The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt
TR’s greatest accomplishment was the construction of the Panama Canal. The
colonial overlord of Panama, Columbia, had refused to sign a treaty with the US, so
TR took unorthodox measures. When a revolution broke out in Panama, in November, 1903, TR offered to support the revolutionaries in exchange for the rights to build a canal there. The American Navy effectively prevented Columbia from putting the revolution down, and in mid-November, 1903, Panama became independent.(15.) The Congress accused Roosevelt of megalomania and usurpation of power, as TR had stretched the Constitution far beyond that what others might regard as reasonable limits. While the Congressmen spent their time in petty quarrels, Roosevelt bought the Canal Zone from the new nation of Panama for $10 million and a steadily increasing yearly sum.(14.) The construction of the canal began in 1904 and was completed ten years later.(7.) The Panama Canal revolutionized world commerce and travel.
Roosevelt was a man of action. With him the rise of modern presidency began.
He transformed the nation’s political system by broadening the use of executive
power and permanently placing the presidency at the centre stage of domestic and international affairs. TR was the People’s President: the people loved him, and the newspapers lionized him. It is no surprise that TR won by a landslide in the
presidential election of 1904. With a steady hand, the no longer accidental President
steered America towards world domination. (6.)…
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