THE IMPERIAL YEARS BEGIN
ON THE afternoon of March 3, 1905, Roosevelt did not conceal his impatience that the inaugural ceremony was still almost twenty-four hours distant. The President was restless, but he was extremely happy, and orders were issued that every one who called was to be shown into his study without delay. So the day wore on, with a bouncing, effusive Chief Executive slapping his visitors on the back, crushing their hands, and repeating how perfectly delighted he was to see them. To one or two, who were his close friends, Roosevelt is supposed to have declared:
"Tomorrow I shall come into my office in my own right. Then watch out for me!"1
It is really unimportant whether he made such a statement; it represented his viewpoint accurately. Soon after Election Day, suspicion had dawned that Roosevelt had no scruples against biting the plump hands which had fed him during the campaign. The end of 1904 had brought signs of a new independence. Roosevelt's public utterances were less cautious. It was rumored that the Bureau of Corporations would start innumerable investigations. Even the tariff might be revised.
Business breathed more easily, however, when Roosevelt's annual message was read to Congress on December 6, 1904. It inclined to the belief, in fact, that nothing in the message was particularly dangerous and the newspapers which were its spokesmen again said that the President was soundly conservative after all. In retrospect, their optimism seems hardly justified. The message, like its predecessors, was marked by interminable observations on the moralities. The hints that labor was entitled to certain rights were exceedingly pallid. But the men of vision who guided the nation's industries failed to note Roosevelt's growing conviction of the necessity for federal action to regulate cor____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Theodore Roosevelt:A Biography. Contributors: Henry F. Pringle - Author. Publisher: Harcourt Brace. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1931. Page number: 359.
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