Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Vol. 1

By Joseph Bucklin Bishop | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXI
POPULAR APPROVAL--VIEWS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS

THE elections of November, 1902, showed unmistakably that the President had the hearty support of the people of the country in his course during the first year of his administration. The chief issues were his treatment of trusts and the settlement of the coal strike, and on these he won a signal triumph. Not only had all the Republican State conventions of the year strongly approved his policies but had declared in favor of his election to the Presidency in 1904. The Republicans elected the largest majority of members of the House of Representatives that their party had secured in a midway election during Republican administration for thirty-four years. A few days after election, on November 11, 1902, the President went to New York to participate in the dedication of a building which had been erected by the Chamber of Commerce of that city as its permanent home. At a banquet in the evening the President delivered the principal address. Fifteen years later, when the European war was in progress, the closing passages of this address were recalled as evidence of far-sighted wisdom on the part of Roosevelt. It was:

"We are glad indeed that we are on good terms with all the other peoples of mankind, and no effort on our part shall be spared to secure a continuance of these relations: And remember, gentlemen, that we shall be a potent factor for peace largely in proportion to the way in which we make it evident that our attitude is due, not to weakness, not to inability to defend ourselves, but to a genuine repugnance to wrongdoing, a genuine desire for self-respecting friendship with our neighbors. The voice of the weakling or the craven counts for nothing when he clamors for peace; but

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