See Leisure; Pleasure; Strenuous Life; Work.
The prime need to-day is to face the fact that we are now in the midst of a great economic evolution. There is urgent necessity of applying both common sense and the highest ethical standard to this movement for better economic conditions among the mass of our people if we are to make it one of healthy evolution and not one of revolution. It is, from the standpoint of our country, wicked as well as foolish longer to refuse to face the real issues of the day. Only by so facing them can we go forward. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 359; Nat. Ed. XVII, 255.
See also Business; Industrial Revolution.
Stability of economic policy must always be the prime economic need of this country. This stability should not be fossilization. (Second Annual Message, Washington, December 2, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 167; Nat. Ed. XV, 144.
Economic reform must have a twofold object; first to increase general prosperity, because unless there is such general prosperity no one will be well off; and, second, to secure a fair distribution of this prosperity, so that the man of the people shall share in it. Introduction to The Wisconsin Idea by Charles McCarthy. (Macmillan Co., N. Y., 1912), p. x.
The editor, who stands as a judge in a community, should be one of the men to whom you would expect to look up, because his function as an editor makes him a more important man than the average merchant, the average business man, the average professional man can be. He wields great influence; and he cannot escape the responsibility of wielding it. If he wields it well, honor is his beyond the honor that comes to the average man who does well; if he wields it ill, shame should be his beyond the shame that comes to the average man who does ill. (At Milwaukee, Wis., September 7, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 459; Nat. Ed. XIII, 546.
See also Journalist; Press.
Educated Men—Obligation of
It is an evil thing for any man of education to forget that education should intensify patriotism, and that patriotism must not only be shown by striving to do good to the country from within, but by readiness to uphold its interests and honor, at any cost, when menaced from without. Educated men owe to the community the serious performance of this duty. (The Bachelor of Arts, March 1896.) Mem. Ed. XV, 236; Nat. Ed. XIII, 178.
____________. The educated man is entitled to no special privilege, save the inestimable privilege of trying to show that his education enables him to take the lead in striving to guide his fellows aright in the difficult task which is set to us of the twentieth century. (At University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, February 22, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XV, 348; Nat. Ed. XIII, 505.
Educated Men In Politics
An educated man must not go into politics as such; he must go in simply as an American; and when he is once in, he will speedily realize that he must work very hard indeed, or he will be upset by some other American, with no education at all, but with much natural capacity. His education ought to make him feel particularly ashamed of himself if he acts meanly or dishonorably, or in any way falls short of the ideal of good citizenship, and it ought to make him feel that he must show that he has profited by it; but it should certainly give him no feeling of superiority until by actual work he has shown that superiority. In other words, the educated man must realize that he is living in a democracy and under democratic conditions, and that he is entitled to no more respect and consideration than he can win by actual performance. (Atlantic Monthly, August 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 52; Nat. Ed. XIII, 37.
See also Citizenship; Civic Duty; Democracy.
Education must be twofold. Of course if we do not have education in the school, the academy, the college, the university, and have it developed in the highest and wisest manner, we shall make but a poor fist of American citizenship. . . . But such education can never be all. It can never be more than half, and sometimes not that. Nothing can take the place of the education of the home; and that education must be largely the unconscious influence of character upon character. (Before Minnesota Legislature, St. Paul, April 4, 1903.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers 1,289.
____________. A literary education is simply one of many different kinds of education, and it is not wise that more than a small percentage of the people of any country should have an exclusively literary education. The average man must either supplement it by another education or else as soon as he has left an institution of learning, even though he has benefited by it, he must at once begin to train himself to do work along totally different lines. (At National University, Cairo, Egypt, March 28, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 622; Nat. Ed. XVI, 451.
____________. A utilitarian education should undoubtedly be the foundation of all education. But it is far from advisable, it is far from wise, to have it the end of all education. Technical training will more and more be accepted as the prime factor in our educational system, a factor as essential for the farmer, the blacksmith, the seamstress, and the cook, as for the lawyer, the doctor, the engineer, and the stenographer. . . . Side by side with the need for the perfection of the individual in the technic of his special calling goes the need of broad human sympathy, and the need of lofty and generous emotion in that individual. Only thus can the citizenship of the modern state rise level to the complex modern social needs.
No technical training, no narrowly utilitarian study of any kind will meet this second class of needs. In part they can best be met by a training that will fit men and women to appreciate, and therefore to profit by, great poetry and those great expressions of the historian and the statesman which rivet our interest and stir our souls. (Presidential Address, American Historical Association, Boston, December 27, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 14; Nat. Ed. XII, 12-13.
____________. I doubt if there is any lesson more essential to teach in an industrial democracy like ours than the lesson that any failure to train the average citizen to a belief in the things of the spirit no less than the things of the body, must in the long run entail misfortune, shortcoming, possible disaster upon the Nation itself. . . . It is necessary that we should see that the children should be trained not merely in reading and writing, not merely in the elementary branches of learning strictly so defined; but trained industrially, trained adequately to meet the ever-increasing demands of the complex growth of our industrialism, trained agriculturally, trained in handicrafts, trained to be more efficient workers in every field of human activity. But they must be trained in more than that or the Nation will ultimately go down. They must be trained in the elementary branches of righteousness; they must be trained so that it shall come naturally to them to abhor that which is evil, or we never can see our democracy take the place which it must and shall take among the nations of the earth. (Before Religious Educational Association, White House, February 12, 1908.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VII, 1652- 1653.
Education should not confine itself to books. It must train executive power, and try to create that right public opinion which is the most potent factor in the proper solution of all political and social questions. Book learning is very important, but it is by no means everything; and we shall never get the right idea of education until we definitely understand that a man may be well trained in book-learning and yet, in the proper sense of the word, and for all practical purposes, be utterly uneducated; while a man of comparatively little book-learning may, nevertheless, in essentials, have a good education. (At semicentennial celebration, founding of Agricultural Colleges, Lansing, Mich., May 31, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 185; Nat. Ed. XVI, 141.
Education—Improper Use of
Education is of good chiefly according to the use you put it to. If it teaches you to be so puffed with pride as to make you misestimate the relative values of things, it becomes a harm and not a benefit. There are few things less desirable than the arid cultivation, the learning and refinement which lead merely to that intellectual conceit which makes a man in a democratic community like ours hold himself aloof from his fellows and pride himself upon the weakness which he mistakes for supercilious strength. (At the Harvard Union, Cambridge, February 23, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XV, 488; Nat. Ed. XIII, 564.
Our progress in educational efficiency must come from two sources: from the great natural leader who happens to be an educator, and from the ordinary citizen who to common sense adds some power of vision, and who realizes the relation of the school to society. In pedagogy as in every other walk of life great natural leaders are scarce. Therefore the ordinary citizen of vision and common sense must concern himself with the changing problem of the school, and must insist that pedantic tradition does not keep our schools from performing their full public service. Foreword to Democracy's High School by William D. Lewis. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1914), p. vi.
Industrial training, training which will fit a girl to do work in the home, which will fit a boy to work in the shop if in a city, to work on a farm if in the country, is the most important of all training, aside from that which develops character; and it is a grave reproach to us as a nation that we have permitted our training to lead the children away from the farm and shop instead of toward them. We should try to provide the many with training in their professions, just as the few, the doctors, the ministers, the lawyers, are trained for their professions. In other words, the school system should be aimed primarily to fit the scholar for actual life rather than for a university. The exceptional individual, of the highest culture and most efficient training possible, is an important asset for the state. He should be encouraged and his development promoted; but this should not be done at the expense of all the other individuals who can do their work best on the farms and in the workshops; it is for the benefit of these individuals that our school system should be primarily shaped. (Letter to Herbert Myrick read at Springfield, Mass., November 12, 1908.) Good Housekeeping, December 1908, p. 626.
____________. Our industrial development depends largely upon technical education, including in this term all industrial education, from that which fits a man to be a good mechanic, a good carpenter, or blacksmith, to that which fits a man to do the greatest engineering feat. The skilled mechanic, the skilled workman, can best become such by technical industrial education. The far- reaching usefulness of institutes of technology and schools of mines or of engineering is now universally acknowledged, and no less far-reaching is the effect of a good building or mechanical trades-school, a textile, or watchmaking, or engraving school. All such training must develop not only manual dexterity but industrial intelligence. In international rivalry this country does not have to fear the competition of pauper labor as much as it has to fear the educated labor of specially trained competitors; and we should have the education of the hand, eye, and brain which will fit us to meet such competition. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 437-438; Nat. Ed. XV, 373.
____________. To train boys and girls in merely literary accomplishments to the total exclusion of industrial, manual, and technical training, tends to unfit them for industrial work; and in real life most work is industrial.
The problem of furnishing well-trained craftsmen, or rather journeymen fitted in the end to become such, is not simple. . . and much care and forethought and practical common sense will be needed, in order to work it out in a fairly satisfactory manner. It should appeal to all our citizens.
I am glad that societies have already been formed to promote industrial education, and that their membership includes manufacturers and leaders of labor unions, educators and publicists, men of all conditions who are interested in education and in industry. It is such cooperation that offers most hope for a satisfactory solution of the question as to what is the best form of industrial school, as to the means by which it may be articulated with the public school system, and as to the way to secure for the boys trained therein the opportunity to acquire in the industries the practical skill which alone can make them finished journeymen. (At semicentennial celebration, founding of Agricultural Colleges, Lansing, Mich., May 31, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 175; Nat. Ed. XVI, 132.
A cultural education must include the classics. It must not be based only on the classics. The Greek literature is one of the two noblest literatures in the world, the other being the English. Latin literature as such does not stand in the same rank with Greek; but it possesses an immense importance because the Latin civilization is the direct ancestor of modern Occidental civilization, and because the Latin tongue was for fifteen centuries the cultural tongue of Europe. With one or the other, and if possible with both, of these two classic languages and literatures every liberally educated man should be familiar. He should also be familiar with at least one of the great modern culture languages, such as French, Italian, German, Spanish or Portuguese, each of which has a noble literature. Every liberal course should also include a wide sweep of general history and pre-history, for a liberal scholar should certainly have vividly in mind the tremendous drama of man’s progress through the ages. A competent knowledge of science must also be part of any really liberal education. But this does not mean the science taught in order to turn out a commercial chemist, an engineer or an electrician. It means that the man of liberal education should be a man who in addition to a broad classical training also possesses so broad a scientific training that the primary facts of the universe in which we live are vivid in his mind and form an integral portion of his stock of knowledge. The man with such broad liberal training is perhaps not apt to be a technical expert in any special vocation; for his training stands outside the most direct line to pecuniary reward. Yet he has a great place to fill, for he has been fitted to become a leader in public thought, and a true interpreter to the people of the development and meaning of our civilization in its most important aspects. (Statement sent to Conference on Classical Studies, Princeton University, June 2, 1917.) Value of the Classics. (Princeton University Press, 1917), pp. 137-138.
Education, Subsidized—Abuse of
By gifts to colleges and universities they [wealthy men] are occasionally able to subsidize in their own interest some head of an educational body, who, save only a judge, should of all men be most careful to keep his skirts clear from the taint of such corruption. There are ample material rewards for those who serve with fidelity the Mammon of unrighteousness, but they are dearly paid for by that institution of learning whose head, by example and precept, teaches the scholars who sit under him that there is one law for the rich and another for the poor. (To Charles J. Bona-parte, January 2, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 515; Nat. Ed. XX, 443.
Education and Democracy
A real democracy must see that the chance for an elementary education is open to every man and woman. This is the first essential. But it is also essential that there should be the amplest opportunity for every kind of higher education. The education of the mass, while the most important problem in democratic education, is in no way or shape by and of itself sufficient. Democracy comes short of what it should be just to the extent that it fails to provide for the exceptional individual the highest kind of exceptional training; for democracy as a permanent world force must mean not only the raising of the general level but also the raising of the standards of excellence to which only exceptional individuals can attain. The table land must be raised, but the high peaks must not be leveled down; on the contrary they too must be raised. Highly important though it is that the masons and bricklayers should be excellent, it is nevertheless a grave mistake to suppose that any excellence in the bricklayers will enable us to dispense with architects. Outlook, February 18, 1911, p. 344.
Education and the National Government
The share that the National Government should take in the broad work of education has not received the attention and the care it rightly deserves. The immediate responsibility for the support and improvement of our educational systems and institutions rests and should always rest with the people of the several States acting through their State and local governments, but the nation has an opportunity in educational work which must not be lost and a duty which should no longer be neglected. (Eighth Annual Message, Washington, December 8, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 623; Nat. Ed. XV, 530.
Education for Citizenship
Education may not make a man a good citizen, but most certainly ignorance tends to prevent his being a good citizen. . . . No nation can permanently retain free government unless it can retain a high average of citizenship; and there can be no such high average of citizenship without a high average of education, using the word in its broadest and truest sense to include the things of the soul as well as the things of the mind. (At University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, February 22, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XV, 346; Nat. Ed. XIII, 504.
Education for Life
We of the United States must develop a system under which each individual citizen shall be trained so as to be effective individually as an economic unit, and fit to be organized with his fellows so that he and they can work in efficient fashion together. This question is vital to our future progress, and public attention should be focussed upon it. Surely it is eminently in accord with the principles of our democratic life that we should furnish the highest average industrial training for the ordinary skilled workman. But it is a curious thing that in industrial training we have tended to devote our energies to producing high-grade men at the top rather than in the ranks. Our engineering schools, for instance, compare favorably with the best in Europe, whereas we have done almost nothing to equip the private soldiers of the industrial army—the mechanic, the metal-worker, the carpenter. Indeed, too often our schools train away from the shop and the forge. (At semi-centennial celebration, founding of Agricultural Colleges, Lansing, Mich., May 31, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 172; Nat. Ed. XVI, 130.
See also China; College; Labor— Training Of; Northwest Ordinance; Public Schools; Schools; Teachers; Teaching; University.
Education of the Negro
See Negro; Tuskegee Institute.
We have no higher duty than to promote the efficiency of the individual. There is no surer road to the efficiency of the nation. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 165; Nat. Ed. XVII, 121.
Normally the man of great productive capacity who becomes rich by guiding the labor of many other men does so by enabling them to produce more than they could produce without his guidance; and both he and they share in the benefit, which comes also to the public at large. The superficial fact that the sharing may be unequal must never blind us to the underlying fact that there is this sharing, and that the benefit comes in some degree to each man concerned. Normally the wage-worker, the man of small means, and the average consumer, as well as the average producer, are all alike helped by making conditions such that the man of exceptional business ability receives an exceptional reward for his ability. Something can be done by legislation to help the general prosperity; but no such help of a permanently beneficial character can be given to the less able and less fortunate, save as the results of a policy which shall inure to the advantage of all industrious and efficient people who act decently; and this is only another way of saying that any benefit which comes to the less able and less fortunate must of necessity come even more to the more able and more fortunate. If, therefore, the less fortunate man is moved by envy of his more fortunate brother to strike at the conditions under which they have both, though unequally, prospered, the result will assuredly be that while danger may come to the one struck at, it will visit with an even heavier load the one who strikes the blow. Taken as a whole we must all go up or down together. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 316; Nat. Ed. XV, 270.
National efficiency has many factors. It is a necessary result of the principle of conservation widely applied. In the end it will determine our failure or success as a nation. National efficiency has to do, not only with natural resources and with men, but it is equally concerned with institutions. The State must be made efficient for the work which concerns only the people of the State; and the nation for that which concerns all the people. There must remain no neutral ground to serve as a refuge for lawbreakers, and especially for lawbreakers of great wealth, who can hire the vulpine legal cunning which will teach them how to avoid both jurisdictions. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 26; Nat. Ed. XVII, 18.
____________. In every respect this nation has to learn the lessons of efficiency in production and distribution, and of avoidance of waste and destruction; we must develop and improve instead of exhausting our resources. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 378; Nat. Ed. XVII, 271.
Efficiency and Morality
Life is as if you were travelling a ridge crest. You have the gulf of inefficiency on one side and the gulf of wickedness on the other, and it helps not to have avoided one gulf if you fall into the other. It shall profit us nothing if our people are decent and ineffective. It shall profit us nothing if they are efficient and wicked. In every walk of life, in business, politics; if the need comes, in war; in literature, science, art, in everything, what we need is a sufficient number of men who can work well and who will work with a high ideal. (At Groton School, Groton, Mass., May 24, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XV, 480; Nat. Ed. XIII, 558.
See also Decency; Honesty; Labor; Politics.
Nothing worth gaining is ever gained without effort. You can no more have freedom without striving and suffering for it than you can win success as a banker or a lawyer without labor and effort, without self-denial in youth and the display of a ready and alert intelligence in middle age. (Before the Liberal Club, Buffalo, N. Y., January 26, 1893.) Mem. Ed. XV, 64; Nat. Ed. XIII, 282.
The life that is worth living, and the only life that is worth living, is the life of effort, the life of effort to attain what is worth striving for. (At Groton School, Groton, Mass., May 24, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XV, 479; Nat. Ed. XIII, 556.
See also Ideals; Life; Pleasure; Strenuous Life; Strife; Work.
The idle man is a curse to the community, and cannot be a good citizen. But neither can the man who is exhausted by incessant and excessive toil be a good citizen. Men who work thirteen hours a day, including Sunday, week in and week out, simply have not the opportunity to develop themselves or to produce the kind of citizenship which it is absolutely essential for a democracy to possess if it intends to remain a real democracy. The eight-hour day is an ideal toward which we should strive to attain. We should apply it wherever the government has power, and should consistently endeavor to help in its achievement in private life. (Outlook, February 4, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 106; Nat. Ed. XVII, 70.
____________. I believe in the eight-hour day. It is the ideal toward which we should tend. But I believe that there must be common sense as well as common honesty in achieving the ideal. Mr. Wilson has laid down the principle that there is something sacred about the eight-hour day which makes it improper even to discuss it. If this is so, if it is applied universally, then Mr. Wilson is not to be excused for not applying it immediately where he has complete power and that is in his own household. If the principle of the eight-hour day is sacred and not to be changed under any circumstances, then the housemaid, who in Mr. Wilson's house arises at seven must be let off at three in the afternoon; and if Mr. Wilson's butler is kept up after a State dinner until ten, he must not come on until two of the following afternoon, and no hired man on a farm must get up to milk the cows in the morning unless he quits work before milking time arrives that same evening. Of course, the simple truth is that under one set of conditions an eight-hour day may be too long or at least may represent the very maximum of proper work; whereas there may be other conditions under which a man working more than eight hours one day gets one or two days of complete leisure following, or where the work is intermittent throughout the day, or is of so easy or varied a type that no exhaustion accompanies it, or where a rush of work for a few days will be compensated by complete leisure on certain other days. It is ridiculous to say that an engineer of a high-speed train under especially difficult conditions, an engineer of a low-speed train under very much easier conditions, a farm laborer in harvest time, a man engaged as a watchman through the quiet work of the night, or a man engaged in the exhausting work of a steel puddler in a continuous seven-days-a-week, night- and-day industry, should be governed by precisely the same rule, or by the same rigid application in detail of a second, general principle. (At Wilkes-Barre, Pa., October 14, 1916.) Theodore Roosevelt, Americanism and Preparedness. (New York, 1917), p. 68.
Eight-Hour Day In Government Service
The principle of the eight-hour day should as rapidly and as far as practicable be extended to the entire work carried on by the government; and the present law should be amended to embrace contracts on those public works which the present wording of the act has been construed to exclude. The general introduction of the eight-hour day should be the goal toward which we should steadily tend and the government should set the example in this respect. (Seventh Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 511; Nat. Ed. XV, 435.
____________. The more I had studied the subject the more strongly I had become convinced that an eight- hour day under the conditions of labor in the United States was all that could, with wisdom and propriety, be required either by the government or by private employers; that more than this meant, on the average, a decrease in the qualities that tell for good citizenship. I finally solved the problem, as far as government employees were concerned, by calling in Charles P. Neill, the head of the Labor Bureau; and, acting on his advice, I speedily made the eight-hour law really effective. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 527; Nat. Ed. XX, 452.
See also Labor.
Election of 1884
Every now and then I meet an Independent who, taking it for granted that you and I were actuated by selfish motives, points out how much better for ourselves we would have done to have bolted. I always surprise him by saying that we have always been very well aware of that fact, and knew perfectly well that we had been pretty effectually killed as soon as Blaine was nominated. If our consciences would have permitted it I have not the slightest doubt that by bolting we could have done an immense amount for ourselves, and would have won a commanding— position at the cost, perfectly trivial in true Mugwump eyes, of black treachery to all our warmest and truest supporters and also at the cost of stultifying ourselves as regards all of our previous declarations in respect to the Democracy. (To H. C. Lodge, March 8, 1885.) Lodge Letters I, 28.
Election of 1884
See also Blaine, James G.; Cleveland, Grover; Mugwumps; Party Allegiance.
Election of 1888
See Cleveland, Grover.
Election of 1896
—Not since the Civil War has there been a Presidential election fraught with so much consequence to the country. The silver craze surpasses belief. The populists, populist-democrats, and silver- or populist-Republicans who are behind Bryan are impelled by a wave of genuine fanaticism; not only do they wish to repudiate their debts, but they really believe that somehow they are executing righteous justice on the moneyed oppressor; they feel the eternal and inevitable injustice of life, they do not realize and will not realize how that injustice is aggravated by their own extraordinary folly, and they wish, if they cannot lift themselves, at least to strike down those who are more fortunate or more prosperous. At present they are on the crest and were the election held now, they would carry the country; but I hope that before November the sober common sense of the great central western states, the pivotal states, will assert itself. McKinley's position is very hard; the main fight must be for sound finance; but he must stand by protection also, under penalty if he does, of making his new Democratic allies lukewarm, and if he does not, of making a much larger number of his old followers hostile. Matters are very doubtful; Bryan's election would be a great calamity, though we should in the end recover from it. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, July 26, 1896.) Cowles Letters, 188.
____________. This is no mere fight over financial standards. It is a semi-socialistic, agrarian movement, with free silver as a mere incident, supported mainly because it is hoped thereby to damage the well to do and thrifty. “Organized labor” is the chief support of Bryan in the big cities; and his utterances are as criminal as they are wildly silly. All the ugly forces that seethe beneath the social crust are behind him. The appeal for him is frankly on class and sectional hatred. It is as vicious a campaign as I have ever seen. And the worst of it is that the very people whom one would wish to help are those who are going most wrong, and are putting themselves in such a position that they must be resolutely opposed! (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, September 27, 1896.) Cowles Letters, 194.
____________. We believe that the campaign should be waged on the moral, even more than the material, issue. Mr. Bryan and Mr. Altgeld are the embodiments of the two principles which our adversaries desire to see triumph; and in their ultimate analysis those principles are merely the negations of the two commandments, "Thou shalt not steal" and “Thou shalt do no murder." Mr. Bryan champions that system of dishonesty which would steal from the creditors of the nation half of what they have in good faith loaned and from the working men of the nation half of what by their honest toil they have earned. Mr. Altgeld condones and encourages the most infamous of murders and denounces the Federal Government and the Supreme Court for interfering to put a stop to the bloody lawlessness which would result in worse than murder. Both of them would substitute for the government of Washington and Lincoln, for the system of orderly liberty which we inherit from our forefathers and which we desire to bequeath to our sons, a red welter of lawlessness and dishonesty as fantastic and as vicious as the Paris commune itself. (Before American Republican College League, Chicago, October 15, 1896.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 412; Nat. Ed. XIV, 273.
____________. In 1896, the issue was fairly joined, chiefly upon a question which as a party question was entirely new, so that the old lines of political cleavage were, in large part, abandoned. All other issues sank in importance when compared with the vital need of keeping our financial system on the high and honorable plane imperatively demanded by our position as a great civilized power. As the champion of such a principle President McKinley received the support not only of his own party, but of hundreds of thousands of those to whom he had been politically opposed. He triumphed, and he made good with scrupulous fidelity the promises upon which the campaign was won. (At banquet in honor of birthday of William McKinley, Canton, O., January 27, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XII, 496-497; Nat. Ed. XI, 239.
Election of 1896
See also Bryan, William J.; Gold Standard; National Honor; Populism; Silver.
Election of 1898
I haven't bothered myself a particle about the nomination, and have no idea whether it will be made or not. In the first place, I would rather have led this regiment than be Governor of New York three times over. In the next place, while on the whole I should like the Office of Governor and would not shirk it, the position will be one of such extreme difficulty, and I shall have to offend so many good friends of mine, that I should breathe a sigh of relief were it not offered to me.
It is a party position. I should be one of the big party leaders if I should take it. This means that I should have to treat with and work with the organization, and I should see and consult the leaders— not once, but continuously—and earnestly try to come to an agreement on all important questions with them; and of course the mere fact of my doing so would alienate many of my friends whose friendship I value. On the other hand, when we come to a matter like the Canal, or Life Insurance, or anything touching the Eighth Commandment and general decency, I could not allow any consideration of party to come in. And this would alienate those who, if not friends, were supporters. (Letter to F. E. Leupp, September 3, 1898.) Francis E. Leupp, The Man Roosevelt. (Appleton & Co., New York, 1904), p. 30.
____________. First and foremost, this campaign is a campaign for good government, for good government both in the nation and the State. If I am elected governor I shall try to make good the promises, both expressed and implied, made on behalf of my candidacy, for I shall try to so administer the affairs of the State as to make each citizen a little prouder of the State, and I shall do my best to serve my party by helping it serve the people. So far as in me lies, I shall see that every branch of the government under me is administered with integrity and capacity, and when I deal with any public servant, I shall not be very patient with him if he lacks capacity, and short indeed will be his shrift if he lacks integrity. I shall feel most deeply my responsibilities to the people, and I shall do my best to show by my acts that I feel it even more deeply than my words express. (Campaign speech, New York City, October 5, 1898.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 441; Nat. Ed. XIV, 290.
Election of 1898
See also Republican Party
Election of 1900
I don't like some aspects of the political campaign at all. I believe we shall pull through, and of course there is always a large element of which we know nothing, so that it is always possible that there is a hidden force that will make a clean sweep either one way or the other; but the combination of all the lunatics, all the idiots, all the knaves, all the cowards and all the honest people who are hopelessly slow-witted is a formidable one to overcome when backed by the solid South. This is the combination that we now have to face. There is disaffection among the Irish and Germans, the disaffection being utterly unjustifiable. There is disaffection among the independents of the lunatic class under the lead of Carl Schurz, the Evening Post, etc., who, I am bound to say, in my judgment have done as much harm to the country as the worst Tammany men. Moreover, the best interests are curiously apathetic. They do not care to subscribe money. They take no interest in the campaign. In this State, Platt is going on the rule or ruin principle, acting with a folly. almost as great as that of Carl Schurz or Godkin. So there is plenty of room for alarm. I think we shall win, of course events may take a turn that will make us win with a sweep; but at the present there are exceedingly ugly features in the
situation. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, August 18, 1900.) Cowles Letters, 246.
____________. There are several great issues at stake in this campaign, but of course the greatest issue of all is the issue of keeping the country on the plane of material well-being and honor to which it has been brought during the last four years. I do not claim that President McKinley's admirable administration and the wise legislation passed by Congress which he has sanctioned are solely responsible for our present well- being, but I do claim that it is this administration and this legislation which have rendered it possible for the American people to achieve such well-being. I insist furthermore that the one and only way to insure wide- spread industrial and social ruin would be now to reverse the policy under which we have so prospered, and to try that policy of financial disgrace and economic disaster which we rejected in’ 96. (At Grand Rapids, Mich., September 7, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 530; Nat. Ed. XIV, 346.
____________. I feel that this contest is by no means one merely between Republicans and Democrats. We have a right to appeal to all good citizens who are far- sighted enough to see what the honor and the interest of the nation demand. To put into practice the principles embodied in the Kansas City platform would mean disaster to the nation; for that platform stands for reaction and disorder; for an upsetting of our financial system which would mean not only great suffering but the abandonment of the nation's good faith; and for a policy abroad which would imply the dishonor of the flag and an unworthy surrender of our national rights. Its success would mean unspeakable humiliation to men proud of their country, jealous of their country's good name, and desirous of securing the welfare of their fellow citizens. Therefore we have a right to appeal to all good men, North and South, East and West, whatever their politics may have been in the past, to stand with us, because we stand for the prosperity of the country and for the renown of the American flag. (Letter accepting nomination for Vice-Presidency, September 15, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 546-547; Nat. Ed. XIV, 360-361.
Election of 1900
See also Gold Standard; Republican Party; Vice-Presidency.
Election of 1904
To use the vernacular of our adopted West, you can bet your bed- rock dollar that if I go down it will be with colors flying and drums beating, and that I would neither truckle nor trade with any of the opposition if to do so guaranteed me the nomination and election. In the first place, I believe I shall win. In the next place—and what is infinitely more important—I am going to fight it out on the line I have chosen without deviating a hair’s breadth from it, win or lose; for I am sure that the policies for which I stand are those in accordance with which this country must be governed, and up to which we must all of us live in public or private life, under penalty of grave disaster to the Nation. (Letter of January 27, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 361; Bishop I, 313.
____________. To-morrow the National Convention meets, and barring a cataclysm I shall be nominated. There is a great deal of sullen grumbling, but it has taken more the form of resentment against what they think is my dictation as to details than against me personally. They don’t dare to oppose me for the nomination and I suppose it is hardly likely the attempt will be made to stampede the Convention for any one. How the election will turn out no man can tell. Of course I hope to be elected, but I realize to the full how very lucky I have been, not only to be President but to have been able to accomplish so much while President, and whatever may be the outcome, I am not only content but very sincerely thankful for all the good fortune I have had. From Panama down I have been able to accomplish certain things which will be of lasting importance in our history. (To Kermit Roosevelt, June 21, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 527; Nat. Ed. XIX, 473.
____________. If elected I shall be very glad. If beaten I shall be sorry; but in any event I have had a first-class run for my money, and I have accomplished certain definite things. I would consider myself a hundred times over repaid if I had nothing more to my credit than Panama and the coaling-stations in Cuba. (To Rudyard Kipling, November 1, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 384; Bishop I, 333.
____________. If elected I shall go into the Presidency unhampered by any pledge, promise or understanding of any kind, sort or description, save my promise, made openly to the American people, that so far as in my power lies I shall see to it that every man has a square deal, no less and no more. (Statement to the press, November 5, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 385; Bishop I, 334.
____________. One of the things I am most pleased with in the recent election is that while I got, I think, a greater proportion of the Americans of Irish birth or parentage and of the Catholic religion than any previous Republican candidate, I got this proportion purely because they knew I felt in sympathy with them and in touch with them, and that they and I had the same ideals and principles, and not by any demagogic appeals about creed or race, or by any demagogic attack upon England. (To Finley Peter Dunne, November 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 400-401; Bishop I, 348.
____________. I am stunned by the over-whelming victory we have won. I had no conception that such a thing was possible. I thought it probable we should win, but was quite prepared to be defeated, and of course had not the slightest idea that there was such a tidal wave. . . . The only States that went against me were those in which no free discussion is allowed and in which fraud and violence have rendered the voting a farce. I have the greatest popular majority and the greatest electoral majority ever given to a candidate for President. (To Kermit Roosevelt, November 10, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 386; Bishop I, 335.
Election of 1904
See also Campaign Contributions.
Election of 1908
I have been informed that certain office-holders in your Department are proposing to go to the National Convention as delegates in favor of renominating me for the Presidency, or are proposing to procure my indorsement for such renomination by State conventions. This must not be. I wish you to inform such officers as you may find it advisable or necessary to inform in order to carry out the spirit of this instruction, that such advocacy of my renomination, or acceptance of an election as delegate for that purpose, will be regarded as a serious violation of official propriety and will be dealt with accordingly. (To Secretary of the Treasury, Postmaster-General, and Secretary of the Interior, November 19, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 92; Bishop II, 79.
____________. As to the matter of my renomination, it seems to me that the proper ground to take is that any one who supposes that I have been scheming for it is not merely a fool, but shows himself to be a man of low morality. He reflects upon himself, not upon me. There has never been a moment when I could not have had the Republican nomination with practical unanimity by simply raising one finger....
The facts about the third-term agitation are that it does not come from any men high in public life, but from plain people who take no very great part in politics, and who seem to have been puzzled at my attitude in declining to run. The politicians, like the big business men, all cordially agree with me that I ought not to run again . . . .
Under such circumstances I would be exasperated, if I were not amused, at so much as anybody talking about the supposition that I was engaged in an effort to have the renomination forced upon me. As a matter of fact I doubt if Taft himself could be more anxious than I am that Taft be nominated, and that any stampede to me be prevented. I wish it on every account, personal and public, and I am bending every energy now to prevent the possibility of such a stampede; because if the convention were stampeded and I were nominated an exceedingly ugly situation would be created, a situation very difficult to meet at all and impossible to meet satisfactorily; whereas if, as I have every reason to believe, Taft is nominated almost by acclamation, certainly on the first ballot, everything is as it should be. (To Lyman Abbott, May 29, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 100-102; Bishop II, 85-87.
____________. I have naturally a peculiar interest in the success of Mr. Taft, and in seeing him backed by a majority in both houses of Congress which will heartily support his policies. For the last ten years, while I have been Governor of New York and President, I have been thrown into the closest intimacy with him, and he and I have on every essential point stood in heartiest agreement, shoulder to shoulder. We have the same views as to what is demanded by the National interest and honor, both within our own borders, and as regards the relations of this Nation with other nations. There is no fight for decency and fair dealing which I have waged in which I have not had his heartiest and most effective sympathy and support, and the policies for which I stand are his policies as much as mine. (To Conrad Kohrs, September 9, 1908.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VII, 1784.
____________. It is urgently necessary, from the standpoint of the public interest, to elect Mr. Taft, and a Republican Congress which will support him; and they seek election on a platform which specifically pledges the party, alike in its executive and legislative branches, to continue and develop the policies which have been not merely professed but acted upon during these seven years. These policies can be successfully carried through only by the hearty cooperation of the President and the Congress in both its branches, and it is therefore peculiarly important that there should obtain such harmony between them. To fail to elect Mr. Taft would be a calamity to the country; and it would be folly, while electing him, yet at the same time to elect a Congress hostile to him, a Congress which under the influence of partisan leadership would be certain to thwart and baffle him on every possible occasion. To elect Mr. Taft, and at the same time to elect a Congress pledged to support him, is the only way in which to perpetuate the policy of the Government as now carried on. I feel that all the aid that can be given to this policy by every good citizen should be given; for this is far more than a merely partisan matter. (To William B. McKinley, Republican Congressional Committee, September 9, 1908.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VII, 1796.
____________. If the result of my "renunciation'' had been either the nomination of a reactionary in the place of Taft, or the turning over of the government to Bryan, I should have felt a very uncomfortable apprehension as to whether I did not deserve a place beside Dante’s pope who was guilty of il gran rifiuto. Renunciation is so often the act of a weak nature, or the term by which a weak nature seeks to cover up its lack of strength, that I suppose that every man who feels that he ought to renounce something also tends to feel a little uncomfortable as to whether he is really acting in accordance with the dictates of a sound morality or from weakness. Yet feeling as I do about this people and about the proper standard for its chosen leaders, I would not have acted otherwise than as I did; and naturally the relief is very great to have the event justify me. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, November 6, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 145; Bishop II, 124.
Election of 1908
See also Presidency and the Third Term Issue; Taft , William H.
Election of 1910
Though I am bitterly disappointed with Taft, and consider much of his course absolutely inexplicable, I have felt that, as in so many other cases, I had to make the best of conditions as they actually were and do the best I possibly could to carry Congress and to carry the State of New York, with the entire understanding on my part that victory in either means the immense strengthening of Taft. In New York State I deliberately went in to put the close supporters of Taft in control of the Republican machinery, and have done and am now doing my best to elect a man whom, I assume, is a Taft man; because I felt that the one clear duty of a decent citizen was to try to put the Republican Party on a straight basis, and now to try to put that party in power in the State instead of turning the State over to Murphy of Tammany Hall, acting as the agent, ally and master of crooked finance.
I have never had a more unpleasant summer. The sordid baseness of much or most of the so-called Regulars, who now regard themselves as especially the Taft men, and the wild irresponsible folly of the ultra- Insurgents, make a situation which is very unpleasant. From a variety of causes, the men who are both sane and progressive, the men who make up the strength of the party, have been left so at sea during these months that they have themselves tended to become either sordid on the one hand, or wild on the other. I do not see how I could as a decent citizen have avoided taking the stand I have taken this year, and striving to reunite the party and to help the Republicans retain control of Congress and of the State of New York, while at the same time endeavoring to see that this control within the party was in the hands of sensible and honorable men who were progressives and not of a bourbon reactionary type. (To Elihu Root, October 21, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 358; Bishop II, 305.
Election of 1912
I have played my part, and I have the very strongest objection to having to play any further part; I very earnestly hope that Taft will retrieve himself yet, and if, from whatever causes, the present condition of the party is hopeless, I most emphatically desire that I shall not be put in the position of having to run for the Presidency, staggering under a load which I cannot carry, and which has been put on my shoulders through no fault of my own. Therefore my present feeling is that Taft should be the next nominee, because, if the people approve of what he has done, they will elect him, and if they don t approve of what he has done, it is unfair to me to have me suffer for the distrust which others have earned, and for which I am in no way responsible. This represents not a settled conviction on my part, but my guess as to the situation from this distance. (To H. C. Lodge; April 11, 1910.) Lodge Letters II, 373.
____________. I have refrained from saying that I would not be a candidate in 1912, not in the least from self-interest, for I should regard it as the greatest personal calamity to be forced into accepting the nomination, and if it is possible to avoid it, I do not intend to be so forced into accepting it; but because I do not wish to put myself in the position where if it becomes my plain duty to accept I shall be obliged to shirk such duty because of having committed myself. As things are now, I feel convinced that it will not become my duty to accept. They have no business to expect me to take command of a ship simply because the ship is sinking.
Were I nominated under present conditions, it would mean that I should be broken down by a burden for which I was not in any way responsible, but which would have to be carried by the nominee who succeeded Taft; and, on the other hand, I would face the sullen resentment of the many respectable people with no special information or imagination, who would think that in some way or other I had been treacherous to Taft. Often when one does not like conditions it is nevertheless necessary to play the game through under the conditions, because they cannot be changed until the game is over without making things even worse. As I feel now, I would refuse the nomination if it were offered me. (To Joseph B. Bishop, November 21, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 361; Bishop II, 307.
____________. You have struck the real reason of my nervousness on the subject. Of course the Wall Street crowd, and my enemies generally, think I have been scheming to be President. As a matter of fact there is nothing that I want less. Indeed this is not putting it strong enough. I feel that I did good work as President because the circumstances were such as to make me in sympathy with the men whom I really cared to represent. Now if I were again made President, it might be that the circumstances would be such that I could not do what was expected of me; and in any event I do not see how I could go out of the Presidency again with the credit I had when I left it this time. Moreover I have led such an active and vigorous life that I begin to feel rather old and to appreciate rest, now that I feel the right to it and so can enjoy it with a clear conscience, . . .
Now under these circumstances, if I consulted merely my own feelings, I would promptly announce that never under any circumstances would I consent to be President again. But I don't think that this would be right. I think the chances are a hundred to one that I never shall be President again—perhaps a thousand to one. But however improbable, it is
possible that circumstances might arise when it would be unpatriotic of me, when it would represent going back on my principles and my friends, to refuse to be President. Moreover, what is much more likely, the threat of my possible Presidency may influence for good some worthy people who need just to be influenced! (To William Allen White, December 12, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 362-363; Bishop II, 308-309.
____________. As for the nomination, I should regard it from my personal standpoint as little short of a calamity. I not merely do not want it, but if I honorably can, I desire to avoid it. On the other hand, I certainly will not put myself in a position which would make it necessary for me to shirk a plain duty if it came unmistakably as a plain duty. As yet I am not convinced that it will so come, and, on the contrary, believe there is practically little or no chance of it. I will not be a candidate in any ordinary sense of the word, and my judgment is that the Federal office-holders together with the timid conservative people will give Taft the nomination. At any rate, as far as I am concerned, my anxieties are in this order: first, not to be nominated if it can honorably be avoided; and, second, if nominated, to have it made perfectly clear that it is in response to a genuine popular demand and because the public wishes me to serve them for their purpose, and not to gratify any ambition of mine. (To Joseph B. Bishop, December 13, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 367; Bishop II, 312.
____________. [Some individuals] have been to see me to urge me to make an announcement that I would refuse the nomination if offered to me! Of course I refused point blank. I told them that I emphatically did not want the nomination, and should regard it as a misfortune if it came, and that I did not believe there was any chance of its coming, but that I should certainly not definitely state that if it did come in the form of a duty I would refuse to perform the duty; in other words, that as Abraham Lincoln used to say, no man can justly ask me to cross such a bridge until I come to it. (To H. C. Lodge, December 13, 1911.) Lodge Letters II, 417.
____________. There is, of course, always the danger that there may be a movement for me, the danger coming partly because the men who may be candidates are very anxious that the ticket shall be strengthened and care nothing for the fate of the man who strengthens it, and partly because there is a good deal of honest feeling for me among plain simple people who wish leadership, but who will not accept leadership unless they believe it to be sincere, fearless, and intelligent. I most emphatically do not wish the nomination. Personally I should regard it as a calamity to be nominated. In the first-place, I might very possibly be beaten, and in the next place, even if elected I should be confronted with almost impossible conditions out of which to make good results. In the tariff, for instance, I would have to face the fact that men would keep comparing what I did, not with what the Democrats would or could have done but with an ideal, or rather with a multitude of entirely separate and really incompatible ideals. I am not a candidate, I will never be a candidate; but I have to tell the La Follette men and the Taft men that while I am absolutely sincere in saying that I am not a candidate and do not wish the nomination, yet that I do not feel it would be right or proper for me to say that under no circumstances would I accept it if it came; because, while wildly improbable, it is yet possible that there might be a public demand which would present the matter to me in the light of a duty which I could not shirk. (Letter of December 23, 1911.) Harold Howland, Theodore Roosevelt and His Times. (New Haven, 1921), p. 207.
____________. I am sure that, from the personal standpoint, it would be rough on me to have me nominated, and I am as yet not sure that it would not be damaging from the public standpoint. I think a great many men would have a vague feeling that I was nominated to gratify my own ambition, and would pay no heed whatever to the circumstances of the nomination. The New York newspapers, for instance, would probably without a single exception assert that I had corruptly intrigued for the nomination, and keep up the assertion until they had deceived a good number of people. Very possibly I should be beaten if I ran, and if I was not beaten it might well be that I would be elected under circumstances which would render it impossible to put through any constructive programme—and if ever I hold the Presidency again I shall regard it as a capital misfortune unless I am able to hold it not merely for the sake of holding the office but for the sake of doing a job. (To Joseph B. Bishop, December 29, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 367-368; Bishop II, 313.
____________. I am always credited with far more political sagacity than I really pos- sess. I act purely on public grounds and then this proves often to be good policy too. I assure you with all possible sincerity that I have not thought and am not thinking of the nomination, and that under no circumstances would I in the remotest degree plan to bring about my nomination. I do not want to be President again. I am not a candidate, I have not the slightest idea of becoming a candidate, and I do not for one moment believe that any such condition of affairs will arise that would make it necessary to consider me accepting the nomination. But as for the effect upon my own personal fortunes, I would not know how to consider it, because I would not have the vaguest idea what the effect would be, except that according to my own view it could not but be bad and unpleasant for me personally. From the personal standpoint I should view the nomination to the Presidency as a real and serious misfortune. Nothing would persuade me to take it, unless it appeared that the people really wished me to do a given job, which I could not honorably shirk. (To Lane, Dec. 1911 or Jan. 1912.) The Letters of Franklin K. Lane. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1922), pp. 86-87.
____________. I am not and shall not be a candidate. I shall not seek the nomination, nor would I accept it if it came to me as the result of an intrigue. But I will not tie my hands by a statement which would make it difficult or impossible for me to serve the public by undertaking a great task if the people as a whole seemed definitely to come to the conclusion that I ought to do that task. In other words, as far as in me lies I am endeavoring to look at this matter purely from the standpoint of the public interest, of the interest of the people as a whole, and not in the least from my own standpoint.
If I should consult only my own pleasure and interest, I should most emphatically and immediately announce that I would under no circumstances run. I have had all the honor that any man can have from holding the office of President. From every personal standpoint there is nothing for me to gain either in running for the office or in holding the office once more, and there is very much to lose . . . .
If my position were only a pose, I should certainly act differently from the way I am acting, for I am well aware that the way I am acting is not the way in which to act if I desire to be made President. But my attitude is not a pose, I am acting as I do because, according to my lights, I am endeavoring, in a not too easy position, to do what I believe the interests of the people demand.
From this standpoint I am convinced that although it is entirely proper for other men to seek the Presidency, it is neither wise nor proper for me to do so, the conditions being what they actually are. I have been President; I was President for nearly eight years; I am well known to the American people; I am to be judged not by words but by my acts; and whether the people like me or dislike me, they have these acts all before them for their decision. (To Frank A. Munsey, January 16, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 368, 370; Bishop II, 314-315.
____________. It may be necessary for me to speak, and very possible I will have to speak before the first open primaries. I hope not, however. The trouble is that if I speak it looks as if I were making myself a candidate, and if I do not speak it looks as if I were acting furtively. I write you, confidentially, that my own reading of the situation is that while there are a great many people in this country who are devoted to me, they do not form more than a substantial minority of the ten or fifteen millions of voters. I have had a great time; I have done my work. Unless I am greatly mistaken, the people have made up their mind that they wish some new instrument, that do not wish me; and if I know myself, I am sincere when I tell you that this does not cause one least little particle of regret to me. If it becomes necessary for me in the popular interest to attempt any job, of course I would attempt it; but nothing would persuade me to attempt it in my own interest and welfare, and as far as in me lies I shall endeavor to make it clear that such is the case. (To Joseph B. Bishop, January 29, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 370; Bishop II, 315.
____________. In this fight I am standing for certain great principles, which I regard as vital to the present and future welfare of this Nation. My success is of value only as an incident to securing the triumph of these principles. Foremost among these principles is the right of the people to rule, and the duty of their representatives really to represent them, in nominating conventions no less than in executive or legislative offices. If the majority of the rank and file of the Republican party do not wish me nominated, then most certainly I do not wish to be nominated. Outlook, May 11, 1912, p. 62.
____________. When in February last I made up my mind that it was my duty to enter this fight, it was after long and careful deliberation. I had become convinced that Mr. Taft had definitely and completely abandoned the cause of the people and had surrendered himself wholly to the biddings of the professional political bosses and of the great privileged interests standing behind them. I had also become convinced that unless I did make the fight it could not be made at all, and that Mr. Taft’s nomination would come to him without serious opposition. The event has justified both my beliefs. (At Chicago, June 17, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 286; Nat. Ed. XVII, 205.
____________. The American people are entitled to know that the charge of stealing the Chicago Convention of 1912 is more than campaign recrimination, and that the frauds complained of are much more serious than the mere repetition of loose practices which might have found unfortunate precedents in some previous conventions of both parties. Seriously and literally, President Taft's renomination was stolen for him from the American people and the ratification or rejection of that nomination raises the critical issue whether votes or fraud shall determine the selection of American Presidents. (Outlook , July 13, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 318; Nat. Ed. XVII, 232.
____________. It is, of course, perfectly true that in voting for me or against me consideration must be paid to what I have done in the past and to what I propose to do. But it seems to me far more important that consideration should be paid to what the Progressive party proposes to do. (New York Times, October 18, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 454; Nat. Ed. XVII, 332.
____________. We have fought a great fight. We have accomplished more in ninety days than ever any other party in our history accomplished in such a length of time. We have forced all parties and candidates to give at least lip-service to Progressive principles. In this brief campaign we have overthrown the powerful and corrupt machine that betrayed and strangled the Republican party. (At Chicago, December 10, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 473; Nat. Ed. XVII, 349.
Election of 1912
See also New Freedom; New Nationalism; Presidency And The Third Term Issue; Progressive Party; Republican Party; Taft, William H.; Wilson, Woodrow.
Election of 1916
I am told that the proposal now among the Republican extremists is to renominate Taft next time. There are a great many Progressives, including myself, who under no circumstances would support Taft. Personally, it does not seem to me that I could support Wilson even against Taft; but there are plenty who would not stop even at that; and it does not seem to me to be wise to put him up, with the certainty that the Progressives as a whole will either come out for Wilson or run a third ticket. (To H. C. Lodge, February 6, 1915.) Lodge Letters II, 454.
____________. I have been like an engine bucking a snow-drift. My progress was slower and slower; and finally I accumulated so much snow that I came to a halt and could not get through. I believe that there are some men who would support me against Wilson, for instance, or against a reactionary Republican, who would not support any one else. But I believe that there are a far larger number of men who would at once sink every other purpose, no matter what their convictions might be, for the purpose of smashing me once for all. According to the information at present before me, I believe that the bulk of our people would accept my candidacy as a proof of greedy personal ambition on my part, and would be bitterly hostile to me in consequence, and bitterly hostile therefore to the cause for which I stood. . . . Of course, if it was a duty impossible to avoid, I would fight in future as I have fought in the past. But I feel I have done my share; and, what is infinitely more important, I do not feel that I can be of use in a leading position any more. I think the people have made up their minds that they have had all they want of me, and that my championship of a cause or an individual, save in exceptional cases, is a damage rather than a benefit. (Letter of June 3, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 449, 451; Bishop II, 382, 383.
____________. It is my deliberate judgment that if the Republicans ever come to entertain the thought of nominating me next year, it will be because they know they will be defeated under me and intend that I shall receive the heaviest defeat they can give me, and they will nominate me with this purpose in view, thereby not only crushing the Progressives but definitely getting rid of me and enthroning the standpatters in the Republican party.
It is perfectly evident to me that this people have made up their minds not only against the policies in which I believe but finally against me personally. The bulk of them are convinced that I am actuated by motives of personal ambition and that I am selfishly desirous of hurting Taft and Wilson and have not the good of the country at heart. Anything that you or any of my other close friends do that can be construed into putting me forward for the Presidency will absolutely confirm this opinion and will do me real and grave damage. (To George W. Perkins, September 3, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 467; Bishop II, 397.
____________. Of course, it is possible that the Republicans will win without any assistance from the Progressives at all. It is also possible that they cannot win even with Progressive support. But on the assumption that there is need of trying to unite all the anti-Wilson forces into a coherent whole, I hope that the Republicans will take action such as will render it possible for the Progressives to go in with them. Unless there is a really vital national crisis I do not intend to separate myself from my Progressive supporters; but I shall do everything in my power to get them to act wisely. Incidentally I am as well aware of their shortcomings as of the shortcomings of other people. (To H. C. Lodge, November 27, 1915.) Lodge Letters II, 465.
____________. As you know, I feel that the course I have followed about hyphenated-Americanism, and especially the German-American vote, is such as absolutely to preclude the possibility of nominating me as a candidate, even though there had been such a possibility before, which in my judgment was not the case. I have followed the course I have followed in the last year, because I thought some man ought to say the kind of things I have said, and that without regard to his own future, and I was the man peculiarly blocked out for this task. (To H. C. Lodge, December 7, 1915.) Lodge Letters II, 466.
____________. Now, as for what you say about myself. I do not know whether anyone will believe it; but whether they do or not I am absolutely sincere in saying that the course I am following and have followed has been taken absolutely without regard to my own interests or the interests of any other individual. No politician desiring political preference would enter on a campaign to alienate the German-American vote and the pacificist vote and to wake up our people to unpleasant facts by telling them unpleasant truths. My judgment is now and has been from the beginning that this course would render me impossible as a candidate. Of two things at any rate I am sure. In the first place I not only do not desire but I will not take the nomination if it comes as the result of manipulation or of any manœuvers which would seem to make it appear that I am striving, for my own personal aggrandizement, to secure it. Unless there is a popular feeling in the Republican party in the country at large such as to make the Republican leaders feel that, not for my sake but for the sake of the party and the country, it is imperative to nominate me, why I won’t even consider accepting the nomination. In the next place it is utterly idle to nominate me if the country is in a mood either of timidity or of that base and complacent materialism which finds expression in the phrase “Safety first.” If the country is not determined to put honor and duty ahead of safety, then the people most emphatically do not wish me for President, and the party cannot afford to run me for President; for I will not take back by one finger's breadth anything I have said during the last eighteen months about national and international duty or apologize for anything I did while I was President. (Unless the country is somewhere near a mood of at least half-heroism it would be utterly useless to nominate me.) (To H. C. Lodge, February 4, 1916.) Lodge Letters II, 479.
____________. I will not enter into any fight for the nomination and I will not permit any factional fight to be made in my behalf. Indeed, I will go further and say that it would be a mistake to nominate me unless the country has in its mood something of the heroic— unless it feels not only devotion to ideals but the purpose measurably to realize those ideals in action.
This is one of those rare times which come only at long intervals in a nation's history, where the action taken determines the basis of the life of the generations that follow. Such times were those from 1776 to 1789, in the days of Washington, and from 1858 to 1865, in the days of Lincoln.
It is for us of to-day to grapple with the tremendous national and international problems of our own hour in the spirit and with the ability shown by those who upheld the hands of Washington and Lincoln. (Statement to press, Trinidad, B.W.I., March 9, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 560; Nat. Ed. XVII, 410.
____________. Disgust with the unmanly failure of the present [Wilson] administration, I believe, does not, and I know ought not to, mean that the American people will vote in a spirit of mere protest. They ought not to, and I believe they will not, be content merely to change the present administration for one equally timid, equally vacillating, equally lacking in vision, in moral integrity, and in high resolve. They should desire, and I believe they do desire, public servants and public policies signifying more than adroit cleverness in escaping action behind clouds of fine words, in refusal to face real internal needs, and in complete absorption of every faculty in devising constantly shifting hand-to-mouth and day-to-day measures for escape from our international duty by the abandonment of our national honor—measures due to sheer dread of various foreign powers, tempered by a sometimes harmonizing and sometimes conflicting dread of various classes of voters, especially hyphenated voters, at home. (Statement to press, Trinidad, B.W.I., March 9, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 561; Nat. Ed. XVII, 411.
____________. Not only do I desire that no kind of faction fight be made to secure my nomination but I feel that it would be worse than worthless to have the nomination unless it comes of their own accord from the Republicans, because they feel they need me, and because they feel that the country is ripe for the kind of campaign which is the only campaign I would consent to make. After Lincoln became President the question of retaining the Union was of such absorbing consequence that for the next eighteen months he declined to consider even such a tremendous question as Slavery. He subordinated everything else to the question of the Union. There are certain tremendous national questions affecting our attitude as regards the primary duties of a nation, affecting perhaps the questions whether we are to continue as a nation, which transcend infinitely in importance any question of whether or not the Crane machine or any other machine is to be hurt, is to be opposed, or is to be made an issue in any way. I must not be used in any local fight for any local objects. (To Matthew Hale, April 3, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 477; Bishop II, 406.
____________. I wish to Heaven there was a better chance of developing some strong candidate against Wilson. There is a real movement to nominate me, simply because I am the only man who has stood openly against him in a way to show that I meant it. (To Frederick Scott Oliver, April 7, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 479; Bishop II, 407.
____________. The members of the Republican National Convention were unquestionably induced to nominate Mr. Hughes primarily because of the belief that his integrity and force of character and his long record of admirable public service would make him peculiarly acceptable not only to the rank and file of the Republican party but to the people generally. I do not believe that Mr. Hughes would have been nominated if it had not been for the fight on behalf of public decency and efficiency which the Progressive party has waged during the past four years.
In any event, and without any regard to what the personal feelings of any of us may be as regards the action of the Republican convention, I wish very solemnly to ask the representatives of the Progressive party to consider at this time only the welfare of the people of the United States. We shall prove false to our ideals and our professions if, in this grave crisis of the nation’s life, we permit ourselves to be swerved from the one prime duty of serving with cool judgment and single-minded devotion the nation's needs.
Our own political fortunes, individually and collectively, are of no consequence whatever when compared with the honor and welfare of the people of the United States. Such things do not count when weighed in the balance against our duty to serve well the country in which, after we are dead, our children and our children’s children are to live. (To Progressive National Committee, June 22, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 574; Nat. Ed. XVII, 422.
Election of 1916
See also Hughes, Charles E.; Progressive Party; Wilson. Woodrow.
The worth of a promise consists purely in the way in which the performance squares with it. That has two sides. In the first place, if a man is an honest man he will try just as hard to keep a promise made on the stump as one made of the stump. In the second place, if the people keep their heads they won't wish promises to be made which are impossible of performance. (At Symphony Hall, Boston, Mass., August 25, 1902.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers, 1, 108.
____________. A broken promise is bad enough in private life. It is worse in the field of politics. No man is worth his salt in public life who makes on the stump a pledge which he does not keep after election; and, if he makes such a pledge and does not keep it, hunt him out of public life. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 11; Nat. Ed. XVII, 6.
See also Compromise; Party Platforms; Platform Promises; Political Promises.
It seems to me that one of the most important problems which this nation has to solve is that of honest elections, and I am for radical measures. . . .
I hope to see some day a national ballot-reform law for congressional and presidential elections, a law which shall not interfere in the least with State or local elections, and which shall not be in any wise sectional, bearing upon all States and districts alike, and which shall secure, in so far as legislation can secure, honest and pure elections; a law which shall threaten the evils that exist in one State or section as much as those that exist in another, which shall tell as heavily against “blocks of five” as against tissue ballots; which shall tell equally against the policy of bribery and the policy of the shotgun, against the purchase of elections by money no less than against the carrying of elections by violence and fraud. (Before Federal Club, New York City, March 6, 1891.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 190, 191; Nat. Ed. XIV, 126, 127.
____________. We should provide by national law for presidential primaries. We should provide for the election of United States senators by popular vote. We should provide for a short ballot; nothing makes it harder for the people to control their public servants than to force them to vote for so many officials that they cannot really keep track of any one of them, so that each becomes indistinguishable in the crowd around him. There must be stringent and efficient corrupt- practices acts, applying to the primaries as well as the elections; and there should be publicity of campaign contributions during the campaign. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 363; Nat. Ed. XVII, 258.
See also Ballot; Campaign Funds; Initiative; Primaries; Recall; Referendum.
See Boss; Bribery; Campaign Contributions; Candidates; Corruption; Machine; Municipal Elections; Party System; Politics; Senators; Suffrage; Voting.
This century is bound to see an astounding development of the use of electrical power generated by running water. The development I believe will be extraordinary. We cannot foresee what the social conditions will be half a century hence. We cannot foresee how our people will feel, and what their needs will be fifty years hence, any more than the Supreme Court eighty years ago could see our needs of to-day. My aim is to hand over to our children and to our grandchildren the public property so unimpaired that they may then do whatever their needs then dictate. I realize absolutely that we must have that power developed in the present. For that reason I would allow the corporation leasing the power to lease it for any length of time necessary to insure them an ample return upon their money. Personally I would be delighted to see it made fifty years instead of twenty-five. Personally I should be glad to see the terms made as easy as possible, because the thing that concerns me is what I regard as the vital principle, the principle of not parting with the property, the principle of keeping it in the public hands, so that at the end of the next forty or fifty years of National development the people shall have it in their possession, and shall not find that they have developed a small number of wealthy men who own something that the public can no longer get except by revolution. (Before the Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, Cal., March 27, 1911.) Transactions of the Commonwealth Club of California, June 1912, p. 108.
No other animal, not the lion himself, is so constant a theme of talk, and a subject of such unflagging interest round the camp-fires of African hunters and in the native villages of the African wilderness, as the elephant. Indeed the elephant has always profoundly impressed the imagination of mankind. It is, not only to hunters, but to naturalists, and to all people who possess any curiosity about wild creatures and the wild life of nature, the most interesting of all animals. Its huge bulk, its singular form, the value of its ivory, its great intelligence—in which it is only matched, if at all, by the highest apes, and possibly by one or two of the highest carnivora— and its varied habits, all combine to give it an interest such as attaches to no other living creature below the rank of man. In line of descent and in physical formation it stands by itself, wholly apart from all the other great land beasts, and differing from them even more widely than they differ from one another. (1910.) Mem. Ed. V, 231; Nat. Ed. IV, 199.
Elevated Railroad Legislation
I have to say with shame that when I voted for this bill I did not act as I think I ought to have acted, and as I generally have acted on the floor of this House. For the only time that I ever voted here otherwise than in the way I thought I honestly ought to, I did on that occasion. I have to confess that I weakly yielded, partly in a vindictive spirit toward the infernal thieves and conscienceless swindlers who have had the elevated railroad in charge, and partly to the popular voice of New York.
For the managers of the elevated railroad I have as little feeling as any man here. . . . I realize that they have done the most incalculable wrong to this community with their hired newspapers, with their corruption of the judiciary, with their corruption of past legislatures. . . .
Nevertheless, it is not a question of doing justice to them, it is a question of doing justice to ourselves. It is a question of standing by what we honestly think to be right, even if in so doing we antagonize the feelings of our constituents. (Speech on Governor Cleveland’s veto, New York Assembly, March 2, 1883.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 19, 20.
Eliot, Charles W.
See Books—Lists of.
The gradual extermination of this, the most stately and beautiful animal of the chase to be found in America, can be looked upon only with unmixed regret by every sportsman and lover of nature. Excepting the moose, it is the largest and, without exception, it is the noblest of the deer tribe. No other species of true deer, in either the Old or the New World, comes up to it in size and in the shape, length, and weight of its mighty antlers; while the grand, proud carriage and lordly bearing of an old bull make it perhaps the most majestic-looking of all the animal creation. The open plains have already lost one of their great attractions, now that we no more see the long lines of elk trotting across them; and it will be a sad day when the lordly, antlered beasts are no longer found in the wild, rocky glens and among the lonely woods of towering pines that cover the great Western mountain chains.
The elk has other foes besides man. The grizzly will always make a meal of one if he gets a chance; and against his ponderous weight and savage prowess hoofs and antlers avail but little. Still he is too clumsy and easily avoided ever to do very much damage in the herds. Cougars, where they exist, work more havoc. . . . But these great deer can hold their own and make head against all their brute foes; it is only when pitted against Man the Destroyer that they succumb in the struggle for life. (1885.) Mem. Ed. I, 252-253; Nat. Ed. I, 210-211.
See also Wapiti.
My ranch . . . derived its name, “The Elkhorn,” from the fact that on the ground where we built it were found the skulls and interlocked antlers of two wapiti bulls who had perished from getting their antlers fastened in battle. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 254; Nat. Ed. III, 75.
____________. The ranch-house stood on the brink of a low bluff overlooking the broad, shallow bed of the Little Missouri, through which at most seasons there ran only a trickle of water, while in times of freshet it was filled brimful with the boiling, foaming, muddy torrent. There was no neighbor for ten or fifteen miles on either side of me. The river twisted down in long curves between narrow bottoms bordered by sheer cliff walls, for the Bad Lands, a chaos of peaks, plateaus, and ridges, rose abruptly from the edges of the level, tree-clad, or grassy, alluvial meadows. In front of the ranch-house veranda was a row of cottonwood-trees with gray-green leaves which quivered all day long if there was a breath of air. From these trees came the far- away, melancholy cooing of mourning-doves, and little owls perched in them and called tremulously at night. In the long summer afternoons we would sometimes sit on the piazza, when there was no work to be done, for an hour or two at a time, watching the cattle on the sand-bars, and the sharply channelled and strangely carved amphitheatre of cliffs across the bottom opposite; while the vultures wheeled overhead, their black shadows gliding across the glaring white of the dry river-bed. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 116; Nat. Ed. XX, 99.
See also Bad Lands; Chimney Butte Ranch; Ranch Life.
Very much of our effort in reference to labor matters should be by every device and expedient to try to secure a constantly better understanding between employer and employee. Everything possible should be done to increase the sympathy and fellow-feeling between them, and every chance taken to allow each to look at all questions, especially at questions in dispute, somewhat through the other’s eyes. If met with a sincere desire to act fairly by one another, and if there is, furthermore, power by each to appreciate the other’s standpoint, the chance for trouble is minimized.·(At Sioux Falls, S. D., April 6, 1903.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 307.
____________. All relations between employer and employee should be based on mutuality of respect and consideration; arrogance met by insolence, or an alternation of arrogance and insolence, offers but a poor substitute. (Metropolitan, March 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 375; Nat. Ed. XIX, 340.
See also Capital And Labor; Collective Bargaining; Industrial Arbitration; Labor Unions; Workers.
There are employers to-day who, like the great coal operators, speak as though they were lords of these countless armies of Americans, who toil in factory, in shop, in mill, and in the dark places under the earth. They fail to see that all these men have the right and the duty to combine to protect themselves and their families from want and degradation. They fail to see that the nation and the government, within the range of fair play and a just administration of the law, must inevitably sympathize with the men who have nothing but their wages, with the men who are struggling for a decent life, as opposed to men, however honorable, who are merely fighting for larger profits and an autocratic control of big business. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 547; Nat. Ed. XX, 470.
See also Business; Capitalists.
See Workmen's Compensation.
It is exceedingly difficult to make a good citizen out of a man who cannot count upon some steadiness and continuity in the work which means to him his livelihood. (Outlook, August 27, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 197; Nat. Ed. XVI, 151.
The present method by which a man or a woman finds a job is about as primitive as an ox-team, and is expensive in waste, in time, and in the very life of the workers. The available work and the available workers in the community should be registered at some point where both can meet.
Public employment bureaus should handle not merely common labor and the near-unemployable, but also the highest kinds of labor; and the men who run them should be treated as public officers, needing as high qualifications as the highest type of educator, alike as regards character, ability, devotion to the work, and trained intelligence; and ultimately these employment bureaus may very well co-operate with the public schools in directing into the proper channels the work of the scholars who are going into industry. Public employment bureaus ought not to represent a kind of charity or merely a temporary aid in winter or in times of industrial depression; they should be a great permanent feature of the governmental work of the nation and of the municipality. Only through them can the labor market be so organized as to minimize the difficulties caused by seasonal and short-time work. (At New York City, January 26, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 632-633; Nat. Ed. XVI, 461.
See also Eight-Hour Day; Labor; Social Insurance; Unemployment; Wages; Workmen's Compensation.
Enforcement of Law
England—American Feeling Toward
We have no feeling against England. On the contrary, we regard her as being well in advance of the great powers of Continental Europe, and we have more sympathy with her. In general, her success tells for the success of civilization, and we wish her well. But where her interests enlist her against the progress of civilization and in favor of the oppression of other nationalities who are struggling upward, our sympathies are immediately forfeited. (The Bachelor of Arts, March 1896.) Mem. Ed. XV, 234; Nat. Ed. XIII, 176.
The whole history of the movement which resulted in the establishment of the Commonwealth of England will be misread and misunderstood if we fail to appreciate that it was the first modern, and not the last mediæval, movement; if we fail to understand that the men who figured in it and the principles for which they contended, are strictly akin to the men and the principles that have appeared in all similar great movements since: in the English Revolution of 1688; in the American Revolution of 1776; and the American Civil War of 1861. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 290; Nat. Ed. X, 190.
England—Roosevelt's Attitude Toward
On the whole I am friendly to England. I do not at all believe in being over-effusive or in forgetting that fundamentally we are two different nations; but yet the fact remains, in the first place, that we are closer in feeling to her than to any other nation; and in the second place, that probably her interest and ours will run on rather parallel lines in the future. (To H. C. Lodge, June 19, 1901.) Lodge Letters I, 493.
____________.As regards England, I end the war more convinced than ever that there should be the closest alliance between the British Empire and the United States, but also I am more convinced than ever that neither one can afford for one moment to rely upon the other in a sufficiently tight place. (To Viscount Lee of Fareham, November 19, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 277; Nat. Ed. X, 179.
England and America
The day is past when an American was regarded as a poor relation; and if we remain self reliant and powerful it will never return. (To H. C. Lodge, September 10, 1909.) Lodge Letters II, 349.
England In the World War
Her women are working with all the steadfast courage and self-sacrifice that the women of France have shown. Her men from every class have thronged into the army. Her fisherfolk, and her seafarers generally, have come forward in such numbers that her fleet is nearly double as strong as it was at the outset of the war. Her mines and war factories have steadily enlarged their output, and it is now enormous, although many of the factories had literally to build from the ground up, and the very plant itself had to be created. Coal, food, guns, munitions, are being supplied with sustained energy. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 259; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 223.
England's Entrance Into War
England's attitude in going to war in defense of Belgium's rights, according to its guaranty, was not only strictly proper but represents the only kind of action that ever will make a neutrality treaty or peace treaty or arbitration treaty worth the paper on which it is written. The published despatches of the British Government show that Sir Edward Grey clearly, emphatically, and scrupulously declined to commit his government to war until it became imperative to do so if Great Britain was to fulfil, as her honor and interest alike demanded, her engagements on behalf of the neutrality of Belgium. (New York Times, October 11, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 52; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 45.
See also Anglomania; Arbitration; Belgium; Boer War; Colonial System; Cromwell, Oliver; George V; Imperialism; India; Monroe Doctrine; Panama Canal; Parliamentary Government; Revolutionary War; War Of 1812; World War.
The English navy was mobilized with a rapidity and efficiency as great as that of the German army. It has driven every war-ship, except an occasional submarine, and every merchant ship of Germany off the seas, and has kept the ocean as a highway of life not only for England, but for France, and largely also for Russia. In all history there has been no such gigantic and successful naval feat accomplished as that which the seamen and shipwrights of England have to their credit during the last eighteen months. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 258; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 222.
See also Naval Armaments.
English People — Devotion of
The colonial habit of thought dies hard. It is to be wished that those who are cursed with it would, in endeavoring to emulate the ways of the Old World, endeavor to emulate one characteristic which has been shared by every Old World nation, and which is possessed to a marked degree by England. Every decent Englishman is devoted to his country, first, last, and all the time. An Englishman may or may not dislike America, but he is invariably for England and against America when any question arises between them; and I heartily respect him for so being. (The Bachelor of Arts, March 1896.) Mem. Ed. XV, 238; Nat. Ed. XIII, 179.
English-Speaking Peoples — Friendship Between
I absolutely agree with you as to the importance, not only to ourselves but to all the free peoples of the civilized world, of a constantly growing friendship and understanding between the English-speaking peoples. One of the gratifying things in what has occurred during the last decade has been the growth in this feeling of good-will. All I can do to foster it will be done. I need hardly add that, in order to foster it, we need judgment and moderation no less than the good-will itself. The larger interests of the two nations are the same; and the fundamental, underlying traits of their characters are also the same. (To King Edward VII, March 9, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 311; Bishop II, 262.
English-Speaking Peoples — Relations Between
A hundred years ago the English-speaking peoples of Britain and America regarded one another as inveterate and predestined enemies, just as three centuries previously had been the case in Great Britain itself between those who dwelt in the northern half and those who dwelt in the southern half of the island. Now war is unthinkable between us. (New York Times, October 18, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 68; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 58.
The vice of envy is not only a dangerous but also a mean vice, for it is always a confession of inferiority. It may provoke conduct which will be fruitful of wrong-doing to others, and it must cause misery to the man who feels it. It will not be any the less fruitful of wrong and misery if, as is so often the case with evil motives, it adopts some high-sounding alias. (Before Young Men’s Christian Association, New York City, December 30, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 532; Nat. Ed. XIII, 496.
The Episcopal Church has a wonderful future ahead of it here. It is so closely akin to our civilization, and it appeals not so much to wealth (as is sometimes charged) as it does to conservatism. It just so happens that the conservative class is usually the wealthy class. While I should have liked one or two of my children to have become members of my church, I feel greatly comforted that they are in their mother's church. (Recorded by Butt in letter of January 20, 1909.) The Letters of Archie Butt. Personal Aide to President Roosevelt. (Doubleday, Page & Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1924), p. 298.
Ours is a government of liberty by, through, and under the law. No man is above it and no man is below it. The crime of cunning, the crime of greed, the crime of violence, are all equally crimes, and against them all alike the law must set its face. This is not and never shall be a government either of a plutocracy or of a mob. It is, it has been, and it will be, a government of the people; including alike the people of great wealth and of moderate wealth, the people who employ others, the people who are employed, the wage- worker, the lawyer, the mechanic, the banker, the farmer; including them all, protecting each and every one if he acts decently and squarely, and discriminating against any one of them, no matter from what class he comes, if he does not act squarely and fairly, if he does not obey the law. (At Spokane, Wash., May 26, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 20; Nat. Ed. XVI, 18.
____________. This Government is based upon the fundamental idea that each man, no matter what his occupation, his race, or his religious belief, is entitled to be treated on his worth as a man, and neither favored nor discriminated against because of any accident in his position. (Letter accepting nomination for Presidency, September 12, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 512; Nat. Ed. XVI, 384.
____________. The corner-stone of the Republic lies in our treating each man on his worth as a man, paying no heed to his creed, his birthplace, or his occupation, asking not whether he is rich or poor, whether he labors with head or hand; asking only whether he acts decently and honorably in the various relations of his life, whether he behaves well to his family, to his neighbors, to the State. We base our regard for each man on the essentials and not the accidents. We judge him not by his professions, but by his deeds; by his conduct, not by what he has acquired of this world’s goods. Other republics have fallen, because the citizens gradually grew to consider the interests of a class before the interests of the whole; for when such was the case it mattered little whether it was the poor who plundered the rich or the rich who exploited the poor; in either event the end of the republic was at hand. (At Jamestown Exposition, April 26, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XII, 595; Nat. Ed. XI, 313.
____________. We should not take part in acting a lie any more than in telling a lie. We should not say that men are equal where they are not equal, nor proceed upon the assumption that there is an equality where it does not exist; but we should strive to bring about a measurable equality, at least to the extent of preventing the inequality which is due to force or fraud. (At the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 367; Nat. Ed. XIII, 521.
Equality and Democracy
We believe in a real, not a sham, democracy. We believe in democracy as regards political rights, as regards education, and, finally, as regards industrial conditions. By democracy we understand securing, as far as it is humanly possible to secure it, equality of opportunity, equality of the conditions under which each man is to show the stuff that is in him and to achieve the measure of success to which his own force of mind and character entitle him. Religiously this means that each man is to have the right, unhindered by the State, to worship his Creator as his conscience dictates, granting freely to others the same freedom which he asks for himself. Politically we can be said substantially to have worked out our democratic ideals, and the same is true, thanks to the common schools, in educational matters. (At Cairo, Ill., October 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 17; Nat. Ed. XVI, 15.
See also Classes; Democracy; Freedom; Law; Liberty; Opportunity; Privilege; Rewards; Square Deal.
See Character; Courage; Duty; Honesty; Ideals; Justice; Moral Sense; Morality; Right; Righteousness; Ten Commandments; Truth; Vice; Virtue.
See Social Conventions.
I wish very much that the wrong people could be prevented entirely from breeding; and when the evil nature of these people is sufficiently flagrant, this should be done. Criminals should be sterilized, and feebleminded persons forbidden to leave offspring behind them. But as yet there is no way possible to devise which could prevent all undesirable people from breeding. The emphasis should be laid on getting desirable people to breed. This is no question of having enormous families for which the man and woman are unable to provide. I do not believe in or advocate such families. I am not encouraging shiftless people, unfit to marry, who have huge families. I am speaking of the ordinary, every-day Americans, the decent men and women who do make good fathers and mothers, and who ought to have good-sized families. (Outlook, January 3, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 172; Nat. Ed. XII, 201.
See also Birth Control; Family; Marriage; Race Suicide.
Europe—Roosevelt's Visit to
I should like then to spend a couple of months on a trip thru the hill towns of Italy, thru certain parts of Southern France, and finally a week or two in England. Whether or not I can make this tour depends upon what I shall have to do if I go to these countries. If it means that I have to make a kind of mock triumphal progress and spend my time at dismal and expensive entertainments which I shall loathe even more than the wretched creatures who feel obliged to give them, why I won't go, and shall simply come straight home. If I can travel purely as a private citizen of small means without seeing anybody but my old friends, why that I should prefer. I am inclined to think that if necessary I would compromise, and, to avoid seeming churlish, would be entirely willing to be presented privately at court, or call on the leading public men in the different countries, if this did not involve foolish and elaborate functions, and did give me time to see the sights I want to see and to call on the friends I want to call on. But all this can be settled later. (To H. C. Lodge, August 8, 1908.) Lodge Letters II, 311.
____________. I have rather a horror of ex-Presidents travelling around with no real business, and thereby putting unfortunate potentates who think they ought to show courtesy to the United States in a position where they feel obliged to entertain the said ex-Presidents, no matter how great a hero any one of them may be. If I could make the sovereigns and leading men of each country understand that I did not expect any attention and would be only too glad to be left to my own resources, and be permitted to call upon the people I already knew and a very few others whom I would like to know, why, that would be all right; but to make a kind of mock triumphal procession would offer about as unattractive an outing to me as could be imagined. (To Lord Curzon, August 18, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 141; Bishop II, 121.
Europe—Roosevelt's Visit to
See also Denmark; France; Germany; Grey, Sir Edward; Norway; Rome; Roosevelt; William II.
European Courts — Presentation of Americans at
I have grown to have a constantly increasing horror of the Americans who go abroad desiring to be presented at court or to meet sovereigns. In very young people it is excusable folly; in older people it is mere snobbishness. . . . I cannot be too sincerely grateful that when Mrs. Roosevelt and I were abroad before I was President, we refused to be presented. I have a hearty respect for the right kind of a king and for the right kind of aristocracy, and for the right kind of Englishman who wishes to be presented or have his wife or daughter presented; but it is the business of an American to be a republican, a democrat, to behave in a simple and straightforward manner, and, without anything cheap or blatant about it, to be just what he is, a plain citizen of the American Republic; and he is thoroughly out of place, loses his dignity in the eyes of others, and loses his own self-respect, when he tries to play a rôle for which he is not suited, and which personally I think is less exalted than his own natural rôle. (To White-law Reid, May 25, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 130; Bishop II, 111.
See Expansion; Imperialism.
European Nations and the United States
I do not in the least misunderstand . . . the attitude of any European nation as regards us. We shall keep the respect of each of them just as long as we are thoroughly able to hold our own, and no longer. If we got into trouble, there is not one of them upon whose friendship we could count to get us out; what we shall need to count upon is the efficiency of our fighting men and particularly of our neighbor. (To Finley Peter Dunne, late 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 401; Bishop I, 348.
European Upper Classes
The German upper classes, alone among the European upper classes—so far as I knew—really did not like the social type I represented. All the other people of the upper classes in Europe whom I met, even the extremely aristocratic Austrians, seemed eager to see me, just because I did represent something new to them. They regarded me as a characteristically American type, which however had nothing in common with the conventional American millionaire; to them it was interesting to meet a man who was certainly a democrat—a real, not a sham, democrat—both politically and socially, who yet was a gentleman, who had his own standards, and did not look down upon or feel defiant toward, or desire to offend, them, but who did not feel that his standards or position were in any way dependent upon their views and good-will. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, October 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 288; Bishop II, 246.
Much of the usefulness of any career must lie in the impress that it makes upon, and the lessons that it teaches to, the generations that come after. (At unveiling of monument to General Phil Sheridan, Washington, November 25,1908.) Mem. Ed. XII, 479; Nat. Ed. XI, 222.
See also Fame; Heroes.
Executive, the, and Legislation
In theory the Executive has nothing to do with legislation. In practice, as things now are, the Executive is or ought to be peculiarly representative of the people as a whole. As often as not the action of the Executive offers the only means by which the people can get the legislation they demand and ought to have. Therefore a good executive under the present conditions of American political life must take a very active interest in getting the right kind of legislation, in addition to performing his executive duties with an eye single to the public welfare. More than half of my work as governor was in the direction of getting needed and important legislation. I accomplished this only by arousing the people, and riveting their attention on what was done. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 322; Nat. Ed. XX, 276.
I do not deal with public sentiment. I deal with the law. How I might act as a legislator or what kind of legislation I should advise has no bearing on my conduct as an executive officer charged with administering the law. (New York Sun, June 20, 1895.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 259; Nat. Ed. XIV, 181.
See also Administration; Cabinet; Division of Powers; Law; Presidency; President; Senate; Supreme Court.
A man whose business is sedentary should get some kind of exercise if he wishes to keep himself in as good physical trim as his brethren who do manual labor. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 48; Nat. Ed. XX, 42.
____________. It is hardly necessary at the present day to enter a plea for athletic exercise and manly outdoor sports. During the last twenty-five years there has been a wonderful growth of interest in and appreciation of healthy muscular amusements; and this growth can best be promoted by stimulating, within proper bounds, the spirit of rivalry on which all our games are based. The effect upon the physique of the sedentary classes, especially in the towns and cities, has already been very marked. We are much less liable than we were to reproaches on the score of our national ill health, of the bad constitutions of our men, and of the fragility and early decay of our women. There are still plenty of people who look down on, as of little moment, the proper development of the body; but the men of good sense sympathize as little with these as they do with the even more noxious extremists who regard physical development as an end instead of a means. As a nation we have many tremendous problems to work out, and we need to bring every ounce of vital power possible to their solution. No people has ever yet done great and lasting work if its physical type was infirm and weak. (North American Review, August 1890.) Mem. Ed. XV, 516; Nat. Ed. XIII, 583.
See also Gymnastics; Outdoor Life; Sports.
Expansion is not only the handmaid of greatness, but, above all, it is the handmaid of peace . . . . Every expansion of a civilized power is a conquest for peace . . . . It means not only the extension of American influence and power, it means the extension of liberty and order, and the bringing nearer by gigantic strides of the day when peace shall come to the whole earth . . . .
When throughout the world barbarism has given place to civilization, then, and not till then, the reign of peace will be at hand; and expansion is at the moment the way in which this nation can best do its duty, can best help to bring about that hoped-for day. (Speech at Cincinnati, O., October 21, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 499- 502; Nat. Ed. XIV, 336-339.
____________. As you know, I am an expansionist; and I am an expansionist because I believe that this people must play the part of a great people; because I believe it must do its share in the hard work of the world; because I don't think it is good for a nation, any more than for an individual, to spend all the time introspectively in the affairs of its own household merely. It will manage them all the better if it has outside interests. It must manage those interests from a double standpoint. It is bound to manage them from the standpoint of the honor of America and from the standpoint of the interests of the people governed. (At dinner to Chauncey M. Depew, March 11, 1899.)
Speeches at the Lotos Club. (Lotos Club, New York, 1901), p. 329.
European nations war for the possession of thickly settled districts which, if conquered, will for centuries remain alien and hostile to the conquerors; we, wiser in our generation, have seized the waste solitudes that lay near us, the limitless forests and never-ending plains, and the valleys of the great, lonely rivers; and have thrust our own sons into them to take possession; and a score of years after each conquest we see the conquered land teeming with a people that is one with ourselves. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 197-198; Nat. Ed. VII, 171.
____________.·Throughout a large part of our national career our history has been one of expansion, the expansion being of different kinds at different times. This expansion is not a matter of regret, but of pride. It is vain to tell a people as masterful as ours that the spirit of enterprise is not safe. The true American has never feared to run risks when the prize to be won was of sufficient value. No nation capable of self-government,
and of developing by its own efforts a sane and orderly civilization, no matter how small it may be, has anything to fear from us. (At Minnesota State Fair, September 2, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XV, 337; Nat. Ed. XIII, 476.
____________. This work of expansion was by far the greatest work of our people during the years that intervened between the adoption of the Constitution and the outbreak of the Civil War. There were other questions of real moment and importance, and there were many which at the time seemed such to those engaged in answering them; but the greatest feat of our forefathers of those generations was the deed of the men who, with pack-train or wagontrain, on horseback, on foot, or by boat, pushed the frontier ever westward across the continent.
Never before had the world seen the kind of national expansion which gave our people all that part of the American continent lying west of the thirteen original States; the greatest landmark in which was the Louisiana Purchase. Our triumph in this process of expansion was indissolubly bound up with the success of our peculiar kind of Federal government; and this success has been so complete that because of its very completeness we now sometimes fail to appreciate not only the all-importance but the tremendous difficulty of the problem with which our nation was originally faced. (At Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, April 30, 1903 ) Mem. Ed. XII, 599; Nat. Ed. XI, 316-317.
There is one feature in the expansion of the peoples of white, or European, blood during the past four centuries which should never be lost sight of, especially by those who denounce such expansion on moral grounds. On the whole, the movement has been fraught with lasting benefit to most of the peoples already dwelling in the lands over which the expansion took place. Of course any such general statement as this must be understood with the necessary reservations. Human nature being what it is, no movement lasting for four centuries and extending in one shape or another over the major part of the world could go on without cruel injustices being done at certain places and in certain times. Occasionally, although not very frequently, a mild and kindly race has been treated with wanton, brutal and ruthless inhumanity by the white intruders. Moreover, mere savages, whose type of life was so primitive as to be absolutely incompatible with the existence of civilization, inevitably died out from the regions across which their sparse bands occasionally flitted, when these regions became filled with a dense population; they died out when they were kindly treated as quickly as when they were badly treated, for the simple reason that they were so little advanced that the conditions of life necessary to their existence were incompatible with any form of higher and better existence. It is also true that, even where great good has been done to the already existing inhabitants, where they have thriven under the new rule, it has some times brought with it discontent from the very fact that it has brought with it a certain amount of well-being and a certain amount of knowledge, so that people have learned enough to feel discontented and have prospered enough to be able to show their discontent. Such ingratitude is natural, and must be reckoned with as such; but it is also both unwarranted and foolish, and the fact of its existence in any given case does not justify any change of attitude on our part.
On the whole, and speaking generally, one extraordinary fact of this expansion of the European races is that with it has gone an increase in population and well-being among the natives of the countries where the expansion has taken place. (At celebration of Methodist Episcopal Church, Washington, January 18, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 341.342; Nat. Ed. XVI, 258-259.
See also Africa; Benton, Thomas Hart; Canadian Northwest ; Colonial System; Cuba; Imperialism; India; Louisiana Purchase; Manifest Destiny; Philippines; Slavery; Texas; Westward Movement.
It is in those professions where our people have striven hardest to mould themselves in conventional European forms that they have succeeded least; and this holds true to the present day, the failure being of course most conspicuous where the man takes up his abode in Europe; where he becomes a second- rate European, because he is overcivilized,
oversensitive, overrefined, and has lost the hardihood and manly courage by which alone he can conquer in the keen struggle of our national life. Be it remembered, too, that this same being does not really become a European; he only ceases being an American, and becomes nothing. He throws away a great prize for the sake of a lesser one, and does not even get the lesser one. (Forum, April 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 22; Nat. Ed. XIII, 19.
See also Cosmopolitans; Foreign Ways.
See Compromise; Political Expediency.
Americans learn only from catastrophes and not from experience. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 245; Nat. Ed. XX, 210.
It is far better to try experiments, even when we are not certain how these experiments will turn out, or when we are certain that the proposed plan contains elements of folly as well as elements of wisdom. Better "trial and error" than no trial at all. And the service test, the test of actual experiment, is the only conclusive test. It is only the attempt in actual practice to realize a realizable ideal that contains hope. Mere writing and oratory and enunciation of theory, with no attempt to secure the service test, amount to nothing. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 112; Nat. Ed. XIX, 115.
Experts In Government
We welcome leadership and advice, of course, and we are content to let experts do the expert business to which we assign them without fussy interference from us. But the expert must understand that he is carrying out our general purpose and not substituting his own for it. The leader must understand that he leads us, that he guides us, by convincing us so that we will follow him or follow his direction. He must not get it into his head that it is his business to drive us or to ride us. His business is to manage the government for us. (At St. Louis, Mo., March 28, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 237; Nat. Ed. XVII, 174.
See also Government; Leaders.
In any expedition . . . there are bound to be unforeseen difficulties of every kind and it is often absolutely impossible for the outside public to say whether a failure is due to some lack of forethought on the part of those engaged in the expedition, or to causes absolutely beyond human control. There is not and cannot be certainty in an affair of this kind—probably there cannot be certainty in any affair, but above all in what by its very nature is so hazardous. The slack or rash man is much more likely to fail than the man of forethought; but the hand of the Lord may be heavy upon the wise no less than upon the foolish.
There remains the question as to whether the great risks and hazards are warranted by the end sought to be achieved. I emphatically think they are warranted. This, however, is hardly a matter which can be settled by argument in such shape that it shall satisfy every one. People who greatly dread hazard or greatly disapprove of it, and who are not interested in knowledge as such, will naturally disapprove of taking even a small risk for widening at any point the domain of knowledge save where immediate and tangible remuneration is to follow. Naturally, such people, who are often very good people but who possess limited imaginative power, will never be appealed to by the men who prize life as a great adventure; the men who in one age first crossed the Atlantic, first sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, and first passed the Straits of Magellan and circumnavigated the globe; the men who, in another age, first penetrated to the North and South poles, who first crossed Africa, or who found their way for the first time to the forbidden city of the Dalai Lama. The difference is largely based upon difference of temperament, and argument can never reconcile wide temperamental distinctions. (Outlook, March 1, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 584-585; Nat. Ed. XII, 440-441.
The first geographical explorers of the untrodden wilderness, the first wanderers who penetrate the wastes where they are confronted with starvation, disease, and danger and death in every form, cannot take with them the elaborate equipment necessary in order to do the thorough scientific work demanded by modern scientific requirements. This is true even of exploration done along the course of unknown rivers; it is more true of the exploration . . . done across country, away from the rivers.
The scientific work proper of these early explorers must be of a somewhat preliminary nature; in other words the most difficult and therefore ordinarily the most important pieces of first-hand exploration are precisely those where the scientific work of the accompanying cartographer, geologist, botanist, and zoologist who works to most advantage in the wilderness must take his time, and therefore he must normally follow in the footsteps of, and not accompany, the first explorers. The man who wishes to do the best scientific work in the wilderness must not try to combine incompatible types of work nor to cover too much ground in too short a time. (1914.) Mem. Ed. VI, 332-333; Nat. Ed. V, 284.
____________. Many regions in the United States where life is now absolutely comfortable and easy- going offered most formidable problems to the first explorers a century or two ago. We must not fall into the foolish error of thinking that the first explorers need not suffer terrible hardships, merely because the ordinary travelers, and even the settlers who come after them do not have to endure such danger, privation, and wearing fatigue—although the first among the genuine settlers also have to undergo exceedingly trying experiences. The early explorers and adventurers make fairly well-beaten trails at heavy cost to themselves. Ordinary travelers, with little discomfort and no danger, can then traverse these trails; but it is incumbent on them neither to boast of their own experiences nor to misjudge the efforts of the pioneers because, thanks to these very efforts, their own lines fall in pleasant places. (1914.) Mem. Ed. VI, 165; Nat. Ed. V, 141.
See also Boone, Daniel; Jesuits; Peary, Robert E.; Pioneers; South America.
No laws which the wit of man can devise will avail to make the community prosperous if the average individual lives in such fashion that his expenditures always exceed his income. Outlook, October 5, 1912, p. 249.
See also Leisure; Thrift; Work. Extremes. See Democracy—Success In A.
It is always a difficult thing to state a position which has two sides with such clearness as to bring it home to the hearers. In the world of politics it is easy to appeal to the unreasoning reactionary, and no less easy to appeal to the unreasoning advocate of change, but difficult to get people to show for the cause of sanity and progress combined the zeal so easily aroused against sanity by one set of extremists and against progress by another set of extremists. So in the world of the intellect it is easy to take the position of the hard materialists who rail against religion, and easy also to take the position of those whose zeal for orthodoxy makes them distrust all action by men of independent mind in the search for scientific truth; but it is not so easy to make it understood that we both acknowledge our inestimable debt to the great masters of science, and yet are keenly alive to their errors and decline to surrender our judgment to theirs when they go wrong. (Outlook, December 2, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 430; Nat. Ed. XII, 123.
See also Lunatic Fringe; Radicals; Reactionaries.