I have been criticized for shifting and changing my cabinet so often, but I do it with a purpose. Just as soon as a Secretary of the Navy or Interior or any other department gets rusty or else settles down to ease and comfort I transfer him so that he will use the energy, which made him valuable in the first place, in some other department which needs bolstering up. I have not hesitated to drop cabinet officers when I found them inefficient, even though my affections for them urged me to retain them. It is so easy to put one's personal affections for men above the public service. Meyer, Garfield, and Straus are ideal cabinet officers for me. They keep up the routine, and when it is a matter of national or international policy they promptly bring it up to me for a decision with a clear- cut recommendation. (Recorded by Butt in letter of January 27, 1909.) The Letters of Archie Butt. Personal Aide to President Roosevelt. (Doubleday, Page & Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1924), p. 311.
____________.Before we take up any business, as this is our last meeting, I want to say to you that no President ever received more loyal support from his official family than I have received. The work that you have done I have received the credit for, which is the same in the Army—credit must go to the general in command. The only reward you receive is having the knowledge of doing your work well. (At Cabinet meeting, March 2, 1909; from Meyer's diary.) M. A. De Wolfe Howe, George von Lengerke Meyer. (Dodd, Mead & Co., N. Y., 1919), p. 420.
Calhoun, John C
See Hunting; Nature Study.
In political campaigns in a country as large and populous as ours it is inevitable that there should be much expense of an entirely legitimate kind. This, of course, means that many contributions, and some of them of large size, must be made, and, as a matter of fact, in any big political contest such contributions are always made to both sides. It is entirely proper both to give and receive them, unless there is an improper motive connected with either gift or reception. If they are extorted by any kind of pressure or promise, express or implied, direct or indirect, in the way of favor or immunity, then the giving or receiving becomes not only improper but criminal. . . . All contributions by corporations to any political committee or for any political purpose should be forbidden by law; directors should not be permitted to use stockholders money for such purposes; and, moreover, a prohibition of this kind would be, as far as it went, an effective method of stopping the evils aimed at in corrupt practices acts. Not only should both the national and the several State legislatures forbid any officer of a corporation from using the money of the corporation in or about any election, but they should also forbid such use of money in connection with any legislation save by the employment of counsel in public manner for distinctly legal services. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 344- 345; Nat. Ed. XV, 294-295.
____________. I have just been informed that the Standard Oil people have contributed $100,000 to our campaign fund. This may be entirely untrue. But if true I must ask you to direct that the money be returned to them forthwith. I appreciate to the full the need of funds to pay the legitimate and necessarily great expenses of the campaign. I appreciate to the full the fact that under no circumstances will we receive half as much as was received by the National Committee in 1900 and 1896. Moreover, it is entirely legitimate to accept contributions, no matter how large they are, from individuals and corporations on the terms on which I happen to know that you have accepted them, that is, with the explicit understanding that they were given and received with no thought of any more obligation on the part of the National Committee or of the national administration than is implied in the statement that every man shall receive a square deal, no more and no less, and that this I shall guarantee him in any event to the best of my ability. . . .
But we cannot under any circumstances afford to take a contribution which can be even improperly construed as putting us under an improper obligation, and in view of my past relations with the Standard Oil Company I fear that such a construction will be put upon receiving any aid from them. In returning the money to them I wish it made clear to them that there is not the slightest personal feeling against them, and that they can count upon being treated exactly as well by the administration, exactly as fairly, as if we had accepted the contribution. They shall not suffer in any way because we refused it, just as they would not have gained in any way if we had accepted it. (To George B. Courtelyou, October 26, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 379, 380; Bishop I, 329.
____________.I have been informed that you, or some one on behalf of the National Committee, have requested contributions both from Mr. Archbold and Mr. Harriman. If this is true I wish to enter a most earnest protest, and to say that in my judgment not only should such contributions not be solicited, but if tendered they should be refused; and if they have been accepted they should immediately be returned. I am not the candidate, but I am the head of the Republican Administration, which is an issue in this campaign, and I protest most earnestly against men whom we are prosecuting being asked to contribute to elect a President who will appoint an Attorney-General to continue these prosecutions. (To George R. Sheldon, Treasurer of the Republican National Committee, September 21, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 113; Bishop II, 97.
____________. I believe that usually the contributors, and the recipient, sincerely felt that the transaction was proper and subserved the cause of good politics and good business; and, indeed, as regards the major part of the contributions, it is probable that this was the fact, and that the only criticism that could properly be made about the contributions was that they were not made with publicity....Many, probably most, of the contributors of this type never wished anything personal in exchange for their contributions. ...
There was but one kind of money contribution as to which it seemed to me absolutely impossible for either the contributor or the recipient to disguise to themselves the evil meaning of the contribution. This was where a big corporation contributed to both political parties. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 314; Nat. Ed. XX, 269.
See also Political Assessments.
If a campaign is honestly carried on the expenses, though heavy, are less than is commonly supposed. There is some indispensable work to be done which has to be paid for. Tens of thousands of ballots have to be printed, folded and sent out to every voter in the district; no light labor. At every polling place there ought to be at least one man especially charged with the interest of the candidate singly and provided with his ballots, so as to give members of the opposite party a chance, if they wish it, to vote for him without the rest of the ticket. This man has to have a booth, ballots, posters, etc., which again costs money. Then there must be some advertisement in the papers, and some pasting of placards. If there are political processions a candidate will bear his share in defraying the expenses; also, if for an important position he must have rooms hired for headquarters, and if he speaks will have to pay for the hall, etc.
But whenever possible volunteers should be chosen instead of paid workers; they are much more effective. (To Corinne Roosevelt Robinson, April 15, 1886.) Cowles Letters, 75.
____________. So far from its being true that there is any lavish and unusual expenditure of money at an American election, such as the National Election of 1904, the reverse is the fact. I was interested in comparing the figures which show that the expenditures in the presidential election of 1904 were less than the expenditures at the last preceding election for members for Parliament in the British Isles, although there is a very stringent corrupt practices act, and although the voting constituency in the British Isles is so much smaller. (Letter to Cornelius N. Bliss, 1906.) James K. Pollock, Jr., Party Campaign Funds. (Alfred A. Knopf, N. Y., 1926), pp. 177-178.
____________. It is particularly important that all moneys received or expended for campaign purposes should be publicly accounted for, not only after election, but before election as well. Political action must be made simpler, easier, and freer from confusion for every citizen. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 28; Nat. Ed. XVII, 20.
____________. I am with you on the question of the State paying the election expenses right away now. I have always stood for that course as the only one to give the poor man a fair chance in politics. (To William R. Nelson, July 1912.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, xxii.
The need for collecting large campaign funds would vanish if Congress provided an appropriation for the proper and legitimate expenses of each of the great national parties, an appropriation ample enough to meet the necessity for thorough organization and machinery, which requires a large expenditure of money. Then the stipulation should be made that no party receiving campaign funds from the Treasury should accept more than a fixed amount from any individual subscriber or donor; and the necessary publicity for receipts and expenditures could without difficulty be provided. (Seventh Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 541; Nat. Ed. XV, 461.
____________. I believe that political parties should be controlled by, and be paid for, as far as possible, by the actual men and women who vote at elections, in other words by the people. I do not insist upon any absolute equality in campaign gifts, add I am willing that the party should take the large campaign contribution, if honestly offered without condition or reservation, on exactly the same terms and in exactly the same spirit, as the small contribution. The real test of such gifts to a political party is the motive, not the size. (At Chicago, December 10, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 475; Nat. Ed. XVII, 351.
Canadian Northwest — Annexation of
It would have been well for all America if we had insisted even more than we did upon the extension northward of our boundaries. Not only the Columbia but also the Red River of the North—and the Saskatchewan and Frazer as well—should lie wholly within our limits, less for our own sake than for the sake of the men who dwell along their banks. Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba would, as States of the American Union, hold positions incomparably more important, grander, and more dignified than they can ever hope to reach either as independent communities or as provincial dependencies of a foreign power that regards them with a kindly tolerance somewhat akin to contemptuous indifference. Of course no one would wish to see these, or any other settled communities, now added to our domain by force; we want no unwilling citizens to enter our Union; the time to have taken the lands was before settlers came into them. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 197; Nat. Ed. VII, 170-171.
See Panama Canal
Candidates for Office
The most important thing for you. . . . to know [is] how the man you choose will conduct himself in the office to which he is elected. Now, to know this you must not only understand his views and principles, but you must also know how well his practice corresponds with his principles. This is the all-important fact, and yet it is not a fact which needs much elaboration. No amount of argument can prove it or is necessary to prove it. Far more important than the candidate's words is the estimate you are able to put upon the closeness with which his deeds will correspond to his words. No self-respecting man who is a candidate can state with exact minuteness what his line of conduct will be, because, while he must remain firm throughout in his adherence to the immovable principles of right, yet he must be prepared to meet the constantly shifting conditions of governmental life. It may, perhaps, be said without irreverence that a man should in his public as well as private life strive to conform his conduct to the principles laid down in those two ancient guides to conduct, the Decalogue and the Golden Rule. (Campaign speech, New York City, October 19, 1898.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 451-452; Nat. Ed. XIV, 298-299.
____________. Politicians proverbially like a colorless candidate, and the very success of what I have done, the number of things I have accomplished, and the extent of my record, may prove to be against me. (To Henry White, April 4, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 364; Bishop I,
See Business; Combinations; Stock- Watering; Wealth.
Capital and Labor
I represent neither capital nor labor; I represent every American citizen, be he laborer or be he capitalist. (In New York Assembly, April 18, 1883.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 33; Nat. Ed. XIV, 25.
____________. In our complex industrial civilization of today the peace of righteousness and justice, the only kind of peace worth having, is at least as necessary in the industrial world as it is among nations. There is at least as much need to curb the cruel greed and arrogance of part of the world of capital, to curb the cruel greed and violence of part of the world of labor, as to check a cruel and unhealthy militarism in international relationships. Outlook, May 7, 1910, p. 19.
Capital and Labor — Attitude Toward
In my judgment, the only safe attitude for a private citizen, and still more for a public servant, to assume, is that he will draw the line on conduct, discriminating against neither corporation nor union as such, nor in favor of either as such, but endeavoring to make the decent member of the union and the upright capitalists alike feel that they are bound, not only by self-interest, but by every consideration of principle and duty to stand together on the matters of most moment to the nation. (Letter of November 26, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 566; Nat. Ed. XX, 487.
____________. Sweeping attacks upon all property, upon all men of means, without regard to whether they do well or ill, would sound the death-knell of the Republic; and such attacks become inevitable if decent citizens permit rich men whose lives are corrupt and evil to domineer in swollen pride, unchecked and unhindered, over the destinies of this country. We act in no vindictive spirit, and we are no respecters of persons. If a labor union does what is wrong, we oppose it as fearlessly as we oppose a corporation that does wrong; and we stand with equal stoutness for the rights of the man of wealth and for the rights of the wage- workers; just as much so for one as for the other. We seek to stop wrong-doing; and we desire to punish the wrong-doer only so far as is necessary in order to achieve this end. We are the stanch upholders of every honest man, whether business man or wage-worker. (To Charles J. Bonaparte, January 2, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 523; Nat. Ed. XX, 450.
Capital and Labor — Organization of
We recognize the organization of capital and the organization of labor as natural outcomes of our industrial system. Each kind of organization is to be favored so long as it acts in a spirit of justice and of regard for the rights of others. Each is to be granted the full protection of the law, and each in turn is to be held to a strict obedience to the law; for no man is above it and no man below it. The humblest individual is to have his rights safeguarded as scrupulously as those of the strongest organization, for each is to receive justice, no more and no less. The problems with which we have to deal in our modern industrial and social life are manifold; but the spirit in which it is necessary to approach their solution is simply the spirit of honesty, of courage, and of common sense. (Speech accepting nomination, July 27, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 372; Bishop I, 323.
Capital and Labor—Problem of
How to secure fair treatment alike for labor and for capital, how to hold in check the unscrupulous man, whether employer or employee, without weakening individual initiative, without hampering and cramping the industrial development of the country, is a problem fraught with great difficulties and one which it is of the highest importance to solve on lines of sanity and far- sighted common sense as well as of devotion to the right. (Second Annual Message, Washington, December 2, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVII; 171; Nat. Ed. XV, 148.
Capital and Labor — Relations Between
It is essential that capitalist and wage- worker should consult freely one with the other, should each strive to bring closer the day when both shall realize that they are properly partners and not enemies. To approach the questions which inevitably arise between them solely from the standpoint which treats each side in the mass as the enemy of the other side in the mass is both wicked and foolish. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 335; Nat. Ed. XV, 287.
Capital and Labor.
See also Collective Bargaining; Employer; Industrial Revolution; Labor; Square Deal; Workers.
I have always felt impatient contempt for the effort to abolish the death penalty on account of sympathy with criminals. I am willing to listen to arguments in favor of abolishing the death penalty so far as they are based purely on grounds of public expediency. . . . But inasmuch as, without hesitation, in the performance of duty, I have again and again sent good and gallant and upright men to die, it seems to me the height of a folly both mischievous and mawkish to contend that criminals who have deserved death should nevertheless be allowed to shirk it. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 298; Nat. Ed. XX, 254, 255.
____________. My experience of the way in which pardons are often granted is one of the reasons why I do not believe that life imprisonment for murder and rape is a proper substitute for the death penalty. The average term of so-called life imprisonment in this country is only about fourteen years. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 351; Nat. Ed. XX, 301.
See also Criminals; Lynching.
See Class; Corruption; Profits; Property; Socialism.
Capitalist and Labor Leader
We can no more and no less afford to condone evil in the man of capital than evil in the man of no capital. The wealthy man who exults because there is a failure of justice in the effort to bring some trust magnate to an account for his misdeeds is as bad as, and no worse than, the so- called labor leader who clamorously strives to excite a foul class feeling on behalf of some other labor leader who is implicated in murder. One attitude is as bad as the other, and no worse; in each case the accused is entitled to exact justice; and in neither case is there need of action by others which can be construed into an expression of sympathy for crime. (Letter of April 26, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 563; Nat. Ed. XX, 484.
____________. Capitalist and labor leader alike should be held to the same course of conduct. Both must obey the law; and, on the other hand, each has the right temperately and truthfully to point out where a given interpretation of the law by a given man works injustice. (Outlook, February 25, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 114; Nat. Ed. XVII, 77.
A good capitalist, who employs his money and his leisure aright, is the most useful man we have. There are in this country but a very small number of great capitalists. I am not concerned for them, I am concerned for the great body of the people; because I know that the people cannot afford to go wrong or to do wrong. (At Utica, N. Y., September 29, 1896.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 393.
It is not necessary that the Van Hornes and the Jim Hills of the future shall receive the enormous financial reward they have had in the past; but it must be substantial, or they will not lead to success the business in which the brakemen, switchmen, engineers, firemen will, we hope, ultimately become part owners as well as workers. Such leadership is absolutely needed by the men below, and it must be handsomely paid for—there is no more mischievous form of privilege than giving equal rewards for unequal service, and denying the great reward to the great service. But it need not be a reward fantastically out of proportion to the reward of the men beneath. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 93; Nat. Ed. XIX, 80.
Capitalists and Government
From the railroad rate law to the pure food law, every measure for honesty in business that has been pressed during the last six years has been opposed by these men, on its passage and in its administration, with every resource that bitter and unscrupulous craft could suggest, and the command of almost unlimited money secure. These men do not themselves speak or write; they hire others to do their bidding. Their spirit and purpose are made clear alike by the editorials of the papers owned in, or whose policy is dictated by, Wall Street, and by the speeches of public men who, as senators, governors, or mayors, have served these their masters to the cost of the plain people. (To Charles J. Bonaparte, January 2, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 516; Nat. Ed. XX, 443.
____________. It is essential that we should wrest the control of the Government out of the hands of rich men who use it for unhealthy purposes, and should keep it out of their hands; and to this end the first requisite is to provide means adequately to deal with corporations, which are essential to modern business, but which, under the decisions of the courts, and because of the shortsightedness of the public, have become the chief factors in political and business debasement. Outlook, June 19, 1909, p. 392.
See also Financiers; Millionaires; Rights; Wall Street; Wealth.
There was Allyn Capron, who was, on the whole, the best soldier in the [Rough Rider] regiment. In fact, I think he was the ideal of what an American regular army officer should be. He was the fifth in descent from father to son who had served in the army of the United States, and in body and mind alike he was fitted to play his part to perfection. Tall and lithe, a remarkable boxer and walker, a first-class rider and shot, with yellow hair and piercing blue eyes, he looked what he was, the archetype of the fighting man. He had under him one of the two companies from the Indian Territory; and he so soon impressed himself upon the wild spirit of his followers, that he got them ahead in discipline faster than any other troop in the regiment, while at the same time taking care of their bodily wants. His ceaseless effort was so to train them, care for them, and inspire them as to bring their fighting efficiency to the highest possible pitch. He required instant obedience, and tolerated not the slightest evasion of duty; but his mastery of his art was so thorough and his performance of his own duty so rigid that he won at once not merely their admiration, but that soldierly affection so readily given by the man in the ranks to the superior who cares for his men and leads them fearlessly in battle. (1899.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 15; Nat. Ed. XI, 13.
See Monroe Doctrine.
Carlyle's singular incapacity to "see veracity", as he would himself have phrased it, made him at times not merely tell half-truths, but deliberately invert the truth. He was of that not uncommon cloistered type which shrinks shuddering from actual contact with whatever it, in theory, most admires, and which, therefore, is reduced in self- justification to misjudge and misrepresent those facts of past history which form precedents for what is going on before the author's own eyes. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 287; Nat. Ed. X, 187.
____________. I have also been reading Carlyle; and the more I read him the more hearty grows my contempt for his profound untruthfulness and for his shrieking deification of shams. . . . If only Carlyle were alive how I would like to review his Frederick the Great with the same freedom of epithet which he practised! and with all the sincerity and truthfulness to which he paid such lip service, and in the practice of which he so wholly failed. Some of his writing is really fine; his battles for instance. . . . What I can't stand is his hypocrisy; his everlasting praise of veracity, accompanying the constant practice of every species of mendacity in order to give a false color to history and a false twist to ethics. . . . When he speaks of his hero— indeed of any of his heroes—he always uses morality as a synonym for ruthless efficiency, and sincerity as a synonym for shameless lack of scruple; but in dealing with people whom he does not like, the words at once revert to their ordinary uses, and he himself appears as the sternest rebuker of evil and treachery. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, September 10, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 202-203; Bishop II, 173-174.
"Carry Your Own Weight."
See Jesuits; Rome.
Catholics in Public Life
You say that "the mass of the voters that are not Catholics will not support a man for any office, especially for President of the United States, who is a Roman Catholic." I believe that when you say this you foully slander your fellow countrymen. I do not for one moment believe that the mass of our fellow citizens, or that any considerable number of our fellow citizens, can be influenced by such narrow bigotry as to refuse to vote for any thoroughly upright and fit man because he happens to have a particular religious creed, Such a consideration should never be treated as a reason for either supporting or opposing a candidate for a political office. Are you aware that there are several States in this Union where the majority of the people are now Catholics? I should reprobate in the severest terms the Catholics who in those States (or in any other States) refused to vote for the most fit man because he happened to be a Protestant; and my condemnation would be exactly as severe for Protestants who, under reversed circumstances, refused to vote for a Catholic. In public life I am happy to say that I have known many men who were elected, and constantly re-elected, to office in districts where the great majority of their constituents were of a different religious belief. (To J. C. Martin, November 6, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 54; Nat. Ed. XVI, 47.
The best days of ranching are over; and though there are many ranchmen who still make money, yet during the past two or three years the majority have certainly lost. . . . Stock-raising as now carried on is characteristic of a young and wild land. As the country grows older it will in some places die out, and in others entirely change its character; the ranches will be broken up, will be gradually modified into stock-farms, or if on good soil, may even fall under the sway of the husbandman.
In its present form stock-raising on the plains is doomed, and can hardly outlast the century. The great free ranches, with their barbarous, picturesque, and curiously fascinating surroundings, mark a primitive stage of existence as surely as do the great tracts of primeval forests and, like the latter, must pass away before the onward march of our people; and we who have felt the charm of the life, and have exulted in its abounding vigor and its bold, restless freedom, will not only regret its passing for our own sakes, but must also feel real sorrow that those who come after us are not to see as we have seen, what is perhaps the pleasantest, healthiest, and most exciting phase of American existence. (1888.) Mem. Ed. IV, 388-389; Nat. Ed. I, 292-293.
Cattleman—Passing of the
For we ourselves and the life that we lead will shortly pass away from the plains as completely as the red and white hunters who have vanished from before our herds. The free, open-air life of the ranchman, the pleasantest and healthiest life in America, is from its very nature ephemeral. The broad and boundless prairies have already been bounded and will soon be made narrow. It is scarcely a figure of speech to say that the tide of white settlement during the last few years has risen over the West like a flood; and the cattlemen are but the spray from the crest of the wave, thrown far in advance, but soon to be overtaken. As the settlers throng into the lands and seize the good ground, especially that near the streams, the great fenceless ranches, where the cattle and their mounted herdsmen wandered unchecked over hundreds of thousands of acres, will be broken up and divided into corn land, or else into small grazing farms where a few hundred head of stock are closely watched and taken care of. Of course the most powerful ranches, owned by wealthy corporations or individuals, and already firmly rooted in the soil, will long resist this crowding; in places, where the ground is not suited to agriculture, or where, through the old Spanish land- grants, the title has been acquired to a great tract of territory, cattle ranching will continue for a long time, though in a greatly modified form; elsewhere, I doubt if it lasts out the present century. (1885.) Mem. Ed. I, 20- 21; Nat. Ed. I, 17.
See also Cow-Boys; Ranch Life; Round-Up.
I hope that an earnest effort will be made to endow chairs in American universities for the study of Celtic literature and for research in Celtic antiquities. It is only of recent years that the extraordinary wealth and beauty of the old Celtic Sagas have been fully appreciated, and we of America, who have so large a Celtic strain in our blood, cannot afford to be behindhand in the work of adding to modern scholarship by bringing within its ken the great Celtic literature of the past. (Before Society of Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, New York, March 17, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 50; Nat. Ed. XVI, 43.
See also Literature.
See Boasting; Criticism.
Chamberlain, Houston Stewart
Mr. Chamberlain's thesis is that the nineteenth century, and therefore the twentieth and all future centuries, depend for everything in them worth mentioning and preserving upon the Teutonic branch of the Aryan race. He holds that there is no such thing as a general progress of mankind, that progress is only for those whom he calls the Teutons, and that when they mix with or are intruded upon by alien and, as he regards them, lower races, the result is fatal. Much that he says regarding the prevalent loose and sloppy talk about the general progress of humanity, the equality and identity of races, and the like, is not only perfectly true, but is emphatically worth considering by a generation accustomed, as its forefathers for the preceding generations were accustomed, to accept as true and useful thoroughly pernicious doctrines taught by well-meaning and feeble-minded sentimentalists; but Mr. Chamberlain himself is quite as fantastic an extremist as any of those whom he derides, and an extremist whose doctrines are based upon foolish hatred is even more unlovely than an extremist whose doctrines are based upon foolish benevolence. Mr. Chamberlain's hatreds cover a wide gamut. They include Jews, Darwinists, the Roman Catholic Church, the people of southern Europe, Peruvians, Semites, and an odd variety of literary men and historians. (Outlook, July 29, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 196; Nat. Ed. XII, l07.
I want to see that hereafter no chaplain is appointed in the Army (and Navy) who is not a first-class man—a man who by education and training will be fitted to associate with his fellow officers, and yet who has in him the zeal and the practical sense which will enable him to do genuine work for the enlisted men. Above all, I want chaplains who will go in to do this work just as the best officers of the line or staff or the medical profession go in to do their work. I want to see that if possible we never appoint a man who desires the position as a soft job. How would it do to have the applicants of the different creeds pass some kind of examination before really high-grade clergymen of their own creeds? (To Secretaries of War and the Navy, June 10, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 218; Bishop I, 190.
Alike for the nation and the individual, the one indispensable requisite is character—character that does and dares as well as endures, character that is active in the performance of virtue no less than firm in the refusal to do aught that is vicious or degraded. (Outlook, March 31, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 502; Nat. Ed. XIII, 386.
____________. The foundation-stone of national life is, and ever must be, the high individual character of the average citizen. (At Washington, April 14, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 581; Nat. Ed. XVI, 424.
____________. Bodily vigor is good, and vigor of intellect is even better, but far above both is character. . . . In the long run, in the great battle of life, no brilliancy of intellect, no perfection of bodily development, will count when weighed in the balance against that assemblage of virtues, active and passive, of moral qualities, which we group together under the name of character. (Outlook, March 31, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 496; Nat. Ed. XIII, 381.
Character has two sides. It is composed of two sets of traits; in the first place the set of traits which we group together under such names as clean living, decency, morality, virtue, the desire and power to deal fairly each by his neighbor, each by his friends, each toward the State; that we have to have as fundamental. The abler, the more powerful any man is the worse he is if he has not got the root of righteousness in him. . . . In addition to decency, morality, virtue, clean living, you must have hardihood, resolution, courage, the power to do, the power to dare, the power to endure, and when you have that combination, then you get the proper type of American citizenship. (At Claremont, Cal., May 8, I903.) Theodore Roosevelt, California Addresses. (San Francisco, I903), pp. 22-23.
____________. By character I mean the sum of those qualities, distinct from the purely intellectual qualities, which are essential to moral efficiency. Among them are resolution, courage, energy, power of self-control combined with fearlessness in taking the initiative and assuming responsibility, and a just regard for the rights of others together with unflinching determination to one's self to succeed no matter what obstacles and barriers have to be beaten down—these qualities, and qualities such as these, are what rise to our minds when we speak of a man or a woman as having character, in contradistinction to one who possesses only intellect.. . . If the ordinary men and women of the republic have character, the future of the republic is assured; and if in its citizenship rugged strength and fealty to the common welfare are lacking, then no brilliancy of intellect and no piled-up material prosperity will avail to save the nation from destruction. Outlook, November 8, 1913, pp. 527, 528.
Character, Private, and Public Life
A man can of course hold public office, and many a man does hold public office, and lead a public career of a sort, even if there are other men who possess secrets about him which he cannot afford to have divulged. But no man can lead a public career really worth leading, no man can act with rugged independence in serious crises, nor strike at great abuses, nor afford to make powerful and unscrupulous foes, if he is himself vulnerable in his private character. . . . He must be clean of life, so that he can laugh when his public or his private record is searched; and yet being clean of life will not avail him if he is either foolish or timid. He must walk warily and fearlessly, and while he should never brawl if he can avoid it, he must be ready to hit hard if the need arises. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 102; Nat. Ed. XX, 87.
Character and Intelligence
Character is far more important than intellect to the race as to the individual. We need intellect, and there is no reason why we should not have it together with character; but if we must choose between the two we choose character without a moment's hesitation.·(North American Review, July 1895.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 128; Nat. Ed. XIII, 241.
____________. No man can reach the front rank if he is not intelligent and if he is not trained with intelligence; but mere intelligence by itself is worse than useless unless it is guided by an upright heart, unless there are also strength and courage behind it. Morality, decency, clean living, courage, manliness, self-respect—these qualities are more important in the make-up of a people than any mental subtlety. Outlook, April 23, 1910, p. 880.
____________. I am far from decrying intellect. I join with the world in admiring it and paying homage to it. Without it—above all, without its highest expression, genius—the world would move forward but slowly, and the purple patches in the gray garment of our actual lives would be sadly shorn of their glory. Nevertheless exactly as strength comes before beauty, so character must ever stand above intellect, above genius. Intellect is fit to be the most useful of servants; but it is an evil master, unless itself mastered by character. This is true of the individual man. It is far more true of the nation, of the aggregate of individuals. . . . From the standpoint of national greatness, neither the intellect which finds its expression in commercialism nor the intellect which finds its expression in artistic achievement can permanently avail unless based on a foundation of character. Outlook, November 8, 1913, p. 527.
Character and Law
In the last analysis, the most important elements in any man's career must be the sum of those qualities which, in the aggregate, we speak of as character. If he has not got it, then no law that the wit of man can devise, no administration of the law by the boldest and strongest executive, will avail to help him. We must have the right kind of character— character that makes a man, first of all, a good man in the home, a good father, a good husband—that makes a man a good neighbor. You must have that, and, then, in addition, you must have the kind of law and the kind of administration of the law which will give to those qualities in the private citizen the best possible chance for development. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 3I, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 30; Nat. Ed. XVII, 22.
____________. We are not proposing to substitute law for character. We are merely proposing to buttress character by law. We fully recognize that, as has been true in the past, so it is true now, and ever will be true, the prime factor in each man's or woman's success must normally be that man's or that woman's own character. . . . Nothing will avail a nation if there is not the right type of character among the average men and women, the plain people, the hard-working, decent-living, right- thinking people, who make up the great bulk of our citizenship. . . . In civil life, in the every-day life of our nation, it is individual character which counts most; and yet the individual character cannot avail unless in addition thereto there lie ready to hand the social weapons which can be forged only by law and by public opinion operating through and operated upon by law. (At Madison Square Garden, New York City, October 30, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 457; Nat. Ed. XVII, 335.
See also Citizenship; Courage; Education; Ideals; Intellectual Acuteness; Manhood; Manliness; Moral Sense; Morality; National Character; Self-Mastery; Success; Virtues.
In charity the one thing always to be remembered is that, while any man may slip and should at once be helped to rise to his feet, yet no man can be carried with advantage either to him or to the community. The greatest possible good can be done by the extension of a helping hand at the right moment, but the attempt to carry any one permanently can end in nothing but harm. (Century, October 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 434; Nat. Ed. XIII, 380.
____________. We must all learn the two lessons—the lesson of self-help and the lesson of giving help to and receiving help from our brother. . . . Yet, though each man can and ought thus to be helped at times, he is lost beyond redemption if he becomes so dependent Upon outside help that he feels that his own exertions are secondary. Any man at times will stumble, and it is then our duty to lift him up and set him on his feet again; but no man can be permanently carried, for if he expects to be carried he shows that he is not worth carrying. (At Labor Day Picnic, September 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 517; Nat. Ed. XIII, 488.
____________. The first duty of each one of you here is to carry your own weight—to carry yourselves. You are not going to be able to do anything for any one else until you can support yourselves and those dependent upon you. I do not want to see you develop that kind of idealism which makes you filled with vague thoughts of beneficence for mankind and an awful drawback to your immediate families. (At Clark University, Worcester, Mass., June 21, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XV, 578; Nat. Ed. XIII, 618.
____________. While every man needs at times to be lifted up when he stumbles, no man can afford to let himself be carried, and it is worth no man's while to try thus to carry some one else. The man who lies down, who will not try to walk, has become a mere cumberer of the earth's surface. (Before Young Men's Christian Association, New York City, December 30, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 528; Nat. Ed. XIII, 493.
____________. I think that the men and women who have made the subject of charities their special study in this State are to be congratulated for the steadiness with which they have refused to be led aside into that dangerous path which ends in the soup kitchen and pauperism. They ought to be congratulated for having kept steadily aloof from that kind of hysteric charity which is chiefly useful for purposes of advertisement, and it certainly is worse than useless from the standpoint of doing good. I think more and more we are realizing that in the long run the only way efficiently to help a man is to help him to help himself. There is no man who does not stumble. That includes not only those we are working for but all of us just as well: there is not one of us who does not stumble. There is not one of us who does not need to have a helping hand stretched to him at some time, and woe to the man who refuses to stretch that helping hand. Every man who stumbles needs to be helped on his feet. But you cannot carry him. If you try you hurt yourself and you hurt him more. If you teach him always to rely upon some one else you have ruined him for all time. It is the end of a man's being of use to himself or of use to any one else. (At Albany, N. Y., November 20, 1900.) Proceedings of the New York State Conference of Charities and Correction at the First Annual Session. (Albany, N. Y., 1901), pp. 6-7.
See also Brotherhood; Philanthropy; Self-Help .
See Nationalism; Patriotism.
See American, the Blatant.
Checks and Balances
See Division of Powers.
Cheming—Sinking of the
You cannot have good citizens, good men and women of the next generation, if the boys and girls are worked in factories to the stunting of their moral, mental and physical growth. Wherever the National Government can reach, it should do away with the evils of child-labor, and I trust this will be done; but much must be done by the actions of the several State Legislatures; and do, each of you, in your several States, all that you can to secure the enactment and then the enforcement, of laws that shall put a stop to the employment of children of tender age in doing what only grown up people should do. (Before International Congress on the Welfare of the Child, White House, March 10, 1908.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VII, 1675.
____________. I make an appeal for limiting by law the age under which children shall not be allowed to work, an appeal for limiting by law the hours that they shall be allowed to work in the daytime, and an appeal absolutely to prohibit by law working them at night.
I do not ask you to pay heed to anything I say, excepting as you judge it right in thinking of your own children. Are you content, would you be content to have your own children of tender age work even as much as sixty hours a week? Would you be content to have them work at night? Would you be content to have them work under a certain age? I only ask that you women and men, you mothers and fathers think of your own children, and see to it that the children of others, the children of the people of this generation who cannot help themselves, receive the protection by law that you are fortunate enough to be able to give in your own families to your own children.
You are able to protect your children yourselves. You are able to see that they have the chance to go to school, that they do not waste the best—"waste" is not the term—that they do not abuse and use up their young lives in labor when they are too young to work. You here can protect your children, and you do not need the state to step in to help you protect them. I ask you to see that the state, that the government that represents all of you, steps in to protect the other children who have not parents able and willing to protect them. (At Birmingham, Ala., March 10, 1911.) Uniform Child Labor Laws. Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Conference of the National Child Labor Committee. (Amer. Acad. of Pol. and Soc. Science, Phila., 1911), pp. 8-9.
Child Labor—Control of
New York State is behind in its child-labor laws; but there are some other States even farther behind. For seven years the National Child Labor Committee and other agencies have attempted to raise the age limit to fourteen years throughout the Union. Surely, that is low enough. Surely, no girl or boy should be allowed to work under the age of fourteen! . . . The employment of children of twelve or ten years in the cotton-mill industry is not only a disgrace to the employers and the community permitting it, but a reproach to the American public. Nor are cotton-mills the only offenders. Children as young as five and six years work all winter in oyster and shrimp canneries on the Gulf coast, in Florida and elsewhere. Thousands of them work all summer in Maryland and Delaware vegetable-gardens and canneries, and all winter in Southern packinghouses. No law protects them, yet the work in which they are engaged is often ruinous to their health. This is a democracy; the spring cannot rise higher than its source. What kind of government, what kind of social conditions will you have from an electorate where the grown men and women have spent their childhood in such fashion?
I lack power to paint for you the hideous misery and hopelessness of some of these children's lives. (At New York City, October 20, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 257-258; Nat. Ed. XVI, 192-193.
____________. The National Government has an ultimate resort for control of child labor the use of the interstate commerce clause to prevent the products of child labor from entering into interstate commerce. But before using this it ought certainly to enact model laws on the subject for the Territories under its own immediate control. (Seventh Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 514; Nat. Ed. XV, 438.
The way to give a child a fair chance in life is not to bring it up in luxury, but to see that it has the kind of training that will give it strength of character. (Before National Congress of Mothers, Washington, March 13, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 231; Nat. Ed. XVI, 169.
See also Boys; Education; Teachers.
As regards children, it is as essential to look after their physical as their mental training. We cannot afford to let children grow up ignorant; and if they are sent to school they cannot, while young, also work hard outside without detriment, physical, mental, and moral. There is urgent need for the health authorities to increase their care over the hygienic conditions and surroundings of children of tender years, and especially to supervise those in the schools. It is a good thing to try to reform bad children, to try to build up degenerate children; but it is an even better thing to try to keep healthy in soul, body, and mind those children who are now sound, but who may easily grow up unsound if no care is taken of them. . . . I am glad that there has been founded a national society of public-school hygiene, and I wish it, and all its branches, well in every way. There is increasing need that the welfare of the children should be effectively safeguarded by governmental action; with the proviso, however, that this action shall be taken with knowledge and in a spirit of robust common sense; for philanthropy, whether governmental or individual, is a curse and not a blessing when marked by a spirit of foolish sentimentality and ignorance. (At Jamestown Exposition, Va., June 10, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 238- 239; Nat. Ed. XVI, 176.
See also Playgrounds.
No quality in a race atones for the failure to produce an abundance of healthy children. (Forum, January 1897.) Mem., Ed. XIV, I46; Nat. Ed. XIII, 256.
____________. The nation's most valuable asset is the children; for the children are the nation of the future. All people alive to the nation’s need should join together to work for the moral, spiritual, and physical welfare of the children in all parts of our land. (At Jamestown Exposition, Va., June 10, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 239; Nat. Ed. XVI, 176.
We Americans are only on the threshold of the campaign for a better national life. We have only begun to consider our duty toward the child; to realize that the child-drudge is apt to turn into the shiftless grown-up; to realize that the child growing up in the streets has first-class opportunities for tending toward criminality; and, therefore, that playgrounds may be as necessary as schools. We have only begun to realize that the child's mother, if wise and duty-performing, is the only citizen who deserves even more from the state than does the soldier; and that, if in need, she is entitled to help from the state, so that she may rear and care for her children at home. (Metropolitan, May 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 97; Nat. Ed. XIX, 84.
There are many kinds of success in life worth having. It is exceedingly interesting and attractive to be a successful business man, or railroad man, or farmer, or a successful lawyer or doctor; or a writer, or a President, or a ranchman, or the colonel of a fighting regiment, or to kill grizzly bears and lions. But for unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison. . . . The country is the place for children, and if not the country, a city small enough so that one can get out into the country. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 381; Nat. Ed. XX, 327.
See also Birth Control; Books; Family; Home; Infant Mortality; Juvenile Courts; Marriage; Playgrounds.
"Children of the Crucible."
See American People.
The first thing that should be done at Washington is to pass the legislation for the establishment in the Department of Commerce and Labor of a bureau, the purpose of which shall be to gather full information, official information, as to the condition of children and of child legislation in all the States of the Union, a bureau to be known as the Children's Bureau. It is difficult to act in one State when you can't find out what is being done in other States, and it is a spur to action in each State if there is a means of effectively publishing at the national capital the shortcomings in that State. Five years ago, when I was President, I recommended on several different occasions to Congress, the enactment of such a law. But I was not always able to persuade Congress to look at things like that as I did! For five years the passage of that law has been successfully resisted, and, friends, the reason why, I firmly believe, is to be found in the fact that that law appeals to no great special interest. We can not make any selfish appeal for the passage of that law, and, on the other hand, every man who has a selfish interest in the exploitation of child labor is against the passage of that law. Therefore, I ask you to make the general interest of the community your special interest, and to see that there is pressure brought to bear for the passage of that law. (Before Civic Forum and the Child Welfare League, Carnegie Hall, N. Y. C., October 20, 1911.) Theodore Roosevelt, The Conservation of Womanhood and Childhood. (Funk & Wagnalls Co., N. Y., 1912), 15-17.
See Monroe Doctrine.
Chimney Butte Ranch
I first reached the Little Missouri on a Northern Pacific train about three in the morning of a cool September day in 1883. Aside from the station, the only building was a ramshackle structure called the Pyramid Park Hotel. I dragged my duffle-bag thither, and hammered at the door until the frowsy proprietor appeared, muttering oaths. He ushered me up-stairs, where I was given one of the fourteen beds in the room which by itself constituted the entire upper floor. Next day I walked over to the abandoned army post, and, after some hours among the gray log shacks, a ranchman who had driven into the station agreed to take me out to his ranch, the Chimney Butte ranch, where he was living with his brother and their partner.
The ranch was a log structure with a dirt roof, a corral for the horses near by, and a chicken-house jabbed against the rear of the ranch-house. Inside there was only one room, with a table, three or four chairs, a cooking-stove, and three bunks . . . .
After a buffalo-hunt with my original friend, Joe Ferris, I entered into partnership with Merrifield and Sylvane Ferris, and we started a cow-ranch, with the maltese-cross brand—always known as "maltee cross" by the way, as the general impression along the Little Missouri was that "maltese" must be a plural. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 113-114; Nat. Ed. XX, 97-98.
Chimney Butte Ranch
See also Bad Lands; Elkhorn Ranch; Life.
Our government has unswervingly advocated moderation and has materially aided in bringing about an adjustment which tends to enhance the welfare of China and to lead to a more beneficial intercourse between the empire and the modern world; while in the critical period of revolt and massacre we did our full share in safeguarding life and property, restoring order, and vindicating the national interest and honor. It behooves us to continue in these paths, doing what lies in our power to foster feelings of good-will, and leaving no effort untried to work out the great policy of full and fair intercourse between China and the nations, on a footing of equal rights and advantages to all. (First Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 158-159; Nat. Ed. XV, 136-137.
China is awakening. There is increasing contact with foreigners, increasing foreign trade, and a growing adoption of modern methods of communication and transportation, while some progress is being made in the introduction of laborsaving devices, with consequent industrial evolution. In over a hundred cities there is now a more or less successful effort to introduce a Western police system, and what this means for the preservation of order it is hardly necessary to point out. Much admirable evangelistic, educational, and medical missionary work is being done by the missionaries; and a part of this consists in the introduction and broadcast circulation of translations of the Bible and of Western literature. The attitude of the Chinese toward learning from the West has been utterly changed ever since August, 1901, when, by an imperial edict, the old-style literary examinations were abolished, and it was directed that future candidates, for degrees as well as for office, should write their essays on such modern topics as Western science, government, and laws. (Outlook, November 28, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 378- 379; Nat. Ed. XVI, 284-285.
Americans are doing much for securing Christian education among the Chinese. They are training many of the future leaders and thousands of the rank and file. In 1907 there were nearly thirty thousand Chinese students among the eleven hundred and fifty-three American educational institutions in China, which embraced kindergartens, primary schools, high schools, colleges, universities, normal, divinity, and trade schools. Many men who have received their early training at some one of the American schools or colleges in China are now mightily influencing the industrial, political, and moral life of their land. One of the most important fuctions of these schools has been to supply good native teachers for China, and their graduates are in constantly increasing demand. (Outlook, November 28, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 379-380; Nat. Ed. XVI, 285.
See also Open Door; Orient.
The boycott of our goods in China during the past year was especially injurious to the cotton manufacturers. This Government is doing, and will continue to do, all it can to put a stop to the boycott. But there is one measure to be taken toward this end in which I shall need the assistance of the Congress. We must insist firmly on our rights; and China must beware of persisting in a course of conduct to which we can not honorably submit. But we in our turn must recognize our duties exactly as we insist upon our rights. We can not go into the international court of equity unless we go in with clean hands. We can not expect China to do us justice unless we do China justice. The chief cause in bringing about the boycott of our goods in China was undoubtedly our attitude toward the Chinese who come to this country. This attitude of ours does not justify the action of the Chinese in the boycott, and especially some of the forms which that action has taken. But the fact remains that in the past we have come short of our duty toward the people of China. . . . I am convinced that the well- being of our wage-workers demands the exclusion of the Chinese coolies, and it is therefore our duty to exclude them, just as it would be the duty of China to exclude American laboring men if they became in any way a menace to China by entering into her country. The right is reciprocal, and in our last treaty with China it was explicitly recognized as inhering in both nations. But we should not only operate the law with as little harshness as possible, but we should show every courtesy and consideration and every encouragement to all Chinese who are not of the laboring class to come to this country. (At Atlanta, Ga., October 20, 1905.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers IV, 498-499.
The conditions in China are such that the entire coolie class, that is, the class of Chinese laborers, skilled and unskilled, legitimately come under the head of undesirable immigrants to this country, because of their numbers, the low wages for which they work, and their low standard of living. Not only is it to the interest of this country to keep them out, but the Chinese authorities do not desire that they should be admitted. At present their entrance is prohibited by laws amply adequate to accomplish this purpose. These laws have been, are being, and will be, thoroughly enforced. The violations of them are so few in number as to be infinitesimal and can be entirely disregarded. . . .
But in the effort to carry out the policy of excluding Chinese laborers, Chinese coolies, grave injustice and wrong have been done by this nation to the people of China, and therefore ultimately to this nation itself. Chinese students, business and professional men of all kinds—not only merchants, but bankers, doctors, manufacturers, professors, travellers, and the like—should be encouraged to come here, and treated on precisely the same footing that we treat students, business men, travellers, and the like of other nations. Our laws and treaties should be framed, not so as to put these people in the excepted classes, but to state that we will admit all Chinsee, except Chinese of the coolie class, Chinese skilled or unskilled laborers. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 375-376; Nat. Ed. XV, 320-321.
four per cent. After the rescue of the foreign legations in Peking during the Boxer troubles in 1900 the powers required from China the payment of equitable indemnities to the several nations, and the final protocol under which the troops were withdrawn, signed at Peking, September 7, 1901, fixed the amount of this indemnity allotted to the United States at over $20,000,000, and China paid, up to and including the 1st day of June last, a little over $6,000,000. It was the first intention of this government at the proper time, when all claims had been presented and all expenses ascertained as fully as possible, to revise the estimates and account, and as a proof of sincere friendship for China voluntarily to release that country from its legal liability for all payments in excess of the sum which should prove to be necessary for actual indemnity to the United States and its citizens.
This nation should help in every practicable way in the education of the Chinese people, so that the vast and populous empire of China may gradually adapt itself to modern conditions. One way of doing this is by promoting the coming of Chinese students to this country and making it attractive to them to take courses at our universities and higher educational institutions. Our educators should, so far as possible, take concerted action toward this end. (Seventh Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 571; Nat. Ed. XV, 486.
We came down the Rhine in a steamboat. The scenery was lovely, but no more so than the Hudson except for the castles. These "robber knight" castles are so close together that I always wonder where there was room for the other people whom the Robber Knights robbed. The Age of Chivalry was lovely for the knights; but it must have at times been inexpressibly gloomy for the gentlemen who had to occasionally act in the capacity of daily bread for their betters. It is like the purely traditional "Merry England" of the Stuarts, where the merriment existed only for the Stuarts, who were about the worst dynasty that ever sat on a throne. (To Anna Roosevelt, August 21, 1881.) Cowles Letters, 48.
Choate, Joseph H.
Mr. Choate was pre-eminently the good citizen, pre-eminently the man of stainless integrity, of a high-mindedness such that everyone who was in any shape or way associated with him took it for granted. It was a pleasure to be in the room with him; it was a pleasure to be associated with him in any way. . . . Choate, like Hay, was one of those very, very rare men who actually say the things that ordinarily we only read about in writings that tell of the sayings of the contemporaries of Horace Walpole. Both Choate and Hay actually said the things that the rest of us only think of afterwards and then wish we had said them at the time. (At memorial exercises for Joseph H. Choate, New York City, January 19, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XII, 542; Nat. Ed. XI, 268, 269.
Choate, Joseph H.
See also Panama Canal.
Christian, the True
The true Christian is the true citizen, lofty of purpose, resolute in endeavor, ready for a hero's deeds, but never looking down on his task because it is cast in the day of small things; scornful of baseness, awake to his own duties as well as to his rights, following the higher law with reverence, and in this world doing all that in him lies, so that when death comes he may feel that mankind is in some degree better because he has lived. (Before Young Men's Christian Association, New York City, December 30, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 535; Nat. Ed. XIII, 499.
We must be doers—not hearers only. I am sure every one who tries to be a good Christian must feel a peculiar shame when he sees a hypocrite, or one who so conducts himself as to bring reproach upon Christianity. The man who observes all the ceremonials of the laws of the church but who does not carry them out in his daily life, is not a true Christian. To be doers of the Word it is necessary that we must be first hearers of the Word. Yet attendance at church is not enough. We must learn the lessons. We must study the Bible, but we must not let it end there. We must apply it in active life. The first duty of a man is to his own house. The necessity of heroic action on a great scale arises but seldom, but the humdrum of life is with us every day. In business and in work, if you let Christianity stop as you go out of the church door, there is little righteousness in you. You must behave to your fellowmen as you would have them behave to you. You must have pride in your work if you would succeed. A man should get justice for himself, but he should also do justice to others. Help a man to help himself, but do not expend all your efforts in helping a man who will not help himself. (At Trinity Reformed Church, Chicago, early September 1901.) C. E. Banks and L. Armstrong, Theodore Roosevelt, Twenty-Sixth President of the United States. A Typical American. (Chicago, 1901), p. 163.
____________. Civilization can only be permanent and continue a blessing to any people if, in addition to promoting their material well-being, it also stands for an orderly individual liberty, for the growth of intelligence, and for equal justice in the administration of law. Christianity alone meets these fundamental requirements. (At celebration of Methodist Episcopal Church, Washington, January 18, 1909.) Mem. Ed.
XVIII, 352; Nat. Ed. XVI, 267.
____________. In the wreck of the Old World, Christianity was all that the survivors had to cling to; and the Latin version of the Bible put it at their disposal. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 606; Nat. Ed. XIII, 642.
____________. We need to have our Christianity made what it originally was, a religion primarily for the people as a whole; and, while it should meet the religious needs of every class, yet most of all should it keep in view the needs and hopes and desires and lives of those whom Abraham Lincoln called "the plain people." Outlook, January 27, 1912, p. 161.
Christianity as a Guide
Our success in striving to help our fellow-men, and therefore to help ourselves, depends largely upon our success as we strive, with whatever shortcomings, with whatever failures, to lead our lives in accordance with the great ethical principles laid down in the life of Christ, and in the New Testament writings which seek to expound and apply his teachings. Outlook, May 27, 1911, p. 224.
See also Bible; Church; Jesuits; Missionaries; Pioneer Preachers; Religion; Religious Teachers.
Christmas was an occasion of literally delirious joy. In the evening we hung up our stockings—or rather the biggest stockings we could borrow from the grown-ups—and before dawn we trooped in to open them while sitting on father's and mother's bed; and the bigger presents were arranged, those for each child on its own table, in the drawing-room, the doors to which were thrown open after breakfast. I never knew any one else have what seemed to me such attractive Christmases, and in the next generation I tried to reproduce them exactly for my own children. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 10; Nat. Ed. XX, 9.
I wonder whether there ever can come in life a thrill of greater exaltation and rapture than that which comes to one between the ages of say six and fourteen, when the library door is thrown open and you walk in to see all the gifts, like a materialized fairyland, arrayed on your special table? (To Corinne Roosevelt Robinson, December 26, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 514; Nat. Ed. XIX, 456.
Church—Function of the
A living church organization should, more than any other, be a potent force in social uplifting. Churches are needed for all sorts and conditions of men under every kind of circumstances; but surely the largest field of usefulness is open to that church in which the spirit of brotherhood is a living and vital force, and not a cold formula; in which the rich and poor gather together to aid one another in work for a common end. Brother can best help brother, not by alms-giving, but by joining with him in an intelligent and resolute effort for the uplifting of all. (McClure's, March 1901.) Mem. Ed. XV, 205; Nat. Ed; XIII, 267.
____________. The Church must be a living, breathing, vital force or it is no real Church. . . . Every serious student of our social and industrial conditions has learned to look with discomfort and alarm upon the diminishing part which churches play in the life of our great cities—for I need hardly say that no increase in the number of fashionable churches and of wealthy congregations in any shape or way atones for the diminution in the number of the churches in the very localities where there is most need for them. If ever the Christian Church ceases to be the Church of the plain people, it will cease to be the Christian Church. (Introduction dated April 7, 1906.) George Hodges and John Reichert, The Administration of an Institutional Church. (Harper & Bros., N. Y., 1906), p. ix.
____________. The church must fit itself for the practical betterment of mankind if it is to attract and retain the fealty of the men best worth holding and using. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 136; Nat. Ed. XIX, 135.
Church Activities—Participation in
The church is, of all places, that in which men should meet on the basis of their common humanity under conditions of sympathy and mutual self-respect. All must work alike in the church in order to get the full benefit from it; but it is not the less true that we have a peculiar right to expect systematic effort from men and women of education and leisure. Such people should justify by their work the conditions of society which have rendered possible their leisure, their education, and their wealth. Money can never take the place of service, and though here and there it is absolutely necessary to have the paid worker, yet normally he is not an adequate substitute for the volunteer. (McClure's, March 1901.) Mem. Ed. XV, 206-207; Nat. Ed. XIII, 268.
Church and State
Washington and his associates believed that it was essential to the existence of this Republic that there should never be any union of Church and State; and such union is partially accomplished wherever a given creed is aided by the State or when any public servant is elected or defeated because of his creed. (Before Knights of Columbus, New York City, October 12, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 454; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 389.
In this actual world a churchless community, a community where men have abandoned and scoffed at or ignored their religious needs, is a community on the rapid down grade.
It is perfectly true that occasional individuals or families may have nothing to do with church or with religious practices and observances and yet maintain the highest standard of spirituality and of ethical obligation.
But this does not affect the case in the world as it now is, any more than that exceptional men and women under exceptional conditions have disregarded the marriage tie without moral harm to themselves interferes with the larger fact that such disregard if at all common means the complete moral disintegration of the body politic. . . .
On Sunday go to church. Yes—I know all the excuses. I know that one can worship the Creator and dedicate oneself to good living in a grove of trees, or by a running brook, or in one's own house, just as well as in church. But I also know that as a matter of cold fact the average man does not thus worship or thus dedicate himself. If he stays away from church he does not spend his time in good works or in lofty meditation. He looks over the colored supplement of the newspaper; he yawns; and he finally seeks relief from the mental vacuity of isolation by going where the combined mental vacuity of many partially relieves the mental vacuity of each particular individual. Ladies' Home Journal, October 1917, p. 12.
Church in a Democracy
Under the tense activity of modern social and industrial conditions the church, if it is to give real leadership, must grapple zealously, fearlessly and cool-headedly with these problems. Unless it is the poor man's church it is not a Christian church at all in any real sense. The rich man needs it, heaven knows, and is needed by it. But unless in the church he can work with all his toiling brothers for a common end, for their mutual benefit and for the benefit of those without its walls, the church has come short of its mission and its possibilities. Unless the church in a mining town or factory town or railway center is a leading force in the effort to secure cleaner and more wholesome surroundings, moral and physical, for the people, unless it concerns itself with the people's living and working conditions, with their workshops and houses and playgrounds, it has forfeited its right to the foremost place in the regard of men.
By their fruits shall ye know them! We judge a man nowadays by his conduct rather than by his dogma. And, to keep its hold on mankind, the church must, as in its early days, obey the great law of service; for the church shall not live by ceremonial and by dogmatic theology alone.
There are plenty of clergymen of all denominations who do obey this law; they render inestimable service. Yet these men can do but little unless keen, able, zealous laymen give them aid; and this aid is beyond comparison most effective when rendered by men who are themselves active participants in the work of the church. Ladies' Home Journal, October 1917, pp. 12, 119.
See also Americanization; Bible; Catholics; Christianity; Pioneer Preachers; Sunday School.
See Episcopal Church; Lutheran Church; Methodist Church; Mormons.
I have never liked Winston Churchill, but, in view of what you tell me about his admirable conduct and nerve in mobilizing the Fleet, I do wish that if it comes your way you would extend to him my congratulations on his action. (To Arthur Lee, August 22, 1914.) From proof sheets of Viscount Lee of Fareham, Autobiography.
Citizen—Duty of the
The first lesson to be learned by every citizen who desires to bring about a higher life in our American cities is that he must take an active part in managing the affairs of his own city. He has got to take some little trouble to do this, but if he is worth his salt, and possesses that healthy combativeness which ought to be aroused in every decent man by the insolence of evil, he will soon find municipal politics extremely interesting. (Outlook, December 21, 1895.) Mem. Ed. XV, 141; Nat. Ed. XIII, 297.
____________. To take part in the work of government does not in the least mean of necessity to hold office. It means to take an intelligent, disinterested, and practical part in the every-day duties of the average citizen, of the citizen who is not a faddist or a doctrinaire, but who abhors corruption and dislikes inefficiency; who wishes to see decent government prevail at home, with genuine equality of opportunity for all men so far as it can be brought about; and who wishes, as far as foreign matters are concerned, to see this nation treat all other nations, great and small, with respect, and if need be with generosity, and at the same time show herself able to protect herself by her own might from any wrong at the hands of any outside power. (At the Harvard Union, Cambridge, February 23, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XV, 486; Nat. Ed. XIII, 562.
Citizen—Training of the
In such a Republic as ours the one thing that we cannot afford to neglect is the problem of turning out decent citizens. The future of the nation depends upon the citizenship of the generations to come; the children of to-day are those who to-morrow will shape the destiny of our land, and we cannot afford to neglect them. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 333; Nat. Ed. XV, 285.
Citizen, the Good
The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight—that he shall not be a mere passenger, but shall do his share in the work that each generation of us finds ready to hand; and, furthermore, that in doing his work he shall show not only the capacity for sturdy self-help but also self- respecting regard for the rights of others. (At banquet of Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, New York City, November 11, 1902.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers 1, 200.
____________. Back of the laws, back of the Administration, back of the system of government, lies the man, lies the average manhood of our people, and in the long run we shall go up or go down according as the average standard of our citizenship does or does not wax in growth and grace.
Now, when we come to the question of good citizenship, the first requisite is that the man shall do the homely, every-day humdrum duties well. A man is not a good citizen, I do not care how lofty his thoughts are about citizenship in the abstract, if in the concrete his actions do not bear them out. It does not make much difference how high his aspirations for mankind at large may be; if he does not behave well in his own family, those aspirations do not bear visible fruit. He has got to be a good breadwinner. He has got to take care of his wife and his children. He has got to be a neighbor whom his neighbors can trust. He has got to act squarely in his business relations. He has got to do those everyday, ordinary things first, or he is not a good citizen.
But he has got to do more than that. In this country of our the average citizen must devote a good deal of thought and time to the affairs of the State as a whole, or those affairs will go backward; and he must devote that thought and that time steadily and intelligently. Outlook, September 13, 1902, p. 117·
____________. The good citizen is the man who, whatever his wealth or his poverty, strives manfully to do his duty to himself, to his family, to his neighbor, to the State; who is incapable of the baseness which manifests itself either in arrogance or in envy, but who while demanding justice for himself is no less scrupulous to do justice to others. It is because the average American citizen, rich or poor, is of just this type that we have cause for our profound faith in the future of the Republic. (At State Fair, Syracuse, N. Y., September 7, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 63; Nat. Ed. XVI, 54.
____________. There are unfortunately a certain number of our fellow countrymen who seem to accept the view that unless a man can be proved guilty of some particular crime he shall be counted a good citizen, no matter how infamous the life he has led, no matter how pernicious, his doctrines or his practices. This is the view announced from time to time with clamorous insistence, now by a group of predatory capitalists, now by a group of sinister anarchistic leaders and agitators, whenever a special champion of either class, no matter how evil his general life, is acquitted of one specific crime. (At Pilgrim Memorial Monument, Province. town, Mass., August 20, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 96; Nat. Ed. XVI, 81.
____________. Each people can do justice to itself only if it does justice to others; but each people can do its part in the world movement for all only if it first does its duty within its own household. The good citizen must be a good citizen of his own country first before he can with advantage be a citizen of the world at large. (At the University of Berlin, May 12, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 285; Nat. Ed. XII, 84.
Citizen and Nation
A man must first care for his own household before he can be of use to the state. But no matter how well he cares for his household, he is not a good citizen unless he also takes thought of the state. In the same way, a great nation must think first of its own internal affairs; and yet it cannot substantiate its claim to be a great nation unless it also thinks of its position in the world at large. (Outlook, April 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 151; Nat. Ed. XVII, 108.
Good citizenship does not necessarily imply genius. Genius has been defined as an infinite capacity for taking pains, and good citizenship consists in the practice of ordinary, hum-drum, common virtues, which we all take for granted, and which, in practice, sad to say, all of us do not carry out.
Jefferson said that the whole art of government consists in being honest. That is not the whole art, but it is the foundation of all government. The foundation is not enough; but, if you do not have that, you cannot erect upon it any superstructure that is worth building. You must have honesty as the first requisite of good citizenship. We have too much of a tendency in this country to deify mere smartness, mere intellectual acumen, unaccompanied by morality. There is no attitude that speaks worse for a commonwealth than this of admiring, or failing to condemn, the man who is unconscientious, unscrupulous, and immoral, but who succeeds. If a man has not the root of honesty in him— has not, at the foundation of his character, righteousness and decency—then, the abler and braver he is, the more dangerous he is. It is an additional shame to a man that he should be evil, when he has in him the power to do much good. (At Trinity Methodist Church, Newburgh, N. Y., Feb. 28, 1900.) Ferdinand C. Iglehart, Theodore Roosevelt, The Man As I Knew Him. (The Christian Herald, N. Y., 1919), p. 144.
____________. We citizens of these peaceful days need first and foremost the moral quality; and next, back of that moral quality, the courage, moral and physical as well, that makes the moral quality count. Yet these qualities by themselves are not enough. The greatest patriotism and the greatest courage can be hopelessly marred by folly. None of you are worth anything as citizens, none of you can be worth anything as citizens, if you have not the fund of moral qualities which find expression in love of country, love of neighbors, love of home, which make you honest, decent, dean-living, right-thinking. None of you will be worth anything if in addition to those qualities you haven't the courage, physical and moral, without which no American citizen can do his full duty as a citizen. And yet, back of them and in addition to them we must have the sanity, the common sense, the just judgment, which neither hysterically overemphasizes nor blindly refuses to acknowledge the wrongs that exist and the ways in which those wrongs must be cured (At Oyster Bay, N. Y., July, 4, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 6; Nat. Ed. XVI, 5.
____________. I ask in our civic life that we... pay heed only to the man's quality of citizenship, to repudiate as the worst enemy that we can have whoever tries to get us to discriminate for or against any man because of his creed or his birthplace. (At Milwaukee, Wis., October 14, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 446; Nat. Ed. XVII, 324.
I ask that we see to it in our country that the line of division in the deeper matters of our citizenship be drawn, never between section and section, never between creed and creed, never, thrice never, between class and class; but that the line be drawn on the line of conduct, cutting through sections, cutting through creeds, cutting through classes; the line that divides the honest from the dishonest, the line that divides good citizenship from bad citizenship, the line that declares a man a good citizen only if, and always if, he acts in accordance with the immutable law of righteousness, which has been the same from the beginning of history to the present moment, and which will be the same from now until the end of recorded time. (At Spokane, Wash., May 26, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 21; Nat. Ed. XVI, 19.
Our public life depends primarily not upon the men who occupy public positions for the moment, because they are but an infinitesimal fraction of the whole. Our public life depends upon men who take an active interest in that public life; who are bound to see public affairs honestly and competently managed; but who have the good sense to know what honesty and competency actually mean. (At Groton School, Groton, Mass., May 24, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XV, 481; Nat. Ed. XIII, 558.
____________. In the long run, success or failure will be conditioned upon the way in which the average man, the average woman, does his or her duty, first in the ordinary, everyday affairs of life, and next in those great occasional crises which call for the heroic virtues. The average citizen must be a good citizen if our republics are to succeed. (At the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 352; Nat. Ed. XIII, 509.
____________. The fundamental evil in this country is the lack of sufficiently general appreciation of the responsibility of citizenship. Unfair business methods, the misused power of capital, the unjustified activities of labor, pork-barrel legislation, and graft among powerful politicians have all been made possible by, and nave been manifestations of, this fundamental evil. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 298; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 255.
Two or three years ago it was announced that Germany had passed a law by which she provided for her citizens, who became naturalized in the United States or elsewhere, the means of also retaining their German citizenship, so that these men would preserve a dual citizenship, what the Department of State . . . calls "a dual nationality." I hold that it was the business of our government as soon as this statement was published to investigate the facts, to require would-be citizens to repudiate this law, and to notify the German Government that we protested against and would refuse to recognize its action; that we declined to recognize or acquiesce in the principle of such a dual citizenship or a dual nationality; that we would hold naturalized citizens to the full performance of the duties of American citizenship, which were necessarily exclusive of and inconsistent with the profession of citizenship in or allegiance to any other nation, and that in return we would extend the same protection to these citizens that is extended to native- born citizens. Such action was not taken. It is a reproach to us as a nation that it was not taken. (Metropolitan, June 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 436; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 373.
Citizenship and Character
The division between the worthy and the unworthy citizen must be drawn on conduct and character and not on wealth or poverty. (Outlook, March 25, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 141; Nat. Ed. XVII, 100.
____________. The first essential toward the achievement of good citizenship is, of course, the building up of the kind of character which will make the man a good husband, a good father, a good son; which will make the woman a good daughter when she is young, a good wife and mother as she grows older. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 593; Nat. Ed. XIII, 630.
See also Aliens; Allegiance; Americanism; Americanization; Civic Duty; Cosmopolitans; Education; Government ; Nationalism; Nationality; Partisanship; Party Allegiance; Party System. CITY AND COUNTRY. It is unhealthy and undesirable for the cities to grow at the expense of the country. (Third Annual Message, Washington, December 7, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 220; Nat. Ed. XV, 189.
____________. In one sense this problem with which we have to deal is very, very old. . . . No nation can develop a real civilization without cities. Up to a certain point the city movement is thoroughly healthy; yet it is a strange and lamentable fact that always hitherto after this point has been reached the city has tended to develop at the expense of the country by draining the country of what is best in it, and making an insignificant return for this best....The problem does not consist merely in the growth of the city. Such a growth in itself is a good thing and not a bad thing for the country. The problem consists in the growth of the city at the expense of the country. (Outlook, August 27, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 191; Nat. Ed. XVI, 146.
City and Country
See also Country Life Commission; Farm Life; Roads.
The most serious disadvantage in city life is the tendency of each man to keep isolated in his own little set, and to look upon the vast majority of his fellow citizens indifferently, so that he soon comes to forget that they have the same red blood, the same loves and hates, the same likes and dislikes, the same desire for good, and the same perpetual tendency, ever needing to be checked and corrected, to lapse from good into evil. (At Labor Day Picnic, Chicago, September 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 510; Nat. Ed. XIII, 482.
City Life—Improvement of
There are many different ways in which a man or a woman can work for the higher life of American cities, and it would be worse than folly to expect the one who can do most in a certain line to devote an equal amount of attention to another line....The published studies of Mr.Jacob Riis show what almost infinite labor could be expended with profit by those willing to devote a portion of their time to bettering the material conditions of life for the bulk of the populations of our large cities. The improvement of tenement-houses; the establishment of many small parks, of free libraries, baths, concerts, and picture shows; the larger development of the noble work now done by the social, college and university settlements; in short, all movements in the interest of making the life of the day-laborer in our cities less onerous and more wholesome—these are subjects which may well claim the attention of all those who would advance the higher life of American cities. (Outlook, December 21, 1895.) Mem. Ed. XV, 142-143; Nat. Ed. XIII, 298-299.
See also Housing; Municipal Administration.
It is a good thing to appeal to citizens to work for good government because it will better their estate materially, but it is a far better thing to appeal to them to work for good government because it is right in itself to do so. Doubtless, if we can have clean, honest politics, we shall be better off in material matters....It is sometimes difficult to show the individual citizen that he will be individually better off in his business and in his home affairs for taking part in politics. I do not think it is always worth while to show that this will always be the case. The citizen should be appealed to primarily on the ground that it is plain duty, if he wishes to deserve the name of freeman, to do his full share in the hard and difficult work of self-government. He must do his share unless he is willing to prove himself unfit for free institutions, fit only to live under a government where he will be plundered and bullied because he deserves to be plundered and bullied on account of his selfish timidity and shortsightedness. A clean and decent government is sure in the end to benefit our citizens in the material circumstances of their lives; but each citizen should be appealed to, to take part in bettering our politics, not for the sake of any possible improvement it may bring to his affairs, but on the ground that it is his plain duty to do so, and that this is a duty which it is cowardly and dishonorable in him to shirk. (Forum, July 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 48; Nat. Ed. XIII, 34.
____________. Each of us has not only his duty to himself, his family, and his neighbors, but his duty to the State and to the nation. We are in honor bound each to strive according to his or her strength to bring ever nearer the day when justice and wisdom shall obtain in public life as in private life. We cannot retain the full measure of our self-respect if we cannot retain pride in our citizenship. For the sake not only of ourselves but of our children and our children's children we must see that this nation stands for strength and honesty both at home and abroad. (At Colorado Springs, Col., August 2, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XV, 327; Nat. Ed. XIII, 458.
____________. There is no truth more important than the truth that it is the performance of duty toward the Commonwealth, and not the unearned of unearned privilege from the Commonwealth, that breeds loyalty, devotion, patriotism. In a family, the father and mother who fail to rear their sons and daughters to recognize and perform their duties neither receive nor deserve the loyal devotion felt for the heads of the household where the whole household is trained to put duty ahead of pleasure. It is exactly the same with a nation. (New York Times, September 10, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 54; Nat. Ed. XIX, 46.
____________. If there is an equality of rights, there is an inequality of duties. It is proper to demand more from the man with exceptional advantages than from the man without them. A heavy moral obligation rests upon the man of means and upon the man of education to do their full duty by their country. (Atlantic Monthly, August 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 50; Nat. Ed. XIII, 36.
Civic Duty and Rights
I believe it is even more important for men to pay heed to their duties and to the rights of others than it is for them to pay heed to their own rights. But I believe also that they can only do their full duty when they enjoy fully their rights. (At St. Louis, Mo., March 28, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 239; Nat. Ed. XVII, 176.
See also Citizen; Citizenship ; Duty; Freedom; Government; Municipal Government; Party Allegiance; Party System; Political Duties; Politics; Rights; Self-Government; Suffrage; Voting.
See Public Buildings.
The State will be saved, if the Lord puts it into the heart of the average man so to shape his life that the State shall be worth saving, and only on those terms. We need civic righteousness. The best constitution that the wit of man has ever devised, the best institutions that the ablest statesmen in the world have ever reduced to practice by law or by custom, all these shall be of no avail if they are not vivified by the spirit which makes a State great by making its citizens honest, just, and brave. (At Washington, October 25, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XV, 465; Nat. Ed. XIII, 551.
The Federal Government can rarely act with the directness that the State governments act. It can, however, do a good deal. My purpose was to make the National Government itself a model employer of labor, the effort being to make the per diem employee just as much as the Cabinet officer regard himself as one of the partners employed in the service of the public, proud of his work, eager to do it in the best possible manner, and confident of just treatment. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 526; Nat. Ed, XX, 452.
See also Eight Hour Day; Government Employees; Open Shop; Political Assessments; Veterans.
Civil Service Commission
The purpose of the Civil Service Commission is to secure an absolutely non-partisan public service; to have men appointed to and retained in office wholly without reference to their politics. In other words, we desire to make a man’s honesty and capacity to do the work to which he is assigned the sole tests of his appointment and retention. In the departmental service at Washington we have succeeded in putting a nearly complete stop to removals for political purposes. Men are retained in the departments almost wholly without regard to politics. But it has been a matter of more difficulty to get them to come forward and enter the examinations without regard to politics.
The task set us is very difficult. We have to face the intense and interested hostility of the great mass of self-seeking politicians, and of the much larger mass of officeseekers, whose only hope of acquiring office rests in political influence, and is immediately cut off by the application of any, even the most modest, merit test. We have to overcome popular indifference or ignorance, and we have to do constant battle with that spirit of mean and vicious cynicism which so many men, respectable enough in their private life, assume as their attitude in public affairs. (Atlantic Monthly, July 1892.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 177-178; Nat. Ed. XIV, 115-116.
____________. You say that there is a growing contempt for the Civil Service Law. My experience is directly the opposite, and I am positive that the contempt of which you speak exists only in the minds of the very ignorant, and that these very ignorant are less numerous, so far as this subject is concerned, than they were only a few years ago, and grow less numerous year by year . . . .
There is no "shell separating the commission from the outer world." All that we do is perfectly open. The registers for the ordinary posi tions are made public as soon as the papers are marked. In the case of special examinations, where there would be a chance of exercising political pressure or personal favoritism, the registers are not made public until after the appointments have been made. (To Judson Grenell, April 29, 1895.) Clemens, W. M., Theodore Roosevelt, The American. (F. T. Neely, N. Y., 1899), p. 90.
____________. The public should exercise a most careful scrutiny over the appointment and over the acts of Civil Service Commissioners, for there is no office the effectiveness of which depends so much upon the way in which the man himself chooses to construe his duties. A Commissioner can keep within the letter of the law and do his routine work and yet accomplish absolutely nothing in the way of securing the observance of the law. The Commission, to do useful work, must be fearless and vigilant. It must actively interfere whenever wrong is done, and must take all the steps that can be taken to secure the punishment of the wrongdoer and to protect the employee threatened with molestation. (Scribner's, August 1895.) Mem. Ed. XV, 178-179; Nat. Ed. XIII, 101.
Civil Service Commissioner— Roosevelt as
I am having a hard row to hoe. I have made this Commission a living force, and in consequence the outcry among the spoilsmen has become furious; it has evidently frightened both the President and Halford [President Harrison's Secretary] a little. They have shown symptoms of telling me that the law should be rigidly enforced where people will stand it, and gingerly handled elsewhere. But I answered militantly: that as long as I was responsible the law should be enforced up to the handle every where; fearlessly and honestly. I am a great believer in practical politics; but when my duty is to enforce a law, that law is surely going to be enforced, without fear or favor. I am perfectly willing to be turned out—or legislated out—but while in I mean business. (To H. C. Lodge, June 29, 1889.) Lodge Letters I, 80.
____________. I am very glad to have been in this position; I think I have done good work, and a man ought to show that he can go out into the world and hold his own with other men. (To Anna Roosevelt, February 1, 1891.) Cowles Letters, 113.
____________. My task for the past two years has been simple. I have only had to battle for a good law; and though this meant drawing down on me the bitter animosities of the men who in New York, at least, control politics, it was easy to perform creditably, and offered no obstacles in the way of being misunderstood or misrepresented by men of standing and intelligence. (To H. C. Lodge, June 29, 1891.) Lodge Letters I, 113.
Civil Service Reform
Civil service reform is designed primarily to give the average American citizen a fair chance in politics, to give to this citizen the same weight in politics that the "ward heeler" has. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 158; Nat. Ed. XX, 136.
____________. People often speak of Civil Service Reform as if it were a matter of mere administration detail. People speak of it as "a good thing, of course”. “We believe in it, of course; not practical, but still, it is a good thing." They say that "doubtless it would be a little better to have it so." They admit that it "might make an improvement in the public service." They do not appreciate that it is not merely a question of changing the methods of administration, but that it is a question of substituting a system of equity and justice for a system of brutal wrong. It is a question of working a great benefit, not merely to the public service, but to our public life; it is a question of making politics purer; of making a man hold his head higher because he is an American citizen. I do not think—I know—that the American people, which is true at the bottom, although with many oddities on top, nevertheless at the bottom an honest people, believing in fair play—do not realize the meaning of “To the victors belong the spoils," for if they did, they would not tolerate the system for one moment. (At memorial meeting for G. W. Curtis, New York City, November 14, 1892.) Mem. Ed. XII, 486- 487; Nat. Ed. XI, 230.
____________. The civil service reform movement was one from above downward, and the men who took the lead in it were not men who as a rule possessed a very profound sympathy with or understanding of the ways of thought and life of their average fellow citizen. They were not men who themselves desired to be letter- carriers or clerks or policemen, or to have their friends appointed to these positions. Having no temptation themselves in this direction, they were eagerly anxious to prevent other people getting such appointments as a reward for political services. In this they were quite right. It would be impossible to run any big public office to advantage save along the lines of the strictest application of civil service re form principles; and the system should be extended throughout our governmental service far more widely than is now the case. (1913.) Mem. Ed.XXII,175; Nat. Ed. XX, 150.
Civil Service Reform—Purpose of
My object . . . is less to raise the standard of the civil service than it is to take the officeholders out of politics. It is a good thing to raise the character of our public employees but it is better still to take out of politics the vast band of hired mercenaries whose very existence depends on their success, and who can almost always in the end overcome the efforts of men whose only care is to secure a pure and honest government, for in such a contest the discipline of regulars, fighting literally for their means of livelihood, is sure in the end to overcome the spasmodic ardor of volunteers. (In New York Assembly, April 9, 1883.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 31; Nat. Ed. XIV, 23.
____________. It must always be remembered that the prime object of the reform under consideration is to take the Civil Service out of politics. To increase the efficiency and honesty of its management is of secondary importance, for the public service is already, for the most part, conducted with integrity and efficiency, and with reasonable economy. In all these respects it would probably compare favorably with the public service of almost any foreign nation; and at the time when the Pendleton Bill passed the Civil Service of the nation certainly stood uniformly higher, especially as regards honesty, than had been the case in time past . . . .
What made the reform vitally necessary to the well-being of the nation was the fact that the public service had by degrees been turned into a vast political engine; and thus even good public servants had become in many cases formidable instruments for thwarting the will of the people, and for debauching political life. In old times, when the law of the sword prevailed, rulers soon learned the value of a standing army of hirelings; and in turn the rulers of to-day, accommodating themselves to the changed conditions, relied for the perpetuation of their power largely upon the vast, well- organized horde of political mercenaries that were furnished ready to their hands by the system of appointing men to office under the State, not on the ground of merit, but for factional or personal reasons. Princeton Review, May 1886, pp. 363-364.
____________. Civil-service reform is not merely a movement to better the public service. It achieves this end too; but its main purpose is to raise the tone of public life, and it is in this direction that its effects have been of incalculable good to the whole community. (Scribner's August 1895.) Mem. Ed. XV, 177; Nat. Ed. XIII 100.
Civil Service Reform
See also Appointments; Boss; Cleveland, Grover; Machine; Merit System; Patronage; Political Assessments; Politics; Spoils System.
The Civil War was a great war for righteousness, a war waged for the noblest ideals, but waged also in thorough-going, practical fashion. That is why you won then—because you had the ideals, because you had the lift of soul in you, and because also you had the right stuff in you to make those ideals count in actual life. You had to have the ideals, but if you had not been able to march and shoot you could not have put them into practice. It was one of the few wars which mean, in their successful outcome, a lift toward better things for the nations of mankind. Some wars have meant the triumph of order over anarchy and licentiousness masquerading as liberty; some wars have meant the triumph of liberty over tyranny masquerading as order; but this victorious war of ours meant the triumph of both liberty and order, the triumph of orderly liberty, the bestowal of civil rights upon the freed slaves, and at the same time the stern insistence on the supremacy of the national law throughout the length and breadth of the land. Moreover, this was one of those rare contests in which it was to the immeasurable interest of the vanquished that they should lose, while at the same time the victors acquired the precious privilege of transmitting to those who came after them, as a heritage of honor forever, not only the memory of their own valiant deeds, but the memory of the deeds of those who, no less valiantly and with equal sincerity of purpose, fought against the stars in their courses. (At Gettysburg, Pa., May 30, 1904) Mem. Ed. XII, 607-608; Nat. Ed. XI, 324-325.
____________. The great Civil War was remarkable in many ways, but in no way more remarkable than for the extraordinary mixture of inventive mechanical genius and of resolute daring shown by the combatants. After the first year, when the contestants had settled down to real fighting, and the preliminary mob work was over, the battles were marked by their extraordinary obstinacy and heavy loss. In no European conflict since the close of the Napoleonic wars has the fighting been anything like as obstinate and as bloody as was the fighting in our own Civil War. In addition to the fierce and dogged courage, this splendid fighting capacity, the contest also brought out the skilled inventive power of engineer and mechanician in a way that few other contests have ever
done. . . .
The Civil War marks the break between the old style and the new. Terrible encounters took place when the terrible new engines of war were brought into action for the first time (1895.) Mem. Ed. IX, 162; Nat. Ed. X, I42.
Civil War-Cause of
You say that in no quarrel is the right all on one side, and the wrong all on the other. As regards the actual act of secession, the actual opening of the Civil War, I think the right was exclusively with the Union people and the wrong exclusively with the Secessionists; and indeed I do not know of another struggle in history in which this sharp division between right and wrong can be made in quite so clear-cut a manner (To James Ford Rhodes, November 29, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 402; Bishop I, 349.
Civil War-Heritage of
Dreadful was the suffering, dreadful the loss, of the Civil War. Yet it stands alone among wars in this, that now that the wounds are healed, the memory of the mighty deeds of valor performed on one side no less than on the other has become the common heritage of all our people in every quarter of this country. (At unveiling of monument to Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, Washington, D. C., November 25, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XII, 477; Nat. Ed. XI, 221.
____________. The Civil War has left, as all wars of brother against brother must leave, terrible and heartrending memories; but there remains as an offset the glory which has accrued to the nation by the countless deeds of heroism performed by both sides in the struggle. The captains and the armies that, after long years of dreary campaigning and bloody, stubborn fighting, brought the war to a close, have left us more than a reunited realm. North and South, all Americans, now have a common fund of glorious memories. We are richer for each grim campaign, for each hard-fought battle. We are the richer for valor displayed alike by those who fought so valiantly for the right, and by those who, no less valiantly, fought for what they deemed the right. We have in us nobler capacities for what is great and good because of the infinite woe and suffering, and because of the splendid ultimate triumph. We hold that it was vital to the welfare, not only of our people on this continent, but of the whole human race, that the Union should be preserved and slavery abolished; that one flag should fly from the Great Lakes to the Rio Grande; that we should all be free in fact as well as in name, and that the United States should stand as one nation—the greatest nation on the earth. But we recognize gladly that, South as well as North, when the fight was once on, the leaders of the armies, and the soldiers whom they led, displayed the same qualities of daring and steadfast courage, of disinterested loyalty and enthusiasm, and of high devotion to an ideal. (1895.) Mem. Ed. IX, 117-118; Nat. Ed. X, 103-104.
____________. The wounds left by the great Civil War, incomparably the greatest war of modern times, have healed; and its memories are now priceless heritage of honor alike to the North and to the South. The devotion, the self-sacrifice, the steadfast resolution and lofty daring, the high devotion to the right as each man saw it, whether Northerner or Southerner—all these qualities of the men and women of the early sixties now shine luminous and brilliant before our eyes, while the mists of anger and hatred that once dimmed them have passed away forever. All of us, North and South, can glory alike in the Valor of the men who wore the blue and of the men who wore the gray. Those were iron times, and only iron men could fight to its terrible finish the giant struggle between the hosts of Grant and Lee, the struggle that came to an end thirty-seven years ago this very day. To us of the present day, and to our children and children's children, the valiant deeds, the high endeavor, and abnegation of self shown in that struggle by those who took part therein will remain for evermore to mark the level to which we in our turn must rise whenever the hour of the nation's need may come. (At Charleston Exposition, S. C., April 9, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 31-32; Nat. Ed. XVI, 26-27.
____________. Rich and prosperous though we are as a people, the proudest heritage that each of us has, no matter where he may dwell, North or South, East or West, is the immaterial heritage of feeling the right to claim as his own all the valor and all the steadfast devotion to duty shown by the men of both the great armies, of the soldiers whose leader was Grant and the soldiers whose leader was Lee. The men and the women of the Civil War did their duty bravely and well in the days that were dark and terrible and splendid. We, their de scendants, who pay proud homage to their memories, and glory in the feats of might of one side no less than of the other, need to keep steadily in mind that the homage which counts is the homage of heart and of hand, and not of the lips, the homage of deeds and not of words only. We, too, in our turn, must prove our truth by our endeavor. We must show ourselves worthy sons of the men of the mighty days by the way in which we meet the problems of our own time. We carry our heads high because our fathers did well in the years that tried men's souls; and we must in our turn so bear ourselves that the children who come after us may feel that we too have done our duty. (At Jamestown Exposition, April 26, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XII, 592; Nat. Ed. XI, 311.
See also Army Officers; Confederates; Copperheads; Grand Army Of The Republic; Grant, U. S.; Lee, R. E.; Lincoln, A.; Patriotic Songs; Revolutionary War; Sectionalism; Sheridan, P. H.; Slavery; South; Veterans.
Material prosperity without the moral lift toward righteousness means a diminished capacity for happiness and a debased character. The worth of a civilization is the worth of the man at its center. When this man lacks moral rectitude, material progress only makes bad worse, and social problems still darker and more complex. Outlook, September 13, 1902, p. 121.
____________. No nation facing the unhealthy softening and relaxation of fibre which tend to accompany civilization can afford to neglect anything that will develop hardihood, resolution, and the scorn of discomfort and danger. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 311; Nat. Ed. III, 122.
We of the United States need above all things to remember that, while we are by blood and culture kin to each of the nations of Europe, we are also separate from each of them. We are a new and distinct nationality. We are developing our own distinctive culture and civilization, and the worth of this civilization will largely depend upon our determination to keep it distinctively our own. (Before Knights of Columbus, New York City, October 12, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 452; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 388.
The intrusion of an alien race into another civilization, its growth and supremacy and dying away, is of course curiously paralleled by what we see in the animal world, and the parallel is complete in at least one point—that is, in the fact that in such case the causes may be shrouded in absolute darkness. (To A. J. Balfour, March 5, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 125; Bishop II, 108.
See also City; Education; Expansion; History; Imperialism; Law; Missionaries; Primitive Society; Progress; Racial Decay; Wars Of Conquest; "Yellow Peril."
Clark, George Rogers
He was the sole originator of the plan for the conquest of the northwestern lands, and, almost unaided, he had executed his own scheme. For a year he had been wholly cut off from all communication with the home authorities, and had received no help of any kind. Alone, and with the very slenderest means, he had conquered and held a vast and beautiful region, which but for him would have formed part of a foreign and hostile empire; he had clothed and paid his soldiers with the spoils of his enemies; he had spent his own fortune as carelessly as he had risked his life, and the only reward that he was destined for many years to receive was the sword voted him by the legislature of Virginia. (1889.) Mem. Ed. X, 393-394; Nat. Ed. VIII, 343-344.
Any movement based on that class hatred which at times assumes the name of "class consciousness" is certain ultimately to fail, and if it temporarily succeeds, to do far-reaching damage. "Class consciousness," where it is merely another name for the odious vice of class selfishness, is equally noxious whether in an employer's association or in a working man's association. (Eighth Annual Message, Washington, December 8, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 595; Nat. Ed. XV, 506.
Class Consciousness of Capitalists
Too often we see the business community in a spirit of unhealthy class consciousness deplore the effort to hold to account under the law the wealthy men who in their management of great corporations, whether railroads, street-railways, or other industrial enterprises, have behaved in a way that revolts the conscience of the plain, decent people. Such an attitude cannot be condemned too severely, for men of property should recognize that they jeopardize the rights of property when they fail heartily to join in the effort to do away with the abuses of wealth. (Eighth Annual Message, Washington, December 8, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 581; Nat. Ed. XV, 494.
____________. Apparently these men are in fluenced by a class consciousness which I had not supposed existed in any such strength. They live softly. Circumstances for which they are not responsible have removed their lives from the fears and anxieties of the ordinary men who toil. When a movement is undertaken to make life a little easier, a little better, for the ordinary man, to give him a better chance, these men of soft life seem cast into panic lest something that is not rightly theirs may be taken from them. In unmanly fear they stand against all change, no matter how urgent such change may be. They not only come far short of their duty when they thus act, but they show a lamentable short- sightedness. (At Chicago, June 17, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 310; Nat. Ed XVII, 225.
Above all, we need to remember that any kind of class animosity in the political world is, if possible, even more wicked, even more destructive to national welfare, than sectional, race, or religious animosity. (Second Annual Message, Washington, December 2, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 172; Nat. Ed. XV, 149.
____________. There have been a great many republics before our time, and again and again these republics have split upon the rock of disaster. The greatest and most dangerous rock in the course of any republic is the rock of class hatred. Sometimes in the past the republic became a republic in which one class grew to dominate over another class, so that for loyalty to the republic was substituted loyalty to a class. The result was in such case inevitable. It meant disaster and ultimately the downfall of the republic, and it mattered not one whit which class became dominant; it mattered not one whit whether the poor plundered the rich or the rich exploited the poor. In either case, just as soon as the republic became one in which one class substituted loyalty to that class for loyalty to the republic, the end of the republic was at hand. No true patriot will fail to do everything in his power to prevent the growth of any such spirit in this country. (At banquet of Iroquois Club, Chicago, Ill., May 10, 1905.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers IV, 372.
____________ . [Our] greatest need . . . is to learn that there must be no division by class hatred, whether this hatred be that of creed against creed, nationality against nationality, section against section, or men of one social or industrial condition against men of another social and industrial condition. We must ever judge each individual on his own conduct and merits, and not on his membership in any class, whether that class be based on theological, social, or industrial considerations. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 224; Nat. Ed. XX 92.
Distrust above all other men the man who seeks to make you pass judgment upon your fellow citizens upon any ground of artificial distinction between you and them. Distrust the man who seeks to get you to favor them or discriminate against them either because they are well off or not well off, because they occupy one social position or another, because they live in one part of the country or another, or because they profess one creed or another. (At unveiling of monument to dead of 1st U. S. Volunteer Cavalry, Arlington, April 12, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XII, 628; Nat. Ed. XI, 342.
The gravest wrong upon his country is inflicted by that man, whatever his station, who seeks to make his countrymen divide primarily on the line that separates class from class, occupation from occupation, men of more wealth from men of less wealth, instead of
remembering that the only safe standard is that which judges each man on his worth as a man, whether he be rich or poor, without regard to his profession or to his station in life. . . . There is no greater need to-day than the need to keep ever in mind the fact that the cleavage between right and wrong, between good citizenship and bad citizenship, runs at right angles to, and not parallel with, the lines of cleavage between class and class, between occupation and occupation. Ruin looks us in the face if we judge a man by his position instead of judging him by his conduct in that position. (At the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 370; Nat. Ed. XIII, 524.
Class Lines—Danger of
We can keep our government on a sane and healthy basis, we can make and keep our social system what it should be, only on condition of judging each man, not as a member of a class, but on his worth as a man. It is an infamous thing in our American life, and fundamentally treacherous to our institutions, to apply to any man any test save that of his personal worth, or to draw between two sets of men any distinction save the distinction of conduct, the distinction that marks off those who do well and wisely from those who do ill and foolishly. There are good citizens and bad citizens in every class as in every locality, and the attitude of decent people toward great public and social questions should be determined, not by the accidental questions of employment or locality, but by those deep-set principles which represent the innermost souls of men. The failure in public and in private life thus to treat each man on his own merits, the recognition of this government as being either for the poor as such or for the rich as such, would prove fatal to our Republic, as such failure and such recognition have always proved fatal in the past to other republics. (At State Fair, Syracuse, N. Y., September 7, 1903;) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 59; Nat. Ed. XVI, 51.
____________. We must now see that there never comes any spirit of class antagonism in this country, any spirit of hostility between capitalist and wage- worker, between employer and employed; and we can avoid the upgrowth of any such feeling by remembering always to treat each man on his worth as a man. Do not hold it for him or against him that he is either rich or poor. If he is a crooked man and rich, hold it against him, not because he is rich, but because he is crooked. If he is not a rich man and crooked, hold it against him, still because he is crooked. If he is a square man, no matter how much or how little money he has, stand by him because he is a square man. Distrust more than any other man in this Republic the man who would try to teach Americans to substitute loyalty to any class for loyalty to the whole American people. Republics have flourished before now, and have fallen; and they have usually fallen because there arose within them parties that represented either the unscrupulous rich or the unscrupulous poor, and that persuaded the majority of the people to substitute loyalty to the one class for loyalty to the people as a whole. (At City Park, Little Rock, Ark., October 25, 1905.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers IV, 533-534.
Class Lines in Politics
Any organization which tries to work along the line of caste or creed, which fails to treat all American citizens on their merits as men, will fail, and will deserve to fail. Where our political life is healthy, there is and can be no room for any movement organized to help or to antagonize men because they do or do not profess a certain religion, or because they were or were not born here or abroad. . . . There must be no discrimination for or against any man because of his social standing.
On the one side, there is nothing to be made out of a political organization which draws an exclusive social line, and on the other it must be remembered that it is just as un-American to vote against a man because he is rich as to vote against him because he is poor. The one has just as much right as the other to claim to be treated purely on his merits as a man. In short, to do good work in politics, the men who organize must organize wholly without regard to whether their associates were born here or abroad, whether they are Protestants or Catholics, Jews or Gentiles, whether they are bankers or butchers, professors or day-laborers. (Forum, July 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 45; Nat. Ed. XIII, 31.
____________. The prime lesson to be taught is the lesson of treating each man on his worth as a man. . . . In the long run our safety lies in recognizing the individual's worth or lack of worth as the chief basis of action, and in shaping our whole conduct, and especially our political conduct, accordingly. It is impossible for a democracy to endure if the political lines are drawn to coincide with class lines. (Century, January 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 410; Nat. Ed. XIII, 360.
____________. The real trouble with us is that some classes have had too much voice. One of the most important of all the lessons to be taught and to be learned is that a man should vote, not as a representative of a class, but merely as a good citizen, whose prime interests are the same as those of all other good citizens. The belief in different classes, each having a voice in the government, has given rise to much of our present difficulty; for whosoever believes in these separate classes, each with a voice, inevitably, even although unconsciously, tends to work, not for the good of the whole people, but for the protection of some special class—usually that to which he himself belongs. (At Carnegie Hall, New York City, March 20, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 210; Nat. Ed. XVII, 159.
Classes in a Republic
No republic can permanently exist when it becomes a republic of classes, where the man feels not the interest of the whole people, but the interest of the particular class to which he belongs, or fancies that he belongs, as being of prime importance. (At Lafayette Opera House, Washington, November 22, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XV, 436; Nat, Ed. XIII, 531.
Classes in America and Europe
There are really no classes in our American life in the sense in which the word "class" is used in Europe. Our social and political systems do not admit of them in theory, and in practice they exist only in a very fluid state. In most European countries classes are separated by rigid boundaries, which can be crossed but rarely, and with the utmost difficulty and peril. Here the boundaries cannot properly be said to exist, and are certainly so fluctuating and evasive, so indistinctly marked, that they cannot be appreciated when seen near by. Any American family which lasts a few generations will be apt to have representatives in all the different classes. The great business men, even the great professional men, and especially the great statesmen and sailors and soldiers, are very apt to spring from among the farmers or wage-workers, and their kinsfolk remain near the old home or at the old trade. If ever there existed in the world a community where the identity of interest, of habit, of principle, and of ideals should be felt as a living force, ours is the one. (Century, January 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 407; Nat. Ed. XIII, 357.
See also Capitalists; Equality; Fellow -Feeling; Governing Class; Labor; Legislation; Loyalty; Middle Class; Workers.
See Panama Canal.
I do not think he is a demagogue; I do think he is a Democratic politician. Now, in the first place, it is necessary for me to say that in his personal relations with me he has always been most courteous and most considerate. He has been a good governor for a Democrat, but there has been nothing whatever in his past career to warrant us in saying that he will be able to resist the pressure of his party, that he will have the power to resist the almost incalculable pressure that will be brought to bear upon him if he is elected. He came in upon an enormous wave of popular approval in New York; or to speak more accurately, I should say, an enormous wave of popular disapproval of the Republican candidacy. . . .
His career can be roughly divided into two Parts— first of all, his actions prior to the 1st of last March, when he was not talked about as the Democratic candidate; secondly, his actions after the 1st of March, and his actions after that were widely different from his actions before. He has done some very good things during the career as governor. For instance he recommended to the first legislature, which was Democratic, that it should take in hand and execute certain reforms. That legislature failed to adopt those reforms, but the next legislature—which was Republican—took them up and put them through. Then the governor approved part of them—those that did not bear too harshly on the Democratic organization. (Before Republican meeting, Malden, Mass., October 20, 1884.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 82-83; Nat. Ed. XIV, 47.
____________. Like all others who were thrown closely with him, I was much impressed by his high standard of official conduct and his rugged strength of character. Not only did I become intimately acquainted with the manner in which he upheld and enforced the civil service law, but I also saw at close quarters his successful fight against free silver, and the courage with which he, aided by men like the late Senator Cushman K. Davis of Minnesota, supported the judiciary at the time of the Chicago riot; and, finally, I happened to be in a position in which I knew intimately how he acted and the reasons why he acted in the Venezuelan matter. This knowledge gained at first hand enables me to bear testimony, which I am more than glad to bear, to the late President's earnest purpose to serve the whole country, and the high courage with which he encountered every species of opposition and attack. . . .
All Americans should pay honor to the memory of Mr. Cleveland because of the simplicity and dignity with which as ex-President he led his life in the beautiful college town wherein he elected to live. He had been true to the honorable tradition which has kept our Presidents from making money while in office. His life was therefore, of necessity very simple; but it was the kind of life which it is a good thing to see led by any man who has held a position such as he held. (Letter to F. L. Stetson, November 16, 1908; read at Carnegie Hall, March 18, 1909.) The Grover Cleveland Memorial. (New York, 1910), pp. 38-40.
Cleveland and the Civil Service
Doubtless, President Cleveland meant to make good his original pledges concerning the civil service; doubtless no one regrets more than himself his inability to stand up against the pressure of the spoilsmen within his own party; but the fact remains that he has signally failed thus to make good his pledges; that his acts have been absolutely at variance with his words; that hardly ever has an Administration been more false to its promises on any subject than this Administration has shown itself to be on the question of civil-service reform. (Before Union League Club, New York City, January 11, 1888.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 132; Nat. Ed. XIV, 79-80.
Cleveland and the Silver Question
During the last campaign I grew more and more to realize the very great service you had rendered to the whole country by what you did about free silver. As I said to a Republican audience in South Dakota, I think your letter on free silver prior to your second nomination was as bold a bit of honest writing as I have ever seen in American public life. And more than anything else it put you in the position of doing for the American public in this matter of free silver what at that time no other man could have done. I think now we have definitely won out on the free-silver business and, therefore, I think you are entitled to thanks and congratulations. (To Grover Cleveland, November 22, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 169; Bishop I, 145.
See also Altgeld, John Peter; Election of 1884.
See Mineral Fuels; Oil.
The coal operators are not combined so as to enable us legally to call them a trust; and if they were, all that we could do would be to proceed against them under the law against trusts, and whatever might be the effect as between them and the consumers in ordinary times, such a proceeding would damage, slightly at least, both them and the working miners, and would therefore have no possible effect of a favorable nature upon the present strike even if it were not improper to take it. There is literally nothing, so far as I have yet been able to find out, which the national government has any power to do in the matter. Nor can I even imagine any remedial measure of immediate benefit that could be taken in Congress. That it would be a good thing to have national control, or at least supervision, over these big coal corporations, I am sure; but that would simply have to come as an incident of the general movement to exercise control over such corporations. (To H. C. Lodge, September 27, 1902.) Lodge Letters I, 533.
____________. What gives me the greatest concern at the moment is the coal famine. Of course, we have nothing whatever to do with this coal strike and no earthly responsibility for it. But the public at large will tend to visit upon our heads responsibility for the shortage in coal precisely as Kansas and Nebraska visited upon our heads their failure to raise good crops in the arid belt, eight, ten, or a dozen years ago. I do not see what I can do, and I know the coal operators are especially distrustful of anything which they regard as in the nature of political interference. But I do most earnestly feel that from every consideration of public policy and of good morals they should make some slight concession (To Mark Hanna, September 27, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 230; Bishop I, 200.
____________. I disclaim any right or duty to intervene in this way upon legal grounds or upon any official relation that I bear to the situation; but the urgency and the terrible nature of the catastrophe impending over a large portion of our people in the shape of a winter fuel famine impel me, after much anxious thought, to believe that my duty requires me to use whatever influence I personally can to bring to an end a situation which has become literally intolerable. With all the earnestness there is in me I ask that there be an immediate resumption of operations in the coal-mines in some such way as will, without a day's unnecessary delay, meet the crying needs of the people. I do not invite a discussion of your respective claims and positions. I appeal to your patriotism, to the spirit that sinks personal consideration and makes individual sacrifices for the general good. (Address to representatives of miners and operators, Washington, October 3, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 232; Bishop I, 202.
____________. Well, I have tried and failed. I feel downhearted over the result, both because of the great misery made for the mass of our people, and because the attitude of the operators will beyond a doubt double the burden on us while standing between them and socialistic action. But I am glad I tried anyhow. I should have hated to feel that I had failed to make any effort. What my next move will be I cannot yet say. I feel most strongly that the attitude of the operators is one which accentuates the need of the Government having some power of supervision and regulation over such corporations. I should like to make a fairly radical experiment on the anthracite-coal companies to start with! At the meeting to-day the operators assumed a fairly hopeless attitude. None of them appeared to such advantage as Mitchell, whom most of them denounced with such violence and rancor that I felt he did very well to keep his temper. Between times they insulted me for not preserving order (and they evidently ignored such a trifling detail as the United States Constitution) and attacked Knox for not having brought suit against the Miners' Union as violating the Sherman Antitrust Law. (To Mark Hanna, October 3, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 233; Bishop I, 203.
____________. I am very reluctant in view of the operators' attitude toward me to propose any plan to them at all. Curiously enough, if they had given me an opportunity I should have proposed just the plan you outlined, that is, that there should be a resumption of operations until April first, up to which time the two parties might seek to reach an agreement; and then, when the distress of the public would not be so terrible on account of the approach of warm weather, there would be less damage from their going on with their quarrel. . . . I think I shall now tell Mitchell that if the miners will go back to work I will appoint a commission to investigate the whole situation and will do whatever in my power lies to have the findings of such commission favorably acted upon. This seems to be the only step I can now take, or at least the best step at the moment to take. I feel the gravest apprehension concerning the misery pending over so many people this winter and the consequent rioting which may and probably will ensue. (To Grover Cleveland October 5, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 237; Bishop I, 207.
____________. The situation is bad, especially because it is possible it may grow infinitely worse. If when the severe weather comes on there is a coal famine I dread to think of the suffering, in parts of our great cities especially, and I fear there will be fuel riots of as bad a type as any bread riots we have ever seen. Of course, once the rioting has begun, once there is a resort to mob violence, the only thing to do is to maintain order. It is a dreadful thing to be brought face to face with the necessity of taking measures, however unavoidable, which will mean the death of men who have been maddened by want and suffering. (To Robert Bacon, October 5, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 238; Bishop I, 208.
____________. I am feeling my way step by step trying to get a solution of the coal matter. Most of my correspondents wish me to try something violent or impossible. A minor but very influential part desire that I send troops at once without a shadow of warrant into the coal districts, or that I bring suit against the labor organization. The others demand that I bring suit against the operators, or that under the law of eminent domain, or for the purpose of protecting the public health, I seize their property, or appoint a receiver, or do something else that is wholly impossible. My great concern is, of course, to break the famine; but I must not be drawn into any violent step which would bring reaction and disaster afterward. (To Henry Cabot Lodge, October 7, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 239; Bishop 1, 208.
____________. The situation in the coal strike has been as difficult as it well could be. I do not know that I have ever had a more puzzling or a more important problem to deal with. One great trouble was that the little world in which the operators moved was absolutely out of touch with the big world that included practically all the rest of the country. . . .
The trouble with the excellent gentlemen who said that they would far rather die of cold than yield on such a high principle as recognizing arbitration with these striking miners, was, that they were not in danger of dying of cold. They would pay extra for their coal and would get insufficient quantities and would suffer discomfort; but the poorer people around about them would and could get no coal and with them it would not be discomfort but acute misery and loss of life. In other words, these people really meant that they would rather somebody else should die of cold than that they should yield. Such a position was impossible.
Now the operators have acceded (and parenthetically, may Heaven preserve me from ever again dealing with so wooden-headed a set, when I wish to preserve their interests); and Mitchell has yielded. If the miners do not back him up, we have at any rate made an enormous stride in advance, for we have the issue of right and wrong clearly defined, and I think that the strike will practically be broken. But I earnestly hope that the miners will back him up and that in a day or two the strike will be over. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, October 16, 1902.) Cowles Letters, 252-254.
____________. I am being very much over-praised by everybody, and although I suppose I like it, it makes me feel uncomfortable too. Mind you, I speak the literal truth when I say I know perfectly well I do not deserve what is said of me. It really seems to me that any man of average courage and common-sense, who felt as deeply as I did the terrible calamity impending over our people, would have done just what I did. (To J. B. Bishop, October 18, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 249; Bishop I, 217.
____________. I believe what I did in settling the anthracite-coal strike was a matter of
very real moment from the standpoint not only of industrial but of social reform and progress. (To Sidney Brooks, December 28, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 151; Bishop II, 129.
____________. First and foremost, my concern was to avert a frightful calamity to the United States. In the next place I was anxious to save the great coal operators and all of the class of big propertied men, of which they were members, from the dreadful punishment which their own folly would have brought on them if I had not acted; and one of the exasperating things was that they were so blinded that they could not see that I was trying to save them from themselves and to avert, not only for their sakes, but for the sake of the country, the excesses which would have been indulged in at their expense if they had longer persisted in their conduct. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 536; Nat. Ed. XX, 461.
I want to make a suggestion. It seems to me worth while to try for a really good coinage; though I suppose there will be a revolt about it! I was looking at some gold coins of Alexander the Great to-day, and I was struck by their high relief. Would it not be well to have our coins in high relief, and also to have the rims raised? The point of having the rims raised would be, of course, to protect the figure on the coin; and if we have the figures in high relief, like the figures on the old Greek coins, they will surely last longer. (To Augustus Saint-Gaudens, November 6, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 413; Bishop I, 359.
____________. I am so glad you like the head of Liberty with the feather head-dress. Really, the feather head-dress can be treated as being the conventional cap of Liberty quite as much as if it was the Phrygian cap; and, after all, it is our Liberty—not what the ancient Greeks and Romans miscalled by that title—and we are entitled to a typically American head-dress for the lady. (To Augustus SaintGaudens, March 14, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 416; Bishop I, 361.
See also "In God We Trust ."
There must . . . be collective action. This need of collective action is in part supplied by the unions, which, although they have on certain points been guilty of grave shortcomings, have nevertheless on the whole rendered inestimable service to the working man. In addition, there must be collective action through the government, the agent of all of us. (Outlook , February 4, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 104; Nat. Ed. XVII, 69.
See also Contract; Individualism; Laissez-Faire.
Wages and other most important conditions of employment must remain largely outside of governmental control and be left for adjustment by free contract between employer and employee, with the important proviso that there should be legislation to prevent the conditions that compel men and women to accept wages that represent less than will insure a decent living. But the question of contract between employer and employee should not be left to individual action, for under modern industrial conditions the individual is often too weak to guard his own rights as against a strongly organized body or a great capitalist. In the present state of society, and until we advance much farther than at present along lines of genuine altruism, there must be effective and organized collective action by the wage-workers in great industrial enterprises. They must act jointly through the process of collective bargaining. Only thus can they be put upon a plane of economic equality with their corporate employers. Capital is organized, and the laborer can secure proper liberty and proper treatment only if labor organizes also. (Outlook, February 4, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 108; Nat. Ed. XVII, 72.
____________. Labor likewise should have full right to co-operate and combine and full right to collective bargaining and collective action, subject always, as in the case of capital, to the paramount general interest of the public, of the Commonwealth; and the prime feature of this paramount general interest is that each man shall do justice and shall receive justice. (Before Republican State Convention, Saratoga Springs, N. Y., July 18, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 401; Nat. Ed. XIX, 364.
See also Capital And Labor; Coal Strike; Contract; Industrial Arbitration; Labor Unions; Strikes.
In order to raise the status, not of the exceptional people, but of the great mass of those who work with their hands under modern industrial conditions, it is imperative that there should be more than merely individual action. The old plea that collective action by all the people through the State, or by some of them through a union or other association, is necessarily hostile to individual growth has been demonstrated to be false. On the contrary, in the world of labor as in the world of business, the advent of the giant corporation and the very wealthy employer has meant that the absence of all governmental supervision implies the emergence of a very few exceptionally powerful men at the head and the stamping out of all individual initiative and power lower down. Unrestricted individualism in violence during the dark ages merely produced a class of brutal and competent individual fighters at the top, resting on a broad foundation of abject serfs below. Unrestricted individualism in the modern industrial world produces results very little better, and in the end means the complete atrophy of all power of real individual initiative, real individual capacity for self-help, in the great mass of the workers. (Outlook, February 4, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 103; Nat. Ed. XVII, 68.
Collectivism and Individualism
Every civilized government which contains the least possibility of progress, or in which life would be supportable, is administered on a system of mixed individualism and collectivism; and whether we increase or decrease the power of the state, and limit or enlarge the scope of individual activity, is a matter not for theory at all, but for decision upon grounds of mere practical expediency. A paid police department or paid fire department is in itself a manifestation of state socialism. The fact that such departments are absolutely necessary is sufficient to show that we need not be frightened from further experiments by any fear of the dangers of collectivism in the abstract; and on the other hand, their success does not afford the least justification for impairing the power of the individual where that power can be properly exercised. No hard-and-fast rule in the matter can be laid down. All that can be said is that, where possible, the individual must be left free; that he must always be left so free as to have a right to enjoy himself in his own way where he can do it without infringing on the rights of others; and that the reward for his efforts should be made, so far as may be, proportional to his efforts and abilities, so as to encourage enterprise, thrift, industry, and sobriety, and to discourage their opposites. But wherever it is found by actual practice and experiment, or by the failure of all other methods, that collectivism and state interference are wise and necessary, we should not be deterred from advocating them by any considerations of pure theory. (Atlantic Monthly, April 1895.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 207; Nat. Ed. XII, 226.
____________. The growth in the complexity of community life means the partial substitution of collectivism for individualism, not to destroy, but to save individualism. . . . The government has been forced to take the place of the individual in a hundred different ways; in, for instance, such matters as the prevention of fires, the construction of drainage systems, the supply of water, light, and transportation. In a primitive community every man or family looks after his or its interest in all these matters. In a city it would be an absurdity either to expect every man to continue to do this, or to say that he had lost the power of individual initiative because he relegated any or all of these matters to the province of those public officers whose usefulness consists in expressing the collective activities of all the people. (Century, October 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 535; Nat. Ed. XVII, 393.
See also Farmer Co-Operatives; Individualism; Socialism.
A heavy moral obligation rests upon the man of means and upon the man of education to do their full duty by their country. On no class does this obligation rest more heavily than upon the men with a collegiate education, the men who are graduates of our universities. Their education gives them no right to feel the least superiority over any of their fellow citizens; but it certainly ought to make them feel that they should stand foremost in the honorable effort to serve the whole public by doing their duty as Americans in the body politic. (Atlantic Monthly, August 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 50; Nat. Ed. XIII, 36.
____________. If the man is of such a character that he regards the college education as all-sufficient in itself, then I quite agree that he is far better off without one. But if he has the right stuff in him, if he regards the college education as supplying him with qualities which are invaluable additions to the other qualities that he has, then its good effects can hardly be overestimated. I want to lay particular stress upon that, because I have not the smallest sympathy with the people who insist upon regarding education as of no value whatever unless it has an important practical result. Besides that value, it has the very great value of the mere cultivation that it gives, of the broader outlook upon life, of the infinitely greater capacity for real enjoyment with which it endows the man or woman fortunate enough to receive it; of the infinitely greater capacity it gives to that man or woman to add to the enjoyment of those with whom he or she is thrown in contact, and especially in intimate contact, later on. (Before Iowa State Teachers' Association, Des Moines, November 4, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 446; Nat. Ed. XVI, 332.
College Education — Function of
Only a small proporation of college boys are going to become real students and do original work in literature, science, or art; and these are certain to study their best in any event. The others are going into business or law or some kindred occupation; and these, of course, can study but little that will be directly of use to them in after-life. The college education of such men should be largely devoted to making them good citizens, and able to hold their own in the world. (North American Review, August 1890.) Mem. Ed. XV, 518; Nat. Ed. XIII, 585.
____________. The greatest special function of a college, as distinguished from its general function of producing good citizenship, should be so to shape conditions as to put a premium upon the development of productive scholarship, of the creative mind, in any form of intellectual work. The men whose chief concern lies with the work of the student in study should bear this fact ever before them. (At the Harvard Union, Cambridge, February 23, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XV, 486; Nat. Ed. XIII, 562.
College Education — Responsibilities of
The man with a university education is in honor bound to take an active part in our political life, and to do his full duty as a citizen by helping his fellow citizens to the extent of his power in the exercise of the rights of self-government. He is bound to rank action far above criticism, and to understand that the man deserving of credit is the man who actually does the things, even though imperfectly, and not the man who confines himself to talking about how they ought to be done. He is bound to have a high ideal and to strive to realize it, and yet he must make up his mind that he will never be able to get the highest good, and that he must devote himself with all his energy to getting the best that he can. Finally, his work must be disinterested and honest, and it must be given without regard to his own success or failure, and without regard to the effect it has upon his own fortunes; and while he must show the virtues of uprightness and tolerance and gentleness, he must also show the sterner virtues of courage, resolution, and hardihood, and the desire to war with merciless effectiveness against the existence of wrong. (Atlantic Monthly, August 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 62; Nat. Ed. XIII, 46.
____________. With us in America the college man acquires by virtue of his education not special privileges but special duties, and this is as it should be. Every man who has been able to get better mental training than his fellows should feel an always increasing burden of responsibility for his actions, and should be ever ready to do more than even his full duty by the State. In time of war we have a right to expect that the men from our colleges will shed their blood, without thought, for the honor of their land. (Before American Republican College League, Chicago, October 15, 1896.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 395; Nat. Ed. XIV, 259.
____________. If a college education means anything, it means fitting a man to do better service than he could do without it; if it does not mean that it means nothing, and if a man does not get that out of it, he gets less than nothing out of it. No man has a right to arrogate to himself one particle of superiority or consideration because he has had a college education, but he is bound, if he is in truth a man, to feel that the fact of his having had a college education imposes upon him a heavier burden of responsibility, that it makes it doubly incumbent upon him to do well and nobly in his life, private and public. (At Harvard Commencement Dinner, Cambridge, Mass., June 25, 1902.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 79.
College Men—Appeal to
If we cannot look to our college trained men for leadership in our national life, then there is something radically wrong either in the colleges or in the national life. I am not willing to admit that either is the case. Therefore, I confidently appeal to the college men of the United States for practical translation into policy of what in books of advanced theology would be called a proper national ethic and a proper world-ethic. In other words, I ask the men to whom special cultural opportunities have been granted both to teach our people that no nation can help others unless it can defend itself by its own prepared strength, and also to teach them that this strength, the only safe foundation for national greatness, must in international matters be used with high regard for the rights of others. (Stafford Little Lecture at Princeton University, November 1917.) Theodore Roosevelt, National Strength and International Duty. (Princeton, N. J., 1917), pp. 30-31.
See also education, liberal; university. collegiate sports. see sports.
To talk of Colombia as a responsible Power to be dealt with as we would deal with Holland or Belgium or Switzerland or Denmark is a mere absurdity. The analogy is with a group of Sicilian or Calabrian bandits; with Villa and Carranza at this moment. You could no more make an agreement with the Colombian rulers than you could nail currant jelly to a wall—and the failure to nail currant jelly to a wall is not due to the nail; it is due to the currant jelly. I did my best to get them to act straight. Then I determined that I would do what ought to be done without regard to them. The people of Panama were a unit in desiring the Canal and in wishing to overthrow the rule of Colombia. If they had not revolted, I should have recommended Congress to take possession of the Isthmus by force of arms; and, as you will see, I had actually written the first draft of my Message to this effect. When they revolted, I promptly used the Navy to prevent the bandits, who had tried to hold us up, from spending months of futile bloodshed in conquering or endeavoring to conquer the Isthmus, to the lasting damage of the Isthmus, of us, and of the world. I did not consult Hay, or Root, or any one else as to what I did, because a council of war does not fight; and I intended to do the job once for all. (To Thayer, July 2, 1915.) William R. Thayer, The Life and Letters of John Hay. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1915), II, 327-328.
See also Hay-Herran Treaty; Panama Canal; Panama Revolution.
See Insular Possessions; Wood, Leonard.
Colonial System, the Old
The European theory of a colony was that it was planted by the home government for the benefit of the home government and home people, not for the benefit of the colonists themselves. Hardly any one grasped the grandeur of the movement by which the English-speaking race was to spread over the world's waste spaces, until a fourth of the habitable globe was in its hands, and until it became the mightiest race on which the sun has ever shone. Those in power did not think of the spread of a mighty people, and of its growth by leaps and bounds, but of the planting of new trading-posts; they did not realize the elementary fact that if the men who stretch abroad the race limits by settlement and conquest are to be kept one with those who stay at home they must be granted an equal share with the latter in administering the common government. The colony was held to be the property of the mother country—property to be protected and well treated as a whole, but property nevertheless. Naturally the colonist himself was likewise held to occupy a similar position compared to the citizen of the home country. The Englishman felt himself to be the ruler and superior of the American; and even though he tried to rule wisely, and meant to act well toward the colonists, the fact remained that he considered them his inferiors, and that his scheme of government distinctly recognized them as such. The mere existence of such a feeling, and its embodiment in the governmental system, warranted a high-spirited people in revolting against it. (1891.) Mem. Ed. IX, 321-322; Nat. Ed. X, 450.
England's treatment of her American subjects was thoroughly selfish; but that her conduct toward them was a wonder of tyranny will not now be seriously asserted; on the contrary, she stood decidedly above the general European standard in such matters, and certainly treated her colonies far better than France and Spain did theirs; and she herself had undoubted grounds for complaint in, for example, the readiness of the Americans to claim military help in time of danger, together with their frank reluctance to pay for it. It was impossible that she should be so far in advance of the age as to treat her colonists as equals; they themselves were sometimes quite as intolerant in their behavior toward men of a different race, creed, or color. (1888.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 281-282; Nat. Ed. VII, 243.
See also Expansion; Imperialism; Northwest Ordinance; Revolutionary War.
Modern industrial conditions are such that combination is not only necessary but inevitable. It is so in the world of business just as it is so in the world of labor, and it is as idle to desire to put an end to all corporations, to all big combinations of capital, as to desire to put an end to combinations of labor. Corporation and labor-union alike have come to stay. Each if properly managed is a source of good and not evil. (Seventh Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 488; Nat Ed. XV, 416.
____________. The people of the United States have but one instrument which they can efficiently use against the colossal combinations of business—and that instrument is the government of the United States (and of course in the several States the governments of the States where they can be utilized). (At San Francisco, September 14, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 426; Nat. Ed. XVII, 312.
____________. It is practically impossible, and, if possible, it would be mischievous and undesirable, to try to break up all combinations merely because they are large and successful, and to put the business of the country back into the middle of the eighteenth century conditions of intense and unregulated competition between small and weak business concerns. Such an effort represents not progressiveness but an unintelligent though doubtless entirely well-meaning toryism. Moreover the effort to administer a law merely by lawsuits and court decisions is bound to end in signal failure, and meanwhile to be attended with delays and uncertainties, and to put a premium upon legal sharp practice. Such an effort does not adequately punish the guilty, and yet works great harm to the innocent. Moreover, it entirely fails to give the publicity which is one of the best by-products of the system of control by administrative officials; publicity, which is not only good in itself but furnishes the data for whatever further action may be necessary. Outlook, November 18, 1911, p. 656.
Much of the legislation aimed to prevent the evils connected with the enormous development of these great corporations has been ineffective, partly because it aimed at doing too much, and partly because it did not confer on the Government a really efficient method of holding any guilty corporation to account. The effort to prevent all restraint of competition, whether harmful or beneficial, has been ill-judged; what is needed is not so much the effort to prevent combination as a vigilant and effective control of the combinations formed, so as to secure just and equitable dealing on their part alike toward the public generally, toward their smaller competitors, and toward the wage-workers in their employ. (At Chautauqua, N. Y., August 11, 1905.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers IV, 448.
____________. Combination of capital like combination of labor is a necessary element of our present industrial system. It is not possible completely to prevent it; and if it were possible, such complete prevention would do damage to the body politic. What we need is not vainly to try to prevent all combination, but to secure such rigorous and adequate control and supervision of the combinations as to prevent their injuring the public, or existing in such form as inevitably to threaten injury—for the mere fact that a combination has secured practically complete control of a necessary of life would under any circumstances show that such combination was to be presumed to be adverse to the public interest. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 430; Nat. Ed. XV, 366.
____________. Our interests are at bottom common; in the long run we go up or go down together. Yet more and more it is evident that the State, and if necessary the nation, has got to possess the right of supervision and control as regards the great corporations which are its creatures; particularly as regards the great business combinations which derive a portion of their importance from the existence of some monopolistic tendency. The right should be exercised with caution and self-restraint; but it should exist, so that it may be invoked if the need arises. (At Minnesota State Fair, September 2, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XV, 332;. Nat. Ed. XIII,
____________. It is my personal belief that the same kind and degree of control and supervision which should be exercised over public-service corporations should be extended also to combinations which control necessaries of life, such as meat, oil, and coal, or which deal in them on an important scale. I have no doubt that the ordinary man who has control of them is much like ourselves. I have no doubt he would like to do well, but I want to have enough supervision to help him realize that desire to do well. . . .
Combinations in industry are the result of an imperative economic law which cannot be repealed by political legislation. The effort at prohibiting all combination has substantially failed. The way out lies, not in attempting to prevent such combinations, but in completely controlling them in the interest of the public welfare. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 18; Nat. Ed. XVII, 12.
Combinations — Treatment of
My effort was to secure the creation of a Federal Commission which should neither excuse nor tolerate monopoly, but prevent it when possible and uproot it when discovered; and which should in addition effectively control and regulate all big combinations, and should give honest business certainty as to what the law was and security as long as the law was obeyed. Such a commission would furnish a steady expert control, a control adapted to the problem; and dissolution is neither control nor regulation, but is purely negative; and negative remedies are of little permanent avail. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 492; Nat. Ed. XX, 423.
Combinations of Capital and Labor
Arrogant selfishness by a combination of capitalists, met by arrogant selfishness by a combination of working men, may be better than the reign of unchecked selfishness by either side alone; but it can never be satisfactory, and must always be fraught with grave danger to the whole social fabric. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 87; Nat. Ed. XIX, 75.
See also Business; Capital And Labor; Competition; Corporations; Government Control; Industrial Commission; Labor; Monopolies; Sherman Anti-Trust Act; Trusts.
It is imperative to the welfare of our people that we enlarge and extend our foreign commerce. We are preeminently fitted to do this because as a people we have developed high skill in the art of manufacturing; our business men are strong executives, strong organizers. In every way possible our Federal Government should co-operate in this important matter. Any one who has had opportunity to study and observe first-hand Germany's course in this respect must realize that their policy of co-operation between government and business has in comparatively few years made them a leading competitor for the commerce of the world. It should be remembered that they are doing this on a national scale and with large units of business, while the Democrats would have us believe that we should do it with small units of business, which would be controlled not by the National Government but by forty-nine conflicting State sovereignties. Such a policy is utterly out of keeping with the progress of the times and gives our great commercial rivals in Europe—hungry for international markets—golden opportunities of which they are rapidly taking advantage. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 392; Nat. Ed. XVII, 282.
See also Business; Contraband; Free Trade; Munitions; Neutral Trade; South America; Tariff.
See Interstate Commerce.
See Fortunes; Materialist; Money; Wealth.
When we come to dealing with our social and industrial needs, remedies, rights and wrongs, a ton of oratory is not worth an ounce of hard- headed, kindly common sense. (At Labor Day Picnic, Chicago, September 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 509; Nat. Ed, XIII, 481.
____________. There is . . . one quality which perhaps, strictly speaking, is as much intellectual as moral, but which is too often wholly lacking in men of high intellectual ability and without which real character cannot exist—namely, the fundamental gift of common sense. Outlook, November 8, 1913, p. 527.
See also Virtues.
Commonwealth of England
See Bolshevism; Russia; Socialism
It has been a misfortune that the national laws . . . have hitherto been of a negative or prohibitive rather than an affirmative kind, and still more that they have in part sought to prohibit what could not be effectively prohibited, and have in part in their prohibitions confounded what should be allowed and what should not be allowed. It is generally useless to try to prohibit all restraint on competition, whether this restraint be reasonable or unreasonable; and where it is not useless it is generally hurtful. . . . What is needed is not sweeping prohibition of every arrangement, good or bad, which may tend to restrict competition, but such adequate supervision and regulation as will prevent any restriction of competition from being to the detriment of the public—as well as such supervision and regulation as will prevent other abuses in no way connected with restriction of competition. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 319; Nat. Ed. XV, 273, 274.
____________. Competition will remain as a very important factor when once we have destroyed the unfair business methods, the criminal interference with the rights of others, which alone enable certain swollen combinations to crush out their competitors—and incidentally, the "conservatives" will do well to remember that these unfair and iniquitous methods by great masters of corporate capital have done more to cause popular discontent with the propertied classes than all the orations of all the Socialist orators in the country put together. Outlook, November 18, 1911, p. 656.
____________. Wherever it is practicable we propose to preserve competition; but where under modern conditions competition has been eliminated and cannot be successfully restored, then the government must step in and itself supply the needed control on behalf of the people as a whole. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 391; Nat. Ed. XVII, 282.
See also Business; Combinations; Individualism; Laissez-Faire; Monopolies; Political Issues; Sherman Anti-Trust Act; Trusts.
It is not possible to lay down an inflexible rule as to when compromise is right and when wrong; when it is a sign of the highest statesmanship to temporize, and when it is merely a proof of weakness. Now and then one can stand uncompromisingly for a naked principle and force people up to it. This is always the attractive course; but in certain great crises it may be a very wrong course. Compromise, in the proper sense, merely means agreement; in the proper sense opportunism should merely mean doing the best possible with actual conditions as they exist. A compromise which results in a half-step toward evil is all wrong, just as the opportunist who saves himself for the moment by adopting a policy which is fraught with future disaster is all wrong; but no less wrong is the attitude of those who will not come to an agreement through which, or will not follow the course by which, it is alone possible to accomplish practical results for good. (Century, June 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 379-380; Nat. Ed. XIII, 343.
____________. In politics, there has to be one continual compromise. Of course now and then questions arise upon which a compromise is inadmissible. There could be no compromise with secession, and there was none. There should be no avoidable compromise about any great moral question. But only a very few great reforms
or great measures of any kind can be carried through without concession. No student of American history needs to be reminded that the Constitution itself is a bundle of compromises, and was adopted only because of this fact, and that the same thing is true of the Emancipation Proclamation. (Atlantic Monthly, August I894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 61; Nat. Ed. XIII, 46.
____________. When any public man says that he "will never compromise under any conditions," he is certain to receive the applause of a few emotional people who do not think correctly, and the one fact about him that can be instantly asserted as true beyond peradventure is that, if he is a serious personage at all, he is deliberately lying, while it is only less certain that he will be guilty of base and dishonorable compromise when the opportunity arises. "Compromise" is so often used in a bad sense that it is difficult to remember that properly it merely describes the process of reaching an agreement. Naturally there are certain subjects on which no man can compromise. For instance, there must be no compromise under any circumstances with official corruption, and of course no man should hesitate to say as much. Again, an honest politician is entirely justified in promising on the stump that he will make no compromise on any question of right and wrong. This promise he can and ought to make good. But when questions of policy arise—and most questions, from the tariff to municipal ownership of public utilities and the franchise tax, are primarily questions of policy—he will have to come to some kind of working agreement with his fellows, and if he says that he will not, he either deliberately utters what he knows to be false, or else he insures for himself the humiliation of being forced to break his word. (Outlook, July 28, I900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 399; Nat. Ed. XIII, 397.
See Animals; Birds.
See Character; Conscience; Courage; Courtesy; Crime; Dishonesty; Honesty; Ideals; Justice; Morality; Ten Commandments; Truth; Vice; Virtues.
The position of honor in your parade to-day is held by the Confederate veterans. They by their deeds reflect credit upon their descendants and upon all Americans, both because they did their duty in war and because they did their duty in peace. Now if the young men, their sons, will not only prove that they possess the same power of fealty to an ideal, but will also show the efficiency in the ranks of industrial life that their fathers, the Confederate veterans, showed that they possessed in the ranks of war, the industrial future of this great and typically American Commonwealth is assured. (At Raleigh, N. C., October 19, 1905.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers IV, 471.
____________. Let me say just one word to the men of the great Civil War, to the men who fought from '61 to’ 65. I am sure that you would be pleased if you could hear the applause that greets, in any audience in the North, any allusion to the valor, the self-devotion, the fealty to right as God gave them to see the right, of the men who wore the gray in the great contest forty years ago. We are indeed thrice fortunate as a people; because to us it has been given alone among peoples in modern times to pass through one of the most terrible contests of history; and, now that the bitterness has died away, to cherish as our most precious heritage the memories bequeathed to us alike by the men in blue and the men in gray, alike by those who followed Grant and those who followed Lee, because each man showed his readiness to sacrifice all, to sacrifice life itself, upon the altar of duty as he saw it. (At Atlanta, Ga., October 20, 1905.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers IV, 489-490.
____________. My father's people were all Union men. My mother's brothers fought in the Confederate navy, one being an admiral therein, and the other firing the last gun fired by the Alabama before she sank. When I recently visited Vicksburg in Mississippi, the State of Jefferson Davis, I was greeted with just as much enthusiasm as if it had been Massachusetts or Ohio. . . . After for many years talking about the fact that the deeds of valor shown by the men in gray and the men in blue are now the common heritage of all our people, those who talked and those who listened have now gradually grown first to believe with their minds, and then to feel with their hearts, the truth of what they have spoken. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, January 1, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 199; Bishop II, 170.
See also Civil War; Veterans.
Often much of the best service that is rendered in Congress must be done without any hope of approbation or reward. The measures that attract most attention are frequently not those of most lasting importance; and even where they are of such importance that attention is fixed upon them, the interested public may not appreciate the difference between the man who merely records his vote for a bill and the other who throws his whole strength into the contest to secure its passage. A man must have in him a strong and earnest sense of duty and the desire to accomplish good for the commonwealth, without regard to the effect upon himself, to be useful in Congress. Harvard Graduates' Magazine, October 1892, pp. 4-5.
Congress and the Roosevelt Policies
I am criticized for interference with Congress. There really is not any answer I can make to this except to say that if I had not interfered we would not have had any rate bill, or any beef-packers' bill, or any pure-food bill, or any consular reform bill, or the Panama Canal, or the Empoyers' Liability Bill, or in short, any of the legislation which we have obtained during the last year. (To Jacob Riis, June 26, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 24; Bishop II, 19.
____________. Congress is ending, but by no means in a blaze of glory. The leaders in the House and Senate felt a relief that they did not try to conceal at the fact that I was not to remain as President, and need not be too implicitly followed; and they forget that the discipline that they have been able to keep for the last six years over their followers was primarily due to the fact that we had a compact and aggressive organization, kept together by my leadership, due to my hold, and the hold the policies I championed had upon the people. Accordingly they have seen their own power crumble away under their hands and both the House and Senate are now in chaos. (To Whitelaw Reid, May 25, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 98; Bishop II, 84.
See also Debate; Division Of Powers; Executive; Filibustering; Interstate Commerce; Law; Legislation; Legislature; President; Senate; Treaties.
With every one of these men I at times differ radically on important questions; but they are the leaders, and their great intelligence and power and their desire in the last resort to do what is best for the government, make them not only essential to work with, but desirable to work with. Several of the leaders have special friends whom they desire to favor, or special interests withwhich they are connected and which they hope to serve. But, taken as a body, they are broadminded and patriotic, as well as sagacious, skilful and resolute. (To William H. Taft, March 13, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 273; Bishop I, 237.
From a pretty intimate acquaintance with several Congresses I am entirely satisfied that there is among the members a very small proportion indeed who are corruptible, in the sense that they will let their action be influenced by money or its equivalent. Congressmen are very often demagogues; they are very often blind partisans; they are often exceedingly short-sighted, narrow-minded, and bigoted; but they are not usually corrupt; and to accuse a narrow-minded demagogue of corruption when he is perfectly honest, is merely to set him more firmly in his evil course and to help him with his constituents, who recognize that the charge is entirely unjust, and in repelling it lose sight of the man's real shortcomings. (Before the Liberal Club, Buffalo, N. Y., January 26, 1893.) Mem. Ed. XV, 75; Nat. Ed. XIII, 291-292.
See also Legislators; Representatives; Senators.
See Wars of Conquest.
It is a very bad thing to be morally callous, for moral callousness is disease. But inflammation of the conscience may be just as unhealthy so far as the public is concerned; and if a man's conscience is always telling him to do something foolish he will do well to mistrust its workings. (At the Harvard Union, Cambridge, February 23, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XV, 490; Nat. Ed. XIII, 565.
____________. The longer I have lived the more strongly I have felt the harm done by the practice among so many men of keeping their consciences in separate compartments; sometimes a Sunday conscience and a week-day conscience; sometimes a conscience as to what they say or what they like other people to say, and another conscience as to what they do and like other people to do; sometimes a conscience for their private affairs and a totally different conscience for their business relations. Or again, there may be one compartment in which the man keeps his conscience not only for his domestic affairs but for his business affairs, and a totally different compartment in which he keeps his conscience when he deals with public men and public measures. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 576; Nat. Ed. XIII, 616.
Conscience in Public Life
I tried my best to lead the people, to advise them, to tell them what I thought was right; if necessary, I never hesitated to tell them what I thought they ought to hear, even though I thought it would be unpleasant for them to hear it; but I recognized that my task was to try to lead them and not to drive them, to take them into my confidence, to try to show them that I was right, and then loyally and in good faith to accept their decision. I will do anything for the people except what my conscience tells me is wrong, and that I can do for no man and no set of men; I hold that a man cannot serve the people well unless he serves his conscience; but I hold also that where his conscience bids him refuse to do what the people desire, he should not try to continue in office against their will. Our government system should be so shaped that the public servant, when he cannot conscientiously carry out the wishes of the people, shall at their desire leave his office and not misrepresent them in office; and I hold that the public servant can by so doing, better than in any other way, serve both them and his conscience. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 410; Nat. Ed. XVII, 298.
See also Moral Sense; Morality; Religious Freedom; Self-Mastery; Tolerance.
We have heard much of the conscientious objectors to military service, the outcry having been loudest among those objectors who are not conscientious at all but who are paid or unpaid agents of the German Government.
It is certain that only a small fraction of the men who call themselves conscientious objectors in this matter are actuated in any way by conscience. The bulk are slackers, pure and simple, or else traitorous pro- Germans. Some are actuated by lazy desire to avoid any duty that interferes with their ease and enjoyment, some by the evil desire to damage the United States and help Germany, some by sheer, simple, physical timidity. In the aggregate, the men of this type constitute the great majority of the men who claim to be conscientious objectors, and this fact must be remembered in endeavoring to deal with the class. (At Minneapolis, Minn., September 28, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 181; Nat, Ed. XIX, 173.
____________. The conscientious objector who won't serve as a soldier or won't pay his taxes has no place in a republic like ours, and should be expelled from it, for no man who won't pull his weight in the boat has a right in the boat. The Society of Friends have come forward in this war just as gallantly as they came forward in the Civil War, and all true believers in peace will do well to follow their example. (Metropolitan, November 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 276; Nat. Ed. XIX, 255.
Conscientious Objectors—Insincerity of
The peace people . . . include the men who conscientiously object to all participation in any war however brutal the opponents, and however vital triumph may be to us and to mankind. These persons are entitled to precisely the respect we give any other persons whose conscience makes them do what is bad. We have had in this country some conscientious polygamists. We now have some conscientious objectors to taking part in this war. Where both are equally conscientious, the former are, on the whole, not as bad as the latter. Of course, if these conscientious objectors are sincere they decline in private life to oppose violence or brutality or to take advantage of the courage and strength of those who do oppose violence and brutality. . . . They are utterly insincere unless they decline to take advantage of police protection from burglary or highway-robbery. Of course, if such a man is really conscientious he cannot profit or allow his family to profit in any way by the safety secured to him and them by others, by soldiers in time of war, by judges and policemen in time of peace; for the receiver is as bad as the thief. I hold that such an attitude is infamous; and it is just as infamous to refuse to serve the country in arms during this war. If a man's conscience bids him so to act, then his conscience is a fit subject for the student of morbid pathology. (At Minneapolis, Minn., September 28, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 183; Nat. Ed. XIX, 175.
Conscientious Objectors —Treatment of
No American has the right to hold up his head if he has not sought with all his strength and ingenuity to get into this war. If a man is conscientious in not wanting to fight, I am equally conscientious in not wanting him to vote. The man who is not willing to fight for his country is not fit to work. I'd take him to the front anyway. I would not interfere with his conscience. If it does not permit him to shoot at the enemy, I would not make him shoot, but I would place him in a position where he would be shot at. I would put him at work digging kitchen sinks and doing other labor which would set other men of better fibre free for service which the unworthy manhood of the conscientious objector does not permit him to perform. (Speech of May 28, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 502; Bishop II, 428.
____________. It is all wrong to permit conscientious objectors to remain in camp or military posts or to go back to their homes. They should be treated in one of three ways: First, demand of them military service, except the actual use of weapons with intent to kill, and if they refuse to render this service treat them as criminals and imprison them at hard labor; second, put them in labor battalions and send them to France behind the lines, where association with soldiers might have a missionary effect on them and cause them to forget their present base creed and rise to worthy levels in an atmosphere of self-sacrifice and of service and struggle for great ideals; third, if both of the above procedures are regarded as too drastic, intern them with alien enemies and send them permanently out of the country as soon as possible. (September 24, 1918·) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 221.
See also Draft; Pacifism; Pacifist; Preparedness.
See Draft; Military Service; Military Training.
When, at the beginning of my term of service as President, under the influence of Mr. Pinchot and Mr. Newell, I took up the cause of conservation, I was already fairly well awake to the need of social and industrial justice; and from the outset we had in view, not only the preservation of natural resources, but the prevention of monopoly in natural resources, so that they should inhere in the people as a whole. (Outlook, October 12, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 437; Nat. Ed. XVII, 317
____________. In utilizing and conserving the natural resources of the Nation, the one characteristic more essential than any other is foresight. Unfortunately, foresight is not usually characteristic of a young and vigorous people, and it is obviously not a marked characteristic of us in the United States. Yet assuredly it should be the growing nation with a future which takes the long look ahead; and no other nation is growing so rapidly as ours or has a future so full of promise. No other nation enjoys so wonderful a measure of present pros perity which can of right be treated as an earnest of future success, and for no other are the rewards of foresight so great, so certain, and so easily foretold. Yet hitherto as a Nation we have tended to live with an eye single to the present, and have permitted the reckless waste and destruction of much of our natural wealth.
The conservation of our natural resources and their proper use constitute the fundamental problem which underlies almost every other problem of our national life. Unless we maintain an adequate material basis for our civilization, we can not maintain the institutions in which we take so great and so just a pride; and to waste and destroy our natural resources means to undermine this material basis. (Before National Editorial Association, Jamestown, Va., June 10, 1907.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VI, 1310-1311.
____________. Optimism is a good characteristic, but if carried to an excess it becomes foolishness. We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so. The mineral wealth of the country, the coal, iron, oil, gas, and the like, does not reproduce itself, and therefore is certain to be exhausted ultimately; and wastefulness in dealing with it to-day means that our descendants will feel the exhaustion a generation or two before they otherwise would. But there are certain other forms of waste which could be entirely stopped—the waste of soil by washing, for instance, which is among the most dangerous of all wastes now in progress in the United States, is easily preventable, so that this present enormous loss of fertility is entirely unnecessary. The preservation or replacement of the forests is one of the most important means of preventing this loss. (Seventh Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 526; Nat. Ed. XV, 448.
____________. There must be a sound moral standard on public matters; our public men must represent and respond to the aroused conscience of the people.... All the great natural resources which are vital to the welfare of the whole people should be kept either in the hands or under the full control of the whole people. This applies to coal, oil, timber, water power, natural gas. Either natural resources of the land should be kept in the hands of the people and their development and use allowed under leasing arrangements (or otherwise); or, where this is not possible, there should be strict governmental control over their use. Outlook, April 20, 1912, p. 853.
____________. Conservation means development as much as it does protection. I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us. I ask nothing of the nation except that it so behave as each farmer here behaves with reference to his own children. That farmer is a poor creature who skins the land and leaves it worthless to his children. The farmer is a good farmer who, having enabled the land to support himself and to provide for the education of his children, leaves it to them a little better than he found it himself. I believe the same thing of a nation.
Moreover, I believe that the natural resources must be used for the benefit of all our people, and not monopolized for the benefit of the few, and here again is another case in which I am accused of taking a revolutionary attitude. People forget now that one hundred years ago there were public men of good character who advocated the nation selling its public lands in great quantities, so that the nation could get the most money out of it, and giving it to the men who could cultivate it for their own uses. We took the proper democratic ground that the land should be granted in small sections to the men who were actually to till it and live on it. Now, with the water-power, with the forests, with the mines, we are brought face to face with the fact that there are many people who will go with us in conserving the resources only if they are to be allowed to exploit them for their benefit. That is one of the fundamental reasons why the special interests should be driven out of politics. Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us, and training them into a better race to inhabit the land and pass it on. Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance of the nation. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 22; Nat. Ed. XVII, 15.
We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources and we have just reason to be proud of our growth. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have been still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields, and obstructing navigation. These questions do not relate only to the next century or to the next generation. It is time for us now as a nation to exercise the same reasonable foresight in dealing with our great natural resources that would be shown by any prudent man in conserving and widely using the property which contains the assurance of well-being for himself and his children. (At Conference on the Conservation of Natural Resources, Washington, May 13, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 163; Nat. Ed. XVI, 124.
____________. Conservation and rural-life policies are really two sides of the same policy; and down at bottom this policy rests upon the fundamental law that neither man nor nation can prosper unless, in dealing with the present, thought is steadily taken for the future. (Outlook , August 27, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 191; Nat. Ed. XVI, 146.
Conservation — Beginnings of
The conservation movement was a direct outgrowth of the forest movement. It was nothing more than the application to our natural resources of the principles which had been worked out in connection with the forests. Without the basis of public sentiment which had been built up for the protection of the forests, and without the example of public foresight in the protection of this, one of the great natural resources, the conservation movement would have been impossible. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 463; Nat. Ed. XX, 398.
Conservation — Importance of
There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country. Just as we must conserve our men, women, and children, so we must conserve the resources of the land on which they live. We must conserve the soil so that our children shall have a land that is more and not less fertile than that our fathers dwelt in. We must conserve the forests, not by disuse but by use, making them more valuable at the same time that we use them. We must conserve the mines. Moreover, we must insure so far as possible the use of certain types of great natural resources for the benefit of the people as a whole. The public should not alienate its fee in the water-power which will be of incalculable consequence as a source of power in the immediate future. The nation and the States within their several spheres should by immediate legislation keep the fee of the water- power, leasing its use only for a reasonable length of time on terms that will secure the interests of the public. Just as the nation has gone into the work of irrigation in and obstructing navigation. These questions do not relate only to the next century or to the next generation. It is time for us now as a nation to exercise the same reasonable foresight in dealing with our great natural resources that would be shown by any prudent man in conserving and widely using the property which contains the assurance of well-being for himself and his children. (At Conference on the Conservation of Natural Resources, Washington, May 13, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 163; Nat. Ed. XVI, 124.
____________. Conservation and rural-life policies are really two sides of the same policy; and down at bottom this policy rests upon the fundamental law that neither man nor nation can prosper unless, in dealing with the present, thought is steadily taken for the future. (Outlook, August 27, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 191; Nat. Ed. XVI, 146.
Conservation — Beginnings of
The conservation movement was a direct outgrowth of the forest movement. It was nothing more than the application to our natural resources of the principles which had been worked out in connection with the forests. Without the basis of public sentiment which had been built up for the protection of the forests, and without the example of public foresight in the protection of this, one of the great natural resources, the conservation movement would have been impossible. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 463; Nat. Ed. XX, 398.
Conservation — Importance of
There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country. Just as we must conserve our men, women, and children, so we must conserve the resources of the land on which they live. We must conserve the soil so that our children shall have a land that is more and not less fertile than that our fathers dwelt in. We must conserve the forests, not by disuse but by use, making them more valuable at the same time that we use them. We must conserve the mines. Moreover, we must insure so far as possible the use of certain types of great natural resources for the benefit of the people as a whole. The public should not alienate its fee in the water-power which will be of incalculable consequence as a source of power in the immediate future. The nation and the States within their several spheres should by immediate legislation keep the fee of the water- power, leasing its use only for a reasonable length of time on terms that will secure the interests of the public. Just as the nation has gone into the work of irrigation in 293.
____________. I desire to make grateful acknowledgment to the men, both in and out of the Government service, who have prepared the first inventory of our natural resources. They have made it possible for this Nation to take a great step forward. Their work is helping us to see that the greatest questions before us are not partisan questions, but questions upon which men of all parties and all shades of opinion may be united for the common good. Among such questions, on the material side, the conservation of natural resources stands first. It is the bottom round of the ladder on our upward progress toward a condition in which the Nation as a whole, and its citizens as individuals, will set national efficiency and the public welfare before personal profit.
The policy of conservation is perhaps the most typical example of the general policies which this Government has made peculiarly its own during the opening years of the present century. The function of our Government is to insure to all its citizens, now and hereafter, their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If we of this generation destroy the resources from which our children would otherwise derive their livelihood, we reduce the capacity of our land to support a population, and so either degrade the standard of living or deprive the coming generations of their right to life on this continent. If we allow great industrial organizations to exercise unregulated control of the means of production and the necessaries of life, we deprive the Americans of today and of the future of industrial liberty, a right no less precious and vital than political freedom. Industrial liberty was a fruit of political liberty, and in turn has become one of its chief supports, and exactly as we stand for political democracy so we must stand for industrial democracy. (Message to Congress, January 22, 1909.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VIII, 2093-2094.
Conservation — Leaders in
Far and away the best work that has been done for the cause of conservation has been done by two men, James Garfield and Gifford Pinchot. I saw them work while I was President, and I can speak with the fullest knowledge of what they did. They took the policy of conservation when it was still nebulous and they applied it and made it work. They actually did the job that I and the others talked about. I know what they did because it was something in which I intensely believed, and yet it was something about which I did not have enough practical knowledge to enable me to work except through them and largely as the result of following out on my part their initiative. They did not confine themselves only to speaking. . . . They translated their words into actions; they actually did what we were all saying ought to be done; and our profound respect and appreciation is due them for their work. (At Harvard University, Cambridge, December 14, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 558; Nat. Ed. XIII, 603-604.
Conservation — Principles of
Now there is a considerable body of public opinion in favor of keeping for our children’s children, as a priceless heritage, all the delicate beauty of the lesser and all the burly majesty of the mightier forms of wild life. We are fast learning that trees must not be cut down more rapidly than they are replaced; we have taken forward steps in learning that wild beasts and birds are by right not the property merely of the people alive to-day, but the property of the unborn generations, whose belongings we have no right to squander; and there are even faint signs of our growing to understand that wild flowers should be enjoyed unplucked where they grow, and that it is barbarism to ravage the woods and fields, rooting out the mayflower and breaking branches of dogwood as ornaments for automobiles filled with jovial but ignorant picnickers from cities· (Outlook, January 20, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 567; Nat. Ed. XII, 425.
Surely our people do not understand even yet the rich heritage that is theirs. There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children's children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 293; Nat. Ed., III, 107.
____________. We do not intend that our natural resources shall be exploited by the few against the interests of the many, nor do we intend to turn them over to any man who will wastefully use them by destruction, and leave to those who come after us a heritage damaged by just so much. The man in whose interests we are working is the small farmer and settler, the man who works with his own hands, who is working not only for himself but for his children, and who wishes to leave to them the fruits of his labor. His permanent welfare is the prime factor for consideration in developing the policy of conservation; for our aim is to preserve our natural resources for the public as a whole, for the average man and the average woman who make up the body of the American people. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 405; Nat, Ed. XVII, 294.
Conservation—Roosevelt's Policy on
I acted on the theory that the President could at any time in his discretion withdraw from entry any of the public lands of the United States and reserve the same for forestry, for water-power sites, for irrigation, and other public purposes. Without such action it would have been impossible to stop the activity of the land thieves. No one ventured to test its legality by lawsuit. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 412; Nat. Ed. XX, 353.
Conservation and Public Rights
The rights of the public to the natural resources outweigh private rights, and must be given its first consideration. Until that time, in dealing with the national forests, and the public lands generally, private rights had almost uniformly been allowed to overbalance public rights. The change we made was right, and was vitally necessary; but, of course, it created bitter opposition from private interests. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 456; Nat. Ed. XX, 393.
Conservation of Human Life
Let us remember, also, that conservation does not stop with the natural resources, but that the principle of making the best use of all we have requires with equal or greater insistence that we shall stop the waste of human life in industry and prevent the waste of human welfare which flows from the unfair use of concentrated power and wealth in the hands of men whose eagerness for profit blinds them to the cost of what they do. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 165; Nat. Ed. XVII, 120.
See Also Arbor Day; Audubon Societies; Electric Power; Flood Prevention; Forest; Game Preserves; Grand Canyon; Inland Waterways; Irrigation; Mineral Fuels; Mississippi River; Natural Resources; Oil; Pinchot , Gifford; Public Lands; Reclamation; Soil Conservation; Taft Administration; Trees; Water Power; Wild Life; Yellowstone Park.
I prefer to Work with moderate, with rational, conservatives, provided only that they do in good faith strive forward toward the light. But when they halt and turn their backs to the light, and sit with the scorners on the seats of reaction, then I must part company with them. (At Carnegie Hall, New York City, March 20, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 221; Nat. Ed. XVII, 169.
See also Reactionaries
The Constitution belongs to the people and not the people to the Constitution. (Before National Conference of Progressive Service, Portsmouth, R. I., July 2, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 527; Nat. Ed. XVII, 387.
____________. The Constitution that the members assembled in convention finally produced was not only the best possible one for America at that time, but it was also, in spite of its shortcomings, and taking into account its fitness for our own people and conditions, as well as its accordance with the principles of abstract right, probably the best that any nation has ever had, while it was beyond question a very much better one than any single member could have prepared. The particularist statesmen would have practically denied us any real union or efficient executive power; while there was hardly a Federalist member who would not, in his anxiety to avoid the evils from which we were suffering, have given us a government so centralized and aristocratic that it would have been utterly unsuited to a proud, liberty-loving, and essentially democratic race, and would have infallibly provoked a tremendous reactionary revolt. (1888.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 377; Nat. Ed. VII, 326.
____________. It worked, primarily, because it was drawn up by practical politicians—by practical politicians who believed in decency, as well as in common sense. If they had been a set of excellent theorists, they would have drawn up a constitution which would have commended itself to other excellent theorists, but which would not have worked. If they had been base, corrupt men, mere opportunists, men who lacked elevating ideals, dishonest, cowardly, they would not have drawn up a document that would have worked at all. On the great scale the only practical politics is honest politics. The makers of our constitution were practical politicians, who were also sincere reformers, and as brave and upright as they were sensible. (At Trinity Methodist Church, Newburgh, N. Y., February 28, 1900.) Ferdinand C. Iglehart, Theodore Roosevelt, The Man As I Knew Him. (The Christian Herald, N. Y., 1919), p. 146.
Constitution — Interpretation of the
It is the people, and not the judges, who are entitled to say what their constitution means, for the constitution is theirs, it belongs to them and not to their servants in office—any other theory is incompatible with the foundation principles of our government. If we, the people, choose to protect tenement-house dwellers in their homes, or women in sweat-shops and factories, or wage-earners in dangerous and unhealthy trades, or if we, the people, choose to define and regulate the conditions of corporate activity, it is for us, and not for our servants, to decide on the course we deem wise to follow. (Introduction dated July 1, 1912.) William L. Ransom, Majority Rule and the Judiciary. (Scribner's, N. Y., 1912), p. 6.
____________. In the United States, where the courts are supreme over the legislature, it is vital that the people should keep in their own hands the right of interpreting their own Constitution when their public servants differ as to the interpretation.
I am well aware that every upholder of privilege, every hired agent or beneficiary of the special interests, including many well-meaning parlor reformers, will denounce all this as "Socialism" or "anarchy"—the same terms they used in the past in denouncing the movements to control the railways and to control public utilities. As a matter of fact, the propositions I make constitute neither anarchy nor Socialism, but, on the contrary, a corrective to Socialism and an antidote to anarchy. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 370; Nat. Ed. XVII, 264.
____________. I am not pleading for an extension of constitutional power. I am pleading that constitutional power which already exists shall be applied to new conditions which did not exist when the Constitution went into being. I ask that the national powers already conferred upon the National Government by the Constitution shall be so used as to bring national com merce and industry effectively under the authority of the Federal Government and thereby avert industrial chaos. My plea is not to bring about a condition of centralization. It is that the Government shall recognize a condition of centralization in a field where it already exists. When the national banking law was passed it represented in reality not centralization, but recognition of the fact that the country had so far advanced that the currency was already a matter of national concern and must be dealt with by the central authority at Washington. So it is with interstate industrialism and especially with the matter of interstate railroad operation to-day. Centralization has already taken place in the world of commerce and industry. All I ask is that the National Government look this fact in the face, accept it as a fact, and fit itself accordingly for a policy of supervision and control over this centralized commerce and industry. (At St. Louis, Mo., October 2, 1907.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VI, 1404-1405.
Constitution — Perversion of the
We wish to see the people the masters of the court not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow those who have perverted the Constitution into an antisocial fetich, used to prevent our securing laws to protect the ordinary working man and working woman in their rights. (At New York City, February 12, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 495; Nat. Ed. XVII, 367.
Constitution — Progressive Stand on the
We care for facts and not for formulas. We care for deeds and not for words. We recognize no sacred right of oppression. We recognize no divine right to work injustice. We stand for the Constitution. We recognize that one of its most useful functions is the protection of property. But we will not consent to make of the Constitution a fetich for the protection of fossilized wrong. We call the attention of those who thus interpret it to the fact that, in that great instrument of justice, life and liberty are put on a full level with property, indeed, are enumerated ahead of it in the order of their importance. (At Madison Square Garden, New York City, October 30, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 459; Nat. Ed. XVII, 337.
Constitution as a Cloak
These business men and lawyers were very adroit in using a word with fine and noble associations to cloak their opposition to vitally necessary movements for industrial fair play and decency. They made it evident that they valued the Constitution, not as a help to righteousness, but as a means for thwarting movements against unrighteousness.
After my experience with them I be came more set than ever in my distrust of those men, whether business men or lawyers, judges. legislators, or executive officers, who seek to make of the Constitution a fetich for the prevention of the work of social reform, for the prevention of work in the interest of those men, women, and children on whose behalf we should be at liberty to employ freely every governmental agency. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 241; Nat. Ed. XX, 206.
Constitution as a Strait-Jacket
The men who disbelieve in the rule of the people, and who think that the people should be ruled by a part of them (for to call such a part "a representative part" is entirely meaningless). treat the Constitution as a strait-jacket for restraining an unruly patient—the people. We, on the contrary, treat the Constitution as an instrument designed to secure justice through giving full expression to the deliberate and well-thought-out judgment of the people. They are false friends of the people, and enemies of true constitutional government, who endeavor to twist the Constitution aside from this purpose. (At St. Louis, Mo., March 28, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 238; Nat. Ed. XVII, 175.
See also Courts; Federalist, The; Franchise Tax; Interstate Commerce; Judges; Judiciary; Justice; Law; Legalism; Marshall, John; Parliamentary Government; Recall; States' Rights; Supreme Court; Tariff; Wilson, James.
Judicial amendment of the Constitution is fatally easy. Popular amendment is so difficult that at best it needs ten or fifteen years to put it through. The theory of the Constitution against which we protest takes away from the people as a whole their sovereign right to govern themselves. It deposits this right to govern the people in the hands of well-meaning men who either are not elected by the people, or at least are not elected for any such purpose, who cannot be removed by the people, and who too often perversely pride themselves on having no direct responsibility to the people. We propose to make the process of Constitutional amendment far easier, speedier and simpler than at present. Outlook, November 15, 1913, p. 595.
Constitutional Amendment — Difficulty of
The present process of constitutional amendment is too long, too cumbrous, and too uncertain to afford an adequate remedy, and, moreover, after the amendment has been carried, the law must once more be submitted to the same court which was, perhaps, originally at fault, in order to decide whether the new law comes within the amendment. (Century, October 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 551; Nat. Ed. XVII, 406.
Constitutional Amendment —Need for
The people themselves must be the ultimate makers of their own Constitution, and where their agents differ in their interpretations of the Constitution the people themselves should be given the chance, after full and deliberate judgment, authoritatively to settle what interpretation it is that their representatives shall thereafter adopt as binding. Whenever in our constitutional system of government there exist general prohibitions that, as interpreted by the courts, nullify, or may be used to nullify, specific laws passed, and admittedly passed, in the interest of social justice, we are for such immediate law, or amendment to the Constitution, if that be necessary, as will thereafter permit a reference to the people of the public effect of such decision under forms securing full deliberation, to the end that the specific act of the legislative branch of the government thus judicially nullified, and such amendments thereof as come within its scope and purpose, may constitutionally be excepted by vote of the people from the general prohibitions, the same as if that particular act had been expressly excepted when the prohibition was adopted. This will necessitate the establishment of machinery for making much easier of amendment both the National and the several State Constitutions, especially with the view of prompt action on certain judicial decisions— action as specific and limited as that taken by the passage of the Eleventh Amendment to the National Constitution. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 368; Nat. Ed. XVII, 263.
____________. We believe in the Constitution, and for that very reason we contemptuously thrust aside the efforts of the reactionaries to turn it into a fetich for the obstruction of justice. The Constitution was created to secure justice; and we refuse to allow it to be so perverted as to become a barrier between the people and justice. Every proposal we have made for applying and adapting the Constitution to our present needs is a proposal to save the Constitution by making it a more efficient instrument for securing justice for all the people. The so-called conservatives who object to our methods of applying the Constitution stand on an exact level with their predecessors, the so-called "conservatives" of fifty years ago, the men who opposed the Thirteenth Amendment on the ground that the "old Constitution" was good enough for them. Fifty years ago the "conservatives'' championed a view of the Constitution which perpetuated chattel slavery for black men; the corresponding "conservatives" of today champion an interpretation of the Constitution which perpetuates industrial slavery for white women and children. (At Chicago, December 10, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 480; Nat. Ed. XVII, 355.
See also Fourteenth Amendment; Income Tax; Negro Suffrage.
Constitutional Convention — Leaders of
They were great men; but it was less the greatness of mere genius than that springing from the union of strong, virile qualities with steadfast devotion to a high ideal. In certain respects they were ahead of all their European compeers; yet they preserved virtues forgotten or sneered at by the contemporaneous generation of transatlantic leaders. . . . The statesmen who met in 1787 were earnestly patriotic. They unselfishly desired the welfare of their countrymen. They were cool, resolute men, of strong convictions, with clear insight into the future. They were thoroughly acquainted with the needs of the community for which they were to act. Above all, they possessed that inestimable quality, so characteristic of their race, hardheaded common sense. Their theory of government was a very high one; but they understood perfectly that it had to be accommodated to the shortcomings of the average citizen. (1888.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 376-377; Nat. Ed. VII, 325.
See Also Madison, James; Morris, Gouverneur.
See Cromwell, Oliver.
I am emphatically a believer in constitutionalism, and because of this fact I no less emphatically protest against any theory that would make of the constitution a means of thwarting instead of securing the absolute right of the people to rule themselves and to provide for their social and industrial well-being. . . . It is a false constitutionalism, a false statesmanship, to endeavor by the exercise of a perverted ingenuity to seem to give the people full power and at the same time to trick them out of it. Yet this is precisely what is done in every case where the State permits its representatives, whether on the bench or in the legislature or in executive office, to declare that it has not the power to right grave social wrongs, or that any of the officers created by the people, and rightfully the servants of the people, can set themselves up to be the masters of the people. Constitution-makers should make it clear beyond shadow of doubt that the people in their legislative capacity have the power to enact into law any measure they deem necessary for the betterment of social and industrial conditions. The wisdom of framing any particular law of this kind is a proper subject of debate; but the power of the people to enact the law should not be subject to debate. To hold the contrary view is to be false to the cause of the people, to the cause of American democracy. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 165, 167; Nat. Ed. XVII, 121, 123.
All constitutions, those of the States no less than that of the nation, are designed, and must be interpreted and administered so as to fit human rights. . . . The object of every American constitution worth calling such must be what it is set forth to be in the preamble to the National Constitution, “to establish justice,” that is, to secure justice as between man and man by means of genuine popular self-government. If the constitution is successfully invoked to nullify the effort to remedy injustice, it is proof positive either that the constitution needs immediate amendment or else that it is being wrongfully and improperly construed. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 165; Nat. Ed. XVII, 121.
I feel most strongly that in the consular service, which stands entirely apart from the diplomatic service proper, entrance should be made by law into the lower grades and that the higher grades should be filled by a gradual process of weeding out and promotion; remembering, gentlemen, that the weeding-out process must not be interfered with. It is not any too easy, at best, to get rid of a kindly-natured elderly incompetent, and if you add to the difficulty by law, he then stays permanently. Make the entrance to the service as far as possible non-partisan and make it at the lower grades, so that desirable positions shall come to those who have rendered good and faithful service in the lower grades, so that those entering the lower grades shall feel that if they do well they have a long and worthy career ahead of them. (Before Consular Reform Association, White House, March 14, 1906.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers IV, 693.
See Farmer and Consumer.
I think Great Britain is now showing great courtesy and forbearance. I believe that she has done things to our ships that ought not to have been done, but I am not aware that she is now doing them. I am not discussing this question from the standpoint of right. I am discussing it from the standpoint of expediency, in the interest of Great Britain. Our trade, under existing circumstances, is of vastly more service to you and France than to Germany. I think I under-estimate the case when I say it is ten times as valuable to the Allies as to Germany. There are circumstances, under which it might become not merely valuable but vital. I am not a naval man, I do not know what the possibilities of the submarine are. But they have accomplished some notable feats; and if they should now begin to destroy ships carrying foodstuffs to Great Britain, the effect might be not merely serious but appalling. Under such conditions, it would be of the utmost consequence to England to have accepted the most extreme view the United States could advance as to her right to ship cargoes unmolested. Even although this possibility, which I do not regard as more than a very remote possibility, is in reality wholly impossible, it yet remains true that the trade in contraband is overwhelmingly to the advantage of England, France, and Russia, because of your command of the seas. You assume that this command gives you the right to make the advantage still more overwhelming. I ask you merely to take careful thought, so that you shall not excite our Government, even wrongfully, to act in such a way that it would diminish or altogether abolish the great advantage you now have. (To Sir Edward Grey, January 22, 1915.) Twenty-Five Years, by Viscount Grey of Fallodon. (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1925), II, 147.
Contraband and Blockade
It is utterly impossible, in view of the immense rapidity of the change in modern war conditions, to formulate abstract policies about such matters as contraband and blockades. These policies must be actually tested in order to see how they work. Both England and the United States have reversed themselves in this matter on several different occasions. This is interesting as a matter of history, but from no other standpoint. If we are honorable and intelligent we will follow the course in this matter which, under existing conditions at this time, seems most likely to work justice in the immediate future. (Kansas City Star, November 22, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 428; Nat. Ed. XIX, 387.
See also Munitions; Neutral Rights; Neutral Trade.
Probably the chief obstacle in the way of taking . . . wise collective action lies in the mental attitude of those who still adhere to the doctrinaire theory of eighteenth-century individualism, and treat as a cardinal virtue the right to absolute liberty of contract—and of course, carried out logically, the theory of absolute liberty of contract simply means the legalization of all kinds of slavery. It is essential that the nation and the State should be able to forbid the exercise of that kind of pseudo-liberty which means the abridgment of real liberty. (Outlook, February 4, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 104; Nat. Ed. XVII, 69.
Contract—Right of Private
I am not an empiricist; I would no more deny that sometimes human affairs can be much bettered by legislation than I would affirm that they can always be so bettered. I would no more make a fetich of unrestricted individualism than I would admit the power of the State offhand and radically to reconstruct society. It may become necessary to interfere even more than we have done with the right of private contract, and to shackle cunning as we have shackled force. All I insist upon is that we must be sure of our ground before trying to get any legislation at all, and that we must not expect too much from this legislation, nor refuse to better ourselves a little because we cannot accomplish everything at a jump. (Review of Reviews, January 1897.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 377; Nat. Ed. XIII, 161.
See also Collective Bargaining; Industrial Arbitration; Labor.
The State must get away from the theory that financial profit from its prisoners is its first consideration. The protection of society is the primary purpose of imprisonment and the next purpose is reformation. The penalty must be wise and humane and the prisoner must be made, as far as possible, to be self-supporting while in prison or under imprisonment. (Annals of American Academy of Pol. and Soc. Science, March 1913.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 610; Nat. Ed. XVI, 441.
Cooper, James F.
After all, there are none to whom we so readily come back as to our own old favorites. Cooper, of course, is a writer to be read and reread again and again. His land fights are good; but his sea fights are unapproached. There is nothing else in naval fiction like some of his boat attacks and singleship actions, such as the frigate's running fight and hair-breadth escape in "The Pilot; while the vividly dramatic description of the cruising, the manoeuvring, and the final grapple between the rival fleets in the "Two Admirals," commemorates, as no other description in either history or novel begins to commemorate, a typical pitched battle at sea, in the days of the white-winged ships of the line. (Cosmopolitan, December 1892. Mem. Ed. XIV, 374; Nat. Ed. XII, 308.
Cooperation in Life
To be patronized is as offensive as to be insulted. No one of us cares permanently to have some one else conscientiously striving to do him good; what we want is to work with that some one else for the good of both of us—any man will speedily find that other people can benefit him just as much as he can benefit them. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 75; Nat. Ed. XX, 65.
Cooperation in National Life
We cannot possibly do our best work as a nation unless all of us know how to act in combination as well as how to act each individually for himself. (At Minnesota State Fair, September 2, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XV, 331; Nat. Ed. XIII, 471.
Cooperation in Politics
Of course, in a government like ours, a man can accomplish anything only by acting in combination with others, and equally, of course, a number of people can act together only by each sacrificing certain of his beliefs or prejudices. (Forum, July 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 43; Nat. Ed. XIII, 30.
See also Collective Action; Collectivism; Farmer Cooperation; Fellowship; Industrial Cooperation; Politics.
See Farmer Cooperatives.
We cannot but admire at least the courage of those gallant soldiers of the South, who, from a terribly mistaken sense of duty, fought us so grimly and so stubbornly for four long years, but we feel nothing but contempt for their cowardly allies of the North, the dough-face and the copperhead, who had all the will, but who fortunately utterly lacked the courage, to be traitors. (Before Young Republican Club of Brooklyn, N. Y., October 18, 1884.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 75; Nat. Ed. XIV, 43.
Every reading man, every man interested in the growth of American literature, and finally, every man who cares for the honor of the American name and is keenly desirous that no reproach shall be rightly cast upon it, must rejoice that we have the present Copyright Law. It was won in the teeth of a violent and ignorant opposition, and in spite of the fact that many who had been supposed to be its friends turned against it at the last moment, on the shallow pretense that it did not go as far as they desired. It certainly should be a matter of congratulation for Harvard that her representatives were among the leaders in the fight on its behalf.
In the copyright struggle, as in all other Congressional contests, there were many different kinds of difficulties to be encountered. In the first place, there was undoubtedly a kernel of dishonest opposition to the bill, due to the presence of an active lobby, subsidized by certain third-rate newspaper and book concerns. In the next place, there was a mass of inert indifference to be overcome. Thirdly, the friends of the bill had to meet the bitter opposition of perfectly honest and very able, though, as we believe, entirely misguided, opponents of the measure,—men like Roger Q. Mills, for instance, whose character and capacity rightly gave them great weight in Congress. Finally, there was the need of guarding against the crankiness of certain friends of the measure, which actually threatened to defeat the whole bill merely because it contained some features to propitiate the printers,—features which were absolutely essential to its passage, and which were entirely non- essential when viewed from the standpoint either of abstract right or of expediency. . . . No one who was not himself present in the Capitol during these final, vital hours of the fight can appreciate the tact, resolution, energy, and downright hard work of the men who were prominent in passing the bill. This had to be done with absolute disinterestedness. No man did anything for the Copyright Bill from selfish motives. It was pressed by a body of men without political influence, and it was passed solely as a measure of justice, and from the highest motives. The men who were instrumental in passing it deserve to receive the credit always attaching to effective and disinterested work for a worthy ideal. Harvard Graduates’. Magazine, October 1892, pp. 5-6.
If .. you for a generation permit big corporations to purchase favors to which they are not entitled you will breed up a race of public men and business men who accept that condition of things as normal. And then, my friends, when you finally wake up, I wish you would remember that, great though their blame may be, your blame is even greater for having permitted such a condition of things to arise. When the awakening comes, you will undoubtedly have to change the machinery of the law in order to meet the conditions that have become so bad. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 626; Nat. Ed. XIII, 659.
The preliminary work of the Bureau of Corporations in the department has shown the wisdom of its creation. Publicity in corporate affairs will tend to do away with ignorance, and will afford facts upon which intelligent action may be taken. Systematic, intelligent investigation is already developing facts the knowledge of which is essential to a right understanding of the needs and duties of the business world. The corporation which is honestly and fairly organized, whose managers in the conduct of its business recognize their obligation to deal squarely with their stockholders, their competitors, and the public, has nothing to fear from such supervision. The purpose of this bureau is not to embarrass or assail legitimate business, but to aid in bringing about a better industrial condition—a condition under which there shall be obedience to law and recognition of public obligation by all corporations, great or small. (Third Annual Message, Washington, December 7, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 197-198; Nat. Ed. XV, 170.
____________. The policy of the bureau is to accomplish the purpose of its creation by co-operation, not antagonism; by making constructive legislation, not destructive prosecution, the immediate object of its inquiries; by conservative investigation of law and fact, and by refusal to issue incomplete and hence necessarily inaccurate reports. Its policy being thus one of open inquiry into, and not attack upon, business, the bureau has been able to gain not only the confidence, but, better still, the co-operation of men engaged in legitimate business.
The bureau offers to the Congress the means of getting at the cost of production of our various great staples of commerce. (Fourth Annual Message, Washington, December 6, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 261; Nat. Ed. XV, 224.
____________.The Federal Bureau of Corporations is an agency of first importance. Its powers, and, therefore, its efficiency, as well as that of the Interstate Commerce Commission, should be largely increased. We have a right to expect from the Bureau of Corporations and from the Interstate Commerce Commission a very high grade of public service. We should be as sure of the proper conduct of the interstate railways and the proper management of interstate business as we are now sure of the conduct and management of the national banks, and we should have as effective supervision in one case as in the other. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 18; Nat. Ed. XVII, 12.
Corporations — Commission Control of
Such a commission, with the power I advocate, would put a stop to abuses of big corporations and small corporations alike; it would draw the line on conduct and not on size; it would destroy monopoly, and make the biggest business man in the country conform squarely to the principles laid down by the American people, while at the same time giving fair play to the little man and certainty of knowledge as to what was wrong and what was right both to big man and little man. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 493; Nat. Ed. XX, 424.
Corporations— Control of
Undoubtedly there is need of regulation by the Government, in the interest of the public, of these great corporations which in modern life have shown themselves to be the most efficient business implements, and which are, therefore, the implements commonly employed by the owners of large fortunes. The corporation is the creature of the State. It should always be held accountable to some sovereign, and this accountability should be real and not sham. Therefore, in my judgment, all corporations doing an interstate business, and this means the great majority of the largest corporations, should be held accountable to the Federal Government, because their accountability should be co-extensive with their field of action. But most certainly we should not strive to prevent or limit corporate activity. We should strive to secure such effective supervision over it, such power of regulation over it, as to enable us to guarantee that its activity will be exercised only in ways beneficial to the public. (At Atlanta, Ga., October 20, 1905.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers IV, 492-493.
____________.The movement for Government control of the great business corporations is no more a move against liberty than a movement to put a stop to violence is a movement against liberty. . . . The huge irresponsible corporation which demands liberty from the supervision of Government agents stands on the same ground as the less dangerous criminal of the streets who wishes liberty from police interference. Outlook , June 19, 1909, p. 394.
____________. I wish to see the great corporations regulated. I wish to see the hand of the State, the hand of the nation, put on to the great corporations doing business on a gigantic scale, and I wish to see the movement for securing such collective supervision and control of the great corporations take place under the lead of sober, responsible men who shall be anxious to conserve the just rights of property and at the same time to remember that the rights of man must be paramount in any republic such as ours. (Before Chamber of Commerce, New Haven, Conn., December 13, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 105; Nat. Ed. XVI, 88.
____________. The American people demand that efficient and genuine control over great corporations be exercised by the government. They will not permanently tolerate the failure to meet this rightful and proper demand. If the National Government, through the national judiciary, confines itself to mere negation, and by one series of decisions denies the National Government power to interfere in the matter, while at the same time by another series of decisions it tries to prevent the States from interfering, the result can only be to cause damage from every standpoint; for confidence in the National Government will be shaken, it will prove well-nigh impossible to prevent States from acting when they have a furiously indignant public opinion behind them, and there will be a real popular loss of confidence in the courts, a loss of confidence by the people at large, which is in no way permanently offset by exaggerated and hysterical praise of the courts by the organs of the capitalistic classes. . . .he power over these great, corporations must be exercised. The people will not permit these enormous corporations to be free from governmental control, for the simple reason that they instinctively recognize the fact that unless the great corporations are controlled by the government they will themselves completely control the government. All that the national authorities, legislative, judicial, and executive alike, can determine is whether they shall give effect to the plain intent of the Constitution, and really and efficiently and not with academic ineptitude exercise this power, or whether they shall shelter themselves behind quibbles and technicalities and fail to exercise the power, with the certainty of seeing in a few years the effort to exercise it made by the several States, and chaos and disaster follow. (Outlook, March 11, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 138, 139; Nat. Ed. XVII, 97, 99.
____________.It may well be that in the end Government control of these great inter-State corporations may have to go much further than is indicated by the present Government control over the railways; but, in any event, the only possible satisfactory method of dealing with these great corporations of a monopolistic trend which are not railways is to follow the lines along which the Nation has gone in dealing with those of them which are railways, altering and developing the policy as conditions and events shall justify. Our prime object must be to have the regulation accomplished by continuous administrative action, and not by necessarily intermittent lawsuits. Outlook, June 3, 1911, p. 240.
____________.All the wise friends of the effort to secure governmental control of corporations know that this government control must be exercised through administrative and not judicial officers if it is to be effective. Everything possible should be done to minimize the chance of appealing from the decisions of the administrative officer to the courts. But it is not possible constitutionally, and probably would not be desirable anyhow, completely to abolish the appeal. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 496; Nat. Ed. XX, 427.
Great corporations are necessary, and only men of great and singular mental power can manage such corporations successfully, and such men must have great rewards. But these corporations should be managed with due regard to the interests of the public as a whole. Where this can be done under the present laws it must be done. Where these laws come short others should be enacted to supplement them. (Fourth Annual Message, Washington, December 6, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 258; Nat. Ed. XV, 222.
Corporations—Political Activity of
There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done. . . . It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced. Corporate expenditures for political purposes, and especially such expenditures by public-service corporations, have supplied one of the principal sources of corruption in our political affairs. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 17; Nat. Ed. XVII, 11.
I do not believe in a system of law in which the object of Governmental proceeding requires the dissolution of the corporation or the confiscation of its property, which may be ruinous to the public as well as to the corporation. The proceeding should be, in substance, to declare any corporation an injurious monopoly, and when that declaration should be definitely affirmed by the proper body, whatever it might be, to subject the corporation to thoroughgoing Governmental control as to rates, prices and general conduct. The present penalties for misbehavior—fines, the occasional imprisonment of men (usually subordinates), or the usual ineffectual dissolution of the corporation—are never wholly adequate, and are apt to be entirely inadequate. What is necessary is to permit the Government, when there is a definite proof that a given corporation is acting as a monopoly and is behaving in an actually potentially injurious manner, to assume thoroughgoing supervision over it—such supervision and control as that which is, and still more as that which will be, exercised by the Inter-State Commerce Commission over our railways. Outlook, January 28, 1911, p. 147.
____________. Any corporation, big or little, which has gained its position by unfair methods and by interference with the rights of others, which has raised prices or limited output in improper fashion and been guilty of demoralizing and corrupt practices, should not only be broken up, but it should be made the business of some competent governmental body by constant supervision to see that it does not come together again, save under such strict control as to insure the community against all danger of a repetition of the bad conduct. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 174; Nat. Ed. XVII, 128.
Corporations — Protection Against
We do not propose to do injustice to any man, but we do propose adequately to guarantee the people against injustice by the mighty corporations which make up the predominant and characteristic feature of modern industrial life. (At Louisville, Ky., April 3, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 249; Nat. Ed. XVII, 184.
Corporations — Publicity and the
Publicity can do no harm to the honest corporation. The only corporation that has cause to dread it is the corporation which shrinks from the light, and about the welfare of such corporations we need not be oversensitive. (Third Annual Message, Washington, December 7, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 199; Nat. Ed. XV, 171.
Corporations — Responsibility of
In order to insure a healthy social and industrial life, every big corporation should be held responsible by, and be accountable to, some sovereign strong enough to control its conduct. I am in no sense hostile to corporations. This is an age of combination, and any effort to prevent all combination will be not only useless, but in the end vicious, because of the contempt for law which the failure to enforce law inevitably produces. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 317; Nat. Ed. XV, 271.
Corporations — Role of
Our aim is not to do away with corporations; on the contrary, these big aggregations are an inevitable development of modern industrialism, and the effort to destroy them would be futile unless accomplished in ways that would work the utmost mischief to the entire body politic. We can do nothing of good in the way of regulating and supervising these corporations until we fix clearly in our minds that we are not attacking the corporations, but endeavoring to do away with any evil in them. We are not hostile to them; we are merely determined that they shall be so handled as to subserve the public good. We draw the line against misconduct, not against wealth. (Second Annual Message, Washington, December 2, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 164; Nat. Ed. XV, 141.
Size may, and in my opinion does, make a corporation fraught with potential menace to the community; and may, and in my opinion should, therefore make it incumbent upon the community to exercise through its administrative (not merely through its judicial) officers a strict supervision over the corporation in order to see that it does not go wrong; but the size in itself does not signify wrong- doing, and should not be held to signify wrong-doing. Outlook, November 18, 1911, p. 654.
Corporations — Taxation of
There is no reason whatever for refusing to tax a corporation because by its own acts it has created a burden of charges under which it staggers. The extravagant man who builds a needlessly large house nevertheless pays taxes on the house; and the corporation which has to pay great sums of interest owing to juggling transactions in the issue of stocks and bonds has just as little right to consideration. (Annual Message as Governor, Albany, January 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 53; Nat. Ed. XV, 46.
____________. Offhand, it would seem to me that a tax on the net receipts of corporations would be the best way out on the Income Tax business. (To H. C. Lodge, July 26, 1909.) Lodge Letters II, 342.
Corporations — Treatment of
The corporation must be protected, must be given its rights, but it must be prevented from doing wrong; and its managers must be held in strict accountability when it does wrong; and it must be deprived of all secret influence in our public life. (Before New York Republican State Convention, Saratoga, September 27, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 35; Nat. Ed. XVII, 27.
____________. When you finally revolt, as revolt you will and must against being ruled by corporations, and when you assume the power over them, then is the time to remember that it is your duty to be honest to them just as much as to exact honesty from them; and that if you are guilty of the folly and iniquity of doing wrong at their expense, you have not made a step in advance, even though you have stopped them from doing wrong at your expense. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 626; Nat. Ed. XIII, 660.
____________. Experience has proved that we cannot afford to leave the great corporations to determine for themselves without governmental supervision how they shall treat their employees, their rivals, their customers, and the general public. But experience has no less shown that it is as fatal for the agents of government to be unjust to the corporation as to fail to secure justice from them. In dealing with railways, for example, it is just as important that rates should not be too low as that they should not be too high. (Century Magazine, October 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 548; Nat. Ed. XVII, 404.
Corporations and the Law
The man who by swindling or wrong doing acquires great wealth for himself at the expense of his fellow, stands as low morally as any predatory mediæval nobleman and is a more dangerous member of society. Any law, and any method of construing the law which will enable the community to punish him, either by taking away his wealth or by imprisonment, should be welcomed. Of course, such laws are even more needed in dealing with great corporations or trusts than with individuals. They are needed quite as much for the sake of honest corporations as for the sake of the public. The corporation that manages its affairs honestly has a right to demand protection against the dishonest corporation. We do not wish to put any burden on honest corporations. Neither do we wish to put an unnecessary burden of responsibility on enterprising men for acts which are immaterial; they should be relieved from such burdens, but held to a rigid financial accountability for acts that mislead the upright investor or stockholder, or defraud the public. (Annual Message as Governor, Albany, January 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 52; Nat. Ed. XV, 45.
Corporations and Their Stockholder
Nothing is sillier than this outcry on behalf of the "innocent stockholders" in the corporations. We are besought to pity the Standard Oil Company for a fine relatively far less great than the fines every day inflicted in the police courts upon multitudes of push-cart peddlers and other petty offenders, whose woes never extort one word from the men whose withers are wrung by the woes of the mighty. The stockholders have the control of the corporation in their own hands. The corporation officials are elected by those holding the majority of the stock and can keep office only by having behind them the good-will of these majority stockholders. They are not entitled to the slightest pity if they deliberately choose to resign into the hands of great wrong-doers the control of the corporations in which they own the stock. Of course innocent people have become involved in these big corporations and suffer because of the misdeeds of their criminal associates. Let these innocent people be careful not to invest in corporations where those in control are not men of probity, men who respect the laws; above all let them avoid the men who make it their one effort to evade or defy the laws. But if these honest, innocent people are in the majority in any corporation they can immediately resume control and throw out of the directory the men who misrepresent them. (To Charles J. Bonaparte, January 2, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 517; Nat. Ed. XX, 445.
See also Business; Combinations; Dividends; Franchise Tax; Government Control; Industrial Commission; Insurance Companies; Interstate Commerce Commission; Knight Case; Monopolies; Northern Securities Case; Railroads; Sherman Anti-Trust Act ; Square Deal; Stock-Watering; Trusts.
It is an even graver offense to sin against the commonwealth than to sin against an individual. The man who debauches our public life, whether by malversation of funds in office, by the actual bribery of voters or of legislators, or by the corrupt use of the offices as spoils wherewith to reward the unworthy and the vicious for their noxious and interested activity in the baser walks of political life— this man is a greater foe to our well-being as a nation than is even the defaulting cashier of a bank, or the betrayer of a private trust. (Forum, July 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 40; Nat. Ed. XIII, 27.
____________. Corruption in every form is the arch- enemy of this Republic, the arch-enemy of free institutions and of government by the people, an even more dangerous enemy than the open lawlessness of violence, because it works in hidden and furtive fashion. We are against corruption in politics; we are against corruption in business; and, above all, and with all our strength, we are against the degrading alliance of crooked business and crooked politics, the alliance which adds strength to the already powerful corrupt boss and to the already powerful corrupt head of big business, and which makes them in their dual capacity enemies against whom every patriotic man should stand with unwavering firmness. (Before New York Republican State Convention, Saratoga, September 27, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 34; Nat. Ed. XVII, 26.
____________. There is no greater duty than to war on the corrupt and unprincipled boss, and on the corrupt and unprincipled business man; and for the matter of that, on the corrupt and unprincipled labor, leader also, and on the corrupt and unprincipled editor, and on any one else who is corrupt and unprincipled. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 189; Nat. Ed. XX, 162.
I do not believe that you have struck the right cause, nor come near striking the right cause of our corruption, and I think you are trying to cure a symptom and not a cause. I am heartily with you in the campaign for the abolition of privilege. Curiously enough, events have forced me to make my chief fights in public life against privilege, but I know from actual experience—from experience of the most intimate kind in the little village of Oyster Bay and out in the West at Medora, when there was not a special privilege of any kind in either place—that what is needed is the fundamental fight for morality. (To Steffens, June 12, 1908.) The Letters of Lincoln Steffens. (Harcourt, Brace & Co., N. Y., 1938), 1, 198- 199.
No republic can last if corruption is allowed to eat into its public life. No republic can last if the private citizens sit supinely by and either encourage or tolerate corruption among their representatives. (Before the Hamilton Club, Chicago, September 8, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 449; Nat. Ed. XIII, 538.
Corruption and Capitalism
The capitalist who thinks it is to the interest of his class to have in high office a corrupt man who will serve his class interest, is laying up for himself and for his children a day of terrible retribution; for if that type of capitalist has his way long enough he will persuade the whole community that the interest of the community is bound up in overthrowing every man in public office who serves property, even though he serves it honestly. The corrupt capitalist may help himself for the moment, and he may be defended by others of his own class on grounds of expediency; but in the end he works fearful damage to his fellow. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 621; Nat. Ed. XIII, 656.
____________. There are localities, and many of them, where capitalists are in very fact the prime offenders; and a prime need of our political, social, and economic life is to suppress corrupt, and control overgrown, capitalism. But no war for decency will ever avail for permanent good unless we attack the scoundrel simply because he is a scoundrel, without regard to whether he is rich or poor. Outlook, November 11, 1911, p. 611.
Corruption in Business and Politics
Just as the blackmailer and the bribe-giver stand on the same evil eminence of infamy, so the man who makes an enormous fortune by corrupting legislators and municipalities and fleecing his stockholders and the public stands on a level with the creature who fattens on the blood money of the gambling house, the saloon, and the brothel. . . . Corrupt business and corrupt politics act and react, with ever-increasing debasement, one on the other; the rebate-taker, the franchise-trafficker, the manipulator of securities, the purveyor and protector of vice, the blackmailing ward boss, the ballot-box stuffer, the demagogue, the mob leader, the hired bully and mankiller, all alike work at the same web of corruption, and all alike should be abhorred by honest men. (To Charles J. Bonaparte, January 2, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 520; Nat. Ed. XX, 447.
____________. Corruption in any form, whether in the world of politics or in the world of business, represents an offense against the community of so grave a character that the offender should be hunted down as a criminal; and the greater his ability and success, the greater is the wrong he has committed, and the heavier should be his punishment. The sneering indifference to, or connivance at, corruption is almost as bad as corruption itself. Honesty, rigid honesty, is a root virtue; and if not present no other virtue can atone for its lack. But we cannot afford to be satisfied with the negative virtue of not being corrupt. We need the virile, positive virtues. Outlook, November 8, 1913, p. 528.
See also Boss; Bribery; Civil Service Reform; Dante; Demagogue; Elections; Honesty; Machine; Municipal Ownership; Politics; Social Conditions; Spoils System.
Cortelyou, George B
See Campaign Contributions.
See Americanism; Citizenship; Internationalism; Morris, Gouverneur; Nationalism; Patriotism.
There is no more hopeless creature from the point of view of humanity than the person who calls himself a cosmopolitan, who spreads himself out over the whole world, with the result that he spreads himself out so thin that he comes through in large spots. (Before American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, November 16, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 451; Nat. Ed. XII, 327.
____________. One may fall very far short of treason and yet be an undesirable citizen in the community. The man who becomes Europeanized, who loses his power of doing good work on this side of the water, and who loses his love for his native land, is not a traitor; but he is a silly and undesirable citizen. He is as emphatically a noxious element in our body politic as is the man who comes here from abroad and remains a foreigner. Nothing will more quickly or more surely disqualify a man from doing good work in the world than the acquirement of that flaccid habit of mind which its possessors style cosmopolitanism. (Forum, April 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 20; Nat. Ed. XIII, 17.
See also Expatriates; Foreign Ways.
Cost of Living
See Tariff; Trusts.
No American beast has been the subject of so much loose writing or of such wild fables as the cougar. Even its name is unsettled. In the Eastern States it is usually called panther or painter; in the Western States, mountain-lion, or, toward the South, Mexican lion. The Spanish-speaking people usually call it simply lion. It is, however, sometimes called cougar in the West and Southwest of our country, and in South America, puma. As it is desirable, where possible, not to use a name that is misleading and is already appropriated to some entirely different animal, it is best to call it cougar.
The cougar is a very singular beast, shy and elusive to an extraordinary degree, very cowardly and yet blood-thirsty and ferocious, varying wonderfully in size, and subject, like many other beasts, to queer freaks of character in occasional individuals. This fact of individual variation in size and temper is almost always ignored in treating of the animal; whereas it ought never to be left out of sight. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 17; Nat. Ed. II, 405.
____________. The cougar sometimes stalks its prey, and sometimes lies in wait for it beside a game trail or drinking-pool—very rarely indeed does it crouch on the limb of a tree. When excited by the presence of game it is sometimes very bold. . . . The cougar roams over long distances, and often changes its hunting-ground, perhaps remaining in one place two or three months until the game is exhausted, and then shifting to another. When it does not lie in wait it usually spends most of the night, winter and summer, in prowling restlessly around the places where it thinks it may come across prey, and it will patiently follow an animal's trail. There is no kind of game, save the full-grown grizzly and buffalo, which it does not at times assail and master. (1893.) Mem. Ed. II, 313; Nat. Ed. II, 269.
____________. Fables aside, the cougar is a very interesting creature. It is found from the cold, desolate plains of Patagonia to north of the Canadian line, and lives alike among the snow-clad peaks of the Andes and in the steaming forests of the Amazon. Doubtless careful investigation will disclose several varying forms in an animal found over such immense tracts of country and living under such utterly diverse conditions. But in its essential habits and traits, the big, slinking, nearly unicolored cat seems to be much the same everywhere, whether living in mountain, open plain, or forest, under arctic cold or tropic heat. When the settlements become thick, it retires to dense forest, dark swamp, or inaccessible mountain gorge, and moves about only at night. In wilder regions it not infrequently roams during the day and ventures freely into the open. Deer are its customary prey where they are plentiful, bucks, does, and fawns being killed indifferently. Usually the deer is killed almost instantaneously, but occasionally there is quite a scuffle, in which the cougar may get bruised, though, as far as I know, never seriously. It is also a dreaded enemy of sheep, pigs, calves, and especially colts, and when pressed by hunger a big male cougar will kill a full-grown horse or cow, moose or wapiti. It is the special enemy of mountain-sheep. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 20; Nat. Ed. II, 408.
Country Life—Improvement of
I think that the country school should be made a social centre. I think that the time has come when our people must consider very seriously the question of trying to help the men of the country districts in building up their country life so as to make it not only equally attractive with city life, but equally full of opportunity. It can certainly be done, and while it must be done primarily by the farmers themselves—by the men who live in the open country, yet they must be stimulated to feel the need of doing it, and it is our duty to help them in every way in the effort to do it. (Before Iowa State Teachers' Association, Des Moines, November 4, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 451; Nat. Ed. XVI, 336.
See also Agriculture; City; Farm Life; Taft Administration.
Country Life Commission
The first step ever taken toward the solution of these problems [of rural life] was taken by the Country Life Commission appointed by me, opposed with venomous hostility by the foolish reactionaries in Congress, and abandoned by my successor. Congress would not even print the report of this commission, and it was the public-spirited, far- sighted action of the Spokane Chamber of Commerce which alone secured the publication of the report. (Century Magazine, October 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 546; Nat. Ed. XVII, 402.
____________. The object of the Commission on Country Life . . . is not to help the farmer raise better crops, but to call his attention to the opportunities for better business and better living on the farm. If country life is to become what it should be, and what I believe it ultimately will be—one of the most dignified, desirable, and sought-after ways of earning a living—the farmer must take advantage not only of the agricultural knowledge which is at his disposal, but of the methods which have raised and continue to raise the standards of living and of intelligence in other callings. Those engaged in all other industrial and commercial callings have found it necessary, under modern economic conditions, to organize themselves for mutual advantage and for the protection of their own particular interests in relation to other interests. The farmers of every progressive European country have realized this essential fact and have found in the cooperative system exactly the form of business combination they need.
Now whatever the State may do toward improving the practice of agriculture, it is not within the sphere of any government to reorganize the farmers' business or reconstruct the social life of farming communities. It is, however, quite within its power to use its influence and the machinery of publicity which it can control for calling public attention to the needs and the facts. Special Message from the President of the United States transmitting the report of the Country Life Commission, February 9, 1909. (Washington, 1909), p. 4.
Every feat of heroism makes us forever indebted to the man who performed it. All daring and courage, all iron endurance of misfortune, all devotion to the ideal of honor and of the glory of the flag, make for a finer and nobler type of manhood. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XV, 258; Nat. Ed. XIII, 197.
____________. In any republic courage is a prime necessity for the average citizen if he is to be a good citizen; and he needs physical courage no less than moral courage, the courage that dares as well as the courage that endures, the courage that will fight valiantly alike against the foes of the soul and the foes of the body. (At the Harvard Union, Cambridge, February 23, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XV, 484; Nat. Ed. XIII, 561.
He [a character in one of Marryat's books] says that at the outset almost every man is frightened when he goes into action, but that the course to follow is for the man to keep such a grip on himself that he can act just as if he was not frightened. After this is kept up long enough it changes from pretense to reality, and the man does in very fact become fearless by sheer dint of practising fearlessness when he does not feel it. . . . This was the theory upon which I went. There were all kinds of things of which I was afraid at first, ranging from grizzly bears to "mean" horses and gun-fighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be afraid. Most men can have the same experience if they choose. They will first learn to bear themselves well in trials which they anticipate and which they school themselves in advance to meet. After a while the habit will grow on them, and they will behave well in sudden and unexpected emergencies which come upon them unawares.
It is of course much pleasanter if one is naturally fearless, and I envy and respect the men who are naturally fearless. But it is a good thing to remember that the man who does not enjoy this advantage can nevertheless stand beside the man who does, and can do his duty with the like efficiency, if he chooses to. Of course he must not let his desire take the form merely of a day-dream. Let him dream about being a fearless man, and the more he dreams the better he will be, always provided he does his best to realize the dream in practice. He can do his part honorably and well provided only he sets fearlessness before himself as an ideal, schools himself to think of danger merely as something to be faced and overcome, and regards life itself as he should regard it, not as something to be thrown away, but as a pawn to be promptly hazarded whenever the hazard is warranted by the larger interests of the great game in which we are all engaged. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 64; Nat. Ed. XX, 55.
Another quality on which to insist is courage. Be a man ever so honest, if he be cursed with a sufficient quantity of timidity he is a mere nuisance in any emergency. I think I am more apt to lose my temper with the timid good man than I am with the sharp, resolute, clever scoundrel whom I am going to fight anyway. (Before Liberal Club of Buffalo, N.Y., September 10, 1895.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 274; Nat. Ed. XIV, 195.
Courage and hardihood are indispensable virtues in a people; but the people which possesses no others can never rise high in the scale either of power or of culture. Great peoples must have in addition the governmental capacity which comes only when individuals fully recognize their duties to one another and to the whole body politic, and are able to join together in feats of constructive statesmanship and of honest and effective administration. (At Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, April 30, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XII, 604; Nat. Ed. XI, 321.
Courage in War-Time
Popular sentiment is just when it selects as popular heroes the men who have led in the struggle against malice domestic or foreign levy. No triumph of peace is quite so great as the supreme triumphs of war. The courage of the soldier, the courage of the statesman who has to meet storms which can be quelled only by soldierly qualities—this stands higher than any quality called out merely in time of peace. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XV, 243; Nat. Ed. XIII, 185.
See also Character; Cowardice; Exploration; Fighting Qualities; Fighting Virtues; Heroic Virtues; Honesty; Manliness; Manly Virtues; Strife.
Courtesy is as much the mark of a gentleman as courage. If we respect ourselves, we individually show both qualities; and, in our collective capacity, we should demand of our representatives that the nation show both qualities in its dealings with other nations. (Outlook, April 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 152; Nat. Ed. XVII, 109.
See also International Courtesy.
The courts to-day owe the country no greater or clearer duty than to keep their hands off such statutes when they have any reasonably permissible relation to the public good. In the past the courts have often failed to perform this duty, and their failure is the chief cause of whatever dissatisfaction there is with the working of our judicial system. One who seeks to prevent the irrevocable commission of such mistakes in the future may justly claim to be regarded as aiming to preserve and not to destroy the independence and power of the judiciary.
My remedy is not the result of a library study of constitutional law, but of actual and long-continued experience in the use of governmental power to redress social and industrial evils. Again and again earnest workers for social justice have said to me that the most serious obstacles that they have encountered during the many years that they have been trying to save American women and children from destruction in American industry have been the courts. That is the judgment of almost all the social workers I know, and of dozens of parish priests and clergymen, and of every executive and legislator who has been seriously attempting to use government as an agency for social and industrial betterment. What is the result of this system of judicial nullification? It was accurately stated by the court of appeals of New York in the employers' liability case, where it was calmly and judicially declared that the people under our Republican government are less free to correct the evils that oppress them than are the people of the monarchies of Europe.
To any man with vision, to any man with broad and real social sympathies, to any man who believes with all his heart in this great democratic Republic of ours, such a condition is intolerable. It is not government by the people, but mere sham government in which the will of the people is constantly defeated. It is out of this experience that my remedy has come; and let it be tried in this field. When, as the result of years of education and debate, a majority of the people have decided upon a remedy for an evil from which they suffer, and have chosen a legislature and executive pledged to embody that remedy in law, and the law has been finally passed and approved, I regard it as monstrous that a bench of judges shall then say to the people: "You must begin all over again." (At Carnegie Hall, N. Y. C., March 20, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 216; Nat. Ed. XVII, 164.
I wish to keep the courts independent. But at present the independence of the courts is far more frequently menaced by special privilege than by any popular tyranny. I wish to protect them against both. The safe way to prevent popular discontent with the courts from becoming acute and chronic, is to provide the people with the simple, direct, effective, and yet limited power to secure the interpretation of their own constitution in accordance with their own deliberate judgment. (Introduction dated July 1, 1912.) William L. Ransom, Majority Rule and the Judiciary. (Scribner's, N. Y., 1912), pp. 23-24.
We in America have peculiar need thus to make the acts of the courts subject to the people, because, owing to causes which I need not now discuss, the courts have here grown to occupy a position unknown in any other country, a position of superiority over both the legislature and the Executive. Just at this time, when we have begun in this country to move toward social and industrial betterment and true industrial democracy, this attitude on the part of the courts is of grave portent, because privilege has intrenched itself in many courts just as it formerly intrenched itself in many legislative bodies and in many executive offices. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 370; Nat. Ed. XVII, 264.
____________. My plea is for rational growth; my plea is that the Court act with ordinary statesmanship, ordinary regard for the Constitution, as a living aid to growth, not as a straight jacket; ordinary regard for the laws, the rights of humanity, and the growth of civilization. I wish to state with all emphasis that no man who takes the opposite ground to that which I have taken in the article in question has any right to be on the bench; and it is a misfortune to have him there. (To Betts, June 2, 1911.) Charles H. Betts, Betts-Roosevelt Letters. (Lyons, N. Y., 1912), p. 10.
In no way can respect for the courts be so quickly undermined as by teaching the public through the action of a judge himself that there is reason for the loss of such respect. (To Charles J. Bonaparte, January 2, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 522; Nat. Ed. XX, 449.
I have said again and again that I do not advocate the recall of judges in all States and in all communities. In my own State I do not advocate it or believe it to be needed, for in this State our trouble lies not with corruption on the bench, but with the effort by the honest but wrong-headed judges to thwart the people in their struggle for social justice and fair dealing. . . .
But—I say it soberly—democracy has a right to approach the sanctuary of the courts when a special interest has corruptly found sanctuary there; and this is exactly what has happened in some of the States where the recall of the judges is a living issue. I would far more willingly trust the whole people to judge such a case than some special tribunal—perhaps appointed by the same power that chose the judge—if that tribunal is not itself really responsible to the people and is hampered and clogged by the technicalities of impeachment proceedings. (At Carnegie Hall, N. Y. C., March 20, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 204; Nat. Ed. XVII, 154.
____________. Certain big men who, alas, have sometimes perverted the courts to their own uses now tell us that it is impious to speak of the people's insisting upon justice being done by the courts. We answer that with all our might we will uphold the courts against lawlessness; and that we also intend to see that in their turn the courts give justice to all. (At Louisville, Ky., April 3, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 252; Nat. Ed. XVII, 187.
Courts—the People and the
I do not say that the people are infallible. But I do say that our whole history shows that the American people are more often sound in their decisions than is the case with any of the governmental bodies to whom, for their convenience, they have delegated portions of their power.
If this is not so, then there is no justification for the existence of our government; and if it is so, then there is no justification for refusing to give the people the real, and not merely the nominal, ultimate decision on questions of constitutional law.
Just as the people, and not the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Taney, were wise in their decision of the vital questions of their day, so I hold that now the American people as a whole have shown themselves wiser than the courts in the way they have approached and dealt with such vital questions of our day as those concerning the proper control of big corporations and of securing their rights to industrial workers. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 190; Nat. Ed. XVII, 142.
____________. My proposal is merely that we shall give to the people the power, to be used not wantonly but only in exceptional cases, themselves to see to it that the governmental action taken in their name is really the action that they desire.
The American people, and not the courts, are to determine their own fundamental policies. The people should have power to deal with the effect of the acts of all their governmental agencies. This must be extended to include the effects of judicial acts as well as the acts of the executive and legislative representatives of the people. Where the judge merely does justice as between man and man, not dealing with constitutional questions, then the interest of the public is only to see that he is a wise and upright judge. Means should be devised for making it easier than at present to get rid of an incompetent judge; means should be devised by the bar and the bench acting in conjunction with the various legislative bodies to make justice far more expeditious and more certain than at present. The stick-in-the-bark legalism, the legalism that subordinates equity to technicalities, should be recognized as a potent enemy of justice. But this is not the matter of most concern at the moment. Our prime concern is that in dealing with the fundamental law of the land, in assuming finally to interpret it, and therefore finally to make it, the acts of the courts should be subject to and not above the final control of the people as a whole. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 367; Nat. Ed. XVII, 262.
____________. We hold with Abraham Lincoln that the people, acting deliberately and through the forms of law, are master over the courts as they are master over legislature and Senate, over governor and President. (At Chicago, December 10, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 480; Nat. Ed. XVII, 355.
____________. The courts are the servants of the people precisely as is true of all other public servants, legislative and executive alike. (Before National Conference of Progressive Service, Portsmouth, R. I., July 2, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 527; Nat. Ed. XVII, 387.
____________. I do not believe in sham. I do not believe in asserting that the people rule unless we make the actual fact correspond with the assertion. . . . The people must not surrender to the judiciary, any more than to the executive or legislative branches of the government, the final decision as to what laws they are to be permitted to have. . . . It often happens that vitally necessary and important laws, demanded in the interest of the people are declared unconstitutional by a reactionary court. In such a case what really happens is that one agent of the people, the legislature, passes the law and another agent of the people, the court, declare, that it has not the power to pass it. The remedy in such a case is obvious. When two agents differ the principal must decide between them. The people are the masters of all their governmental agents if there is any sincerity in our belief in democracy. Where their servants, their agents, disagree, the people themselves should have the right to step in and say which of their two servants, the court or the legislature, represents their deliberate and well-thought-out conviction. Outlook, November 15, 1913, p. 591.
I deny that the American people have surrendered to any set of men, no matter what their position or their character, the final right to determine those fundamental questions upon which free self-government ultimately depends. The people themselves must be the ultimate makers of their own Constitution. Outlook, August 17, 1912, p. 856.
____________. In the United States the courts have gradually assumed certain powers which are purely political. These powers are in no sense judicial. . . . In consequence it is necessary to provide for popular control over the exercise of these powers by the courts. . . . In the United States the courts have assumed to be the special interpreters of the Constitution. They have assumed the right to say what the people are, and what they are not, to be allowed to do in providing social and industrial justice. . . .The people must be in fact, and not merely nominally, the masters of their own destiny. . . .
The right to annul the law or to change it—as by judicial decision the fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution has been vitally and, as I hold, lamentably changed—is the right to govern. The authority that is able to say by what laws the people shall be governed is the sovereign authority in the State. . . . For a third of a century it has now been exercised with what I am forced to say, speaking gravely and deliberately, has been inexcusable and reckless wantonness, on behalf of privilege, and against the interests of the people for whom it is most needful that the power of the Government should be invoked. . . . I am speaking of the exercise by the judges of the United States of the political or legislative right to annul laws, and to declare that the people have no power to enact those laws which the judges do not think they ought to enact. Outlook, November 15, 1913, pp. 592-594.
Courts and Judges
Our opponents say that we attack the courts. We do not. We attack judges when they go wrong, just exactly as we attack other people when they do wrong—Presidents, senators, congressmen. (At New York City, February 12, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 497; Nat. Ed. XVII, 369.
See also Constitution; Division Of Powers; Franchise Tax; Hague Court ; International Court; Judges; Judiciary; Justice; Juvenile Courts; Laws; Legalism; Marshall, John; Minority; Recall; States' Rights; Supreme Court .
Cowardice in a race, as in an individual, is the unpardonable sin, and a wilful failure to prepare for danger may in its effects be as bad as cowardice. The timid man who cannot fight, and the selfish, short-sighted, or foolish man who will not take the steps that will enable him to fight, stand on almost the same plane. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XV, 242; Nat. Ed. XIII, 184.
____________. A coward who appreciates that cowardice is a sin, an unpardonable sin if persevered in, may train himself so as, first to act like a brave man, and then finally to feel like and therefore to be a brave man. But the coward who excuses his cowardice, who tries to cloak it behind lofty words, who perseveres in it, and does not appreciate his own infamy, is beyond all hope. (Metropolitan, August 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 363; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 311.
See also Courage; Fighting Qualities; Fighting Virtues; Manly Virtues; "Mollycoddle."
Cowboys are certainly extremely good riders. As a class they have no superiors. Of course, they would at first be at a disadvantage in steeplechasing or fox-hunting, but their average of horsemanship is without doubt higher than that of the men who take part in these latter amusements. A cowboy would learn to ride across country in a quarter of the time it would take a cross-country rider to learn to handle a vicious bronco or to do good cow-work round and in a herd. (1888.) Mem. Ed. IV, 426; Nat. Ed. I, 324.
The cowboys form a class by themselves, and are now quite as typical representatives of the wilder side of Western life as were a few years ago the skin-clad hunters and trappers. They are mostly of native birth, and although there are among them wild spirits from every land, yet the latter soon become un- distinguishable from their American companions, for these plainsmen are far from being so heterogeneous as is commonly supposed. On the contrary, all have a curious similarity to each other; existence in the West seems to put the same stamp upon each and every one of them. Sinewy, hardy, self-reliant, their life forces them to be both daring and adventurous, and the passing over their heads of a few years leaves printed on their faces certain lines which tell of dangers quietly fronted and hardships uncomplainingly endured. They are far from being as lawless as they are described; though they sometimes cut queer antics when, after many months of lonely life, they come into a frontier town in which drinking and gambling are the only recognized forms of amusement, and where pleasure and vice are considered synonymous terms. On the round-ups, or when a number get together, there is much boisterous, often foulmouthed, mirth; but they are rather silent, self-contained men when with strangers, and are frank and hospitable to a degree. The Texans are perhaps the best at the actual cowboy work. They are absolutely fearless riders and understand well the habits of the half-wild cattle, being unequalled in those most trying times when, for instance, the cattle are stampeded by a thunder-storm at night, while in the use of the rope they are only excelled by the Mexicans. On the other hand, they are prone to drink, and, when drunk, to shoot. (1885.) Mem. Ed. I, 8-9; Nat. Ed. I, 7-8.
____________. The cowboys, who have supplanted these old hunters and trappers as the typical men of the plains, themselves lead lives that are almost as full of hardship and adventure. The unbearable cold of winter sometimes makes the small outlying camps fairly uninhabitable if fuel runs short; and if the line-riders are caught in a blizzard while making their way to the home-ranch, they are lucky if they get off with nothing worse than frozen feet and faces.
They are, in the main, hard-working, faithful fellows, but of course are frequently obliged to get into scrapes through no fault of their own. (1888.) Mem. Ed. IV, 463-464; Nat. Ed. I, 356.
____________It is utterly unfair to judge the whole class by what a few individuals do in the course of two or three days spent in town, instead of by the long months of weary, honest toil common to all alike. To appreciate properly his fine, manly qualities, the wild roughrider of the plains should be seen in his own home. There he passes his days, there he does his life-work, there, when he meets death, he faces it as he has faced many other evils, with quiet, uncomplaining fortitude. Brave, hospitable, hardy, and adventurous, he is the grim pioneer of our race; he prepares the way for the civilization from before whose face he must himself disappear. Hard and dangerous though his existence is, it has yet a wild attraction that strongly draws to it his bold, free spirit. (1888.) Mem. Ed. IV, 479; Nat. Ed. I, 369.
____________. The cowboys resemble one another much more and outsiders much less than is the case even with their employers, the ranchmen. A town in the cattle country, when for some cause it is thronged with men from the neighborhood, always presents a picturesque sight. On the wooden sidewalks of the broad, dusty streets the men who ply the various industries known only to frontier existence jostle one another as they saunter to and fro or lounge lazily in front of the straggling, cheap-looking board houses. . . . Everywhere among these plainsmen and mountain men, and more important than any are the cowboys— the men who follow the calling that has brought such towns into being. . . . They are smaller and less muscular than the wielders of axe and pick; but they are as hardy and self-reliant as any men who ever breathed—with bronzed, set faces, and keen eyes that look all the world straight in the face without flinching as they flash out from under the broad-brimmed hats. Peril and hardship, and years of long toil broken by weeks of brutal dissipation, draw haggard lines across their eager faces, but never dim their reckless eyes nor break their bearing of defiant self-confidence. . . . Although prompt to resent an injury, they are not at all apt to be rude to outsiders, treating them with what can almost be called a grave courtesy. They are much better fellows and pleasanter companions than small farmers or agricultural laborers; nor are the mechanics and workmen of a great city to be mentioned in the same breath. (1888.) Mem. Ed. IV, 369-372; Nat. Ed. I, 276- 278.
____________. The moral tone of a cow camp, indeed, is rather high than otherwise. Meanness, cowardice, and dishonesty are not tolerated. There is a high regard for truthfulness and keeping one’s word, intense contempt for any kind of hypocrisy, and a hearty dislike for a man who shirks his work. Many of the men gamble and drink, but many do neither; and the conversation is not worse than in most bodies composed wholly of male human beings. A cowboy will not submit tamely to an insult, and is ever ready to avenge his own wrongs; nor has he an overwrought fear of shedding blood. He possesses, in fact, few of the emasculated, milk-and- water moralities admired by the pseudophilanthropists; but he does possess, to a very high degree, the stern qualities that are invaluable to a nation. (1888.) Mem. Ed. IV, 427-428; Nat. Ed. I, 325-326.
See also Cattleman; Ranch Life; Round-Up.
Southern coyotes or prairie-wolves are only about one-third the size of the big gray timber- wolves of the Northern Rockies. They are too small to meddle with full-grown horses and cattle, but pick up young calves and kill sheep, as well as any small domesticated animal that they can get at. The big wolves flee from the neighborhood of anything like close settlements, but coyotes hang around the neighborhood of man much more persistently. They show a fox-like cunning in catching rabbits, prairie- dogs, gophers and the like. After nightfall they are noisy, and their melancholy wailing and yelling are familiar sounds to all who pass over the plains. . . . Coyotes are sharp, wary, knowing creatures, and on most occasions take care to keep out of harm's way. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 96, 97; Nat. Ed. II, 473, 474.
Craft unaccompanied by conscience makes the crafty man a social wild beast who preys on the community and must be hunted out of it. (Before Young Men’s Christian Association, New York City, December 30, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 535; Nat. Ed. XIII, 498.
See also Conscience.
The public and the representatives of the public, the high officials, whether on the bench or in executive or legislative positions, need to remember that often the most dangerous criminals, so far as the life of the nation is concerned, are not those who commit the crimes known to and condemned by the popular conscience for centuries, but those who commit crimes only rendered possible by the complex conditions of our modern industrial life. It makes not a particle of difference whether these crimes are committed by a capitalist or by a laborer, by a leading banker or manufacturer or railroad man, or by a leading representative of a labor-union. Swindling in stocks, corrupting legislatures, making fortunes by the inflation of securities, by wrecking railroads, by destroying competitors through rebates—these forms of wrong- doing in the capitalist are far more infamous than any ordinary form of embezzlement or forgery; yet it is a matter of extreme difficulty to secure the punishment of the man most guilty of them, most responsible for them. (Seventh Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 515; Nat. Ed. XV, 439.
____________. The most effective way to reduce crime is for the judges and magistrates to impose heavier sentences on criminals. The police do their duty well; but if the courts let the criminals go with inadequate sentences, the effect of the labor of the police is largely wasted. (Before N. Y. Preachers’ Meeting, January 20, 1896.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 310-311; Nat. Ed. XIV, 217.
Crime and Punishment
I have not a particle of sympathy with the sentimentality—as I deem it, the mawkishness—which overflows with foolish pity for the criminal and cares not at all for the victim of the criminal. I am glad to see wrongdoers punished. The punishment is an absolute necessity from the standpoint of society; and I put the reformation of the criminal second to the welfare of society. But I do desire to see the man or woman who has paid the penalty and who wishes to reform given a helping hand—surely every one of us who knows his own heart must know that he too may stumble, and should be anxious to help his brother or sister who has stumbled. When the criminal has been punished, if he then shows a sincere desire to lead a decent and upright life, he should be given the chance, he should be helped and not hindered; and if he makes good, he should receive that respect from others which so often aids in creating self-respect—the most invaluable of all possessions. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 154; Nat. Ed. XX, 131
See also Assassination; Bribery; Capital Punishment; Corruption; Insanity Plea; Juvenile Courts; Lynching; Stock-Watering; Vice; White Slave Traffic.
One of the painful duties of the chief executive in States like New York, as well as in the nation, is the refusing of pardons. Yet I can imagine nothing more necessary from the standpoint of good citizenship than the ability to steel one's heart in this matter of granting pardons. The pressure is always greatest in two classes of cases: first, that where capital punishment is inflicted; second, that where the man is prominent socially and in the business world, and where in consequence his crime is apt to have been one concerned in some way with finance. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 348; Nat. Ed. XX, 298.
____________. Every time that rape or criminal assault on a woman is pardoned, and anything less than the full penalty of the law exacted, a premium is put on the practice of lynching such offenders. Every time a big moneyed offender, who naturally excites interest and sympathy, and who has many friends, is excused from serving a sentence which a man of less prominence and fewer friends would have to serve, justice is discredited in the eyes of plain people—and to undermine faith in justice is to strike at the foundation of the Republic. As for ill health, it must be remembered that few people are as healthy in prison as they would be outside; and there should be no discrimination among criminals on this score; either all criminals who grow unhealthy should be let out, or none. Pardons must sometimes be given in order that the cause of justice may be served; but in cases such as these I am considering, while I know that many amiable people differ from me, I am obliged to say that in my judgment the pardons work far-reaching harm to the cause of justice. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 512; Nat. Ed. XX, 440.
Criminals — Sympathy for
You don't want any mushy sentimentality when you are dealing with criminals. One of the things that many of our good reformers should learn is that fellow-feeling for the criminal is out of place. (Before Liberal Club of Buffalo, N. Y., September 10, 1895.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 282; Nat. Ed. XIV, 202.
____________. Any man who has ever had anything to do with the infliction of the death-penalty, or indeed with any form of punishment, knows that there are sentimental beings so constituted that their sympathies are always most keenly aroused on behalf of the offender who pays the penalty for a deed of peculiar atrocity. The explanation probably is that the more conspicuous the crime, the more their attention is arrested, and the more acute their manifestations of sympathy become. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 386; Nat. Ed. X, 272.
____________. It is criminal to permit sympathy for criminals to weaken our hands in upholding the law. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 407; Nat. Ed. XV, 347.
Criminals — Treatment of
There was one bit of frontier philosophy which I should like to see imitated in more advanced communities. Certain crimes of revolting baseness and cruelty were never forgiven. But in the case of ordinary offenses, the man who had served his term and who then tried to make good was given a fair chance; and of course this was equally true of the women. Every one who has studied the subject at all is only too well aware that the world offsets the readiness with which it condones a crime for which a man escapes punishment by its unforgiving relentlessness to the often far less guilty man who is punished, and who therefore has made his atonement. On the frontier, if the man honestly tried to behave himself there was generally a disposition to give him fair play and a decent show. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 153; Nat. Ed. XX, 131.
See also Anarchists; Law; Malefactors Of Great Wealth.
I would not for one moment be understood as objecting to criticism or failing to appreciate its importance. . . . But it behooves every man to remember that the work of the critic, important though it is, is of altogether secondary importance, and that, in the end, progress is accomplished by the man who does the things, and not by the man who talks about how they ought or ought not to be done. (Forum, July 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 43; Nat. Ed. XIII, 29.
____________. There is but one thing that can hurt more surely than indiscriminate praise of everything American, good and bad, and that is, interminable and indiscriminate sneering and faultfinding. (At memorial meeting for G. W. Curtis, New York City, November 14, 1892.) Mem. Ed. XII, 485; Nat. Ed. XI, 229.
An age in which the critical faculty is greatly developed often tends to develop a certain querulous inability to understand the fundamental truths which less critical ages accept as a matter of course. (Outlook, August 26, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 441; Nat. Ed. XII, 99.
There is . . . a need for proper critical work. Wrongs should be strenuously and fearlessly denounced; evil principles and evil men should be condemned. The politician who cheats or swindles, or the newspaper man who lies in any form, should be made to feel that he is an object of scorn for all honest men. We need fearless criticism; but we need that it should also be intelligent. . . . Criticism which is ignorant or prejudiced is a source of great harm to the nation; and where ignorant or prejudiced critics are themselves educated men, their attitude does real harm also to the class to which they belong. (Atlantic Monthly, August 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 53; Nat. Ed. XIII, 39.
____________. There is much in our political life to censure as well as much to praise; but both censure and praise must be bestowed intelligently to be effective. Criticism is undoubtedly necessary, though less so than many other things—the men who criticise most severely are rarely those who work effectively to destroy the evils complained of—but excessive and indiscriminate scolding, fretting, and fault-finding are even more injurious than excessive and indiscriminate laudation. (Cosmopolitan, December 1892.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 371; Nat. Ed. XII, 315.
Criticism of Public Officials
Undoubtedly good men in public life should be freely criticised whenever they do wrong; but all should be judged by one standard in making comparisons. It is folly to strengthen our foes by assailing our friends; and indiscriminate and unintelligent blame is quite as harmful as indiscriminate and unintelligent praise. We do not, as a people, suffer from the lack of criticism, but we do suffer from the lack of impartial and intelligent criticism. (Century, February 1890.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 166; Nat. Ed. XIV, 106.
____________. No servant of the people has a right to expect to be free from just and honest criticism. It is the newspapers, and the public men whose thoughts and deeds show them to be most alien to honesty and truth who themselves loudly object to truthful and honest criticism of their fellow servants of the great moneyed interests. (To Charles J. Bonaparte, January 2, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 523; Nat. Ed. XX, 450.
____________. I very seriously question whether, on the whole, we do not suffer in our public life quite as much from unjust assault upon upright public servants as from failure effectively to assault corruption and its exponents. Many newspapers and many magazines, sometimes because they are controlled by the special interests, and quite as often because they are seeking to capitalize sensationalism and to turn to commercial advantage the literature of exposure, have done, and are doing, all they can to degrade public life by practising every species of reckless sensational and hysterical mendacity at the cost of reputable public servants. (Outlook , March 4, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 117; Nat. Ed. XVII, 80.
Criticism of the Government
It is the duty of every American citizen fearlessly, but truthfully, to criticize not only his Government but his people, for wrongdoing, or for failure to do what is right. It is his duty to obey the injunction of President Wilson by insisting upon pitiless publicity of inefficiency, of subordination of public to private considerations, or of any other form of governmental failure to perform duty. Such criticism is absolutely indispensable if we are to do our duty in this war, and if we are to adopt a permanent policy of preparedness which will make this Nation safe. (October 1, 1917.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 7.
____________. In the United States the people are all citizens, including its President. The rest of them are fellow citizens of the President. In Germany the people are all subjects of the Kaiser. They are not his fellow citizens, they are his subjects. This is the essential difference between the United States and Germany, but the difference would vanish if we now submitted to the foolish or traitorous persons who endeavor to make it a crime to tell the truth about the administration when the administration is guilty of incompetence or other shortcomings. Such endeavor is itself a crime against the nation. Those who take such an attitude are guilty of moral treason of a kind both abject and dangerous. (1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 324; Nat. Ed. XIX, 296.
See also Action; Free Speech; International Criticism; Lese-Majesty; President; Truth.
All his qualities, both good and bad, tended to render the forms and the narrowly limited powers of constitutional government irksome to him. His strength, his intensity of conviction, his delight in exercising powers for what he conceived to be good ends; his dislike of speculative reforms and his inability to appreciate the necessity of theories to a practical man who wishes to do good work; his hatred of both king and oligarchy, while he utterly distrusted a popular majority; his tendency to insist upon the superiority of the moral law, as he saw it, to the laws of mankind roundabout him—all these tendencies worked together to unfit him for the task of helping a liberty loving people on the road toward freedom. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 428-429; Nat. Ed. X, 308-309.
____________. Cromwell was far more concerned in righting specific cases of oppression than in advancing the great principles of constitutional government which alone make possible that orderly liberty which is the bar to such individual acts of wrong-doing. From the standpoint of the private man this is a distinctly better failing than is its opposite; but from the standpoint of the statesman the reverse is true. Cromwell, like many a so-called "practical" man, would have done better work had he followed a more clearly defined theory; for though the practical man is better than the mere theorist, he cannot do the highest work unless he is a theorist also. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 319; Nat. Ed. X, 215.
____________. He had no great understanding of constitutional government, no full appreciation of the vital importance of the reign of law to the proper development of orderly liberty. His fervent religious ardor made all questions affecting faith and doctrine close to him; and his hatred of corruption and oppression inclined him to take the lead whenever any question arose of dealing, either with the wrongs done by Laud in the course of his religious persecutions, or with the irresponsible tyranny of the star-chamber, and the sufferings of its victims. The bent of Cromwell's mind was thus shown right in the beginning of his parliamentary career. His desire was to remedy specific evils. He was too impatient to found the kind of legal and constitutional system which could alone prevent the recurrence of such evils. This tendency, thus early shown, explains, at least in part, why it was that later he deviated from the path trod by Hampden, and afterward by Washington and Washington's colleagues: showing himself unable to build up free government or to establish the reign of law, until he was finally driven to substitute his own personal government for the personal government of the king whom he had helped to dethrone, and put to death. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 324- 325; Nat. Ed. X, 219.
____________. Cromwell's government was a tyranny because it was based on his own personal rule, his personal decision as to what taxes should be levied, what ordinances issued, what police measures decreed and carried out, what foreign policy adopted or rejected. He was influenced very much by public opinion, when public opinion found definite expression in the action of a body of legislators or of an assembly of officers; but even in such cases he was only influenced, not controlled. In other words, he had gone back to the theory of government professed by the man he had executed, and by that man's predecessors. There was, however, the tremendous and far-reaching difference, that, whereas the Stuart kings clung to absolute power for the sake of rewarding favorites and of carrying out policies that were hostile to the honor and interest of England, Cromwell seized it with the sincere purpose of exalting the moral law at home and increasing the honor of England's name abroad. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 439-440; Nat. Ed. X, 318-319.
See also Self- Government; Washington, George.
Crowder, General E. H.
I am a quietly rampant "Cuba Libre" man. I doubt whether the Cubans would do very well in the line of self-government, but anything would be better than continuance of Spanish rule. I believe that Cleveland ought now to recognize Cuba's independence and interfere; sending our fleet promptly to Havana. There would not, in my opinion, be very serious fighting, and what loss we encountered would be thrice over repaid by the ultimate results of our action. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, January 2, 1897.) Cowles Letters, 201.
____________. I doubt if those Spaniards can really pacify Cuba, and if the insurrection goes on much longer I don’t see how we can help interfering. Germany is the power with whom I look foward to serious difficulty; but oh, how bitterly angry I get at the attitude of some of our public men and some of our publicists! (To W. W. Kimball, December 17, 1897.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 98; Bishop I, 84.
____________. Personally, I feel that it is not too late to intervene in Cuba. What the Administration will do I know not. In some points it has followed too closely in Cleveland's footsteps to please me, excellently though it has done on the whole. In the name of humanity and of national interest alike, we should have interfered in Cuba two years ago, a year and a half ago last April, and again last December. The blood of the Cubans, the blood of women and children who have perished by the hundred thousand in hideous misery, lies at our door; and the blood of the murdered men of the Maine calls not for indemnity but for the full measure of atonement which can only come by driving the Spaniard from the New World. I have said this to the President before his Cabinet; I have said it to Judge Day, the real head of the State Department; and to my own Chief. I cannot say it publicly, for I am of course merely a minor official in the Administration. At least, however, I have borne testimony where I thought it would do good. (To Brooks Adams, March 21, 1898.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 101; Bishop I, 87.
____________. I have advised the President in the presence of his Cabinet, as well as Judge Day and Senator Hanna, as strongly as I knew how, to settle this matter instantly by armed intervention; and I told the President in the plainest language that no other course was compatible with our national honor, or with the claims of humanity on behalf of the wretched women and children of Cuba. I am more grieved and indignant than I can say at there being any delay on our part in a matter like this. A great crisis is upon us, and if we do not rise level to it, we shall have spotted the pages of our history with a dark blot of shame. (To W. S. Cowles, March 30, 1898.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 103; Bishop I, 89.
Cuba—Roosevelt's Policy in
Just at the moment I am so angry with that infernal little Cuban republic that I would like to wipe its people off the face of the earth. All that we have wanted from them was that they should behave themselves and be prosperous, and happy so that we would not have to interfere. And now, lo and behold, they have started an utterly unjustifiable and pointless revolution and may get things into such a snarl that we have no alternative save to intervene—which will at once convince the suspicious idiots in South America that we do wish to interfere after all, and perhaps have some land-hunger! (To White, September 13, 1906.) Allan Nevins, Henry White. Thirty Years of American Diplomacy. (Harper & Bros., N. Y., 1930), p. 255.
____________. I did not send Taft and Bacon to Havana until Palma had repeatedly telegraphed us that his unalterable purpose was to resign forthwith; that the Vice-President and the members of his Cabinet would decline to take or remain in office, and that he was entirely unable to quell the insurrection. I have, I need hardly say, a horror of putting what is in effect a premium upon insurrection by letting the insurrectionists receive benefit from their action; but Palma's utter weakness—or, to speak with literal exactness, his impotence—to do anything effective toward quelling the revolt (for I treat as of less moment the undoubted and gross misbehavior of the party in power at the last election) made it absolutely imperative that I should take some step unless I wished to see chaos come in the Island. . . . Of course our permanent policy toward the Island must depend absolutely upon the action of Congress. No matter what construction is given the Platt Amendment, Congress has nothing to do but to refuse appropriations to put it into effect, and the Platt Amendment vanishes into air, and any stay of marines and troops in the Island becomes impossible. . . . I hope that . . . we shall not have to intervene in any permanent form at present, and that we can simply make temporary arrangements to keep order until an election can be held and a new government or modified government started. I am inclined to think that, thanks to the fact that I have shown that I was ready to intervene by force of arms if necessary, the necessity will be for the present avoided; but I am greatly disheartened at what has occurred and doubt very much whether in the end we shall not have to exercise a more immediate control over Cuba; and of course it is possible that we shall be unable to make a working scheme even now, and that we shall have to take possession of the Island temporarily this fall. But I shall do all that I can to avoid this and I hope to be successful. (To H. C. Lodge, September 27, 1906.) Lodge Letters II, 234-235.
____________. I got Congress to approve of my action in interfering in Cuba—and here, by the way, let me interject that I think we have given a pretty fair example of international good faith of the kind I preach, for after having our army for the second time for several years in Cuba, we are now about to leave the island prosperous and thriving and with a reasonable hope that it can achieve self-government for itself; at least, if it cannot, it is evident that we have done our best to put it on the road of stable and orderly independence. (To Sydney Brooks, December 28, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 151; Bishop II, 130.
Cuba and the United States
After having delivered the island from its oppressors, we refused to turn it loose offhand, with the certainty that it would sink back into chaos and savagery. For over three years we administered it on a plane higher than it had ever reached before during the four hundred years that had elapsed since the Spaniards first landed upon its shores. We brought moral and physical cleanliness into the government. We cleaned the cities for the first time in their existence. We stamped out yellow fever—an inestimable boon not merely to Cuba, but to the people of the Southern States as well. We established a school system. We made life and property secure, so that industry could again begin to thrive. Then when we had laid deep and broad the foundations upon which civil liberty and national independence must rest, we turned the island over to the hands of those whom its people had chosen as the founders of the new republic. It is a republic with which our own great Republic must ever be closely knit by the ties of common interests and common inspirations. Cuba must always be peculiarly related to us in international politics. She must in international affairs be to a degree a part of our political system. In return she must have peculiar relations with us economically. She must be in a sense part of our economic system. We expect her to accept a political attitude toward us which we think wisest both for her and for us. In return we must be prepared to put her in an economic position as regards our tariff system which will give her some measure of the prosperity which we enjoy. We cannot, in my judgment, avoid taking this attitude if we are to persevere in the course which we have outlined for ourselves as a nation during the past four years. (At Hartford, Conn., August 22, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 358-359; Nat. Ed. XVI, 272-273.
Cuba is, in my judgment, entitled ultimately to settle for itself whether it shall be an independent state or an integral portion of the mightiest of republics. But until order and stable liberty are secured, we must remain in the island to insure them, and infinite tact, judgment, moderation, and courage must be shown by our military and civil representatives in keeping the island pacified, in relentlessly stamping out brigandage, in protecting all alike, and yet in showing proper recognition to the men who have fought for Cuban liberty. (Before the Hamilton Club, Chicago, April 10, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XV, 279; Nat. Ed. XIII, 329.
____________. As a nation we have especial right to take honest pride in what we have done for Cuba. Our critics abroad and at home have insisted that we never intended to leave the island. But on the 20th of next month Cuba becomes a free republic, and we turn over to the islanders the control of their own government. It would be very difficult to find a parallel in the conduct of any other great State that has occupied such a position as ours. We have kept our word and done our duty, just as an honest individual in private life keeps his word and does his duty. (At Charleston Exposition, S. C., April 9, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 35; Nat. Ed. XVI, 29.
____________. It would have been a betrayal of our duty to have given Cuba independence out of hand. President McKinley, .with his usual singular sagacity in the choice of agents, selected in General Leonard Wood the man of all others best fit to bring the island through its uncertain period of preparation for independence, and the result of his wisdom was shown when last May the island became in name and in fact a free Republic, for it started with a better equipment and under more favorable conditions than had ever previously been the case with any Spanish-American commonwealth. (At banquet in honor of birthday of William McKinley, Canton, O., January 27, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XII, 498; Nat. Ed. XI, 240-241.
See also Intervention; Maine; Monroe Doctrine; Platt Amendment; Spanish American War; Wood, Leonard.
See Painting. Cultural Education. See Education, Liberal.
The one element more essential than any other to the prosperity of a great civilized nation is a sound and stable currency. (Speech at Grand Rapids, Mich., September 7, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 531; Nat. Ed. XIV, 347.
____________. Probably the most important aid which can be contributed by the National Government to the material well-being of the country is to ensure its financial stability. An honest currency is the strongest symbol and expression of honest business life. The business world must exist largely on credit, and to credit confidence is essential. Any tampering with the currency, no matter with what purpose, if fraught with the suspicion of dishonesty, in result is fatal in its effects on business prosperity. Very ignorant and primitive communities are continually obliged to learn the elementary truth that the repudiation of debts is in the end ruinous to the debtors as a class; and when communities have moved somewhat higher in the scale of civilization they also learn that anything in the nature of a debased currency works similar damage. A financial system of assured honesty is the first essential. (At Logansport, Ind., September 23, 1902.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 189-190.
____________. A metallic currency is always surer and safer than a paper currency; where it exists a laboring man dependent on his wages need fear less than any other member of the community the evils of bad banking. . . . A craze for "soft," or dishonest, money—a greenback movement, or one for short-weight silver dollars—works more to the disadvantage of the whole mass of the people than even to that of the capitalists; it is a move directly in the interests of "the money power," which its loudmouthed advocates are ostensibly opposing in the interests of democracy. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 103; Nat. Ed. VII, 89.
Our currency laws have been recently improved by specific declarations intended to secure permanency of values; but this does not imply that these laws may not be further improved and strengthened. It is wellnigh universally admitted, certainly in any business community such as this, that our currency system is wanting in elasticity; that is, the volume does not respond to the varying needs of the country as a whole, nor to the varying needs of the different localities as well as of different times. Our people scarcely need to be reminded that grain-raising communities require a larger volume of currency at harvest time than during the summer months; and the same principle in greater or less extent applies to every community. Our currency laws need such modification as will ensure definitely the parity of every dollar coined or issued by the government, and such expansion or contraction of the currency as will promptly and automatically respond to the varying needs of commerce. Permanent increase would be dangerous, permanent contraction ruinous, but the needed elasticity must be brought about by provisions which will permit both contraction and expansion as the varying needs of the several communities and business interests at different times and in different localities require. (At Quincy, Ill., April 29, 1903.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 335.
____________. Every consideration of prudence demands the addition of the element of elasticity to our currency system. The evil does not consist in an inadequate volume of money, but in the rigidity of this volume, which does not respond as it should to the varying needs of communities and of seasons. Inflation must be avoided; but some provision should be made that will insure a larger volume of money during the fall and winter months than in the less active seasons of the year; so that the currency will contract against speculation, and will expand for the needs of legitimate business. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 342- 343; Nat. Ed. XV, 293.
____________. We need a greater elasticity in our currency; provided, of course, that we recognize the even greater need of a safe and secure currency. There must always be the most rigid examination by the national authorities. Provision should be made for an emergency currency. The emergency issue should, of course, be made with an effective guarantee, and upon conditions carefully prescribed by the government. Such emergency issue must be based on adequate securities approved by the government, and must be issued under a heavy tax. This would permit currency being issued when the demand for it was urgent, while securing its requirement as the demand fell off. (Seventh Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 500; Nat. Ed. XV, 426.
Currency and National Development
There is no doubt whatever that a nation is profoundly affected by the character of its currency; but there seems to be equally little doubt that the currency is only one, and by no means the most important, among a hundred causes which profoundly affect it. The United States has been on a gold basis, and on a silver basis; it has been on a paper basis, and on a basis of what might be called the scraps and odds and ends of the currencies of a dozen other nations; but it has kept on developing along the same lines no matter what its currency has been. If a change of currency were so enacted as to amount to dishonesty, that is, to the repudiation of debts, it would be a very bad thing morally; or, if a change took place in a manner that would temporarily reduce the purchasing power of the wage-earner, it would be a very bad thing materially; but the current of the national life would not be wholly diverted or arrested, it would merely be checked, even by such a radical change. The forces that most profoundly shape the course of a nation's life lie far deeper than the mere use of gold or of silver, the mere question of the appreciation or depreciation of one metal when compared with the other, or when compared with commodities generally. (Forum, January 1897.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 136; Nat. Ed. XIII, 248.
____________. In different stages of development, different countries face varying economic conditions, but at every stage and under all circumstances the most important element in securing their economic well- being is sound finance, honest money. So intimate is the connection between industrial prosperity and a sound currency that the former is jeopardized, not merely by unsound finance, but by the very threat of unsound finance. The business man and the farmer are vitally interested in this question; but no man's interest is so great as that of the wage-worker. A depreciated currency means loss and disaster to the business man; but it means grim suffering to the wage-worker. The capitalist will lose much of his capital and will suffer wearing anxiety and the loss of many comforts; but the wage-worker who loses his wages must suffer, and see his wife and children suffer, for the actual necessities of life. The one absolutely vital need of our whole industrial system is sound money. (Letter accepting nomination for Vice-Presidency, September 15, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 549-550; Nat. Ed. XIV, 363.
Currency and Panic of 1903
Most emphatically we need to have preached the fact that our currency system is on the whole a good one; that we need merely some simple remedial legislation, and above all nothing revolutionary. The only effect this administration has had as regards the panic has been that the action in the Northern Securities suit undoubtedly stopped a movement for the wildest speculation in railroad and similar combinations—a speculation which would have resulted probably by this time in a real panic—not such a stringency as we have seen this summer but a time of disaster like 1873 and 1893. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, August 26, 1903.) Cowles Letters, 258.
Currency Legislation—Need of
I earnestly and cordially agree with you on the need of currency legislation, and have been doing all I can for it; but the big financial men of the country, instead of trying to get sound currency legislation, seem to pass their time in lamenting, as Wall Street laments, our action about the railroads. (To Henry L. Higginson, February 11, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 45-46; Bishop II, 39.
The people of the United States suffer from periodical financial panics to a degree substantially unknown among the other nations which approach us in financial strength. There is no reason why we should suffer what they escape. It is of profound importance that our financial system should be promptly investigated, and so thoroughly and effectively revised as to make it certain that hereafter our currency will no longer fail at critical times to meet our needs. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 21; Nat. Ed. XVII, 14.
____________. The experience of repeated financial crises in the last forty years has proved that the present method of issuing, through private agencies, notes secured by government bonds is both harmful and unscientific. . . . The issue of currency is fundamentally a governmental function. The system to be adopted should have as its basic principles soundness and elasticity. . . . Only by such means can the country be freed from the danger of recurring panics. The control should be lodged with the government, and should be safeguarded against manipulation by Wall Street or the large interests. It should be made impossible to use the machinery or perquisites of the currency system for any speculative purposes. The country must be safeguarded against the overexpansion or unjust contraction of either credit or circulating medium. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX 404; Nat. Ed. XVII, 292.
See also Banking; Coinage; Election Of 1896; Gold Standard; Panic Of 1907; Silver.
It is hard indeed for the average man to appreciate rightly the relative importance of the different movements going on about him. American historians very often fail signally in this respect. Questions of the tariff or of the currency, and the rise and fall of parties connected therewith absorb their attention. In reality all matters of this sort are of merely minor importance in our history. (Independent, November 24, 1892.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 287; Nat. Ed. XII, 247.
See also History.
Curtis, George William
Mr. Curtis was not a mere critic. He was able to criticise so well, so justly, because he had been a doer of duties, and not a man that merely talked about them. I wonder how many of you realize that Mr. Curtis, who was so pre-eminently fitted for refined, cultivated society, never shirked the raw, rough work; that he did not shrink from taking part in the contest; that he was not frightened by the blood and sweat that came with contest. How many of you know that he was for many years the chairman of his party committee for his county; that he did all the detail work of practical politics himself; that he was a delegate to conventions—to State and national conventions—in one or two of which I had the great honor of sitting beside him; that he actually did all that work himself; that he did not merely talk about how it ought to be done if the conditions were entirely different from the conditions that actually existed, but that he went in himself to do the best he could with the means at hand. (At memorial meeting for G. W. Curtis, New York City, November 14, 1892.) Mem. Ed. XII, 483-484; Nat. Ed. XI, 227-228.
Curtis, George William
See also Mugwump.
Where a bad custom has been in existence for any length of time, most people grow to regard it as part of the order of nature. (Atlantic Monthly, July 1892.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 199; Nat. Ed. XIV, 134.
See also Law.
See Social Conventions.
There are, of course, men of such low moral type, or of such ingrained cynicism, that they do not believe in the possibility of making anything better, or do not care to see things better. There are also men who are slightly disordered mentally, or who are cursed with a moral twist which makes them champion reforms less from a desire to do good to others than as a kind of tribute to their own righteousness, for the sake of emphasizing their own superiority. From neither of these classes can we get any real help in the unending struggle for righteousness. (Century, June 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 378; Nat. Ed. XIII, 341