President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt
The assassination of President William McKinley allowed New Yorker Theodore Roosevelt to assume the role of the youngest president (age 43) of the United States. As a constitutionalist, “Teddy” considered the role of the President as the “steward of the people”. He is considered one of the most energetic and optimistic presidents of his time. He broadens the power of the executive chamber to take positive action for the public good without ignoring the Constitution. His Foreign Policy was extremely successful. His America first approach increased economic opportunities for American citizens and investors. In comparison to today’s last Republican presidents, Teddy was the first to adopt a policy of peace through strength. One of his most famous quotes can summarize his overseas policies: “Speak softly, and carry a big stick…”. He adopted the “Monroe Doctrine” as a Foreign Policy with Great Britain as a military supporter, to prevent foreign bases and intervention in Latin America. One successful project in Latin America was the objective of shortening the navigation route distance of commercial ships. The Panama Canal project completion reduced the cost of trade significantly. Commercial ships were no longer obliged to travel East around the tip of South America to reach the America Eastern Coastal cities. Most importantly, the efficiency of the canal increased international trade and the standard of living. He was given a Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the end of the Russo-Japanese War.
His domestic business policies were affected by the Guilded Age (age of big business). His antitrust policies were adequate and appropriate in his time. President Roosevelt forced the dissolution of a great railroad combination in the Northwest. He supported the Sherman Act to continue reducing the potential corruption of monopolies and or big business. His Meat Inspection Act of 1906 was revolutionary and created a basic standard of food safety. The Act gave the U.S Department of Agriculture full authority to regulate the level of hygiene and procedure conducted by the meatpacking industry.