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Theodore Roosevelt And the Modern Presidency IEarly Political Career Despite ridicule from his educated and respectable friends Roosevelt entered politics immediately after graduating from Harvard College in 1880 In 1881Roosevelt showed the strength of his intention by winning election to the New York State Assembly He gained reelection twice before personal tragedy On February 141884 in a tragic coincidence Roosevelts young wife died in childbirth just hours after the death of his beloved mother Emotionally shattered Roosevelt left politics and fled New York for the Dakota Territory In 1886 after a disastrous winter demolished most of his cattle herd Roosevelt returned east to politics his first love For the next 12 years he held various government positions from Civil Service Commissioner to Assistant Secretary of the Navy When the United States went to war against Spain in 1898 Roosevelt resigned and organized a group of volunteers called the Rough Riders Their successful assault on San Juan Hill in Cuba made Roosevelt a National hero He rode his new fame to victory in the 1898 race for governor of New York IIRoosevelt and McKinley When President McKinley prepared to run for reelection in 1900 he needed someone to replace Garret Hobart his first vice president who had died in 1899Roosevelt seemed a logical choice Basically a man of action Roosevelt considered the vice presidency a do-nothing position leading to political oblivion The bosses schemed to kick Roosevelt out of New York to serve as McKinleys vice president After he and McKinley won the election Roosevelt sadly wrote to a friend I do not expect to go any further in politics Wherever Roosevelt went he became the center of attention During the late 1800s the country had been designated by strong Congresses and relatively weak presidents Roosevelt reversed that traditional division of power The new president employed the considerable powers of his office and his own
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