Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography

By Henry F. Pringle | Go to book overview

Chapter IV
TRUE DEMOCRACY

THE journeys into the West and South during the summer and fall of 1910 constituted the most curious of paradoxes. By accepting the platform of the Republican party in the New York State campaign, Roosevelt endorsed the Taft Administration.1 He said that the Payne-Aldrich law, although imperfect, was "better than the last and considerably better than the one before the last."2 At the same time, he campaigned for Senator Beveridge,3 and the ideas expressed in one or two of his speeches were anathema to Taft and his advisers.

New influences had been shaping Roosevelt's views, or bringing to fruition the political philosophy that had started to germinate while he was still in the White House. Among these, Herbert Croly and his The Promise of American Life have been too much ignored by those who have traced the development of the Progressive party. Roosevelt declared this to be "the most . . . illuminating study of our national conditions which has appeared for many years" because of its emphasis "that the whole point of our governmental experiment lies in the fact that it is a genuine effort to achieve true democracy."4

Published in November, 1909, The Promise of American Life had a profound effect on the thought of subsequent political commentators. It was peculiarly suited to stimulate Roosevelt, for Croly's philosophy was, in a sense, an extension of his own. "Croly . . . I think," wrote Walter Lippmann, whose own Preface to Politics was another contribution to political thought of this era, "made articulate for Roosevelt his aspiration to combine the social and political reforms initiated by Bryan and LaFollette with a Hamiltonian affection for a strong national government."5 It is not difficult to imagine Roosevelt's approval when, as he first dipped into The Promise of American Life, he read Croly's declarations regarding "Jefferson's intellectual superficiality and insincer-

____________________
1
New York Times, Sept. 28, 29, 1910.
2
Outlook, Sept. 17, 1910.
3
New York Times, Oct. 14, 1910.
4
Works, Vol. XVII, p. 53.
5
New Republic, July 16, 1930.

-540-

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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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