Theodore Roosevelt3

Theodore Roosevelt was more than just the 26th president of the United States. He was a writer, historian, explorer, big-game hunter, soldier, conservationist, ranchman and Nobel Peace Prize winner. It is not surprising that his life was known as The Strenuous Life.
Theodore was born into a wealthy and socially prominent New York family in 1858. Although with a quick mind he was not blessed with a strong body. He suffered from life-threatening asthma attacks throughout his childhood. Spurred on by his father, Theodore began to build up his body by strenuous exercise, and by adulthood he had become a model of physical courage and toughness.
As a young man Roosevelt decided on a dual career; law and politics. At the time, New York politics was dominated by men involved in machine politics. Yet he persisted in getting to know and understand them, while at the same time attending Columbia Law School. Eventually he secured the friendship of a man named Joe Murray who was able to get him nominated as a 21st District State Republican Assemblyman. Together, with Murray’s contacts and knowledge of machine politics and his own family and social connections, Roosevelt was able to easily win the election. He was 23 and in Albany.
Theodore served three terms in the New York Assembly. Roosevelt was a delegate to the Republican convention, and as a matter of principle he vigorously opposed the leading candidates – James G. Blaine and President Arthur. Roosevelt supported a reformer, Senator George F. Edmunds. In the end Blaine won the nomination, and this put Roosevelt in a difficult position. He did not believe that Blaine was honest, yet if he followed the example of other progressives and did not support him he realized he would be through in the Republican party. He supported Blaine. When Blaine lost Theodore received no political position, and his political career was over. Ranchman Roosevelt not only suffered political defeat in 1884 but deeply personal defeats as well. On the same day both his mother and wife died. These disappointments led to a radical change in Roosevelt’s life.
He decided to move to the Dakota Badlands to become a rancher. At the time many people thought that this was a good way to become rich. The Dakotas were not like the East – life could be a little wild and woolly. Resolution of disputes was done at the end of a gun, and thieves were often hanged as soon as they were caught. Roosevelt excelled at this rough and tumble way of life and earned the respect and devotion of the men around him. Roosevelt, however, did not excel at making money. He lost about half of his entire capital in ranching. But what he gained was, in the long run, of much greater value. The men he met there were to later join the famous Rough Riders whose exploits were the major impetus to his political success.
In 1886 Roosevelt returned to New York to marry a childhood friend – Edith Carow. Together they had a very successful marriage and produced five children in addition to Alice, Roosevelt’s child by his first marriage. Politics was still the place that Roosevelt wanted to be, but there were not many opportunities since his party was out of power. In order to support his family Roosevelt spent his time writing. This was not a new vocation for Roosevelt. Equally at home hunting for a book as hunting for a bear he wrote his first book The Naval War of 1812 while in law school and running for the New York Assembly.
By the end of his life he had written and published dozens of books. Reformer In 1888 Roosevelt saw his chance to jump back into politics by campaigning for the election of Benjamin Harrison. When Harrison won he appointed Roosevelt to be a Civil Service Commissioner. It was with this job and later as Police Commissioner that Roosevelt made his reputation as a reformer. At the time both the Civil Service and the New York Police Department had serious corruption problems. Roosevelt did his best to clean up the corruption and make things work fairly. For example, as a

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