Theodore Roosevelt

Key Terms and Events

Terms

A History of the Naval War of 1812  -  · Published in 1882, A History of the Naval War of 1812 was Roosevelt's first book. The book was highly praised for its detail and style and remained the definitive book on the subject for many decades.
The Alabama  -  · The Alabama was a Confederate Navy ship that destroyed many Union vessels during the American Civil War. Roosevelt's uncle James Bulloch served as an admiral in the Confederate Navy and was responsible for building the ship in Great Britain. Roosevelt's other uncle, Irvine Bulloch, served as a midshipman aboard the same vessel.
Alaska -  · A disagreement between Great Britain and the United States over the boundary between Alaska and British Columbia climaxed in 1903. Great Britain proposed to settle the dispute via impartial arbitration, but President Roosevelt refused; however, he eventually consented. The panel of judges sides with the United States.
Annex  -  · When one country annexes another country or territory, it makes it part of its own. After the Spanish-American War, the United States annexed the Philippines and Puerto Rico, making them U.S. Protectorates.
Assistant Secretary of the Navy -  · Appointed by President William McKinley during his first term in office, Roosevelt served as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the Department of the Navy from 1897 to 1898. During his time as the Assistant Secretary, Roosevelt prepared the U.S. Navy for war with the Spanish Empire. In 1898 he sent orders to Admiral Dewey in Asia to make preparations for an attack on the Philippine Islands.
Badlands -  · The Badlands is an area of eastern Montana and western North and South Dakota. The area is dry and has very rugged topography. Roosevelt vacationed in the Badlands to hunt buffalo in 1883. From 1884–1887, he lived at Elkhorn Ranch in Dakota Territory.
Big Stick Diplomacy -  · Roosevelt's forceful style of foreign relations was often called Big Stick Diplomacy, which came from his favorite proverb "Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far." In his dealings with other countries, Roosevelt would pressure other countries into doing what he wanted them to do. The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine is a prime example of Big Stick Diplomacy.
Cuba  -  · Cuba, an island approximately ninety miles south of Florida, was once a territory of the Spanish Empire. The United States liberated Cuba in the Spanish-American War in 1898 and 1899. Several key battles were fought on Cuba: the Battle of San Juan Hill and the Battle of Santiago Harbor led by Admiral Sampson. Once liberated, the Cubans established their own government; however, the Platt Amendment restricted Cuba from total sovereignty.
Dakota Territory -  · Dakota Territory refers to the area now known as the states of North and South Dakota. These areas had not yet attained statehood when Roosevelt lived there from 1884–1887. Roosevelt owned the Elkhorn Ranch in the territory and enjoyed hunting buffalo, antelope, and grizzly bears.
Elkhorn Ranch -  · Located near the town of Medora and on the banks of the Little Missouri River, the Elkhorn Ranch was Roosevelt's cattle ranch in the Dakota Territory from 1884–1887. Roosevelt quit the cattle ranching business after a cold spell in 1886 killed most of the cattle and made Medora a ghost town.
Food and Drug Administration -  · The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a government agency that is responsible for ensuring that food and medicine producers follow guidelines and safety regulations. The FDA was created during Roosevelt's Presidency after Upton Sinclair published The Jungle, his novel about working conditions in the Chicago meatpacking industry, in 1906.
Grand Old Party -  · The Republican Party.
Hepburn Bill -  · Congress passed the Hepburn Bill in 1906 to regulate rebate rates, a mechanism trusts often used to create a monopoly and destroy competition. The bill gave the Interstate Commerce Commission to set maximum rebate rates.
Hunting Trips of a Ranchman -  · Roosevelt wrote the book Hunting Trips of a Ranchman while living in Dakota Territory. The book was published in June of 1885 and is mostly an autobiographical account of Roosevelt's hunting adventures in the West.
Imperialism  -  · Imperialism is the idea that powerful nations must have colonies throughout the world; oftentimes these colonies were once sovereign countries, but lost their independence in wars with the imperialist states. Powerful nations seek colonies to expand their military or commercial interests. The United States was considered an imperialist nation during the 1890s and first decade of the 1900s under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.
Monopoly  -  · A business is said to have a monopoly when it is the only supplier of a certain good. Many large companies called trusts in the late 1800s and early 1900s attempted to secure monopolies on their products. Although having a monopoly on a product was not illegal, securing monopolies via unfair business practices and driving out competition was illegal under the 1890 Sherman Act.
Monroe Doctrine -  · The Monroe Doctrine declared that European powers have no authority in the Western Hemisphere and must not involve themselves in the affairs of North and South American countries. The doctrine also claimed that the United States had the right to intervene anywhere in the hemisphere to ensure its security. The Monroe Doctrine was named for President James Monroe, who declared the doctrine in the early 1820s.
Morocco -  · Morocco is a country in North Africa that was a French colony during Roosevelt's Presidency. In 1905, President Roosevelt prevented a European war when he secretly mediated a dispute over Morocco amongst France, England, and Germany.
Morton Hall -  · Morton Hall was one of the headquarters of the Republican political machine in New York City in the late 1800s. Roosevelt became interested in politics in the 1880s after attending political meetings in the hall.
National Forest Service -  · The National Forest Service was created during Roosevelt's Presidency to protect and help conserve the National Forests and National Parks in the United States. The service's creation is one example of Roosevelt's policies concerning conservation.
New York City Police Commissioner -  · The New York City Police Commissioner is the head of the New York Police Department. Roosevelt served as commissioner from 1895 to 1897.
New York State Assembly -  · The New York State Assembly is New York State's legislative branch of government. Roosevelt served three years (each term lasting one year) in the Assembly from 1882–1884.
Nobel Peace Prize -  · President Roosevelt became the first American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize when he successfully negotiated a peace treaty between the Russians and Japanese to end the 1904–1905 Russo-Japanese War. The treaty was drafted in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Northern Securities -  · The Northern Securities Company was a large railroad trust in the West. Financier J.P. Morgan created the trust and heavily invested in the company. The company was the first President Roosevelt attacked in 1902, claiming the company was a railroad monopoly and violated the Sherman Act. The government won the lawsuit; the breakup of Northern Securities encouraged the government to continue prosecuting the trusts.
Open Door Policy -  · The Open Door Policy was one of President McKinley's imperialist policies. Secretary of state John Hay announced that China's commercial "door" should be open to all nations and not just Japan and the European powers.
Oyster Bay -  · Oyster Bay is the small town in New York where Roosevelt built his home Sagamore Hill.
Panama -  · Panama is a small isthmus connecting North and South America and separating the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. In 1903, President Roosevelt secretly supported a coup to overthrow Panama's Colombian rulers so that the United States could purchase land to build the Panama Canal.
Panama Canal -  · The Panama Canal is a waterway through the isthmus of Panama that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Teddy Roosevelt considered his seizure of Panama and the building of the canal to be his greatest achievement as President.
Philippine Islands  -  · The Philippines is a string of islands of the southeastern coast of China that was a part of the Spanish Empire until the Spanish-American War in 1898 and 1899. On May 1, 1898, Admiral Dewey defeated the Spanish fleet harbored in Manila, the capitol of the Philippines. After the war, the United States annexed the Philippines, but faced bitter opposition from nationalist rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo.
Platt Amendment -  · The Platt Amendment was an amendment to the constitution of Cuba after it was liberated from Spain in the Spanish-American War in 1898 and 1899. Although the U.S. granted Cuba its freedom after the war, this American- engineered amendment severely hindered Cuba's autonomy. It stated that the U.S. could intervene in the affairs of Cuba any time it deemed necessary.
Plutocracy  -  · The plutocracy refers to the few Americans who controlled an extraordinary amount of wealth. Prominent members included oil tycoon John David Rockefeller, steel producer Andrew Carnegie, and banker J.P. Morgan who was also the richest man in the world at the time with a net worth of over one billion dollars. Many of Roosevelt's policies focused on reducing the power of the plutocracy.
Political Machine  -  · Political machines were Democratic and Republican Party organizations that controlled the election and campaigning processes. Machines often controlled local and state politics in large cities during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Powerful politicians called bosses controlled the machines. Boss Thomas Platt ran the Republican political machine in New York City at the turn of the century.
Populist Party  -  · The Populist Party was a third political party that advocated extremely liberal legislation and policies to help primarily the poor Midwestern farmers. They desired "free silver"–more and cheaper money to be printed–and the U.S. dollar to be backed by silver instead of gold. The party's champion was William Jennings Bryan. By the early 1900s, the party had become essentially dead because Americans outside the U.S. didn't seek the same goals. The Progressive movement did spread throughout the country and many of its original idealism stemmed from the Populist movement.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire -  · In 1905 President Roosevelt negotiated a peace treaty between Russia and Japan in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. For his efforts, the President became the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Progressivism  -  · Progressives were primarily northerners who sought reform in government and society in the early 1900s. President Roosevelt was the most active Progressive politician, even campaigning under the Progressive Party ticket in the Presidential election of 1912.
Reclamation Act -  · The Reclamation Act of 1902 set aside federal money to irrigate the dry, unlivable lands in the West so that settlers could use the land to farm. The act is an example of one of the many pieces of conservation legislation passed during the Roosevelt administrations.
Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine  -  · In 1904 President Roosevelt declared that only the United States can police the Western Hemisphere, and reiterated the terms of the Monroe Doctrine that the European powers must not become involved in the affairs of Latin America. Later, this statement came to be known as Roosevelt's Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.
Round Robin -  · The Round Robin was a letter drafted after the Spanish-American War by Col. Roosevelt and signed by many high-ranking military commanders. The letter accused the War Department of being unprepared for the war, and called for a removal of all U.S. troops occupying Cuba and Puerto Rico.
Sagamore Hill -  · Sagamore Hill was Roosevelt's twenty-three-room home in Oyster Bay, New York. The house served was completed in 1885, and served as the unofficial summer White House during his Presidency. Roosevelt died at Sagamore Hill on January 5, 1919, and was buried near the house.
San Francisco Board of Education -  · In 1906 the San Francisco Board of Education expelled Japanese students from the city's public school system in response to the overwhelming number of Japanese migrants settling in the area. Japan was deeply angered over this decision and secretly prepared for war. War was averted when President Roosevelt negotiated with Japan. Soon, the school board began readmitting students.
Santo Domingo -  · Roosevelt issued the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine in 1904 to protect the governments of Santo Domingo, Venezuela and other Latin American countries from threats from the European powers.
Sherman Act -  · Congress passed the Sherman Act in 1890 in an attempt to eliminate trusts and the unfair business practices they employed to secure monopolies on their products.
Spain  -  · During the late 1800s, the Spanish Empire was crumbling but still held onto several key colonies including the Philippines in Asia and Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. The United States defeated Spain in the Spanish-American War in 1899–1899 and liberated these colonies from Spanish control. The loss of these territories destroyed the remnants of the Spanish Empire.
Spoils system -  · The spoils system refers to the practice of elected or appointed government officials hiring friends rather than qualified candidates to fill bureaucratic offices. As U.S. Civil Service Commissioner, Roosevelt tried to reform the spoils system and establish a meritocracy where positions are filled based on candidates' qualifications.
Square Deal -  · The Square Deal was President Roosevelt's domestic program primarily aimed at helping middle class citizens. The policies of the Square Deal involved attacking the plutocracy and trusts while at the same time protecting business from the extreme demands of organized labor.
Standard Oil -  · Standard Oil was a large oil trust run by plutocrat John D. Rockefeller. Roosevelt used the Hepburn Bill to prosecute Standard Oil for violating the Sherman Act.
Tammany Hall -  · Tammany Hall was the headquarters of the most powerful political machine in New York City in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Tennis Cabinet -  · The Tennis Cabinet was a collection of Roosevelt's most trusted and loyal supporters within his administration. Younger than the majority of the cabinet secretaries, Roosevelt often invited these men to join him in his daily exercise routine which included walks through obstacle courses, jujitsu, boxing, and tennis among other activities.
The Winning of the West  -  · The Winning of the West was a multi-volume book Roosevelt published in 1894 that describes the settlement of the American West.
Trusts  -  · Trusts were large corporations that specialized in producing one product and attempted to create a monopoly. There were scores of trusts in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Within months of becoming President, Roosevelt attacked the trusts, prosecuting them under the authority of the Sherman Act.
U.S. Civil Service Commission  -  · The U.S. Civil Service Commission is responsible for controlling the government bureaucracy. Roosevelt, appointed to be the head of this commission by President Benjamin Harrison in 1888, kept the post until 1895. During his time as commissioner, he sought to reform the spoils system.
U.S. Steel Company  -  · The U.S. Steel Company was trust that controlled most all of the steel production in the United States during Roosevelt's Presidency. Its founder was the wealthy philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. In 1907, J.P. Morgan had U.S. Steel purchase the Tennessee Iron and Coal Company to prevent a stock market crash during the Panic of 1907.
Venezuela -  · Venezuela is a country in northern South America. In 1903, British and German warships began shelling its coastline when the Venezuelan government refused to pay its debts. President Roosevelt issued the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine in 1904 to protect Venezuela, Santo Domingo and other Latin American countries from the European powers.
Wall Street -  · Wall Street is a major street in New York City's financial district and one of the most important financial centers in the United States. The term often refers collectively to the bankers, financiers, and investors who work on Wall Street.

Events

Algeciras Conference - The Algeciras Conference was a secret conference to negotiate a dispute amongst Germany, England, and France over the division of Morocco in 1905. President Roosevelt mediated the conference, and eventually sided with England and France against Germany. Although the breakout of World War I was averted at the conference, many historians now see the outcome as the first step towards a U.S. alliance with France and England.
American Revolution - The American Revolution was fought from 1776 to 1882 between Great Britain and the newly formed United States of America. Please see History SparkNotes.
American Civil War  - The American Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865 when several Southern states seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America led by President Jefferson Davis. It was the bloodiest war in the history of the United States. Please see History SparkNotes and the Abraham Lincoln biography SparkNote.
Coal Strike  - The 1902 Coal Strike was President Roosevelt's first test in handling domestic emergencies. When the minors continued to strike after many offers to settle the dispute at been made, Roosevelt threatened to end the strike with 10,000 Army troopers. J.P. Morgan able to negotiate a settlement before that became necessary.
Explosion of the Maine  - The mysterious explosion and sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana Harbor, Cuba was the impetus for many Americans to clamor for war against the Spanish Empire in 1898.
Panic of 1907 - The Panic of 1907 hit the United States when the Knickerbocker Trust Company of New York failed. Conservatives accused Roosevelt of having caused the panic with his Progressive policies while Roosevelt countered that it was the excessive wealth of the plutocracy that had caused it. Actually, neither accusation was accurate; the recession was a global phenomenon. Depression was averted when banker J.P. Morgan merged the Tennessee Iron and Coal Company with U.S. Steel.
Russo-Japanese War - The Russo-Japanese War was fought in 1904 and 1905 between Russia and Japan. Japan technically won the war, but agreed to President Roosevelt's offer to mediate and negotiate a peace treaty.
Battle of San Juan Hill  - The Battle of San Juan Hill was fought on July 1, 1898, near Santiago, Cuba. Colonel Roosevelt led his Rough Riders on the charge up the hill. The regiment took many casualties, but captured the Spanish stronghold at the top.
Spanish-American War - The Spanish-American War was fought in 1898 and 1899 to expel the Spanish Empire from the Americas. Many Americans convinced themselves that the war was fought the lofty moral purpose of ending the atrocities the Spaniards inflicted on the native inhabitants on Cuba and other colonies. The war was fought on two fronts: in the Caribbean and on the Philippine Islands. The United States won the war and the two countries drafted the Treaty of Paris in 1899.
World War I - World War I, also known as the Great War prior to World War II, was fought with Germany, the Ottoman Empire, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire on one side against France, England, Russia, and eventually the United States on the other. The war was extremely bloody and a war of attrition. Please see History SparkNotes.