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Chapter Four. The Rough Rider as Super-Politician: Theodore Roosevelt's Ascendancy on the National Political Stage

Steven Doherty

Subject History » Political History
Social History » Local and Regional History

Place Americas » Northern America

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1800-1899

People Roosevelt, Theodore

Key-Topics city, democracy, social class

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444331400.2011.00006.x


Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated governor of New York on a bitter cold day, the second day of the last year of the nineteenth century. Just 40 years of age, TR delivered a stirring address discussing the need for government reform, improving civil service law and supporting the rights of workers to organize ( Miller 1992 , 321). TR's ascension to his position in Albany was a result of two impressive and dynamic forces, the man from the estate on Sagamore Hill's own great political ambition, his self-professed desire for “seeking big things” and outsized public persona, but also a substantial and remarkable transformation of the American political, economic and social landscape ( Arnold 2009 , 2–6). In his first elective office, it is fitting that TR's inauguration occurred so close to the turn of the new century as the “Boy Governor” carried to Albany a new vision for the modern political executive and the scope of government and politics in America. He implemented significant new innovations in governing that provided a blueprint for modern American public policy and governance and helped redefine the role of the governor. He also crafted a new model for executive leadership, utilizing public opinion and the force of celebrity to marshal support for his substantial policy agenda and objective of reforming government. This new and dynamic model for governing soon was transplanted ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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