Theodore "Teddy or Teedie" Roosevelt, Jr. (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919) was the 26th President of the United States, and a leader of the Republican Party and of the Progressive Movement. Elected as Vice President in 1900, he became the youngest President in United States history at the age of 42 upon the death of William McKinley on September 14, 1901, from botched surgery following an assassination attempt. He was elected to a full term in 1904 and served until March 4, 1909, succeeded by William Howard Taft. Dissatisfied with Taft's administration, Roosevelt attempted to come back for a third term by running on the breakaway "Bull Moose" Progressive Party ticket in 1912. However, this split the Republican vote and caused Democratic Party nominee Woodrow Wilson to win the presidency despite having only 43% of the vote.
Roosevelt had served in many roles including Governor of New York (1899-1900), president of the board of police commissioners of New York City (1895-1897), Assistant Secretary of the Navy, historian, naturalist, explorer, author, and soldier (in the war with Spain in 1898). Roosevelt is most famous for his personality: his energy, his vast range of interests and achievements, his model of masculinity, and his "cowboy" persona.
Roosevelt was known affectionately in his inner circle as "Teedie". His more popular nickname "Teddy" was created by the public press, but never used by his family and friends.
Theodore Roosevelt in Southern Victory[edit | edit source]
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (1858-1924) was the 28th President of the United States, serving from 1913-1921. He led the Union to victory in the Great War, and became one of the most highly esteemed presidents in U.S. history.
Not long after his 20th birthday, Roosevelt headed west, reinventing himself as a rancher in the Montana Territory. He was engaged to Alice Lee at the time. In time, Roosevelt acquired a substantial ranch.
When the Second Mexican War began, Roosevelt attempted to join a volunteer regiment, only to learn the territory was not raising any. He raised a cavalry regiment of his own, Roosevelt's Unauthorized Regiment, which he equipped and fed his own expense until they were provisionally accepted into the US Regular Army as the First Montana Volunteer Cavalry. He patrolled the border with the Dominion of Canada until British General Charles George Gordon invaded Montana. Roosevelt took part in the Battle of the Teton River, which saw Gordon's defeat. He and US commander George Armstrong Custer competed for coverage of their respective heroics in the newspapers, touching off a lifelong rivalry between the two. During the cease-fire, Roosevelt had a one night stand with a widow near Fort Benton.
Roosevelt was elected President in 1912. When Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914, Roosevelt vowed to support his Central Powers allies, leading to a declaration of war against the Confederate States.
During the war, Roosevelt made frequent visits to military positions; on the Roanoke Front, he once narrowly had his life saved by foot soldier Chester Martin. He was reelected by a huge margin in the election of 1916 against Socialist candidate Eugene Debs, whom he had defeated four years earlier.
Roosevelt led the US to its first war victory in seventy years and altered the balance of power on the North American continent in favor of the United States by expelling the British from Canada, creating the Republic of Quebec, and placing severe arms and economic restrictions on the Confederate States.
After the war, labor unrest broke out across the country, and Roosevelt's Democratic Party was seen as a part of the problem rather than of the solution. In 1918 control of Congress passed to the Socialist Party, and in 1920 Socialist Upton Sinclair defeated Roosevelt's unprecedented bid for a third Presidential term. One of Roosevelt's last acts as a lame duck president was to award the Distinguished Service Medal to Washington, DC spy master Hal Jacobs.
Roosevelt quietly left the political stage while his successor rolled back many of his policies, and pursued a wide variety of personal interests, including aviation and big game hunting. In 1924, Roosevelt died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage while golfing. Upon his request, he was buried in Arlington, West Virginia, onetime home of Robert E. Lee. Arlington had been in Confederate territory until Roosevelt avenged the US's War of Secession defeat, making the interment site a fitting one.
Roosevelt came to be considered the greatest, most beloved, and most memorable President in US history. In the last category he was approached by only George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln--and of the four, he was the only one remembered in an entirely positive light (Washington and Jefferson were born in Virginia, while Lincoln lost the War of Secession).
In the Confederacy, Roosevelt was remembered as a fearsome enemy, but the memory was wreathed in a healthy respect. Roosevelt's burial in Lee's onetime home offended many Confederates, especially in the Freedom Party. Jake Featherston frequently reflected on how "another Theodore Roosevelt" would make "a dangerous enemy," and was relieved that such Presidents as Hosea Blackford, Herbert Hoover, Al Smith and Charles W. La Follette were considerably less formidable. La Follette, however, would ultimately finish the work Roosevelt started by defeating and occupying the CSA in the Second Great War.
Roosevelt in the Media[edit | edit source]
Notable Quotes (Southern Victory)[edit | edit source]
- "I am the tool of no man, and I am the tool of no class! Let me hear Mr. Sinclair say the same thing, and I will have learned something."
- "By jingo, it's always a pleasure for me to be in Kansas. This state was founded by men and women who knew a Southern viper when they saw one, even before the War of Secession. There is a man who knew who the enemy was, and a man who hit our country's enemies hard even when they still pretended to be friends. For that I am proud to salute him."
- "It's another case of what Austria told Russia after the Russians saved their bacon in 1848: 'We shall astonish the world by our ingratitude.' Astonish it they did, by not helping the Czar in the Crimean War. Now we have a similar example on our side of the Atlantic. But the country will survive it--I have great faith in the United States--and I shall, too."
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In 1882, young Roosevelt and another young man, Hosea Blackford, each met and spoke with former president Abraham Lincoln. Both were elected president in the 20th Century. Roosevelt felt Lincoln's ideas on class were dangerous.
- Shortly after the Battle of the Teton River, Roosevelt boasted that if he were elected president, the United States would defeat the Confederate States in war. That idle boast came true.
Literary comment[edit | edit source]
Harry Turtledove has stated that he "borrowed" the idea of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson simultaneously leading two different North American republics in 1914 from the 1960 novella If the South Had Won the Civil War by MacKinlay Kantor. This idea was not original to Kantor, however, as it had been used in the 1931 short story "If Lee had NOT won the Battle of Gettysburg" by Winston Churchill, who in turn becomes a minor character in the Southern Victory Series.
OTL Quote[edit | edit source]
- "It is not the critic who matters. Not the man who points out where the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds could have done better. Credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. Who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; for there is no effort without error and shortcoming. Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
- "it takes more than that to kill a bull moose" while giving a scheduled campaign speech minutes after being wounded in an assassination attempt in 1912.
- "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."
See Also[edit | edit source]
- References to Historical Figures in Turtledove's Work for references to Roosevelt in other novels.
- Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States in OTL, serving from 1913-1921, a time span encompassing World War I. Wilson defeated Theodore Roosevelt in the convoluted 1912 election in OTL. Roosevelt serves as the 28th President in the same slot of years in the Southern Victory series, overseeing the Great War.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, a distant cousin of Theodore's, who served as the 32nd President of the United States from 1933 to 1945 in OTL, and is a character in the Southern Victory series but not as President.
- Martin Roosevelt, a minor fictional character in The Two Georges, who combines elements of Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt.
References[edit | edit source]
- How Few Remain, pg. 37.
- Ibid., pg. 202.
- Ibid., pg. 37.
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