Theodore Roosevelt's Contributions to American Political Thought

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Theodore Roosevelt's Contributions to American Political Thought

Throughout his tenure as a civil servant, Theodore Roosevelt perpetually involved himself in matters of reform. Well read and well traveled, Roosevelt expressed his wide array of political thought out of experience as well as an underlying desire to see the United States establish itself as a world power under the ideals of a democratic republic—a wolf amongst sheep on the world scene. The nation's twenty-sixth president laid the framework for foreign policy as we know it. He pressed reform amongst big business, and rallied for the rights of the laborer. Conservationism as well as environmental protection and preservation became issues at the forefront of Teddy's
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Theodore Roosevelt placed great emphasis on the conservation of natural resources and the protection of the environment. These were subjects which were for the most part absent from the realm of politics. Roosevelt brought them to the forefront of American politics; ever since, candidates for political office have found it necessary (and sometimes greatly advantageous) to take a stance on environmental issues. He proclaimed, "I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us," (TR "New Nationalism"). During his presidency, Roosevelt's progressive yet conservative stance on environmental issues led to the addition of more than 125 million acres to America's national forests. Teddy believed that conservation was a great moral issue placing the lives and safety of future generations at stake. Though environmental concerns are not presently at the top of America's political agenda, the American public is charged with the task of preserving our land and resources for the benefit of our descendents. Perhaps the most crucial of Theodore Roosevelt's contributions to American political thought originated once he had already left the presidency. While on an African safari in 1909, Roosevelt received a book from a friend entitled The Promise of American Life, which became an extremely

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