American Ideal: Theodore Roosevelt's Search for American - download pdf or read online

By Paul M. Rego

This booklet examines the political considered Theodore Roosevelt, particularly his ceaseless wish and energy to reconcile America's individualistic culture with the extra collectivistic beliefs of his innovative brethren. Many students and lay-people alike forged Roosevelt as both 'conservative' or 'liberal,' yet his political suggestion defies so uncomplicated an interpretation; it used to be extra nuanced and had a bigger objective than mere ideology. an intensive learn of Roosevelt's writings finds his conviction that the strategies of private autonomy and civic crisis weren't together particular. actually, Roosevelt argued that it used to be as the rules of self-reliance and private freedom have been very important that it was once occasionally worthwhile for the full group to exploit its collective power_and, sometimes, the associations of the government_to permit contributors to do what they can no longer do on my own. additionally, whereas Roosevelt encouraged and used to be accountable for an exceptional enlargement within the regulatory powers of the nationwide govt, he understood, not like many different revolutionary reformers, that inspirational rhetoric and optimistic instance may be nearly as good as institutional reform and the strength of legislations in compelling contributors to help each other in a spirit of civic attachment. In his public writings, Roosevelt sought to form the yankee brain in ways in which he concept right. Even his writings on nature, searching, ranching, and armed forces existence have been a part of his political concept in that they have been meant to educate americans in regards to the value of balancing these individualistic values which are fit and important to a society (discipline, own accountability, and a powerful paintings ethic) with such optimistic collectivistic values as an appreciation for mutual help and a priority for the great of the group.

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Reform was born in protest as well. Farmers and laborers were also unhappy with growing inequalities in wealth, the control of political and economic power by wealth, unprecedented unemployment, and the poor living conditions of the have-nots. They would be the foot soldiers of Progressivism. Indeed, farmers, who believed they were not sharing fairly in the rewards of the emerging national economy, were among the first groups to voice their discontent with the new economic order. The drop in the price of farm commodities in 1868 only fueled the fires of their discontent.

Kazin, Populist Persuasion, 38–39. 77. Kazin, Populist Persuasion, 41–42. 78. Kazin, Populist Persuasion, 42–43. 79. Kazin, Populist Persuasion, 43–46. 80. Frank Freidel, America in the Twentieth Century, 4th ed. (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1976), 18. 81. Freidel, America in the Twentieth Century, 19–20. 82. Michael McGerr, A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America (1870–1920) (New York: Free Press, 2003), 9. 83. McGerr, Fierce Discontent, 16–17, 19–21. 84. McGerr, Fierce Discontent, 24–26.

61 Pragmatists like James argued that thoughts were not divine revelations of some external truth, but rather were tools for adapting to reality. 62 Thus, James refused to believe that human behavior was merely a reaction to purely physical events over which the mind had no control; he made the creative and active individual the centerpiece of his thought. ” The mind is “fundamentally active and creative” and not simply a passive adjuster to the world around it. 64 Most Americans, Ralph Gabriel contends, readily accepted James’ version of Pragmatism.

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