Was Theodore Roosevelt A President?


Laurel King, Contributor

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was theodore roosevelt a presidentPresident Theodore Roosevelt, elected to president in 1904, was the 26th president. Yet, for Theodore Roosevelt, election to the office of president was somewhat new. Because Theodore Roosevelt became president following the assassination of William McKinley in 1901, his first term in office was something he wasn't expecting. However, Teddy never backed down from a challenge, and this time it was no different. He took the difficulties in stride, deftly handling everything that came his way, with his legendary aplomb.

To a man like Theodore Roosevelt, inauguration following the tragic death of the president was a necessary evil. Held on September 14, 1901, it was actually an informal 'swearing in' ceremony held in Ansley Wilcox House, in Buffalo, New York. He was officially sworn in by John R. Hazel, U.S. District Judge for the Western District of New York.

To have Theodore Roosevelt elected president meant the chance for change. With Theodore Roosevelt in office, the Progressives had their moment to combat corruption in law enforcement and government. Teddy was able to enact legislation for numerous social programs, and encourage citizens to help their fellow man. While president, Theodore Roosevelt showed he was a living example of the possibilities of success that would be afforded to the man (or woman) who was willing to work hard for their dreams.

The administration of Theodore Roosevelt helped foster his ideas of change, reform, conservation, preservation, and foreign diplomacy. With their assistance, Teddy was able to lead America into the 20th century at the forefront of the global community. To get a good idea of how things were with Teddy Roosevelt as president, it helps to note that many of the policies Roosevelt and his administration put into place continued for decades after they vacated the White House.

Seeing Theodore Roosevelt after presidency, he wasn't very different from the Theodore Roosevelt before presidency. He spent time on an African safari, then returned to the U.S. where we watched to see what happened to the political community he had just entrusted to someone else. The man who was president after Theodore Roosevelt left office was William H. Taft. Although Teddy hand-picked Taft to be his successor, he began going against the policies Teddy had spent so many years enacting. The Theodore Roosevelt campaign re-election speech on October 14, 1912 ended under strange circumstances, when he was shot in the chest by John Schrank. Although his bid for re-election did not succeed, Roosevelt gave it his full 'Bully!' effort, determined to see it through to the end.

Some quick facts about the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt:

The total of Theodore Roosevelt terms in office: two. Theodore Roosevelt's presidency was replete with change; he enacted groundbreaking legislation which would preserve his country's natural beauty, as well as establishing its far-reaching foreign affairs policy (still used, over a century after Teddy left office). For Theodore Roosevelt, political views were of less importance than doing something about it. During the Theodore Roosevelt years as president, the U.S. Forestry Service was established, and numerous national monuments were designated (including the Grand Canyon). As a great American president, Theodore Roosevelt was chosen to have his face chiseled into Mount Rushmore, securing his spot in history.