Theodore Roosevelt, American Politician: An Assessment

By David H. Burton | Go to book overview

4
Mistakes

THE distinction between decisions and mistakes may appear to be a fine one inasmuch as mistakes ordinarily arise from decisions once taken. In many instances whether Theodore Roosevelt made a mistake in carrying out public policy, what some might call decisive action, others might argue such action was misbegotten. His handling of the debt crisis in the Dominican Republic -- why he chose to implement the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine as he did -- has appealed to certain observers as wrongheaded and therefore a misfortune. Then there is the objection that any use of the term "mistake" is itself judgmental. It becomes not a matter of historical presentism but of historical hindsight. Roosevelt's refusal to actively support reform of the tariff rates may be so determined in light of the Underwood Tariff of 1913. Nevertheless, to categorize "mistakes" has its uses for a fuller definition of Theodore Roosevelt as an American politician. It may be added that where judgments must be made they are designed to be exploratory rather than condemnatory in nature.

What then are the standards for distinguishing decision from mistake or, to put it another way, to identify a decision as a mistake? Two considerations may be brought to bear on the issue. First, was the action in question intrinsically flawed, something in itself wrong and in which Roosevelt persisted. This would be constituted by an attitude followed by an action any fairminded person would find misguided. A second consideration is much less subjective. It is grounded on historical evidence that demonstrates what happened in consequence of a Roosevelt initiative. It might be contended, for example, that TR's reentry into politics in 1910 was at fault because of the upheaval created within the ranks of the Republican party. Such an argument tends to place too much blame on him and too little on President Taft and his administration. Spelling out a decision turned

-116-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Theodore Roosevelt, American Politician: An Assessment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 7
  • Preface 9
  • Introduction 11
  • 1 - Parties 17
  • 2 - Persons 45
  • 3 - Decisions 81
  • 4 - Mistakes 116
  • 5 - Legacies 145
  • Notes 159
  • Index 170
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 178

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.