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Pacific Interests

See China; Hawaii; Japan; Open Door; Orient; Philippines.


The precepts and teachings upon which the pacifists rely apply not to war, but to questions arising from or concerning individual and mob violence and the exercise of the internal police power. In so far as sincere and logical pacifists are concerned, they recognize this fact. There are schools of pacifists who decline to profit by the exercise of the police power, who decline to protect not merely them. selves, but those dearest to them, from any form of outrage and violence. The individuals of this type are at least logical in their horror even of just war. If a man deliberately takes the view that he will not resent having his wife s face slapped, that he will not by force endeavor to save his daughter from outrage, and that he disapproves of the policeman who interferes by force to save a child kidnapped by a black-hander, or a girl run off by a white-slaver, then he is logical in objecting to war. Of course, to my mind, he occupies an unspeakably base and loathsome position, and is not fit to cumber the world—in which, as a matter of fact, he exists at all only because he is protected by the maintenance by others of the very principle which he himself repudiates and declines to share.

Such a position I hold to be as profoundly immoral as it is profoundly unpatriotic. But, at least, the men holding it are trying logically to apply the principles which they profess to follow. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 240; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 207.

____________. If the man who objects to war also objects to the use of force in civil life . . . his position is logical, although both absurd and wicked. If the college presidents, politicians, automobile manufacturers, and the like, who during the past year or two have preached pacifism in its most ignoble and degrading form are willing to think out the subject and are both sincere and fairly intelligent, they must necessarily condemn a police force or a posse comitatus just as much as they condemn armies; and they must regard the activities of the sheriff and the constable as being essentially militaristic and therefore to be abolished. (American Sociological Society, Papers, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 270; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 232.

Pacifism—Basis of

The professional pacifists, the leaders in the pacifist movement in the United States, do particular harm by giving well-meaning but uninformed people who do not think deeply what seems to them a convincing excuse for failure to show courage and resolution. Those who preach sloth and cowardice under the high-sounding name of "peace" give people a word with which to cloak, even to themselves, their failure to perform unpleasant duty. For a man to stand up for his own rights, or especially for the rights of somebody else, means that he must have virile qualities: courage, foresight, willingness to face risk and undergo effort. It is much easier to be timid and lazy. The average man does not like to face death and endure hardship and labor. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 238; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 205.

____________. There are plenty of politicians . . . who find it to their profit to pander to the desire common to most men to live softly and easily and avoid risk and effort. Timid and lazy men, men absorbed in money- getting, men absorbed in ease and luxury, and all soft and slothful people naturally hail with delight anybody who will give them high-sounding names behind which to cloak their unwillingness to run risks or to toil and endure. Emotional philanthropists to whom thinking is a distasteful form of mental exercise enthusiastically champion this attitude . . These men and women are delighted to pass resolutions in favor of anything with a lofty name, provided always that no demand is ever made upon them to pay with their bodies to even the smallest degree in order to give effect to these lofty sentiments. (American Sociological Society, Papers, 1915.) Mem. Ed. EX, 267; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 229.

Pacifism—Evils of

The professional pacifists of the United States are seeking to make the United States follow in the footsteps of China. They represent what has been on the whole the most evil influence at work in the United States for the last fifty years; and for five years they have in international affairs shaped our governmental policy. These men, whether politicians, publicists, college presidents, capitalists, labor leaders, or self-styled philanthropists, have done everything they could to relax the fibre of the American character and weaken the strength of the American will. They teach our people to seek that debasing security which is to be found in love of ease, in fear of risk, in the craven effort to avoid any duty that is hard or hazardous—a security which purchases peace in the present not only at the cost of humiliation in the present but at the cost of disaster in the future. . . . They not only make us work for our own undoing and for the ultimate ruin of the great democratic experiment for which our great American Republic stands; but they also render us utterly powerless to work for others. We have refused to do our duty by Belgium; we refuse to do our duty by Armenia; because we have deified peace at any price, because we have preached and practised that evil pacifism which is the complement to and the encouragement of alien militarism. Such pacifism puts peace above righteousness, and safety in the present above both duty in the present and safety in the future. (To Samuel T. Dutton, chairman of Committee on Armenian Outrages, November 24, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 450; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 386.

Pacifism—Results of

I call the attention of the ultrapacifists to the fact that in the last half-century all the losses among our men caused by "militarism," as they call it, that is, by the arms of an enemy in consequence of our going to war, have been far less than the loss caused among these same soldiers by applied pacifism, that is, by our government having yielded to the wishes of the pacifists and declined in advance to make any preparations for war. The professional peace people have benefited the foes and ill-wishers of their country; but it is probably the literal fact to say that in the actual deed, by the obstacles they have thrown in the way of making adequate preparation in advance, they have caused more loss of life among American soldiers, fighting for the honor of the American flag, during the fifty years since the close of the Civil War than has been caused by the foes whom we have fought during that period. (Everybody's, January 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 143; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 123.

____________. Not the smallest particle of good has come from the peace propaganda of the last ten years as carried on in America. Literally, this agitation of the professional pacifists during these ten years has not represented the smallest advance toward securing the peace of righteousness. It has, on the other hand, represented a very considerable and real deterioration in the American character. I do not think it is a permanent deterioration. I think that we shall recover and become heartily ashamed of our lapse from virile manliness. But there has been a distinct degeneracy in the moral fibre of our people owing to this peace propaganda, a distinct increase in moral flabbiness, a distinct increase in hysteria and sentimental untruthfulness. . . . The persons who seek to persuade our people that by doing nothing, by passing resolutions that cost nothing, and by writing eloquent messages and articles that mean nothing, and by complacently applauding elocution that means less than nothing, some service is thereby rendered to humanity, are not only rendering no such service, but are weakening the spring of national character. This applies to the publicists and politicians who write messages and articles and make speeches of this kind; it applies to the newspaper editors and magazine writers who applaud such utterances; and most of all it applies to those of our people who insist upon the passage of treaties that cannot and will not be enforced, while they also inveigh against preparedness, and shudder at action on behalf of our own rights. (Metropolitan, August 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 351; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 301.

Pacifism and Morality

The professional pacifists in and out of office who at peace congresses pass silly resolutions which cannot be, and ought not to be, lived up to, and enter into silly treaties which ought not to be, and cannot be kept, are not serving God, but Baal. They are not doing anything for anybody. If in addition these people, when the concrete case arises, as in Belgium or Armenia, fear concretely to denounce and antagonize the wrong-doer, they become not merely passive, but active, agents of the devil. The professional pacifists who applauded universal arbitration treaties and disarmament proposals prior to the war, since the war have held meetings and parades in this country on behalf of peace, and have gone on silly missions to Europe on behalf of peace—and the peace they sought to impose on heroes who were battling against infamy was a peace conceived in the interests of the authors of the infamy. They did not dare to say that they stood only for a peace that should right the wrongs of Belgium. They did not dare to denounce the war of aggression by Germany against Belgium. Their souls were too small, their timidity too great. They were even afraid to applaud the war waged by Belgium in its own defense. These pacifists have served morality, have shown that they feared God, exactly as the Pharisees did, when they made broad their philacteries and uttered long prayers in public, but did not lift a finger to lighten the load of the oppressed. (1916.) Mem. Ed.XX, 236; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 203.

Pacifism and Peace

The ultrapacifists are capable of taking any position, yet I sup pose that few among them now hold that there was value in the "peace" which was obtained by the concert of European powers when they prevented interference with Turkey while the Turks butchered some hundreds of thousands of Armenian men, women, and children. In the same way I do not suppose that even the ultrapacifist really feel that "peace" is triumphant in Belgium at the present moment. . . . We can maintain our neutrality only by refusal to do anything to aid unoffending weak powers which are dragged into the gulf of bloodshed and misery through no fault of their own. It is a grim comment on the professional pacifist theories as hitherto developed that, according to their view, our duty to preserve peace for ourselves necessarily means the abandonment of all effective effort to secure peace for other unoffending nations which through no fault of their own are trampled down by war. (Outlook, September 23, 1914.) Mem. Ed.XX, 22; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 19, 20.

____________. The great danger to peace so far as this country is concerned arises from such pacifists as those who have made and applauded our recent all-inclusive arbitration treaties, who advocate the abandonment of our policy of building battleships and the refusal to fortify the Panama Canal. It is always possible that these persons may succeed in impressing foreign nations with the belief that they represent our people. If they ever do succeed in creating this conviction in the minds of other nations, the fate of the United States will speedily be that of China and Luxembourg, or else it will be saved therefrom only by long-drawn war, accompanied by incredible bloodshed and disaster. . . . In such a war the prime fact to be remembered is that the men really responsible for it would not be those who would pay the penalty. The ultrapacifists are rarely men who go to battle. Their fault or their folly would be expiated by the blood of countless thousands of plain and decent American citizens of the stamp of those, North and South alike, who in the Civil War laid down all they had, including life itself, in battling for the right as it was given to them to see the right. (New York Times, September 27, 1914.) Mem. Ed.XX, 12, 13; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 10, 11.

____________. The truth is that the advocates of world-wide peace, like all reformers, should bear in mind Josh Billings’s astute remark that "it is much easier to be a harmless dove than a wise serpent." The worthy pacifists have completely forgotten that the Biblical injunction is twosided and that we are bidden not only to be harmless as doves but also to be wise as serpents. The ultrapacifists have undoubtedly been an exceedingly harmless body so far as obtaining peace is concerned. They have exerted practically no influence in restraining wrong, although they have sometimes had a real and lamentable influence in crippling the forces of right and preventing them from dealing with wrong. An appreciable amount of good work has been done for peace by genuine lovers of peace, but it has not been done by the feeble folk of the peace movement, loquacious but impotent, who are usually unfortunately prominent in the movement and who excite the utter derision of the great powers of evil. (New York Times, October 4, 1914.) Mem. Ed.XX, 42; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 36.

Pacifism and Preparedness

There are some doctrinaires whose eyes are so firmly fixed on the golden vision of universal peace that they cannot see the grim facts of real life until they stumble over them, to their own hurt, and, what is much worse, to the possible undoing of their fellows. . . . But after all these people, though often noisy, form but a small minority of the whole. They would be swept like chaff before, the gust of popular fury which would surely come if ever the nation really saw and felt a danger or an insult. The real trouble is that in such a case this gust of popular fury would come too late. Unreadiness for war is merely rendered more disastrous by readiness to bluster; to talk defiance and advocate a vigorous policy in words, while refusing to back up these words by deeds, is cause for humiliation. It has always been true; and in this age it is more than ever true, that it is too late to prepare for war when the time for peace has passed. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XV, 247; Nat. Ed. XIII, 188.

____________. It has actually been proposed by some of these shivering apostles of the gospel of national abjectness that, in view of the destruction that has fallen on certain peaceful powers of Europe, we should abandon all efforts at self-defense, should stop building battleships, and cease to take any measures to defend ourselves if attacked. It is difficult seriously to consider such a proposition. It is precisely and exactly as if the inhabitants of a village in whose neighborhood highway robberies had occurred should propose to meet the crisis by depriving the local policeman of his revolver and club. (New York Times, November 1, 1914.) Mem. Ed.XX, 74; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 63.

____________. A few of the professional pacifists now support the government's plan for a half-preparation, for pretending to meet needs without meeting them. But the extreme pacifists can always be trusted to insist on the nadir of folly. They do not wish to see this nation even pretend to act with self-respect. It is natural that they should wage a sham battle with a sham, for all their utterances are those of men who dwell in a world of windy make-believe. Their argument is that we should have no preparedness whatever, that we should not prepare for defense, nor bear arms, nor be able to use force, and that this nation must "influence others by example rather than by exciting fear," and must secure its safety "not by carrying arms, but by an upright, honorable course." . . . To argue with these gentlemen is to waste time, for there can be no greater waste of time than to debate about non-debatable things. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. Ed.XX, 289; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 248.

Pacifism in War-Time

Whatever may have been our judgment in normal times we are convinced that to-day . . . professional pacifists should be regarded as traitors to the great cause of justice and humanity. The only peace is the peace of overwhelming victory. (Statement to press, September 20, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 511; Bishop II, 436.

Pacifist Agitation—Effects of

We of the United States have had a twofold duty imposed on us during the last year. We have owed a duty to ourselves. We have owed a duty to others. We have failed in both. Primarily both failures are due to the mischievous effects of the professional pacifist agitation which became governmental nearly five years ago when the then Administration at Washington sought to negotiate various all-inclusive arbitration treaties under which we abandoned the right to stand up for our own vital interest and national honor. Very reluctantly we who believe in peace, but in the peace of righteousness, have been forced to the conclusion that the most prominent leaders of the peace agitation of the past ten years in this country, so far as they have accomplished anything that was not purely fatuous, have accomplished nothing but mischief. This result of the activities of these professional pacifist agitators has been due mainly to the fact that they have consistently placed peace ahead of righteousness, and have resolutely refused to look facts in the face if they thought the facts were unpleasant. (Metropolitan, November 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 375; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 321.

Pacifist Inaction

The fact that these male and female professional peace enthusiasts who have screamed so busily for peace during the past year have been afraid to make any concrete protest against wrong is doubtless due primarily to sheer fear on their part. They were afraid of the trouble and effort implied in acting about Mexico. Above all, they are afraid of Germany. Those of them who are politicians are afraid of the German-American vote; for these, professional pacifists have no sense of national honor and are great encouragers of hyphenated Americanism. But in addition they are terrorized, they are cowed, by the ruthless spirit of German militarism. (Metropolitan, August 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 355; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 305.

____________. Those very apostles of pacifism who, when they can do so with safety, scream loudest for peace, have made themselves objects of contemptuous derision by keeping silence in this crisis. . . . They are supported by the men who insist that all that we are concerned with is escaping even the smallest risk that might follow upon the performance of duty to any one except ourselves. This last is not a very exalted plea. It is, however, defensible. But if, as a nation, we intend to act in accordance with it, we must never promise to do anything for any one else. (Independent, January 4, 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 179; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 154.

____________. Professional pacifists attack evil only when it can be done with entire safety to themselves. In the present great crisis, the professional pacifists have confined themselves to trying to prevent the United States from protecting its honor and interest and the lives of its citizens abroad; and in their loud denunciations of war they have been careful to use language which would apply equally to terribly wronged peoples defending all that was dear to them against cynical and ruthless oppression, and to the men who were responsible for this cynical and ruthless oppression. They dare not speak for righteousness in the concrete. They dare not speak against the most infamous wrong in the concrete. They work hand in glove with these exponents of hyphenated Americanism who are seeking to turn this country into an ally and tool of alien militarism. (Metropolitan, January 1916.) Mem. Ed.XX, 305; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 262.

Pacifist Movement

The pacifist movement in this country has not only been one of extreme folly and immorality, but has been bolstered by consistent and unwearied falsification of the facts, laudation of shallow and unprincipled demagogues, and condemnation of the upright public servants who fearlessly tell the truth. (1916.) Mem. Ed.XX, 236; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 203.

Pacifist Movement—Failure of

There are . . . men who put peace ahead of righteousness, and who care so little for facts that they treat fantastic declarations for immediate universal arbitration as being valuable, instead of detrimental, to the cause they profess to champion, and who seek to make the United States impotent for international good under the pretense of making us impotent for international evil. All the men of this kind, and all of the organizations they have controlled, since we began our career as a nation, all put together, have not accomplished one hundredth part as much for both peace and righteousness, have not done one-hundredth part as much either for ourselves or for other peoples, as was accomplished by the people of the United States when they fought the war with Spain and with resolute good faith and common sense worked out the solution of the problems which sprang from the war. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 305; Nat. Ed. XX, 260.

____________. All the actions of the ultra-pacifists for a generation past, all their peace congresses and peace conventions, have amounted to precisely and exactly nothing in advancing the cause of peace. The peace societies of the ordinary pacifist type have in the aggregate failed to accomplish even the smallest amount of good, have done nothing whatever for peace, and the very small effect they have had on their own nations has been, on the whole, slightly detrimental. Although usually they have been too futile to be even detrimental, their unfortunate tendency has so far been to make good men weak and to make virtue a matter of derision to strong men. (1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, xxii; Nat. Ed. XVIII, xxii.

Pacifist Movement—Leaders of

There are persons who are against preparedness for war and who believe in the avoidance of national duty, who nevertheless are honest in their belief and who may not be cowardly or weak, but only foolish and misguided; and there are hundreds of thousands of good and reasonably brave men and women who simply have not thought of the matter at all and who are misguided by their leaders But of most of these leaders it is not possible to take so charitable a view. The fundamental characteristic of the peace-at-any-price men is sheer, downright physical or moral timidity. Very many of the leaders among the men who protest against preparedness and who are hostile to manly action on our part—hostile to the insistence in good faith upon the observance of The Hague conventions and upon respect for the lives and property of our citizens in Mexico and on the high seas—are easily cowed by any exhibition of ruthless and brutal force, and never venture to condemn wrong-doers who make themselves feared. This fact might just as well be faced. To it is due the further fact that the professional pacifist usually turns up as the ally of the most cynical type of international wrongdoer. (Metropolitan, August 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 349; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 300.

Pacifist Program

Amiable but fatuous persons . . . pass resolutions demanding universal arbitration for everything, and the disarmament of the free civilized powers and their abandonment of their armed forces; or else they write well-meaning, solemn little books, or pamphlets or editorials, and articles in magazines or newspapers, to show that it is “an illusion" to believe that war ever pays, because it is expensive. This is precisely like arguing that we should disband the police and devote our sole attention, to persuading criminals that it is “an illusion” to suppose that burglary, highway robbery and white slavery are profitable. It is almost useless to attempt to argue with these well-intentioned persons, because they are suffering under an obsession and are not open to reason. They go wrong at the outset, for they lay all the emphasis on peace and none at all on righteousness. They are not all of them physically timid men; but they are usually men of soft life; and they rarely possess a high sense of honor or a keen patriotism. They rarely try to prevent their fellow countrymen from insulting or wronging the people of other nations; but they always ardently advocate that we, in our turn, shall tamely submit to wrong and insult from other nations. As Americans their folly is peculiarly scandalous, because if the principles they now uphold are right, it means that it would have been better that Americans should never have achieved their independence, and better that, in 1861, they should have peacefully submitted to seeing their country split into half a dozen jangling confederates and slavery made perpetual. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 606; Nat. Ed. XX, 521.

Pacifist Propaganda

This country will never be able to find its own soul or to play a part of high nobility in the world until it realizes the full extent of the damage done to it, materially and morally, by the ignoble peace propaganda for which these men and the others like them, whether capitalists, labor leaders, college professors, politicians or publicists, are responsible. (Metropolitan, January 1916.) Mem. Ed.XX, 321; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 275.

____________. It would be impossible to overstate the damage done to the moral fibre of our country by the professional pacifist propaganda, the peace-at-any-price propaganda, which had been growing in strength for the previous decade and which for the first two and a half years of the war was potent in influencing us as a people to play a part which was wholly unworthy of the teachings of the great men of our past. The professional pacifist movement was heavily financed by certain big capitalists. This was not merely admitted but blazoned abroad by some among them; whereas the accusations that the munition-makers, or any other interested persons, played any important part in the movement for preparedness were malicious falsehoods, well known to be such by those who uttered them. The professional pacifists during these two and a half years have occupied precisely the position of the copperheads during the time of Abraham Lincoln. (At Lincoln, Neb., June 14, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 189; Nat. Ed. XIX, 180.


A class of professional noncombatants is as hurtful to the real, healthy growth of a nation as is a class of fire-eaters; for a weakness or folly is nationally as bad as a vice, or worse. . . . No man who is not willing to bear arms and to fight for his rights can give a good reason why he should be entitled to the privilege of living in a free community. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 29; Nat. Ed. VII, 26.

____________. The man who will not fight to avert or undo wrong is but a poor creature; but, after all, he is less dangerous than the man who fights on the side of wrong. Again and again in a nation's history the time may, and indeed sometimes must, come when the nation's highest duty is war. (At Galena, Ill., April 27, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XII, 459; Nat. Ed. XIII, 431.

____________. These persons would do no harm if they affected only themselves. Many of them are, in the ordinary relations of life, good citizens. . . . But . . . they are able to do harm because they affect our relations with foreign powers, so that other men pay the debt which they themselves have really incurred. It is the foolish, peace-at-any-price persons who try to persuade our people to make unwise and improper treaties, or to stop building up the navy. But if trouble comes and the treaties are repudiated, or there is a demand for armed intervention, it is not these people who will pay anything; they will stay at home in safety, and leave brave men to pay in blood, and honest men to pay in shame, for their folly. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 608; Nat. Ed. XX, 523.

____________. The professional pacifist, who exalts peace above righteousness, is not only a traitor to the memory of the two greatest Americans [Washington and Lincoln], but has no claim to have any part in governing or in voting in the nation which one founded and the other preserved. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 56; Nat. Ed. XIX, 48.

Pacifists—Activities of

During the past year the activities of our professional pacifists have been exercised almost exclusively on behalf of hideous international iniquity. They have struck hands with those evil enemies of America, the hyphenated Americans, and with the greediest representatives of those Americans whose only god is money. They have sought to make this country take her stand against right that was downtrodden, and in favor of wrong that seemed likely to be successful. Every man or woman who has clamored for peace without daring to say that peace would be a crime unless Belgium was restored to her own people and the repetition of such wrong-doing as that from which she has suffered provided against, has served the devil and not the Lord. Every man or woman who in the name of peace now advocates the refusal on the part of the United States to furnish arms and munitions of war to those nations who have had the manliness to fight for the redressing of Belgium's wrongs, is serving the devil and not the Lord. (Metropolitan, October 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 324; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 278.

Pacifists—Error of

Well-meaning persons who treat peace pageants, peace parades, peace conferences, and minor movements of similar nature as of consequence, are guilty of an error which makes their conduct foolish. Those of them who champion the exaltation of peace above righteousness and the abandonment of national power of self—defense- without which there never has been and never will be either national heroism or national manliness—will do well to study China. . . . If our people really believed what the pacifists and the German-fearing politicians advocate, if they really feared war above anything else and really had sunk to the Chinese level—from which the best and bravest and most honorable Chinamen are now striving to lift their people—then it would be utterly hopeless to help the United States. In such case, the best thing that could befall it would be to have the Germans, or the Japanese, or some other people that still retains virility, come over here to rule and oppress a nation of feeble pacifists, unfit to be anything but hewers of wood and drawers of water for their masters. (Metropolitan, August 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 368, 369; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 315, 316.

Pacifists—Folly of

The ultrapacifists have been fond of prophesying the immediate approach of a universally peaceful condition throughout the world, which will render it unnecessary to prepare against war because there will be no more war. This represents in some cases well-meaning and pathetic folly. In other cases it represents mischievous and inexcusable folly. But it always represents folly. At best, it represents the inability of some well-meaning men of weak mind, and of some men of strong but twisted mind, either to face or to understand facts. (Everybody's, January 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 146; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 126.

Pacifists—Influence of

There is . . . an element of a certain numerical importance among our people, including the members of the ultrapacifist group, who by their teachings do some real, although limited, mischief. They are a feeble folk, these ultrapacifists, morally and physically; but in a country where voice and vote are alike free, they may, if their teachings are not disregarded, create a condition of things where the crop they have sowed in folly and weakness will be reaped with blood and bitter tears by the brave men and high-hearted women of the nation. (New York Times, November 1, 1914.) Mem. Ed.XX, 71; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 61. 

____________. In our country the men who in time of peace speak loudest about war are usually the ultrapacifists whose activities have been shown to be absolutely futile for peace, but who do a little mischief by persuading a number of well-meaning persons that preparedness for war is unnecessary. (New York Times, November 29, 1914.) Mem. Ed.XX, 207; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 178.

____________. The American professional pacifists, the American men and women of the peace-at-any- price type, who join in meetings to "denounce war" or with empty words "protest" on behalf of the Armenians or other tortured and ruined peoples carry precisely the weight that an equal number of Chinese pacifists would carry if at a similar meeting they went through similar antics in Peking. They do not wear pigtails; but it is to be regretted that they do not carry some similar outward and visible sign of their inward and spiritual disgrace. They accomplish nothing for peace; and they do accomplish something against justice. They do harm instead of good; and they deeply discredit the nation to which they belong. (To Samuel T. Dutton, chairman of Committee on Armenian Outrages, November 24, 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 446; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 383.

Pacifists—Objection to

"Blessed are the peacemakers," not merely the peace-lovers; for action is what makes thought operative and valuable. Above all, the peace-prattlers are in no way blessed. On the contrary, only mischief has sprung from the activities of the professional peace-prattlers, the ultrapacifists, who, with the shrill clamor of eunuchs, preach the gospel of the milk and water of virtue and scream that belief in the efficacy of diluted moral mush is essential to salvation. It seems necessary every time I state my position to guard against the counterwords of wilful folly by reiterating that my disagreement with the peace-at-any-price men, the ultrapacifists, is not in the least because they favor peace. I object to them, first, because they have proved themselves futile and impotent in working for peace, and, second, because they commit what is not merely the capital error but the crime against morality of failing to uphold righteousness as the all-important end toward which we should strive. In actual practice they advocate the peace of unrighteousness just as fervently as they advocate the peace of righteousness. I have as little sympathy as they have for the men who deify mere brutal force, who insist that power justifies wrong-doing, and who declare that there is no such thing as international morality. But the ultrapacifists really play into the hands of these men. To condemn equally might which backs right and might which overthrows right is to render positive service to wrongdoers. It is as if in private life we condemned alike both the policeman and the dynamiter or black-hand kidnapper or white-slaver whom he has arrested. To denounce the nation that wages war in self- defense, or from a generous desire to relieve the oppressed, in the same terms in which we denounce war waged in a spirit of greed or wanton folly stands on an exact par with denouncing equally a murderer and the policeman who, at peril of his life and by force of arms, arrests the murderer. In each case the denunciation denotes not loftiness of soul but weakness both of mind and of morals. (New York Times, November 29, 1914.) Mem. Ed.XX, 191; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 164.

____________. My prime objection to the pacifist is not that he won't fight in the long run. Even the pacifist, if you kick him long enough, will fight. The trouble is that prolonged and pernicious indulgence in pacifism renders a man unfit to accomplish anything when he does fight. The pacifist does not keep the country out of war—he merely keeps the country unfit to do its duty in war by making it prepare after the war has come. (At Trinity College, Hartford, June 16, 1918.) Commencement at Trinity College. (Hartford, Conn., 1918), p. II.

Pacifists—Position of Extreme

A Yale professor—he might just as well have been a Harvard professor—is credited in the press with saying the other day that he wishes the United States would take the position that if attacked it would not defend itself, and would submit unresistingly to any spoliation. The professor said that this would afford such a beautiful example to mankind that war would undoubtedly be abolished. Magazine writers, and writers of syndicate articles published in reputable papers, have recently advocated similar plans. Men who talk this way are thoroughly bad citizens. Few members of the criminal class are greater enemies of the Republic. (Everybody's, January 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 158; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 136.

Pacifists—Responsibility of

[The] deeds . . . done by the nominally Christian powers in Europe, . . . things done wholesale, things done retail, have been such as we had hoped would never again occur in civilized warfare. They are far worse than anything that has occurred in such warfare since the close of the Napoleonic contests a century ago. . . . For all of this, the pacifists who dare not speak for righteousness, and who possess such an unpleasant and evil prominence in the United States, must share the responsibility with the most brutal type of militarists. The weak and timid milk-and-water policy of the professional pacifists is just as responsible as the blood-and-iron policy of the ruthless and unscrupulous militarist for the terrible recrudescence of evil on a gigantic scale in the civilized world. (To Samuel T. Dutton, chairman of Committee on Armenian Outrages, November 24, 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 448; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 385.

Pacifists—Types of

[Some of] the leading apostles of applied pacifism are not timid men; on the contrary they are brutal, violent men, who are perfectly willing to fight, but only for themselves and not for the nation. These rough-neck pacifists have always been the potent allies of the parlor or milk-and-water pacifists; although they stand at the opposite end of the developmental scale. The parlor pacifist, the white- handed or sissy type of pacifist, represents decadence, represents the rotting out of the virile virtues among people who typify the unlovely senile side of civilization. The rough-neck pacifist, on the contrary, is a mere belated savage, who has not been educated to the virtues of national patriotism and of willingness to fight for the national flag and the national ideal. . . . Minneapolis, Minn., September 28, 1917.) Mem. the other men who, however sincerely, put peace above There remains the pacifist, the conscientious objector, who really does conscientiously object to war and who is sincere about it. As regards these men we must discriminate sharply between the men deeply opposed to war so long as it is possible honorably to avoid it, who are ardent lovers of peace, but who put righteousness above peace; and righteousness, and thereby serve the devil against the Lord. (At Ed. XXI, 181; Nat. Ed. XIX, 173.


See also Conscientious Objectors; Disarmament; Draft; Fighting Edge; Ford, Henry; Hysteria; Manly Virtues; Military Service; Military Training; National Defense; Navy; Peace; Preparedness; Righteousness; Unpreparedness; War.

Painting, Modern

Probably we err in treating most of these pictures seriously. It is likely that many of them represent in the painters the astute appreciation of the power to make folly lucrative which the late P. T. Barnum showed with his faked mermaid. There are thousands of people who will pay small sums to look at a faked mermaid; and now and then one of this kind with enough money will buy a Cubist picture, or a picture of a misshapen nude woman, repellent from every standpoint. . . .

In this recent art exhibition the lunatic fringe was fully in evidence, especially in the rooms devoted to the Cubists and the Futurists, or Near- Impressionists. I am not entirely certain which of the two latter terms should be used in connection with some of the various pictures and representations of plastic art—and, frankly, it is not of the least consequence. The Cubists are entitled to the serious attention of all who find enjoyment in the colored puzzle-pictures of the Sunday newspapers. Of course there is no reason for choosing the cube as a symbol, except that it is probably less fitted than any other mathematical expression for any but the most formal decorative art. There is no reason why people should not call themselves Cubists, or Octagonists, or Parallelpipedonists, or Knights of the Isosceles Triangle, or Brothers of the Cosine, if they so desire; as expressing anything serious and permanent, one term is as fatuous as another. . . .

As for many of the human figures in the pictures of the Futurists, they show that the school would be better entitled to the name of the "Past-ists." I was interested to find that a man of scientific attainments who had likewise looked at the pictures had been struck, as I was, by their resemblance to the later work of the palaeolithic artists of the French and Spanish caves. There are interesting samples of the strivings for the representation of the human form among artists of many different countries and times, all in the same stage of palaeolithic culture, to be found in a recent number of the "Revue d'Ethnographie." The palaeolithic artist was able to portray the bison, the mammoth, the reindeer, and the horse with spirit and success, while he still stumbled painfully in the effort to portray man. This stumbling effort in his case represented progress, and he was entitled to great credit for it. Forty thousand years later, when entered into artificially and deliberately, it represents only a smirking pose of retrogression, and is not praiseworthy. So with much of the sculpture. A family group of precisely the merit that inheres in a structure made of the wooden blocks in a nursery is not entitled to be reproduced in marble. (Outlook , March 29, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 405-408; Nat. Ed. XII, 147-150.


See also Art.


Panama was a great sight. In the first place it was strange and beautiful with its mass of luxuriant tropic jungle, with the treacherous tropic rivers trailing here and there through it; and it was lovely to see the orchids and brilliant butterflies and the strange birds and snakes and lizards, and finally the strange old Spanish towns and the queer thatch and bamboo huts of the ordinary natives. In the next place it is a tremendous sight to see the work on the canal going on. From the chief engineer and the chief sanitary officer down to the last arrived machinist or time-keeper, the five thousand Americans at work on the Isthmus seemed to me an exceptionally able, energetic lot, some of them grumbling, of course, but on the whole a mighty good lot of men. The West Indian negroes offer a greater problem, but they are doing pretty well also. I was astonished at the progress made. (To Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., November 20, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 578; Nat. Ed. XIX, 519.

____________. It certainly adds to one's pleasure to have read history and to appreciate the picturesque. When on Wednesday we approached the coast, and the jungle-covered mountains looked clearer and clearer until we could see the surf beating on the shores, while there was hardly a sign of human habitation, I kept thinking of the four centuries of wild and bloody romance, mixed with abject squalor and suffering, which had made up the history of the Isthmus until three years ago. I could see Balboa crossing at Darien, and the wars between the Spaniards and the Indians, and the settlement and the building up of the quaint walled Spanish towns; and the trade, across the seas by galleon, and over land by pack-train and river canoe, in gold and silver, in precious stones; and then the advent of the buccaneers, and of the English seamen, of Drake and Frobisher and Morgan, and many, many others, and the wild destruction they wrought. Then I thought of the rebellion against the Spanish dominion, and the uninterrupted and bloody wars that followed, the last occurring when I became President; wars, the victorious heroes of which have their pictures frescoed on the quaint rooms of the palace at Panama City, and in similar palaces in all capitals of these strange, turbulent little half-caste civilizations. Meanwhile the Panama railroad had been built by Americans over a half century ago, with appalling loss of life, so that it is said, of course with exaggeration, that every sleeper laid represented the death of a man. Then the French canal company started work, and for two or three years did a good deal, until it became evident that the task far exceeded its powers; and then to miscalculation and inefficiency was added the hideous greed of adventurers, trying each to save something from the general wreck, and the company closed with infamy and scandal. (To Kermit Roosevelt, November 20, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 575; Nat. Ed. XIX, 516.

Panama—Recognition of

I confidently maintain that the recognition of the Republic of Panama was an act justified by the interests of collective civilization. If ever a government could be said to have received a mandate from civilization to effect an object the accomplishment of which was demanded in the interest of mankind, the United States holds that position with regard to the inter-oceanic canal. Since our purpose to build the canal was definitely announced, there have come from all quarters assurances of approval and encouragement, in which even Colombia herself at one time participated; and to general assurances were added specific acts and declarations. In order that no obstacle might stand in our way, Great Britain renounced important right under the Clayton-Bulwer treaty and agreed to its abrogation, receiving in return nothing but our honorable pledge to build the canal and protect it as an open highway. . . . That our position as the mandatory of civilization has been by no means misconceived is shown by the promptitude with which the powers have, one after another, followed our lead in recognizing Panama as an independent State. (Message to Congress, January 4, 1904.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers II, 750- 752.

Panama and the United States

The people of the United States and the people of the Isthmus and the rest of mankind will all be the better because we dig the Panama Canal and keep order in its neighborhood. And the politicians and revolutionists at Bogota are entitled to precisely the amount of sympathy we extend to other inefficient bandits. (To Cecil Arthur Spring- Rice, January 18, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 343; Bishop I, 297.

____________. The sole desire of the United States as regards the Republic of Panama is to see it increase in wealth, in numbers, in importance, until it becomes, as I so earnestly hope it will become, one of the republics whose history reflects honor upon the entire Western world. Such progress and prosperity . . . can come only through the preservation of both order and liberty; through the observance of those in power of all their rights, obligations, and duties to their fellow citizens, and through the realization of those out of power that the insurrectionary habit, the habit of civil war, ultimately means destruction to the republic. (Speech at Panama, November 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 520; Bishop I, 452.

Panama Canal

The canal will be of great benefit to America, and of importance to all the world. It will be of advantage to us industrially and also as improving our military position. It will be of advantage to the countries of tropical America. It is earnestly to be hoped that all of these countries will do as some of them have already done with signal success, and will invite to their shores commerce and improve their material conditions by recognizing that stability and order are the prerequisites of successful development. No independent nation in America need have the slightest fear of aggression from the United states. It behooves each one to maintain order within its own borders and to discharge its just obligations to foreigners. When this is done, they can rest assured that, be they strong or weak, they have nothing to dread from outside interference. (Second Annual Message, Washington, December 2, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 176- 177; Nat. Ed. XV, 152.

____________. To my mind this building of the canal through Panama will rank in kind, though not of course in degree, with the Louisiana Purchase and the acquisition of Texas. I can say with entire conscientiousness that if in order to get the treaty through and start building the canal it were necessary for me forthwith to retire definitely from politics, I should be only too glad to make the arrangement accordingly; for it is the amount done in office, and not length of time in office, that makes office worth having. (To Samuel W. Small, December 29, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 340; Bishop I, 295.

____________. The one thing evident is to do nothing at present. If under the treaty of 1846 we have a color of right to start in and build a canal, my offhand judgment would favor such proceeding. It seems that the great bulk of the best engineers are agreed that that route is the best; and I do not think that the Bogota lot of obstructionists should be allowed permanently to bar one of the future highways of civilization. Of course, under the terms of the Act we could now go ahead with Nicaragua, and perhaps would technically be required to do so. But what we do now will be of consequence, not merely decades, but centuries hence, and we must be sure that we are taking the right step before we act. (To John Hay, August 19, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 319; Bishop I, 276.

____________. Every action we took was not only open and straightforward, but was rendered absolutely necessary by the misconduct of Colombia. Every action we took was in ac cordance with the highest principles of national, international, and private morality. The honor of the United States, and the interest not only of the United States but of the world, demanded the building of the Canal. The Canal could not have been built, it would nor now have been begun, had our government not acted precisely as it did act in 1903. No action ever taken by the government, in dealing with any foreign power since the days of the Revolution, was more vitally necessary to the well-being of our people, and no action we ever took was taken with a higher regard for the standards of honor, of courage, and of efficiency which should distinguish the attitude of the United States in all its dealings with the rest of the world. (Metropolitan, February 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 513; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 441.

Panama Canal — Building of

I have good reason to believe that they [the Germans] will back England very strongly in energetic protests if we abrogate the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, or attempt to build the canal on our own hook. Now my own view, if I had the power, would be that we should tell Great Britain that we wanted to be friendly and would like a treaty that would keep their self respect as well as ours, but yet which would permit us to handle the canal as outlined by the amended treaty of last year. If this is impossible I would then abrogate the Clayton-Bulwer treaty anyhow. But I would not take the last step unless I had counted the cost and unless I was prepared to back up words by deeds, to keep on building the navy and to make our army such that we could send out a formidable expeditionary force of small size. The Germans at present I know count with absolute confidence upon our inability to assemble an army of thirty thousand men which would be in any way a match for a German army of the same size.

I think Lord Lansdowne's position is both mischievous and ridiculous, but I also think we should be exceedingly cautious about embroiling ourselves with England, from whom we have not the least little particle of danger to fear in any way or shape; while the only power which may be a menace to us in anything like the immediate future is Germany. Before we abrogate the Clayton-Bulwer treaty we want to be sure of the position we intend taking should Germany and England combine against us. (To H. C. Lodge, March 27, 1901.) Lodge Letters I, 485.

____________. The government of the United States would have been guilty of folly and weakness, amounting in their sum to a crime against the nation, had it acted otherwise than it did when the revolution of November 3 last took place in Panama. This great enterprise of building the interoceanic canal cannot be held up to gratify the whims, or out of respect to the governmental impotence, or to the even more sinister and evil political peculiarities, of people who, though they dwell afar off, yet, against the wish of the actual dwellers on the Isthmus, assert an unreal supremacy over the territory. The possession of a territory fraught with such peculiar capacities as the Isthmus in question carries with it obligations to mankind. The course of events has shown that this canal cannot be built by private enterprise, or by any other nation than our own; therefore it must be built by the United States. (Third Annual Message, Washington, December 7, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 247; Nat. Ed. XV, 212.

____________. Now we have taken hold of the job. We have difficulties with our own people, of course. I haven't a doubt that it will take a little longer and Cost a little more than men now appreciate, but I believe that the work is being done with a very high degree both of efficiency and honesty; and I am immensely struck by the character of American employees who are engaged, not merely in superintending the work, but in doing all the jobs that need skill and intelligence. The steam shovels, the dirt trains, the machine shops, and the like, are all filled with American engineers, conductors, machinists, boiler-makers, carpenters. From the top to the bottom these men are so hardy, so efficient, so energetic, that it is a real pleasure to look at them. (To Kermit Roosevelt, November 20, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 576; Nat. Ed. XIX, 517.

____________. Where the slanderers are of foreign origin, I have no concern with them. Where they are Americans, I feel for them the heartiest contempt and indignation; because, in a spirit of wanton dishonesty and malice, they are trying to interfere with, and hamper the execution of, the greatest work of the kind ever attempted, and are seeking to bring to naught the efforts of their countrymen to put to the credit of America one of the giant feats of the ages. The outrageous accusations of these slanderers constitute a gross libel upon a body of public servants who, for trained intelligence, expert ability, high character, and devotion to duty, have never been excelled anywhere. There is not a man among them directing the work on the Isthmus who has obtained his position on any other basis than merit alone, and not one who has used his position in any way for his own personal or pecuniary advantage. (Special Message to Congress, December 17, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 523; Bishop I, 455.

____________. The digging of the Panama Canal, the success with which it has been dug, has curiously enough, made, I think, a deeper impression abroad than at home. Unfortunately—and with a certain amount of justification—there has grown up a feeling that there is danger of corruption in work undertaken among us by the government for the public, and the total failure of all previous efforts by other nations, to accomplish anything on the Panama Canal had given rise in Europe to much cynical disbelief in our power to do the work. But it has been done; the success is literally astounding. It has been done with as near absolute cleanness, as near absolute honesty, as it is humanly possible to do any work, public or private. We have put down there men at small salaries—improperly small salaries—who have handled hundreds of millions of dollars, without the slightest suspicion of financial corruption on the part of any government servant holding a position of any importance in connection with the work. Moreover, the work has been done with the utmost efficiency. (At Harvard University, Cambridge, December 14, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 554-555; Nat. Ed. XIII, 600-601.

Panama Canal — Fortification of

As you know, I am heartily friendly to England, but I cannot help feeling that the State Department has made a great error in the canal treaty [Hay-Pauncefote Treaty]. We really make not only England but all the great continental powers our partners in the transaction, and I do not see why we should dig the canal if we are not to fortify it so as to insure its being used for ourselves and against our foes in time of war. (To A. T. Mahan, February 14, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 167; Bishop I, 143.

____________. When the treaty [Hay-Pauncefote Treaty] is adopted, as I suppose it will be, I shall put the best face possible on it, and shall back the Administration as heartily as ever; but oh, how I wish you and the President would drop the treaty and push through a bill to build and fortify our own canal. . . . If that canal is open to the warships of an enemy, it is a menace to us in time of war; it is an added burden, an additional strategic point to be guarded by our fleet. If fortified by us, it becomes one of the most potent sources of our possible sea strength. Unless so fortified it strengthens against us every nation whose fleet is larger than ours. One prime reason for fortifying our great seaports is to unfetter our fleet, to release it for offensive purposes; and the proposed canal would fetter it again, for our fleet would have to watch it, and therefore do the work which a fort should do; and what it could do much better. (To Secretary John Hay, February 18, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 168; Bishop I, 144.

____________. My view of the canal business is just this: If we fortified it, then in the event of a war with a stronger naval power, she cannot use it and we probably can. If we do not fortify it, then if our opponent is weaker than we are we still have another vital point to watch. But if she is stronger she can seize the canal and use it to our detriment. If the proposed canal had existed in the Spanish war, the Oregon it is true could have gotten through it, but we should then have spent six weeks of wild anxiety, during which we should either have had to watch the canal with a formidable detachment, or else to have run the risk of seeing Cervera go through it and then vanish into the Pacific, leaving us uncertain whether he meant to lay waste Puget Sound or sail over to attack Dewey. (To William S. Cowles, February 26, 1900.) Cowles Letters, 236.

____________. If the Panama Canal were not fortified, in time of war we should either have to abandon it to any enterprising enemy, or else paralyze our fleet by employing it to defend the Canal. If it is adequately fortified, our fleet can absolutely disregard it save in so far as it fulfils the vital requisite of a first-class naval base. War-vessels are inefficient substitutes for forts; and the poorest way to use a navy is to string the vessels in small groups in the ports along a coast, for then the enemy's navy can get them in detail. An unfortified Panama Canal would be a great source of weakness to this country; a fortified Panama Canal would enormously increase our strength. If our people are wise, they will hold those senators and congressmen who vote against the fortification of the Canal as unfaithful public servants who betray our country's interest at a vital point. With the possible exception of Hawaii, there is no other spot so necessary to fortify as the Panama Canal. We should have very few naval bases. These few should be thoroughly fortified and strongly held, and among them the two most important are those above mentioned. (Outlook, April 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 156; Nat. Ed. XVII, 112.

Panama Canal—Internationalization of

The Panama Canal must not be internationalized. It is our canal; we built it; we fortified it, and we will protect it, and we will not permit our enemies to use it in war. In time of peace all nations shall use it alike, but in time of war our interest at once becomes dominant. (Kansas City Star, December 2, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 449; Nat. Ed. XIX, 404.

Panama Canal — Roosevelt and the

At present I feel that there are two alternatives. (1) To take up Nicaragua; (2) in some shape or way to interfere when it becomes necessary so as to secure the Panama route without further dealing with the foolish and homicidal corruptionists in Bogotá. I am not inclined to have any further dealings whatever with those Bogotá people. (To John Hay, September 15, 1903.) Dwight C. Miner, The Fight for the Panama Route. (Columbia University Press, N. Y. 1940), p. 351.

____________. Just at the moment I am more concerned about Panama than anything else. Of course, to me, the situation is simple. In its essence it is exactly as if a road-agent had tried to hold up a man, and the man was quick enough to take his gun away. Under such circumstances I would regard it as the wildest sentimental folly for outsiders to claim that the road- agent did not intend to shoot, and that it was his gun and ought to be given back to him. By every consideration of equity, and of legitimate national and international interest, what we have done was right. And it will be a lamentable thing if a twisted party feeling should join with mere hysteria to prevent at this time the fulfilling of what has been accomplished. (To Chase S. Osborn, December 9, 1903.) Mem. Ed.XXIII, 338; Bishop I, 293.

____________. The Panama Canal I naturally take special interest in, because I started it. If I had acted strictly according to precedent, I should have turned the whole matter over to Congress; in which case, Congress would be ably debating it at this moment, and the canal would be fifty years in the future. Fortunately the crisis came at a period when I could act unhampered. Accordingly I took the Isthmus, started the canal, and then left Congress—not to debate the canal, but to debate me. And in portions of the public press the debate still goes on as to whether or not I acted properly in taking the canal. But while the debate goes on the canal does too; and they are welcome to debate me as long as they wish, provided that we can go on with the canal. (Charter Day Address, Berkeley, Cal., March 23, 1911.) University of California Chronicle, April 1911, p 139.

____________. My own part in it may perhaps be explained by the fact that I deemed it better not to have half a century of debate prior to starting in on the canal; I thought that instead of debating for half a century before building the canal it would be better to build the canal first and debate me for a half-century afterward. (At memorial exercises for Joseph H. Choate, New York City, January 19, 1918.) Mem. Ed.XII, 545; Nat. Ed. XI, 271.

Panama Canal — Roosevelt's Visit to

I went over everything that I could possibly go over in the time at my disposal. I examined the quarters of married and single men, white men and negroes. I went over the ground of the Gatun and La Boca dams; went through Panama and Colon, and spent a day in the Culebra cut, where the great work is being done. There the huge steam-shovels are hard at it; scooping huge masses of rock and gravel and dirt previously loosened by the drillers and dynamite blasters, loading it on trains which take it away to some dump, either in the jungle or where the dams are to be built. They are eating steadily into the mountain, cutting it down and down. Little tracks are laid on the side-hills, rocks blasted out, and the great ninety-five ton steam-shovels work up like mountain howitzers until they come to where they can with advantage begin their work of eating into and destroying the mountainside. With intense energy men and machines do their task, the white men supervising matters and handling the machines, while the tens of thousands of black men do the rough manual labor where it is not worth while to have machines do it. It is an epic feat, and one of immense significance. (To Kermit Roosevelt, November 20, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 576; Nat. Ed. XIX, 517.

Panama Canal—Start of

The opening stage of the securing and digging of the Panama Canal . . . [was] the abrogation of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty; unless that treaty had been abrogated the canal must either have remained unbuilt or have been built at the cost of a substantial measure of estrangement between Great Britain and ourselves. It was a real triumph to have secured the abrogation of the treaty— accomplished partly through Mr. Hay, partly through Ambassador Choate, partly through Lord Pauncefote, and partly through Mr. Balfour himself. (At memorial exercises for Joseph H. Choate, New York City, January 19, 1918.) Mem. Ed.XII, 544; Nat. Ed. XI, 270.

Panama Canal Tolls

We have a perfect right to permit our coastwise traffic (with which there can be no competition by the merchant marine of any foreign nation—so that there is no discrimination against any foreign marine) to pass through that Canal on any terms we choose, and I personally think that no toll should be charged on such traffic. Moreover, in time of war, where all treaties between warring nations, save those connected with the management of the war, at once lapse, the Canal would, of course, be open to the use of our war-ships and closed to the war-ships of the nation with which we were engaged in hostilities. But at all times the Canal should be opened on equal terms to the ships of all nations, including our own, engaged in international commerce. That was the understanding of the treaty when it was adopted, and the United States must always, as a matter of honorable obligation, and with scrupulous nicety, live up to every understanding which she has entered into with any foreign power. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 407; Nat. Ed. XVII, 295.

Panama Canal Zone

We have not the slightest intention of establishing an independent colony in the middle of the state of Panama, or of exercising any greater governmental functions than are necessary to enable us conveniently and safely to construct, maintain and operate the canal under the rights given us by the treaty. Least of all do we desire to interfere with the business and prosperity of the people of Panama. (To W. H. Taft, October 19, 1904.) Hugh G. Miller, The Isthmian Highway. (Macmillan Co., N. Y., 1929), p. 29.

Panama Canal Zone — Payment For

Ten million dollars was the price stipulated by Colombia herself as payment to those in possession of the Isthmus, and it was the price we actually did pay to those who actually were in possession of the Isthmus. The only difference was that, thanks to the most just and proper revolution which freed Panama from the intolerable oppression and wrong-doing of Colombia, we were able to give this ten million dollars to the men who themselves dwelt on the Isthmus, instead of to alien taskmasters and oppressors of theirs.

The proposal now is that after having paid ten million dollars to the rightful owners of the Isthmus we shall in addition pay twenty-five million dollars to their former taskmasters and oppressors; a sum two and a half times what these tricky oppressors originally asked, a sum which is to be paid to them merely because they failed in carrying to successful completion what must truthfully be characterized as a bit of international villainy as wicked as it was preposterous. In point of good sense and sound morality, the proposal is exactly on a par with paying a discomfited burglar a heavy sum for the damage done his feelings by detecting him and expelling him from the house. . . . The people of the United States should remember that the United States paid fifty million dollars to Panama and the French company for every real right of every sort or description which existed on the Isthmus. There would have been no value even to these rights unless for the action that the United States then intended to take, and has since actually taken. The property of the French company would not have been worth any more than any other scrap-heap save for our subsequent action, and the right to cross the Isthmus of Panama would have been valueless to Colombia or to any other nation or body of men if we had failed to build a canal across it and had built one somewhere else. The whole value then and now of any right upon that Isthmus depended upon the fact that we then intended to spend and now have spent in building the Canal some three hundred and seventy-five million dollars. (Metropolitan, February 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 485, 486; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 416, 417.

Panama Revolution

I cast aside the proposition made at this time to foment the secession of Panama. Whatever other governments can do, the United States cannot go into the securing by such underhand means, the cession. Privately, I freely say to you that I should be delighted if Panama were an independent State, or if it made itself so at this moment; but for me to say so publicly would amount to an instigation of a revolt, and therefore I cannot say it. (To Albert Shaw, October 10, 1903.) Mem. Ed.XXIII, 322; Bishop I, 279.

____________. I did not foment the revolution on the Isthmus. . . . It is idle folly to speak of there having been a conspiracy with us. The people of the Isthmus are a unit for the canal, and in favor of separation from the Colombians. The latter signed their death-warrant when they acted in such infamous manner about the signing of the treaty. Unless Congress overrides me, which I do not think probable, Colombia's grip on Panama is gone forever. (To Albert Shaw, November 6, 1903.) Mem. Ed.XXIII, 333; Bishop I, 288.

____________. Everything goes on there as we would wish; I am about to receive Mr. Bunau-Varilla. It is reported that we have made the revolution; it is not so, but for months such an occurrence was probable and I was ready for it. It is all for the best; such a revolution is quicker and not more bloody than our arbitration. If the Colombians try to send troops by sea against Panama, the American squadron has for its instructions to divert those ships to some place where they can do no mischief. Our own ships will avoid with the utmost care any action which might look like actual war against Colombia. (In conversation, November 11, 1903.) J. J. Jusserand, What Me Befell. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1933), pp. 253-254.

____________. The revolution in Panama, or secession of Panama, is just like the secession of Greece from Turkey at the beginning of the last century, and of the other Christian States from Turkey later on in the century. Panama has suffered oppression for years. Not only was its secession justifiable but if it had had the power it would not have been warranted in standing such oppression for twenty-four hours. No body of men of courage and power, trained as you and I and our fellow citizens have been trained in self-government, in liberty, and in law-abiding habits, would submit for one day to the oppression habitual under Colombian rule in Panama. Finally, when Colombia, which had plundered Panama, and misgoverned and misruled her, declined to ratify the treaty for the canal—which meant giving up Panama's last hope—the people of Panama rose literally as one man. When once this rising had occurred our Government was bound by every consideration of honor and humanity, and of national and international interest, to take exactly the steps that it took. (To David D. Thompson, December 22, 1903.) Mem. Ed.XXIII, 340; Bishop I, 294.

____________. I hesitate to refer to the injurious insinuations which have been made of complicity by this government in the revolutionary movement in Panama. They are as destitute of foundation as of propriety. The only excuse for my mentioning them is the fear lest unthinking persons might mistake for acquiescence the silence of mere self-respect. I think proper to say, therefore, that no one connected with this Government had any part in preparing, inciting, or encouraging the late revolution on the Isthmus of Panama, and that save from the reports of our military and naval officers, . . . no one connected with this Government had any previous knowledge of the revolution except such as was accessible to any person of ordinary intelligence who read the newspapers and kept up a current acquaintance with public affairs.

By the unanimous action of its people, without the firing of a shot—with a unanimity hardly before recorded in any similar case—the people of Panama declared themselves an independent republic. Their recognition by this Government was based upon a state of facts in no way dependent for its justification upon our action in ordinary cases. (Message to Congress, January 4, 1904.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers II, 743.

____________. Some people say that I fomented insurrection in Panama. There had been innumerable revolutions in Panama prior to the time that I became President. While I was President I kept my foot down on these revolutions so that when the revolution referred to did occur, I did not have to foment it; I simply lifted my foot. (In conversation with William H. Childs, aboard steamer from Europe, June 1914.) Frederick S. Wood, Roosevelt As We Knew Him. (J. C. Winston Co., Phila., 1927), 153.

____________. Even had I desired to foment a revolution—which I did not—it would have been unnecessary for me to do so. The Isthmus was seething with revolution. Any interference from me would have had to take the shape of preventing a revolution, not of creating one. All the people residing on the Isthmus ardently desired the revolution. The citizens of Panama desired it. . . . When the revolution had occurred, and was successful, and Panama was an independent republic, I certainly did prevent Columbia from carrying on a bloody war on the Isthmus in the effort to overthrow the revolutionists. I certainly did refuse to do what Colombia requested, that is, to use the army and navy of the United States against our friends in the interests of the foes who had just been trying to blackmail us. We were solemnly pledged to keep transit across the Isthmus open. Again and again we landed forces in time of revolutionary disturbance to secure this object. If Colombia had attempted the reconquest of the Isthmus, there would have been a far more bloody contest than ever before on the Isthmus, and the only way by which that contest could have been
carried on would have been by using the railroad line and interrupting transit across the Isthmus. It is therefore perfectly true that I prevented any attempt by Colombia to land troops on the Isthmus and plunge the Isthmus into a long-drawn-out and bloody war. (Metropolitan, February 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 502; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 431.

____________. On the "consent of the governed" theory, Panama was entitled to govern itself. The people of the Isthmus, the people of the Republic of Panama, were being oppressed by an alien people, who misgoverned them, for the interest of outsiders, and who were now jeopardizing their entire future for corrupt purposes. It has been said that I raised my hand and caused revolution. The simile is inexact. There were a dozen fuses always burning and leading up to revolutionary explosions in Panama. I came to the conclusion that I was absolved from all further duty to stamp out those fuses. . . . The government of the United States never took the smallest part, directly or indirectly, in fomenting or encouraging any revolutionary movement in Panama. Any statement to the contrary is a wicked and slanderous falsehood, to support which there is not merely no proof, but not a particle of just suspicion can be adduced in support of any such thing. (Before Panama-Pacific Historical Congress, Palo Alto, Cal., July 23, 1915.) The Pacific Ocean in History. Papers and Addresses. (Macmillan Co., N. Y., 1917), p. 145.


See also Colombia; Goethals, George W.; Hay-Herran Treaty; Hay-Pauncefote Treaty; Kitchener, Lord; Monroe Doctrine; National Defense; Navy.

Panic of 1903

See Currency.

Panic of 1907

In the fall of 1907 there were severe business disturbances and financial stringency, culminating in a panic which arose in New York and spread over the country. The damage actually done was great, and the damage threatened was incalculable. Thanks largely to the action of the government, the panic was stopped before, instead of being merely a serious business check, it became a frightful and nation- wide calamity, a disaster fraught with untold misery and woe to all our people. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 498; Nat. Ed. XX, 429.

____________. Of course I am gravely harassed and concerned over the situation. Every kind of suggestion is made to me, almost always impractically. I am doing everything I have power to do; but the fundamental fact is that the public is suffering from a spasm of lack of confidence. Most of this lack of confidence is absolutely unreasonable, and therefore we can do nothing with it. There is a part for which there is substantial basis, however. There has been so much trickery and dishonesty in high places; the exposures about Harriman, Rockefeller, Heinze, Barney, Morse, Ryan, the insurance man, and others, have caused such a genuine shock to people that they have begun to be afraid that every bank really has something rotten in it. In other words, they have passed thru the period of unreasoning trust and optimism into unreasoning distrust and pessimism. I shall do everything I can up to the very verge of my power to restore confidence, to give the banks a chance to get currency into circulation. Whether I can accomplish what I seek to do I cannot say. Of course if I do not I shall be held responsible for the conditions. . . . There is nothing that I have done that I would not do over again, and I am absolutely positive that the principles which I have sought to enforce are those that must obtain if this Government is to endure. But, as you say, the very people whom I have been seeking to protect by exposing what is rotten in trusts and railroads, when the dinner-pail becomes empty will feel they would rather have full dinner-pails, and watered stocks and other things against which they used to declaim, rather than to go thru the period of discomfort when readjustment takes place. (To Douglas Robinson, November 16, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 56; Bishop II, 48.

____________. You say that the fear of investors in railway securities must be dispelled; and you say that the people now have the impression that the greatest business interests (those of railroads) are imperilled. I am inclined to think that this is the case. If so, the responsibility lies primarily and overwhelmingly upon the railway and corporation people—that is, the manipulators of railroad and other corporation stocks— who have been guilty of such scandalous irregularities during the last few years. Secondarily it lies, of course, with the agitators and visionaries to whom the misdeeds of the conscienceless speculators I have named gave the chance to impress the people as a whole. Not one word of mine; not one act, administrative or legislative, of the Na tional Government, is responsible, directly or indirectly, in any degree whatsoever for the present situation. I trust I have stated this with sufficient emphasis, for it would be quite impossible to overemphasize it. (To Henry L. Higginson, March 28, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 46; Bishop II, 39.

____________. I would have been derelict in my duty, I would have shown myself a timid and unworthy public servant, if in that extraordinary crisis I had not acted precisely as I did act [in regard to the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company]. In every such crisis the temptation to indecision, to non-action, is great, for excuses can always be found for non-action, and action means risk and the certainty of blame to the man who acts. But if the man is worth his salt he will do his duty, he will give the people the benefit of the doubt, and act in any way which their interests demand and which is not affirmatively prohibited by law, unheeding the likelihood that he himself, when the crisis is over and the danger past, will be assailed for what he has done. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 504; Nat. Ed. XX, 433.

Panic of 1907 — Responsibility for

Whether I am or am not in any degree responsible for the panic, I shall certainly be held responsible. At present most of those who hold me responsible are people who are bitterly against me anyhow; but of course the feeling will spread to those who have been my friends, because when the average man loses his money he is simply like a wounded snake and strikes right and left at anything, innocent or the reverse, that presents itself as conspicuous in his mind. Whether I can do anything to allay the panic I do not know. All the reactionaries wish to take advantage of the moment by having me announce that I will abandon my policies, at least in effect. Inasmuch as I believe that these policies are absolutely necessary, I shall not abandon them no matter what may be the stress for the time being. (To Dr. Alexander Lambert, December 1, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 53; Bishop II, 45.

Panic of 1907 and the Roosevelt Policies

I am perfectly certain that in the end the Nation will have to come to my policies, or substantially to my policies, simply because the Republic cannot endure unless the governmental actions are founded on these policies, for they represent nothing whatever but aggressive honesty and fair treatment for all—not make-believe fair treatment, but genuine fair treatment. I do not think that my policies had anything to do with producing the conditions which brought on the panic; but I do think that very possibly the assaults and exposures which I made, and which were more or less successfully imitated in the several States, have brought on the panic a year or two sooner than would otherwise have been the case. The panic would have been infinitely worse, however, had it been deferred. (To Hamlin Garland, November 23, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 58; Bishop II, 50.

Panic of 1907

See also Currency; Hard Times; "Malefactors Of Great Wealth"; Tennessee Coal and Iron Company.

Paper Money

See Currency; Silver.


See Monroe Doctrine.


See Capital Punishment; Criminals.


See Children; Family; Home; Husbands; Marriage; Mother; Women.

Parkman, Francis

It is a fortunate thing when some great historic event, or chain of events, is commemorated by a great historian; and it is a matter for no small congratulation that the greatest historian whom the United States has yet produced should have found ready to his hand the all-important and singularly dramatic struggle which decided whether the destiny of the North American continent should be shaped by the French or the English race.

Mr. Parkman has now finished the work to which he has devoted his life. He has portrayed from the beginning the history of the French power in North America, through all its phases, to the time when it went down in the final struggle with England. He has published different volumes under different titles; but now that they are completed they form a connected whole, under the general title of "France and England in North America." (Independent, November 24, 1892.) Mem. Ed.XIV, 286; Nat. Ed. XII, 246.

____________. Mr. Parkman has done a great work which there is no need of any one trying to do again. He has shown all the qualities of the historian, capacity for wide and deep research, accuracy in details combined with power to subordinate these details to the general effect, a keen perception of the essential underlying causes and results, and the mastery of a singularly clear, pure, and strong style. He has had a great subject, he has considered it philosophically, and has treated it with knowledge, with impartiality, and with enthusiasm. He has now brought to an end the life task he set himself. He has produced a great book, and added to the sum of the successful efforts of his countrymen in a way that is given to but few of them to add. (Independent, November 24, 1892.) Mem. Ed.XIV, 294; Nat. Ed. XII, 253.

Parliamentary Government

The English, or so-called "responsible," theory of parliamentary government is one entirely incompatible with our own governmental institutions. It could not be put into operation here save by absolutely sweeping away the United States Constitution. Incidentally, I may say it would be to the last degree undesirable, if it were practicable. But this is not the point upon which I wish to dwell; the point is that it was wholly impracticable to put it into operation, and that an agitation favoring this kind of government was from its nature unintelligent. (Atlantic Monthly, August 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 58; Nat. Ed. XIII, 43.

____________. The English parliamentary system [is] a system admirable for England, taking into account the English national character, the customs and ways of looking at things inherited generation after generation by both the English people and their public men, and especially the fact that there are in England two parties; but a system which has not worked well in a government by groups, where the people do not mind changing their leaders continually, and are so afraid of themselves that, unlike the English and Americans, they do not dare trust any one man with a temporary exercise of large power for fear they will be weak enough to let him assume it permanently. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, October 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 271; Bishop II, 232.

Parliamentary Practice

See Debate; Filibustering; Legislative Minority.

Parochial Schools

See Schools.


I do not think partisanship should ever obscure the truth. (To Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., September 14, 1881.) Cowles Letters, 50.

____________. There are certain considerations of good citizenship which rise above all questions of mere partisanship. Outlook, July 12, 1913; p. 555.

Party Allegiance

I am a loyal party man, but I believe very firmly that I can best render aid to my party by doing all that in me lies to make that party responsive to the needs of the State, responsive to the needs of the people. (At New York State Bar Association banquet, January 18, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 467; Nat. Ed. XIV, 308.

____________. A man cannot act both without and within the party; he can do either, but he cannot possibly do both. Each course has its advantages and each has its disadvantages, and one cannot take the advantages or the disadvantages separately. I went in with my eyes open to do what I could within the party; I did my best and got beaten; and I propose to stand by the result. It is impossible to combine the functions of a guerilla chief with those of a colonel in the regular army; one has a greater independence of action, the other is able to make what action he does take vastly more effective. In certain contingencies, the one can do most good; in certain contingencies the other; but there is no use in accepting a commission and then trying to play the game out on a lone hand. (Interview, Boston Herald, July 20, 1884.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 71; Nat. Ed. XIV, 39.

____________. I recognize that at times it is necessary to leave the party, that it is right at times to bolt. I have done that myself, but I insist this much, that there shall be adequate cause for leaving the party, that there shall be a proper time chosen, and that we shall be absolutely certain that the results reached will be proper. (Before Republican meeting, Malden, Mass., October 20, 1884.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 86; Nat. Ed. XIV, 50.

____________. Often the mere fact of having a good deal of record is more against a man than for him, when the question is as to how people will vote; for my experience is that usually people are more apt to let their dislikes than their likings cause them to break away from their party ties in matters of voting. In other words, the people of the opposite party who like what I have done are less apt for that reason to leave their candidate than the people of my own party who dislike what I have done are apt to leave me. (To Henry White, April 4, 1904.) Mem. Ed.XXIII, 364; Bishop I, 316.

Party Allegiance—Abuse of

The party man who offers his allegiance to party as an excuse for blindly following his party, right or wrong, and who fails to try to make that party in any way better, commits a crime against the country; and a crime quite as serious is committed by the independent who makes his independence an excuse for easy self- indulgence, and who thinks that when he says he belongs to neither party he is excused from the duty of taking part in the practical work of party organizations. The party man is bound to do his full share in party management. He is bound to attend the caucuses and the primaries, to see that only good men are put up, and to exert his influence as strenuously against the foes of good government within his party, as, through his party machinery, he does against those who are without the party. (Forum, July 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 44; Nat. Ed. XIII, 30.

Party Allegiance and Independence

[A man] has got to preserve his independence on the one hand; and on the other, unless he wishes to be a wholly ineffective crank, he has got to have some sense of party allegiance and party responsibility, and he has got to realize that in any given exigency it may be a matter of duty to sacrifice one quality, or it may be a matter of duty to sacrifice the other. If it is difficult to lay down any fixed rules for party action in the abstract; it would, of course, be wholly impossible to lay them down for party action in the concrete, with reference to the organizations of the present day. I think we ought to be broad-minded enough to recognize the fact that a good citizen, striving with fearlessness, honesty, and common sense to do his best for the nation, can render service to it in many different ways, and by connection with many different organizations. (Before the Liberal Club, Buffalo, N. Y., January 26, 1893.) Mem. Ed. XV, 67; Nat. Ed. XIII, 284.

____________. A man of sound political instincts can no more subscribe to the doctrine of absolute independence of party on the one hand than to that of unquestioning party allegiance on the other. No man can accomplish much unless he works in an organization with others, and this organization, no matter how temporary, is a party for the time being. But that man is a dangerous citizen who so far mistakes means for ends as to become servile in his devotion to his party, and afraid to leave it when the party goes wrong. To deify either independence or party allegiance merely as such is a little absurd. It depends entirely upon the motive, the purpose, the result. . . . The truth is, simply, that there are times when it may be the duty of a man to break with his party, and there are other times when it may be his duty to stand by his party, even though, on some points, he thinks that party wrong; he must be prepared to leave it when necessary, and he must not sacrifice his influence by leaving it unless it is necessary. If we had no party allegiance, our politics would become mere windy anarchy, and, under present conditions, our government could hardly continue at all. If we had no independence, we should always be running the risk of the most degraded kind of despotism—the despotism of the party boss and the party machine. (Atlantic Monthly, August 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 60; Nat. Ed. XIII, 45.

Party Allegiance

See also Citizenship ; Civic Duty; Independent; Machine; Mugwumps; Politics.

Party Platforms

It is in large part a sequel to . . . crooked control that there has been so long a record of failure on the part of both the old parties to redeem their platform pledges. I very earnestly hope that the Progressive party will bear this fact in mind when it comes to building its platform. Not only should the platform be right, but it should be so clearly drawn as to make the intentions of those who draw it perfectly understood by the average man; it should deal wisely and boldly with the new issues confronting our people; and, finally, it should scrupulously refrain from promising anything that cannot be performed, and should clearly show that it intends as a matter of honorable obligation to carry out every promise made. To make a promise which cannot be carried out or which would hopelessly damage the country if carried out is equivalent to announcing in advance that, not only this promise, but all the other promises in the platform, are meant to be broken, and are for campaign uses only. No party, and no candidate, should receive the support of the people if the platform shows on its face the corrupt insincerity of those making it. (Outlook, July 27, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 348; Nat. Ed. XVII, 246.

Party Platforms

See also Compromise; Election Pledges; Platform Promises; Political Promises.

Party System—Criticism of

Present party conditions insure the absolute powerlessness of the people when faced by a bipartisan combine of the two boss-ridden party machines, whose hostility each to the other is only nominal compared to the hostility of both to the people at large. The second fundamental fact of the situation partly depends upon this first fact. Where neither party ventures to have any real convictions upon the vital issues of the day it is normally impossible to use either as an instrument for meeting these vital issues. (Century Magazine, October 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 532; Nat. Ed. XVII, 390.

____________. Four years ago I declined to make a fetich of the Republican party, when to do so meant dishonor to the nation, and this year I declined to make a fetich of the Progressive party when to do so meant dishonor to honor. I agree with you that issues and men are the things that count. A party is good only as a means to an end. Nevertheless, we have to face the fact that has been made strikingly evident during the past four years that with ninety per cent of our country-men the party name of itself has a certain fetichistic power, and we would be very foolish if we did not take this into account in endeavoring to work for good results. Moreover, it is unfortunately true that the dead hand of a party sometimes paralyzes its living members. The ancestral principles of the Democratic party are so bad it seems to be entirely impossible for it to be useful to the country except in spasms. (To a Mrs. Nicholson, of Oregon, July 18, 1916.) Corinne Roosevelt Robinson, My Brother Theodore Roosevelt, 308.

Party System—Function of

It is only through the party system that free governments are now successfully carried on, and yet we must keep ever vividly before us that the usefulness of a party is strictly limited by its usefulness to the State, and that in the long run, he serves his party best who most helps to make it instantly responsive to every need of the people, and to the highest demands of that spirit which tends to drive us onward and upward. (Inaugural Address as Governor, Albany, January 2, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 4; Nat. Ed. XV, 4.

Party System

See also Boss; Independent; Machine; Organization; Platt, T. C.; Political Parties; Politics; Primaries.

Patriotic Celebrations

See Fourth of July; Memorial Day.

Patriotic Societies

Societies that cultivate patriotism in the present by keeping alive the memory of what we owe to the patriotism of the past, fill an indispensable function in this Republic. (Before Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Washington, D. C., May 2, 1902.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 36.

Patriotic Songs

Probably no one capable of feeling a generous thought of love for country can really judge quite dispassionately the songs which recite the great deeds done by the men of his own land. We Americans hold very high the memory of the men who "proved their truth by their endeavor," in the days of Lincoln and Grant, of Lee and Jackson and Farragut. It may be true that we cannot estimate what is said or sung of these with the absolute indifference of pure criticism; and of necessity it must appeal to us as it cannot appeal to others. Nevertheless, making every allowance for this feeling, it may still be safely said that on the whole no other contest has produced such poetry as our own Civil War. (Cosmopolitan, December 1892.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 376; Nat. Ed. XII, 309.


Patriotism should be an integral part of our every feeling at all times, for it is merely another name for those qualities of soul which make a man in peace or in war, by day or by night, think of his duty to his fellows, and of his duty to the nation through which their and his loftiest aspirations must find their fitting expression. (1916.) Mem. Ed.XX, 234; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 201.

____________. Never yet was there a country worth living in which did not develop among her sons something at least of that nobility of soul which makes men not only serve their country when they are starving, but when death has set its doom on their faces. (At Cooper Union, New York City, November 3, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 522; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 448.

____________. I believe in that ardent patriotism which will make a nation true to itself by making it secure justice for all within its own borders, and then so far as may be, aid in every way in securing just and fair treatment for all the nations of mankind. (Metropolitan, May 1916.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 149; Nat. Ed. XIX, 146.

____________. Patriotism is an affair of deeds, and patriotic words are good only in so far as they result in deeds. . . . Patriotism means service to the nation; and only those who render such service are fit to enjoy the privilege of citizenship. (At Lincoln, Neb., June 14, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 191; Nat. Ed. XIX, 181, 182.

____________. Patriotism stands in national matters as love of family does in private life. Nationalism corresponds to the love a man bears for his wife and children. (Lafayette Day exercises, New York City, September 6, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 410; Nat. Ed. XIX, 372.

Patriotism—Demands Upon

America will cease to be a great nation whenever her young men cease to possess energy, daring, and endurance, as well as the wish and the power to fight the nation's foes. No citizen of a free State should wrong any man; but it is not enough merely to refrain from infringing on the rights of others; he must also be able and willing to stand up for his own rights and those of his country against all comers, and he must be ready at any time to do his full share in resisting either malice domestic or foreign levy. (Preface to Hero Tales, with H. C. Lodge, 1895.) Mem. Ed. IX, xxii; Nat. Ed. X, xxiii.

____________. Patriotism is as much a duty in time of war as in time of peace, and it is most of all a duty in any and every great crisis. To commit folly or do evil, to act inconsiderately and hastily or wantonly and viciously, in the name of patriotism, represents not patriotism at all, but a use of the name to cloak an attack upon the thing. Such baseness or folly is wrong, at every time and on every occasion. But patriotism itself is not only in place on every occasion and at every time, but is peculiarly the feeling which should be stirred to its deepest depths at every serious crisis. . . . Patriotism, for far from being incompatible with performance of duty to other nations, is an indispensable prerequisite to doing one's duty toward other nations. Fear God; and take your own part! If this nation had feared God it would have stood up for the Belgians and Armenians; if it had been able and willing to take its own part there would have been no murderous assault on the Lusitania, no outrages on our men and women in Mexico. True patriotism carries with it not hostility to other nations but a quickened sense of responsible good-will toward other nations, a good-will of acts and not merely of words. (1916.) Mem. Ed.XX, 234-235; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 202-203.

____________. The policies of Americanism and preparedness taken together mean applied patriotism. Our first duty as citizens of the nation is owed to the United States, but if we are true to our principles, we must also think of serving the interests of mankind at large. In addition to serving our own country, we must shape the policy of our country so as to secure the cause of international right, righteousness, fair play and humanity. (At Lewiston, Me., August 1916.) Corinne Roosevelt Robinson, My Brother Theodore Roosevelt, 320.

____________. In America to-day all our people are summoned to service and sacrifice. Pride is the portion only of those who know bitter sorrow or the foreboding of bitter sorrow. But all of us who give service, and stand ready for sacrifice, are the torch-bearers. We run with the torches until we fall, content if we can then pass them to the hands of other runners. The torches whose flame is brightest are borne by the gallant men at the front, and by the gallant women whose husbands and lovers, whose sons and brothers are at the front. These men are high of soul, as they face their fate on the shell-shattered earth, or in the skies above or in the waters beneath; and no less high of soul are the women with torn hearts and shining eyes; the girls whose boy lovers have been struck down in their golden morning, and the mothers and wives to whom word has been brought that henceforth they must walk in the shadow. These are the torch-bearers; these are they who have dared the Great Adventure. (Metropolitan, October 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 267; Nat. Ed. XIX, 246.

Patriotism—Foundation of

There can be no genuine feeling of patriotism of the kind that makes all men willing and eager to die for the land, unless there has been some measure of success in making the land worth living in for all alike, whatever their station, so long as they do their duty; and on the other hand, no man has a right to enjoy any benefits whatever from living in the land in time of peace, unless he is trained physically and spiritually so that if duty calls he can and will do his part to keep the land against all alien aggression. (At Cooper Union, New York City, November 3, 1916.) Mem. Ed.XX, 518; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 445.

Patriotism—Future of

There are philosophers who assure us that, in the future, patriotism will be regarded not as a virtue at all, but merely as a mental stage in the journey toward a state of feeling when our patriotism will include the whole human race and all the world. This may be so; but the age of which these philosophers speak is still several eons distant. In fact, philosophers of this type are so very advanced that they are of no practical service to the present generation. It may be, that in ages so remote that we cannot now understand any of the feelings of those who will dwell in them, patriotism will no longer be regarded as a virtue, exactly as it may be that in those remote ages people will look down upon and disregard monogamic marriage; but as things now are and have been for two or three thousand years past, and are likely to be for two or three thousand years to come, the words "home" and "country" mean a great deal. Nor do they show any tendency to lose their significance. (Forum, April 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 19; Nat. Ed. XIII, 16-17.

Patriotism—Meaning of

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him in so far as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth—whether about the President or about any one else—save in the rare cases where this would make known to the enemy information of military value which would otherwise be unknown to him. (1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 316; Nat. Ed. XIX, 289.

Patriotism, German and Japanese

We should in all humility imitate not a little of the spirit so much in evidence among the Germans and the Japanese, the two nations which in modern times have shown the most practical type of patriotism, the greatest devotion to the common weal, the greatest success in developing their economic resources and abilities from within, and the greatest far-sightedness in safeguarding the country against possible disaster from without. (New York Times, November 29, 1914.) Mem. Ed.XX, 205; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 176.

Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism

The man who has in him real fighting blood is sure to be more deeply stirred by the deeds of his own people than by those of any other folk, though to these likewise he may pay glad and sincere homage. Every man to his own! We Americans cannot but feel our blood run quickest at the recital of the prowess of our own forefathers. Of course, if this feeling does not exist by nature it cannot be cultivated—there can be no self- conscious simulation of Americanism; but the man in whom intense love of country is wanting is a very despicable creature, no matter how well equipped with all the minor virtues and graces, literary, artistic, and social. (Cosmopolitan, December 1892.) Mem. Ed.XIV, 380; Nat. Ed. XII, 313.

____________. I am no advocate of a foolish cosmopolitanism. I believe that a man must be a good patriot before he can be, and as the only possible way of being, a good citizen of the world. Experience teaches us that the average man who protests that his international feeling swamps has national feeling, that he does not care for his country because he cares so much for mankind, in actual practice proves himself the foe of mankind; that the man who says that he does not care to be a citizen of any one country, because he is a citizen of the world, is in very fact usually an exceedingly undesirable citizen of whatever corner of the world he happens at the moment to be in. . . . However broad and deep a man's sympathies, however intense his activities, he need have no fear that they will be cramped by love of his native land. . . . So far from patriotism being inconsistent with a proper regard for the rights of other nations, I hold that the true patriot, who is as jealous of the national honor as a gentleman is of his own honor, will be careful to see that the nation neither inflicts nor suffers wrong, just as a gentleman scorns equally to wrong others or to suffer others to wrong him. (At the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 373-374; Nat. Ed. XIII, 526-527.

____________. Each people can do justice to itself only if it does justice to others, but each people can do its part in the world movement for all only if it first does its duty within its own household. The good citizen must be a good citizen of his own country first before he can with advantage be a citizen of the world at large. Outlook , May 14, 1910, p. 74.


See also Allegiance; Americanism; Americans, Hyphenated; Big Stick; Cosmopolitans; Flag; German Patriotism; Internationalism; Love Of Country; Loyalty; Nationalism.


I feel sure that the possession of the patronage damages rather than benefits a party; but it is certainly also true that for one party to refrain from all use of patronage, while not by law enacting that its opponent must likewise refrain, would work little lasting benefit to the public service, and would probably insure party defeat. . . . It is therefore perfectly plain that the remedy lies in changing the system. For honest politicians to refrain from meddling with patronage, while leaving dishonest politicians full liberty to do so, is in the long run to work harm rather than good. The offices must be taken out of reach of all politicians, good or bad, by some permanent system of law. (Century, February 1890.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 167, 168; Nat. Ed. XIV, 107.

____________. I have done all I could, and I think I may say more than any other President has ever done, in the direction of getting rid of the system of appointing and removing men for political considerations. But enough remains to cause me many hours of sordid and disagreeable work, which yet must be done under penalty of losing the good-will of men with whom it is necessary that I should work. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, May 13, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 174; Bishop II, 149.

____________. The use of government offices as patronage is a handicap difficult to overestimate from the standpoint of those who strive to get good government. Any effort for reform of any sort, national, State, or municipal, results in the reformers immediately finding themselves face to face with an organized band of drilled, mercenaries, who are paid out of the public chest to train themselves with such skill that ordinary good citizens when they meet them at the polls are in much the position of militia matched against regular troops. Yet these citizens themselves support and pay their opponents in such a way that they are drilled to overthrow the very men who support them. . . . Patronage does not really help a party. It helps the bosses to get control of the machinery of the party—as in 1912 was true of the Republican party— but it does not help the party. On the average, the most sweeping party victories in our history have been won when the patronage was against the victors. All that the patronage does is to help the worst element in the party retain control of the party organization. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 158; Nat. Ed. XX, 135, 136.


See also Appointments; Civil Service Reform; Office; Spoils System.

Pauncefote, Sir Julian

See Haypauncefote Treaty; Panama Canal.


Peace is generally good in itself, but it is never the highest good unless it comes as the handmaid of righteousness; and it becomes a very evil thing if it serves merely as a mask for cowardice and sloth, or as an instrument to further the ends of despotism or anarchy. Outlook, May 7, 1910, p. 19.

____________. Work for peace will never be worth much unless accompanied by courage, effort, and self- sacrifice. (Independent, January 4, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 179; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 154.

____________. Scant attention is paid to the weakling or the coward who babbles of peace; but due heed is given to the strong man with sword girt on thigh who preaches peace, not from ignoble motives, not from fear or distrust of his own powers, but from a deep sense of moral obligation. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 286; Nat. Ed. XIII, 335.

____________. Our business is to create the beginnings of international order out of the world of nations as these nations actually exist. We do not have to deal with a world of pacificists and therefore we must proceed on the assumption that treaties will never acquire sanctity until nations are ready to seal them with their blood. We are not striving for peace in heaven. That is not our affair. What we were bidden to strive for is "peace on earth and good-will toward men." To fulfil this injunction it is necessary to treat the earth as it is and men as they are, as an indispensable prerequisite to making the earth a better place in which to live and men better fit to live in it. It is inexcusable moral culpability on our part to pretend to carry out this injunction in such fashion as to nullify it; and this we do if we make believe that the earth is what it is not and if our professions of bringing good-will toward men are in actual practice shown to be empty shams. Peace congresses, peace parades, the appointment and celebration of days of prayer for peace, and the like, which result merely in giving the participants the feeling that they have accomplished something and are therefore to be excused from hard, practical work for righteousness, are empty shams. (New York Times, November 29, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 199; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 171.

____________. Peace is not a question of names. It is a question of facts. If murders occur in a city, and if the police force is so incompetent that no record is made of them officially, that does not interfere with the fact that murders have been committed and that life is unsafe. In just the same way, if lives are taken by violence between nations, it is not of the slightest consequence whether those responsible for the government of the nation whose citizens have lost their lives do or do not assert that the nation is at peace. During the last three years we have been technically at peace. But during those three years more of our citizens have been killed by Mexicans, Germans, Austrians, and Haytians than were killed during the entire Spanish War. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 244; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 210.

____________. Peace, like Freedom, is not a gift that tarries long in the hands of cowards, or of those too feeble or too short-sighted to deserve it, and we ask to be given the means to insure that honorable peace which alone is worth having. (To Guy Emerson, Spring 1916.) Corinne Roosevelt Robinson, My Brother Theodore Roosevelt, 293.

Peace—Acquisition of

Remember that peace itself, that peace after which all men crave, is merely the realization in the present of what has been bought by strenuous effort in the past. Peace represents stored- up effort of our fathers or of ourselves in the past. It is not a means—it is an end. You do not get peace by peace; you get peace as the result of effort. If you strive to get it by peace you will lose it, that is all. If we ever grow to regard peace as a permanent condition; if we ever grow to feel that we can afford to let the keen, fearless, virile qualities of heart and mind and body be lost, then we will prepare the way for inevitable and shameful disaster in the future. (At Lincoln Club dinner, New York City, February 13, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 475; Nat. Ed. XIV, 315.

____________. No paper scheme designed to secure peace without effort and safety without service and sacrifice will either make this country safe or enable it to do its international duty toward others. (August 4, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 195.

Peace—American Influence for

Last summer the United States had the honor to take what was on the whole the leading part in the Peace Conference at The Hague. We were able to play that part solely because during the preceding year we had fought to a victorious conclusion the most righteous foreign war in which any nation has been engaged for half a century. Our power to further the cause of peace as among the civilized nations of the world has been immeasurably increased because we have shown ourselves able and willing to do our part in policing the world, in keeping order in the world's waste spaces. . . . When a coward or a weakling preaches peace but little good results; but, as was shown at The Hague last year, when a mighty people, not afraid to do its duty in the world, stands up for peace, the good result is immediately manifest. (At Cincinnati, O., October 21, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 501; Nat. Ed. XIV, 338.

____________. We are glad indeed that we are on good terms with all the other peoples of mankind, and no effort on our part shall be spared to secure a continuance of these relations. And remember, gentlemen, that we shall be a potent factor for peace largely in proportion to the way in which we make it evident that our attitude is due, not to weakness, not to inability to defend ourselves, but to a genuine repugnance to wrongdoing, a genuine desire for self- respecting friendship with our neighbors. The voice of the weakling or the craven counts for nothing when he clamors for peace; but the voice of the just man armed is potent. We need to keep in a condition of preparedness, especially as regards our navy, not because we want war, but because we desire to stand with those whose plea for peace is listened to with respectful attention. (At banquet of Chamber of Commerce, New York City, November 11, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 265; Bishop I, 230.

____________. Our voice is now potent for peace, and is so potent because we are not afraid of war. But our protestations upon behalf of peace would neither receive nor deserve the slightest attention if we were impotent to make them good. (Fourth Annual Message, Washington, December 6, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 303; Nat. Ed. XV, 260.

Peace—Attainment of

The one permanent move for obtaining peace, which has yet been suggested, with any reasonable chance of attaining its object, is by an agreement among the great powers, in which each should pledge itself not only to abide by the decisions of a common tribunal but to back with force the decisions of that common tribunal. The great civilized nations of the world which do possess force, actual or immediately potential, should combine by solemn agreement in a great World League for the Peace of Righteousness. (New York Times, October 18, 1914.) Mem. Ed.XX, 64; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 54.

____________. I very sincerely believe in peace. I hold the man, who, in a spirit of levity or wantonness or brutality or mere fancied self-interest, goes to war, to be an abhorrent brute. But, as the world now is, I am convinced that peace will only come on the same terms on which we get it in great cities—that is, by doing everything to cultivate justice and gentleness and fair dealing between man and man and between man and woman, and at the same time having a court backed by physical force, that is backed by the police power, to which one can appeal against the brutal, the disorderly, the homicidal. (To Alfred Noyes, November 28, 1914.) Lord Charnwood, Theodore Roosevelt. (Atlantic Monthly Press, Boston, 1923), p. 197.

____________. Every peace body, whether religious or humanitarian, philosophic or political; and all advocates of peace whether in public or private life, work nothing but mischief, and, save in so far as mere silliness prevents it, very serious mischief, unless they put righteousness first and peace next. Every league that calls itself a Peace League is championing immorality unless it clearly and explicitly recognizes the duty of putting righteousness before peace and of being prepared and ready to enforce righteousness by war if necessary; and it is idle to promise to wage offensive war on behalf of others until we have shown that we are able and willing to wage defensive war on behalf of ourselves. The man who fears death more than dishonor, more than failure to perform duty, is a poor citizen; and the nation that regards war as the worst of all evils and the avoidance of war as the highest good is a wretched and contemptible nation, and it is well that it should vanish from the face of the earth. (Metropolitan, August 1915.) Mem. Ed.XX, 368; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 316.

____________. Kindly people who know little of life and nothing whatever of the great forces of international rivalry have exposed the cause of peace to ridicule by believing that serious wars could be avoided through arbitration treaties, peace treaties, neutrality treaties, and the action of The Hague court, without putting force behind such treaties and such action. The simple fact is that none of these existing treaties and no function of The Hague court hitherto planned and exercised have exerted or could exert the very smallest influence in maintaining peace when great conflicting international passions are aroused and great conflicting national interests are at stake. (New York Times, October 4, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 45; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 39.

Peace—Desire for

As a civilized people we desire peace, but the only peace worth having is obtained by instant readiness to fight when wronged— not by unwillingness or inability to fight at all. (Preface to Hero Tales, with H. C. Lodge, 1895.) Mem. Ed. IX, xxi; Nat. Ed. X, xxiii.

Peace—False Advocates of

Peace is a great good; and doubly harmful, therefore, is the attitude of those who advocate it in terms that would make it synonymous with selfish and cowardly shrinking from warring against the existence of evil. The wisest and most far-seeing champions of peace will ever remember that, in the first place, to be good it must be righteous, for unrighteous and cowardly peace may be worse than any war; and, in the second place, that it can often be obtained only at the cost of war. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 282; Nat. Ed. XIII, 332.

____________. In the history of our country the peace advocates who treat peace as more than righteousness will never be, and never have been, of service, either to it or to mankind. The true lovers of peace, the men who have really helped onward the movement for peace, have been those who followed, even though afar off, in the footsteps of Washington and Lincoln, and stood for righteousness as the supreme end of national life. (Outlook , September 9, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 426; Nat. Ed. XVI, 319.

____________. Unfortunately, many of those often well-meaning persons who claim, a leading position among the advocates of international peace have harmed their cause in the eyes of all really far-sighted and patriotic citizens by advocating for America a position which would be abjectly unworthy of her standing among the nations. This category includes those who opposed our war with Spain, those who opposed the subsequent enforcement of law and order in the Philippines, those who opposed the building up of the navy, and those who now oppose the fortification of the Panama Canal. Some of these men are misguided men of good character; others, however, are merely men who do not possess any keen sense of international honor, and who are perfectly willing to see this nation expose itself to the chance of discredit and disaster, because their own small souls would be unaffected by a national defeat which would make most Americans bow their heads with bitterness and shame. As regards these men, I should not have the slightest objection to their inviting the disaster that would come upon them if their wishes were fulfilled, were it not for the fact that the rest of us would unfortunately have to share in the disaster. It is somewhat exasperating to reflect that we have to protect these particular peace advocates of the crazy type from themselves, and, in spite of their shrieking protests, guard them and their children against suffering their share of the national humiliation they do their best to bring about. (Outlook , April 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 153; Nat. Ed. XVII, 110.

Peace—Friends of

It is those among us who would go to the front . . . —as I and my four sons would go—who are the really farsighted and earnest friends of peace. We desire measures taken in the real interest of peace because we, who at need would fight, but who earnestly hope never to be forced to fight, have most at stake in keeping peace. We object to the actions of those who do most talking about the necessity of peace because we think they are really a menace to the just and honorable peace which alone this country will in the long run support. We object to their actions because we believe they represent a course of conduct which may at any time produce a war in which we and not they would labor and suffer. (New York Times, September 27, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 12; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 11.

____________. The effective workers for the peace of righteousness were men like Stein, Cavour, and Lincoln; that is, men who dreamed great dreams, but who were also pre-eminently men of action, who stood for the right, and who knew that the right would fail unless might was put behind it. The prophets of pacifism have had nothing whatever in common with these great men; and whenever they have preached mere pacifism, whenever they have failed to put righteousness first and to advocate peace as the handmaiden of righteousness, they have done evil and not good. (Everybody's, January 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 148; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 127.

Peace—Guarantees of

What we need is not to promise action in the nebulous future but to act now in the living present. Any promise of ours about entering into international peace leagues or guaranteeing the peace of the world or protecting small nationalities hereafter is worse than worthless, is mischievous and hypocritical, unless we make our words good by action in the case that is uppermost in the present. Until we can and do guarantee peace in Mexico let us not talk loudly and make empty gestures about guaranteeing the peace of the world. Unless we are willing to run some risk and make some effort to right the wrongs of Belgium in the present let us refrain from indulging in insincere declamation about protecting small nations in similar cases in the future. And let us make no absurd promises about "enforcing" peace at some remote period in the future until by foresight and labor and service and self-sacrifice we have shown that we have spiritually prepared ourselves to make our words good and until materially we have made ready our vast but soft and lazy strength. (To Charles W. Farnham, January 19, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 539; Bishop II, 461.

Peace—International Cooperation for

We should endeavor to devise some method of action, in common with other nations, whereby there shall be at least a reasonable chance of securing world peace and, in any event, of narrowing the sphere of possible war and its horrors. To do this it is equally necessary unflinchingly to antagonize the position of the men who believe in nothing but brute force exercised without regard to the rights of other nations, and unhesitatingly to condemn the well-meaning but unwise persons who seek to mislead our people into the belief that treaties, mere bits of paper, when unbacked by force and when there is no one responsible for their enforcement, can be of the slightest use in a serious crisis. (New York Times, September 27, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 6; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 6.

Peace—Need for

Peace must be the normal condition, or the nation will come to a bloody doom. Twice in great crises, in 1776 and 1861, and twice in lesser crises, in 1812 and 1898, the nation was called to arms in the name of all that makes the words "honor," "freedom," and "justice" other than empty sounds. On each occasion the net result of the war was greatly for the benefit of mankind. But on each occasion this net result was of benefit only because after the war came peace, came justice and order and liberty. If the Revolution had been followed by bloody anarchy, if the Declaration of Independence had not been supplemented by the adoption of the Constitution, if the freedom won by the sword of Washington had not been supplemented by the stable and orderly government which Washington was instrumental in founding, then we should have but added to the chaos of the world, and our victories would have told against and not for the betterment of mankind. So it was with the Civil War. If the four iron years had not been followed by peace, they would not have been justified. (At Galena, Ill., April 27, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XII, 460; Nat. Ed. XIII, 431.

Peace—Preservation of

We are a great peaceful nation; a nation of merchants and manufacturers, of farmers and mechanics; a nation of workingmen, who labor incessantly with head or hand. It is idle to talk of such a nation ever being led into a course of wanton aggression. If we forget that in the last resort we can only secure peace by being ready and willing to fight for it, we may some day have bitter cause to realize that a rich nation which is slothful, timid, or unwieldy is an easy prey for any people which still retains those most valuable of all qualities, the soldierly virtues. . . .

Peace is a goddess only when she comes with sword girt on thigh. The ship of state can be steered safely only when it is always possible to bring her against any foe with "her leashed thunders gathering for the leap." (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XV, 241; Nat. Ed. XIII, 183

____________. The true end of every great and free people should be self-respecting peace; and this nation most earnestly desires sincere and cordial friendship with all others. Over the entire world, of recent years, wars between the great civilized powers have become less and less frequent. Wars with barbarous or semi- barbarous peoples come in an entirely different category, being merely a most regrettable but necessary international police duty which must be performed for the sake of the welfare of mankind. Peace can only be kept with certainty where both sides wish to keep it; but more and more the civilized peoples are realizing the wicked folly of war and are attaining that condition of just and intelligent regard for the rights of others which will in the end, we hope and believe, make the world- wide peace possible. (First Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 133; Nat. Ed. XV, 115.

Peace—Roosevelt's Work for

My past words, and the acts wherein I have striven to make those words good, afford proof of my sincerity in the cause of peace. I will do all I can to bring about such a league of, or understanding among, the great powers as will forbid one of them, or any small power, to engage in unrighteous, foolish or needless war; to secure an effective arbitral tribunal, with power to enforce at least certain of its decrees; to secure an agreement to check the waste of money on growing and excessive armaments. If, as is probable, so much cannot be secured at once, I will do all I can to help in the movement, rapid or slow, towards the desired end. But I will not be, and you would not wish me to be, put in the attitude of advocating the impossible, or, above all, of seeming to be insincere. (To Carnegie, February 18, 1910.) Burton J. Hendrick, The Life of Andrew Carnegie. (Doubleday, Doran & Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1932), II, 327.

____________. In my own judgment the most important service that I rendered to peace was the voyage of the battle fleet round the world. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 622; Nat. Ed. XX, 535.

____________. No man can possibly be more anxious for peace than I am. I ask those individuals who think of me as a firebrand to remember that during the seven and a half years I was President not a shot was fired at any soldier of a hostile nation by any American soldier or sailor, and there was not so much as a threat of war. . . . When I left the presidency, there was not a cloud on the horizon—and one of the reasons why there was not a cloud on the horizon was that the American battle fleet had just returned from its sixteen months' trip around the world, a trip such as no other battle fleet of any power had ever taken, which it had not been supposed could be taken, and which exercised a greater influence for peace than all the peace congresses of the last fifty years. With Lowell I most emphatically believe that peace is not a gift that tarries long in the hands of cowards; and the fool and the weakling are no improvement on the coward. (New York Times, November 15, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 105-106; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 91.

Peace—Value of

Peace is of true value only if we use it in part to make ready to face with untroubled heart, with fearless front, whatever the future may have in store for us. The peace which breeds timidity and sloth is a curse and not a blessing. (At Lincoln Club dinner, New York City, February 13, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 475; Nat. Ed. XIV, 316.

Peace and Righteousness

Until people get it firmly fixed in their minds that peace is valuable chiefly as a means to righteousness, and that it can only be considered as an end when it also coincides with righteousness, we can do only a limited amount to advance its coming on this earth. (To Carl Schurz, September 8, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 620; Nat. Ed. XX, 533.

____________. Peace is normally a great good, and normally it coincides with righteous- ness; but it is righteousness and not peace which should bind the conscience of a nation as it should bind the conscience of an individual; and neither a nation nor an individual can surrender conscience to another's keeping. (Sixth Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 472; Nat. Ed. XV, 402.

____________. It is one of our prime duties as a nation to seek peace. It is an even higher duty to seek righteousness. It is also our duty not to indulge in shams, not to make believe we are getting peace by some patent contrivance which sensible men ought to know cannot work in practice, and which if we sought to make it work might cause irretrievable harm. (Outlook, September 9, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 416; Nat. Ed. XVI, 310.

____________. There is one thing in connection with this war [Spanish-American] which it is well that our people should remember, our people who genuinely love the peace of righteousness, the peace of justice— and I would be ashamed to be other than a lover of the peace of righteousness and of justice. The true preachers of peace, who strive earnestly to bring nearer the day when peace shall obtain among all peoples, and who really do help forward the cause, are men who never hesitate to choose righteous war when it is the only alternative to unrighteous peace. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 304; Nat. Ed. XX, 260.

____________. There can be no nobler cause for which to work than the peace of righteousness; and high honor is due those serene and lofty souls who with wisdom and courage, with high idealism tempered by sane facing of the actual facts of life, have striven to bring nearer the day when armed strife between nation and nation, between class and class, between man and man shall end throughout the world. Because all this is true, it is also true that there are no men more ignoble or more foolish, no men whose actions are fraught with greater possibility of mischief to their country and to mankind, than those who exalt unrighteous peace as better than righteous war. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 604; Nat. Ed. XX, 519.

____________. Peace is worthless unless it serves the cause of righteousness. Peace which consecrates militarism is of small service. Peace obtained by crushing the liberty and life of just and unoffending peoples is as cruel as the most cruel war. (Outlook, September 23, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 14; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 12.

____________. I abhor war. In common with all other thinking men I am inexpressibly saddened by the dreadful contest now waging in Europe. I put peace very high as an agent for bringing about righteousness. But if I must choose between righteousness and peace I choose righteousness. Therefore, I hold myself in honor bound to do anything in my power to advance the cause of the peace of righteousness throughout the world. (New York Times, October 4, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 41; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 35.

____________. Let us as a nation understand that peace is worth having only when it is the handmaiden of international righteousness and of national self-respect. (Statement to press, May 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 444; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 381.

____________. Washington loved peace. Perhaps Lincoln loved peace even more. But when the choice was between peace and righteousness, both alike trod undaunted the dark path that led through terror and suffering and the imminent menace of death to the shining goal beyond. We treasure the lofty words these men spoke. We treasure them because they were not merely words, but the high expression of deeds still higher; the expression of a serene valor that was never betrayed by a cold heart or a subtle and selfish brain. (At Cooper Union, New York City, November 3, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 519; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 445.


There is . . . no more utterly useless and often utterly mischievous citizen, than the peace-at-any-price, universal-arbitration type of being, who is always complaining either about war or else about the cost of the armaments which act as the insurance against war. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 245; Nat. Ed. XX, 210.

____________. It is we ourselves, it is the American people, who are responsible for the public sentiment which permits unworthy action on the part of our governmental representatives. The peace propaganda of the past ten years in this country has steadily grown more noisy. It received an enormous impetus when five years ago, by the negotiation of peace-at-any-price or all-inclusive arbitration treaties, and in the last year by the ratification of the thirty-odd peace-at-any-price arbitration-commission treaties, it was made part of our national governmental policy. It is the literal truth to say that this peace-at-any-price propaganda has probably, on the whole, worked more mischief to the United States than all the crookedness in business and politics combined during the same period. It has represented more positive deterioration in the American character. Millions of plain Americans, who do not have the opportunity to know the facts or to think them out for themselves, have been misled in this matter. They are not to blame; but the leaders and organizers of that movement, its upholders and apologists on the stump and in the pulpit and in the press, are very greatly to blame. Really good and high- minded clergymen, capable of foresight and brave enough to risk being misrepresented, have stood steadfastly against the odious creed which puts peace ahead of righteousness. But every cheap man in the pulpit, like every cheap demagogue on the stump, has joined in the "peace-at-any-price" cry. . . . The man who preaches peace at any price, non-resistance to all wrong, disarmament and the submission of everything to arbitration, no matter how sincere and honest he may be, is rendering a worse service to his fellow countrymen than any exponent of crooked business or crooked politics. The deification of peace without regard to whether it is either wise or righteous does not represent virtue. It represents a peculiarly base and ignoble form of evil. (Metropolitan, August 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 345-347; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 296-297.

Peace Congresses—Accomplishments of

We must explicitly recognize that all the peace congresses and the like that have been held of recent years have done no good whatever to the cause of world peace. All their addresses and resolutions about arbitration and disarmament and such matters have been on the whole slightly worse than useless. Disregarding The Hague conventions, it is the literal fact that none of the peace congresses that have been held for the last fifteen or twenty years—to speak only of those of which I myself know the workings—have accomplished the smallest particle of good. In so far as they have influenced free, liberty-loving, and self- respecting nations not to take measures for their own defense they have been positively mischievous. In no respect have they achieved anything worth achieving; and the present World War proves this beyond the possibility of serious question. (Independent, January 4, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 175; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 151.

Peace of Justice

The steady aim of this nation, as of all enlightened nations, should be to strive to bring ever nearer the day when there shall prevail throughout the world the peace of justice. There are kinds of peace which are highly undesirable, which are in the long run as destructive as any war. . . . Many times peoples who were slothful or timid or shortsighted, who had been enervated by ease or by luxury, or misled by false teachings, have shrunk in unmanly fashion from doing duty that was stern and that needed self-sacrifice, and have sought to hide from their own minds their shortcomings, their ignoble motives, by calling them love of peace. The peace of tyrannous terror, the peace of craven weakness, the peace of injustice, all these should be shunned as we shun unrighteous war. The goal to set before us as a nation, the goal which should be set before all mankind, is the attainment of the peace of justice, of the peace which comes when each nation is not merely safeguarded in its own rights, but scrupulously recognizes and performs its duty toward others. (Fourth Annual Message, Washington, December 6, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 296; Nat. Ed. XV, 254.

____________. We wish peace, but we wish the peace of justice, the peace of righteousness. We wish it because we think it is right and not because we are afraid. No weak nation that acts manfully and justly should ever have cause to fear us, and no strong power should ever be able to single us out as a subject for insolent aggression. (Inaugural Address as President, Washington, March 4, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 312; Nat. Ed. XV, 268.

____________. We must endeavor earnestly but with sanity to try to bring around better world conditions. We must try to shape our policy in conjunction with other nations so as to bring nearer the day when the peace of righteousness, the peace of justice and fair dealing, will be established among the nations of the earth. With this object in view, it is our duty carefully to weigh the influences which are at work or may be put to work in order to bring about this result and in every effective way to do our best to further the growth of these influences. When this has been done no American administration will be able to assert that it is reduced to humiliating impotence even to protest against such wrong as that committed on Belgium, because, forsooth, our "neutrality" can only be preserved by failure to help right what is wrong—and we shall then as a people have too much self-respect to enter into absurd, all-inclusive arbitration treaties, unbacked by force, at the very moment when we fail to do what is clearly demanded by our duty under The Hague treaties. (New York Times, October 18, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 61; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 52.

Peace Societies

None of our peace bodies . . . have ventured to denounce Germany for her destruction of Belgium, which is, on the whole, the most hideous crime against peace and civilization that has been perpetrated since the close of the Napoleonic wars. They hold little futile peace parades, and send round peace postage-stamps with a dove on them, and get up petitions for peace in the public schools; but they do not venture for one moment to condemn any man who has done wrong, or to do more than raise a feeble clamor to the effect that peace must be obtained by tame acquiescence in wrong. (To Alfred Noyes, November 28, 1914.) Lord Charnwood, Theodore Roosevelt.·(Atlantic Monthly Press, Boston, 1923), pp. 197-198.

Peace Treaties-Dependence on

At this moment there is a very grave crisis in Europe, and before the war clouds now gathering, all the peace and arbitration treaties, and all the peace and arbitration societies, and all the male and female shrieking sisterhood of Carnegies and the like, are utterly powerless. If war is averted, it will be only because Germany thinks that France has a first-class army and will fight hard, and that England is ready and able to render her some prompt assistance. (To H. C. Lodge, September 12, 1911.) Lodge Letters II, 409.

____________. What befell Antwerp and Brussels will surely some day befall New York or San Francisco, and may happen to many an inland city also, if we do not shake off our supine folly, if we trust for safety to peace treaties unbacked by force. . . . We must stand absolutely for righteousness. But to do so is utterly without avail unless we possess the strength and the loftiness of spirit which will back righteousness with deeds and not mere words. We must clear the rubbish from off our souls and admit that everything that has been done in passing peace treaties, arbitration treaties, neutrality treaties, Hague treaties, and the like, with no sanction of force behind them, amounts to literally and absolutely zero, to literally and absolutely nothing, in any time of serious crisis. We must recognize that to enter into foolish treaties which cannot be kept is as wicked as to break treaties which can and ought to be kept. (New York Times, November 1, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 79, 81; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 68, 69.

Peace Without Victory

President Wilson has announced himself in favor of peace without victory, and now he has declared himself against universal service—that is, against all efficient preparedness by the United States.

Peace without victory is the natural ideal of the man who is too proud to fight. When fear of the German submarine next moves Mr. Wilson to declare for "peace without victory" between the tortured Belgians and their cruel oppressors and taskmasters; when such fear next moves him to utter the shameful untruth that each side is fighting for the same things, and to declare for neutrality between wrong and right; let him think of the prophetess Deborah, who, when Sisera mightily oppressed the children of Israel with his chariots of iron, and when the people of Meroz stood neutral between the oppressed and the oppressor, sang of them: "Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord against the wrong-doings of the mighty." President Wilson has earned for the nation the curse of Meroz for he has not dared to stand on the side of the Lord against the wrong-doings of the mighty. (Statement, January 29, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 490; Bishop II, 418.

____________. Every decent citizen should make the pacifist and the home Hun realize that agitation for a premature peace, for a peace without victory, is seditious. Shame on every man, and above all on every public servant and every leader of public opinion, who endeavors to weaken the determination of America to see the war through and at all costs secure an overwhelming triumph for the principles for which we contend. If Germany is left unbeaten, the Western Hemisphere will stand in cowering dread of an assault by Germany's ruthless and barbarous autocracy. The liberties of the free peoples of the world are at stake. (October 23, 1917.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 31.


See also Alliances; Arbitration; Armaments; Battle Fleet ; Defense; Disarmament; Expansion; Fourteen Points; Hague Conventions; Imperialism; International Court ; League For Peace; League Of Nations; Lunatic Fringe; National Defense; Neutral Rights; Neutrality; Nobel Peace Prize; Pacifism; Pacifist; Preparedness; Righteousness; Treaties; Unpreparedness; War; World War.

Peary, Robert E

Probably few outsiders realize the well-nigh incredible toil and hardship entailed in such an achievement as Peary's; and fewer still understand how many years of careful training and preparation there must be before the feat can be even attempted with any chance of success. A "dash for the pole" can be successful only if there have been many preliminary years of painstaking, patient toil. Great physical hardihood and endurance, an iron will and unflinching courage, the power of command, the thirst for adventure, and a keen and farsighted intelligence—all these must go to the make-up of the successful arctic explorer; and these, and more than these, have gone to the make-up of the chief of successful arctic explorers, of the man who succeeded where hitherto even the best and the bravest had failed. Commander Peary has made all dwellers in the civilized world his debtors; but, above all, we, his fellow Americans, are his debtors. He has performed one of the great feats of our time; he has won high honor for himself and for his country. (Introduction to R. E. Peary's The North Pole, March 12, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 582; Nat. Ed. XII, 438.


See Education.

Pendleton Act

See Civil Service Reform.


See Crime; Criminals.

People, The

See American People; Constitution; Courts; Democracy; Government; National Greatness; Popular Rule; Public Officials; Representatives; Self-Government.


The lesson of unyielding, unflinching, unfaltering perseverance in the course upon which the nation has entered is one very necessary for a generation whose preachers sometimes dwell overmuch on the policies of the moment. (At Galena, Ill., April 27, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XII, 462; Nat. Ed. XIII,

____________.Sometimes in life, both at school and afterwards, fortune will go against any one, but if he just keeps pegging away and doesn't lose his courage things always take a turn for the better in the end. (To Kermit Roosevelt, December 3, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 531; Nat. Ed. XIX, 477.

Pershing, John J.

My dear General, you are the American most to be envied of all the Americans since the close of the Civil War. You have done the great deed in the great crisis, and you have made all of us debtors always. Of course, all the wars in which our nation has taken part, even in the Civil War itself, had nothing to show in any way resembling this war, or the fighting that you have yourself conducted. (To General Pershing, September 27, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 535- 536; Bishop II, 457.


It is foolish to look at the future with blind and careless optimism; quite as foolish as to gaze at it only through the dun-colored mists that surround the preachers of pessimism. (The Sewanee Review, August 1894.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 235; Nat. Ed. XIII, 204. 

Pessimist, the

There is no place among us for the mere pessimist; no man who looks at life with a vision that sees all things black or gray can do aught healthful in moulding the destiny of a mighty and vigorous people. But there is just as little use for the foolish optimist who refuses to face the many and real evils that exist, and who fails to see that the only way to insure the triumph of righteousness in the future is to war against all that is base, weak, and unlovely in the present. (At Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, N. Y., May 20, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XV, 307; Nat. Ed. XIII, 442.


See also Optimist.


See Mineral Fuels; Oil.


The soup-kitchen style of philanthropy is worse than useless, for in philanthropy as everywhere else in life almost as much harm is done by soft-headedness as by hard-heartedness. The highest type of philanthropy is that which springs from the feeling of brotherhood, and which, therefore, rests on the self-respecting, healthy basis of mutual obligation and common effort. The best way to raise anyone is to join with him in an effort whereby both you and he are raised by each helping the other. (McClure's, March, 1901.) Mem. Ed .XV, 198; Nat. Ed. XIII, 261.

____________. Undoubtedly the best type of philanthropic work is that which helps men and women who are willing and able to help themselves; for fundamentally this aid is simply what each of us should be all the time both giving and receiving. Every man and woman in the land ought to prize above almost every other quality the capacity for self-help; and yet every man and woman in the land will at some time or other be sorely in need of the help of others, and at some time or other will find that he or she can in turn give help even to the strongest. The quality of self-help is so splendid a quality that nothing can compensate for its loss; yet, like every virtue, it can be twisted into a fault, and it becomes a fault if carried to the point of cold-hearted arrogance, of inability to understand that now and then the strongest may be in need of aid, and that for this reason alone, if for no other, the strong should always be glad of the chance in turn to aid the weak. (Century, October 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 427-428; Nat. Ed. XIII, 374-375.

____________ Philanthropy has undoubtedly been a good deal discredited both by the exceedingly noxious individuals who go into it with ostentation to make a reputation, and by the only less noxious persons who are foolish and indiscriminate givers. Anything that encourages pauperism, anything that relaxes the manly fiber and lowers self-respect, is an unmixed evil. The soup-kitchen style of philanthropy is as thoroughly demoralizing as most forms of vice or oppression, and it is of course particularly revolting when some corporation or private individual undertakes it, not even in a spirit of foolish charity, but for purposes of self- advertisement. In a time of sudden and wide-spread disaster, caused by a flood, a blizzard, an earthquake, or an epidemic, there may be ample reason for the extension of charity on the largest scale to every one who needs it. But these conditions are wholly exceptional, and the methods of relief employed to meet them must also be treated as wholly exceptional. (Century, October 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 433-434; Nat. Ed. XIII, 379-380.


See also Brotherhood; Charity; Fellow -Feeling; Self-Help.

Philippine Independence

The talk about the Filipinos having practically achieved their independence is, of course, the veriest nonsense. Aguinaldo, who has turned against us, owed his return to the islands to us. It was our troops and not the Filipinos who conquered the Spaniards, and as a consequence, it was to us the islands fell, and we shall show ourselves not merely weaklings unfit to take our place among the great nations of the world, but traitors to the cause of the advancement of mankind if we flinch from doing aright the task which destiny has intrusted to our hand. We have no more right to leave the Filipinos to butcher one another and sink slowly back into savagery than we would have the right, in an excess of sentimentality, to declare the Sioux or Apaches free to expel all white settlers from the lands they once held. The Filipinos offer excellent material for the future; with our aid they may be brought up to the level of self- government, but at present they cannot stand alone for any length of time. A weak nation can be pardoned for giving up a work which it does badly, but a strong nation cannot be pardoned for flinching from a great work because, for-sooth, there are attendant difficulties and hardships. (At Akron, O., September 23, 1899.) Thomas W. Handford, Theodore Roosevelt, The Pride of the Rough Riders. (Chicago, 1899), p. 187-188.

____________. There is no question as to our not having gone far enough and fast enough in granting self-government to the Filipinos; the only possible danger has been lest we should go faster and further than was in the interest of the Filipinos themselves. Each Filipino at the present day is guaranteed his life, his liberty and the chance to pursue happiness as he wishes, so long as he does not harm his fellows, in a way which the Islands have never known before during all their recorded history. (At Memphis, Tenn., November 19, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 267; Bishop I, 232.

____________. In dealing with the Philippines, I have first the jack fools who seriously think that any group of pirates and head-hunters needs nothing but independence in order that it may be turned forthwith into a dark-hued New England town-meeting; and then the entirely practical creatures who join with these extremists because I do not intend that the Islands shall be exploited for corrupt purposes. (To Rudyard Kipling, November 1, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 383; Bishop I, 332.

____________. Real progress toward self-government is being made in the Philippine Islands. The gathering of a Philippine legislative body and Philippine assembly marks a process absolutely new in Asia, not only as regards Asiatic colonies of European powers but as regards Asiatic possessions of other Asiatic powers; and, indeed, always excepting the striking and wonderful example afforded by the great empire of Japan, it opens an entirely new departure when compared with anything which has happened among Asiatic powers which are their own masters. . . . The Filipino people, through their officials, are therefore making real steps in the direction of self-government. I hope and believe that these steps mark the beginning of a course which will continue till the Filipinos become fit to decide for themselves whether they desire to be an independent nation. But it is well for them (and well also for those Americans who during the past decade have done so much damage to the Filipinos by agitation for an immediate independence for which they were totally unfit) to remember that self-government depends, and must depend, upon the Filipinos themselves. All we can do is to give them the opportunity to develop the capacity for self-government. (Eighth Annual Message, Washington, December 8, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 631-632; Nat. Ed. XV, 537-538.

____________. As regards the Philippines my belief was that we should train them for self-government as rapidly as possible, and then leave them free to decide their own fate. I did not believe in setting the time-limit within which we would give them independence, because I did not believe it wise to try to forecast how soon they would be fit for self-government; and once having made the promise I would have felt that it was imperative to keep it. . . . The people of the islands have never developed so rapidly, from every standpoint, as during the years of the American occupation. The time will come when it will be wise to take their own judgment as to whether they wish to continue their association with America or not. There is, however, one consideration upon which we should insist. Either we should retain complete control of the islands, or absolve ourselves from all responsibility for them. Any half and half course would be both foolish and disastrous. We are governing and have been governing the islands in the interests of the Filipinos themselves. If after due time the Filipinos themselves decide that they do not wish to be thus governed, then I trust that we will leave; but when we do leave it must be distinctly understood that we retain no protectorate—and above all that we take part in no joint protectorate—over the islands, and give them no guaranty, of neutrality or otherwise; that is, in short, we are absolutely quit of responsibility for them, of every kind and description. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 571-573; Nat. Ed. XX, 491-493.

____________. The present administration was elected on the outright pledge of giving the Filipinos independence. Apparently its course in the Philippines has proceeded upon the theory that the Filipinos are now fit to govern themselves. Whatever may be our personal and individual beliefs in this matter, we ought not as a nation to break faith or even to seem to break faith. I hope therefore that the Filipinos will be given their independence at an early date and without any guaranty from us which might in any way hamper our future action or commit us to staying on the Asiatic coast. I do not believe we should keep any foothold whatever in the Philippines. Any kind of position by us in the Philippines merely results in making them our heel of Achilles if we are attacked by a foreign power. They can be of no compensating benefit to us. If we were to retain complete control over them and to continue the course of action which in the past sixteen years has resulted in such immeasurable benefit for

them, then I should feel that it was our duty to stay and work for them in spite of the expense incurred by us and the risk we thereby ran. But inasmuch as we have now promised to leave them and as we are now abandoning our power to work efficiently for and in them, I do not feel that we are warranted in staying in the islands in an equivocal position, thereby incurring great risk to ourselves without conferring any real compensating advantage, of a kind which we are bound to take into account, on the Filipinos themselves. If the Filipinos are entitled to independence, then we are entitled to be freed from all the responsibility and risk which our presence in the islands entails upon us. (New York Times, November 22, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 126; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 108.

____________. I administered the Islands absolutely without regard to politics. . . . I . . . peremptorily refused to promise independence, save in the very careful language I used on the one or two occasions when I spoke of the subject, because to promise independence without the sharpest qualification is inevitably taken as meaning independence in the near future. (To Forbes, January 4, 1915.) W. Cameron Forbes, The Philippine Islands. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1928), II, 344. PHILIPPINE WAR. The war in the Philippines is absolutely and without qualification a national war. With characteristic pervision of the facts, our opponents have spoken as though this war was unnecessary, as if it were now waged by President McKinley on his own authority, and without the warrant of Congress. In the first place, what we have done was inevitable, so far as the administration and the American people at large were concerned. There was just one chance of avoiding war. If the anti-expansionists, the peace-at-any-price people, had not delayed the treaty in the Senate, if by their loose invective they had not misled the Tagals, we should probably never have had any war in the Philippines. Aguinaldo's proclamation proves beyond shadow of doubt that the insurgents have held out on the strength of the hoped-for aid from the Democratic party and from the anti-expansionists here in our own home. (At Cincinnati, O., October 21, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 502; Nat. Ed. XIV, 339.

Philippines—Administration of the

Most assuredly . . . all that I can do will be done to see that the Philippine Islands are administered in the interest, moral and spir- itual no less than material and intellectual, of their inhabitants, and wherever possible, in accordance with the wishes of the Filipinos. . . . When we took over the islands there was practically no indication of system at all, so far as the bulk of the people were concerned. There was no foundation on which to build. We had to start absolutely new. (Letter of August 5, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 223; Bishop I, 194.

____________. During these eight sessions of Congress I have succeeded in getting the administration of the civil government in the Philippine Islands put upon a satisfactory basis. (To Sydney Brooks, December 28, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 151; Bishop II, 130.

Philippines—American Duty in the

We may not wish the Philippines, and may regret that circumstances have forced us to take them; but we have taken them, and stay there we must for the time being— whether this temporary stay paves the way for permanent occupation, or whether it is to last only until some more satisfactory arrangement, whether by native rule or otherwise, takes its place. Discussion of theories will not avail much; we have a bit of very practical work to be done, and done it must be, somehow. (Outlook, January 7, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XII, 519; Nat. Ed. XI, 249.

____________. If the men who have counseled national degradation, national dishonor, by urging us to leave the Philippines and put the Aguinaldan oligarchy in control of those islands, could have their way, we should merely turn them over to rapine and bloodshed until some stronger, manlier power stepped in to do the task we had shown ourselves fearful of performing. But, as it is, this country will keep the islands and will establish therein a stable and orderly government, so that one more fair spot of the world's surface shall have been snatched from the forces of darkness. Fundamentally the cause of expansion is the cause of peace. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 289-290; Nat. Ed. XIII, 338.

____________. In the Philippines we have brought peace, and we are at this moment giving them such freedom and self-government as they could never under any conceivable conditions have obtained had we turned them loose to sink into a welter of blood and confusion, or to become the prey of some strong tyranny without or within. The bare recital of the facts is sufficient to show that we did our duty; and what prouder title to honor can a nation have than to have done its duty? We have done our duty to ourselves, and we have done the higher duty of promoting the civilization of mankind. . . . We are not trying to subjugate a people; we are trying to develop them and make them a law-abiding, industrious, and educated people, and we hope ultimately a self-governing people. (At Minnesota State Fair, September 2, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XV, 337, 340; Nat. Ed. XIII, 477, 479.

____________. I have never felt that the Philippines were of any special use to us. But I have felt that we had a great task to perform there and that a great nation is benefited by doing a great task. It was our bounden duty to work primarily for the interests of the Filipinos; but it was also our bounden duty, inasmuch as the entire responsibility lay upon us, to consult our own judgment and not theirs in finally deciding what was to be done. It was our duty to govern the islands or to get out of the islands. It was most certainly not our duty to take the responsibility of staying in the islands without governing them. Still less was it—or is it—our duty to enter into joint arrangements with other powers about the islands; arrangements of confused responsibility and divided power of the kind sure to cause mischief. I had hoped that we would continue to govern the islands until we were certain that they were able to govern themselves in such fashion as to do justice to other nations and to repel injustice committed on them by other nations. (New York Times, November 22, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 125; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 107. 

Philippines—Annexation of the

The taking of the Philippines was inevitable. The outbreak was rendered inevitable by the conduct of those who opposed the taking of the Philippines, and who gave moral aid and comfort to Aguinaldo and his men. . . . We are doing but our simple duty in introducing the reign of law, order, and peace into the Philippines and we cannot shrink from it without shame and dishonor. The path of expansion is the path of national honor, the path toward universal peace. (At Cincinnati, October 21, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 504; Nat. Ed. XIV, 341.

Philippines—Protection of the

It may be that the Japanese have designs on the Philippines. I hope not; I am inclined to believe not; for I like the Japanese, and wish them well, as they have much in their character to admire. But I believe we should put our naval and military preparations in such shape that we can hold the Philippines against any foe. If we do this, and act justly towards, and speak courteously of, our foreign neighbors, we shall have taken the only effective steps to make our position good. (To Congressman J. A. T. Hull, March 16, 1905.) Tyler Dennett, Roosevelt and the Russo-Japanese War. (Doubleday, Page & Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1925), p. 162.

____________. I would unquestionably advocate the retention of the Islands upon the condition that first, no promise of independence is authoritatively given, and second and even more important, that our policy of armament should be made to conform with the requirements of the situation. In other words, this means that the government of the people must in emphatic manner take the proper attitude toward our position as a world power, and therefore toward the establishment and maintenance of a great naval and military programme, which alone would be adequate to maintain such a position. (To Forbes, May 23, 1916.) W. Cameron Forbes, The Philippine Islands. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1928), II, 345.

Philippines—Treatment of the

We must treat them [the Philippines] with absolute justice, but we must treat them also with firmness and courage. They must be made to realize that justice does not proceed from a sense of weakness on our part, that we are the masters. Weakness in any form or shape, as you gentlemen, who all your lives have upheld the honor of the flag ashore and afloat, know, is the unpardonable sin in dealing with such a problem as that with which we are confronted in the Philippines. The insurrection must be stamped out as mercifully as possible; but it must be stamped out. We have put an end to a corrupt mediaeval tyranny, and by that very fact we have bound ourselves to see that no savage anarchy takes its place. What the Spaniard has been taught the Malay must learn—that the American flag is to float unchallenged where it floats now. But remember this, that when this has been accomplished our task has only just begun. Where we have won entrance by the prowess of our soldiers we must deserve to continue by the righteousness, the wisdom, and the even-handed justice of our rule. (At Lincoln Club dinner, New York City, February 13, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 476-477; Nat. Ed. XIV, 317.

____________. Their population includes half-caste and native Christians, warlike Moslems, and wild pagans. Many of their people are utterly unfit for self-government, and show no signs of becoming fit. Others may in time become fit but at present can only take part in self-government under a wise supervision, at once firm and beneficent. We have driven Spanish tyranny from the islands. If we now let it be replaced by savage anarchy, our work has been for harm and not for good. I have scant patience with those who fear to undertake the task of governing the Philippines, and who openly avow that they do fear to undertake it, or that they shrink from it because of the expense and trouble; but I have even scanter patience with those who make a pretense of humanitarianism to hide and cover their timidity, and who cant about "liberty" and the "consent of the governed,” in order to excuse themselves for their unwillingness to play the part of men. (Before the Hamilton Club, Chicago, April 10, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XV, 279; Nat. Ed. XIII, 329.


See also Imperialism; Orient; Spanish-American War.


See Browning, Robert.


I do not want to begin to have new photographs taken. If I do it in one case, I must do it in others. In the first place, it is an intolerable nuisance; and in the next place it creates a false impression. People do not realize that I do not like to sit for photographs and that it is only a good-natured acquiescence on my part when I do. Now there is not the slightest need of a new photograph. Dozens of excellent ones have been taken. (To Richard Watson Gilder, November 18, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 408; Bishop I, 354.


See Hunting; Nature Study.

Physical Training

See Exercise; Gymnastics; Military Training; Sports.


See Doctors.

Pigskin Library

There was one other bit of impedimenta, less usual for African travel, but perhaps almost as essential for real enjoyment even on a hunting trip, if it is to be of any length. This was the “Pigskin Library,” so called because most of the books were bound in pigskin. They were carried in a light aluminum and oilcloth case, which, with its contents, weighed a little less than sixty pounds, making a load for one porter. . . . It represents in part Kermit's taste, in part mine; and, I need hardly say, it also represents in no way all the books we most care for, but merely those which, for one reason or another, we thought we should like to take on this particular trip. (1910.) Mem. Ed. V, 24-26; Nat. Ed. IV, 22.

Pigskin Library

See also Books.

Pinchot, Gifford

So much for what we are trying to do in utilizing our public lands for the public; in securing the use of the water, the forage, the coal, and the timber for the public. In all four movements my chief adviser, and the man first to suggest to me the courses which have actually proved so beneficial, was Mr. Gifford Pinchot, the chief of the National Forest Service, Mr. Pinchot, also suggested to me a movement supplementary to all of these movements; one which will itself lead the way in the general movement which he represents and with which he is actively identified, for the conservation of all our natural resources. This was the appointment of the Inland Waterways Commission. (Before National Editorial Association, Jamestown, Va., June 10, 1907.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VI, 1317-1318.

____________. Especial credit is due to the initiative, the energy, the devotion to duty, and the far-sightedness of Gifford Pinchot, to whom we owe so much of the progress we have already made in handling this matter of the co-ordination and conservation of natural resources. If it had not been for him this convention neither would nor could have been called. (At Conference on the Conservation of Natural Resources, Washington, May 13, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 165; Nat. Ed. XVI, 126.

____________. Gifford Pinchot is the man to whom the nation owes most for what has been accomplished as regards the preservation of the natural resources of our country. He led, and indeed during its most vital period embodied, the fight for the preservation through use of our forests. He played one of the leading parts in the effort to make the National Government the chief instrument in developing the irrigation of the arid West. He was the foremost leader in the great struggle to coordinate all our social and governmental forces in the effort to secure the adoption of a rational and far-seeing policy for securing the conservation of all our national resources . . . . Taking into account the varied nature of the work he did, its vital importance to the nation and the fact that as regards much of it he was practically breaking new ground, and taking into account also his tireless energy and activity, his fearlessness, his complete disinterestedness, his single-minded devotion to the interests of the plain people, and his extraordinary efficiency, I believe it is but just to say that among the many, many public officials who under my administration rendered literally invaluable service to the people of the United States, he, on the whole, stood first. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 447; Nat. Ed. XX, 385.

Pinchot, Gifford

See also Conservation.

Pioneer Preachers

The pioneer preachers warred against the forces of spiritual evil with the same fiery zeal and energy that they and their fellows showed in the conquest of the rugged continent. They had in them the heroic spirit, the spirit that scorns ease if it must be purchased by failure to do duty, the spirit that courts risk and a life of hard endeavor if the goal to be reached is really worth attaining. Great is our debt to these men and scant the patience we need show toward their critics. At times they seemed hard and narrow to those whose training and surroundings had saved them from similar temptations; and they have been criticised, as all men, whether missionaries, soldiers, explorers, or frontier settlers, are criticised when they go forth to do the rough work that must inevitably be done by those who act as the first harbingers, the first heralds, of civilization in the world's dark places. It is easy for those who stay at home in comfort, who never have to see humanity in the raw, or to strive against the dreadful naked forces which appear clothed, hidden, and subdued in civilized life—it is easy for such to criticise the men who, in rough fashion, and amid grim surroundings, make ready the way for the higher life that is to come afterward; but let us all remember that the untempted and the effortless should be cautious in passing too heavy judgment upon their brethren who may show hardness, who may be guilty of shortcomings, but who nevertheless do the great deeds by which mankind advances. (At Carnegie Hall, New York City, February 26, 1903.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers I, 245.

Pioneer Virtues

The pioneer days are over, save in a few places; and the more complex life of to-day calls for a greater variety of good qualities than were needed on the frontier. There is need at present to encourage the development of new abilities which can be brought to high perfection only by a kind of training useless in pioneer times; but these new
qualities can only supplement, and never supplant, the old, homely virtues; the need for the special and distinctive pioneer virtues is as great as ever. In other words, as our civilization grows older and more complex, while it is true that we need new forms of trained ability, and need to develop men whose lives are devoted wholly to the pursuit of special objects, it is yet also true that we need a greater and not a less development of the fundamental frontier virtues. (Outlook , September 10, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 23; Nat. Ed. XVI, 21.


They were above all a people of strong, virile character, certain to make their weight felt either for good or for evil. They had many virtues which can fairly be called great, and their faults were equally strongly marked. They were not a thrifty people, nor one given to long-sustained, drudging work; there were not then, nor are there now, to be found in this land such comfortable, prosperous homes and farms as those which dot all the country where dwell the men of northeastern stock. They were not, as a rule, even ordinarily well educated; the public school formed no such important feature in their life as it did in the life of their fellow citizens farther north. They had narrow, bitter prejudices and dislikes; the hard and dangerous lives they had led had run their character into a stern and almost forbidding mould. They valued personal prowess very highly, and respected no man who did not possess the strongest capacity for self-help, and who could not shift for himself in any danger. They felt an intense, although perhaps ignorant, pride in and love for their country, and looked upon all the lands hemming in the United States as territory which they or their children should some day inherit; for they were a race of masterful spirit, and accustomed to regard with easy tolerance any but the most flagrant violations of law. They prized highly such qualities as courage, loyalty, truth and patriotism, but they were, as a whole, poor, and not over-scrupulous of the rights of others, nor yet with the nicest sense of money obligations. . . . Their passions, once roused, were intense, and if they really wished anything they worked for it with indomitable persistency. There was little that was soft or outwardly attractive in their character: it was stern, rude and hard, like the lives they led: but it was the character of those who were every inch men, and who were Americans through to the very heart's core. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 16-17; Nat. Ed. VII, 14-15.

____________. The pioneers, though warlike and fond of fighting, were primarily settlers; their soldiering came in as a purely secondary occupation. They were not a band of mere adventurers, living by the sword and bent on nothing but conquest. They were a group of hard-working, hard-fighting freemen who had come in with their wives and children to possess the land. They were obliged to use all their wit and courage to defend what they had already won without wasting their strength by grasping at that which lay beyond. The very conditions that enabled so small a number to make a permanent settlement forbade their trying unduly to extend its bounds. (1889.) Mem. Ed. X, 343; Nat. Ed. VIII, 299.

____________. Boone and his fellow hunters were the heralds of the oncoming civilization, the pioneers in that conquest of the wilderness which has at last been practically achieved in our own day. Where they pitched their camps and built their log huts or stockaded hamlets towns grew up, and men who were tillers of the soil, not mere wilderness wanderers, thronged in to take and hold the land. Then, ill at ease among the settlements for which they had themselves made ready the way, and fretted even by the slight restraints of the rude and uncouth semicivilization of the border, the restless hunters moved onward into the yet unbroken wilds where the game dwelt and the red tribes marched forever to war and hunting. Their untamable souls ever found something congenial and beyond measure attractive in the lawless freedom of the lives of the very savages against whom they warred so bitterly.

Step by step, often leap by leap, the frontier of settlement was pushed westward; and ever from before its advance fled the warrior tribes of the red men and the scarcely less intractable array of white Indian fighters and game-hunters. (1893.) Mem. Ed. II, 7-8; Nat. Ed. II, 7.

____________. The wood choppers, game hunters, and Indian fighters, who first came over the mountains, were only the forerunners of the more regular settlers who followed them; but these last had much the same attributes as their predecessors. For many years after the settlements were firmly rooted, the life of the settlers was still subject to all the perils of the wilderness. Above all, the constant warfare in which they were engaged for nearly thirty-five years, and which culminated in the battle of New Orleans, left a deep and lasting imprint on their character. Their incessant wars were waged almost wholly by the settlers them- selves, with comparatively little help from the federal government, and with hardly any regular troops as allies. . . . The chief effect of this long-continued and harassing border warfare was to make more marked the sullen and almost defiant self-reliance of the pioneer, and to develop his peculiarly American spirit of individual self-sufficiency, his impatience of outside interference or control, to a degree not known elsewhere, even on this continent. It also gave a distinct military cast to his way of looking at territory which did not belong to him. He stood where he was because he was a conqueror; he had wrested his land by force from its rightful Indian lords; he fully intended to repeat the same feat as soon as he should reach the Spanish lands lying to the west and southwest; he would have done so in the case of French Louisiana if it had not been that the latter was purchased, and was thus saved from being taken by force of arms. This belligerent, or, more properly speaking, piratical way of looking at neighboring territory, was very characteristic of the West, and was at the root of the doctrine of "manifest destiny." (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 13-14; Nat. Ed. VII, 11-13.

____________. No continent is ever really conquered, or thoroughly explored, by a few leaders, or exceptional men, although such men can render great service. The real conquest, the thorough exploration and settlement, is made by a nameless multitude of small men of whom the most important are, of course, the home-makers. Each treads most of the time in the footsteps of his predecessors, but for some few miles, at some time or other, he breaks new ground; and his house is built where no house has ever stood before. Such a man, the real pioneer, must have no strong desire for social life and no need, probably no knowledge, of any luxury, or of any comfort save of the most elementary kind. The pioneer who is always longing for the comfort and luxury of civilization, and especially of great cities, is no real pioneer at all. (1914.) Mem. Ed. VI, 311-312; Nat. Ed. V, 265.

Pioneers—Example of

We need to keep in mind the lesson taught by the American pioneer. It is a lesson that is to be found in the fact that the pioneer is so good an American. He is an American, first and foremost. The man of the West throughout the successive stages of Western growth has always been one of the two or three most typical figures, indeed I am tempted to say the most typical figure, in American life; and no man can really understand our country, and appreciate what it really is and what it promises, unless he has the fullest and closest sympathy with the ideals and aspirations of the West. (Outlook, September 10, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 28; Nat. Ed. XVI, 25.

Pioneers—Responsibilities of

It always seems to me that those who dwell in a new territory, and whose actions, therefore, are peculiarly fruitful, for good and for bad alike, in shaping the future, have in consequence, peculiar responsibilities. You have already been told, very truthfully and effectively, of the great gifts and blessings you enjoy; and we all of us feel, most rightly and properly, that we belong to the greatest nation that has ever existed on this earth—a feeling I like to see, for I wish every American always to keep the most intense pride in his country, and people. But as you already know your rights and privileges so well, I am going to ask you to excuse me if I say a few words to you about your duties. Much has been given to us, and so, much will be expected of us; and we must take heed to use aright the gifts entrusted to our care. . . . We, grangers and cowboys alike, have opened a new land; and we are the pioneers, and as we shape the course of the stream near its head, our efforts have infinitely more effect, in bending it in any given direction, than they would have if they were made farther along. In other words, the first comers in a land can, by their individual efforts, do far more to channel out the course in which its history is to run than can those who come after them; and their labors, whether exercised on the side of evil or on the side of good, are far more effective than if they had remained in old settled communities. (At Dickinson, Dakota Territory, July 4, 1886.) Hermann Hagedorn, Roosevelt in the Bad Lands. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1921), p. 408.


See also Boone, Daniel; Clark, George Rogers; Expansion; Explorers; Frontier; Frontiersmen; Indians; Individualism; Manifest Destiny; Methodist Church; Northwest ; Scotch- Irish; Sevier, John; Texas; West ; Westward Movement.

Plains, the

See Cowboys; Hunters; Prairie.

Platform Promises

It shows a thoroughly unhealthy state of mind when the public pardons with a laugh failure to keep a dis- tinct pledge, on the ground that a politician cannot be expected to confine himself to the truth when on the stump or the platform. A man should no more be excused for lying on the stump than for lying off the stump. Of course matters may so change that it may be impossible for him, or highly inadvisable for the country, that he should try to do what he in good faith said he was going to do. But the necessity for the change should be made very evident, and it should be well understood that such a case is the exception and not the rule. As a rule, and speaking with due regard to the exceptions, it should be taken as axiomatic that when a man in public life pledges himself to a certain course of action he shall as a matter of course do what he said he would do, and shall not be held to have acted honorably if he does otherwise. (Outlook, July 28, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 401-402; Nat. Ed. XIII, 399.

Platform Promises

See also Compromise; Election Pledges; Party Platforms; Political Promises.

Platt, Thomas C.

Senator Platt had the same inborn capacity for the kind of politics which he liked that many big Wall Street men have shown for not wholly dissimilar types of finance. It was his chief interest, and he applied himself to it unremittingly. He handled his private business successfully; but it was politics in which he was absorbed, and he concerned himself therewith every day in the year. He had built up an excellent system of organization, and the necessary funds came from corporations and men of wealth. . . . The majority of the men with a natural capacity for organization leadership of the type which has generally been prevalent in New York politics turned to Senator Platt as their natural chief and helped build up the organization, until under his leadership it became more powerful and in a position of greater control than any other Republican machine in the country, excepting in Pennsylvania. . . . It would be an entire mistake to suppose that Mr. Platt's lieutenants were either all bad men or all influenced by unworthy motives. He was constantly doing favors for men. He had won the gratitude of many good men. In the country districts especially, there were many places where his machine included the majority of the best citizens, the leading and substantial citizens, among the inhabitants. Some of his strongest and most efficient lieutenants were disinterested men of high character. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 317-318; Nat. Ed. XX, 271-272.

____________. Though we shall have a good deal of friction from time to time, I do not believe it very likely that he will come to a definite break with me, because I like him personally, I always tell him the truth, and I genuinely endeavor to help him, if I can, with proper regard for the interest of the State and party. (To H. C. Lodge, December 11, 1899.) Lodge Letters I, 426-427.

Platt Amendment

When the acceptance of the Platt Amendment was required from Cuba by the action of the Congress of the United States, this Government thereby definitely committed itself to the policy of treating Cuba as occupying a unique position as regards this country. It was provided that when the island became a free and independent republic she should stand in such close relations with us as in certain respects to come within our system of international policy; and it necessarily followed that she must also to a certain degree become included within the lines of our economic policy. Situated as Cuba is, it would not be possible for this country to permit the strategic abuse of the island by any foreign military power. It is for this reason that certain limitations have been imposed upon her financial policy, and that naval stations have been conceded by her to the United States. (Message to Congress, November 10, 1903.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers II, 645-646.


It is an excellent thing to have rapid transit, but it is a good deal more important, if you look at matters with a proper perspective, to have ample playgrounds in the poorer quarters of the city, and to take the children off the streets so as to prevent them growing up toughs. In the same way it is an admirable thing to have clean streets; indeed, it is an essential thing to have them; but it would be a better thing to have our schools large enough to give ample accommodation to all who should be pupils and to provide them with proper playgrounds. (To Jacob Riis, late 1894.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 204; Nat. Ed. XX, 174.

____________. It is a poor type of school nowadays that has not a good playground attached. It is not so long since, in my own city, at least, that this was held as a revolutionary doctrine, especially in the crowded quarters where playgrounds were most needed. People said they did not need playgrounds. It was a new- fangled idea. They expected to make good citizens of the boys and girls who, when they were not in school, were put upon the streets in the crowded quarters of New York to play at the kind of games alone that they could play at in the streets. We have passed that stage. I think we realize what a good, healthy playground means to children. I think we understand not only the effect for good upon their bodies, but for good minds. We need a healthy body. We need to have schools physically developed. (At Philadelphia, Pa., November 22, 1902.) Proceedings of the Dedication of the New Buildings of the Central High School, (Board of Public Education, 1910), pp.

____________. City streets are unsatisfactory playgrounds for children because of the danger, because most good games are against the law, because they are too hot in summer, and because in crowded sections of the city they are apt to be schools of crime. Neither do small back yards nor ornamental grass plots meet the needs of any but the very small children. Older children who would play vigorous games must have places especially set aside for them; and, since play is a fundamental need, playgrounds should be provided for every child as much as schools. This means that they must be distributed over the cities in such a way as to be within walking distance of every boy and girl, as most children can not afford to pay carfare. (To Cuno H. Rudolph, Washington Playground Association, February 16, 1907.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VI, 1163.


See Abbey Theatre; Drama.


It is a good thing that life should gain in sweetness, but only provided that it does not lose in strength. Ease and rest and pleasure are good things, but only if they come as the reward of work well done, of a good fight well won, of strong effort resolutely made and crowned by high achievement. The life of mere pleasure, of mere effortless ease, is as ignoble for a nation as for an individual. The man is but a poor father who teaches his sons that ease and pleasure should be their chief objects in life; the woman who is a mere petted toy, incapable of serious purpose, shrinking from effort and duty, is more pitiable than the veriest overworked drudge. So he is but a poor leader of the people, but a poor national adviser, who seeks to make the nation in any way subordinate effort to ease, who would teach the people not to prize as the greatest blessing the chance to do any work, no matter how hard, if it becomes their duty to do it. (At Pilgrim Memorial Monument, Provincetown, Mass., August 20,
1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 92; Nat. Ed. XVI, 77.

____________. I wish that everywhere in our country we could see clubs and associations including all our citizens, similar in character to that society which has furnished the reason for the assembling of this great audience tonight. No greater contribution to American social life could possibly be made than by instilling into it the capacity for Gemüthlichkeit. No greater good can come to our people than to encourage in them a capacity for enjoyment which shall discriminate sharply between what is vicious and what is pleasant. Nothing can add more to our capacity for healthy social enjoyment than, by force of example no less than by precept, to encourage the formation of societies which by their cultivation of music, vocal and instrumental, give great lift to the artistic side, the æsthetic side, of our nature; and especially is that true when we remember that no man is going to go very far wrong if he belongs to a society where he can take his wife with him to enjoy it. (At the Saengerfest, Baltimore, Md., June 15, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 44; Nat. Ed. XVI, 38.

Pleasure—Source of

You cannot get the highest pleasure in life without toil and effort and risk, and yours is a poor soul if you fail to pay the price for them. (At Occidental College, Los Angeles, March 22, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 513; Nat. Ed. XIII, 579.

Pleasure and Vice

The influence of the Puritan has been most potent for strength and for virtue in our national life. But his sombre austerity left one evil: the tendency to confound pleasure and vice, a tendency which, in the end, is much more certain to encourage vice than to discourage pleasure—a tendency especially strong among the rigid formalists, including the ultrasabbatarian formalists, who remain true only to what is least desirable in Puritanism. . . . If the natural desire of young people for pleasure is not given a healthy outlet it is only too apt to find an unhealthy outlet. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 139, 140; Nat. Ed. XIX, 138.


See also Duty; Effort ; Happiness; Ideals; Joy Of Living; Leisure; Puritanism; Service; Work.


See Aristocracy; Government, American; Popular Rule.

Poe, Edgar Allan

He is our one supereminent genius. In spite of the persistent effort to belittle him, and I must say it has come largely from New England, he still remains the most eminent literary character we have produced. I do not think that the New England school has tried to belittle him because he was not from New England, but their rules for literature are so adjusted that it will not permit of such an irregular genius as Poe. Even as sane a man as Holmes declared Poe to be one fifth genius and four fifths guff. If any man was ever about five fifths genius, that man was Poe. (Recorded by Butt in letter of October 10, 1908.) The Letters of Archie Butt. (Double day, Page & Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1924), p. 124.


Poetry is of course one of those arts in which the smallest amount of work of the very highest class is worth an infinity of good work that is not of the highest class. The touch of the purple makes a poem out of verse, and if it is not there, there is no substitute.
(Outlook , August 12, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 360; Nat. Ed. XII, 296.

____________. Personally, I don't care a rap whether we call the Flight of a Tartar Tribe, or certain passages in the Confessions of an Opium-Eater, prose or vers libres. I think that it might help the eye to have parts of them arranged as the Spoon River Anthology is arranged, in irregular lines. But in any event I enjoy what seems to me to be the rhythm, and the beauty and majesty of the diction. I enjoy Wordsworth's sonnets and I enjoy Shakespeare's sonnets; and I don't care in the least if some one proves to me that Shakespeare did not write sonnets but something else. On the other hand, I loathe Wordsworth's Excursion, and not Matthew Arnold himself would persuade me to read it. I delight in the saga of King Olaf and Othere and Belisarius, and Simon Danz, and the Mystery of the Sea; and I don't care for Evangeline or any of Longfellow's plays; and I cannot give any reasoned-out explanations in either case. (To Joel E. Spingarn, August 28, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 422; Bishop II, 359.


See also Patriotic Songs; Reading.


See Browning, Robert; Dante; Lodge, George Cabot; Milton, John; Morris, William; Robinson, E. A.; Whitman, Walt.

Polar Exploration

See Peary, Robert E.

Police—Efficiency of

There is every possible reason for seeing that the efficiency of the police is not impaired, for such impairment is always at the expense of law-abiding and upright men, whether rich or poor. There can be no possible justification for seeking to impair this efficiency. If the police power is used oppressively, or improperly, let us by all means put a stop to the practice and punish those responsible for it; but let us remember that a brute will be just as much of a brute whether he is inefficient or efficient. Either abolish the police, or keep them at the highest point of efficiency. To follow any other course is foolish. A bad man in a uniform may perhaps use his weapon to evil purpose; but it would be childish because of this fact to insist that all policemen, instead of having automatic revolvers, be armed with flintlock pistols. We must give the individual policeman the best arms possible, in order that he may not be at a disadvantage when pitted against a criminal; and then see to it that under no circumstances are these arms used unless the need is imperative, and the justification complete. Exactly the same rule applies as regards the efficiency of the police force as a whole. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 73; Nat. Ed. XIX, 63.

Police, New York

In spite of their wide diversity of race origin, and in spite of some very evident shortcomings, the New York police as a body are a first-class set of men, and Americans through and through. They are brave, well disciplined, and efficient, and they have a very strong esprit de corps. In time past they have been corrupt, but this was because of the system under which they worked, and we accomplished an enormous amount toward putting a complete stop to this corruption. The prime reason why we succeeded so well in our efforts to improve a body of men who had been terribly demoralized was because we treated them on their merits, wholly without regard to their creed or the birthplace of their parents, rewarding the good man and punishing the bad, without heeding anything save the virtues or faults of either. (Munsey's, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 330; Nat. Ed. XIV, 234-235.

Police Commissioner — Roosevelt As

Personally, I think I can best serve the Republican party by taking the police force absolutely out of politics. Our duty is to preserve order, to protect life and property, to arrest criminals, and to secure honest elections. In striving to attain these ends we recognize no party; we pay no heed to any man's political predilections, whether he is within or without the police force. In the past, "politics," in the base sense of the term, has been the curse of the police force of New York; and the present board has done away with such politics. . . . On entering office we found—what indeed had long been a matter of common notoriety—that various laws, and notably the excise law, were enforced rigidly against people who had no political pull, but were not enforced at all against the men who had a political pull, or who possessed sufficient means to buy off the high officials who controlled, or had influence in, the Police Department. All that we did was to enforce these laws, not against some wrong-doers, but honestly and impartially against all wrong-doers. We did not resurrect dead laws; we did not start a crusade to enforce blue laws. (Forum, September 1895.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 263-264; Nat. Ed. XIV, 184-186.

____________. When we took up the task of reforming the New York police we did it with our eyes open. We realized fully the heavy odds against which we had to fight, and the almost incredible difficulties which beset our path. It was not a reform which could be accomplished at a blow, for we had to change not only the force itself, but the whole system; and the wrong- doing of decades cannot be undone in six or eight months. It must be remembered that the corruption of the Police Department, though the worst part, was only a part of the corruption of the entire city government, and of all that portion of our many-sided social and civic life which came into contact with the city government. . . . There were hundreds of interests each of which had thrived and fattened through the dishonesty and favoritism of the administration of the Police Department. We did not single out any one interest; we made war on all alike; and in consequence we attracted, as we knew we would attract, the venomous enmity of the tens of thousands of men with whose financial gains we interfered as soon as we began to administer the department along the lines of honesty and of rigid observance of law. Against this active and interested hostility of men whose sense of injury was very concrete, there was nothing to put save the vague and impersonal support of a community which believed in right in the abstract, but was inclined to be rather tepid in its belief. Wherever we struck a concrete wrong we roused a foe whose hostility was sure to be active with the malignity of personal suffering, while in each case the general public could not itself be keenly conscious of any direct individual benefit to its members arising from the correction of the wrong. (Before N. Y. Preachers' Meeting, January 20, 1896.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 303-304; Nat. Ed. XIV, 211-212.

____________. When the Mayor asked me to take the place first, I refused, and when I finally accepted I told him that I felt I must have colleagues with whom I could work; that with you I was sure I could join in doing my best for the City’s welfare, and that the other two men should be men of your character and stamp. I need not say how heartily I agree in your view that the members of the Board should be united, and that the affairs of the Department should be administered solely with a view to the interests of the public. (To Avery D. Andrews, April 25, 1895.) Frederick S. Wood, Roosevelt As We Knew Him. (John C. Winston Co., Phila., 1927), p. 29.

____________. I have had my hands full as usual with both my regular police work and with politics since I last wrote you. Gradually and in spite of great difficulties with two of my colleagues I am getting this force into good shape; but I am quite sincere when I say that I do not believe that any other man in the United States, not even the President, has had as heavy a task as I have had during the past ten months. In itself the work was herculean, even had I been assisted by an honest and active public sentiment and had I received help from the Press and the politicians. As a matter of fact, public sentiment is apathetic and likes to talk about virtue in the abstract, but it does not want to obtain the virtue if there is any trouble about it. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, February 25, 1896.) Cowles Letters, 174.

____________. In managing the Police Department I speedily found what every man must find that we could draw help from every source, from every church, and could expect to find foes in every nationality and in every church, and that we were bound no more to flinch from any set of foes, because they represented a given race or religion than we were bound to uphold any man who did his duty without regard to the religion which he professed or to the land from which his ancestors came. I would decline to show one least bit of favor more to the man of my creed or of my origin than I would to the last emigrant from Ireland or from Russia. All I demand of him is that he shall not act as either Protestant, or Jew, as Irishman, German or Russian, but that he shall be a plain American and nothing else. If he is that I will treat him precisely as if his ancestors had come over in the Mayflower or the Half- Moon. (Before St. Nicholas Society, New York City, December 7, 1896.) Sixty-First Anniversary Dinner of the St. Nicholas Society of the City of New York, p. 22.

____________. This is the last office I shall ever hold. I have offended so many powerful interests and so many powerful politicians that no political preferment in future will be possible for me. All the liquor interests, including the great breweries, and all the party bosses will oppose me, and no political party will venture to defy an opposition so fatal as that is. I realized this when I began my fight for the enforcement of the Sunday law and against police bribery and corruption, but it was the only course I could honestly pursue and I am willing to abide by the consequences. (In conversation with Joseph B. Bishop, early 1897.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 80; Bishop I, 68.

Police Commissioner

See also Liquor Law.

Police Power

See International Police Power

Political Assessments

Experience . . . has convinced me that the talk so often heard about the injustice of not allowing clerks to make "voluntary contributions"—which the law in no wise prevents—is all nonsense. Government employees do not as a rule contribute simply from a desire to help the political cause in which they believe. The so-called "voluntary contributions" are nine times out of ten made from some personal motives; that is, either in the hope of being retained in office or else with the object of gaining some advantage over the other clerks. In other words, the employees are coerced into making them for fear their position will be jeopardized if they fail to do so. It is probably safe to say that 90 per cent of the money collected for political purposes from minor governmental employees represents simply so much blackmail. This particular species of robbery is mean enough at best, and one of its meanest features is the fact that the men most apt to contribute money, the men most susceptible to pressure are those of opposite political faith to the dominant party. Those who agree in politics with the parry in control feel some assurance of protection if they refuse to be coerced into parting with their money, but the unfortunates of opposite political faith feel they have no power behind the throne on which to rely, are nervously afraid of giving offense, and yield helplessly when threatened. The amount paid is not absolutely very great in any individual case, but to a poor clerk barely able to get along the loss of 3 per cent of his salary may mean just the difference between having and not having a winter overcoat for himself, a warm dress for his wife, or a Christmas tree for his children. Such a forced payment is a piece of cruel injustice and iniquity. Report of Commissioner Roosevelt concerning political assessments . . . in the New York Customs District, January 1890. (Washington, 1890), p. 7.

____________. We believe thoroughly that the American people are at heart sound, and that they have a contempt for that meanest of blackmailing which consists of robbing government clerks of a portion of their salaries in the interests of politicians, and that if the details of wrong-doing can be made public enough, this mere publicity will act as the greatest of possible checks. (Before Boston Civil Service Reform Association, February 20, 1893.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 228; Nat. Ed. XIV, 157. 

____________. Government employees, as a whole, are hard-working, not overpaid men, with families to support, and there is no meaner species of swindling than to blackmail them for the sake of a political organization. . . .

Moreover, it is the poorest and most helpless class who are most apt to be coerced into paying. . . . Another thing to be kept in mind, in dealing with these cases of political blackmail, is that really but a comparatively small portion of the funds obtained goes to the benefit of the party organization. A certain proportion gets lost in the transit, and when the collecting officers and clubs are of low character this proportion becomes very large indeed. The money that is collected is used, in the great majority of cases, not to further the welfare of the party as a whole, but to further the designs of certain individuals in it, who are quite as willing to use the funds they have obtained against their factional foes in their own organization as against the common party foe without. (Atlantic Monthly, July 1892.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 204-205; Nat. Ed. XIV, 138-139.

____________. We now have a sweeping Federal law forbidding the collection of these assessments among national office-holders. Under this law the evil has been greatly diminished; yet it still exists to some extent, and it is most rife in presidential years. . . . 
During the past three years the commission has recommended the indictment of some thirty different individuals for violations of the law against making political assessments. Indictments have been procured in ten or twelve cases. It is simply a question of time when we shall get some conspicuous offender convicted, and either heavily fined or imprisoned. Whenever we can make a strong case against any individual collecting political assessments, we intend to ask for his indictment, and we shall often get it, and this alone will serve to frighten other offenders. Of the men thus indicted, eventually we shall be able to convict a certain proportion. Moreover, we find that a very great deal can be done to stop the assessments by mere publicity. Throughout the approaching campaign we intend, whenever we find an individual or an organization trying to assess government office-holders, publicly, through the press, to call the attention of everybody to what is being done, and to invite any information which will enable us to prosecute the offenders; at the same time assuring the people solicited that they need not contribute one dollar unless they wish, and that they will be amply protected if they refuse to contribute at all. (Atlantic Monthly, July 1892.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 199, 201; Nat. Ed. XIV, 134, 136.

____________. I cannot say that we [the Civil Service Commissioners] succeeded in stopping political assessments outright. We did not. They went on to altogether too great an extent; but I firmly believe that we succeeded in greatly reducing the evil, and in checking it to a greater extent than it had ever before been checked. We made government clerks feel that they surely would be protected, that they would not have to pay assessments or contribute to any political party unless of their own free will; and we inspired would-be wrong-doers with sufficient fear to make them avoid those open methods by which alone they could hope to collect any very great funds. The minute they were obliged to work in the dark, by subterfuges and in an underhand way, they could only collect a comparatively small amount, for they could collect only from the clerks who were weakest and most timid. No man with an ounce of pluck in him had to pay. (Before Boston Civil Service Reform Association, February 20, 1893.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 229; Nat. Ed. XIV, 158.

Political Assessments

See Also Campaign Expenses; Campaign Funds.

Political Associates

All that can rightly be asked of one's political associates is that they shall be honest men, good Americans, and substantially in accord as regards their political ideas. (Forum, July 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 46; Nat. Ed. XIII, 32.

Political Associates

See also Americans, Hyphenated; Americans In Politics; Class Lines; College Education; Educated Men; German- Americans; Governing Class; Irish-Americans.

Political Duties

The first duty of an American citizen, then, is that he shall work in politics; his second
duty is that he shall do that work in a practical manner; and his third is that it shall be done in accord with the highest principles of honor and justice. Of course, it is not possible to define rigidly just the way in which the work shall be made practical. Each man's individual temper and convictions must be taken into account. To a certain extent his work must be done in accordance with his individual beliefs and theories of right and wrong. To a yet greater extent it must be done in combination with others, he yielding or modifying certain of his own theories and beliefs so as to enable him to stand on a common ground with his fellows, who have likewise yielded or modified certain of their theories and beliefs. (Before the Liberal Club, Buffalo, N. Y., January 26, 1893.) Mem. Ed. XV, 65; Nat. Ed. XIII, 283.

Political Duties—Neglect of

However refined and virtuous a man may be, he is yet entirely out of place in the American body politic unless he is himself of sufficiently coarse fibre and virile character to be more angered than hurt by an insult or injury; the timid good form a most useless as well as a most despicable portion of the community. Again, when a man is heard objecting to taking part in politics because it is "low," he may be set down as either a fool or a coward: it would be quite as sensible for a militiaman to advance the same statement as an excuse for refusing to assist in quelling a riot. Many cultured men neglect their political duties simply because they are too delicate to have the element of "strike back" in their natures, and because they have an unmanly fear of being forced to stand up for their own rights when threatened with abuse or insult. (Century, November 1886.) Mem. Ed. XV, 121; Nat. Ed. XIII. 82.

____________. It ought to be axiomatic in this country that every man must devote a reasonable share of his time to doing his duty in the political life of the community. No man has a right to shirk his political duties under whatever plea of pleasure or business; and while such shirking may be pardoned in those of small means, it is entirely unpardonable in those among whom it is most common—in the people whose circumstances give them freedom in the struggle for life. In so far as the community grows to think rightly, it will likewise grow to regard the young man of means who shirks his duty to the State in time of peace as being only one degree worse than the man who thus shirks it in time of war (Before the Liberal Club, Buffalo, N. Y., January 26, 1893.) Mem. Ed. XV, 63; Nat. Ed. XIII, 281.

Political Duties

See also Citizenship; Civic Duty; Democracy; Politics—Participation In.

Political Expediency

Political expediency is right enough in its place; but not when it conflicts with vital national interest. —(1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 362; Nat. Ed. XIX, 329.

Political Expediency

See also Politics— Success In.

Political Honesty

See Bribery; Corruption; Election Reforms; Honesty; Spoils System.

Political Issues

If a party raises an issue which it knows is a false issue, merely for the hope of carrying an election, then that party shows in the most striking way that it is the enemy of the country and unfit to be intrusted with its government. The squaring of one’s deeds with one’s words is the quality above all others which we should exact from public men and from the spokesmen of great parties, whether these spokesmen appear upon the stump or speak through the platforms of their parties. If the spokesmen of a party do not and cannot believe what they say, whether in the way of denunciation or promise, and especially if they promise what they know they cannot perform, and what is palpably intended not to result in performance, but in vote-getting at the moment, then they insult the conscience and the intelligence of every freeman fit to exercise a freeman's privilege. (At Akron, O., September 23, 1899.) Thomas W. Handford, Theodore Roosevelt. The Pride of the Rough Riders. (Chicago, 1899), pp. 179-180.

Political Issues, Recent

Most of the issues which nine times out of ten most concern the average man and average woman of our Republic have reached their present form only within the lifetime of the men who are now of middle age. They are due to the profound social and economic changes of the last half- century, to the exhaustion of the soil and of our natural resources, to the rapid growth of manufacturing towns and great trading cities, and to the relative lowering of the level of life in many country districts, both from the standpoint of interest and the standpoint of profit. Whether we approach the problem having in view only the interests of the wage-worker or of the farmer or of the small business man, or having in view the interests of the public as a whole, we are obliged to face certain new facts. One is that in their actual workings the old doctrines of extreme individualism and of a purely competitive industrial system have completely broken down. Another is that if we are to grapple efficiently with the evils of to-day, it will be necessary to invoke the use of governmental power to a degree hitherto unknown in this country, and, in the interest of the democracy, to apply principles which the purely individualistic democracy of a century ago would not have recognized as Democratic. (Century, October 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 532; Nat. Ed. XVII, 391.

Political Judgment

The judgment on practical affairs, political and social, of the men who keep aloof from conditions of practical life, is apt to be valueless to those order men who do wage effective war against the forces of baseness and of evil. From the political standpoint an education that leads you into the ranks of the educated ineffectives is a harm, not a good. It is a harm to all of you here if it serves you as an excuse for refusing to mingle with your fellows, for standing aloof from the broad sweep of our national life in a curiously impotent spirit of fancied superiority. (At the Harvard Union, Cambridge, February 23, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XV, 489; Nat. Ed. XIII, 565.

Political Leaders

See Bosses; Leaders Politicians; Roosevelt; Statesmen.

Political Parties

A party is much more than its candidate or its platform. It is even more than the men who, in the aggregate, compose it at the moment; for it is a bundle of traditions, tendencies, and principles as well. (Century, November 1895.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 349; Nat. Ed. XIV, 249.

____________. A party should not contain utterly incongruous elements, radically divided on the real issues, and acting together only on false and dead issues insincerely painted as real and vital. It should not in the several States as well as in the nation be prostituted to the service of the baser type of political boss. It should be so composed that there should be a reasonable agreement in the actions by it both in the nation and in the several States. Judged by these standards, both of the old parties break down. Neither can longer be trusted to do the work so urgently needed by the country. They have been shown to be utterly reactionary by the platforms of their conventions, by the actions of both sets of bosses in the various States, and also by the legislative work of the standpat Republican senators and of the Democratic Fitzgerald-Underwood alliance in control of the House of Representatives. Any real and lasting success for the people must be based on the liberalization of the party as well as of the party's candidates. (Outlook, July 27, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 347; Nat. Ed. XVII, 245. 

Political Parties—Strength of

The strength of our political organizations arises from their development as social bodies; many of the hardest workers in their ranks are neither office-holders nor yet paid henchmen, but merely members who have gradually learned to identify their fortunes with the party whose hall they have come to regard as the headquarters in which to spend the most agreeable of their leisure moments. Under the American system it is impossible for a man to accomplish anything by himself; he must associate himself with others, and they must throw their weight together. This is just what the social functions of the political clubs enable their members to do. (Century, November 1886.) Mem. Ed. XV, 129; Nat. Ed. XIII, 89.

Political Parties-Success of

If they [political organizations] are to be successful they must necessarily be democratic, in the sense that each man is treated strictly on his merits as a man. No one can succeed who attempts to go in on any other basis; above all, no one can succeed if he goes in feeling that, instead of merely doing his duty, he is conferring a favor upon the community, and is therefore warranted in adopting an attitude of condescension toward his fellows. (Century, January 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 416; Nat. Ed. XIII, 365.

Political Parties

See also Boss; Campaign Contributions; Campaign Funds; Democratic Party; Federalist Party; Know Nothing Movement; Labor Party; Machine; Organization; Party Allegiance; Party System; Populists; Progressive Party; Republican Party; Whig Party.

Political Promises

It is always easy for an individual or a party to make promises; the strain comes when the party or individual has to make them good. (Before Civil Service Reform Association, Baltimore, February 23, 1889.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 145; Nat. Ed. XIV, 88.

____________. I believe that the root-vice in our political life is the demand by part of the public that a candidate shall make impossible promises, and the grin of cynical amusement and contempt with which another portion of the public regards his breaking even the promises he could keep; and one attitude is as bad as the other. (To L. F. Abbott, October 21, 1909.) Lawrence F. Abbott, Impressions of Thedore Roosevelt. (Doubleday, Page & Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1919), p. 190.

Political Promises

See also Compromise; Election Pledges; Party Platforms; Platform Promises.

Political Quacks

When there is a good deal of misery and of injustice, even though it is mainly due to the faults of the individuals themselves, or to the mere operation of nature's laws, the quack who announces he has a cure-all for it is a dangerous person. (To H. C. Lodge, August 10, 1899.) Lodge Letters I, 416.

Political Quacks

See also Lunatic Fringe.

Political Revolutions

See Revolutions.

Political Theory

See Federalist, The.


A politician who really serves his country well, and deserves his country’s gratitude, must usually possess some of the hardy virtues which we admire in the soldier who serves his country well in the field. (Forum, July 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 47; Nat. Ed. XIII 33.

____________. A politician may be and often is a very base creature, and if he cares only for party success, if he panders to what is evil in the people, and still more if he cares only for his own success, his special abilities merely render him a curse. But among free peoples, and especially among the free peoples who speak English, it is only in very excep- tional circumstances that a statesman can be efficient, can be of use to the country, unless he is also (not as a substitute, but in addition) a politician. (To Frederick Scott Oliver, August 9, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 27; Bishop II, 23.

____________. Every man who has been in practical politics grows to realize that politicians, big and little, are no more all of them bad than they are all of them good. Many of these men are very bad men indeed, but there are others among them—and some among those held up to special obloquy, too—who, even although they may have done much that is evil, also show traits of sterling worth which many of their critics wholly lack. There are few men for whom I have ever felt a more cordial and contemptuous dislike than for some of the bosses and big professional politicians with whom I have been brought into contact. On the other hand, in the case of some political leaders who were most bitterly attacked as bosses, I grew to know certain sides of their characters which inspired in me a very genuine regard and respect. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 184; Nat. Ed.XX, 157.

Politicians—Leadership of

An honest, courageous, and far-sighted politician is a good thing in any country. But his usefulness depends chiefly upon his being able to express the wishes of a population wherein the politician forms but a fragment of the leadership, where the business man and landowner, the engineer and man of technical knowledge, the men of a hundred different pursuits, represent the average type of leadership. No people has ever permanently amounted to anything if its only public leaders were clerks, politicians, and lawyers. (At National University, Cairo, Egypt, March 28, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 622; Nat. Ed. XVI, 452.

Politicians—The People and

If the citizens can be thoroughly waked up, and a plain, naked issue of right and wrong presented to them, they can always be trusted. The trouble is that in ordinary times the self- seeking political mercenaries are the only persons who both keep alert and understand the situation; and they commonly reap their reward. The mass of vicious and ignorant voters—especially among those of foreign origin—forms a trenchant weapon forged ready to their hand, and presents a standing menace to our prosperity; and the selfish and shortsighted indifference of decent men is only one degree less dangerous. (1891.) Mem. Ed. IX, 419; Nat. Ed. X, 533.


See also Bosses; Bureaucracy; Federalist , The; Leaders; Machine; Organization; Statesmen.

Politics—Betterment of

We have proceeded upon the assumption that the decalogue and the golden rule are peculiarly applicable to political life, and, also, that if a public official was worth his salt he was bound to try to show that the purification of politics was not an iridescent dream. (Before Liberal Club of Buffalo, N. Y., September 10, 1895.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 273-274; Nat. Ed. XIV, 194.

____________. No man who is worth his salt has any right to abandon the effort to better our politics merely because he does not find it pleasant, merely because it entails associations which to him happen to be disagreeable. Let him keep right on, taking the buffets he gets good-humoredly, and repaying them with heartiness when the chance arises. Let him make up his mind that he will have to face the violent opposition of the spoils politician, and also, too often, the unfair and ungenerous criticism of those who ought to know better. Let him be careful not to show himself so thin- skinned as to mind either; let him fight his way forward, paying only so much regard to both as is necessary to enable him to win in spite of them. He may not, and indeed probably will not, accomplish nearly as much as he would like to, or as he thinks he ought to: but he will certainly accomplish something; and if he can feel that he has helped to elevate the type of representative sent to the municipal, the State, or the national legislature from his district, or to elevate the standard of duty among the public officials in his own ward, he has a right to be profoundly satisfied with what he has accomplished. (Forum, July 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 47; Nat. Ed. XIII, 33.

____________. Clean politics is simply one form of applied good citizenship. No man can be a really good citizen unless he takes a lively interest in politics from a high standpoint. (Outlook, July 28, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 432; Nat. Ed. XIII, 379.

____________. The best lesson that any people can learn is that there is no patent cure-all which will make the body politic perfect. Outlook, April 10, 1909, p. 807.

Politics—Cooperation In

Under our form of government, no man can accomplish anything by himself; he must work in combination with others. (Century, January 1885.) Mem. Ed. XV, 97; Nat. Ed. XIII, 62.

Politics—Efficiency in

The one thing which corrupt machine politicians most desire is to have decent men frown on the activity, that is, on the efficiency, of the honest man who genuinely wishes to reform politics. If efficiency is left solely to bad men, and if virtue is confined solely to inefficient men, the result cannot be happy. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 106; Nat. Ed. XX, 91.

Politics—Improvement of

For the last twenty years our politics have been better and purer, though with plenty of corruption and jobbery left still. There are shoals of base, ignorant, vicious "heelers" and "ward workers," who form a solid, well-disciplined army of evil, led on by abler men whose very ability renders them dangerous. Some of these leaders are personally corrupt; others are not, but do almost as much harm as if they were, because they divorce political from private morality. (1891.) Mem. Ed. IX, 419; Nat. Ed. X, 533.

____________. Personally I am inclined to think that in public life we are on the whole a little better and not a little worse than we were thirty years ago, when I was serving in the New York legislature. I think the conditions are a little better in national, in State, and in municipal politics. Doubtless there are points in which they are worse, and there is an enormous amount that needs reformation. But it does seem to me as if, on the
whole, things had slightly improved. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 83; Nat. Ed. XX, 71.

Politics—Independence In

It is well for a man if he is able conscientiously to feel that his views on the great questions of the day, on such questions as the tariff, finance, immigration, the regulation of the liquor traffic, and others like them, are such as to put him in accord with the bulk of those of his fellow citizens who compose one of the greatest parties; but it is perfectly supposable that he may feel so strongly for or against certain principles held by one party, or certain principles held by the other, that he is unable to give his full adherence to either. In such a case I feel that he has no right to plead this lack of agreement with either party as an excuse for refraining from active political work prior to election. (Before the Liberal Club, Buffalo, N. Y., January 26, 1893.) Mem. Ed. XV, 67; Nat. Ed. XIII, 285.

Politics—Interest In

The trouble is always in rousing the people sufficiently to make them take an effective interest—that is, making them sufficiently in earnest to be willing to give a little of their time to the accomplishment of the object they have in view. (Century, January 1885.) Mem. Ed. XV, 86; Nat. Ed. XIII 52.

____________. Of recent years there has been among men of character and good standing a steady growth of interest in, and of a feeling of responsibility for, our politics. This otherwise most healthy growth has been at times much hampered and warped by the political ignorance and bad judgment of the leaders in the movement. Too often the educated men who without having had any practical training as politicians yet turn their attention to politics, are and remain utterly ignorant of the real workings of our governmental system, and in their attitude toward our public men oscillate between excessive credulity concerning their idol of the moment and jealous, ignorant prejudice against those with whom they temporarily disagree. . . . Neither the unintelligent and rancorous partisan, nor the unintelligent and rancorous independent, is a desirable member of the body politic; and it is unfortunately true of each of them that he seems to regard with special and sour hatred, not the bad man, but the good man with whom he politically differs. (1891.) Mem. Ed. IX, 419-420; Nat. Ed. X, 533-534.

____________. The man who is content to let politics go from bad to worse, jesting at the corruption of politicians, the man who is content to see the maladministration of justice without an immediate and resolute effort to reform it, is shirking his duty and is preparing the way for infinite woe in the future. Hard, brutal indifference to the right, and an equally brutal short-sightedness as to the inevitable results of corruption and injustice, are baleful beyond measure; and yet they are characteristic of a great many Americans who think themselves perfectly respectable, and who are considered thriving, prosperous men by their easy-going fellow-citizens. (Forum, February 1895.) Mem. Ed. XV, 10-11; Nat. Ed. XIII, 9-10.

Politics—Participation in

Every man who wishes well to his country is in honor bound to take an active part in political life. If he does his duty and takes that active part he will be sure occasionally to commit mistakes and to be guilty of shortcomings. For these mistakes and shortcomings he will receive the unmeasured denunciation of the critics who commit neither because they never do anything but criticise. Nevertheless he will have the satisfaction of knowing that the salvation of the country ultimately lies, not in the hands of his critics, but in the hands of those who, however imperfectly, actually do the work of the nation. . . . The man who wishes to do good in his community must go into active politcial life. If he is a Republican, let him join his local Republican association; if a Democrat, the Democratic association; if an Independent, then let him put himself in touch with those who think as he does. In any event let him make himself an active force and make his influence felt. Whether he works within or without party lines he can surely find plenty of men who are desirous of good government, and who, if they act together, become at once a power on the side of righteousness. (Forum, July 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 42- 43; Nat. Ed. XIII, 29-30.

____________. It may be accepted as a fact, however unpleasant, that if steady work and much attention to detail are required, ordinary citizens, to whom participation in politics is merely a disagreeable duty, will always be beaten by the organized army of politicians to whom it is both duty, business, and pleasure, and who are knit together and to outsiders by their social relations. On the other hand, average citizens do take a spasmodic interest in public affairs; and we should therefore so shape our governmental system that the action required by the voters should be as simple and direct as possible, and should not need to be taken any more often than is necessary. (Century, November 1886.) Mem. Ed. XV, 139; Nat. Ed. XIII, 98.

____________. The people who say that they have not time to attend to politics are simply saying that they are unfit to live in a free community. Their place is under a despotism; or if they are content to do nothing but vote, you can take despotism tempered by an occasional plebiscite. . . . It makes one feel half angry and half amused, and wholly contemptuous, to find men of high business or social standing in the community saying that they really have not got time to go to ward meetings, to organize political clubs, and to take a personal share in all the important details of practical politics; men who further urge against their going the fact that they think the condition of political morality low, and are afraid that they may be required to do what is not right if they go into politics. (Before the Liberal Club, Buffalo, N. Y., January 26, 1893.) Mem. Ed. XV, 64, 65; Nat. Ed. XIII, 282, 283.

____________. Two of the evil elements in our government against which good citizens have to contend are: 1, the lack of continuous activity on the part of these good citizens themselves; and, 2, the ever- present activity of those who have only an evil self- interest in political life. It is difficult to interest the average citizen in any particular movement to the degree of getting him to take an efficient part in it. He wishes the movement well, but he will not, or often cannot, take the time and the trouble to serve it efficiently; and this whether he happens to be a mechanic or a banker, a telegraph operator or a storekeeper. He has his own interests, his own business, and it is difficult for him to spare the time to go around to the primaries, to see to the organization, to see to getting out the vote—in short, to attend to all the thousand details of political management. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 158; Nat. Ed. XX, 136.

Politics—Success in

The men who wish to work for decent politics must work practically, and yet must not swerve from their devotion to a high ideal. They must actually do things, and not merely confine themselves to criticising those who do them. They must work disinterestedly, and appeal to the disinterested element in others, although they must also do work which will result in the material betterment of the community. They must act as Americans through and through, in spirit and hope and purpose, and, while being disinterested, unselfish, and generous in their dealings with others, they must also show that they possess the essential manly virtues of energy, of resolution, and of indomitable personal courage (Forum, July 1894.) Mem. Ed XV, 49; Nat. Ed. XIII, 35.

____________. I believe in being thoroughly practical in politics, and in paying all proper heed to political considerations. As things actually are in this world, I do not feel that a man can accomplish much for good in public life unless he does so. But I believe still more strongly that when we come to root questions affecting the welfare of the entire nation, it is out of the question for an honorable man, whether in public or private life, to consider political expediency at all. (To Dr. B. Lawton Wiggins, late 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 35; Bishop II, 29.

Politics, Practical

I am not an impractical theorist; I am a practical politician. But I do not believe that practical politics and foul politics are necessarily synonymous terms. I never expect to get absolute perfection; and I have small sympathy with those people who are always destroying good men and good causes because they are not the best of all possible men and all possible causes; but on a naked issue of right and wrong, such as the performance or non- performance of one's official duty, it is not possible to compromise. (Forum, September 1895.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 262; Nat. Ed. XIV, 184.

____________. I personally think that practical politics are a most sordid business unless they rest on a basis of honest and disinterested sentiment (though of course I appreciate to the full that with this disinterested sentiment there must also go intelligent self-interest.) (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, September 12, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 481; Bishop I, 418-419.

____________. Resolved into its ultimate elements, the view of the spoils politician is that politics is a dirty game, which ought to be played solely by those who desire, by hook or by crook, by fair play or by foul play, to win pecuniary reward, and who are quite indifferent as to whether this pecuniary reward takes the form of money or of office. Politics can not possibly be put upon a healthy basis until this idea is absolutely eradicated. At present the ordinary office-seeking ward workers and a very large percentage of office-holders have grown to believe that it is part of the natural order of things that those who hold or seek to hold the office should exercise the controlling influence in political contests. The civil-service law is doing much to disabuse them of this idea, and the further it can be extended and the more rigidly it can be executed the healthier the result will be. The ward worker, who is simply in politics for the offices, is a curse to the community, and the sooner this is recognized the better. His political activity is purely unhealthy and mischievous. Take it out of the power of any politician to give him any office and he will cease from his noxious labors in a very short space of time. Report of Commissioner Roosevelt concerning political assessments . . . in the Federal offices at Baltimore, Md., May 1, 1891. (Washington, 1891), p. 4.

____________. Practical politics must not be construed to mean dirty politics. On the contrary, in the long run the politics of fraud and treachery and foulness are unpractical politics, and the most practical of all politicians is the politician who is clean and decent and upright. But a man who goes into the actual battles of the political world must prepare himself much as he would for the struggle in any other branch of our life. He must be prepared to meet men of far lower ideals than his own, and to face things, not as he would wish them, but as they are. He must not lose his own high ideal, and yet he must face the fact that the majority of the men with whom he must work have lower ideals. He must stand firmly for what he believes, and yet he must realize that political action, to be effective, must be the joint action of many men, and that he must sacrifice somewhat of his own opinions to those of his associates if he ever hopes to see his desires take practical shape. (Forum, July 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 41; Nat. Ed. XIII, 28.

____________. It is a pleasant but a dangerous thing to associate merely with cultivated, refined men of high ideals and sincere purpose to do right, and to think that one has done all one's duty by discussing politics with such associates. It is a good thing to meet men of this stamp; indeed it is a necessary thing, for we thereby brighten our ideals, and keep in touch with the people who are unselfish in their purposes; but it we associate with such men exclusively we can accomplish nothing. The actual battle must be fought out on other and less pleasant fields. The actual advance must be made in the field of practical politics among the men who represent or guide or control the mass of the voters, the men who are sometimes rough and coarse, who sometimes have lower ideals than they should, but who are capable, masterful, and efficient. It is only by mingling on equal terms with such men, by showing them that one is able to give and to receive heavy punishment without flinching, and that one can master the details of political management as well as they can, that it is possible for a man to establish a standing that will be useful to him in fighting for a great reform. (Forum, July 1894.) Mem. Ed. XV, 42; Nat. Ed. XIII, 28-29.

____________. I believe in political organizations, and I believe in practical politics. If a man is not practical, he is of no use anywhere. But when politicians treat practical politics as foul politics, and when they turn what ought to be a necessary and useful political organization into a machine run by professional spoilsmen of low morality in their own interest, then it is time to drive the politician from public life, and either to mend or destroy the machine, according as the necessity may determine. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 215; Nat. Ed. XX, 184.

Politics As a Career

Never get the political bee in your bonnet. Never try to shape your course so that you shall secure a reelection or a continuance of a political career. (To A. W. Merrifield, September 25, 1889.) Collier's, September 27, 1919.

____________. American politics are of a kaleidoscopic character. There is no use in looking ahead as regards one's personal interests, though there is every use in shaping one's career so as to conduct it along firmly settled great principles and policies. (To Anna Roosevelt Cowles, February 2, 1900.) Cowles Letters, 233.

____________. I did not then [in 1880] believe, and I do not now believe, that any man should ever attempt to make politics his only career. It is a dreadful misfortune for a man to grow to feel that his whole livelihood and whole happiness depend upon his staying in office. Such a feeling prevents him from being of real service to the people while in office, and always puts him under the heaviest strain of pressure to barter his convictions for the sake of holding office. A man should have some other occupation—I had several other occupations—to which he can resort if at any time he is thrown out of office, or if at any time he finds it necessary to choose a course which will probably result in his being thrown out, unless he is willing to stay in at cost to his conscience. (1913.) Mem. Ed XXII, 67; Nat. Ed. XX, 58.

____________. Although I have been pretty steadily in politics since I left college, I have always steadfastly refused to regard politics as a career, for save under exceptional circumstances I do not believe that any American can afford to try to make this his definite career in life. With us politics are of a distinctly kaleidoscopic nature. Nobody can tell when he will be upset; and if a man is to be of real use he ought to be able at times philosophically to accept defeat and to go on about some other kind of useful work, either permanently or at least temporarily until the chances again permit him to return to political affairs. (To John St. Loe Strachey, February 12, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 7; Bishop II, 4.


See also Appointments; Boss; Bribery; Civic Duty; Civil Service Reform; Compromise; Corruption; Educated Men; Honesty; Independent ; Know Nothing Movement; Leaders; Machine; Middle Class; Office; Organization; Party Alleglance; Patronage; Roosevelt's Political Career; Spoils System; Wall Street .


See Marriage—Federal Control Of; Mormons.

"Polyglot Boarding House."

See Americanism; Americanization; Immigration; Language; Nationalism.

Popular Government

See Democracy; Government; Self-Government.

Popular Rule

As for the principles for which I stand. . . . Fundamentally, these principles are, first, that the people have the right to rule themselves, and can do so better than any outsiders can rule them; and, second, that it is their duty so to rule in a spirit of justice toward every man and every woman within our borders, and to use the Government, so far as possible, as an instrument for obtaining not merely political but industrial justice. Outlook , June 29, 1912, p. 480.

____________. The first essential in the Progressive programme is the right of the people to rule. But a few months ago our opponents were assuring us with insincere clamor that it was absurd for us to talk about desiring that the people should rule, because, as a matter of fact, the people actually do rule. Since that time the action of the Chicago Convention, and to an only less degree of the Baltimore Convention, have shown in striking fashion how little the people do rule under our present conditions. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 363; Nat. Ed. XVII, 258.

____________. If there is any worse form of government than that of a plutocracy, it is one which oscillates between control by a plutocracy and control by a mob. It ought not to be necessary to point out that popular rule is the antithesis of mob rule; just as the fact that the nation was in arms during the Civil War meant that there was no room in the country for armed mobs. Popular rule means not that the richest man in the country is given less than his right to a share in the work of guiding the government; on the contrary, it means that he is guaranteed just as much right as any one else, but no more—in other words, that each man will have his full share as a citizen, and only just so much more as his abilities entitle him to by enabling him to render to his fellow citizens services more important than the average man can render. On the other hand, the surest way to bring about mob rule is to have a government based on privilege, the kind of government desired not only by the beneficiaries of privilege, but by many honest reactionaries of dim vision; for the exasperation caused by such a government is sure in the end to produce a violent reaction and accompanying excesses. (Outlook, January 21, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 86; Nat. Ed. XVII, 53.

____________. I believe in adopting every device for popular government which is in theory good and when the practice bears out the theory. It is of course true that each is only a device, and that its worth must be shown in actual practice; and it is also true that where, as with us, the people are masters, the most vital need is that they shall show self-mastery as well as the power to master their servants. But it is often impossible to establish genuine popular rule and get rid of privilege, without the use of new devices to meet new needs. I think that this is the situation which now confronts us in the United States, and that the adoption in principle of the programme on which the Progressives, especially in the West, are tending to unite offers us the best chance to achieve the desired result. (Outlook , January 21, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 99; Nat. Ed. XVII, 64.

____________. The great fundamental issue now before the Republican party and before our people can be stated briefly. It is, Are the American people fit to govern themselves, to rule themselves, to control themselves? I believe they are. My opponents do not. I believe in the right of the people to rule. I believe the majority of the plain people of the United States will, day in and day out, make fewer mistakes in governing themselves than any smaller class or body of men, no matter what their training, will make in trying to govern them. I believe, again, that the American people are, as a whole, capable of self-control and of learning by their mistakes. Our opponents pay lip-loyalty to this doctrine; but they show their real beliefs by the way in which they champion every device to make the nominal rule of the people a sham. (At Carnegie Hall, New York City, March 20, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 200; Nat. Ed. XVII, 151.

____________. I believe in a larger opportunity for the people themselves directly to participate in government and to control their governmental agents, because long experience has taught me that without such control many of their agents will represent them badly. By actual experience in office I have found that, as a rule, I could secure the triumph of the causes in which I most believed, not from the politicians and the men who claim an exceptional right to speak in business and government, but by going over their heads and appealing directly to the people themselves. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 409; Nat. Ed. XVII, 297.

____________. If the people are not sovereign over their own officials, then we do not live in a real democracy; for a government based on the divine right of irresponsible judges, no matter how learned and well-meaning, is as flat a negation of popular rule and democracy as is a system based on the divine right of kings. (Before National Conference of Progressive Service, Portsmouth, R. I., July 2, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 523; Nat. Ed. XVII, 383.

____________. The first essential to settle is who shall speak with authority. In democracies our answer is, the people. This necessarily means the majority of the people. Majorities change, however. The shifting of a small percentage of votes may, and as a matter of fact continually does, reverse the position of majority and minority in almost all democracies. It is therefore essential to secure forms of government under which two purposes shall be served. First, the people shall have ample opportunity deliberately to make up their minds, so that the course of action decided upon will not be due merely to whim. . . . When once the people have thus deliberately made up their minds, their decision must be rendered really, and not nominally effective, and this without undue delay. The people should have ample time to think over a matter before coming to a definite decision. Once they have reached their decision, their action should be real and effective, and their power complete. The power should always be exercised with due regard for the rights of the minority. No democracy is worth calling such unless the majority possess the power; but no democracy will endure as a democracy unless that power is exercised with wisdom and self-restraint, and with consideration for the rights and interests of minorities. One of the great tests of democracy is this willingness of those who possess the power to exercise it with moderation and with a proper regard for the rights of others. Outlook, November 15, 1913, p. 590.

Popular Rule

See also Boss Rule; Class Lines; Constitution; Courts; Democracy; Federalist Party; Governing Class; Government; Judges; Privilege; Representative Government; Self- Government.


Popularity is a good thing, but it is not something for which to sacrifice studies or athletics or good standing in any way; and sometimes to seek it overmuch is to lose it. (To Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., October 11, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 550; Nat. Ed. XIX, 493.

____________. I do not attach any real importance to the seeming popularity which I for the moment enjoy. I don't see how it can work out for permanent good, and, as you know, I care nothing whatever for popularity, excepting as a means to an end. Of course I like to have the good-will and respect of those for whom I care, but wide popular acclaim, it seems to me, counts for almost nothing unless it can be turned to good tangible account, in the way of getting substantial advance along the lines of clean and wise government. I have never cared in the least for the kind of popularity which Lafayette so thoroughly enjoyed, and which Jefferson enjoyed, popularity, which the popular man basks in for and of itself, without reference to transmuting it into any positive achievement. I want to accomplish things. Now I don't for a moment believe that popularity of the kind that at the moment I seem to enjoy will avail when there is a tide of bitter popular feeling against a party or an organization. I may be mistaken, but this is my present view. (To H. C. Lodge, May 5, 1910.) Lodge Letters II, 380.


See also Roosevelt 'S Popularity.


See Birth Control; Race Suicide.


Thrift, industry, and business energy are qualities which are quite incompatible with true Populistic feeling. Payment of debts, like the suppression of riots, is abhorrent to the Populistic mind. . . . Populism never prospers save where men are unprosperous, and your true Populist is especially intolerant of business success. If a man is a successful business man he at once calls him a plutocrat.

He makes only one exception. A miner or speculator in mines may be many times a millionaire and yet remain in good standing in the Populist party. The Populist has ineradically fixed in his mind the belief that silver is a cheap metal, and that silver money is, while not flat money, still a long step toward it. Silver is connected in his mind with scaling down debts, the partial repudiation of obligations, and other measures aimed at those odious moneyed tyrants who lend money to persons who insist upon borrowing, or who have put their ill-gotten gains in savings-banks and kindred wicked institutions for the encouragement of the vice of thrift. These pleasurable associations quite outweigh, with the Populist, the fact that the silver man himself is rich. (Review of Reviews, September 1896.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 361-362; Nat. Ed. XIII, 147-148.


The Populists really represent very little except an angry but loose discontent with affairs as they actually are, and a readiness to grasp after any remedy proposed either by charlatanism or by an ignorance as honest as it is abysmal. The Populist party, therefore, waxes and wanes inversely as prosperity increases or declines; that is, the folly of certain voters seems to grow in inverse ratio to their need of displaying wisdom. At present, affairs over the country seem to be on the mend, and the Populist party is therefore losing power. (Century, November 1895.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 341-342; Nat. Ed. XIV, 243.

Porto Rico

We had a most interesting two days at Porto Rico. We landed on the south side of the island and were received by the Governor and the rest of the administration, including nice Mr. Laurance Grahame; then were given a reception by the Alcalde and people of Ponce; and then went straight across the island in automobiles to San Juan on the north shore. It was an eighty mile trip and really delightful. The road wound up to the high mountains of the middle island, through them, and then down again to the flat plain on the north shore. The scenery was beautiful. It was as thoroughly tropical as Panama but much more livable. There were palms, tree-ferns, bananas, mangoes, bamboos, and many other trees and multitudes of brilliant flowers. There was one vine called the dream-vine with flowers as big as great white water-lilies, which close up tight in the day-time and bloom at night. There were vines with masses of brilliant purple and pink flowers, and others with masses of little white flowers, which at night-time smell deliciously. There were trees studded over with huge white flowers, and others, the flamboyants such as I saw in the campaign at Santiago, are a mass of large scarlet blossoms in June, but which now had shed them. I thought the tree-ferns especially beautiful. The towns were just such as you saw in Cuba, quaint, brilliantly colored, with the old church or cathedral fronting the plaza, and the plaza always full of flowers. Of course the towns are dirty, but they are not nearly as dirty and offensive as those of Italy; and there is something pathetic and childlike about the people. We are giving them a good government and the island is prospering. (To Kermit Roosevelt, November 23, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 579; Nat. Ed. XIX, 520.

____________. In Porto Rico the task was simple. The island could not be independent. It became in all essentials a part of the Union. It has been given all the benefits of our economic and financial system. Its inhabitants have been given the highest individual liberty, while yet their government has been kept under the supervision of officials so well chosen that the island can be appealed to as affording a model for all such experiments in the future; and this result was mainly owing to the admirable choice of instruments by President McKinley when he selected the governing officials. (At banquet in honor of birthday of William McKinley, Canton, O., January 27, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XII, 498; Nat. Ed. XI, 240.

____________. There is a matter to which I wish to call your special attention, and that is, the desirability of conferring full American citizenship upon the people of Porto Rico. I most earnestly hope that this will be done. I can not see how any harm can possibly result from it, and it seems to me a matter of right and justice to the people of Porto Rico. They are loyal, they are glad to be under our flag, they are making rapid progress along the path of orderly liberty. Surely we should show our appreciation of them, our pride in what they have done, and our pleasure in extending recognition for what has thus been done, by granting them full American citizenship. (Message to Congress, December 11, 1906.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers V, 998.

Porto Rico—Administration of

Porto Rico, it is a pleasure to say, may now serve as an example of the best methods of administering our insular possessions. Sometimes we have to learn by experience what to avoid. It is much pleasanter when one can turn to an experience for the purpose of learning what to follow; and the last is true of our experience in Porto Rico. So excellent has been the administration of the island, so excellent the effect of the legislation concerning it, that their very excellence has caused most of us to forget all about it. There is no opportunity for headlines about Porto Rico. You don't need to use large letters in order to say that Porto Rico continues quiet and prosperous. There is hardly a ripple of failure upon the stream of our success there; and as we don't have to think of remedies, we follow our usual custom in these matters, and don't think of it at all. (At Hartford, Conn., August 22, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 356; Nat. Ed. XVI, 271.

____________. Under the wise administration of the present governor and council, marked progress has been made in the difficult matter of granting to the people of the island the largest measure of self-government that can with safety be given at the present time. It would have been a very serious mistake to have gone any faster than we have already gone in this direction. The Porto Ricans have complete and absolute autonomy in all their municipal governments, the only power over them possessed by the insular government being that of removing corrupt or incompetent municipal officials. This power has never been exercised save on the clearest proof of corruption or of incompetence—such as to jeopardize the interests of the people of the island; and under such circumstances it has been fearlessly used to the immense benefit of the people. It is not a power with which it would be safe, for the sake of the island itself, to dispense at present. . . . The governor and council are co-operating with all of the most enlightened and most patriotic of the people of Porto Rico in educating the citizens of the island in the principles of orderly liberty. They are providing a government based upon each citizen's self-respect, and the mutual respect of all citizens; that is, based upon a rigid observance of the principles of justice and honesty. It has not been easy to instil into the minds of people unaccustomed to the exercise of freedom, the two basic principles of our American system; the principle that the majority must rule, and the principle that the minority has rights which must not be disregarded or trampled upon. Yet real progress has been made in having these principles accepted as elementary, as the foundations of successful self- government. (Message to Congress, December 11, 1906.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers V, 998- 1000.

Portsmouth—Treaty of

See Russo- Japanese War.

Post Office Investigation

I would far rather incur the hostility of a Congressman or a Senator than do something we ought not to do. The Post-Office Department is now under fire and there is much baseless distrust of it in the popular mind. Really, you and I are not responsible for the misconduct. It happened before either of us came into office; but as long as this feeling exists we can a hundredfold better afford to incur the hostility of any politician than to give the slightest ground for belief that we are managing the Department primarily as a political machine. If the real or fancied need of any politician comes in conflict with what you regard as the good of the service or as equity to any individuals, disregard that politician utterly and if he complains send him to me. I shall take up any such case myself. (To Post-master-General Henry C. Payne, September 4, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 291; Bishop I, 253.


Power invariably means both responsibility and danger. (Inaugural Address as President, Washington, March 4, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 312; Nat. Ed. XV, 268.

____________. Our chief usefulness to humanity rests on our combining power with high purpose. Power undirected by high purpose spells calamity; and high purpose by itself is utterly useless if the power to put it into effect is lacking. (Outlook, September 9, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 426; Nat. Ed. XVI, 319.

Power—Concentration of

The danger to American democracy lies not in the least in the concentration of administrative power in responsible and accountable hands. It lies in having the power insufficiently concentrated, so that no one can be held responsible to the people for its use. Concentrated power is palpable, visible, responsible, easily reached, quickly held to account. Power scattered through many administrators, many legislators, many men who work behind and through legislators and administrators, is impalpable, is unseen, is irresponsible, cannot be reached, cannot be held to account. (Eighth Annual Message, Washington, December 8, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 586; Nat. Ed. XV, 498.

Power and Responsibility

Power always brings with it responsibility. You cannot have power to work well without having so much power as to be able to work ill, if you turn yourselves that way. (At Milwaukee, Wis., September 7, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 457; Nat. Ed. XIII, 545.


See also Authority; Roosevelt's Power; Sovereignty.

Powers of Government

See Courts; Division Of Powers; Governmental Power; President.

Practical Politics

See Politics.


A man, to amount to anything, must be practical. He must actually do things, not talk about doing them, least of all cavil at how they are accomplished by those who actually go down into the arena, and actually face the dust and the blood and the sweat, who actually triumphed in the struggle. The man must have the force, the power, the will to accomplish results, but he must have also the lift toward lofty things which shall make him incapable of striving for aught unless that for which he strives is something honorable and high—something well worth striving for. (At Valley Forge, Pa., June 19, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XII, 619; Nat. Ed. XI, 334.

____________. It is to the men who work in practical fashion with their fellows, and not to those who, whether because they are impractical or incapable, cannot thus work, that we owe what success we have had in dealing with every problem which we have either solved or started on the path of solution during the last decade. (At the Harvard Union, Cambridge, February 23, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XV, 492; Nat. Ed. XIII, 567.


See also Action; Criticism; Deeds.

Prairie, the

Nowhere, not even at sea, does a man feel more lonely than when riding over the far-reaching, seemingly never-ending plains; and after a man has lived a little while on or near them, their very vastness and loneliness and their melancholy monotony have a strong fascination for him. The landscape seems always the same, and after the traveller has plodded on for miles and miles he gets to feel as if the distance was indeed boundless. As far as the eye can see there is no break; either the prairie stretches out into perfectly level flats, or else there are gentle, rolling slopes, whose crests mark the divides between the drainage systems of the different creeks; and when one of these is ascended, immediately another precisely like it takes its place in the distance, and so roll succeeds roll in a succession as interminable as that of the waves of the ocean. Nowhere else does one seem so far off from all mankind; the plains stretch out in death-like and measureless expanse, and as he journeys over them they will for many miles be lacking in all signs of life. Although he can see so far, yet all objects on the outermost verge of the horizon, even though within the ken of his vision, look unreal and strange; for there is no shade to take away from the bright glare, and at a little distance things seem to shimmer and dance in the hot rays of the sun. The ground is scorched to a dull brown, and against its monotonous expanse any objects stand out with a prominence that makes it difficult to judge of the distance at which they are. A mile off one can see, through the strange shimmering haze, the shadowy white outlines of something which looms vaguely up till it looks as large as the canvas top of a prairie wagon; but as the horseman comes nearer it shrinks and dwindles and takes clearer form, until at last it changes into the ghastly staring skull of some mighty buffalo, long dead and gone to join the rest of his vanished race. (1885.) Mem. Ed. I, 183; Nat. Ed. I, 151.


See also Cattleman; Cowboys; Hunters.


See Jesuits; Missionaries; Pioneer Preachers; Religious Teachers.

Prehistoric Man

See Nature; Primitive Society.


See Anti-Semitism; Bigotry; Religious Discrimination; Tolerance.


Unjust war is to be abhorred; but woe to the nation that does not make ready to hold its own in time of need against all who would harm it; and woe thrice over to the nation in which the average man loses the fighting edge, loses the power to serve as a soldier if the day of need should arise. Outlook , May 14, 1910, p. 73.

____________. I advocate that our preparedness take such shape as to fit us to resist aggression, not to encourage us in aggression. I advocate preparedness that will enable us to defend our own shores and to defend the Panama Canal and Hawaii and Alaska, and prevent the seizure of territory at the expense of any commonwealth of the western hemisphere by any military power of the Old World. I advocate this being done in the most democratic manner possible. (New York Times, November 15, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 121; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 104.

____________. In this country there is not the slightest danger of an overdevelopment of warlike spirit, and there never has been any such danger. In all our history there has never been a time when preparedness for war was any menace to peace. On the contrary, again and again we have owed peace to the fact that we were prepared for war; and in the only contest which we have had with a European power since the Revolution, the War of 1812, the struggle and all its attendant disasters were due solely to the fact that we were not prepared to face, and were not ready instantly to resent, an attack upon our honor and interest; while the glorious triumphs at sea which redeemed that war were due to the few preparations which we had actually made. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XV, 240; Nat. Ed. XIII, 182.

____________. Our people as a whole are unquestionably very short sighted about making preparations. Under such circumstances it is always possible that we may find ourselves pitted against a big military power where we shall need to develop fighting material at the very outset. (To General Frederick Funston, March 30, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 125; Bishop I, 108.

____________. The indispensable thing for every free people to do in the present day is with efficiency to prepare against war by making itself able physically to defend its rights and by cultivating that stern and manly spirit without which no material preparation will avail. The last point is all-essential. It is not of much use to provide an armed force if that force is composed of poltroons and ultrapacifists. Such men should be sent to the front, of course, for they should not be allowed to shirk the danger which their braver fellow countrymen willingly face, and under proper discipline some use can be made of them; but the fewer there are of them in a nation the better the army of that nation will be. (Everybody's, January 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 158; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 136.

____________. I am, as you know, a most ardent believer in national preparedness against war as a means of securing that honorable and self-respecting peace which is the only peace desired by all high- spirited people. But it is an absolute impossibility to secure such preparedness in full and proper form if it is an isolated feature of our policy. The lamentable fate of Belgium has shown that no justice in legislation or success in business will be of the slightest avail if the nation has not prepared in advance the strength to protect its rights. But it is equally true that there cannot be this preparation in advance for military strength unless there is a solid basis of civil and social life behind it. There must be social, economic, and military preparedness all alike, all harmoniously developed; and above all there must be spiritual and mental preparedness.

There must be not merely preparedness in things material; there must be preparedness in soul and mind. To prepare a great army and navy without preparing a proper national spirit would avail nothing. And if there is not only a proper national spirit but proper national intelligence, we shall realize that even from the standpoint of the army and navy some civil preparedness is indispensable. (Before Knights of Columbus, New York City, October 12, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 460; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 395.

____________. There is no use in saying that we will fit ourselves to defend ourselves a little, but not much. Such a position is equivalent to announcing that, if necessary, we shall hit, but we shall only hit soft. The only right principle is to prepare thoroughly or not at all. The only right principle is to avoid hitting if it is possible to do so, but never under any circumstances to hit soft. To go to war a little, but not much, is the one absolutely certain way to ensure disaster. To prepare a little but not much, stands on a par with a city developing a fire department which, after a fire occurs, can put it out a little, but not much. Yet at this moment the majority of our political leaders either keep silent on the vital issues before our people, or else engage in conflicts which are almost meaningless because the men ranged on one side advocate total unpreparedness and the men ranged on the other side nervously deny that they desire any real and thoroughgoing preparedness. Such a condition of affairs speaks badly for this nation. (At Detroit, Mich., May, 1916.) Theodore Roosevelt, Righteous Peace through National Preparedness, pp. 8-9.

____________. When this war is over it is possible that some one of the combatants, being fully armed, will assail us because we offer ourselves as a rich and helpless prize. On the other hand it is also possible that there will be temporary exhaustion among the combatants, and a willingness, even on the part of the most brutal and ruthless, to go through the form of saying that they are peaceful and harmless. In such event there will be real danger lest our people be influenced by the foolish apostles of unpreparedness to accept this condition as permanent, and once more to shirk our duty of getting ready.

I wish to say, with all the emphasis in my power, that if peace in Europe should come tomorrow, it ought not, in the smallest degree, to affect our policy of preparedness. As a matter of fact, we probably cannot now prepare in any way that will have a material effect upon the present war. Our folly has been such that it is now too late for us to do this. All we can now do is to prepare so that the war shall leave no aftermath of horror and disaster for our nation. If we fail so to prepare then assuredly some day we or our children will have bitter cause to rue our folly. (At Kansas City, Mo., May 30, 1916.) The Progressive Party; Its Record from January to July 1916. (Progressive National Committee, 1916), p.55.

____________. When we have closed the giant war we must prepare for the giant tasks of peace. First and foremost we should act on Washington's advice, and in time of peace prepare against war so that never again shall we be caught in such humiliating inability to defend ourselves and assert our rights as has been the case during the last four years. (Before Republican State Convention, Saratoga Springs, N. Y., July 18, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 399; Nat. Ed. XIX, 362.

Preparedness — Benefits of

We can, if we have sufficient good sense and foresight, not only successfully safeguard ourselves against attack from without, but can, and ought to, do it in such a manner as immeasurably to increase our moral and material efficiency in our every-day lives. Proper preparation for self-defense will be of immense incidental help in solving our spiritual and industrial problems. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 294; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 252.

____________. Military preparedness meets two needs. In the first place, it is a partial insurance against war. In the next place, it is a partial guaranty that if war comes the country will certainly escape dishonor and will probably escape material loss . . . . The first thing to understand is the fact that preparedness for war does not always insure peace but that it very greatly increases the chances of securing peace. Foolish people point out nations which, in spite of preparedness for war, have seen war come upon them, and then exclaim that preparedness against war is of no use. Such an argument is precisely like saying that the existence of destructive fires in great cities shows that there is no use in having a fire department. A fire department, which means preparedness against fire, does not prevent occasional destructive fires, but it does greatly diminish and may completely minimize the chances for wholesale destruction by fire. Nations that are prepared for war occasionally suffer from it; but if they are unprepared for it they suffer far more often and far more radically. (Everybody's, January 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 136; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 117.

Preparedness — Dependence on

If we are not all of us Americans and nothing else, scorning to divide along lines of section, of creed, or of national origin, then the Nation itself will crumble to dust. If we are not thoroughly prepared, if we have not developed a strength which respects the rights of others but which is also ready to enforce from others respect for its own rights, then sooner or later we shall have to submit to the will of an alien conqueror. (Telegram to Senator Jackson of Maryland, June 8, 1916.) Lodge Letters II, 488.

____________. We cannot permanently hold a leading place in the world unless we prepare. But there is far more than world-position at stake. Our mere safety at home is at stake. We cannot prevent ourselves from sooner or later sinking into precisely the position China now occupies in the presence of Japan, unless we prepare. The probabilities are overwhelming that the next time we fight a formidable foe we shall not again find allies whose interest it will be to protect us, and to shield us from the consequences of our feebleness and shortsightedness, as France and England have for seven months—indeed for three years—been doing. This means that ruin will surely in the end befall us unless we ourselves so prepare our strength that against a formidable opponent we shall be able to do for ourselves what the English and French armies and navies are now doing for us. Let us make no mistake. Unless we beat Germany in Europe, we shall have to fight her deadly ambition on our own coasts and in our own continent. A great American army in Europe now is the best possible insurance against a great European or Asiatic army in our own country a couple of years, or a couple of decades, hence. (Metropolitan, September 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 22; Nat. Ed. XIX, 18-19.

____________. Though it is a bad thing for a nation to arouse fear it is an infinitely worse thing to excite contempt; and every editor or writer or public man who tells us that we ought not to have battleships and that we ought to trust entirely to well-intentioned foolish all- inclusive arbitration treaties and abandon fortifications and not keep prepared, is merely doing his best to bring contempt upon the United States and to insure disaster in the future. (New York Times, October 4, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 38; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 32.

____________. The American pacifist has been the potent ally of the German militarist and the silly tool of the Hun within our gates. In the future we shall gain the respect and friendship of well-disposed nations and the respect and fear of ill-disposed nations by prepared strength; and professions of pacifism and of general good intentions, if we fail to prepare our strength, will conciliate nobody, will make us despised by everybody, and will expose us to the hostility of the forces of evil throughout the world. (Metropolitan, September 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 314; Nat. Ed. XIX, 287.

Preparedness-Essentials of

We owe it to ourselves as a nation effectively to safeguard ourselves against all likelihood of disaster at the hands of a foreign foe. We should bring our navy up to the highest point of preparedness, we should handle it purely from military considerations, and should see that the training was never intermitted. We should make our little regular army larger and more effective than at present. We should provide for it an adequate reserve. In addition, I most heartily believe that we should return to the ideal held by our people in the days of Washington although never lived up to by them. We should follow the example of such typical democracies as Switzerland and Australia and provide and require military training for all our young men. Switzerland's efficient army has unquestionably been the chief reason why in this war there has been no violation of her neutrality. (New York Times, November 8, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 97; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 84.

____________. We should devote ourselves as a preparative to preparedness, alike in peace and war, to secure the three elemental things: one, a common language, the English language; two, the increase in our social loyalty—citizenship absolutely undivided, a citizenship which acknowledges no flag except of the United States and which emphatically repudiates all duality of national loyalty; and third, an intelligent and resolute effort for the removal of industrial and social unrest, an effort which shall aim equally to secure every man his rights and to make every man understand that unless he in good faith performs his duties he is not entitled to any rights at all. (Before Knights of Columbus, New York City, October 12, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 465; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 399.

____________. It takes months to build guns and ships now, where it then [in 1812] took days, or at the most, weeks; and it takes far longer now to train men to the management of the vast and complicated engines with which war is waged. Therefore preparation is much more difficult, and requires a much longer time; and yet wars are so much quicker, they last so comparatively short a period, and can be begun so instantaneously that there is very much less time than formerly in which to make preparations. . . . Even if the enemy did not interfere with our efforts, which they undoubtedly would, it would, therefore, take from three to six months after the outbreak of a war, for which we were unprepared, before we could in the slightest degree remedy our unreadiness. During this six months it would be impossible to overestimate the damage that could be done by a resolute and powerful antagonist. Even at the end of that time we would only be beginning to prepare to parry his attack, for it would be two years before we could attempt to return it. Since the change in military conditions in modern times there has never been an instance in which a war between any two nations has lasted more than about two years. In most recent wars the operations of the first ninety days have decided the result of the conflict. All that followed has been a mere vain effort to strive against the stars in their courses by doing at the twelfth hour what it was useless to do after the eleventh.

We must therefore make up our minds once for all to the fact that it is too late to make ready for war when the fight has once begun. The preparation must come before that. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XV, 249-250; Nat. Ed. XIII, 189-190.

____________. If we had been wise enough to begin thoroughgoing preparations two and a half years ago, after this great war broke out, and if, as the main feature thereof, we had introduced the principle of obligatory universal military training and service (and had also done such elementary things as running the Springfield factory at full speed, in which case we would now be a million rifles to the good), there would be scant need of a volunteer force now, for we would have been able to put a couple of million men, well armed and equipped, into the field, and would have finished this war at once. Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time. But we were not wise in time. We did not prepare in advance the instruments which would alone be thoroughly satisfactory, and which cannot possibly be improvised to meet immediate needs. Therefore, let us use every instrument that is available to meet the immediate needs. Let us not advance our unwisdom in the past as a justification for fresh unwisdom in the present. If the people of a town do not prepare a fire company until a fire breaks out, they are selfish. But they are more foolish still if when the fire breaks out they then decline to try to put it out with any means at hand, on the ground that they prefer to wait and drill a fire company. Your military advisers are now giving you precisely such advice. Put out the fire with the means available, and at the same time start the drill of the fire company. (To Secretary Newton D. Baker, April 22, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 210; Nat. Ed. XIX, 199.

Preparedness — Expenditures for

Our danger is always that we shall spend too little, and not too much, in keeping ourselves prepared for foreign war. (1887.) Mem. Ed. VIII, 108; Nat. Ed. VII, 94.

Preparedness — Extent of

Our people need to remember that half-preparation is no preparation at all. A great many well-meaning people are of the same mind as a philanthropist who wrote me the other day to the effect that he believed in some preparedness, but not much. This is like building a bridge half-way across a stream, but not all the way. I regret to state that this seems to be the attitude which our government now takes as a substitute for its attitude of a year ago, when its view was that preparedness was "hysterical," immoral and unnecessary. The only proper attitude is that there shall be no preparedness at all that is not necessary, but that in so far as there is need for preparedness the need shall be fully met. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 285; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 244-245.

Preparedness-Foes of

The fundamental fact is that the real foes of preparedness in this country are its make-believe friends who are for a half—or rather for a tenth—measure of preparedness, of sham preparedness. Bryan is not the real foe. He and his followers, including his Republican and Progressive followers, are too unspeakably silly permanently to delude the country. It is Wilson who is the real danger. Uncle Sam finds himself unarmed, among nations each of which is armed with a high-power rifle. Bryan says he should not have any weapon. Wilson says that this is all wrong; that Uncle Sam should be armed; that he is in great danger; that there is need; that he should be amply prepared for self-defense; and that therefore he should be given a muzzle-loading flintlock musket. Now, we ought to make our people understand that it is really rather more dangerous to send a man armed only with a muzzle- loading flintlock musket against a man with a high- power rifle than it is to send him totally unarmed. (To H. C. Lodge, February 4, 1916.) Lodge Letters II, 477.

Preparedness - Neglect of

The blindest can now see that had we, in August, 1914, when the Great War began, ourselves begun actively to prepare, we would now be in a position such that every one knew our words would be made good by our deeds. In such case no nation would dream of interfering with us or of refusing our demands; and each of the warring nations would vie with the others to keep us out of the war. Immediate preparedness at the outset of the war would have meant that there would never have been the necessity for sending the "strict accountability" note. It would have meant that there never would have been the murder of the thousands of men, women, and children on the high seas. It would have meant that we would now be sure of peace for ourselves. It would have meant that we would now be ready to act the part of peacemaker for others. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 227; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 194.

____________. When the World War broke out over a year ago, it was simply inexcusable for this people not at once to begin the work of preparation. If we had done so, we would now have been able to make our national voice felt effectively in helping to bring about peace with justice—and no other peace ought to be allowed. But not one thing has been done by those in power to make us ready. . . . Men are not to be seriously blamed for failure to see or foresee what is hidden from all but eyes that are almost prophetic. The most far-seeing Americans, since the days of Washington, have always stood in advance of popular feeling in the United States so far as national preparedness against war is concerned. But on the other hand not a few of the leaders have been much less advanced than the people they led. And under right leadership the people have always been willing to grapple with facts that were fairly obvious. They have refused to do this when the official leadership was wrong. (Metropolitan, November 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 378, 379; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 323, 325.

____________. As yet we, as a people, acting through our governmental authorities, have not taken one step to avert disaster in the future by introducing a permanent policy of preparedness. By actual test the system, or rather no-system, upon which during the last three years we have been told we could rely has proved entirely worthless. The measures under which we are now acting are temporary makeshifts, announced to be such. We have been caught utterly unprepared in a terrible emergency because we did nothing until the emergency actually arose; and now our government announces that what we are doing is purely temporary; that we shall stop doing it as soon as the emergency is over, and will then remain equally unprepared for the next emergency. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 6; Nat. Ed. XIX, 5.

____________. We are utterly unprepared. The things we are now doing, even when well done, are things which we ought to have begun doing three years ago. We can now only partially offset our folly in failing to prepare during these last three years, in failing to heed the lesson writ large across the skies in letters of flame and blood. Nine-tenths of wisdom consists in being wise in time! Now we must fight without proper preparation. But we must prepare as well as we can at this late date. (At Lincoln, Neb., June 14, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 190; Nat. Ed. XIX, 181.

Preparedness—Peace Insurance by

Fit to hold our own against the strong nations of the earth, our voice for peace will carry to the ends of the earth. Unprepared, and therefore unfit, we must sit dumb and helpless to defend ourselves, protect others, or preserve peace. (Eighth Annual Message, Washington, December 8, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 638; Nat. Ed. XV, 543.

____________. The fact that unpreparedness does not mean peace ought to be patent to every American who will think of what has occurred in this country during the last seventeen years. In 1898 we were entirely unprepared for war. No big nation, save and except our opponent, Spain, was more utterly unprepared than we were at that time, nor more utterly unfit for military operations. This did not, however, mean that peace was secured for a single additional hour. Our army and navy had been neglected for thirty-three years. This was due largely to the attitude of the spiritual forebears of those eminent clergymen, earnest social workers, and professionally humanitarian and peace-loving editors, publicists, writers for syndicates, speakers for peace congresses, pacifist college presidents, and the like who have recently come forward to protest against any inquiry into the military condition of this nation, on the ground that to supply our ships and forts with sufficient ammunition and to fill up the depleted ranks of the army and navy, and in other ways to prepare against war, will tend to interfere with peace. In 1898 the gentlemen of this sort had had their way for thirty-three years. Our army and navy had been grossly neglected. But the unpreparedness due to this neglect had not the slightest effect of any kind in preventing the war. The only effect it had was to cause the unnecessary and useless loss of thousands of lives in the war. Hundreds of young men perished in the Philippine trenches because, while the soldiers of Aguinaldo had modern rifles with smokeless powder, our troops had only the old black-powder Springfield. Hundreds more, nay thousands, died or had their health impaired for life in fever camps here in our own country and in the Philippines and Cuba, and suffered on transports, because we were entirely unprepared for war, and therefore no one knew how to take care of our men. The lives of these brave young volunteers were the price that this country paid for the past action of men like the clergymen, college presidents, editors, and humanitarians in question—none of whom, by the way, risked their own lives. (Everybody's, January 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 141-142; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 121-122.

____________. The most certain way for a nation to invite disaster is to be opulent, self-assertive, and unarmed. A nation can no more prepare for self-defense when war actually threatens than a spoiled college "sissy" of the pacifist type can defend himself if a young tough chooses to insult him; and unlike the sissy, the nation cannot under such conditions appeal to the police. Now and then to insure a house means that some scoundrel burns the house down in order to get insurance. But we do not in consequence abandon insurance against fire. Now and then a nation prepares itself for a war of aggression. But this is no argument against preparedness in order to repel aggression. Preparedness against war is the only efficient form of national peace insurance. (Metropolitan, August 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 372; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 319.

Preparedness—Substitutes for

You will be worthless in war if you have not prepared yourselves for it in peace. You will utterly unable to rise to the needs of the crisis if you have not by long years of steady and patient work fitted yourselves to get the last ounce of work out of every man, every gun, and every ship in the fleet; if you have not practised steadily on the high seas until each ship can do its best, can show at its best, alone or in conjunction with others in fleet formation. Remember that no courage can ever atone for lack of that preparedness which makes the courage valuable; and yet if the courage is there, if the dauntless heart is there, its presence will sometimes make up for other shortcomings; while if with it are combined the other military qualities the fortunate owner becomes literally invincible. (At Annapolis, Md., April 24, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 328; Nat. Ed. XVI, 248-249.

Preparedness, Broomstick

In the fall of 1917 the enormous majority of our men in the encampments were drilling with broomsticks or else with rudely whittled guns. As late as the beginning of December they had in the camps almost only wooden machine-guns and wooden field-cannon. In the camps I saw barrels mounted on sticks on which zealous captains were endeavoring to teach their men how to ride a horse. At that time we had one or two divisions of well-trained infantry in France—which would have been simply lapped up if placed against the army of any formidable military power. At that time, eight months after we had gone to war, the army we had gathered in the cantonments had neither the rifles, the machine- guns, the cannon, the tanks, nor the airplanes which would have enabled them to make any fight at all against any army of any military power that could have landed on our shores. It would have been as helpless against an invading army as so many savages armed with stone-headed axes. We were wholly unable to defend ourselves a year after we had gone to war. We owed our safety only to the English, French, and Italian fleets and armies. The cause was our refusal to prepare in advance. . . . We paid the price later with broomstick rifles, logwood cannon, soldiers without shoes, and epidemics of pneumonia in the camps. We are paying the price now in shortage of coal and congestion of transportation, and in the double cost of necessary war- supplies. (1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 290-291; Nat. Ed. XIX, 267.

____________. Let Uncle Sam prepare to defend himself. Let him realize from the experience of the immediate past that, unless he prepares long in advance, he will be utterly helpless if suddenly menaced with war by a great military nation. Broomstick preparedness is of value only from the political standpoint. Fine words will never save us from a foreign conqueror. Only deeds will save us; and then only if we prepare for these deeds in advance. (1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 298; Nat. Ed. XIX, 274.

Preparedness, Naval

There is a loose popular idea that we could defend ourselves by some kind of patent method, invented on the spur of the moment. This is sheer folly. There is no doubt that American ingenuity could do something, but not enough to prevent the enemy from ruining our coasting-trade and threatening with destruction half our coast towns. Proper forts, with heavy guns, could do much; but our greatest need is the need of a fighting-fleet. Forts alone could not prevent the occupation of any town or territory outside the range of their guns, or the general wasting of the seaboard; while a squadron of heavy battleships, able to sail out and attack the enemy’s vessels as they approached, and possessing the great advantage of being near their own base of supplies, would effectually guard a thousand miles of coast. (Atlantic Monthly, October 1890.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 315; Nat. Ed. XII, 272.

____________. It can . . . be taken for granted that there must be adequate preparation for conflict, if conflict is not to mean disaster. Furthermore, this preparation must take the shape of an efficient fighting navy. We have no foe able to conquer or overrun our territory. Our small army should always be kept in first- class condition, and every attention should be paid to the National Guard; but neither on the North nor on the South have we neighbors capable of meanacing us with invasion or long resisting a serious effort on our part to invade them. The enemies we may have to face will come from over sea; they may come from Europe, or they may come from Asia. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XV, 252; Nat. Ed. XIII, 192.

Preparedness, Social and Industrial

Let us prepare not merly in military matters, but in our social and industrial life. There can be no sound relationship toward other nations unless there is also sound relationship among our own citizens within our own ranks. Let us insist on the thorough Americanization of the newcomers to our shores, and let us also insist on the thorough Americanization of ourselves. Let us encourage the fullest industrial activity, and give the amplest industrial reward to those whose activities are most important for securing industrial success, and at the same time let us see that justice is done and wisdom shown in securing the welfare of every man, woman, and child within our borders. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 261; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 225.

____________. It is our great duty to combine preparedness for peace, efficiency in securing both industrial success and industrial justice, with preparedness against war. We need not in servile fashion follow exactly the example set abroad, but if we are wise we will profit by what has been achieved, notably among great industrial nations, like Germany, in these matters. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 295; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 253.

____________. The question of more real consequence to this nation than any other at this moment is the question of preparedness. The first step must be preparedness against war. Of course there can be no efficient military preparedness against war without preparedness for social and industrial efficiency in peace. Germany, which is the great model for all other nations in matters of efficiency, has shown this, and if this democracy is to endure, it must emulate German efficiency—adding thereto the spirit of democratic justice and of international fair play. Moreover, and finally, there can be no preparedness in things material, whether of peace or war, without also preparedness in things mental and spiritual. There must be preparedness of the soul and the mind in order to make full preparedness of the body, although it is no less true that the mere fact of preparing the body also prepares the soul and the mind. There is the constant action and reaction of one kind of preparation upon another in nations as in individuals. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 278; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 239.

____________. Preparedness does not mean merely a man with a gun. It means that too; but it means a great deal more. It means that in this country we must secure conditions which will make the farmer and the working man understand that it is in a special sense their country; that the work of preparedness is entered into for the defense of the country which belongs to them, to all of us, and the government of which is administered in their interest, in the interest of all of us. . . . We in America who are striving for preparedness must make it evident that the preparedness is to serve the people as a whole. The war on the other side has shown that there can be no efficient army in the field unless the men behind are trained and efficient and unless they are whole- heartedly loyal in their patriotic devotion to their country. (To S. S. Menken, January 10, 1917; read before National Security League, Washington, January 26, 1917.) Proceedings of the Congress of Constructive Patriotism. (New York, 1917), pp. 173-174.

____________. With the individual military training there must go industrial preparedness, by encouragement and supervision, on the part of the Government, of every industry which could be useful in time of war. The industries should be kept ready to render service immediately upon the outbreak of war. The railroads of the country, and indeed the transportation generally, should be handled at all times with the idea that the Government would immediately control it in the event of war. All munition plants, automobile factories, and the like, should be continually exercised by sample orders. Expert workers should be card-catalogued, so that the Government would know exactly what to do with its men wherever the need arose; and in all workshops, and in such matters as aviation and transportation by train or automobile, women should be given the chance in time of war to replace the men who ought to go to the front, in the fighting line, into the position of danger. It should be understood clearly that in time of war the Government would regulate every business in the interest of the Nation as a whole, and would tolerate no practice inconsistent with the welfare of the Nation and the success of the war, permitting neither excessive profit- making on the part of employers nor abuses by employers, nor strikes on the part of employees, so long as the war lasted. National Service, March 1917, pp. 71-72.

Preparedness Against War

Intelligent foresight in preparation and known capacity to stand well in battle are the surest safeguards against war. (Preface to Hero Tales with H. C. Lodge, 1895.) Mem. Ed. IX, xxi; Nat. Ed. X, xxiii.

____________. We ask for an armament fit for the nation's needs, not primarily to fight, but to avert fighting. Preparedness deters the foe, and maintains right by the show of ready might without the use of violence. (Address as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Naval War College, June 1897.) Mem. Ed. XV, 259; Nat. Ed. XIII, 198.

____________. This nation is a great peaceable nation, both by the temper of its people and by its fortunate geographical situation, and is freed from the necessity of maintaining such armaments as those that cramp the limbs of the powers of Continental Europe. Nevertheless, events have shown that war is always a possibility even for us. Now, the surest way to avert war, if it can be averted, is to be prepared to do well if forced to go into war. If we don't prepare for war in advance, then other powers will have a just contempt for us. They will fail to understand that with us unreadiness does not mean timidity; and they may at any time do things which would force us to make war, and which they would carefully refrain from doing if they were sure we were ready to resent them. (Campaign Speech, New York City, October 5, 1898.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 443; Nat. Ed. XIV, 292.

____________. A world league for peace is not now in sight. Until it is created the prime necessity for each free and liberty-loving nation is to keep itself in such a state of efficient preparedness as to be able to defend by its own strength both its honor and its vital interest. The most important lesson for the United States to learn from the present war is the vital need that it shall at once take steps thus to prepare. Preparedness against war does not always avert war or disaster in war any more than the existence of a fire department, that is, of preparedness against fire, always averts fire. But it is the only insurance against war and the only insurance against overwhelming disgrace and disaster in war. Preparedness usually averts war and usually prevents disaster in war; and always prevents disgrace in war. Preparedness, so far from encouraging nations to go to war, has a marked tendency to diminish the chance of war occurring. (1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, xxiv; Nat. Ed. XVIII, xxiii.

____________. Preparedness for War is in reality preparedness against War. There is nothing more important for our people to understand than that sooner or later disaster, shame and disgrace will come to us if we do not keep ourselves in shape to guard our own vital rights—and it is well to remember that the right to national self-respect is as vital as any material right. Preparedness against War renders it likely that if it should come it will not bring disaster and disgrace. Moreover, such preparedness is the only possible method by which the United States can be made an agent in producing the Peace of Righteousness. Impotence is never impressive; and though it is a bad thing to arouse the emotion of fear in others, it is an infinitely worse thing to arouse the emotion of contempt. (To Mr. Van Zile, January 8, 1915.) Edward S. Van Zile, The Game of Empires. (Moffat, Yard & Co., N. Y., 1915), p. 7.

____________. Preparedness will probably prevent these boys from having "to face the cannon"; but if other nations become convinced that the mothers of this country have raised their boys to be afraid to face the cannon, then you can be absolutely certain that, sooner or later, these other nations will come over and treat us just as the military powers of the Old World have treated the Chinese. (Letter of February 9, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 155; Nat. Ed. XIX, 151.

____________. If America's strength is fully prepared in advance, she will in all probability never have to go to war and will be a potent factor in preserving the peace of justice throughout the world. (April 12, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 135.

Preparedness and Militarism

Our people are not military. We need normally only a small standing army; but there should be behind it a reserve of instructed men big enough to fill it up to full war strength, which is over twice the peace strength. Moreover, the young men of the country should realize that it is the duty of every one of them to prepare himself so that in time of need he may speedily become an efficient soldier—a duty now generally forgotten, but which should be recognized as one of the vitally essential parts of every man's training. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 269; Nat. Ed. XX, 231.

____________. As far as the United States is concerned, I believe we should keep our navy to the highest possible point of efficiency and have it second in size to that of Great Britain alone, and we should then have universal obligatory military training for all our young men for a period of, say, nine months during some one year between the ages of nineteen and twenty-three inclusive. This would not represent militarism, but an antidote against militarism. It would not represent a great expense. On the contrary, it would mean to give to every citizen of our country an education which would fit him to do his work as a citizen as no other type of education could. (Kansas City Star, November 17, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 447; Nat. Ed. XIX, 402.

____________. I very strongly believe that never again should we be caught unprepared as we have been caught unprepared this time. I believe that all our young men should be trained to arms as the Swiss are trained. But I would regard it as an unspeakable calamity for this Nation to have to turn its whole energies into . . . exaggerated militarism. (May 12, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 153.

Preparedness and Social Values

In December last I was asked to address the American Sociological Congress on "the effect of war and militarism on social values." In sending my answer I pointed out that infinitely the most important fact to remember in connection with the subject in question is that if an unscrupulous, warlike, and militaristic nation is not held in check by the warlike ability of a neighboring non-militaristic and well-behaved nation, then the latter will be spared the necessity of dealing with its own "moral and social values" because it won't be allowed to deal with anything. Until this fact is thoroughly recognized, and the duty of national preparedness by justice-loving nations explicitly acknowledged, there is very little use of solemnly debating such questions as the one which the sociological congress assigned me—which, in detail, was "How war and militarism affect such social values as the sense of the preciousness of human life; care for child welfare; the conservation of human resources; upper-class concern for the lot of the masses; interest in popular education; appreciation of truth-telling and truth-printing; respect for personality and regard for personal rights." It seems to me positively comic to fail to appreciate, with the example of Belgium before our eyes, that the real question which modern peace-loving nations have to face is not how the militaristic or warlike spirit within their own borders will affect these "values," but how failure on their part to be able to resist the militarism of an unscrupulous neighbor will affect them. (American Sociological Society, Papers, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 264; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 227.

Preparedness For War

A service will do well or ill at the outbreak of war very much in proportion to the way it has been prepared to meet the outbreak during the preceding months. Now, it is often impossible to say whether the symptoms that seem to forebode war will or will not be followed by war. . . . Therefore, when war threatens, preparations must be made in any event; for the evil of what proves to be the needless expenditure of money in one instance is not to be weighed for a moment against the failure to prepare in the other. But only a limited number of men have the moral courage to make these preparations, because there is always risk to the individual making them. Laws and regulations must be stretched when an emergency arises, and yet there is always some danger to the person who stretches them; and, moreover, in time of sudden need, some indispensable article can very possibly only be obtained at an altogether exorbitant price. If war comes, and the article, whether it be a cargo of coal, or a collier, or an auxiliary naval vessel, proves its usefulness, no complaint is ever made. But if the war does not come, then some small demagogue, some cheap economist, or some undersized superior who is afraid of taking the responsibility himself, may blame the man who bought the article and say that he exceeded his authority; that he showed more zeal than discretion in not waiting for a few days, etc. These are the risks which must be taken, and the men who take them should be singled out for reward and for duty. (McClure's Magazine, October 1899.) Mem. Ed. XII, 507-508; Nat. Ed. XIII, 421-422.

____________. I had been preaching preparedness for years; but for the fast year I have been earnestly advocating that we prepare in such fashion as to make ourselves able to count decisively if we do have to interfere. (To Baron Rosen, August 7, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 461; Bishop II, 392.

____________. If we go to war, we are not to be excused if we do not prepare instantly and to the utmost of all our strength. . . . We must strike hard at Germany with the most formidable expeditionary force that can be raised. (At Hartford, Conn., March 1, 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 491; Bishop II, 419.

Preparedness in a Democracy

Autocracy may use preparedness for the creation of an aggressive and provocative militarism that invites and produces war; but in a democracy preparedness means security against aggression and the best guaranty of peace. (New York Times, November 29, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 211; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 181.

____________. I believe that our people will make democracy successful. They can only do so if they show by their actions that they understand the responsibilities that go with democracy. The first and the greatest of these responsibilities is the responsibility of national self-defense. We must be prepared to defend a country governed in accordance with the democratic ideal or else we are guilty of treason to that ideal. To defend the country it is necessary to organize the country in peace, or it cannot be organized in war. A riot of unrestricted individualism in time of peace means impotence for sustained and universal national effort toward a common end in war-time. Neither business man nor wage-worker should be permitted to do anything detrimental to the people as a whole; and if they act honestly and efficiently they should in all ways be encouraged. There should be social cohesion. We must devise methods by which under our democratic government we shall secure the socialization of industry which autocratic Germany has secured, so that business may be encouraged and yet controlled in the general interest, and the wage-workers guaranteed full justice and their full share of the reward of industry, and yet required to show the corresponding efficiency and public spirit that justify their right to an increased reward. But the vital fact to remember is that ultimately it will prove worse than useless to have our people prosper unless they are able to defend this prosperity; to fight for it. (Metropolitan, November 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 387; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 331.

____________. The professional pacifists who have so actively worked for the dishonor of the American name and the detriment of the American nation (and who incidentally have shown themselves the basest allies and tools of triumphant wrong) would do well to bear in view the elementary fact that the only possible way by which to enable us to live at peace with other nations is to develop our strength in order that we may defend our own rights. Above all, let them realize that a democracy more than any other human government needs preparation in advance if peace is to be safeguarded against war. So far as self-defense is concerned, universal military training and, in the event of need, universal military service, represent the highest expression of the democratic ideal in government. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 277; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 238.

____________. It is always hard to make a democracy prepare in advance against dangers which only the far- sighted see to be imminent. Even in France there were well-meaning men, who but a few years ago did not realize the danger that hung over their land, and who then strove against adequate preparedness. In England, which was by no means in the same danger as France, there were far more of these men—just as there are far more of them in our own country than in England. Almost all these men, both in France and in England, are now, doing everything in their power to atone for the error they formerly committed, an error for which they and their fellow countrymen have paid a bitter price of blood and tears. In our land, however, the men of this stamp have not learned these lessons, and with evil folly are endeavoring to plunge the nation into an abyss of disaster by preventing it from so preparing as to remove the chance of disaster. France has learned her lesson in the hard school of invasion and necessity; England has been slower to learn, because the War was not in her home territory; and our own politicians, and to a lamentably large degree our own people, are fatuously unable to profit by what has happened, because they lack the power to visualize either the present woe of others or the future danger to themselves. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 256; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 221.

____________. Let us be true to our democratic ideal, not by the utterance of cheap platitudes, not by windy oratory, but by living our lives in such manner as to show that democracy can be efficient in promoting the public welfare during periods of peace and efficient in securing national freedom in time of war. If a free government cannot organize and maintain armies and navies which can and will fight as well as those of an autocracy or a despotism, it will not survive. We must have a first-class navy and a first-class professional army. We must also secure universal and obligatory military training for all our young men. Our democracy must prove itself effective in making the people healthy, strong, and industrially productive, in securing justice, in inspiring intense patriotism, and in making every man and woman within our borders realize that if they are not willing at time of need to serve the nation against all comers in war, they are not fit to be citizens of the nation in time of peace. (1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 532; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 456-457.


See also Arbitration; Armaments; Army; Big Stick; Defense; Disarmament; Fighting Edge; Militarism; Military Service; Military Training; National Defense; National Self-Reliance; Naval Armaments; Navy; Pacifism; Peace; Righteousness; Soldierly Qualities; Training Camps; Unpreparedness; War; Weakness; World War.


Perhaps the two most striking things in the presidency are the immense power of the President, in the first place; and in the second place, the fact that as soon as he has ceased being President he goes right back into the body of the people and becomes just like any other American citizen. While he is in office he is one of the half-dozen persons throughout the whole world who have most power to affect the destinies of the world. He can set fleets and armies in motion; he can do more than any save one or two absolute sovereigns to affect the domestic welfare and happiness of scores of millions of people. Then when he goes out of office he takes up his regular round of duties like any other citizen, or if he is of advanced age retires from active life to rest, like any other man who has worked hard to earn his rest. (Written early in 1900; published in The Youth's Companion, November 6, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XV, 222; Nat. Ed. XIII, 313-314.

____________. To me there is something fine in the American theory that a private citizen can be chosen by the people to occupy a position as great as that of the mightiest monarch, and to exercise a power which may for the time being surpass that of Czar, Kaiser, or Pope, and that then, after having filled this position, the man shall leave it as an unpensioned private citizen, who goes back into the ranks of his fellow citizens with entire self-respect, claiming nothing save what on his own individual merits he is entitled to receive. But it is not in the least fine, it is vulgar and foolish, for the President or ex-President to make believe, and, of all things in the world, to feel pleased if other people make believe, that he is a kind of second-rate or imitation king. . . . The effort to combine incompatibles merely makes a man look foolish. The positions of President and King are totally different in kind and degree; and it is silly, and worse than silly, to forget this. It is not of much consequence whether other people accept the American theory of the Presidency; but it is of very much consequence that the American people, including especially any American who has held the office, shall accept the theory and live up to it. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, October 1, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 230- 240; Bishop II, 205.

____________. A President has a great chance; his position is almost that of a king and a prime minister rolled into one; once he has left office he cannot do very much; and he is a fool if he fails to realize it all and to be profoundly thankful for having had the great chance. No President ever enjoyed himself in the Presidency as much as I did; and no President after leaving the office took as much joy in life as I am taking. (To Lady Delamere, March 7, 1911.) Lord Charnwood, Theodore Roosevelt. (Atlantic Monthly Press, Boston, 1923), p. 223.

Presidency—Reelection to the

Of course I should like to be reelected President, and I shall be disappointed, although not very greatly disappointed, if I am not; and so far as I legitimately can I pay heed to considerations of political expediency—in fact I should be unfit for my position, or for any position of political leadership, if I did not do so. But when questions involve deep and far-reaching principles, then I believe that the real expediency is to be found in straightforward and unflinching adherence to principle, and this without regard to what may be the temporary effect. . . . I should be sorry to lose the Presidency, but I should be a hundredfold more sorry to gain it by failing in every way in my power to try to put a stop to lynching and to brutality and wrong of any kind; or by failing on the one hand to make the very wealthiest and most powerful men in the country obey the law and handle their property (so far as it is in my power to make them) in the public interest; or, on the other hand, to fail to make the laboring men in their turn obey the law, and realize that envy is as evil a thing as arrogance, and that crimes of violence and riot shall be as sternly punished as crimes of greed and cunning. (To Baron d’Estournelles de Constant, September 1, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 290; Bishop I, 252.

____________. The other day in a very kindly editorial you spoke of me as saying that I would do anything in the world not dishonorable or improper or in violation of my conscience to be reelected as President. I forget the exact word, but this was the sense. It seems to me that this is calculated to convey a somewhat wrong impression of what I said. I do not believe in paying the hypocrite. Any strong man fit to be President would desire a renomination and reelection after his first term. Lincoln was President in so great a crisis that perhaps he neither could nor did feel any personal interest in his own reelection. I trust and believe that if the crisis were a serious one I should be incapable of considering my own well-being for a moment in such a contingency. I should like to be elected President just precisely as John Quincy Adams, or McKinley, or Cleveland, or John Adams, or Washington himself, desired to be elected. It is pleasant to think that one's countrymen thought well of one. But I shall not do anything whatever to secure my nomination or election save to try to carry on the public business in such shape that decent citizens will believe I have shown wisdom, integrity and courage. If they believe this with sufficient emphasis to secure my nomination and election—and on no other terms can I or would I, be willing to secure either—why I shall be glad. If they do not I shall be sorry, but I shall not be very much cast down because I shall feel that I have done the best that was in me, and that there is nothing I have yet done of which I have cause to be ashamed, or which I have cause to regret; and that I can go out of office with the profound satisfaction of having accomplished a certain amount of work that was both beneficial and honorable for the country. (To L. Clarke Davis, fall 1903.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 293; Bishop I, 255.

Presidency-Responsibilities of the

Altogether, there are few harder tasks than that of filling well and ably the office of President of the United States. The labor is immense, the ceaseless worry and harassing anxiety are beyond description. But if the man at the close of his term is able to feel that he has done his duty well; that he has solved after the best fashion of which they were capable the great problems with which he was confronted, and has kept clean and in good running order the governmental machinery of the mighty Republic, he has the satisfaction of feeling that he has performed one of the great world-tasks, and that the mere performance is in itself the greatest of all possible rewards. (Written early in 1900; published in The Youth's Companion, November 6, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XV, 223; Nat. Ed. XIII, 314-315.

____________. I know I need not tell you that I appreciate to the full the burdens placed upon me. All that in me lies to do will be done to make my work a success. That I shall be able to solve with entire satisfaction to myself or any one else each of the many problems confronting me, I cannot of course hope for, but I shall do my best in each case, and in a reasonable number of cases I shall hope to meet with success. At any rate, I want you to know one thing. I can conscientiously say that my purpose is entirely single. I want to make a good President and to keep the administration upright and efficient; to follow policies external and internal which shall be for the real and ultimate benefit of our people as a whole, and all party considerations will be absolutely secondary. (To Richard Olney, September 23, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 175-176; Bishop I, 151.

Presidency-Succession to the

It is a dreadful thing to come into the Presidency this way; but it would be a far worse thing to be morbid about it. Here is the task, and I have got to do it to the best of my ability; and that is all there is about it. (To H. C. Lodge, September 23, 1901.) Lodge Letters I, 506.

____________. On three previous occasions the Vice- President had succeeded to the Presidency on the death of the President. In each case there had been a reversal of party policy, and a nearly immediate and nearly complete change in the personnel of the higher offices, especially the Cabinet. I had never felt that this was wise from any standpoint. If a man is fit to be President, he will speedily so impress himself in the office that the policies pursued will be his anyhow, and he will not have to bother as to whether he is changing them or not; while as regards the offices under him, the important thing for him is that his subordinates shall make a success in handling their several departments. The subordinate is sure to desire to make a success of his department for his own sake, and if he is a fit man, whose views on public policy are sound, and whose abilities entitle him to his position, he will do excellently under almost any chief with the same purposes. I at once announced that I would continue unchanged McKinley's policies for the honor and prosperity of the country, and I asked all the members of the Cabinet to stay. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 396; Nat. Ed. XX, 339.

Presidency and the Third Term Issue

A wise custom which limits the President to two terms regards the substance and not the form, and under no circumstances will I be a candidate for or accept another nomination. (Statement, November 8, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 386; Bishop I, 334.

____________. I did not make my announcement that I would not accept another term, without thinking it carefully over and coming to a definite and final conclusion. If you will recall the words I used you will remember that I not merely stated that I would not be a candidate; I added that I would not under any circumstances accept the nomination. And I would not. (To Joseph Bucklin Bishop, March 23, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 496; Bishop I, 432.

____________. Most emphatically, I do not wish to run again for President. As I think I have made this remark in public, and in private letters which were not marked private, several hundred times, in addition to saying it quite as often in private conversation, it really does not seem advisable to say anything more at present. I find that it is absolutely useless to try to correct untruths or misrepresentations even of the most flagrant kind in the newspapers. If I should say anything whatever about not running again it would cause a furore for one week and then the next week they would say I was intriguing for a nomination and would expect a denial. (To W. Emlen Roosevelt, November 9, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 91; Bishop II, 78.

____________. There are still a great many people bound to try to force a third term. As I have tried to explain to them, and as I have succeeded in convincing most of them, my value as an asset to the American people consists chiefly in a belief in my disinterestedness and and trustworthiness, in the belief that I mean what I say, and that my concern is for the good of the country; and if they should now nominate me, even under the circumstances that would force me to take the nomination, I could only take it as the least of two evils, and with the bitter knowledge that many good people would have their faith in me shaken, and that therefore my influence for good would be measurably, and perhaps greatly, diminished. (To Reid, June 13, 1908.) Royal Cortissoz, The Life of Whitelaw Reid. (Charles Scribner’s Sons, N. Y., 1921), II, 391.

____________. There is very much to be said in favor of the theory that the public has a right to demand as long service from any man who is doing good service as it thinks will be useful; and during the last year or two I have been rendered extremely uncomfortable both by the exultation of my foes over my announced intention to retire, and by the real uneasiness and chagrin felt by many good men because, as they believed, they were losing quite needlessly the leader in whom they trusted, and who they believed could bring to a successful conclusion certain struggles which they regarded as of vital concern to the national welfare. Moreover, it was of course impossible to foresee, and I did not foresee, when I made my public announcement of my intention, that the leadership I then possessed would continue (so far as I am able to tell) unbroken, as has actually been the case; and that the people who believed in me and trusted me and followed me would three or four years later still feel that I was the man of all others whom they wished to see President. Yet such I think has been the case; and therefore, when I felt obliged to insist on retiring and abandoning the leadership, now and then I felt ugly qualms as to whether I was not refusing to do what I ought to do and abandoning great work on a mere fantastic point of honor.

There are strong reasons why my course should be condemned; yet I think that the countervailing reasons are still stronger. Of course, when I spoke I had in view the precedent set by Washington and continued ever since, the precedent which recognizes the fact that as there inheres in the Presidency more power than in any other office in any great republic or constitutional monarchy of modern times, it can only be saved from abuse by having the people as a whole accept as axiomatic the position that no man has held it for more than a limited time. I don't think that any harm comes from the concentration of power in one man's hands, provided the holder does not keep it for more than a certain, definite time, and then returns to the people from whom he sprang. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, June 19, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 107-109; Bishop II, 92-93.

____________. I have thoroughly enjoyed the job. I never felt more vigorous, so far as the work of the office is concerned, and if I had followed my own desires I should have been only too delighted to stay as President. I had said that I would not accept another term, and I believe the people think that my word is good, and I should be mighty sorry to have them think anything else. However, for the very reason that I believe in being a strong President and making the most of the office and using it without regard to the little, feeble, snarling men who yell about executive usurpation, I also believe that it is not a good thing that any one man should hold it too long. (To Sewall, June 25, 1908.) William W. Sewall, Bill Sewall's Story of T. R. (Harper & Bros., N. Y., 1919), p. 113.

____________. My theory has been that the presidency should be a powerful office, and the President a powerful man, who will take every advantage of it; but, as a corollary, a man who can be held accountable to the people, after a term of four years, and who will not in any event occupy it for more than a stretch of eight years. (To Corinne Roosevelt Robinson, June 26, 1908.) Robinson, My Brother Theodore Roosevelt, 244.

____________. It is so easy for a man to deceive himself into doing what others want him to do when it coincides with his own wishes. In my own case, I could so easily have persuaded myself that I was really needed to carry out my own policies. I sometimes felt that it was weakness which made me adhere to my resolution, taken nearly four years ago now. Nine- tenths of my reasoning bade me accept another term, and only one-tenth, but that one-tenth was the still small voice, kept me firm. (Recorded by Butt in letter of October 10, 1908.) The Letters of Archie Butt, Personal Aide to President Roosevelt. (Doubleday, Page & Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1924), p. 125. 

____________. I am the only man in the United States who can speak of the presidency without the thrill that always comes to the man who has never been in the White House. To go to the White House simply for the sake of being President doesn't interest me in the least. There are so many things that I haven't yet done and that I want so much to do. I want to take some time now, in the next few years, to do some of those things. I have done something in geography and something in ornithology, and something in other lines. I want to put myself in position where I can be rightfully recognized as a scientist in one or two of these lines. Most men in this country think of the presidency as the supreme thing, and that is natural and all right. But I've had that, and another term could not add anything to what I have had there. Of course, if there were a big job of work to be done, which the people of the country wanted me to handle, that would be a different thing. But then it would be going back in order to do a particular thing, and one that I had not done before. It would not be going back simply for the sake of being President again. There is a far greater probability that another term in the White House, unless under the exceptional conditions I spoke about, would detract from my record, than there is that it would add to the record. (August 24, 1910, reported by Davis.) Oscar King Davis, Released for Publication. (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, I925), pp. 200-201.

____________. I've had eight years of the Presidency. I know all the honor and pleasure of it and all of its sorrows and dangers. I have nothing more to gain by being President again and I have a great deal to lose. I am not going to do it, unless I get a mandate from the American people. (In conversation with Herbert Knox Smith, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, xiv; Nat. Ed. XVII, xiii.

____________. The Presidency is a great office, and the power of the President can be effectively used to secure a renomination, especially if the President has the support of certain great political and financial interests. It is for this reason, and this reason alone, that the wholesome principle of continuing in office, so long as he is willing to serve, an incumbent who has proved capable, is not applicable to the Presidency. Therefore, the American people have wisely established a custom against allowing any man to hold that office for more than two consecutive terms. But every shred of power which a President exercises while in office vanishes absolutely when he has once left office. An ex-President stands precisely in the position of any other private citizen, and has not one particle more power to secure a nomination or election than if he had never held the office at all—indeed, he probably has less because of the very fact that he has held the office. Therefore the reasoning on which the anti-third term custom is based has no application whatever to an ex- President, and no application whatever to anything except consecutive terms. As a barrier of precaution against more than two consecutive terms the custom embodies a valuable principle. Applied in any other way it becomes a mere formula, and like all formulas a potential source of mischievous confusion (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 441; Nat. Ed. XX, 379.

____________. I believe that it is well to have a custom of this kind, to be generally observed, but that it would be very unwise to have it definitely hardened into a Constitutional prohibition. It is not desirable ordinarily that a man should stay in office twelve consecutive years as President; but most certainly the American people are fit to take care of themselves, and stand in no need of an irrevocable selfdenying ordinance. They should not bind themselves never to take action which under some quite conceivable circumstances it might be to their great interest to take. It is obviously of the last importance to the safety of a democracy that in time of real peril it should be able to command the service of every one among its citizens in the precise position where the service rendered will be most valuable. It would be a benighted policy in such event to disqualify absolutely from the highest office a man who while holding it had actually shown the highest capacity to exercise its powers with the utmost effect for the public defense. If, for instance, a tremendous crisis occurred at the end of the second term of a man like Lincoln, as such a crisis occurred at the end of his first term, it would be a veritable calamity if the American people were forbidden to continue to use the services of the one man whom they knew, and did not merely guess, could carry them through the crisis. The third term tradition has no value whatever except as it applies to a third consecutive term. While it is well to keep it as a custom, it would be a mark both of weakness and unwisdom for the American people to embody it into a Constitutional provision which could not do them good and on some given occasion might work real harm. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 442-443; Nat. Ed. XX, 379-380.

President—Congress and the

It is eminently desirable that the President and the majority leaders in Congress shall be in such touch that the President will back whatever legislation they put through and will not veto it, even though, as of course must be the case, he continually disapproves of things more or less substantial in the various bills. (To H. C. Lodge, July 18, 1905.) Lodge Letters II, 169.

____________. I have a very strong feeling that it is a President's duty to get on with Congress if he possibly can, and that it is a reflection upon him if he and Congress come to a complete break. For seven sessions I was able to prevent such a break. This session, however, they felt that it was safe utterly to disregard me because I was going out and my successor had been elected; and I made up my mind that it was just a case where the exception to the rule applied and that if I did not fight and fight hard, I should be put in a contemptible position; while inasmuch as I was going out on the fourth of March I did not have to pay heed to our ability to co-operate in the future. The result has, I think, justified my wisdom. I have come out ahead so far, and I have been full President right up to the end, which hardly any other President has ever been. (To Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., January 31, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 156; Bishop II, 134.

President—Criticism of the

The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else. (May 7, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 149.

President-Duty of the

[I] am ready and eager to do my part, so far as I am able, in solving the problems which must be solved, if we of this, the greatest democratic Republic upon which the sun has ever shone, are to see its destinies rise to the high level of our hopes and its opportunities. This is the duty of every citizen; but it is peculiarly my duty, for any man who has ever been honored by being made President of the United States is thereby forever after rendered the debtor of the American people, and is in honor bound throughout his life to remember this as his prime obligation; and in private life, as much as in public life, so to carry himself that the American people may never have cause to feel regret that once they placed him at their head. (Remarks on return from Africa and Europe, June 18, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 5; Nat. Ed. XVII, 3.

____________. It is one of the chief duties—and it is the highest privilege—of a President of the United States to be the active leader and exponent of policies which will help the people to obtain such legislative and administrative reforms as are required to meet any reasonable popular demand which makes for the common good. Outlook, April 20, 1912, p. 852.

____________. The President's duty is to act so that he himself and his subordinates shall be able to do efficient work for the people, and this efficient work he and they cannot do if Congress is permitted to undertake the task of making up his mind for him as to how he shall perform what is clearly his sole duty. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 414; Nat. Ed. XX, 355.

President—Loyalty to the

Our loyalty is due entirely to the United States. It is due to the President only and exactly to the degree in which he efficiently serves the United States. It is our duty to support him when he serves the United States well. It is our duty to oppose him when he serves it badly. This is true about Mr. Wilson now and it has been true about all our Presidents in the past. It is our duty at all times to tell the truth about the President and about every one else, save in the cases where to tell the truth at the moment would benefit the public enemy. (1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 325; Nat. Ed. XIX, 297.

President-Powers of the

The theory which I have called the Jackson-Lincoln theory of the Presidency [implies] . . . that occasionally great national crises arise which call for immediate and vigorous executive action, and that in such cases it is the duty of the President to act upon the theory that he is the steward of the people, and that the proper attitude for him to take is that he is bound to assume that he has the legal right to do whatever the needs of the people demand, unless the Constitution or the laws explicitly forbid him to do it. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 530; Nat. Ed. XX, 455.

____________. Although many men must share with the President the responsibility for different individual actions, and although Congress must of course also very largely condition his usefulness, yet the fact remains that in his hands is infinitely more power than in the hands of any other man in our country during the time that he holds the office; that there is upon him always a heavy burden of responsibility; and that in certain crises this burden may become so great as to bear down any but the strongest and bravest man. It is easy enough to give a bad administration; but to give a good administration demands the most anxious thought, the most wearing endeavor, no less than very unusual powers of mind. The chances for error are limitless, and in minor matters, where from the nature of the case it is absolutely inevitable that the President should rely upon the judgment of others, it is certain that under the best Presidents some errors will be committed. (Written early in 1900; published in The Youth's Companion, November 6, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XV, 216; Nat. Ed. XIII, 308-309.

____________. Now, my ambition is that, in however small a way, the work I do shall be along the Washington and Lincoln lines. While President I have been President, emphatically; I have used every ounce of power there was in the office and I have not cared a rap for the criticisms of those who spoke of my ‘usurpation of power’; for I know that the talk was all nonsense and that there was no usurpation. I believe that the efficiency of this Government depends upon its possessing a strong central executive, and wherever I could establish a precedent for strength in the executive, as I did for instance as regards the external affairs in the case of sending the fleet around the world, taking Panama, settling affairs of Santo Domingo and Cuba; or as I did in internal affairs in settling the anthracite-coal strike, in keeping order in Nevada this year when the Federation of Miners threatened anarchy, or as I have done in bringing the big corporations to book why.

in all these cases I have felt not merely that my action was right in itself, but that in showing the strength of, or in giving strength to, the executive, I was establishing a precedent of value. I believe in a strong executive; I believe in power; but I believe that responsibility should go with power, and that it is not well that the strong executive should be a perpetual executive. Above all and beyond all I believe as I have said before that the salvation of this country depends upon Washington and Lincoln representing the type of leader to which we are true. I hope that in my acts I have been a good President, a President who has deserved well of the Republic; but most of all, I believe that whatever value my service may have, comes even more from what I am than from what I do. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, June 19, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 110; Bishop II, 94.

____________. I have a definite philosophy about the Presidency. I think it should be a very powerful office, and I think the President should be a very strong man who uses without hesitation every power that the position yields; but because of this very fact I believe that he should be sharply watched by the people, held to a strict accountability by them, and that he should not keep the office too long. (To H. C. Lodge, July 19, 1908.) Lodge Letters II, 304.

____________. My view was that every executive officer, and above all every executive officer in high position, was a steward of the people bound actively and affirmatively to do all he could for the people, and not to content himself with the negative merit of keeping his talents undamaged in a napkin. I declined to adopt the view that what was imperatively necessary for the nation could not be done by the President unless he could find some specific authorization to do it. My belief was that it was not only his right but his duty to do anything that the needs of the nation demanded unless such action was forbidden by the Constitution or by the laws. Under this interpretation of executive power I did and caused to be done many things not previously done by the President and the heads of the departments. I did not usurp power, but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power. In other words, I acted for the public welfare, I acted for the common well-being of all our people, whenever and in whatever manner was necessary, unless prevented by direct constitutional or legislative prohibition. I did not care a rap for the mere form and show of power; I cared immensely for the use that could be made of the substance. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 404-405; Nat. Ed. XX, 347-348.

President—Roosevelt as

One thing I want you to understand at the start—I feel myself just as much a constitutionally elected President of the United States as McKinley was. I was voted for as Vice- President, it is true, but the Constitution provides that in case of the death or inability of the President the Vice- President shall serve as President, and therefore, due to the act of a madman, I am President and shall act in every word and deed precisely as if I and not McKinley had been the candidate for whom the electors cast the vote for President. I have no superstitions and no misgivings on that score. That should be understood. (Statement to newspaper correspondents, September 1901.) David S. Barry, Forty Years in Washington. (Little, Brown & Co., Boston, 1924), p. 267.

____________. I don't know anything about seven years. But this I do know—I am going to be President for three years, and I am going to do my utmost to give the country a good President during that period. I am going to be full President, and I would rather be full President for three years than half a President for seven years. Now, mind you, I am no second Grover Cleveland. I admire certain of his qualities, but I have no intention of doing with the Republican party what he did with the Democratic party. I intend to work with my party and to make it strong by making it worthy of popular support. (In conversation with Joseph B. Bishop, September 20, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 174; Bishop I, 150.

____________. I am going to be President of the United States and not of any section. (In conversation with Southern Congressmen, September 21, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 179; Bishop I, 154.

____________. Most emphatically I shall endeavor to do absolute justice. But you must let me say that in doing justice I should be ashamed to take into consideration whether what I did was popular or not. I hope I shall not have to take any part at all in a matter that purely refers to President McKinley's administration, and with which I have nothing whatever to do; but if I do have to take it up I shall decide the case absolutely on its merits, and I shall no more consider whether a majority of the people are for or against a given man than I should consider it if I were a judge sitting upon the bench deciding the rights or wrongs of a particular case. (To a Western editor, December 10, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 198-199; Bishop 1,172.

____________. I suppose few Presidents can form the slightest idea whether their policies have met with approval or not—certainly I cannot. But as far as I can see those policies have been right, and I hope that time will justify them. If it does not, why, I must abide the fall of the dice, and that is all there is about it. (To Corinne Roosevelt Robinson, September 23, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 292; Bishop I, 254.

____________. I enjoy being President, and I like to do the work and have my hand on the lever. But it is very worrying and puzzling, and I have to make up my mind to accept every kind of attack and misrepresentation. (To Kermit Roosevelt, October 2, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 501; Nat. Ed. XIX, 444.

____________. I certainly would not be willing to hold the Presidency at the cost of failing to do the things which make the real reason why I care to hold it at all. I had much rather be a real President for three years and a half than a figurehead for seven years and a half. I think I can truthfully say that I now have to my credit a sum of substantial achievement—and the rest must take care of itself. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, May 28, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 161; Bishop II, 138.

____________. I have done a good many things in the past three years, and the fact that I did them is doubtless due partly to accident and partly to temperament. Naturally, I think I was right in doing them, for otherwise I would not have done them. It is equally natural that some people should have been alienated by each thing I did, and the aggregate of all that have been alienated may be more than sufficient to overthrow me. (To Rudyard Kipling, November 1, 1904.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 383; Bishop I, 332.

____________. Of course I greatly enjoyed inauguration day, and indeed I have thoroughly enjoyed being President. But I believe I can also say that I am thoroughly alive to the tremendous responsibilities of my position. Life is a long campaign where every victory merely leaves the ground free for another battle, and sooner or later defeat comes to every man, unless death forestalls it. But the final defeat does not and should not cancel the triumphs, if the latter have been substantial and for a cause worth championing. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, March 9, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 171; Bishop II, 146.

____________. No man is fit to hold the position of President of the United States at all unless as President he feels that he represents no party but the people as a whole. So far as in me lies I have tried and shall try so to handle myself that every decent American citizen can feel that I have at least made the effort. Each man has got to carry out his own principles in his own way. If he tries to model himself on some one else he will make a poor show of it. My own view has been that if I must choose between taking risks by not doing a thing or by doing it, I will take the risks of doing it. (At banquet, Dallas, Tex., April 5, 1905.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers III, 320.

____________. I have finished my career in public life; I have enjoyed it to the full; I have achieved a large proportion of what I set out to achieve; and I am almost ashamed to say that I do not mind in the least retiring to private life. No President has ever enjoyed himself as much as I have enjoyed myself, and for the matter of that I do not know any man of my age who has had as good a time. Of course if I had felt that I could conscientiously keep on in the Presidency I should have dearly liked to have tried again; and I shall miss a very little having my hands on the levers of the great machine; but I am really almost uneasy to find that I do not mind the least bit in the world getting out. (To E. S. Martin, November 6, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 144; Bishop II, 123.

____________. The most important factor in getting the right spirit in my Administration, next to the insistence upon courage, honesty, and a genuine democracy of desire to serve the plain people, was my insistence upon the theory that the executive power was limited only by specific restrictions and prohibitions appearing in the Constitution or imposed by the Congress under its Constitutional powers. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 404; Nat. Ed. XX, 347.

____________. In internal affairs I cannot say that I entered the Presidency with any deliberately planned and far-reaching scheme of social betterment. I had, however, certain strong convictions; and I was on the lookout for every opportunity of realizing those convictions. I was bent upon making the government the most efficient possible instrument in helping the people of the United States to better themselves in every way, politically, socially, and industrially. I believed with all my heart in real and thoroughgoing democracy; and I wished to make this democracy industrial as well as political, although I had only partially formulated the methods I believed we should follow. I believed in the people’s rights, and therefore in national rights and states rights just exactly to the degree in which they severally secured popular rights. I believed in invoking the national power with absolute freedom for every national need; and I believed that the Constitution should be treated as the greatest document ever devised by the wit of man to aid a people in exercising every power necessary for its own betterment, and not as a straitjacket cunningly fashioned to strangle growth. As for the particular methods of realizing these various beliefs, I was content to wait and see what method might be necessary in each given case as it arose; and I was certain that the cases would arise fast enough. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 438; Nat. Ed. XX, 376.

____________. Of course, we can never be absolutely certain, but my usefulness to this country depended so largely upon conditions of national and international politics that its real need of me has probably passed. My great usefulness as President came in connection with the Anthracite Coal Strike, the voyage of the battle fleet around the world, the taking of Panama, the handling of Germany in the Venezuela business, England in the Alaska boundary matter, the irrigation business in the West, and finally, I think, the toning up of the Government service generally. (To E. A. Van Valkenburg, September 5, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 486; Bishop II, 413.

President—the People and the

Any man who has occupied the office of President realizes the incredible amount of administrative work with which the President has to deal even in time of peace. He is of necessity a very busy man, a much-driven man, from whose mind there can never be absent, for many minutes at a time, the consideration of some problem of importance, or of some matter of less importance which yet causes worry and strain. Under such circumstances, it is not easy for a President, even in times of peace, to turn from the affairs that are of moment to all the people and consider affairs that are of moment to but one person. (To the Editor of the Review of Reviews, January 1, 1909.) Ferdinand C. Iglehart, Theodore Roosevelt, The Man As I Knew Him. (The Christian Herald, N. Y., 1919), p. 30.

____________. The course I followed, of regarding the executive as subject only to the people, and, under the Constitution, bound to serve the people affirmatively in cases where the Constitution does not explicitly forbid him to render the service, was substantially the course followed by both Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln. Other honorable and well-meaning Presidents, such as James Buchanan, took the opposite and, as it seems to me, narrowly legalistic view that the President is the servant of Congress rather than of the people, and can do nothing, no matter how necessary it be to act, unless the Constitution explicitly commands the action. Most able lawyers who are past middle-age take this view, and so do large numbers of well-meaning, respectable citizens. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 411; Nat. Ed. XX, 352.

President—Title of the

I would rather not be called Excellency, and this partly because the title does not belong to me and partly from vanity! The President of the United States ought to have no title; and if he did have a title it ought to be a bigger one. Whenever an important prince comes here he is apt to bring a shoal of "Excellencies" in his train. Just as I should object to having the simple dignity of the White House changed for such attractions as might lie in a second-rate palace, so I feel that the President of a great democratic republic should have no title but President. He could not have a title that would not be either too much or too little. Let him be called the President, and nothing more. (To Sir George Otto Trevelyan, May 13, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 174; Bishop II, 148-149.

President and His Subordinates

The Jackson-Lincoln view is that a President who is fit to do good work should be able to form his own judgment as to his own subordinates, and, above all, of the subordinates standing highest and in closest and most intimate touch with him. My secretaries and their subordinates were responsible to me, and I accepted the responsibility for all their deeds. As long as they were satisfactory to me I stood by them against every critic or assailant, within or without Congress; and as for getting Congress to make up my mind for me about them, the thought would have been inconceivable to me. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 413; Nat. Ed. XX, 354.


See also Cabinet ; Division of Powers; Executive; Government ; Lese Majesty; Roosevelt's Political Career; Secret Service; White House.

Presidential Elections

See Election of 1884; 1896; 1900; 1904; 1908; 1912; 1916.

Presidents—Position of Former

When people have spoken to me as to what America should do with its ex-Presidents, I have always answered that there was one ex-President as to whom they need not concern themselves in the least, because I would do for myself. It would be to me personally an unpleasant thing to be pensioned and given some honorary position. I emphatically do not desire to clutch at the fringe of departing greatness. Indeed, to me there is something rather attractive, something in the way of living up to a proper democratic ideal, in having a President go out of office just as I shall go, and become absolutely and without reservation a private man, and do any honorable work which he finds to do. (To John St. Loe Strachey, November 28, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 146; Bishop II, 125.

____________. When I start on this African trip I shall have ceased to be President, and shall be simply a private citizen, like any other private citizen. Not only do I myself believe, but I am firmly convinced that the great mass of the American people believe, that when the President leaves public office he should become exactly like any other man in private life. He is entitled to no privileges, but, on the other hand, he is also entitled to be treated no worse than any one else. Now, it will be an indefensible wrong, a gross impropriety from every standpoint, for any newspaper to endeavor to have its representatives accompany me on this trip, or to fail to give me the complete privacy to which every citizen who acts decently and behaves himself is entitled. (To Melville E. Stone, December 2, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 143; Bishop II, 123.


See also Cleveland, Grover; Grant, U. S.; Harrison, Benjamin; Jackson, Andrew; Jefferson, Thomas; Lincoln, Abraham; Mckinley, William; Madison, James; Taft , W. H.; Tyler, John; Van Buren, Martin; Washington, George; Wilson, Woodrow.

Press—Control of the

The big newspaper, owned or controlled in Wall Street, which is everlastingly preaching about the iniquity of laboring men, which is quite willing to hound politicians for their misdeeds, but which with raving fury defends all the malefactors of great wealth, stands on an exact level with, and neither above nor below, that other newspaper whose whole attack is upon men of wealth, which declines to condemn, or else condemns in an apologetic, perfunctory, and wholly inefficient manner, outrages committed by labor. Outlook, June 19, 1909, p. 395.

____________. That portion of the daily press which is controlled by the special interests, and particularly that portion of the New York City daily press which is responsive to Wall Street sentiment, has come to regard the judiciary as in a special sense the bulwark of property; and inasmuch as the special interests naturally put property rights above popular rights, their representatives in the press make it their particular concern to extol those judges who take the same view. They are therefore very severe in their denunciations of any man who has anything to say in criticism of a judicial decision which favors property rights and is against popular rights. But if the decision is the other way, the same papers and individuals immediately reverse their former attitude and themselves become the most violent and bitter critics of the judge. (Outlook , February 25, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 113; Nat. Ed. XVII, 76.

____________. In New York City the press, directly or indirectly influenced by and responsive to those special interests which are as a matter of rough convenience designated as the Wall Street interests, is naturally very large, and any man engaged in the effort to bring about a genuine betterment of social, political, and industrial conditions, especially if he lives in New York or the neighborhood, must accept as a matter of course the virulent hostility of this portion of the press; and the hostility shown by certain papers which pride themselves upon representing the educated classes is marked by as much mendacity as is the case with the newspapers which are frankly “yellow.” (Outlook, March 25, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 144; Nat. Ed. XVII, 103.

____________. We who in this contest are fighting for the rights of the plain people, we who are fighting for the right of the people to rule themselves, need offer no better proof of the fact that we are fighting for all citizens, no matter what their politics, than that which is afforded by the action of that portion of the press which is controlled by privilege, by the great special interests in business. Newspapers of this type are found in every part of the country, in San Francisco, in Cincinnati, in Chicago and St. Louis, in Boston and Philadelphia. But they are strongest in New York. Some of these newspapers are nominally Democratic, some nominally Republican, some nominally independent. But in reality they are true only to the real or fancied interests of the great capitalist class by certain of whose members they are controlled. Sometimes the interests of this capital- ist class are identical with those of the country as a whole, and in that case these papers serve the interests of the commonwealth. Sometimes the interests of the capitalist class are against the interests of the people as a whole, and in that case these papers are hostile to the interests of the commonwealth. But neither their acting favorably to nor their acting adversely to the interests of the commonwealth is anything more than an incident to their support of the interest to which they are bound. The great and far-reaching evil of their action is that they choke and foul the only channels of information open to so many honest and well-meaning citizens. (At Chicago, June 17, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 311, Nat. Ed. XVII, 226.

Press—Influence of the

Our newspapers, including those who professedly stand as representatives of the highest culture of the community, have been in the habit of making such constant and reckless assaults upon the characters of even very good public men, as to greatly detract from their influence when they attack one who is really bad. They paint every one with whom they disagree black. As a consequence the average man, who knows they are partly wrong, thinks they may also be partly right; he concludes that no man is absolutely white, and at the same time that no one is as black as he is painted; and takes refuge in the belief that all alike are gray. It then becomes impossible to rouse him to make an effort either for a good man or against a scoundrel. Nothing helps dishonest politicians as much as this feeling; and among the chief instruments in its production we must number certain of our newspapers who are loudest in asserting that they stand on the highest moral plane. As for the other newspapers, those of frankly “sensational” character, such as the two which at present claim to have the largest circulation in them; they form a very great promotive to public corruption and private vice, and are on the whole the most potent of all the forces for evil which are at work in the city. (Century, January 1885.) Mem. Ed. XV, 91; Nat. Ed. XIII, 56.

Press—Liberty of the I think that if there is one thing we ought to be careful about it is in regard to interfering with the liberty of the press. We have all of us at times suffered from the liberty of the press, but we have to take the good and the bad. I think we certainly ought to hesitate very seriously before passing any law that will interfere with the broadest public utterance. I think it is a great deal better to err a little bit on the side of having too much discussion and having too virulent language used by the press, rather than to they ought to say especially with reference to public men and measures. (In New York Assembly, March 27, 1883.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 30; Nat. Ed. XIV, 22.


See also Democracy; Editors; Foreign Language Press; Free Speech; Journalism; Journalist; Muck-Raking; Slander.

Pressure Groups

See Privilege; Special Interests.

Primaries—Advocacy of

We should at once introduce in this State the system of direct nominations in the primaries, so that the people shall be able themselves to decide who the candidates shall be instead of being limited merely to choosing between candidates with whose nomination they have had nothing to do. (Before New York Republican State Convention, Saratoga, September 27, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 36; Nat. Ed. XVII, 28.

____________. I believe in providing for direct nominations by the people, including therein direct preferential primaries for the election of delegates to the national nominating conventions. Not as a matter of theory, but as a matter of plain and proved experience, we find that the convention system while it often records the popular will, is also often used by adroit politicians as a method of thwarting the popular will. In other words, the existing machinery for nominations is cumbrous, and is not designed to secure the real expression of the popular desire. Now, as good citizens we are all of us willing to acquiesce cheerfully in a nomination secured buy the expression of a majority of the people, but we do not like to acquiesce in a nomination secured by adroit political management in defeating the wish of majority of the people. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 179; Nat. Ed. XVII, 133.

____________. The movement for direct primaries is spreading fast. Whether it shall apply to all elective officials or to certain categories of them is a matter which must be decided by the actual experience of each State when the working of the scheme is tested in practice. (Outlook, January 21, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 88; Nat. Ed. XVII, 55.

Primaries—Experience With

If the direct primary merely means additional expense without compensating advantage in wise and just action, the gain will be nil. At present there are cities where the direct primary obtains, in which, as far as I can see, the boss system is about as firmly rooted as in those cities where the direct primary has not been introduced. (Outlook, January 21, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 98; Nat. Ed. XVII, 64.

____________. It is instructive to compare the votes of States where there were open primaries and the votes of States where there were not. In Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Ohio we had direct primaries, and the Taft machine was beaten two to one. Between and bordering on these states were Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky. In these States we could not get direct primaries, and the politicians elected two delegates to our one. In the first three States the contests were absolutely open, absolutely honest. The rank and file expressed their wishes, and there was no taint of fraud about what they did. In the other three States the contest was marked by every species of fraud and violence on the part of our opponents, and half the Taft delegates in the Chicago Convention from these States had tainted titles. The entire Wall Street press at this moment is vigorously engaged in denouncing the direct primary system and upholding the old convention system, or, as they call it, the “old representative system.” They are so doing because they know that the bosses and the powers of special privilege have tenfold the chance under the convention system that they have when the rank and file of the people can express themselves at the primaries. The nomination of Mr. Taft at Chicago was a fraud upon the rank and file of the Republican party; it was obtained only by defrauding the rank and file of the party of their right to express their choice; and such fraudulent action does not bind a single honest member of the party. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 366; Nat. Ed. XVII, 266.

Primaries—Object of

In the State the primary should be of the simplest form (consistent with preventing fraud) that will enable each individual voter to act directly on the nomination of elective officers; in the Nation Presidential primaries should be so framed that the voters may choose their delegates to the National conventions, and at the same time express their preference for nominees for the Presidency. At the present moment our political machines are using their power to defraud the people out of their right to make nominations. Outlook, March 30, 1912, p. 720.

____________. Then there is the direct primary—the real one, not the New York one—and that, too, the Progressives offer as a check on the special interests. Most clearly of all does it seem to me that this change is wholly good—for every State. The system of party government is not written in our constitutions, but it is none the less a vital and essential part of our form of government. In that system the party leaders should serve and carry out the will of their own party. There is no need to show how far that theory is from the facts, or to rehearse the vulgar thieving partnerships of the corporations and the bosses, or to show how many times the real government lies in the hands of the boss, protected from the commands and the revenge of the voters by his puppets in office and the power of patronage. We need not be told how he is thus intrenched nor how hard he is to overthrow. The facts stand out in the history of nearly every State in the Union. They are blots on our political system. The direct primary will give the voters a method ever ready to use, by which the party leader shall be made to obey their command. The direct primary, if accompanied by a stringent corrupt-practices act, will help break up the corrupt partnership of corporations and politicians. (At Carnegie Hall, New York City, March 20, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 203; Nat. Ed. XVII, 153.

Primaries and Party Control

The principle of direct primaries is essential to proper party control. . . . The prime and simple reason for direct primaries is that the average voter must have the right to choose his own leaders. We do not propose to do away with organization or with leadership, but we propose to make the organization and the leadership responsive to the demands of the average citizen. We propose that a leader shall really be a leader and not a driver; and the only way to make him a leader instead of a driver is to give the average man complete power within his party organization, which power can be secured for him through the direct primary and through the direct primary alone. This would make the leader far more wary than at present of disregarding popular feeling; ordinarily he would lead, just as at present; but the people would have what they do not now have, the power to assert their wishes over him whenever they became sufficiently stirred. Outlook, July 12, 1913, pp.555-556.

Primitive Man

See Imperialism; Indians; Nature.


We must set our faces against privilege; just as much against the kind of privilege which would let the shiftless and lazy laborer take what his brother has earned as against the privilege which allows the huge capitalist to take toll to which he is not entitled. (Outlook, March 27, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 569; Nat. Ed. XIX, 112.

____________. Privilege should not be tolerated because it is to the advantage of minority; nor yet because it is to the advantage of a majority. (At Oxford University, June 7, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 102; Nat. Ed. XII, 56.

____________. We will not submit to privilege in the form of wealth. Just as little will we submit to the privilege of a mob. (1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 381; Nat. Ed. XIX, 346.

Privilege—Defenders of

In private most of the beneficiaries of special privilege, and not a few
other persons, freely defend it; advancing the usual argument, that only a limited number of persons are fit to lead humanity, and that these persons should be permitted to accumulate wealth and power without let or hindrance, because this is really to the benefit of everybody—a position by the way, fundamentally identical with that of the laissez faire school of economists who until recently held unchecked sway in so many institutions of learning. In a nation founded on the principle of popular government such a position as this cannot be publicly upheld by public men. Outlook, January 28, 1911, p. 145.

____________. In attacking special privilege, in attacking the great moneyed interests which have exercised so sinister a control over our political and social life, we have to count not only upon the open and avowed opposition of our enemies, but on their much more dangerous indirect opposition. (Outlook, March 25, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 144; Nat. Ed. XVII, 103.

Privilege—Destruction of

In every wise struggle for human betterment one of the main objects, and often the only object, has been to achieve in large measure equality of opportunity. In the struggle for this great end, nations rise from barbarism to civilization, and through it people press forward from one stage of enlightenment to the next. One of the chief factors in progress is the destruction of special privilege. The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity, which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 14; Nat. Ed. XVII, 9.

____________. We who war against privilege pay heed to no outworn system of philosophy. We demand of our leaders to-day understanding of and sympathy with the living and the vital needs of those in the community whose needs are greatest. We are against privilege in every form. We believe in striking down every bulwark of privilege. Above all we are against the evil alliance of special privilege in business with special business in politics. We believe in giving the people a free hand to work in efficient fashion for true justice. To the big man and to the little man, in all the relations of life, we pledge justice and fair dealing. . . . We who stand for the cause of progress are fighting to make this country a better place to live in for those who have been harshly treated by fate; and if we succeed it will also really be a better place for those who are already well off. None of us can really prosper permanently if masses of our fellows are debased and degraded, if they are ground down and forced to live starved and sordid lives, so that their souls are crippled like their bodies and the fine edge of their every feeling blunted. We ask that those of our people to whom fate has been kind shall remember that each is his brother’s keeper, and that all of us whose veins thrill with abounding vigor shall feel our obligation to the less fortunate who work wearily beside us in the strain and stress of our eager modern life. (At Chicago, June 17, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 314-315; Nat. Ed. XVII, 228-230.

Privilege—Forms of

Much of what we are fighting against in modern civilization is privilege. We fight against privilege when it takes the form of a franchise to a street-railway company to enjoy the use of the streets of a great city without paying an adequate return; when it takes the form of a great business combination which grows rich by rebates which are denied to other shippers; when it takes the form of a stock-gambling operation which results in the watering of railway securities so that certain inside men get an enormous profit out of a swindle on the public. All these represent various forms of illegal, or, if not illegal, then antisocial, privilege. (Outlook, March 20, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 561; Nat. Ed. XIX, 104.

Privilege—Tyranny of

Whenever there is tyranny by the majority I shall certainly fight it. But the tyrannies from which we have been suffering in this country have, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, been tyrannies by a minority; that is, tyranny by privilege. Sometimes, as in the case of some public-utility franchise or other bit of grabbing by a few what belongs to the many, the tyranny is primarily commercial; at other times, it is primarily political. This, for instance, is true at the present day in those States where the people have been denied the right to vote at primaries in order to express their preferences for President. (At St. Louis, Mo., March 28, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 236; Nat. Ed. XVII, 174.

Privilege and Democratic Government

The democracy, if it is to come to its own in this country, must set its face like steel against privilege and all the beneficiaries of privilege. It must war to cut out special privilege from our frame of government, and in doing so it must count upon the envenomed hostility, not only of the great industrial corporations and individuals who are the beneficiaries of privilege, but of their servants and adherents in the press and in public life. (Outlook, March 25, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 145; Nat. Ed. XVII, 104. 

Privilege and Popular Rule

In our government we cannot permanently succeed unless the people really do rule. We have tried the other experiment. The present system means the rule of the powers of political and industrial privilege, and for that we propose to substitute the right of the people to rule themselves and their duty to rule so as to bring nearer the day when every man and every woman within the boundaries of this great land of ours shall have fair play, equal rights, shall receive and shall give justice, social and industrial, justice for every man, for every woman within our borders. (At St. Louis, Mo., March 28, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 239; Nat. Ed. XVII, 176.

____________. There never has been a clearer line-up than this between the plain people of the country on the one side, and on the other the powers that pray, the representatives of special privilege in the world of business and their tools and instruments in the world of politics. There can be no compromise in such a contest. It is natural that the representatives of special privilege, who know that special privilege cannot continue if the people really rule, should resort unblushingly to every kind of trickery and dishonesty in order to perpetuate their hold upon the party, and should be eager callously to destroy the party if necessary to prevent its being controlled by its rank and file. But for this very reason we feel we have a right solemnly to appeal to all honest men to stand with us on what has now become a naked issue of right and wrong. There can be no yielding, no flinching on our part. We have the people behind us overwhelmingly. We have justice and honesty on our side. We are warring against bossism, against privilege social and industrial; we are warring for the elemental virtues of honesty and decency, of fair dealing as between man and man; we are warring to save the Republican party; and the only reward for which we ask is to put our party in such shape that it shall be of the highest possible service to the people of the United States. (At Chicago, June 17, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 297; Nat. Ed. XVII, 214.


See also Corruption; Democracy; Equality; Freedom; French Revolution; Liberty; New Nationalism; Opportunity; Service; Special Interests; Supreme Court; Tariff; Wealth.


A prize-fight is simply brutal and degrading. The people who attend it, and make a hero of the prize-fighter, are—expecting boys who go for fun and don’t know any better—to a very great extent, men who hover on the borderline of criminality; and those who are not are speedily brutalized, and are never rendered more manly. They form as ignoble a body as do the kindred frequenters of rat-pit and cock-pit. The prize-fighter and his fellow professional athletes of the same ilk are, together with their patrons in every rank of life, the very worst foes with whom the cause of general athletic development has to contend. (North American Review, August 1890.) Mem. Ed. XV, 522; Nat. Ed. XIII, 588.

____________. Boxing is a fine sport, but this affords no justification of prize-fighting, any more than the fact that a cross-country run or a ride on a wheel is healthy justifies such a demoralizing exhibition as a six-day race. When any sport is carried on primarily for money—that is, as business—it is in danger of losing much that is valuable, and of acquiring some exceedingly undersirable characteristics. In the case of prize-fighting, not only do all the objections which apply to the abuse of other professional sports apply in aggravated form, but in addition the exhibition has a very demoralizing and brutalizing effect. (Annual Message as Governor, Albany, January 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 65-66; Nat. Ed. XV, 57.

____________. Naturally, being fond of boxing, I grew to know a good many prize-fighters, and to most of those I knew I grew genuinely attached. I have never been able to sympathize with the outcry against prize- fighters. The only objection I have to the prize-ring is the crookedness that has attended its commercial development. Outside of this I regard boxing, whether professional or amateur, as a first-class sport, and I do not regard it as brutalizing. Of course matches can be conducted under conditions that make them brutalizing. But this is true of football games and of most other rough and vigorous sports. Most certainly prize-fighting is not half as brutalizing or demoralizing as many forms of big business and of the legal work carried on in connection with big business. Powerful, vigorous men of strong animal development must have some way in which their animal spirits can find vent. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 51; Nat. Ed. XX, 44.


See also Boxing.


See Efficiency; Profits.


There can be no delusion more fatal to the nation than the delusion that the standard of profits, of business prosperity, is sufficient in judging any business or political question—from rate legislation to municipal government. (Fifth Annual Message, Washington, December 5, 1905.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 327; Nat. Ed. XV, 280.

Profits—Restriction of

We need maximum production; and improper restriction of profits, and, therefore, improperly low prices, will put a stop to maximum production. It is criminal to halt the work of building the navy or fitting out our training camps because of refusal to allow a fair profit to the business men who alone can do the work speedily and effectively; and it is equally mischievous not to put a stop to the making of unearned and improper fortunes out of the war by heavy progressive taxation on the excess war profits—taxation as heavy as that which England now imposes; and as regards the proper profits that are permitted and encouraged, we should insist on a reasonably equitable division between the capitalists, the managers, and the wage-workers. (1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 9; Nat. Ed. XIX, 8.


See also Materialist.

Profits and Profiteering

Profiteering out of the war should be stopped; but it is more common sense to say that proper profit-making should be encouraged, for, unless there is a profit, the business cannot run, labor cannot be paid, and neither the public nor the government can be served. And the misery into which this country was plunged before our business was artificially stimulated by the outbreak of the World War shows the need of a protective tariff. (Before Republican State Convention, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., July 18, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 401; Nat. Ed. XIX, 363.

____________. Above all—and I want to say this especially to every business man or possible business man—during wartime the question of money making, especially for the big man, should be treated as wholly secondary to the question of service to the nation. For at this time serving the nation may literally mean saving the nation. There is one form of money making that is peculiarly abhorrent at a time like this, and that is the making of excess profits out of anything connected with the war. Indeed, to make excessive profits out of anything during wartime is poor citizenship; there is too much suffering, too much hardship, too much glad and gallant facing of danger and death for us to have sympathy with the man who sits at ease and makes too much money. The man who makes a big fortune during wartime ought to be required to show cause why he should not be regarded as leaving an unsavory heritage to his children. No man worth his salt ought to devote his time primarily to making money at a crisis like this. There should not be more than a legitimate profit for any man, and, above all, not for any big man, made out of anything connected with the war. Do not misunderstand me; most emphatically there must be a legitimate profit; if there is not a legitimate profit then the big industries, absolutely indispensable to the winning of the war, cannot be run. (Address before graduating class, Peirce School, 1918.) Great Orations. (Peirce School, Philadelphia, 1922), pp. 18-19.


I suppose that war always does bring out what is highest and lowest in human nature. The contractors who furnish poor materials to the army or the navy in time of war stand on a level of infamy only one degree above that of the participants in the white- slave traffic (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 264; Nat. Ed. XX, 226.

____________. As for the persons who base their actions upon greed in such a crisis as this, little needs to be said. The beef baron or the representative of the cotton interests who wishes to ignore the butchery of our women and children, and the sinking of our ships by German submarines, and to take sides against the Allies so that he may make money by the sale of cotton and beef, is faithless to every consideration of honor and decency. (Metropolitan, October 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 330; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 283.

____________. At the moment the profiteers, and all men who make fortunes out of this war, represent the worst types of reactionary privilege. (1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 383; Nat. Ed. XIX, 347.

____________. The unpardonable profit is that of the man, especially the rich man, who, having preached pacifism and unpreparedness, now, when war comes, sees brave men face a death which pacifism and unpreparedness have made infinitely more probable while he himself and his sons profit by these other men’s courage and sit at home in the ease and safety secured by the fact that these others face death. The worst profiteers in this country are the men and the sons of the men who decline to face the death which their own actions have made more probable for others. (August 9, 1918.) Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 199.

Profiteers and Slackers

At this moment we can only lay the foundation in outline; but there are certain things that we should do at once in connection with the war. One of them is to stop all profiteering by capitalists; and another is to stop all slacking and loafing, whether by individual workmen or as a result of union action. Of these two perhaps the profiteer is worse; but the slacker is almost as bad. As for the profiteer, any man who makes a fortune out of this war ought to be held up to derision and scorn. No man should come out of this war materially ahead of what he was when we went into it. There must be the reward for capital necessary in order to make it profitable to do the necessary work, and to cover the necessity risk; this is indispensable, and the government should see that neither demagogy nor ignorance interferes with this necessary reward. But we heartily approve, as a war measure, of heavy progressive taxation of all profits, beyond the reasonable profits necessary for the continuance of industry, and our governmental authorities would do well to see whether it is not possible to put a tax on unused land. (Metropolitan, November 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 274; Nat. Ed. XIX, 253.


We, ourselves, are not certain that progress is assured; we only assert that it may be assured if we but live wise, brave, and upright lives. We do not know whether the future has in store for us calm or unrest. We cannot know beyond peradventure whether we can prevent the higher races from losing their nobler traits and from being overwhelmed by the lower races. On the whole, we think that the greatest victories are yet to be won, the greatest deeds yet to be done, and that there are yet in store for our peoples, and for the causes that we uphold, grander triumphs than have ever yet been scored. But be this as it may, we gladly agree that the one plain duty of every man is to face the future as he faces the present, regardless of what it may have in store for him, turning toward the light as he sees the light, to play his part manfully, as a man among men. (Sewanee Review, August 1894.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 256-257; Nat. Ed. XIII, 222.

____________. It is but rarely that great advances in general social well-being can be made by the adoption of some far-reaching scheme, legislative or otherwise; normally they come only by gradual growth, and by incessant effort to do first one thing, then another, and then another. Quack remedies of the universal cure-all type are generally as noxious to the body politic as to the body corporal. (Review of Reviews, January 1897.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 378; Nat. Ed. XIII, 162.

____________. When one is in the midst of the strife, with the dust, and the blood and the rough handling, and is receiving blows (and if he is worth anything, is returning them), it is difficult always to see perfectly straight in the direction the right lies. Perhaps we must always advance a little by zigzags; only we must always advance; and the zigzags should go toward the right goal. (At New York State Bar Association Banquet, January 18, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 468; Nat. Ed. XIV, 309.

____________. Mankind has moved slowly upward through the ages, sometimes a little faster, sometimes a little slower, but rarely indeed by leaps and bounds. At times a great crisis comes in which a great people, perchance led by a great man, can at white heat strike some mighty blow for the right—make a long stride in advance along the path of justice and of orderly liberty. But normally we must be content if each of us can do something——not all that we wish, but something—for the advancement of those principles of righteousness which underlie all real national greatness, all true civilization and freedom. (At Providence, R. I., August 23, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 80; Nat. Ed. XVI, 66-67.

____________. It is a rather irritating delusion—the delusion that somehow or other we are all necessarily going to move forward in the long run no matter what the temporary checks may be. I have a very firm faith in this general forward movement, considering only men of our own race for the past score or two centuries, and I hope and believe that the movement will continue for an indefinite period to come; but no one can be sure; there is certainly nothing inevitable or necessary about the movement. (To A. J. Balfour, March 5, 1908.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 125; Bishop II, 107.

____________. The important thing is generally the “next step.” We ought not to take it unless we are sure that it is advisable; but we should not hesitate to take it when once we are sure; and we can safely join with others who also wish to take it, without bothering our heads overmuch as to any somewhat fantastic theories they may have concerning, say, the two hundredth step, which is not yet in sight. (Outlook, March 27, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 565; Nat. Ed. XIX, 109.

____________. It often happens that the good conditions of the past can be regained, not by going back, but by going forward. We cannot re-create what is dead; we cannot stop the march of events; but we can direct this march, and out of the new conditions develop something better than the past knew. (Outlook, August 27, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 194; Nat. Ed. XVI, 149.

____________. The surest way to stop progress is to lull ourselves into supineness, whether by the cultivation of a flabby optimism, or of that refined shrinking from the sight or knowledge of evil and suffering which may itself be a very unpleasant form of vicious self-indulgence. Outline, July 15, 1911, p. 570.

____________. Our hope lies in progress, for if we try to remain stationary we shall surely go backward; and yet as soon as we leave the ground on which we stand in order to advance there is always danger that we shall plunge into some abyss. (Outlook, December 2, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 432; Nat. Ed. XII, 125.

Progress and Natural Selection

In civilized societies the rivalry of natural selection works against progress. Progress is made in spite of it, for progress results not from the crowding out of the lower classes by the upper, but on the contrary from the steady rise of the lower classes to the level of the upper, as the latter tend to vanish, or at most barely hold their own. In progressive societies it is often the least fit who survive; but, on the other hand, they and their children often tend to grow more fit. . . .

It is plain that the societies and sections of societies where the individual’s happiness is on the whole highest, and where progress is most real and valuable, are precisely these where the grinding competition and the struggle for mere existence is least severe. Undoubtedly in every progressive society there must be a certain sacrifice of individuals so that there must be a certain proportion of failures in every generation; but the actual facts of life prove beyond shadow of doubt that the extent of this sacrifice has nothing to do with the rapidity or worth of the progress. The nations that make most progress may do so at the expense of ten or fifteen individuals out of a hundred, whereas the nations that make least progress or even go backwards, may sacrifice almost every man out of the hundred. (North American Review, July 1895.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 112-113; Nat. Ed. XIII, 227-228.


See also Democracy; Expansion; Lunatic Fringe; Primitive Society; Reform; Revolution.

Progressive, the

Every man who fights fearlessly and effectively against special privilege in any form is to that extent a Progressive. Every man who, directly or indirectly, upholds privilege and favors the special interests, whether he acts from evil motives or merely because he is puzzle-headed or dull of mental vision, or lacking in social sympathy, or whether he simply lacks interest in the subject, is a reactionary. Every man is to that extent a Progressive if he stands for any form of social justice, whether it be securing proper protection for factory girls against dangerous machinery, for securing a proper limitation of hours of labor for women and children in industry, for securing proper living conditions for those who dwell in the thickly crowded regions of our great cities, for helping, so far as legislation can help, all the conditions of work and life for wage-workers in great centres of industry, or for helping by the action both of the National and State Governments, so far as conditions will permit, the men and women who dwell in the open country to increase their efficiency both in production on their farms and in business arrangements for the marketing of their produce, and also to increase the opportunities to give the best possible expression to their social life. (At Louisville, Ky., April 3, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 243; Nat. Ed. XVII, 180.

Progressive Movement

This new movement is a movement of truth, sincerity, and wisdom, a movement which proposes to put at the service of all our people the collective power of the people, through their governmental agencies, alike in the nation and in the several States. We propose boldly to face the real and great questions of the day, and not skilfully to evade them as do the old parties. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 358; Nat. Ed. XVII, 254.

____________. I am in this cause with my whole heart and soul. I believe that the Progressive movement is for making life a little easier for all our people; a movement to try to take the burdens off the men and especially the women and children of this country. I am absorbed in the success of that movement. Friends, I ask you now this evening to accept what I am saying as absolutely true, when I tell you I am not thinking of my own success. I am not thinking of my life or of anything connected with me personally. I am thinking of the movement. (At Milwaukee, Wis., October 14, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 442; Nat. Ed. XVII, 321.

____________. I suppose I had a natural tendency to become a Progressive, anyhow. That is, I was naturally a democrat, in believing in fair play for everybody. But I grew toward my present position, not so much as the result of study in the library or the reading of books— although I have been very much helped by such study and by such reading—as by actually living and working with men under many different conditions and seeing their needs from many different points of view. (Outlook, October 12, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 435; Nat. Ed. XVII, 315.

____________. It seems to me . . . that the time is ripe, and over-ripe, for a genuine Pro-gressive movement, nation-wide and justice-loving, sprung from and responsible to the people themselves, and sundered by a great gulf from both of the old party organizations, while representing all that is best in the hopes, beliefs, and aspirations of the plain people who make up the immense majority of the rank and file of both the old parties. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 362; Nat. Ed. XVII, 258.

Progressive Movement—Nature of

Those of us who believe in Progressive Nationalism are sometimes dismissed with the statement that we are “radicals.” So we are; we are radicals in such matters as eliminating special privilege and securing genuine popular rule, the genuine rule of the democracy. But we are not overmuch concerned with matters of mere terminology. We are not in the least afraid of the word conservative,” and, wherever there is any reason for caution, we are not only content but desirous to make progress slowly and in a cautious. Conservative manner. . . . The great movement of our day, the Progressive National movement against special privilege and in favor of an honest and efficient political and industrial democracy, is as emphatically a wise and moral movement as the movement of half a century ago in which Lincoln was the great and commanding figure. (Outlook, January 14, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 81; Nat. Ed. XVII, 49.

Progressive Movement—Objects of

One of the prime objects which the Progressives have in view in seeking to secure the highest governmental efficiency of both the National and the State Governments is to safe-guard and guarantee the vital interests of the wage-workers. We believe in property rights; normally and in the long run property rights and human rights coincide; but where they are at variance we are for human rights first and for property rights second. (Outlook, February 4, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 101; Nat. Ed. XVII, 66.

____________. Our aim, the aim of those of us who stand for true progress, for true Nationalism, for true democracy, is not only to give the people power, but, ourselves as part of the people, to try to see that the power is used aright, that it is used with wisdom, with courage, with self-restraint, and in a spirit of the broadest kindliness and charity toward all men. (Outlook, March 25, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 146; Nat. Ed. XVII. 105.

____________. The Progressive movement which culminated last August in the creation of the Progressive party is no mere sign of temporary political discontent, it is a manifestation of the eternal forces of human growth, a manifestation of the God-given impulse implanted in mankind to make a better race and a better earth. Its purpose is to establish in this world the rights of man, the right not only to religious and political but to economic freedom; and to make these rights real and living. (At New York City, February 12, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 485; Nat. Ed. XVII, 359.

____________. Personally, I should like to see the initiative and referendum, with proper safeguards, adopted generally in the States of the Union, and personally I am sorry that the New England town meeting has not spread throughout the Union. But I certainly do not intend to part company from other Progressives who fail to sympathize with me in either view, and I do intend to insist with all the strength I have that each device is a device and nothing more, is a means and not an end. The end is good government, obtained through genuine popular rule. Any device that under given conditions achieves this end is good for those conditions, and the value of each device must be tested purely by the answer to the question, Does it or does it not secure the end in view? One of the worst faults that can be committed by practical men engaged in the difficult work of self-government is to make a fetich of a name, or to confound the means with the end. The end is to secure justice, equality of opportunity in industrial as well as in political matters, to safeguard the interests of all the people, and work for a system which shall promote the general diffusion of well-being and yet give ample rewards to those who in any walk of life and in any kind of work render exceptional service to the community as a whole. (Outlook, January 21, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 97; Nat. Ed. XVII, 62.

Progressive Movement—Origin of

Now there has sprung up a feeling deep in the hearts of the people—not of the bosses and professional politicians, not of the beneficiaries of special privilege—a pervading belief of thinking men that when the majority of the people do in fact, as well as theory, rule, then the servants of the people will come more quickly to answer and obey, not the commands of the special interests, but those of the whole people. To reach toward that end the Progressives of the Republican party in certain States have formulated certain proposals for change in the form of the State government—certain new “checks and balances” which may check and balance the special interests and their allies. (At Carnegie Hall, N. Y., March 20, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 202; Nat. Ed. XVII, 152.

Progressive Movement and States’ Rights

We Progressives stand for the rights of the people. When these rights can best be secured by insistence upon States’ rights, then we are for States’ rights; when they can best be secured by insistence upon national rights, then we are for national rights. Interstate commerce can be effectively controlled only by the nation. The States cannot control it under the Constitution, and to amend the Constitution by giving them control of it would amount to a dissolution of the government. (Before Progressive National Committee, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 385; Nat. Ed. XVII, 277.

____________. There is thus one group composed of those who understand Progressive Nationalism and heartily approve it because they believe it tends toward the abolition of special privilege and of political corruption and toward the development of a genuine democracy; and another group composed of those who cordially fear and fight it because they wish to preserve special privilege and evade control. There is yet another group who are not in the movement because they misunderstand it. One of the most frequently advanced allegations about the movement, made for the purpose of discrediting it in the minds of good men who do not know the facts, is that it stands for “overcentralization” and for the destruction of States’ rights. Nothing could be further from the truth. . . . The advocates of a Progressive Nationalism emphatically plead for efficient State action as well as for efficient national action. All they demand is that both State and national action be in the interest of, and not against the interest of, the people. The most efficient possible development of State power is not only not incompatible with but is likely to accompany the most efficient possible development of national power. (Outlook, January 14, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 82- 83; Nat. Ed. XVII, 50-51.

Progressive Party

Fundamentally the reason for the existence of the Progressive party is found in two facts: first, the absence of real distinctions between the old parties which correspond to those parties; and second, the determined refusal of the men in control of both parties to use the party organizations and their control of the government for the purpose of dealing with the problems really vital to our people. (Century, October 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 529; Nat. Ed. XVII, 338.

____________. The Progressive Party in this country embodies the Progressive movement, the movement which concerns itself with the rights of all men and women, and especially with the welfare of all who toil. The Progressive Movement is greater than the Progressive Party; yet the Progressive Party is at present the only instrument through which that movement can be advanced. Our effort is to make this country economically as well as politically a genuine democracy. The leaders of both the old parties at times pay lip service to the principles and the purposes of our party; but it is only lip service. Our purposes are the purposes of Thomas Jefferson when he founded the Democratic Party; although the lapse of a century has shown that the extreme individualism and the minimized government control which in that day served to achieve his purposes are in our day no longer serviceable. Both our purposes and our principles are those of Abraham Lincoln and of the Republicans of his day. All we have done has been to apply these principles in actual fact to the living problems of today; instead of praising them as applied to the dead problems of half a century back, and repudiating them with abhorrence when they are invoked on behalf of the men, women and children who toil in the Twentieth Century. (Introduction dated September 12, 1913.) S.J. Duncan Clark, The Progressive Movement. (Boston, 1913), p. xiii.

____________. The progressive Party was founded primarily to meet the great awakening of conscience which we have seen in the American people during the last few years. Thoughtful men and women have grown to realize that it is impossible that either our present political or industrial conditions shall continue unchanged if the Republic itself is to live and prosper. Self-government is incompatible with dishonest government; and a political democracy and a business oligarchy cannot permanently exist in the same country side by side. We are accused by our enemies of being hostile to business. So far is this from being true that we are the only true and real friends of business. The men of great wealth who are careless of the welfare of the average citizens of our country are laying up an evil harvest for their own children. It is not merely the part of justice, but the part of wisdom to remember that in the long run we here will all go up or go down together, and that the growth of misery in any one great class will ultimately make its baleful effects felt through all classes. We wish the business man to prosper, and, alone among the great parties, we propose a rational common-sense plan which will secure him prosperity at the same time that it secures us against possible wrongdoing by him. We hold that the right type of business man is the man who makes money by serving others, and if the service is great, we wish the reward to be great. We draw the line on conduct, not on size. We do not intend to destroy big business; where it is useful to the people we intend to keep it, but we intend so to supervise and control it that we can be sure that it will be useful. The more successful a man is, the better pleased we are, provided his success is achieved, not by hurting others, but by benefiting others. (At Philadelphia, March 13, 1913.) The Story of the Progressive Movement in Pennsylvania, p.45.

____________. We stand for every principle set forth in our platform. We stand for the purging of the roll of American public life by driving out of politics the big bosses who thwart the popular will, who rely on corruption as a political instrument, and who serve the cause privilege. But the function of the new party is not limited to securing the enactment of the measures advocated in the party’s platform, and the retirement of a few bosses. Our purpose is to keep up a continuous campaign for social and industrial justice and for genuine government by the people, and for the people. Such a campaign cannot be expected from any party which is partly reactionary; and at their best both of the old parties are partly, and they are usually dominantly, reactionary. Just as in the days of Jefferson, the Democratic was the Progressive party, so in the days of Lincoln, the Republican was the Progressive party; but in both of them now the machinery is in the hands of the representatives of reaction. Our function is to bring about the needed realignment of political parties along national and rational lines. Substantially the old parties are but wings of the same party of reaction and privilege. There is now no natural definite difference between them. They are two organizations maintained to secure special privileges and benefits, and not organizations to promote causes and principles. This has made possible the rule of the bipartisan bosses, and has deprived the people of effective means of correcting unsatisfactory conditions. Ultimately all the Progressives who still cling to the two old parties will have to come with us in order to effect the needed improvements in political conditions, in the efficiency of government, and in financial and industrial standards. (At Chicago, December 10, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 474; Nat. Ed. XVII, 350.

Progressive Party—Appeal of

The Progressive party is making its appeal to all our fellow citizens without any regard to their creed or to their birthplace. We do not regard as essential the way in which a man worships his God or as being affected by where he was born. We regard it as a matter of spirit and purpose. (At Milwaukee, Wis., October 14, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 445; Nat. Ed. XVII, 323.

____________. We stand shoulder to shoulder in a spirit of real brotherhood. We recognize no differences of class, creed, or birth-place. We recognize no sectionalism. Our appeal is made to the Easterner no less than to the Westerner. Our appeal is made to the Southerner no less than to the Northerner. We appeal to the men who wore the gray just as we appeal to the men who wore the blue. We appeal to the sons of the men who followed Lee no less than to the sons of the men who followed Grant; for the memory of the great deeds of both is now part of the common heritage of honor which belongs to all our people, wherever they dwell. (At Madison Square Garden, New York, October 30, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 461; Nat. Ed. XVII, 338.

Progressive Party—Birth of

I think the time has come when not only men who believe in Progressive principles, but all men who believe in those elementary maxims of public and private morality which must underlie every form of successful free government, should join in our movement. I, therefore, ask you to go to your several homes to find out the sentiment of the people at home and then again come together, I suggest by mass convention, to nominate for the presidency a Progressive on a Progressive platform that will enable us to appeal to Northerner and Southerner, Easterner and Westerner, Republican and Democrat alike, in the name of our common American citizenship. If you wish me to make the fight, I will make it, even if only one State should support me.

I am in this fight for certain principles, and the first and most important of these goes back to Sinai, and is embodied in the commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.” Thou shalt not steal a nomination. Thou shalt neither steal in politics nor in business. Thou shalt not steal from the people the birthright of the people to rule themselves. (At Chicago, June 22, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 392; Bishop II, 334.

Progressive Party—Duty of

Our task is to profit by the lessons of the past, and to check in time the evils that grow around us, lest our failure to do so may cause dreadful disaster to the people. We must not sit supine and helpless. We must not permit the brutal selfishness of arrogance and the brutal selfishness of envy, each to run unchecked its evil course. If we do so, then some day smouldering hatred will suddenly kindle into a consuming flame, and either we or our children will be called on to face a crisis as grim as any which this Republic has ever seen. It is our business to show that nine-tenths of wisdom consists in being wise in time. Woe to our nation if we let matters drift, if in our industrial and political life we let an unchecked and utterly selfish individualistic materialism riot to its appointed end! That end would be wide-spread disaster, for it would mean that our people would be sundered by those dreadful lines of division which are drawn when the selfish greed of the haves is set over against the selfish greed of the have-nots. There is but one way to prevent such a division, and that is to forestall it by the kind of a movement in which we are now engaged. (At Madison Square Garden, New York, October 30, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 456; Nat. Ed. XVII, 334.

Progressive Party—Future of

My immediate and acute trouble is over. The Progressive party cannot in all human probability make another fight as a national party; and, if it does, there will be no expectation that I will have to lead. I am through my hard and disagreeable work. I do not mean that there won’t come unpleasant and disagreeable things in connection with the party; but there won’t be any such heart-breaking and grinding work as I had last summer. The trouble was that most of my lieutenants, who were good, fine fellows, as disinterested and upright as possible, could not realize that the rank and file had left them; and they felt that I was going back on them if I refused to head the old-style type of fight. I had to make it; and that was all there was to it. (To Kermit Roosevelt, January 27, 1915.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 419; Bishop II, 356.

____________. The Progressive Party has come a cropper. Many causes have brought about the result. Over platform of 1912 was rather too advanced for the average man. Our typical leadership was also a little advanced along the lines of morality and loftiness of aim for the average man to follow. Moreover, we inevitably attracted great multitudes of cranks, who would like us to go into a kind of modified I. W. W. movement, to the emotionalists in this state who represented fundamentally the same type as the Englishmen who in multitudes supported the Tichborne claimant a generation ago. Finally, we have to deal with certain political habits that have become very deep- rooted in our people. The average man is a Democrat or a Republican and he is this as a matter of faith, not as a matter of morals. He no more requires a reason for so being than an adherent of the blue or green factions of the Byzantine Circus required a reason. He has grown to accept as correlative to this attitude entire willingness to punish his party by voting for the opposite party. Having done this, he returns to his own party. (To Charles J. Bonaparte, November 7, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 416; Bishop II, 353-354.

____________. It would be utter silliness for the Progressive Party, as such, to go into the next campaign. In spite of every effort of the leaders it died in 1914 and it is mere folly to keep it alive. (To S. H. Clark, December 23, 1918.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 547-548;
Bishop II, 468.

Progressive Party—Opponents of

The fundamental concern of the privileged interests is to beat the new party. Some of them would rather beat it with Mr. Wilson; others would rather beat it with Mr. Taft; but the difference between Mr. Wilson and Mr. Taft they consider as trivial, as a mere matter of personal preference. Their real fight is for either, as against the Progressives. They represent the allied a reactionaries of the country, and they are against the new party because to their unerring vision it is evident that the real danger to privilege comes from the new party, and from the new party alone. The men who presided over the Baltimore and the Chicago Conventions, and the great bosses who controlled the two conventions, Mr. Root and Mr. Parker, Mr. Barnes and Mr. Murphy, Mr. Penrose and Mr. Taggart, Mr. Guggenheim and Mr. Sullivan, differ from one another of course on certain points. But these are the differences which one corporation lawyer has with another corporation lawyer when acting for different corporations. They come together at once as against a common enemy when the dominion of both is threatened by the supremacy of the people of the United States, now aroused to the need of a national alignment on the vital economic issues of this generation. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 360; Nat. Ed. XVII, 256.

____________. The great majority of capitalists . . . and of the big corporation lawyers so intimately connected with them, are naturally hostile to us. Their hostility did not surprise me. The men who are most benefited by privilege unless they are exceptionally disinterested and far-sighted, cannot be expected to feel friendly toward those who assail privilege. But associated with them are many men whose selfish interest in privilege is far less obvious. I genuinely regret that we have had with us so small a percentage of the men for whom life has been easy, who belong to or are intimately associated with the leisured and monied classes; so small a proportion of the class which furnishes the bulk of the membership in the larger social, business and professional clubs, and which supplies the majority of the heads of our great educational institutions and of the men generally, who take the lead in upholding the cause of virtue when only the minor moralities and the elegancies of life are at issue. My concern and regret are primarily for these men themselves. They could do us good by joining with us, for it is earnestly to be wished that this movement for social justice shall number among its leaders at least a goodly proportion of men whose leadership is obviously disinterested, who will themselves receive no material benefit from the changes which as a matter of justice they advocate. Yet the good to the people would be small compared to the good which these men would do to their own class by casting in their lot with us as we battle for the rights of humanity, as we battle for social and industrial justice, as we champion the cause of those who most need champions and for whom champions have been too few. (At Chicago, June 17, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 308-309; Nat. Ed. XVII, 223-224.

____________. I would like to say just a word to a portion of our friends, the enemy—the bulk of the very wealthy men. The bulk of the very wealthy business men have been shortsightedly opposed to us. I wish that they would remember that it is a great deal safer for them in the long run to trust to fair play from honest men rather than to receiving unfair advantages from crooked men. Sooner or later they will have it beaten in on them that any man who will steal for them will steal from them. It is a good deal safer to trust not to getting privileges to which they are not entitled, but to men who won’t do any injustice for them, and because of that very fact can be trusted not to do any injustice to them. (At Philadelphia, March 13, 1913.) The Story of the Progressive Movement in Pennsylvania, pp. 41-42.

____________. We Progressives were fighting for elementary social and industrial justice, and we had with us the great majority of the practical idealists of the country. But we had against us both the old political organizations and ninety-nine per cent at the very least of the corporate wealth of the country, and therefore the great majority of the newspapers. Moreover we were not able to reach the hearts of the materialists, or to stir the imagination of the well-meaning somewhat sodden men who lack vision and prefer to travel in a groove. We were fought by the Socialists as bitterly as by the representatives of the two old parties, and this for the very reason that we stand equally against government by a plutocracy and government by a mob. (To Sir Edward Grey, November 15, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 408; Bishop II, 347.

Progressive Party—Platform of

At the outset I wish to explain that the Progressive platform is our covenant with the people, binding the party and its candidates in state and nation to the pledges made therein. We regard it as a contract which we wish to enter into with the American people, and if given the power it is our purpose to carry into effect every one of the proposals that constitute the obligations of this contract. Furthermore, this platform is a program in which is set forth the concrete measures that we advocate. In this it differs fundamentally from the Democratic platform, which, as the leader of that party, admits, “is not a program.” We Progressives are more fortunate. Our platform states explicitly what we propose and definitely what we intend to do with regard to the vital issues of the day. It is entirely sincere and practical. We do not have to apologize for it or speak of it in language so carefully guarded as to convey the impression that we are endeavoring neither to repudiate it nor to support it. We stand squarely on our platform and ask that it be adopted by the American people. And I am glad that we Progressives have the right, in view of our platform, to make the same serious and sober appeal to the women that we make to the men. Saturday Evening Post, October 26, 1912, p.3.

Progressive Party—Service of

The Progressive movement has been given an incalculable impetus by what the Progressive party has done. Our strongest party antagonists have accepted and enacted into law, or embodied in their party platforms, very many of our most important principles. Much has been accomplished in awakening the public to a better understanding of the problems of social and industrial welfare. Yet it has become entirely evident that the people under existing conditions are not prepared to accept a new party. It is impossible for us Progressives to abandon our convictions. But we are faced with the fact that as things actually are the Progressive national organization no longer offers the means whereby we can make these convictions effective in our national life. Under such circumstances our duty is to do the best we can, and not to sulk because our leadership is rejected. That we ourselves continue to believe that the course we advocated was in the highest interest of the American people is aside from the question. It is unpatriotic to refuse to do the best possible merely because the people have not put us in position to do what we regard as the very best. It remains for us, good-humoredly and with common sense, to face the situation and endeavor to get out of it the best that it can be made to yield from the standpoint of the interests of the nation as a whole. (To Progressive National Committee, June 22, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 566; Nat. Ed. XVII, 416.

Progressive Party Convention of 1916

The delegates who go to Chicago will have it in their power to determine the character of the administration which is to do or leave undone the mighty tasks of the next four years. That administration can do an incalculable amount to make or mar our country’s future. The men chosen to decide such a question ought not to be politicians of the average type and parochial outlook; still less should they be politicians controlled by sinister influence from within or without. They should be the very best men that can be found in our country, whose one great mission should be to declare in unequivocal terms for a programme of clean-cut, straight-out, national Americanism, in deeds not less than in words, and in internal and international matters alike, and to choose as their candidate a man who will not merely stand for such a programme before elec-tion, but will resolutely and in good faith put it through if elected. These men should be men of rugged independence, who possess the broadest sympathy with and understanding of the needs and desires of their fellows; their loyalty should be neither to classes nor to sections, but to the whole of the United States and to all the people that dwell therein. They should be controlled by no man and no interest and their own minds should be open. (Statement to press, Trinidad, B. W. I., March 9, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 562; Nat. Ed. XVII, 412.

Progressive Party

See Also Armageddon; Beveridge, Albert J.; Democratic Party; Election Of 1912; Election Of 1916; Hays, Will H.; La Follette, Robert M.; Labor; Leadership; New Nationalism; Reformers; Republican Party; Taft, W. H.; Tariff.

Progressive Principles

We Progressives believe that the people have the right, the power, and the duty to protect themselves and their own welfare; that human rights are supreme over all other rights; that wealth should be the servant, not the master, of the people.

We believe that unless representative government does absolutely represent the people it is not representative government at all. We test the worth of all men and all measures by asking how they contribute to the welfare of the men, women, and children of whom this nation is composed. We are engaged in one of the great battles of the age-long contest waged against privilege on behalf of the common welfare.

We hold it a prime duty of the people to free our government from the control of money in politics. For this purpose we advocate, not as ends in themselves, but as weapons in the hands of the people, all governmental devices which will make the representatives of the people more easily and certainly responsible to the people’s will. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 164; Nat. Ed. XVII, 120.

____________. We believe in securing for the people the direct election of United States senators exactly as the people have already secured in actual practice the direct election of the President. We believe in securing for the people the right of nominating candidates for office, from the President down, by direct primaries, because the convention system, good in its day, has been twisted from its purpose, so that the delegates to the conventions when chosen under the present methods by pressure of money and patronage, often deliberately misrepresent instead of representing the popular will. We believe in securing to the people the exercise of a real and not merely a nominal control over their representatives in office, this control to include the power to secure the enactment of laws which the people demand, and the rejection of laws to which the people are opposed if after due effort it is found impossible to get from the legislature and the courts a real representation of the deliberate popular judgment in these matters. (At Louisville, Ky., April 3, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 242; Nat. Ed. XVII, 178.

____________. Our movement is one of resolute insistence upon the rights and full acknowledgment of the duties of every man and every woman within this great land of ours. We war against the forces of evil, and the weapons we use are the weapons of right. We do not set greed against greed or hatred against hatred. Our creed is one that bids us to be just to all, to feel sympathy for all, and to strive for an understanding of the needs of all. Our purpose is to smite down wrong. But towards those who have done the wrong we feel only the kindliest charity that is compatible with causing the wrong to cease. We preach hatred to no man, and the spirit in which we work is as far removed from vindictiveness as from weakness. We are resolute to do away with the evil, and we intend to proceed with such wise and cautious sanity as will cause the very minimum of disturbance that is compatible with achieving our purpose. (At Madison Square Garden, New York, October 30, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 457; Nat. Ed. XVII, 335.

Progressive Principles—Attainment of

The promotion of genuine popular government in America, the defense of human rights, and the establishment of social and industrial justice, so that every force in the community may be directed towards securing for the average man and average woman a higher and better and fuller life in the things of the body no less than those of the mind and soul, . . . [require] a new and radical application of the old principles of justice and common honesty, which are as eternal as life itself. New methods and new machinery are needed for carrying these principles into our National existence; and also a broader sympathy, so that our justice may be generous and human, and not merely legalistic. Outlook, March 30, 1912, p. 720.

Progressive Principles—Survival of

What the future of the Progressive Party will be, nobody can say, but I am very confident that our principles in some shape or other will triumph. At present, however, I do not see how the party can triumph under me; but I have to continue to take a certain interest in it until a new man of sufficient power comes along. (To Sir Henry Lucy, December 18, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 409; Bishop II, 348.

____________. Sooner or later the national principles championed by the Progressives of 1912, must in their general effect be embodied in the structure of our national existence. With all my heart I shall continue to work for these great ideals, shoulder to shoulder with the men and women who in 1912 championed them; and I am sure that these men and women will show a like loyalty to the other, the fundamental, ideals which the events of the last two years have proven to be vital to the permanency of our national existence. (To Progressive National Committee, June 22, 1916.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 566; Nat. Ed. XVII, 415.

Progressive Principles

See also Business; Combinations; Constitution; Corporations; Courts; Initiative; Judiciary; Labor; Monopolies; New Nationalism; Primaries; Recall; Referendum; Tariff; Trusts.


I think the average liquor-seller would infinitely rather see a prohibitory law passed, which he knows he can avoid, than see some practical measure passed which he knows would be enforced, and the enforcement of which he fears. You do not frighten the liquor-seller by telling him his traffic will be annulled in New York; he knows better; he knows you can’t stop it entirely, and he is willing to have you try, because he knows you will fail. You do frighten him if you set to work coolly and with common sense to regulate his traffic, to see that as far as it can be made, just so far it shall be made decent; to see that the evils resulting from it shall be reduced to a minimum. (In New York Assembly, January 24, 1884.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 39; Nat. Ed. XIV, 30.

____________. If ever there was a wicked attitude it is that of these fanatic extremists who advocate a law so drastic that it cannot be enforced, knowing perfectly well that lawlessness and contempt of law follow. . . . To pass prohibitory laws to govern localities where the sentiment does not sustain them is simply equivalent to allowing free liquor, plus lawlessness, and is the very worst possible way of solving the problem. My experience with prohibitionists, however, is that the best way to deal with them is to ignore them. (To W. H. Taft, July 16, 1908.) Henry F. Pringle, Theodore Roosevelt. (Harcourt, Brace & Co., N.Y., 1931), p. 142.

____________. In answer to your question I wish to state that at the outbreak of the war I advocated prohibiting the use of all hard grains, of all grains that can be used in food products, for the making of alcoholic liquor. I am sure that this would have eliminated much of the evil of intemperance which now seriously handicaps our preparations for war. When we must feed our army and help the armies of our allies not a bushel of grain should be permitted to be made into intoxicating liquor. Neither the men in the army nor the men engaged in doing vital work for the army in connection with railroads, factories, mines and shipyards should be allowed to waste strength and health in drink at this time. The same reasons that render it necessary to prohibit the sale of liquor to soldiers in uniform, or within a given number of miles from a military camp, and to stop its use on battleships, apply to extending similar protection for all citizens engaged in the work of railroads, factories, mines and shipyards. (To Clarence True Wilson, December 12, 1917.) Christian Advocate, January 17, 1918, p. 70.

Prohibition — Enforcement of

I have been in States where prohibition is nominally enforced. In those States, in certain districts where the people who believe in prohibition are greatly in excess of the people who do not believe in it, it is to a certain extent enforced. In all other sections the law is almost a dead letter. In all other sections drunkenness is if anything increased—the crimes resulting from drunkenness are if anything made more frequent by the very presence of the prohibitory clause in the Constitution. (In New York Assembly, January 24, 1884.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 36; Nat. Ed. XIV, 28.


See also Liquor Law; Liquor Tax; Temperance.


The liquor men and temperance people invariably subordinate all greater issues to the one in which they are immediately interested. (To H. C. Lodge, September 12, 1906.) Lodge Letters II, 231.

____________. Many of the Prohibitionists are honestly and earnestly desirous of doing all they can to check this evil. But it seems to me that within that party there are many men who are so utterly impracticable that they are quite as responsible as any of the liquor- dealers for much of the evil that now results from the liquor traffic. I say that deliberately, and repeat it again, that many of the extreme Prohibitionists do quite as much harm to decency and morality as do the extremists of the other side; for they side with liquor- sellers to prevent any law being enacted that will practically result in the minimizing of the evils of the traffic. (In New York Assembly, January 24, 1884.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 36; Nat. Ed. XIV, 28.

Prohibitionists and the Liquor Tax

It is a rudimentary axiom of political economy to raise revenue when practicable by a tax on mere luxuries and superfluities; and if there is a single article that it is right to tax, it is whiskey. The people who drink and sell liquor are, of all others, those who should be made to contribute in every possible way to pay the running expenses of the State, for there can be no hardship involved in paying heavily for the use of what is at best a luxury, and frequently a pernicious luxury. The very fact that the third party (the Prohibitionists) have declared in favor of removing the tax should make us set our faces against it; for experience has invariably shown that these same third party Prohibitionists are the most valuable allies the liquor-sellers possess, and are the consistent opponents of every rational scheme for dealing with the liquor question. (Before Union League Club, New York, January 11, 1888.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 129; Nat. Ed. XIV, 77.


A man is worthless unless he has in him a lofty devotion to an ideal, and he is worthless also unless he strives to realize this ideal by practical methods. He must promise, both to himself and to others, only what he can perform; but what really can be performed he must promise, and such promise he must at all hazards make good. (Outlook, July 28, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 402-403; Nat. Ed. XIII, 400.

____________. Promises that are idly given and idly broken represent profound detriment to the morality of nations. Until no promise is idly entered into and until promises that have once been made are kept, at no matter what cost of risk and effort and positive loss, just of long will distrust and suspicion and wrong -doing rack the world. (New York Times, November 29, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XX, 200; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 171.

____________. It is idle to make promises on behalf of a movement for world peace unless we intend to live up to them. If so, the first step is to live up to the promises we have already made, and not to try to sneak out of them on the ground that to fulfil them means to abandon our “policy of refusal to be entangled in foreign alliances.” (Metropolitan, August 1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, 361; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 309.

Promises — Value of

The one fact which all of us need to keep steadfastly before our eyes is the need that performance should square with promise if good work is to be done, whether in the industrial or in the political world. Nothing does more to promote mental dishonesty and moral insincerity than the habit either of promising the impossible, or of demanding the performance of the impossible, or, finally, of failing to keep a promise that has been made; and it makes not the slightest difference whether it is a promise made on the stump or off the stump. Remember that there are two sides to the wrong thus committed. There is, first, the wrong of failing to keep a promise made, and, in the next place, there is the wrong of demanding the impossible, and therefore forcing or permitting weak or unscrupulous men to make a promise which they either know, or should know, cannot be kept. . . . We can do a great deal when we undertake, soberly, to do the possible. When we undertake the impossible, we too often fail to do anything at all. (At Labor Day Picnic, Chicago, September 3, 1900.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 519; Nat. Ed. XIII, 489-490.

____________. National promises, made in treaties, in Hague conventions, and the like are like the promises of individuals. The sole value of the promise comes in the performance. Recklessness in making promises is in practice almost or quite as mischievous and dishonest as indifference to keeping promises; and this as much in the case of nations as in the case of individuals. Upright men make few promises, and keep those they make. (1915.) Mem. Ed. XX, xxii; Nat. Ed. XVIII, xxii.


See also Arbitration; Big Stick; Compromise; Election Pledges; Foreign Relations; National Obligations; Party Platforms; Platform Promises; Political Promises; Treaties.


The prongbuck is the most characteristic and distinctive of American game animals. Zoologically speaking, its position is unique. It is the only hollow-horned ruminant which sheds its horns, or rather the horn sheaths. We speak of it as an antelope, and it does of course represent on our prairies the antelopes of the Old World; but it stands apart from all other horned animals. Its place in the natural world is almost as lonely as that of the giraffe. In all its ways and habits it differs as much from deer and elk as from goat and sheep. Now that the buffalo has gone, it is the only game really at home on the wide plains. It is a striking-looking little creature, with its prominent eyes, single-pronged horns, and the sharply contrasted white, brown, and reddish of its coat. The brittle hair is stiff, coarse, and springy; on the rump it is brilliantly white, and is erected when the animal is alarmed and excited, so as to be very conspicuous. In marked contrast to deer, antelope never seek to clued observation; all they care for is to be able themselves to see. As they have good noses and wonderful eyes, and as they live by preference where there is little or no cover, shots at them are usually obtained at far longer range than is the case with other game. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 123; Nat. Ed. II, 496.

Prongbuck — Hunting the

The prongbucks are almost the only game that can be hunted as well during the heat of the day as at any other time. They occasionally lie down for two or three hours about noon in some hollow where they cannot be seen, but usually there is no place where they are sure they can escape observation even when resting; and when this is the case they choose a somewhat conspicuous station and trust to their own powers of observation, exactly as they do when feeding. . . . Prongbucks are very fast runners indeed, even faster than deer. They vary greatly in speed, however, precisely as is the case with deer; in fact, I think that the average hunter make true friend of property, the true conservative, is he s altogether too little account of this individual variation among different animals of the same kind. (1905.) Mem. Ed. III, 136, 139; Nat. Ed. II, 507, 509.


The who insists that property shall be the servant and not the master of the commonwealth; who insists that the creature of man’s making shall be the servant and not the master of the man who made it. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have themselves called into being. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 17; Nat. Ed. XVII, 11.

____________. I believe in shaping the ends of government to protect property as well as human welfare. Normally, and in the long run, the ends are the same; but whenever the alternative must be faced, I am for men and not for property, as you were in the Civil War. I am far from underestimating the importance of dividends; but I rank dividends below human character. Again, I do not have any sympathy with the reformer who says he does not care for dividends. Of course, economic welfare is necessary, for a man must pull his own weight and be able to support his family. I know well that the reformers must not bring upon the people economic ruin, or the reforms themselves will go down in the ruin. But we must be ready to face temporary disaster, whether or not brought on by those who will war against us to the knife. Those who oppose all reform will do well to remember that ruin in its worst form is inevitable if our national life brings us nothing better than swollen fortunes for the few and the triumph in both politics and business of a sordid and selfish materialism. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 27; Nat. Ed. XVII, 20.

____________. You cannot protect property without finding that you are protecting the property of some people who are not very straight. You cannot war against the abuses of property without finding that there are some people warring beside you whose motives you would frankly repudiate. But in each case be sure that you keep your own motives and your own conduct straight. When it becomes necessary to curb a great corporation, curb it. I will do my best to help you do it. But I will do it in no spirit of anger or hatred to the men who own or control that corporation; and if any seek in their turn to do wrong to the men of means, to do wrong to the men who own corporations, I will turn around and fight for them in defense of their rights just as hard as I fight against them when I think that they are doing wrong. (At Oyster Bay, N. Y., July 4, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 9; Nat. Ed. XVI, 8.

Property—Abuses of

Our purpose is to build up rather than to tear down. We show ourselves the truest friends of property when we make it evident that we will not tolerate the abuses of property. We are steadily bent on preserving the institution of private property; we combat every tendency toward reducing the people to economic servitude; and we care not whether the tendency is due to a sinister agitation directed against all property, or whether it is due to the actions of those members of the predatory classes whose antisocial power is immeasurably increased because of the very fact that they possess wealth. (At Jamestown Exposition, April 26, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XII, 595; Nat. Ed. XI, 313.

Property—Uses of

The use and abuse of property. The use of it is to use it as any honest man would use his property in reference to his brother. Its abuse is to use it as any honest man would not use his property in reference to his brother. All that the legislature, all that our public bodies, have to do is to see that our policy as a State, that the policy of the legislatures and the policy of the nation is shaped along those lines; that when a measure comes up in our State legislature, it shall be treated absolutely on its merits. (Before Independent Club, Buffalo, May 15, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 489; Nat. Ed. XIV, 328.

Property Rights

Violent excess is sure to provoke violent reaction; and the worst possible policy for our country would be one of violent oscillation between reckless upsetting of property rights, and unscrupulous greed manifested under pretense of protecting those rights. Outlook, September 3, 1910, p. 24.

____________. One great problem that we have before us is to preserve the rights of property; and these can only be preserved if we remember that they are in less jeopardy from the Socialist and the Anarchist than from the predatory man of wealth. It has become evident that to refuse to invoke the power of the Nation to restrain the wrongs committed by the man of great wealth who does evil is not only to neglect the interests of the public, but is to neglect the interests of the man of means who acts honorably by his fellows. The power of Nation must be exerted to stop crimes of cunning no less than crimes of violence. There can be no halt in the course we have deliberately elected to pursue, the policy of asserting the right of the Nation, so far as it has the power, to supervise and control the business use of wealth, especially in its corporate form. (At Indianapolis, Ind., May 30, 1907.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VI, 1248.

Property Rights and Human Rights

I believe in property rights; I believe that normally the rights of property and humanity coincide; but sometimes they conflict, and where this is so I put human rights above property rights. Outlook, November 15, 1913, p. 595.

____________. I urge that in such cases where the courts construe the due process clause as if property rights, to the exclusion of human rights, had a first mortgage on the Constitution, the people may, after sober deliberation, vote, and finally determine whether the law which the court set aside shall be valid or not. By this method can be clearly and finally ascertained the preponderant opinion of the people which Justice Holmes makes the test of due process in the case of laws enacted in the exercise of the police power. The ordinary methods now in vogue of amending the Constitution have in actual practice proved wholly inadequate to secure justice in such cases with reasonable speed, and cause intolerable delay and injustice, and those who stand against the changes I propose are champions of wrong and injustice, and of tyranny by the wealthy and the strong over the weak and the helpless. (At Carnegie Hall, New York, March 20, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 205; Nat. Ed. XVII, 155.

____________. We recognize that property has its rights; but they are only incident to, they come second to, the rights of humanity. We hold that the resources of the earth were placed here for the use of man in the mass, that they are to be developed for the common welfare of all, and that they are not to be seized by a few for the purpose of oppression of the many or even with disregard of the rights of the many. Yet we earnestly believe and insist that our policy so far from being detrimental to property or to business will be for the good of property and of business. Our policy alone can permanently benefit property and business because our policy is to put both property and business in their proper relations with humanity. (At New York City, February 12, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 485; Nat. Ed. XVII, 359.

____________. My position as regards the moneyed interests can be put in a few words. In every civilized society property rights must be carefully safeguarded; ordinarily, and in the great majority of cases, human rights and property rights are fundamentally and in the long run identical; but when it clearly appears that there is a real conflict between them, human rights must have the upper hand, for property belongs to man and not 
man to property. (At the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XV, 360; Nat. Ed. XIII, 515.


See also Business; Capitalist; Corporations; Fortunes; Materialist ; Profits; Public Welfare; Wealth.


It cannot be too often repeated that in this country, in the long run, we all of us tend to go up or go down together. If the average of well-being is high, it means that the average wage-worker, the average farmer, and the average business man are all alike well off. If the average shrinks, there is not one of these classes which will not feel the shrinkage. Of course, there are always some men who are not affected by good times, just as there are some men who are not affected by bad times. But speaking broadly, it is true that if prosperity comes all of us tend to share more or less therein, and that if adversity comes each of us, to a greater or less extent, feels the tension. Unfortunately, in this world the innocent frequently find themselves obliged to pay some of the penalty for the misdeeds of the guilty; and so if hard times come, whether they be due to our own fault or to our misfortune, whether they be due to some burst of speculative frenzy that has caused a portion of the business world to lose its head—a loss which no legislation can possibly supply—or whether they be due to any lack of wisdom in a portion of the world of labor—in each case the trouble once started is felt more or less in every walk of life. (At State Fair, Syracuse, N. Y., September 7, 1903.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 58; Nat. Ed. XVI, 50.

____________. Wise laws and fearless and upright administration of the laws can give the opportunity for such prosperity as we see about us. But that is all that they can do. When the conditions have been created which make prosperity possible, then each individual man must achieve it for himself by his own energy and thrift and business intelligence. If when people wax fat they kick, as they have kicked since the days of Jeshurun, they will speedily destroy their own prosperity. If they go into wild speculation and lose their heads they have lost that which no laws can supply. If in a spirit of sullen envy they insist upon pulling down those who have profited most in the years of fatness, they will bury themselves in the crash of the common disaster. It is difficult to make our material condition better by the best laws, but it is easy enough to ruin it by bad laws. But it is easy enough to ruin it by bad laws. (At Providence, R. I., August 23, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 73-74; Nat. Ed. XVI, 61-62.

Prosperity—Basis of

The cornerstones of our unexampled prosperity are, on the one hand, the production of raw material, and its manufacture and distribution on the other. (At semicentennial celebration, founding of Agricultural Colleges, Lansing, Mich., May 31, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 180; Nat. Ed. XVI, 136.

____________. Prosperity can only be lasting if it is based on justice, and it cannot be based on justice unless the small man, the farmer, the mechanic, the wage-worker generally, the clerk on a salary, the small business man, the retail dealer, have their rights guaranteed. If these men have their rights guaranteed, then they will prosper, and the prosperity will extend to the big men. Fundamentally, our opponents who say they are for prosperity differ from us in wishing to see the prosperity come to the big man first and then drip down through to the little man. Now I am just as anxious to see the big man prosper as they are, but I do not believe that he can prosper in any really enduring manner unless under conditions which insure to the small men their fair chance. (At Chicago, March 27, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 225.

____________. Prosperity can never be created by law alone, although it is easy enough to destroy it by mischievous law. If the hand of the Lord is heavy upon any country, if flood or drought comes, human wisdom is powerless to avert the calamity. Moreover, no law can guard us against the consequences of our own folly. The men who are idle or credulous, the men who seek gains not by genuine work with head or hand but by gambling in any form, are always a source of menace not only to themselves but to others. If the business world loses its head, it loses what legislation cannot supply. Fundamentally, the welfare of each citizen, and therefore the welfare of the aggregate of citizens which makes the nation, must rest upon individual thrift and energy, resolution, and intelligence. Nothing can take the place of this individual capacity; but wise legislation and honest and intelligent administration can give it the fullest scope, the largest opportunity to work to good effect. (First Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 100; Nat. Ed. XV, 87.

Prosperity—Conditions of

We are in a period of change; we are fronting a great period of further change. Never was the need more imperative for men of vision who are also men of action. Disaster is ahead of us if we trust to the leadership of the menwhose hearts are seared and whose eyes are blinded, who believe that we can find safety in dull timidity and dull inaction. The unrest cannot be quieted by the ingenious trickery of those who profess to advance by merely marking time. It cannot be quieted by demanding only the prosperity which is to come to those who have much, in such quantity that some will drip through to those who have little. There must be material prosperity; they are enemies of all of us who wantonly or unwisely interfere with it or disregard it; but it can only come in permanent shape if obtained in accordance with, and not against, the spirit of justice and righteousness. Clouds hover above the horizon throughout the civilized world. But here in America the fault is our own if the sky above us is not clear. We have a continent on which to work out our destiny. Our people, our men and women, are fit to face the mighty days. If we fail, the failure will be lamentable; for not only shall we fail for ourselves, but our failure will wreck the fond desires of all, throughout the world, who look toward us with the eager hope that here, in this great Republic, it shall be proved from ocean to ocean that the people can rule themselves, and thus ruling can give liberty and do justice both to themselves and to others. (At Louisville, Ky., April 3, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 251; Nat. Ed. XVII, 186.

____________. General prosperity is conditioned mainly upon private business prosperity. Such private prosperity, if obtained by swindling in any form, represents general detriment. But it is essential, in the common interest, not to damage legitimate private business by either misdirected or overrapid activity in securing, for the public at large or for the less fortunate among our fellows, benefits which ought to be secured but which can only be secured if the community as a whole is in a strong, healthy, and prosperous condition. It is essential to pass prosperity around; but it is mere common sense to recognize that unless it exists it cannot be passed around. The wage-workers must get their full share in the general well-being; but if there is no general well-being there will be no share of it for anybody. (Metropolitan, May 1917.) Mem. Ed. XXI, 98-99; Nat. Ed. XIX, 85.

Prosperity—Division of

There is no point in having prosperity unless there can be an equitable division of prosperity. But there can be no equitable division of prosperity until the prosperity is there to divide. All reformers with any wisdom will keep this fact steadily in mind, and will realize that it is their dutyin all legislation to work for the general prosperity of the community; and this in spite of the further fact that no good comes from the performance of this first duty unless some system of equity and justice is built upon the prosperity thus secured. (Outlook, November 18, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 222; Nat. Ed. XII, 239.

____________. The only prosperity worth having is that which affects the mass of the people. We are bound to strive for the fair distribution of prosperity. But it behooves us to remember that there is no use in devising methods for the proper distribution of prosperity unless the prosperity is there to distribute. I hold it to be our duty to see that the wageworker, the small producer, the ordinary consumer, shall get their fair share of the benefit of business prosperity. But it either is or ought to be evident to every one that business has to prosper before anybody can get any benefit from it. Therefore I hold that he is the real Progressive, that he is the genuine champion of the people, who endeavors to shape the policy alike of the nation and of the several States so as to encourage legitimate and honest business at the same time that he wars against all crookedness and injustice and unfairness and tyranny in the business world (for of course we can only get business put on a basis of permanent prosperity when the element of injustice is taken out of it). (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 169; Nat. Ed. XVII, 124.

____________. Our purpose is to see that there is a proper division of prosperity. But there can be no division unless the prosperity is there to divide. One of the methods by which the prosperity will certainly be abolished is to draw the line against size and efficiency instead of against misconduct. Another way to destroy it is to impose burdens, however necessary and proper, without facing the fact that some one must pay for the burdens, and that if the investor cannot pay for them and at the same time get a reasonable return on his investment, then either the business will close or the public must share the burden with the investor. (Outlook, July 5, 1913.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 122.

____________. Unfortunately, those dealing with the subject [of material prosperity] have tended to divide into two camps, each as unwise as the other. One camp has fixed its eyes only on the need of prosperity, loudly announcing that our attention must be confined to securing it in bulk, and that the division must be left to take care of itself. This is merely the plan, already tested and found wanting, of giving prosperity to the big men on top, and trusting to their mercy to let something leak through to the mass of their countrymen below—which, in effect, means that there shall be no attempt to regulate the ferocious scramble in which greed and cunning reap the largest rewards. The other set has fixed its eyes purely on the injustices of distribution, omitting all consideration of the need of having something to distribute, and advocates action which, it is true, would abolish most of the inequalities of the distribution of prosperity, but only by the unfortunately simple process of abolishing the prosperity itself. This means merely that conditions are to be evened, not up, but down, so that all shall stand on a common level, where nobody has any prosperity at all. The task of the wise radical must be to refuse to be misled by either set of false advisers; he must both favor and promote the agencies that make for prosperity, and at the same time see to it that these agencies are so used as to be primarily of service to the average man. (Before Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 380; Nat. Ed. XVII, 273.

Prosperity—Effects of

When people have become very prosperous they tend to become sluggishly indifferent to the continuation of the policies that brought about their prosperity. (At Union League, Phila., November 22, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 481; Nat. Ed. XVI, 358.

Prosperity-Place of

No country can long endure if its foundations are not laid deep in the material prosperity which comes from thrift, from business energy and enterprise, from hard, unsparing effort in the fields of industrial activity; but neither was any nation ever yet truly great if it relied upon material prosperity alone. (Before the Hamilton Club, Chicago, April 10, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XV, 272; Nat. Ed. XIII, 323.

____________. Though material prosperity is indispensable, yet it cannot by itself atone for the lack of that higher and finer moral and spiritual excellence which ultimately counts for more than all else in the true life of a great nation. (Campaign speech, New York City, October 5, 1898.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 447; Nat. Ed. XIV, 295.


See also Hard Times; Legislation; Panic; Profits; Public Welfare; Tariff; Thrift; Wealth.

Prostitution—Economic Causes of

As for the wretched girls who follow the dreadful trade in question, a good deal can be done by a change in economic conditions. This ought to be done. When girls are paid wages inadequate to keep them from starvation, or to permit them to live decently, a certain proportion are forced by their economic misery into lives of vice. The employers and all others responsible for these conditions stand on a moral level not far above the white slavers themselves. But it is a mistake to suppose that either the correction of these economic conditions or the abolition of the white-slave trade will wholly correct the evil or will even reach the major part of it. The economic factor is very far from being the chief factor in inducing girls to go into this dreadful life. As with so many other problems, while there must be governmental action, there must also be strengthening of the average individual character in order to achieve the desired end. Even where economic conditions are bad, girls who are both strong and pure will remain unaffected by temptations to which girls of weak character or lax standards readily yield. Any man who knows the wide variation in the proportions of the different races and nationalities engaged in prostitution must come to the conclusion that it is out of the question to treat economic conditions as the sole conditions or even as the chief conditions that determine this question. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 237; Nat. Ed. XX, 203.

Prostitution—Remedies for

I do not know of any method which will put a complete stop to the evil, but I do know certain things that ought to be done to minimize it. One of these is treating men and women on an exact equality for the same act. Another is the establishment of night courts and. of special commissions to deal with this special class of cases. Another is that suggested by the Reverend Charles Stelzle, of the Labor Temple—to publish conspicuously the name of the owner of any property used for immoral purposes, after said owner had been notified of the use and has failed to prevent it. Another is to prosecute the keepers and backers of brothels, men and women, as relentlessly and punish them as severely as pickpockets and common thieves. They should never be fined; they should be imprisoned. As for the girls, the very young ones and first offenders should be put in the charge of probation officers or sent to reformatories, and the large percentage of feeble-minded girls and of incorrigible girls and women should be sent to institutions created for them. We would thus remove from this hideous commerce the articles of commerce. Moreover, the Federal Government must in ever-increasing measure proceed against the degraded promoters of this commercialism, for their activities are inter-State and the nation can often deal with them more effectively than the States; although, as public sentiment becomes aroused, nation, State, and municipality will all co- operate toward the same end of rooting out the traffic. But the prime need is to raise the level of individual morality; and moreover, to encourage early marriages, the single standard of sex morality, and a strict sense of reciprocal conjugal obligation. The women who preach late marriages are by just so much making it difficult to better the standard of chastity. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 235-236; Nat. Ed. XX, 202.


See also White Slave Traffic.


See Reciprocity; Tariff.

Protective Coloration

See Animals; Birds.


See Independence Spirit; Nationalism; New England; Sectionalism; States Rights; West.

Public Buildings

Whenever hereafter a public building is provided for and erected, it should be erected in accordance with a carefully thought out plan adopted long before; . . . it should be not only beautiful in itself, but fitting in its relations to the whole scheme of the public buildings, the parks, the drives of the District. Working through municipal commissions, very great progress has already been made in rendering more beautiful our cities, from New York to San Francisco. An incredible amount remains to be done. But a beginning has been made, and now I most earnestly hope that in the National Capital a better beginning will be made than anywhere else, and that can be made only by utilizing to the fullest degree the thought and the disinterested effort of the architects, the artists, the men of art, who stand foremost in their professions here in the United States, and who ask no other reward than the reward of feeling that they have done their full part to make as beautiful as it should be the capital city of the great Republic. (At dinner of American Institute of Architects, Washington, D. C., January 11, 1905.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers III, 204.

____________. It is to our discredit as a nation that our governmental buildings should so frequently be monuments of sordid ugliness Only too often the Government does less to advance the standards of architecture, and therefore of public taste, than has been done by many big private corporations. As instances of what can be done privately, witness the New York City railroad terminals and many of their stations, and the Harvey eating-houses and hotels in the Southwest. Always, when the Government has done something well, it has been by searching for or accepting expert leadership. In public buildings this means getting the better architects or artists to guide and represent the public taste. Congress, acting on its own initiative, is as unfit to prescribe conditions for the erection of public buildings as it would be to prescribe conditions for a general or an admiral, for a Grant or a Sheridan, a Farragut or a Dewey. It needs leadership in one case just as much as in the other; the function of Congress should be to try to secure the best and wisest leadership in all cases. (Letter to American Institute of Architects, read December 7, 1916.) Proceedings of the Fiftieth Annual Convention of the American Institute of Architects, Minneapolis, Minn., p. 45.

Public Buildings

See also Architecture.

Public Health

See Health.

Public Interest

See Public Opinion.

Public Lands—Disposition of

So far as they are available for agriculture, and to whatever extent they may be reclaimed under the national irrigation law, the remaining public lands should be held rigidly for the home-builder, the settler who lives on his land, and for no one else. In their actual use the desert-land law, the timber and stone law, and the commutation clause of the homestead law have been so perverted from the intention with which they were enacted as to permit the acquisition of large areas of the public domain for other than actual settlers and the consequent prevention of settlement. Moreover, the approaching exhaustion of the public ranges has of late led to much discussion as to the best manner of using these public lands in the West which are suitable chiefly or only for grazing. The sound and steady development of the West depends upon the building up of homes therein. (Second Annual Message, Washington, December 2, 1902.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 187.188; Nat. Ed. XV, 161.162.

____________. Our public lands, whose highest use is to supply homes for our people, have been and are still being taken in great quantities by large private owners, to whom home-making is at the very best but a secondary motive subordinate to the desire for profit. To allow the public lands to be worked by the tenants of rich men for the profit of the land. lords, instead of by freeholders for the livelihood of their wives and children, is little less than a crime against our people and our institutions. The great central fact of the public- land situation, as the Public Lands Commission well said, is that the amount of public land patented by the government to individuals is increasing out of all proportion to the number of new homes. It is clear beyond peradventure that our natural resources have been and are still being abused, that continued abuse will destroy them, and that we have at last reached the forks of the road. (Before Deep Waterway Convention, Memphis, Tenn., October 4, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 155; Nat. Ed. XVI, 118.

Public Lands

See also Conservation; Homestead Law; Northwest Ordinance; Reclamation.

Public Life

There is every reason why a man should have an honorable ambition to enter public life, and an honorable ambition to stay there when he is in; but he ought to make up his mind that he cares for it only as long as he can stay in it on his own terms, without sacrifice of his own principles; and if he does thus make up his mind he can really accomplish twice as much for the nation, and can reflect a hundredfold greater honor upon himself, in a short term of service, than can the man who grows gray in the public employment at the cost of sacrificing what he believes to be true and honest. (Before the Liberal Club, Buffalo, N. Y., January 26, 1893.) Mem. Ed. XV, 72; Nat. Ed. XIII, 289.

____________. Whenever men just like ourselves— possibly not much better, but probably not in the least worse—continually fail to give us the results we have a right to expect from their efforts, we may just as well make up our minds that the fault lies, not in their personalities, but in the conditions under which they work, and profit comes, not from denouncing them, but from seeing that the conditions are changed. Outlook, January 28, 1911, p. 236.

Public Life

See also Character; Citizenship; Civic Duty; College Education; Conscience; Democracy; Educated Men; Politics; Roosevelt 'S Political Career.

Public Men—Character of

A nation must be judged in part by the character of its public men, not merely by their ability but by their ideals and the measure in which they realize these ideals; by their attitude in private life, and much more by their attitude in public life, both as regards their conception of their duties toward their country and their conception of the duty of that country, embodied in its government, toward its own people and toward foreign nations.

While the private life of a public man is of secondary importance, it is certainly a mistake to assume that it is of no importance. Of course, excellence of private conduct—that is, domestic morality, punctuality in the payment of debts, being a good husband and father, being a good neighbor—do not, taken together, furnish adequate reason for reposing confidence in a man as a public servant. But lack of these qualities certainly does establish a presumption against any public man. One function of any great public leader should be to exert an influence upon the community at large, especially upon the young men of the community; and therefore it is idle to say that those interested in the perpetuity of good government should not take into account the fact of a public man's example being something to follow or to avoid, even in matters not connected with his direct public services. (Outlook, January 23, 1909.) Mem. Ed. XII, 419; Nat. Ed. XI, 183.

____________. No man can be of any service to the State, no man can amount to anything from the standpoint of usefulness to the community at large, unless first and foremost he is a decent man in the close relations of life. No community can afford to think for one moment that great public service, that great material achievement, that ability shown in no matter how many different directions, will atone for the lack of a sound family life. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 593; Nat. Ed. XIII, 631.

Public Office

See Office.

Public Officials

A man who stays long in our American political life, if he has in his soul the generous desire to do effective service for great causes, inevitably grows to regard himself merely as one of many instruments, all of which it may be necessary to use, one at one time, one at another, in achieving the triumph of those causes; and whenever the usefulness of any one has been exhausted, it is to be thrown aside. If such a man is wise, he will gladly do the thing that is next, when the time and the need come together, without asking what the future holds for him. Let the halfgod play his part well and manfully, and then be content to draw aside when the god appears. Nor should he feel vain regrets that to another it is given to render greater services and reap a greater reward. Let it be enough for him that he too has served, and that by doing well he has prepared the way for the other man who can do better. (1913.) Mem. Ed. XXII, 111; Nat. Ed. XX, 95.

Public Officials — Discrimination Between

Emphasis . . . must be laid on the uprightness, on the decency, on the ability and willingness to serve the public, so far as the official is concerned, rather than upon the office which he holds. It is impossible adequately to honor the faithful public servant unless we discriminate in the sharpest possible fashion between him and the unfaithful public servant; and all sense of such discrimination, all sense of proportion, is equally lost, whether we confound the honest and the dishonest, the competent and the incompetent, in indiscriminate praise or in indiscriminate abuse. (Outlook, March 4, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 118; Nat. Ed. XVII, 81.

Public Officials—Duty of

I should heartily despise the public servant who failed to do his duty because it might jeopardize his own future. (Letter of February 21, 1899.) Mem. Ed. XXIII, 138; Bishop I, 119.

Public Officials—Independence of

I hold that the judge should be independent, of course, and so should every executive or legislative officer. I have been accused of many things when I was an executive officer, but never of lack of independence. No public servant who is worth his salt should hesitate to stand by his conscience, and if necessary, to surrender his office rather than to yield his conscientious conviction in a case of any importance. But while that is his right and duty—while it was my right and duty—it is also our right and our duty to see that the man is responsible to us, to the people. (At New York City, October 20, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 274; Nat. Ed. XVI, 206.

____________. I hold that public servants are in very truth the servants and not the masters of the people, and that this is true not only of executive and legislative officers but of judicial officers as well. The judge should be independent, but so should every proper executive or legislative officer. Outlook, January 5, 1912, p. 48.

Public Officials—Power of

Public servants must be given ample power to enable them to do their work. Remember that. If you tie the hands of a public servant so that he cannot do ill, you tie his hands so that he cannot do well. Don't try for a moment to restrain the public man in office by shackling him. Leave his hands free. Give him the chance to do the job, and turn him out if he does not do the job well. (At Los Angeles, March 21, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 604; Nat. Ed. XVI, 436.

Public Officials — Responsibility of

No man can get power without at the same time acquiring the duty of being held to a rigid accountability for his use of that power. I wish to see the people in absolute control, but when you, the people, assume that control remember that you cannot shirk the responsibility that comes with it. The sovereign in any country, and in any land, must be held accountable for the way in which he uses the vast power that is his, and in our case the sovereign is the people. The idea each of us must have first and foremost, all you individually and severally, and you collectively in company with us as fellow laborers, is duty. That is the important word for us, because the thought it symbolizes is the important thought for us to have ever in our hearts, in our minds. The man who is in danger of oppression from the sovereign can afford to think of his rights, first and foremost, but the man who is really sovereign, or the entity which is really sovereign, must think of its duties first. (At University of Wisconsin, Madison, April 15, 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 546; Nat. Ed. XIII, 593.

____________. The people have nothing whatever to fear from giving any public servant power so long as they retain their own power to hold him accountable for his use of the power they have delegated him. You will get best service where you elect only a few men, and where each man has his definite duties and responsibilities, and is obliged to work in the open, so that the people know who he is and what he is doing, and have the information that will enable them to hold him to account for his stewardship. (Before Ohio Constitutional Convention, Columbus, February 21, 1912.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 179; Nat. Ed. XVII, 133.

Public Officials — The People and

If you always find bad public servants, look out for the public! We here—you my hearers and I—live in a government where we are the people and, in consequence, where we are not to be excused if the government goes wrong. There are many countries where the government can be very wrong indeed and where nevertheless it can be said that the people are fundamentally right, for they don't choose their public servants, they don't choose their government. On the contrary, we do choose our government, not temporarily but permanently, and in the long run our public servants must necessarily be what we choose to have them. They represent us; they must represent our self-restraint and sense of decency and common sense, or else our folly, our wickedness, or at least our supine indifference in letting others do the work of government for us. Not only should we have the right type of public servants, but we should remember that the wrong type discredits not only the man himself but each of us whose servant he is. Sometimes I hear our countrymen inveigh against politicians; I hear our countrymen abroad saying: "Oh, you mustn't judge us by our politicians." I always want to interrupt and answer: "You must judge us by our politicians." We pretend to be the masters—we, the people—and if we permit ourselves to be ill served, to be served by corrupt and incompetent and inefficient men, then on our own heads must the blame rest. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 618; Nat. Ed. XIII, 652.

Public Officials

See also Bribery; Bureaucracy; Corruption; Criticism; Honesty; Politicians; Recall; Representatives; Slander; Sovereignty.

Public Opinion

We shall never reach the proper standard in public service or in private conduct until we have a public opinion so aroused, so resolute, so intelligent, that it shall be understood that we are more bitter against the scoundrel who succeeds than against the scoundrel who fails. We ought to admire intelligence and ability; but only when the intelligence and ability are controlled and guided by the will to do right. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 624; Nat. Ed. XIII, 658.

Public Opinion—Dependence on

The belief that public opinion or international public opinion, unbacked by force, had the slightest effect in restraining a powerful military nation in any course of action it chose to undertake . . . [has been] shown to be a pa thetic fallacy. . . . It is the simple and literal truth that public opinion during the last eighteen months has not had the very smallest effect in mitigating any atrocities or preventing any wrong-doing by aggressive military powers, save to the exact degree that there was behind the public opinion actual strength which would be used if the provocation was sufficiently great. Public opinion has been absolutely useless as regards Belgium, as regards Armenia, as regards Poland. No man can assert the contrary with sincerity if he takes the trouble to examine the facts. (Metropolitan, February 1916.) Mem. Ed. XX, 282; Nat. Ed. XVIII, 242.

Public Opinion—Function of

Our standard of public and private conduct will never be raised to the proper level until we make the scoundrel who succeeds feel the weight of a hostile public opinion even more strongly than the scoundrel who fails. (Century, June 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 379; Nat. Ed. XIII, 342.

____________. It is easy to say what we ought to do, but it is hard to do it; and yet no scheme can be devised which will save us from the need of doing just this hard work. Not merely must each of us strive to do his duty; in addition it is imperatively necessary also to establish a strong and intelligent public opinion which will require each to do his duty. (At Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, May 20, 1901.) Mem. Ed. XV, 313; Nat. Ed. XIII, 447.

Public Opinion and Law

There must be the public opinion back of the laws or the laws themselves will be of no avail. (Seventh Annual Message, Washington, December 3, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVII, 505; Nat. Ed. XV, 431.

____________. In addition to the law and its enforcement we must have the public opinion which frowns on the man who violates the spirit of the law even though he keeps within the letter. I cannot tell you any one way in which that feeling can be made to carry weight. I think it must find expression in a dozen different ways. . . . We should strive to create in the community the sense of proportion which will make us respect the decent man who does well, and condemn the man who does not act decently and who does wrong. (At Pacific Theological Seminary, Spring 1911.) Mem. Ed. XV, 586; Nat. Ed. XIII, 624.

Public Opinion and Public Interest

I am not paying heed to public opinion; I am paying heed to the public interest; and if I can accomplish, not all that I desire, but a reasonable proportion of what I desire, by the end of my term (and in the four and a half years that have gone by I have succeeded in accomplishing such reasonable proportion) why, I am more than satisfied. (To Sereno S. Pratt, March 1, 1906.) Mem. Ed. XXIV, 11; Bishop II, 8.

Public Schools

I do not suppose there is anything quite as important to our government as the public-school system. We must have that properly conducted, and the one thing we must insist on in it is that those who administer it shall be honest and efficient. (Before Liberal Club, Buffalo, N. Y., September 10, 1895.) Mem. Ed. XVI, 283; Nat. Ed. XIV, 203.

____________. I doubt if there is anything that has reflected more credit upon the civilization of the American Republic in the past than our common-school system, and, my friends, that is just one of its dangers. The minute that people become too satisfied with what has been done by them in the past, they are in great danger of coming short in the present and in the future. (Before Iowa State Teachers' Association, Des Moines, November 4, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 444; Nat. Ed. XVI, 331.

Public Schools and Americanization

Perhaps the best work of the public school has been in the direction of Americanizing immigrants, or rather the children of immigrants; and it would be almost impossible to overestimate the good it has accomplished in this direction. (1891.) Mem. Ed. IX,
383; Nat. Ed. X, 502.

Public Schools and Citizenship

The public schools are the nurseries from which spring the future masters of the commonwealth; and, in making up the estimate of any State's real greatness, the efficiency of its public-school system and the extent to which it is successful in reaching all the children in the State count for a hundredfold more than railroads and manufactories, than shipping or farms, than anything which is symbolic of mere material prosperity, great though the importance of this mere material prosperity undoubtedly also is. (At Boston, Mass., November 1893.) Mem. Ed. XV, 32; Nat. Ed. XIII, 274.

Public Schools and Toleration

To it [the public school] more than to any other among the many causes which, in our American life, tell for religious toleration is due the impossibility of persecution of a particular creed. When in their earliest and most impressionable years Protestants, Catholics, and Jews go to the same schools, learn the same lessons, play the same games, and are forced, in the rough-and-ready democracy of boy life, to take each at his true worth, it is impossible later to make the disciples of one creed persecute those of another. From the evils of religious persecution America is safe. (Century, January 1900.) Mem. Ed. XV, 404; Net. Ed. XIII, 355.

Public Schools

See also Education; Schools; Teachers.

Public Servants

See Public Officials.

Public Service

See Citizenship ; Civic Duty; Democracy; Duty; Educated Men; Government; Honesty; Politics.

Public Welfare

Public welfare depends upon general public prosperity, and the reformer whose reforms interfere with the general prosperity will accomplish little. (Outlook, November 18, 1914.) Mem. Ed. XIV, 221; Nat. Ed. XII, 238.

Public Welfare—Primacy of

We are face to face with new conceptions of the relations of property to human welfare, chiefly because certain advocates of the rights of property as against the rights of men have been pushing their claims too far. The man who wrongly holds that every human right is secondary to his profit must now give way to the advocate of human welfare, who rightly maintains that every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it. (At Osawatomie, Kan., August 31, 1910.) Mem. Ed. XIX, 24; Nat. Ed. XVII, 17.

Public Welfare

See also Health; Social Insurance.


See Corporations; Muckraking; Public Opinion; Trusts.

Pullman Strike

See Altgeld, John Peter.


See Capital Punishment; Crime; Insanity Plea; Lynching.

Pure Food Law

The enactment of a pure food law was a recognition of the fact that the public welfare outweighs the right private gain, and that no man may poison the people for his private profit. (Message to Congress, January 22, 1909.) Presidential Addresses and State Papers VIII, 2098.

____________. By means of the pure food law the federal government has within two years been able to accomplish a great benefit to the public in the direction of protecting it from impure and misbranded foods and drugs. But it should be realized that the work thus begun must be unflinchingly carried forward in the interest both of the public and of the great body of food producers who are engaged in honest business. It is largely true in all cases, but particularly true in this case, that a broadly effective and Successful enforcement of law depends upon the support of an aroused and intelligent public opinion. Much has already been done in stopping the traffic in unhealthy and adulterated foodstuffs, but there remains yet more to do and the progress which has been made must be safeguarded. (Letter dated February 3, 1909.) Good Housekeeping, April 1909, p. 431.

Pure Food

See also Agriculture —Department of; Health, Public.


Puritanism left if anything a more lasting impress upon America than upon England; the history of its rise, and especially of its fall, has quite as direct a bearing upon the development of New England as a province, and afterwards of the United States as a nation, as it has upon the development of latter-day Britain. (To H. C. Lodge, August 24, 1884.) Lodge Letters I, 8.

____________. To endeavor to shape the whole course of individual existence in accordance with the hidden or half-indulged law of perfect righteousness has to it a very lofty side; but if the endeavor is extended to include mankind at large, it has also a very dangerous side: so dangerous indeed that in practice the effort is apt to result in harm, unless it is undertaken in a spirit of the broadest charity and toleration; for the more sincere the men who make it, the more certain they are to treat, not only their own principles, but their own passions, prejudices, vanities, and jealousies, as representing the will, not of themselves, but of Heaven. The constant appeal to the Word of God in all trivial matters is, moreover, apt to breed hypocrisy of that sanctimonious kind which is peculiarly repellent, and which invariably invites reaction against all religious feeling and expression. (1900.) Mem. Ed. XIII, 320; Nat. Ed. X, 215.

____________. The influence of the Puritan has been most potent for strength and for virtue in our national life. But its somber austerity left one evil: the tendency to confuse pleasure and vice, a tendency which, in the end, is much more certain to encourage vice than to discourage pleasure. Let every layman interested in church work battle against this tendency. Let him proceed on the assumption that innocent pleasure which does not interfere with things even more desirable is in itself a good; that this is as true of one day of the week as of another; and that one function of the church should be the encouragement of happiness in small things as well as in large. Ladies' Home Journal, October 1917, p. 119.


See also Pleasure.


The Puritan owed his extraordinary success in subduing this continent and making it the foundation for a social life of ordered liberty primarily to the fact that he combined in a very remarkable degree both the power of individual initiative, of individual self-help, and the power of acting in combination with his fellows; and that furthermore he joined to a high heart that shrewd common sense which saves a man from the besetting sins of the visionary and the doctrinaire. He was stout-hearted and hard-headed. He had lofty purposes, but he had practical good sense, too. He could hold his own in the rough workaday world without clamorous insistence upon being helped by others, and yet he could combine with others whenever it became necessary to do a job which could not be as well done by any one man individually. These were the qualities which enabled him to do his work, and they are the very qualities which we must show in doing our work to-day. There is no use in our coming here to pay homage to the men who founded this nation unless we first of all come in the spirit of trying to do our work to-day as they did their work in the yesterdays that have vanished. The problems shift from generation to generation, but the spirit in which they must be approached, if they are to be successfully solved, remains ever the same. The Puritan tamed the wilderness, and built up a free government on the stump-dotted clearings amid the primeval forest. His descendants must try to shape the life of our complex industrial civilization by new devices, by new methods, so as to achieve in the end the same results of justice and fair dealing toward all. (At Pilgrim Memorial Monument, Provincetown, Mass., August 20, 1907.) Mem. Ed.) XVIII, 93-94; Nat. Ed. XVI, 78-79.

Puritans—Debt to

We cannot as a nation be too profoundly grateful for the fact that the Puritan has stamped his influence so deeply on our national life. We need have but scant patience with the men who now rail at the Puritan's faults. They were evident, of course, for it is a quality of strong natures that their failings, like their virtues, should stand out in bold relief; but there is nothing easier than to belittle the great men of the past by dwelling only on the points where they come short of the universally recognized standards of the present. Men must be judged with reference to the age in which they dwell, and the work they have to do. The Puritan's task was to conquer a continent; not merely to overrun it, but to settle it, to till it, to build upon it a high industrial and social life; and, while engaged in the rough work of taming the shaggy wilderness, at that very time also to lay deep the immovable foundations of our whole American system of civil, political, and religious liberty achieved through the orderly process of law. This was the work allotted to him to do; this is the work he did; and only a master spirit among men could have done it. (At Pilgrim Memorial Monument, Provincetown, Mass., August 20, 1907.) Mem. Ed. XVIII, 90-91; Nat. Ed. XVI, 76-77.


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