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Theodore RooseveltPreacher of Righteousness$
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Joshua David Hawley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300120103

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300120103.001.0001

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Warrior Republicanism

Warrior Republicanism

(p.138) 8 Warrior Republicanism
Theodore Roosevelt

Joshua David Hawley

Yale University Press

In 1904, Theodore Roosevelt won the presidential election and was sworn in the following year. In his inaugural address, he cast himself as George Washington's intellectual and moral successor while also placing himself in the company of the framing generation and Abraham Lincoln. Roosevelt's speech signaled his arrival as a mature political leader by portraying himself as a serious political thinker and articulating a brand of politics that was profoundly different from that of his predecessors. His statecraft was more activist, nationalist, and statist and less concerned with rights or the dangers of political power. Roosevelt's warrior republicanism emphasized the importance of cultivating warrior virtues, which he feared might be undermined by self-government, resulting in weakness and mediocrity. Among his policies as president, Roosevelt asked Congress for further reform of the Interstate Commerce Commission, called for strict enforcement of the Elkins Act, proposed to take up tariff reform, and addressed the problem of republican political economy by racializing traditional republican virtues.

Keywords:   inaugural address, Theodore Roosevelt, warrior virtues, self-government, Congress, reform, Interstate Commerce Commission, Elkins Act, tariff, warrior republicanism

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