Download American Ideal: Theodore Roosevelt's Search for American by Paul M. Rego PDF

By Paul M. Rego

This ebook examines the political considered Theodore Roosevelt, in particular his ceaseless hope and energy to reconcile America's individualistic culture with the extra collectivistic beliefs of his innovative brethren. Many students and lay-people alike solid Roosevelt as both 'conservative' or 'liberal,' yet his political concept defies so uncomplicated an interpretation; it was once extra nuanced and had a bigger objective than mere ideology. a radical research of Roosevelt's writings finds his conviction that the techniques of private autonomy and civic obstacle weren't together particular. in reality, Roosevelt argued that it was once as the rules of self-reliance and private freedom have been vital that it was once occasionally precious for the whole neighborhood to take advantage of its collective power_and, now and again, the associations of the government_to let members to do what they can no longer do by myself. furthermore, whereas Roosevelt recommended and was once answerable for a good growth within the regulatory powers of the nationwide govt, he understood, unlike many different revolutionary reformers, that inspirational rhetoric and confident instance should be pretty much as good as institutional reform and the strength of legislations in compelling participants to help each other in a spirit of civic attachment. In his public writings, Roosevelt sought to form the yankee brain in ways in which he notion right. Even his writings on nature, searching, ranching, and army existence have been a part of his political inspiration in that they have been meant to coach american citizens in regards to the significance of balancing these individualistic values which are fit and very important to a society (discipline, own accountability, and a powerful paintings ethic) with such optimistic collectivistic values as an appreciation for mutual aid and a priority for the great of the neighborhood.

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91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. McGerr, Fierce Discontent, 42. McGerr, Fierce Discontent, 54–56. McGerr, Fierce Discontent, 60–61. McGerr, Fierce Discontent, 62–63. McGerr, Fierce Discontent, 64. McGerr, Fierce Discontent, 66–67. McGerr, Fierce Discontent, 68. McGerr, Fierce Discontent, 73. McGerr, Fierce Discontent, 98. McGerr, Fierce Discontent, 99. McGerr, Fierce Discontent, 84. 27 Chapter Two Years of Preparation Darwinism had a profound influence on TR’s generation. Many economists, sociologists, political scientists, and historians, from 1865 to 1901, had applied Darwin’s theories of adaptability and change to their own disciplines and, following the intellectual lead of Herbert Spencer, made “survival of the fittest” not just the law of nature but also the law of society.

Appleton and Company, 1885), 64–66; Herbert Spencer, The Study of Sociology (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1896), 315. 27. Fine, Laissez Faire, 35. See also Spencer, Social Statics, 293–94. 28. Fine, Laissez Faire, 35. See also Spencer, Study of Sociology, 1–21, 245, 365–67; Spencer, “Sins of Legislators,” 74–77; Spencer, Principles of Ethics, vol. 2, 428. 29. Fine, Laissez Faire, 36. See also Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Sociology, vol. 2 (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1876–97), 620–28.

14 Roosevelt stresses that the development of intellect is necessary for evolution, but so too is the development of character. Indeed, he suggests, character is even more important than intellect, for the “prime factor” in social evolution is “the power to attain a high degree of social efficiency;” and social efficiency is derived from “love of order, ability to fight well and breed well, capacity to subordinate the interests of the individual to the interests of the community, . . ”15 There is thus an interdependency between individualism and society.

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