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Chapter Six. Roosevelt's Republic

Joshua D. Hawley


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The year 1900 would prove to be a fateful year for Theodore Roosevelt. When it began he was New York's new governor, in office for all of 12 months. When it ended, he was the next vice-president of the United States – and he was less than 12 months away, though he could not have known it, from the presidency itself. In between came the nominating convention in Philadelphia and a whirling whistle-stop campaign and speeches, and speeches, and speeches by the dozen. And there was also, that summer, a small monograph, almost forgotten in the roar of TR's political ascent, about an unlikely subject: the Englishman Oliver Cromwell. TR had been writing biographies for decades. Like the majority of his other efforts, this one said not particularly much about its subject, but quite a lot about its author. In the book, TR praised Cromwell as a “movement leader,” a captain of men, able to unite diverse and sometimes hostile camps of would-be revolutionaries behind a daring project of political reform. He openly admired his distinction as a soldier. He praised, tellingly, the Englishman's fondness “for horse-play and rough pranks.” But it was Cromwell's determination to lead the English people to more perfect self-government that TR lauded most. Cromwell, according to TR, understood that a hundred years of relative prosperity and peace had led England to “a gradual rotting of the national fibre,” ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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