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Theodore Roosevelt - Dog or Cat Tendencies

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Theodore Roosevelt had “cat” and “dog” tendencies, and historians have always wondered what he truly was. He was both, as what he did during his presidency shows. Roosevelt was an immigration “cat” with his racist views and poor handling of a riot, among other things. Although, he was a “dog” when it came to agriculture and preserving the country’s natural resources. Nonetheless, his most “cat”-like issue was imperialism, especially dealing with Cuba and the acquisition of Panama for the building of the canal. Even though Teddy Roosevelt had both qualities, his presidency most reflected “cat” tendencies.

One of his definite “cat” tendency was his viewpoints on immigration and immigrants in general. First and foremost, he was a racist and/or held racist viewpoints. Teddy thought blacks, Native Americans, and Asians were inferior to the White man, and even once said that blacks were “wholly unfit for the suffrage.” The influx of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe scared him, and he thought they were a threat to the United States. All of these beliefs he held lead up to his handling of the Brownsville, Texas, riot of 1906. Some black soldiers were stationed at a base in that town/city, and they were beginning to grow tired of the discrimination they were receiving. So, on a hot day in August, they started to riot. Historians do not really know what happened, but one white man died and others were wounded. Teddy Roosevelt ordered all 167 soldiers to be dishonorably discharged. This decision was an unjust punishment for an unproven crime. Even though he invited {Booker T. Washington}, a Civil Rights leader and activist, to the White House, and appointed several qualified blacks to minor federal positions, it does not outway how he treated and thought of immigrants and minorities.

On the other hand, on the topic of agriculture Roosevelt was definitely a “dog.” He really loved nature and considered it to be his most important domestic achievement. Overall, he helped to raise awareness for conservation of our natural resources, but he provided specific legislative assistance to help the industry of agriculture. In 1902, the Newlands Act (National Reclamation Act was the official title) was passed with a lot of help from Teddy. Since he lived out in the west for a period of time, he knew how much the effect of the lack of rain had on western farms. So, the Act said that the proceeds from selling lands from 16 western states would go to the construction for irrigation systems for those states. Although it usually only helped larger farms, it federalized irrigation for the first time. Roosevelt’s most trusted advisor during his presidency, at least for conservation, was {Gifford Pinchot}. He helped Roosevelt with creating the Newlands Act, along with moving the Forest Services from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Agriculture. His love for nature propelled him to have “dog”-like



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