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A Cartoon History


Roosevelt's Career

Illustrated by Six Hundred and Thirty Contemporary Cartoons and Many Other Pictures

By Albert Shaw


THERE was no well-defined issue in the campaign of 1904, as in the two previous ones. In 1896 the question of sound money was threshed out and permanently settled. In 1900 the people ratified the expansion policy, and the momentous national and international developments that followed our war with Spain. In 1904 the real question was whether the people were well enough pleased with the man who had succeeded McKinley by a fateful accident to give him another four years' lease of power.

Wall Street interests were bitterly opposed to Mr. Roosevelt, because his investigation and prosecution of various trusts and corporations, and his attacks upon railroad rebates and like abuses had for the time being not only checked the prosperous schemes of many promoters, but had also confused and disturbed legitimate business,—the whole fabric of corporation finance and control being so closely interwoven. Thus Wall Street, largely under Democratic leadership, had undertaken a more positive part in politics than ever before. If only the Republicans could be prevented from nominating: a man as bold

and aloof as Roosevelt, and the Democrats could be persuaded to nominate a representative of their conservative wing rather than a radical like Bryan, Wall Street would have nothing to fear from the result of the election. So the " magnates " reasoned.

Thus in 1903 and early in 1904 Wall Street had done its best to aid in the movement to secure the nomination of Senator Hanna in place of Mr. Roosevelt; and as early as 1903 certain eminent legal advisers of Wall Street had selected Judge Alton B. Parker (then chief justice of the highest court of the State of New York) as an excellent representative of the so-called " safe and sane " type of Democratic candidates. All this was in no way to Judge Parker's discredit; for he was an upright judge and a public man of sound views and a well-poised mind. Mr. Bryan had been twice defeated; and Judge Parker, though of a different school of political thought and training, had maintained his party regularity at all times, just as Roosevelt on his side had been a Republican under all conditions.

Judge Parker was not widely known to the country, and his candidacy could not be otherwise than the merely negative one of opposition to Roosevelt. It was not possible for the Democrats to frame any successful issues. They could not ask boldly for tariff reform, because the South had become protectionist. They talked of scandals in administration, but. the country knew that Roosevelt had cleaned out the Post Office frauds with as much vigor as any Democratic President could have shown. They could not denounce Roosevelt as a foe of trusts and corporations, because the major part of the Democratic party had always professed to be far more deeply opposed to monopoly and corporate aggrandizement than the Republicans.

In short, the logic of the situation was with Roosevelt. The people of the country, regardless of party, liked both the man and his policies. As the campaign progressed the Democratic managers denounced the Republicans as collecting large campaign funds from the very trusts and corporations that Mr. Roosevelt was supposed to be righting. Moreover, Wall Street quickly lost confidence in itself as a political Warwick, and was inclined to disavow Judge Parker's candidacy as of its choosing. Doubtless various corporation interests contributed to both campaign funds; and it is unquestionably true that the greater part of the responsible business men of the country thought it better to keep Roosevelt and the Republicans in power than to bring in the Democrats on a dubious platform, with no knowledge of the make-up of a prospective Democratic cabinet.

Associated with Mr. Roosevelt was Secretary Hay, in charge of our foreign affairs; Mr. Root (who had just been succeeded by Mr. Taft), in charge of the War Department and our island dependencies ; Mr. Knox, brilliantly heading the judiciary department ; and that remarkable campaigner, the Hon. Leslie M. Shaw, who had succeeded Mr. Gage as Secretary of the Treasury.

The President's Secretary, Mr. Cortelyou, had been secretary to President Cleveland, then to President McKinley ; and three successive Presidents testified to his ability and faithfulness. He had political tact, administrative skill, and absolute honesty. He it was whom Mr. Roosevelt selected to conduct the campaign, and to serve as chairman of the National Republican Committee. One of the notable achievements of Mr. Roosevelt's first administration had been the creation of the new Department of Commerce and Labor, and Mr. Cortelyou had been promoted to the cabinet as Secretary of this new department. Mr. Roosevelt had advanced his assistant secretary, Mr. William Loeb, Jr., to succeed Mr. Cortelyou as Secretary to the President.

Of the bureaus grouped together under the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, the

most important was a new one called the Bureau of Corporations. Mr. Roosevelt placed at the head of this bureau the Hon. James R. Garfield, transferring him from the post of Civil Service Commissioner. These are the names of a very few of the strong and able men with whom Mr. Roosevelt was surrounded. Mr. Hitchcock, of St. Louis, Secretary of the Interior, was exposing and prosecuting land frauds in the West, while the new Bureau of Corporations was investigating the Beef Trust, the Standard Oil Trust, and other corporations accused of violating the Sherman anti-trust law.

Under the circumstances, Mr. Roosevelt's overwhelming triumph at the polls was to have been expected. All sections of the country seemed to be contented with the outcome, and Judge Parker, though badly defeated, was regarded as having lost no important States which Roosevelt might not have carried against any possible Democratic nominee.

Mr. Roosevelt felt that his victory was not of a strictly partisan nature, and that the country was entitled to know in just what spirit he accepted it. On the night of his election, therefore, he issued a statement declaring that under no circumstances would he be a candidate or accept a nomination in 1908.

There was already much political talk to the effect that Mr. Roosevelt had merely been serving out Mr. McKinley's term, and that his acceptance of another nomination in 1908 would not be in violation of the tradition that limits an American President to two consecutive terms. His friends and his opponents alike had been thus looking forward to the next contest. Mr. Roosevelt won the approval and renewed confidence of the country in the decisive announcement he made. It was believed that with no ambition to secure another nomination, he could give the more devoted and patriotic attention to the service of the whole people in his high office.

There was nothing more remarkable than the contented acquiescence of the Democratic press in the result. The people of the South showed their approval in many ways that could not be mistaken, and flooded Mr. Roosevelt with invitations to visit their respective States and cities. It had been the good fortune of Mr. McKinley, in a period of declining partisanship, to be regarded as the President of the whole country without regard to section or party; and this general good-will was transferred to Roosevelt even as the mantle of Elijah had in ancient time fallen upon the shoulders of his successor.


As Peace-Maker and World Figure

IT was in the summer of 1904,—his renomination secured and his election certain,— that Mr. Roosevelt began clearly to emerge in the mature sense as one of the great world figures of his day. The completion of the second McKinley (Roosevelt) term had secured the full establishment of the policy of expansion. Our navy had become strong and efficient under Mr. Roosevelt's guidance. The army had been thoroughly reorganized through Mr. Root's constructive statesmanship and his ability to win the approval of Congress for his policies. We were gaining renown through extirpation of yellow fever in Cuba and our success in sanitary measures at Panama.

The international prestige of the United States was enormously increased, and in the eyes of the world President Roosevelt was the man who typified the Twentieth Century America. He had, of course, followed in McKinley's footsteps in so far as he saw the path of duty leading in that direction. But it had been easy to work with Mr. McKinley's appointees, and Mr. Roosevelt had found no difficulty in holding to his pledge of September, 1901, that he would do his best to carry out Mr. McKinley's plans.

Now, however, the country had deliberately chosen him for its helmsman, and there could be no doubt of its mandate to go forward according to his own judgment. It was not necessary to wait for inauguration day in March. The new mandate took effect on

election day in November, and his message to Congress in December came with a strength and force that had perhaps been equalled in none of his previous state papers. It was then that he laid down that guiding principle of the " square deal,"—the determination to secure justice to all men to the best of his ability, to capitalist as well as to workman; to humble immigrant or Asiatic coolie as well as to the descendants of the Pilgrims or the Patroons. And recognizing the commanding prestige that the United States had secured abroad as a result of its new policies and recent growth, the Roosevelt administration gladly accepted the responsibilities and the opportunities that go with prestige and power

(pages 117 & 118 missing rjk)

for the Pacific Ocean and the Farther East, we had also a duty to perform in that region. It was our business to maintain friendly relations with Japan and to help support the integrity of China. With Alaska, the Sandwich Islands, and the Philippines in our possession, besides our great States of the Pacific seaboard, and with the Panama Canal in process of construction, it was evident that our interests in the Pacific had become larger than those of any other single power.

Mr. Roosevelt's attitude was not belligerent, to use their own influence and power to help keep the world in order. Mr. Roosevelt saw this duty clearly, and had no shrinking from its performance. He did not in the least object to being pictured as the " World's Constable." He believed that it was quite clearly the business of the United States to maintain peace and order throughout the whole of North America and the regions around the Caribbean Sea, including the West Indies, Central America, and the countries on the northern coast of South America.

He regarded it as our duty, furthermore, through friendliness and good will, to serve the cause of peace for the remainder of South America. As

but, on the contrary, was most tactful, and friendly toward all the powers of America, Europe, and Asia. But it was an attitude of firmness and of conscious recognition of power. Instead of arousing the hostility of an ambitious monarch and empire like those of Germany, this American attitude helped to establish us in the good-will of the people and the government of that great nation. Further, we were more free from differences of opinion with the people and government of the British Empire than at any previous time in all our history.

A certain masterfulness that the administration had assumed in its international relations was also felt in its policies of law enforcement at home. The question had been boldly asked whether the great aggregations of capital had not become so powerful as to be able to control politics, the press, and the organs of government. Mr. Roosevelt stood firmly on the ground that law and government must be supreme over the corporations created under the law. It was to be a long and difficult struggle,—that of finding the best way to regulate and control the forces of modern business without hampering them in their proper development and progress. It is by no means to be asserted that Mr. Roosevelt possessed any rare or peculiar wisdom in his dealing with such subjects.

He had no desire to destroy the forces of modern business. He had none of the antagonism toward corporations that Mr. Bryan had always shown. But he perceived that if some great capitalistic enterprises were beneficent in their methods and results, others were guilty of oppression, and were prospering through disregard both of the laws of the land and of the natural rights of a host of citizens. Mr. Roosevelt tried, therefore, to find some workable applications of justice, with government and law supreme.

About some questions he was an opportunist ally have been glad to see a revision of the tariff undertaken somewhat early during his second administration. He did what he could to bring the question before Congress and the country. But he found that Congress was not ready for tariff revision., and that there was no compelling sentiment in favor of it anywhere in the country. His convictions on the tariff question were not of a sort that made him regard it as his duty to go forth upon a crusade against the Dingley tariff. As a party question and as a sectional question, the tariff was no longer in the thick of bitter controversy. It had become a business man's question and one of industrial evolution.

It was not only the prestige and the power of the United States in world matters, but it was also the confidence felt in President Roosevelt himself, and in the fairness and good will of our government and people, that made it possible for Mr. Roosevelt, in the summer of 1905, to bring about a conclusion of the war between Russia and Japan and a settlement of the issues involved by the adoption of a treaty of peace.

This was perhaps the crowning act of .Mr. Roosevelt's career. Russia's misfor-

tunes in the war made it highly desirable for her that hostilities should end. Japan's financial resources were becoming strained, and it was better for her future power and prestige to end the war promptly than to continue it. Both countries were on terms of especial friendship with the United States. And thus Mr. Roosevelt was able to bring them into negotiation for settlement, and through his influence and earnest intercession and efforts, the Treaty of Portsmouth was drafted and signed, and one of the great wars of history brought to an end.

This achievement was indeed appreciated in the United States as constituting a bright page in the country's history. But it was even more widely recognized in Europe and Asia, where the magnitude of the war and the profound consequences of an unforeseen kind that follow in the wake of so colossal a struggle were more vividly felt and better understood.

Thus, Mr. Roosevelt's international reputation as a peacemaker suddenly flamed up and filled the eyes of an astonished world. Congratulations came from all lands. The Emperor William of Germany is reported to have cabled: " The whole of mankind must unite in thanking you for the great boon you have given it." The cartoonists began with increasing frequency to picture Roosevelt and the German Kaiser together as "kindred spirits of the strenuous life "; and a cartoon in the London Punch to that effect was confiscated by the Berlin police as lacking in the reverence due to two men so noble and majestic, whereupon the irreverent cartoonist, Mr. E. T. Reed, drew a caricature of his original cartoon. Both pictures are reproduced on page 122; and another amusing drawing by the same artist, which we have reproduced on page 127, records the deeds of the peace-making Theodore under the guise of an old Assyrian tablet and chronicle.
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