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Original American Ideals And Other Essays

Few names are more widely known than that of Theodore Roosevelt, so that in one sense any introduction is superfluous. But in this sense he is known chiefly as the "Rough Rider" of the Santiago campaign; whereas those who read this book will see that his experience as a volunteer officer in the war with Spain is only one incident in a life which has been singularly varied in thought and accomplishment and useful in many fields. In 1900 when American Ideals was originally published, Theodore Roosevelt was the governor of New York.

During the three years from 1894 to 1897 he wrote the greater part of the essays on political subjects which are printed in the volume of American Ideals. Here you will find his theory of politics, based on honesty, courage, never-ending hard work, and fair play; and coupled with these a certain measure of expediency which without sacrificing principle strives to get things done, and to accept the second best if what he considers the first best is not attainable; realizing that in a government of universal suffrage many minds must be consulted and a majority of them brought to the same conclusion before anything can be accomplished.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was the 26th President of the United States (1901-1909). A Hero of the Spanish-American War, he served as governor of New York (1899-1900) and U.S. Vice President (September 1901) under William McKinley. In addition to holding the elective offices he was also a deputy sheriff in the Dakota Territory, Police Commissioner of New York City, U.S. Civil Service Commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and Colonel of the Rough Riders, all by the age of 42, at which time he became the youngest man ever to hold the office of President. In 1906 he won the Nobel Peace Prize for this mediation in the Russo-Japanese War.

Enlightenment Influences on American Ideals Essay

1187 Words5 Pages

By the late eighteenth century, the Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason as it was called had begun to rapidly spread across Europe. People began believing in the ideals of popular government, the centrality of economics to politics, secularism, and progress. This cultural movement was sparked by intellectuals and commonwealth thinkers such as the influential writer John Locke and the famous scientist Isaac Newton, both who emphasized the fact that man, by the use of reason, would be able to solve all of his problems-whether it be problems with the government, morals or the society. However, these ideals weren’t just limited to the European nations where they had first begun. On the other side of the world, off in the United States,…show more content…

His philosophy inspired Americans to break away from the normal European institutions that they were used to and lay a fresh foundation that would prove to be beneficial in the long run.
This fresh, new foundation came in the form a document that outlined the way the government would work. Unlike the way Europe was governed before the Enlightenment period, Americans, since they had recently liberated themselves from the British throne, wanted to establish a government in such a way that would prevent tyrannical monarchy. By this time, they still were faced with the challenge of a republican self government. But again, we see the influence of Locke’s ideas from his Treatise, where he proposed that people had the right to establish their own government for their own protection of their natural rights. As a result of this idea, the preamble to the Constitution was created. This section provided analysis as to what the whole Constitution was about; improvement on the current government (to ensure that they are just) and protection for its citizens.
Around the same time, Americans were also influenced by the works of Charles, the Baron de Montesquieu, a French political thinker. He believed that there were three types of governments; a monarchy (ruled by a king or queen), a republic (ruled by an elected leader) and a despotism (ruled by a dictator). In his book, The Spirit of Laws ,

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