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has raised to the rank of a World Power second to none, with the promise oi soon becoming foremost of all.
There need be no comparison, for there is no competition in reputation, between President Roosevelt and his predecessor. Their public utterances in the first week of September last, if there was nothing else to quote by mutual friends, would forbid contention.
That our Government should move on without a jar, after so fearful a tragedy as that of McKinley's murder, that our system should automatically provide for the succession reassures ourselves and impresses the world with the stability of our institutions. That "we, the people of the United States," are fortunate to have President Roosevelt, to give confidence after a misfortune so shocking, this volume contains the ample proof in his official acts and public writings. He is the personification of the great and greater Americanism. The riches of the material for intelligent if inadequate presentation of his life and character, have been a source of surprise and gratification. The embarrassment is that of riches that can not be counted. It is full of general usefulness and profound public interest. The story of the Republic from day to day is of surpassing splendor and strength. The life of Theodore Roosevelt has been an admirable education for the task in his hands. He so comprehensively represents all the people, that even as the past is secure, in prosperity and honor, there is no land so fair as this in promise.
NEVER, excepting when there was war impending, was a President's message to Congress received with the profound attention given the communication from President Theodore Roosevelt, by both Houses and the people of all the States, December 3rd, 1901. It is remarkable for breadth and elevation, precision of statement, care and courage in recommendation, and of unusual bulk, but the length of it was not noticed because there was no space lost—no words not full of meaning, no passage that was obscure.
In matter the message was comprehensive and particular, in manner, the excellence of simplicity, the eloquence of information; and in literary merit it is excelled only, in Presidential papers, by John Adams and Abraham Lincoln. It impressed the country that the President is a man of very high class of ability, to persuade and to command. The readers of his histories and of official and other public addresses and orders, issued when Governor of New York, knew this; and that the strength and splendor of his style and variety and solidity of his substance have been increasing with his years and the gravity of his labors, and that the books he wrote in his boyhood were of surpassing promise.
The message makes its mark as of high tone and firm touch, with here and there the gleam of pure gold in the rocks, with which the President is a builder. It comes home to the people by their firesides and lighted lamps, that he is the representative man of the great North American Republic in the momentous movement taking place to a greater nationality, that exceeds anything in our history—a current so deep and wide that though swift and irresistible, it is calm, flowing from an exhaustless source to an immeasurable destiny.
The Southern section of our country, under the weight of the peculiar and unhappy institution of slavery, was never tractable to personal force or public urgency. All the people were in some sense responsible for the inertia of the society that sustained it, and retarded the general development of the public at large. This inherited and anomalous force, sheltered in the States, gave rise to the habit of magnifying the distinction and asserting the practical independence of localities. It flattered and augmented the "sovereign State" sentiment, until at last it came in conflict with the preponderance of the Union itself, and long held in check the paramount character of the Nation.
This obstruction to the expansion and consolidation of the essential unity of the land, has passed away, but the lustre of the stars that are the symbols of Statehood, is not diminished, and the constellation brightens as it expands and ascends. While the stars differ in glory, their attraction to each other makes the many One; and that one the firmer in unity, because they differ, and, surely as the sun, have their spheres.
In the grand old song of "Columbia" to glory arising, it was told that "Ages on Ages" would her "splendors unfold," and the present age more than all. Our stars in their courses may join in the songs of the mornings, for certainly as the earth has become a neighborhood of nations, they are the greater because the inventions man has found quicken and cheapen, and make certain and safe transportation all around the world, diffuse through the continents and climes the news for all men of the days and hours that pass, centralizing power and magnifying the World Powers, at last forming out of whatever diversities homogeneous peoples, who may dwell together in unity.
Until now never has there existed such an exponent of the national idea and policy of the people of the United States as President Roosevelt. His experiences in all sections, his knowledge of the great cities and the lands where there is still great game, and infinite undeveloped resources, his Eastern houses and Western ranches, his Northern and Southern ancestry, have exceedingly well equipped him for the position he holds.
Naturally, rightfully, the policy of his Administration is more gigantic within and beyond our borders than any other President has proposed. He seeks to confirm our military by the increase, not of the bulk, but in efficiency, and promotes our commercial and mechanical extension, that exalts as it moves. The army not enlarged, is to be made by discipline and equipment more effective; the navy is to be largely augmented, and the Isthmian Canal constructed as a work of urgency. Altogether, the policy is the potency of expansion combined with the convenience of consolidation and the increase of usefulness.
While we grasp steadfastly the islands that are ours, we take up a great policy, one of the grandest the world has witnessed, of restoring the forests that savages have burned, and to use the mountain reservoirs, the artesian wells of the plains and the pumps that the winds work that we may redeem to wholesomeness the deserts that at the heart of the country are stricken as with a disease. At the same time, the McKinley doctrine at home of giving labor our own markets, is supplemented with reciprocity, and the Monroe Doctrine over our borders in the Americas is invested with the magic of American protection and sustained by the magnetic guardianship of our prestige.
We are preparing for our fortunes as a World Power, from the centre all around to the seas, salt and fresh, North and South, East and West, so that we stand in command of the continent that is to be the axis of the evolutions of our progressive growth. Four square, and all around, we confront all the winds that come and go on errands with messages, while the waves and tides of our imperialism of liberty, rise and fall at our feet.
This book is the History of the Life of the extraordinary man at the head of our National Government, with ideas broad and high as become the stature of the Nation and the purposes of the people whose increase is without example, and prosperity one of the world's wonders, and for whom there is provision of incomparable resources for them.
The endeavor in these pages is to recite and illustrate groups of events that he has influenced to indicate the logic of his life, and that the current of his career is consistent with the growth, glory and freedom of his country, and means peace and the extension of the doctrines of the Declaration of Independence, as far beyond the dreams of Thomas Jefferson, as the purchase of the land from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean for this Nation, exceeded the early ambition of the English Colonies of the Atlantic tidal waters.