Comparison: William Jennings Bryan &Theodore Roosevelt

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The United States has a long history of great leaders who, collectively, have possessed an even wider range of religious and political convictions. Perhaps not unexpectedly, their beliefs have often been in conflict with one another, both during coinciding eras, as well as over compared generations. The individual philosophies of William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, with regard to America’s roles in world affairs and foreign diplomacy; are both varied and conflicted. Despite those conflicts however, each leader has left his own legacy behind, in terms of how the U.S. continues to engage in world affairs today.
William Jennings Bryan, despite being a thrice-failed presidential candidate, was a well respected
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However, once the Spanish had withdrawn, he felt it was imperative that the Philippines be left to self-rule. (Though, that is of course, not how it ended up!) Bryan stated outright that continued U.S. involvement in “a career of empire” violated the very essence of American values; boldly asserting that the U.S. “cannot repudiate the principle of self-government in the Philippines without weakening that principal [at home]”. (Bryan, “Imperialism”). In many ways Bryan was ahead of his times, and became one of the first to develop the policy of “international peacekeeping”, in helping to mediate the end of the Russo-Japanese war (though, the Nobel peace Prize for this accomplishment would go to someone else). Ironically, it seemed as though Bryan’s interest in maintaining peace and neutrality in world affairs (to KEEP American’s focus on issues at home) overshadowed his noble efforts to promote ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ domestically. Ultimately, this (along with his conservative religious views) caused him to lose the last of his three attempts at presidency, to William McKinley.
Upon McKinley’s assassination, a (relatively) young Theodore Roosevelt found himself in the position of President of the United States. A man of action – perhaps unnecessary action- Roosevelt was unafraid of the political consequences of his bold and often unilateral decision making, both domestically and abroad. U.S. governance in the Philippines had already

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