Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History!--A Review (Part 3)

3-The Fire of Life (1910-1919)
He (Teddy Roosevelt) could never live happily on the periphery of anything.  He had to be in the arena.  He left power too soon.--The Roosevelts
Teddy Roosevelt:
-Teddy visited the White House 1 1/2 years after he left and he remembered every servant and gardener by name and asked them about their lives.
-He was still young, and felt personally and politically betrayed by Taft.  He didn't think Taft was making the right decisions.  To be fair, he probably wouldn't have been happy with anyone, because he still had the energy and the desire to be president.
-Taft was devastated to lose Teddy's friendship when Teddy decided to run for president the next term.  Even though he was still popular, the Republican machine wanted to stick with Taft.  So, Teddy ran as a 3rd party candidate, the party was called The Progressives but became more well known as The Bull Moose Party.
True to Roosevelt's progressive beliefs, the platform of the party called for major reforms including women's suffrage, social welfare assistance for women and children, farm relief, revisions in banking, health insurance in industries, and worker's compensation. The party also wanted an easier method to amend the constitution.--The Bull Moose Party Platform
-Many of Teddy's closest friends urged him not to run.
-He was shot by John Schrank while on the campaign trail in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  This didn't stop him from finishing his speech.
-Just like Ross Perot ensured that Bill Clinton won the presidency, Teddy Roosevelt ensured that Woodrow Wilson won.  When you split the Republican vote, the Democrat wins.
-Teddy took it very hard, and was shocked that he lost, and that he lost by so much.
-He went on an expedition into the Amazon with his son Kermit and almost died from Malaria and other illnesses.
-He thought we should get into World War I right away and wasn't quiet about it.  He said, "For to be neutral between right and wrong, is to serve wrong."
-When the U.S. finally did enter World War I, he visited the White House to ask Wilson if he could help raise up a division of volunteers and lead them into battle.  He was not in good health, and for other reasons too Wilson had to turn him down.  He was devastated that he couldn't play a part.  He then gets very old, very quickly.  David McCullough says, "Its as if he was a high intensity light bulb that burned out quickly."
-Yet, all 4 of his sons did get to fight.  And his youngest, Quentin, died in the war.
-He died on January 6, 1919 at the age of 60.

Franklin Roosevelt:
-The election of 1912 divided the Roosevelt family because Franklin was supporting Woodrow Wilson.  However, Eleanor supported her Uncle Teddy.
-He won re-election to the State Senate that same year, and then was appointed to be Assistant Secretary of the Navy, he now held the same job that his cousin Teddy once had.
-All of the Roosevelts sided with our allies during World War I and thought we should be joining them right from the start.  Franklin didn't say anything in public because he worked for the Wilson administration.

Eleanor Roosevelt:
-People who didn't like Franklin, often liked Eleanor, so she helped her husband succeed politically.
-She found that she knew how to excel in the political arena.  She had finally found something that she could do better than her Mother-in-law.
-She had her 6th and last child by the time she turned 31.
-The war liberated all of her executive ability.
"The war was my emancipation and education."--Eleanor Roosevelt
-Instead of having to make social calls, she could now invest her time in helping those affected by the war.
-During this time, Eleanor came across a bundle of letters.  They were love letters from Lucy Mercer to her husband, who had once been her social secretary.  Eleanor was devastated.  Franklin always wanted someone to adore him like his mother had, and Lucy did that.
-Eleanor said he could have a divorce if he wanted one.  But Franklin's mother said she would cut him off and never give him another penny if he did, and a political advisor told him that it would end his political career, so he stayed.

Episode 1-Get Action (1858-1901)
Episode 2-In the Arena (1901-1910)

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