He became known as a fierce fighter of corruption within the government. In 1900 he became Vice-President as running mate to President William McKinley. In September of 1901, President McKinley was assassinated and Roosevelt became president. As president, Roosevelt worked hard to improve the quality of life for the average American. He took on large corporations that had formed monopolies or trusts. These trusts enabled companies to keep wages low and prices high.
Roosevelt accomplished many things as president such as He won the 1905 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in negotiating peace between Russia and Japan. He established the U.S. as the police power for the Western Hemisphere stating that the U.S. would protect threatened countries in North and South America. This was called his Big Stick Diplomacy. He helped to increase the safety standards of food and medicine with the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. He worked on conservation by setting aside large areas of land out west for national forests and public use. He saw to it that the Panama Canal was built creating a shortcut between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans for cargo.
Just days after the United States joined World War I Teddy Roosevelt dropped by the White House to see Woodrow Wilson. Eight years after his own presidency the 58-year-old Roosevelt wanted to go to war again.For months, as the U.S. had edged toward war with Germany, Roosevelt had been trying to form a new version of his Rough Riders the volunteer division that he’d led in the Spanish-American War. The ex-president had the chance to sell the idea of a reconstituted Riders to Wilson, the man who’d defeated him in the 1912 presidential election.
Roosevelt’s next plan was to build a way that the army could have the max amount of soldiers to fight in the great war.
In the summer of 1917 the Selective Service Act was issued. This stated that all males that were 18 years and older must declare for the draft. This was a great move for the U.S it brought great numbers to the army and helped the allies win the war. By World War I’s end in November 1918, 2 million soldiers served in the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe. All four of Roosevelt’s sons joined the military and went to the front. His sons Archie and Ted were wounded in battle, and his youngest son, Quentin, a pilot, was shot down and killed in July 1918.
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