Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography

By Henry F. Pringle | Go to book overview

Chapter VIII
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-

____________________
1
New York World, Mar. 5, 1905.

-359-

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Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Book I 1
  • Chapter I - Teedie 3
  • Chapter II - Growth 16
  • Chapter III - Thou Goddess, Indifference! 26
  • Chapter IV - Alice Lee 40
  • Chapter V - Butter and Jam 54
  • Chapter VI - I Rose like a Rocket 65
  • Chapter VII - Practical Politician 79
  • Chapter VIII - Gentleman Cowhand 92
  • Chapter IX - The Years Between 106
  • Chapter X - A Job Once More 120
  • Chapter XI - Sword of Righteousness 132
  • Chapter XII - The Nation in Peril 152
  • Chapter XIII - Lord of the Navy 165
  • Chapter XIV - A Bully Fight 181
  • Chapter XV - Reward for a Hero 201
  • Chapter XVI - Yearnings and Consummation 216
  • Book II 235
  • Chapter I - Middle of the Road 237
  • Chapter II - The First Attack 251
  • Chapter III - The Rights of Labor 264
  • Chapter IV - The Big Stick 279
  • Chapter V - Setting for a Melodrama 301
  • Chapter VI - I Took Panama 315
  • Chapter VII - Trimming Sail 339
  • Chapter VIII - The Imperial Years Begin 359
  • Chapter IX - Imperial Years 372
  • Chapter X - The Japanese Menace 398
  • Chapter XI - Malefactors of Great Wealth 413
  • Chapter XII - The Wicked Speculators 432
  • Chaper XIII - Substantial Justice 446
  • Chapter XIV - Handing Down the Law 465
  • Chapter XV - End of the Reign 476
  • Book III 495
  • Chapter I - The First Error 497
  • Chapter II - Among the Kings 508
  • Chapter III - Return Triumphant 525
  • Chapter IV - True Democracy 540
  • Chapter V - Battling for the Lord 553
  • Chapter VI - Drums of War 572
  • Chapter VII - The Final Blow 589
  • Appendix 605
  • Bibliography 607
  • Index 613
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