Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most colorful presidents to serve the Republic. He was a rancher in the North Dakota Badlands, led the Rough Riders up San Juan Hill and received a Medal of Honor for his gallantry, the only President with such a distinction. While climbing a Mountain in the Adirondacks of New York in 1901, word reached Vice President Theodore Roosevelt that the condition of President McKinley had rapidly deteriorated after an assassination attempt a week earlier. The next day, McKinley was dead, and Roosevelt was sworn into office as president. Roosevelt brought an ideology to the Office of the President that was a refutation of the American Founding, Progressivism. This ideology included a dramatic expansion of power vested in one person, the president. Read more
Roosevelt’s ascension to the presidency in 1901 upon the assassination of William McKinley marked the emergence of Progressivism on the national scene. From trust busting to railroad regulation, Roosevelt sought to expand federal power over a large swath of the American economy. In this excerpt from his autobiography, he offers a view of the Constitution that is compatible with his Progressive politics.
…The most important factor in getting the right spirit in my Administration, next to the insistence upon courage, honesty, and a genuine democracy of desire to serve the plain people, was my insistence upon the theory that the executive power was limited only by specific restrictions and prohibitions appearing in the Constitution or imposed by the Congress under its Constitutional powers. Read more