Theodore Roosevelt

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Theodore Roosevelt II

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (27 October 1858 – 6 January 1919), also known as Teddy Roosevelt, TR, and often just Theodore Roosevelt to distinguish him from his son Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (actually named Theodore Roosevelt III), was a writer, naturalist, soldier, and president of the United States (1901- 1909).


Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was born on 27 October 1858, at 28 East 20th Street in Manhattan, New York City. He was the second of four children born to socialite Martha Stewart Bulloch and businessman and philanthropist Theodore Roosevelt Sr. He had an older sister (Anna), a younger brother (Elliott) and a younger sister (Corinne). Elliott was later the father of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt who married Theodore's distant cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His paternal grandfather was of German Dutch descent; his other ancestry included primarily Scottish and Scots-Irish, English and smaller amounts of German, Welsh, and French. He became a popular hero for his role in association with the Spanish–American War and the "Rough Riders" regiment, in part due to Roosevelt's writing ability, mass media depictions, and reenactments filmed long after.

With the beginning of the Spanish–American War in late April 1898, Roosevelt resigned from his post as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Along with Army Colonel Leonard Wood, he formed the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. His wife and many of his friends begged Roosevelt to remain in his post in Washington, but Roosevelt was determined to see battle. When the newspapers reported the formation of the new regiment, Roosevelt and Wood were flooded with applications from all over the country. Referred to by the press as the "Rough Riders", the regiment was one of many temporary units active only for the duration of the war. The regiment trained for several weeks in San Antonio, Texas, and in his autobiography, Roosevelt wrote that his prior experience with the New York National Guard had been invaluable, in that it enabled him to immediately begin teaching his men basic soldiering skills. The Rough Riders used some standard issue gear and some of their own design, purchased with gift money. Diversity characterized the regiment, which included Ivy Leaguers, professional and amateur athletes, upscale gentlemen, cowboys, frontiersmen, Native Americans, hunters, miners, prospectors, former soldiers, tradesmen, and sheriffs. The Rough Riders were part of the cavalry division commanded by former Confederate general Joseph Wheeler, which itself was one of three divisions in the V Corps under Major General William Rufus Shafter. Roosevelt and his men landed in Daiquirí, Cuba, on June 23, 1898, and marched to Siboney. Wheeler sent parts of the 1st and 10th Regular Cavalry on the lower road northwest and sent the "Rough Riders" on the parallel road running along a ridge up from the beach. To throw off his infantry rival, Wheeler left one regiment of his Cavalry Division, the 9th, at Siboney so that he could claim that his move north was only a limited reconnaissance if things went wrong. Roosevelt was promoted to colonel and took command of the regiment when Wood was put in command of the brigade. The Rough Riders had a short, minor skirmish known as the Battle of Las Guasimas; they fought their way through Spanish resistance and, together with the Regulars, forced the Spaniards to abandon their positions. Colonel Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, along with members of the 3rd Volunteers and the regular Army black 10th Cavalry, became famous for the charge up and the capture of Kettle Hill in Cuba on July 1, 1898. The victories came at a cost of 200 killed in action and 1,000 wounded.

Theodore Roosevelt is associated with the "Progressive Era", likely a cause for (leftist) historians ranking him very highly, despite less politically correct views on issues such as race, common at this time. Another cause may be his pro-Jewish views and actions, even described as an early and ardent Zionist.[1][2] "In late 1906 he appointed the first Jew to the presidential cabinet: Oscar Straus, a wealthy New York lawyer and former ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. As Secretary of Labor and Commerce, Straus was in charge of the Bureau of Immigration—at the critical time of accelerating Jewish immigration." Roosevelt has been argued to have had (partially) Jewish ancestry.[3]

More recently, in association with the Great Awokening, he has been attacked for now less politically correct views.

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