Teddy Roosevelt Accomplishments: A Comprehensive List of Achievements

Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished leaders in American history. His presidency, which lasted from 1901 to 1909, was marked by several significant achievements that continue to impact the country today.

One of Roosevelt’s most notable accomplishments was his conservation efforts. He established the United States Forest Service and signed the Antiquities Act into law, allowing him to designate national monuments. He also created five national parks and established 150 forests, wildlife refuges, and game preserves. These actions helped protect millions of acres of land and ensured that future generations could enjoy America’s natural beauty.

In addition to his conservation efforts, Roosevelt was known for his trust-busting policies. He believed that large corporations had too much power and needed to be regulated to protect consumers and prevent monopolies. He used the Sherman Antitrust Act to break up several large corporations, including Standard Oil and the American Tobacco Company. This helped to promote competition in the marketplace and prevent companies from engaging in unfair business practices.


Early Life and Political Beginnings

A young Teddy Roosevelt reading books and exploring nature, surrounded by animals and natural landscapes

Rise to the Presidency

Born in New York City in 1858, Theodore Roosevelt was the second of four children. He attended Harvard College, excelled academically, and became involved in athletics and student government. After graduation, Roosevelt entered politics, serving in the New York State Assembly from 1882 to 1884.

In 1898, he left as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to lead the Rough Riders, a cavalry unit in the Spanish-American War. His leadership in the war earned him national recognition and helped launch his political career.

Roosevelt was elected Governor of New York in 1898, and his progressive policies and reputation as a reformer made him a popular figure within the Republican Party. In 1900, he was chosen as William McKinley’s running mate in the presidential election. When McKinley was assassinated the following year, Roosevelt became the youngest President in U.S. history at 42.

Military Service and Governorship

Before entering politics, Roosevelt had a brief career in the military, serving in the New York National Guard and the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War. He was known for his bravery and leadership in battle and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 2001.

As Governor of New York, Roosevelt continued his progressive agenda, pushing for labor, education, and conservation reforms. He also gained a reputation as a “trust buster,” using his position to break up monopolies and promote market competition.

Overall, Roosevelt’s early life and political beginnings laid the foundation for his later accomplishments as President, cementing his reputation as a leader who was unafraid to take bold action and fight for what he believed in.


Presidential Achievements

Teddy Roosevelt's achievements: Panama Canal, trust-busting, conservation

Domestic Policy and the Square Deal

During his presidency, Teddy Roosevelt implemented a domestic policy known as the Square Deal. This policy aimed to balance the interests of business owners, laborers, and consumers and promote fairness and equality for all. As part of this policy, Roosevelt supported the Sherman Antitrust Act, which aimed to break up monopolies and promote market competition.

Roosevelt also took action to improve working conditions for laborers. He supported the eight-hour workday and advocated for workplace safety regulations. In addition, he worked to address issues related to child labor and supported the creation of the U.S. Children’s Bureau.

Conservation Efforts

Teddy Roosevelt was a strong advocate for the conservation of natural resources. He established the U.S. Forest Service and created five new national parks, including Yosemite and Crater Lake. He also established 18 national monuments, including the Grand Canyon.

In addition, Roosevelt worked to protect wildlife by creating the first national wildlife refuge and signing the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. He recognized the importance of preserving natural resources for future generations and prioritized it during his presidency.

Economic Reforms and Regulation

Roosevelt believed in the importance of regulating businesses to prevent abuses of power and ensure fair competition. He took action to regulate the railroads and supported the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Roosevelt also protected consumers by advocating for the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. These laws aimed to ensure the safety and quality of food and drugs sold in the United States.

A commitment to fairness, equality, and conservation marked Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency. His domestic policy initiatives, conservation efforts, and economic reforms and regulations continue to impact American society.


Foreign Policy and Diplomacy

Teddy Roosevelt negotiates peace treaties and establishes foreign policies with world leaders

Roosevelt Corollary and the Monroe Doctrine

Teddy Roosevelt’s foreign policy was characterized by his belief in the importance of America’s global presence and the need for the country to assert its influence on the world stage. One of the key elements of his foreign policy was the Roosevelt Corollary, which built upon the Monroe Doctrine of 1823.

The Monroe Doctrine stated that any attempt by European powers to colonize or interfere in the affairs of the Americas would be seen as a threat to the United States. Roosevelt expanded upon this idea, stating that the United States had the right to intervene in the affairs of Latin American countries to maintain stability and protect American interests.

Panama Canal and Latin American Relations

Another major accomplishment of Roosevelt’s foreign policy was the construction of the Panama Canal. The canal was a major engineering feat and a significant achievement for American diplomacy. It allowed for faster and more efficient shipping between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and strengthened America’s ties with Latin America.

However, the construction of the canal was not without controversy, as it involved the overthrow of the Panamanian government and the establishment of a new government that was more favorable to American interests.

The Great White Fleet and Global Presence

In addition to the Roosevelt Corollary and the Panama Canal, Roosevelt also sought to increase America’s global presence through military means. One of his most notable achievements was the deployment of the Great White Fleet, a group of 16 battleships that circumnavigated the globe from 1907 to 1909.

The fleet deployment was intended to demonstrate America’s naval power and assert its influence on the world stage. The Great White Fleet was well-received in many parts of the world but also generated controversy and criticism in some quarters.

Overall, Teddy Roosevelt’s foreign policy was marked by a confident and assertive approach to diplomacy. He believed in the importance of American influence on the world stage and sought to use various means to achieve that goal. His legacy in foreign policy includes the Roosevelt Corollary, the Panama Canal, and the Great White Fleet, all of which helped to shape America’s role in the world in the early 20th century.


Post-Presidency and Continued Influence

Teddy Roosevelt's accomplishments displayed in a museum exhibit with artifacts and documents showcasing his post-presidency influence

Bull Moose Party and Progressive Movement

After leaving office in 1909, Roosevelt took a hiatus from politics and went on a safari in Africa. However, he soon returned to the United States and became involved in the Progressive movement. In 1912, he founded the Bull Moose Party and ran as its presidential candidate. The party was a progressive political group that aimed to reform the government and society.

During his campaign, Roosevelt advocated for several progressive reforms, including regulating big business, protecting workers’ rights, and conserving natural resources. Although he did not win the election, his campaign significantly impacted American politics and helped shape the progressive movement.

Later Years and Public Perception

Following his unsuccessful presidential campaign, Roosevelt continued to be involved in politics and remained a prominent figure in American society. He supported President Woodrow Wilson during World War I and was critical of his successor, William Howard Taft.

In his later years, Roosevelt’s public perception began to change. While he was once seen as a controversial figure, his legacy as a progressive reformer and conservationist began to be recognized. Today, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest presidents in American history and his influence can still be felt in modern politics.

Overall, Roosevelt’s post-presidency and continued influence were marked by his involvement in the Progressive movement, his founding of the Bull Moose Party, and his legacy as a progressive reformer and conservationist.


Personal Life and Cultural Impact

Aside from his political accomplishments, Teddy Roosevelt also had a rich personal life that greatly influenced his cultural impact. He married twice in his lifetime, first to Alice Hathaway Lee and later to Edith Kermit Carow. Unfortunately, Alice passed away at a young age due to kidney failure, leaving Roosevelt devastated. He later remarried Edith and had five children with her.

Roosevelt was also known for his love of the outdoors and spent much of his free time on his ranch in Dakota Territory. He was an avid hunter and conservationist, and his love for nature greatly influenced his policies as president. He established the United States Forest Service and signed the Antiquities Act, which allowed him to create national parks and monuments.

Roosevelt’s home in Oyster Bay also significantly impacted his personal life and cultural impact. Known as Sagamore Hill, it was where he spent much of his time outside of the office and entertained many important guests. The home is now a National Historic Site and open to the public.

Finally, Roosevelt’s famous phrase “Speak softly and carry a big stick” has become synonymous with his presidency and political philosophy. This phrase referred to his belief in diplomacy backed by military strength and has since been adopted by many politicians and leaders worldwide. Roosevelt’s ability to use his words and actions to achieve his goals has impacted American politics and culture, earning him the nickname “Bully Pulpit.”