Ken Burns Classroom

President Theodore Roosevelt: Foreign Policy Statesman or Bully?

Ken Burns Film: The Roosevelts

Collections: Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930)

Subject: Civics Government US History

Grade Level: 7-12

Run Time: 2-5 class periods

Lesson Overview:

In this lesson, the clock is turned back to January 6, 1919, the day that former president Theodore Roosevelt died. Upon announcing Roosevelt’s death, a newspaper wants to formulate an even-handed assessment of TR’s foreign policy legacy for its readers and, in the process, answer the Compelling Question (CQ) of the lesson: “To what extent did Theodore Roosevelt’s record on foreign policy mar or enhance his record as US president?” An Editorial Team of four students sets up the “newsroom,” and listens to two sides of every issue in a debate presented by the “foreign policy experts.”

Before setting up the Newsroom Debate, class members analyze the powers of the president to conduct foreign policy according to the US Constitution, after which they formulate three criteria by which a president’s performance in foreign policy should be assessed.

Lesson Objectives:

Students will:

  • Analyze the US Constitution as it pertains to the powers of the president to formulate and implement foreign policy.
  • Establish criteria by which to judge the performance of a president’s record in foreign affairs and apply those criteria.
  • Debate Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy using primary and secondary sources according to the criteria they establish.
  • Analyze multiple perspectives of the following topics in US foreign relations: the Spanish- American War (1898), the Rough Riders (1898), the US in the Philippines (1899), Panama Canal, Roosevelt Corollary (1904), Treaty of Portsmouth (1905), and United States entry into World War I (1914).

Time Required:

  • Three days to implement the Opening Activity, PowerPoint, and Activity One: Developing Supporting Questions (class criteria for assessing the foreign policy of a president).*
  • One additional week of homework and/or classroom time to implement the Newsroom Debate.

For a shorter version of this lesson: Implement only the Opening Activity, PowerPoint, and Activity One, after which you can assign different students to view different film clips and assess Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency.

Assigned reading for the entire class:

TR: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt, Foreign Affairs

Lesson Procedure Timing Options:

  • Opening Activity and PowerPoint, Show & Discuss: one class period
  • Activity 2: Developing Supporting Questions: one class period
  • Activity 3: Assigning Roles: 15 minutes
  • Homework time: Approximately four to five days of outside work to prepare for the debate and set up the Newsroom; meanwhile, continue to teach about other related matters as per your curriculum.
  • Activity 4: Debate: 1 hour 15 minutes

Opening Activity: Who Is the Man Who Became President X?

  1. Distribute Handout 1, “Who Is the Man Who Became President X?” to pairs or small teams of students. Review the directions with students.
  2. Reconvene the class and review the questions to determine possible solutions as to the identity of President X.
    • With input from the class, write a working definition of “imperialism” on the board.
    • Which US wars fit the definition of “imperialistic”? (Answers may vary.)
    • Who is President X, and why do students think so?
  3. After students have made their predictions, tell them that X is Theodore Roosevelt, US president from 1901 to 1909. Before becoming president, TR fought in Cuba in the Spanish-American War (April-August 1898), and as president made decisions about US foreign policy.
  4. The conundrum: Is it conceivable that despite the negative sentiments in the quotations, Theodore Roosevelt could hold a place of high esteem as US president? Entertain different scenarios from the class. For example, he might have lived at a time when the United States was under threat; he might have held militaristic views but not chosen or been able to convince the electorate that they were right; his views may have moderated over time.
  5. Ask students to share what they already know or think they know about Theodore Roosevelt.
  6. Share the following Fascinating Facts about TR:
    • TR was the first sitting president to travel outside of the United States. (He traveled to Panama.)
    • He was the first of three US presidents to win a Nobel Peace Prize while in office. (The others were presidents Wilson and Obama.)
    • All four of TR’s sons fought in World War I, and his beloved youngest son, Quentin, was killed in an aerial dogfight over France.

Activity 2: PowerPoint Presentation, Show & Discuss

PowerPoint presentation “Theodore Roosevelt: His Foreign Policy Legacy in the Balance”

  1. Introduce the Compelling Question of the lesson:
    • To what extent did Theodore Roosevelt’s record on foreign policy mar or enhance his record as US president?
  2. Explain to the class that they are turning the clock back to January 6, 1919. Newspapers have just announced the death of the former president, Theodore Roosevelt. Their task is to evaluate his legacy in foreign affairs to determine what the newspaper will say about his record the following day.

Show & Discuss Slide 2: New York Times Headlines 1919

  • What US or foreign wars frame TR’s life? (He lived through the Civil War and died just after World War I.) Did he fight in any wars? (Tell the class that he fought in the Spanish-American War (1898)). He was president at the dawn of the 20th century. In foreign affairs this was a turning point for the US coming-of-age on the world stage.
  • The New York Times considers TR’s death a major world event and reports that our flag is at half-mast on seas and on land throughout the world.
  • Try to help students contrast the US role in the world from 1858 to 1919. Explain to students that this lesson will help them understand to what extent TR’s presidency contributed to the rise of US power worldwide.

Show & Discuss Slide 3: Newspaper Headlines 1919

  • How important is foreign policy when evaluating a president’s legacy?
  • For what foreign policies, ventures, and outcomes do we remember presidents of the past 50 years? (Ask students what stands out in their minds about former presidents. For example, Johnson’s failures in Vietnam overshadowed his domestic successes with his Great Society, while Nixon’s visit to China—a landmark of the Cold War years—is overshadowed by Watergate.)

Show & Discuss Slide 4: Cartoon “Two Views of the President”

Explain that there was plenty of controversy about Theodore Roosevelt during and after his presidency, best summarized by this cartoon.

  • Ask the class to analyze the cartoon in pairs or as a whole class. You may wish to distribute the “Cartoon Analysis Worksheet” from the National Archives at http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/worksheets/cartoon_analysis_worksheet.pdf.
  • What remains similar in both images?
  • Compare his clothing in the two images, the accouterments at his desk; why is there “red ink” and a trash basket in the left image, and an orderly set of papers on the right?
  • Why the animal skin on the wall? The image of Mars?
  • Count the images of weapons on the left. What takes their place in the office on the right? Can we deduce which side of the question the cartoonist favored and why?
  • How does the left side of the cartoon compare with the historians’ assessments of TR in Slide 2? What types of papers is he signing and how many of them are there?

Show & Discuss Slide 5: World Map 1898

Explain that at the next class period, students will begin debating TR’s foreign policy legacy as if they were living in 1919, just after the end of World War I, when he died. In order to see the world as it was then, they need to analyze these maps.

  • Imagine you were living in the world of 1898. By now telegraphs connect the United States and Europe, and steamships cross the Atlantic in about a week’s time.
  • Would you feel threatened by Europe’s growing dominance and colonization of Africa? Look at the expansion of Britain and France and name areas in which each one has established colonies. Ask students about Spain: They should note that South America is no longer composed of colonies of either Spain or Brazil. Also review with them that Spain once owned Florida, and as well as all of the territory we acquired from Mexico in 1848. What territories does Spain still dominate? (Cuba, the Philippine islands, among other islands.) Do these possessions pose a threat to the United States, why or why not?
  • In 1919, would you feel that the United States was threatened by any European power? Were the two oceans enough protect it? On what basis should the United States intervene or not in a dispute between the residents of a European colony and the European country that owned it?

Show & Discuss Slide 6: The Impetus for Empire 1866 to 1900 and Slide 7: Opposition to American Imperialism

  • Explain that Americans held different views about US imperialist goals and that those goals were shaped in part by the media of the time (especially Yellow Journalism) and that like today, views changed and evolved.
  • How did anti-imperialists make their stance more patriotic by using quotations from Patrick Henry and Abraham Lincoln?
  • Ask the class for some examples of different views held on foreign policy issues today. Where are the “hot spots” on the map? Do we have options to intervene militarily? Place sanctions on a nation threatening US interests? Are the best solutions obvious to everyone as events unfold?

Activity 3: Developing Supporting Questions Needed to Debate TR’s Record on Foreign Policy

  • Distribute Handout 2, “Developing Criteria by which to Judge a President’s Record in Foreign Affairs.”
  • Students can complete Handout 2 as homework, and then share with the whole class and reach a consensus as a class.
  • Alternatively, provide 20-30 minutes of class time and distribute Handout 2 to pairs of students. (By assigning this as a think-pair-share activity, each student will have a greater opportunity to share his/her opinions in a small group.) The class then reconvenes and reaches a consensus based on teamwork done in class.
  • Review results on Part 1: According to the Constitution Article II, Sections 2 and 3, the president is commander in chief of armed forces; may submit treaties to the Senate for ratification (by a two-thirds majority); may appoint ambassadors and cabinet ministers such as the secretary of state, etc., subject to the approval of the Senate; and may receive foreign ambassadors. (Note that Article I, Section 8, gives Congress, not the president, the power to declare war.)
  • Have student groups complete Part 2, The Balance Scales. Remind them they must reach a consensus on the balance scales.
  • For Part 3, help the class rephrase each criteria as a question. For example, if one criteria is that the president prioritize defending US interests, the question for debate purposes is “Does the president defend US interests?” Remind the class that these criteria will be used later in the lesson to evaluate the relative success or failure of TR’s foreign policy.
  • Post the final chart so that it can be referenced in debate. 

Activity 4: Assigning Roles and Viewing Clips from The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

  1. Explain that if we were living on January 6, 1919, the staff of major newspapers would need to sum up the impact of Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy on the United States and the world in a series of headlines, news articles, and editorials geared toward answering the CQ: “To what extent did Theodore Roosevelt’s record on foreign policy mar or enhance his record as US president?”
  2. Four students will role-play newspaper editors who have convened two panels of experts on Theodore Roosevelt: Team A of experts who view TR’s foreign policy in a positive light, and Team B who view it negatively. The goal of the newspaper editors is to arrive at a fair and balanced view of TR’s legacy.
    • Option: Share with the class this “insider” point of view about writing obituaries, which are often written under pressure of unanticipated deadlines. According to obituary writer for The New York Times, Bruce Weber,
    • “I’d say that many obituary subjects who have written memoirs or had biographies written about them end up being advance obit subjects, so I can actually spend the time reading the books rather carefully. I realize that not every newspaper gives its writers that luxury, and it’s certainly true that on a number of occasions I’ve had to cram. In situations like that, secondary sources, by dint of what they emphasize, will often point you to the key sections of the primary sources. … Otherwise, what I do is become as well informed as I can in the time I have, make my best judgments about what to include and what to leave out and then keep my fingers crossed. … There is a deadline for obituaries that need to run in the paper the next day…which means the obit has to be written and edited and fitted for space by then.”
      (“Talk to the Newsroom: Bruce Weber,” September 22, 2008, at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/22/business/media/22askthetimes.html?pagewanted=al)
  3. Assign the following reading to all students as homework before they view the film clips. This brief reading gives an overview of all topics covered in this lesson and will provide context for the film clips.
    “TR: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt, Foreign Affairs,” PBS American Experience, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/tr-foreign/

  4. Fill in, distribute to students, or post electronically Handout 3, “Role Assignments.” Assign strong students to Roles 7A and 7B as both act as chairs of their teams and summarizers of all the arguments made. The Newspaper Editorial Team (four students) will also need to grasp a wide array of information quickly.
  5. Review Handout 3 with students to ensure they understand their assignments.
  6. Distribute or post on a class website Handout 4, “Viewing Questions.” Team A and Team B Roles 1 through 6 watch the film clips only relevant to their assigned topic. They will then research and prepare debate speeches. Team A and Team B Role 7 and the Newspaper Editorial Team (four students) should try to watch all of the film clips. Film clips can be viewed on computers at school, or at home for homework.
  7. Explain that to debate well, and to comprehend arguments, students need to anticipate both sides to an argument.
  8. Distribute to each member of the class Handout 5, “Primary Source Documents.” In these documents, TR defends his own foreign policy point for point. Students defending his record can accentuate these points, while students critical of TR will need to refute his statements.
  9. Distribute Handout 6, “Contemporaries and Historians Weigh In.” These selections include a wide variety of commentators over time. They will help to spark ideas for arguments on both sides.
  10. Distribute Handout 7, “Form for Evaluating the Debate,” to the Editorial Team (seven copies to each team member).

Timed Debate Segments

Constructive Speeches 2 mins. 12 speeches 24 mins.
Rebuttal Speeches   2 mins. 12 speeches 24 mins.
Responses to Q&A posed by editors 6 topics, 1 responder from each side

(1 min. per Q) 12 mins.

Summary Speeches

(last two debaters on each side) 3 mins.

2 speeches  6 mins.
Total Time 66 mins.

Debriefing:

  • Allow the Newsroom Editorial Team to explain and defend how they wrote their headlines, and why they sequenced them as they did. In effect, they “judge” the debate, but instead of deciding on the basis of “winners take all,” they arrive at more nuanced conclusions.
  • Return to the quotations from the Introductory Activity. Has a president so described in the quotations been assessed overall favorably or not? Explain.

Assessment Suggestions:

  • Assess students on the Team of Experts 1 to 7 on their debate speeches. For this purpose distribute Handout 7, “Form for Evaluating the Debate,” to all debaters as they work. Then use this form to assess each speech made. Also use Handout 8, “Rubrics.”
  • Assess students on their ability to work effectively together.
  • Assess the Newspaper Editorial Team on their ability to find relevant pro and con images with which to decorate the newsroom.
  • Assess the Newspaper Editorial Team on the questions posed to the debaters.
  • Optional: Ask every student to write an editorial for the newspaper summarizing and evaluating at least two aspects of TR’s foreign policy.

Extensions/Adaptations:

  • Ask each student to write a news article to accompany one headline. The headline in effect serves as the thesis statement, while the body of the article provides facts and arguments to support it.
  • Take one example of a “hot spot” in the world today. How and why does it pose a problem for the United States and world peace? How would Theodore Roosevelt solve it were he president today?
  • Compare the Dollar Diplomacy of Taft to foreign policy of TR.
  • Compare TR’s attitude to FDR’s Atlantic Charter and Eleanor Roosevelt and the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Imagine that you are a student in the Philippines, Cuba, or another Caribbean country. How do you think Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy might be covered in textbooks from those countries? (If you have students from any of the countries affected by TR’s policies, ask them to share what they know.)

Standards

NCSS C3 (College, Career, and Civic Life) (http://www.socialstudies.org/system/files/c3/C3- Framework-for-Social-Studies.pdf)

Dimension 1: Developing Questions and Planning Inquiries

Dimension 2: Civics

  • D2.Civ.3.9-12: Analyze the impact of constitutions, laws, treaties, and international agreements on the maintenance of national and international order.
  • D2.Civ.9.9-12: Use appropriate deliberative processes in multiple settings.

Dimension 2: History

  • D2.His.3.9-12: Use questions generated about individuals and groups to assess how the significance of their actions changes over time and is shaped by the historical context.
  • D2.His.17.9-12: Critique the central arguments in secondary works of history on related topics in multiple media in terms of their historical accuracy.

Dimension 3: Evaluating Sources and Using Evidence

  • D3.2.9-12: Gather relevant information from multiple sources representing a wide range of views while using the origin, authority, structure, context, and corroborative value of the sources to guide the selection.

CCSS Reading Standard for History/Social Studies (http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy)

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.9: Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.8: Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.

About The Authors

Joan Brodsky Schur

Joan Brodsky Schur is Social Studies Curriculum Consultant for the Village Community School in New York City where she has taught Social Studies and English for over 20 years.

Handout: PowerPoint: Evaluating Theodore Roosevelt’s Foreign Policy

53b_tr_foreign_policy_powerpoint

Handout: Who Is the Man Who Became President X?

Historians and expert commentators are responsible for the quotations below in reference to the foreign policy of one United States president. Who is he?

Clue 1: He was US president after the Civil War.
Clue 2: He was US president before 1950.

Which president is it, and why do you think so?

“There is blood lust in X. He was a killer. You can’t, you can’t santize that.”
Clay Jenkinson

“X, we should say this bluntly, liked war…He was a beliver…to a certain unpleasant extent, that might makes right.”
George Will

“There was no question that X was an imperialist. Apologists like to try and play this down. But the fact is he’s probably the most significant imperialist in American history. He gave a speech to the Naval War College which I think can be regarded as the most aggressive foreign policy speech in all of American history.”
Clay Jenkinson

“Most wars are prolonged and miserable and wretched with great lost of life. And to think that war could be as neat and tidy and kind of over-so-quickly and so happily as X’s war is an illusion. Ah, and it was an illusion that this country from time to time succumbs to.”
Evan Thomas

 

1. On what qualities of President X do all three historians agree?

 

 

2. Define the term “imperialism” by typing into your web browser the words: “define imperialism.” Look at several definitions, thinking about how they might pertain to US history, and then write your own definition.

 

 

3. Which war in US history might X’s war have been? Why do you think so?

 

 

4. Who do you think X is, and why do you think so?

 

 

5. Is it conceivable that President X could hold a place of high esteem as US president? Under what circumstances might this be possible?

 

 

Handout: Developing Criteria to Judge a President’s Record in Foreign Affairs

Part 1: Aligning Power to the Constitution

Directions: In order to assess the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy, it is important to know what powers the US Constitution assigns to the president vis-à-vis other branches of government.

Look up the following sections of the Constitution of the United States and indicate on the chart the   branch that possesses the power.

  • Powers of Congress: Article I, Section 8
  • Powers of the President: Article II, Sections 2 and 3

Remember that the Constitution balances the power of different branches of government such that one branch may be given a power that is “checked” by the power of another branch.

Who Has the Power? President Congress

(Which house or houses? By majority vote or a vote of 2/3?)

Declare war
Regulate commerce with other nations
Raise an army and navy
Command the armed forces
Make treaties with foreign nations
Appoint advisors ambassadors (including secretary of

state)

Receive foreign dignitaries

Part 2: The President and Foreign Policy

In order to evaluate Theodore Roosevelt’s record, the class needs to develop a clear set of criteria by which to judge his policies and actions. According to what criteria do you think we should judge the foreign policies of a president? Proceed to fill in the set of Balance Scales below.

Directions: As a group, you must decide which is the more important of the two statements, A or B.

Optional: Next to each A and B statement, give an example from US history.

Balance Scale 1:

  1. Consistent pursuit of overarching foreign policy goals.
  2. Effective policy developed in response to unfolding and unpredictable events.

Balance Scale 2:

  1. Defend US interests (military and/or commercial) first and ask questions later.
  2. Respect the well being and rights of other nations first, and then take action if necessary.

Balance Scale 3:

  1. Under all circumstances, adhere to the US Constitution.
  2. In response to emergencies, act outside the US Constitution.

Optional: Balance Scale 4:

Create your own opposing criteria for evaluating a president’s record in foreign policy. For example, you might consider a president’s willingness to use force, versus his or her willingness to negotiate conflicts. Or a president’s idealism in prioritizing the spread of human rights, versus realism in accomplishing only those things that are possible.

Part 3: The President and Foreign Policy Class Criteria

Directions:

  • Contribute your ideas to class discussion about what final criteria should be used to debate TR’s foreign policy legacy.
  • Argue forcefully and, if possible, provide examples from presidential history to support your criteria choice.
  • Once the class has voted on the top three criteria, turn them into statements to be used in debate. For example, “A great president must in all situations adhere to the US Constitution.” Or, “A great president must be ready in some emergency situations to bend the US Constitution.” All class members must adhere to these statements for purposes of debate.
  • Keep the “Criteria for Judging” handout in front of you so that you can reference it as you complete all other assignments and activities.

Consensus for the Top Three Criteria for Judging the Foreign Policy and Accomplishments of a US President

Re-phrased as Questions:

 

  • Does the president______________________________?
  • Does the president______________________________?
  • Does the president______________________________?

 

 

Handout: Role Assignments

Your teacher has assigned to you one role as part of a team that will evaluate Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy in US foreign policy.

  1. The Newspaper Editorial Team, having just learned about TR’s death, wants to provide its readers with a fair and balanced assessment of TR’s legacy in foreign policy. To do so it convenes two Teams of Experts.
  2. Team A takes a positive view of the president’s legacy. They work in pairs, with each pair assigned to present one issue from a positive perspective, for example, the Panama Canal or the Roosevelt Corollary. The seventh member is team leader and summarizer.
  3. Team B presents a negative point of view of the president’s legacy. They work in pairs, with each pair assigned to present one issue from a negative perspective, for example, the Panama Canal or the Roosevelt Corollary. The seventh member is team leader and summarizer.

At the end of the debate, the Editorial Team will synthesize everything it has heard into headlines that represent a balanced viewpoint.

Once you have been assigned your role, meet with your teammates and follow directions.

Debate Chart Roles

Role Students Assigned Assignment
Newspaper Editorial Team In a class of 30 assign 4
  • Create a “newsroom” of primary source documents to display around the room. Find cartoons that express different viewpoints, photographs of TR, etc.
  • Prepare questions to ask the Team of Expert debaters.
  • Write assessment headlines at debate’s end. As a team, format your front page with the boldest and thus most

important headline first, etc.

Team of Experts Pro TR’s Legacy Two students per topic. Student 1 of each pair makes the Constructive Speech and Student 2

the Rebuttal on each topic.

Make the best case in favor of TR’s legacy, using the Criteria developed in Handout 2.
1A. Spanish-American War

and Imperialism

2A. Rough Riders and

Spanish-American War

3A. Roosevelt Corollary to

the Monroe Doctrine

4A. Panama Canal
5A. Treaty of Portsmouth and Nobel Prize
6A. World War I
7A. Team Summarizer
Team of Experts Anti TR’s Legacy Two students per topic. Student 1 of each pair makes the Constructive Speech and Student 2 the Rebuttal on each

topic.

Make the best case against TR’s legacy, using Criteria developed in Handout 2.
1B. Spanish-American War and Imperialism
2B. Rough Riders & the Spanish-American War
3B. Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine
4B. Panama Canal
5B. Treaty of Portsmouth & Nobel Prize
6B. World War I
7B. Team Summarizer

Timed Debate

Constructive Speeches 2 mins. 12 speeches 24 mins.
Rebuttal Speeches 2 mins. 12 speeches 24 mins.
Responses to Q&A posed by editors 6 topics, 1 responder from each side (1 min. per Q) 12 mins.
Summary Speeches

(last two debaters on each side) 3 mins.

2 speeches 6 mins.
Total Time 66 mins.

Instructions for Preparing Your Role Roles 1 through 6A and 6B

Team of Experts A

You and your partner (provide your names) are experts on Theodore Roosevelt and his role in (provide topic number and topic) _ .

Upon the former president’s death, a leading newspaper has called you and your partner to their offices to provide an expert assessment of TR’s foreign policy leadership. They know both of you have been ardent admirers of TR and expect you to provide facts and reasons in support of his policies, using the President and Foreign Policy Class Criteria. Remember, however, that they are also inviting a second team of experts to their offices who are highly critical of TR’s record.

You and your partner will debate TR’s record on your assigned topic before the editors (and your class). For this reason you need to support your positive assessment with reasons and facts, while anticipating what TR’s detractors would say.

One of you will write and deliver a Constructive Speech (list name) _ . Your partner will provide a Rebuttal Speech (list name) _ .

You will meet with and report on your progress to Team Member 7 _ ,

who is acting as your Team of Experts Chair and Summarizer. You will be turning in work to your Chair and your teacher as per their requests.

Team of Experts B

You and your partner (provide your names) are experts on Theodore Roosevelt and his role in (provide topic number and topic) _ .

Upon the former president’s death, a leading newspaper has called you and your partner to their offices to provide an expert assessment of TR’s foreign policy leadership. They know both have been highly critical of TR and expect you to provide facts and reasons that support a negative assessment of his policies, using the President and Foreign Policy Class Criteria. Remember, however, that they are also inviting a second team of experts to their offices who are critical of TR’s record.

You and your partner will debate TR’s record on your assigned topic before the editors (and your class). For this reason you need to support your negative assessment with reasons and facts, while anticipating what his admirers would say.

One of you will write and deliver a Constructive Speech (list name) _ . Your partner will provide a Rebuttal Speech (list name) _ .

You will meet with and report on your progress to Team Member 7 _ ,

who is acting as your Team of Experts Chair and Summarizer. You will be turning in work to your Chair and your teacher as per their requests.

Directions for Team A and Team B

Step 1: Read, watch, and analyze. Read and watch film clips. Note on Pro and Con charts information that you can use to support your team’s point of view, while also notating information that could be used by your opponents. This will help you to formulate counterarguments.

Your sources of information are as follows. Read and/or view them in the following order:

  1. Read: “TR: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt, Foreign Affairs,” PBS American Experience, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/tr-foreign/. Read this in its entirety first, as it will provide an overview and give you context about your specific topic.
  2. View the clips from The Roosevelts: An Intimate History that correspond to your assigned topic. Fill in Handout 4, “Viewing Questions,” for your topic.
  3. Read and answer questions pertaining to your topic in Handout 5, “Primary Source Documents: Theodore Roosevelt and the Nobel Laureate Speeches of 1906 & 1910.” Remember that here TR is defending his own record.
  4. Handout 6, “Contemporaries and Historians Weigh In,” contains multiple views of different events. Focus on your assigned topic, and assess what can be used to support your argument as well as counter it.
  5. Consult the list of online resources on this website and do further research.

Step 2: Outline your arguments with your partner. Constructive Speech

  • Give a two- or three-sentence summary of your topic. (For example: “Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for negotiating peace between Japan and Russia after a war.”)
  • Cite one criteria listed in the President and Foreign Policy Class Criteria that you believe Theodore Roosevelt meets (Team A) or fails to meet (Team B).
  • State why you believe TR meets or fails to meet that criteria for your topic.
  • Prove that Theodore Roosevelt meets or fails to meet that criteria by providing reasons and facts to support the reasons.
  • (Optional: Discuss a second criteria.)
  • Summarize.

Rebuttal Speech

  • Repeat the criteria your partner is using to judge TR’s record.
  • Anticipate arguments made by your opponent and prepare refutations in advance.
  • For each anticipated argument, provide reasons and facts to negate them.
  • (At the actual debate, listen carefully to refute actual arguments made and add into your speech as necessary.)

Step 3: Consult with the Team Summarizer and/or your teacher.

Step 4: Write, time, and practice out loud your speeches.

Instructions for Preparing Your Role Roles 7A and 7B

During the debate, the Team Summarizer will present a summary speech in which you highlight the overall arguments your teammates have made. Your goal is to refer to all three of the President and Foreign Policy Class Criteria in order to show why President Roosevelt did (7A) or did not (7B) meet them, and to show how your team has effectively been proven correct with reasons and facts.

The Team Summarizer serves as the team’s Chairperson as they prepare to make arguments. Depending upon the time your teacher allows, you should try to convene meetings with pairs of debaters on each topic. Alternatively, ask them to submit work to you via email or Google Docs. The summary of your team’s position should be turned in to the teacher before it is read at the debate.

Step 1: Read, Watch, and Analyze

  • Read the instructions for “Preparing Your Role: Roles 1 through 6A and 6B” so that you know what your teammates are expected to do.
  • Read “TR: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt, Foreign Affairs,” PBS American Experience, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/tr-foreign/. Read this in its entirety first, as it will provide an overview. Keep a running list of “pros and cons” as you do so. Also consider reading this overview: “Theodore Roosevelt and Foreign Affairs,” The Miller Center, University of Virginia, http://millercenter.org/president/roosevelt/essays/biography/5.
  • Watch all of the clips from The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, keeping a running list of pros and cons.
  • Be aware of the arguments President Roosevelt set forth in his defense in Handout 5, “Primary Source Documents: Theodore Roosevelt and the Nobel Laureate Speeches of 1906 & 1910.”
  • Optional: Handout 6, “Contemporaries and Historians Weigh In,” contains multiple views of different events. Your classmates will be drawing on these documents to formulate and support arguments.
  • Consult the list of online resources.

Step 2: Meet with teammates and read their speeches.

  • Read and comment on outlines.
  • Read final speeches of teammates. If possible, find time to have pairs practice their speeches in front of you. Keep copies for yourself.

Step 3: Extract the best arguments made by your teammates for your own speech.

Step 4: Outline your speech using three criteria from the President and Foreign Policy Class Criteria. Organize your speech around the criteria, presenting evidence to support each one in so far as possible. Start and conclude with clear strong statements.

Step 5: Write, time, and practice out loud your speech.

Instructions for Preparing Your Role: Newspaper Editorial Team

We are living in 1919 and former president Theodore Roosevelt has just died. The Newspaper Editorial Team, of which you are a member, is under pressure to write headlines and editorials that provide readers with a fair and balanced assessment of Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy. The Editorial Team must defer to the opinion of a variety of experts to make a fair assessment. For this purpose, you have convened two panels of experts. Team A is composed of ardent admirers of TR, while Team B has been highly critical of the president’s record.

Step 1: Read widely and in general about TR’s foreign policy record beforehand so that you can formulate questions to ask the experts on Team A and Team B. Read “TR: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt, Foreign Affairs” on PBS American Experience, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/tr-foreign/. Read this in its entirety first, as it will provide an overview. Also consider reading this overview: “Theodore Roosevelt and Foreign Affairs,” The Miller Center, University of Virginia, http://millercenter.org/president/roosevelt/essays/biography/5.

  • Keep a running list of “pros and cons” as you read.
  • Watch the clips from The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, keeping a running list of pros and cons on the charts.
  • Be aware of the arguments President Roosevelt set forth in his defense in Handout 5, “Primary Source Documents: Theodore Roosevelt and the Nobel Laureate Speeches of 1906 & 1910.”
  • Optional: Handout 7, “Contemporaries and Historians Weigh In,” contains multiple views of different events. Your classmates will be drawing on these documents to formulate and support arguments.
  • Consult the list of online resources.

Step 2: Set Up the Newsroom/Classroom

The newsroom should reflect your focus on assessing both positive and negative aspects of TR’s records. You are considering various cartoons, photographs, and artwork to include in your special commemorative issue of your newspaper. You must find them and post as follows: All positive images along the right side of the room where Experts in Team A will sit. All negative images along the left side of the room where Experts from Team B will sit. (If possible, find two images per topic in the debate, one for the left side and one for the right side of the room.) A good source of images can be found at pbs.org/kenburns/the-roosevelts/image-gallery.

Step 3: Prepare questions for Team A and Team B. There may not be time to ask and answer all questions at the actual debate, but have on hand at least one question related to each of the six topics debaters will discuss. Each question should refer to the President and Foreign Policy Class Criteria.

Step 4: During the debate, fill in Handout 7, “Form for Evaluating Debate,” for each topic.

Step 5: Write headlines after the debate:

At the end of the debate, you will be given time to consult as a team to assess the president’s success or failure according to the class criteria.

  • Arrive at the wording of seven headlines, based on the evidence of the experts. One headline is a general assessment and should come first and be biggest and boldest. Write another six, each representing one topic covered in the debate.
  • The headlines should start large and graduate to smaller print based on how important you think they are. Your headlines must reflect your assessment of the debate and not your personal opinion.
  • Each headline should consist of two phrases such that you can make a statement followed by a modifier or qualifier. (Example: “Acclaimed a Great President: Led the Country to Victory” or “ Negotiated Peace Treaty: Sore Losers Remain Discontent.”)
  • Print out your headlines and post in the classroom. Be prepared to explain them in a class debriefing.

Handout: Viewing Questions

Early Life (Everyone: Optional)

Clip 1: “Theodore Roosevelt Childhood” (From Episode 1)

  • Intro: 9:54: “On October 27, 1858, Theodore Roosevelt was born.”
  • Exit: 17.32: “…her family in an empty flower pot.”

Explanation: Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City in 1858 to a family of wealth and privilege. He was a boy when the Civil War broke out. The legacy of TR’s family history during the Civil War and the young boy’s fragile health affected various aspects of TR’s character that influenced his foreign policy throughout his life.

Directions: As you view the video clip, fill in the chart below, identifying how each of the events/situations influenced TR’s view of the world and psychological development.

Event/Situation Influence on TR’s Worldview Influence on TR’s Need to Prove His Manhood
Civil War
Life of privilege
Childhood illness
  1. In terms of industrialization, in what ways did TR grow up in a pre-modern world?
  2. TR died in 1919, just after World War I ended. How do you think life was different by the time he died?
  3. Food for thought: Can we overcome events of early childhood, or do we live with their impact for the rest of our lives?

Spanish-American War & Imperialism Teams 1A and 1B

Clip 2: “Theodore Roosevelt ‘The Warmonger’” (From Episode 1)

  • Intro: 1:16:58: “When Republican William McKinley of Ohio…”
  • Exit 1:25:26: “There will be a hot time in the old town tonight.”

Explanation: Theodore Roosevelt understood early on that the United States’ bid to become a world power would depend on its commitment to building a strong navy. Thus, when William McKinley was elected president, Roosevelt lobbied to be appointed assistant secretary of the Navy. At this time, Spain still held on to its last vestiges of Empire in the New World, and in the Pacific. Cuban rebels had long sought to throw off Spanish power and liberate themselves. When the US battleship Maine was blown up in Havana Harbor (for unknown reasons), Roosevelt seized the opportunity to put the American Navy and himself to the test.

Directions: Watch the film clips. Make sure you understand:

  • TR’s policies regarding Cuba under Spanish rule.
  • TR’s actions as assistant secretary of war.
  • The reasons why he decided himself to fight in Cuba.

Fill in the T Chart, paying careful attention to some of the value-laden words historians use in this clip. Is it a positive or negative view of TR, or both? For what could TR be criticized and by whom? For what could he be praised and by whom?

Key Question: The events in this episode occurred before TR became president. What bearing do you think they will have on his presidency and the way it should be judged?

TR’s Policies and Actions

Pros Cons
 

 

 

 

Rough Riders & the Spanish-American War in Cuba Teams 2A and 2B

Clip 3: “Alone in Cuba” (From Episode 1)

  • Intro: 1:29:53: “The Rough Riders aided by…”
  • Exit: 1: 35:43: “…but I would urge you to rename it Alone in Cuba.”

Explanation: When the United States declared war on Spain in 1898, Theodore Roosevelt saw it as an opportunity to test US might, as well as his own. At age 39, he left his wife and children to recruit and lead an all-volunteer cavalry division known as the Rough Riders. They were shipped to Cuba where they were to fight the Spanish colonizers in an effort to liberate Cuba and prove American power. The Rough Riders’ landing was a disaster of poor planning, poor execution, and unprepared men. After being ambushed by the Spanish, Roosevelt got control of himself, and later led his men up Kettle Hill, where his primary acts of valor took place. The Rough Riders then joined other troops to liberate San Juan Hill. It was a pivotal moment in TR’s life: After the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt had made himself an American hero.

Map of Santiago De Cuba and Vicinity, 1898 (Wikipedia)

Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/Santiago_campaign_1898.gif

Directions: Watch the film clips. Make sure you understand:

  • The assigned role of the volunteer unit the Rough Riders, versus what it actually did under TR’s leadership.
  • The relationship between actions on Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill.
  • Why TR wanted but did not win a Medal of Honor during his lifetime.

Key Question: Did TR justly earn the praise heaped on him by the American public and press for his valor in the Spanish-American War?

Fill in the T Chart, paying careful attention to some of the value-laden words historians use in this clip. Is it a positive or negative view of TR, or both? For what could TR be criticized and by whom? For what could he be praised?

Pros Cons
 

 

 

 

TR’s Policies and Actions

Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine Teams 3A and 3B

Clip 4: “Speak Softly” (From Episode 2)

  • Intro: 30:35: [Theodore Roosevelt, voice-over] “I have always been fond of the old West African proverb: ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick and you will go far.’”
  • Exit: 33:41: “…treatment of the Colombians during the negotiations for the Panama Treaty was inexcusable.”

Explanation: In 1900, war hero Theodore Roosevelt was elected vice president to President McKinley. It was McKinley who concluded the Treaty of Paris, ending the Spanish-American War (1899), despite a vocal anti-imperialist movement in the United States. When McKinley was assassinated in 1901, Theodore Roosevelt inherited the reins of the United States as a world power. In his 1904 State of the Union Address, Roosevelt reinforced the Monroe Doctrine with the Roosevelt Corollary. In it he justified American intervention wherever “chaos” ruled in the Western Hemisphere.

Directions: Watch the film clips. Make sure you understand:

  • The geographical location of Hawaii, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines on a map. What was the status of each one of these under TR’s expansionist presidency? How far is each one from the continental United States?
  • The ideological grounds that TR used to base his policy of justified intervention.
  • The meaning TR’s oft-repeated saying: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Key Question: What stopped TR from being a more imperialistic president than he was? What bearing does this have on how we should assess his record?

Fill in the T Chart: What in this film clip can TR be seen in a positive or negative light? For what could TR be criticized or praised and by whom?

TR’s Policies and Actions

Pros Cons
 

 

 

 

The Panama Canal Teams 4A and 4B

Clip 5: “TR and the Panama Canal” (From Episode 2)

  • Intro: 33:41: “For Roosevelt, one great expansionist vision remained unfulfilled.”
  • Exit: 39:40: [Theodore Roosevelt, voice-over] “they merely discuss me—a discussion which I regard with benign interest.”

Explanation: After the Spanish-American War, American territory extended further into both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, making it increasingly important to build a canal that would bridge the two seas. The French, who had successfully overseen the building of the Suez Canal (1869), had tried and failed to build a canal across the Isthmus of Panama—at that time part of Colombia. Plans were stalled because the Colombian Senate refused to transfer the building rights from France to the United States for the amount the United States offered. Yet Theodore Roosevelt was determined that the canal be built.

Directions: Watch the film clips. Make sure you understand:

  • The strategic location of the Isthmus of Panama, and how travelers crossed hemispheres before a canal was built.
  • The importance of the canal to American wealth and power, and to the trade and well-being of other nations, east and west.
  • The negotiations and actions taken by TR that ended in 1903 with a treaty between the United States and Panama (the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty).

Key Question: In this clip George Will says, “As was said at the time of the Panama Canal Treaty: We stole it fair and square.” Can the means by which we acquired the rights to build the Panama Canal be justified? From whose perspective?

TR’s Policies and Actions

Pros Cons
 

 

 

 

Treaty of Portsmouth & Nobel Prize Teams 5A and 5B

Clip 6: “TR wins the Nobel Peace Prize” (From Episode 2)

  • Intro: 1:07:33: “President Roosevelt had just succeeded…”
  • Exit: 1:11:22: “…the world had ever seen.”

Explanation: Under the expansionist vision of Theodore Roosevelt and others like him, the United States had acquired new territories in the Pacific, including Hawaii, Guam, and, above all, the Philippines. Thus, when war broke out in the Pacific between Russia and Japan, TR believed the United States had an interest in restoring the balance of power between the two, while acknowledging that Japan had won costly victories. Russian and Japanese spheres of influence were at stake in Korea and Manchuria. In 1905, TR personally helped to bring Japan and Russia to the peace table in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to carve out and/or protect Japanese and Russian spheres of influence over Korea and Manchuria (China).

Directions: Watch the film clips. Make sure you understand:

  • The expansionist goals of Russia and Japan during this war, by looking at a map.
  • The reasons why TR choose to get involved as a peacemaker.
  • The significance of TR’s winning a Nobel Peace Prize.

Key Questions:

  • How significant was the Treaty of Portsmouth in establishing world peace?
  • Evaluate the treaty in light of TR’s own comments at the end of the clip: “Sooner or later, the Japanese will try to bolster up their power in another war. Unfortunately for us, we have what they want most, the Philippines…”

TR’s Policies and Actions

Pros Cons
 

 

 

 

World War I Team 6A and 6B

Clip 7: “TR on WWI” (From Episode 3)

  • Intro: 1:13:39: [Theodore Roosevelt, voice-over] “Let us dare to look the truth in the face…”
  • Exit: 1:19:23: “The former president was in town to see the current one and to try—like Franklin—to get into the war…”

Explanation: Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated president in 1913, shortly before World War I broke out in Europe. In the beginning, few Americans were eager to join the conflict, and Wilson proclaimed US neutrality. Former president Theodore Roosevelt had been an early critic of neutrality, a proponent of military preparedness, and critical of Woodrow Wilson’s reluctance to declare war against Germany. Not until 1917, when Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare on all vessels at sea, and—in the Zimmermann Telegram invited Mexico to attack the United States—did Wilson ask Congress to declare war.

Directions: Watch the film clips. Make sure you understand:

  • Why President Wilson and former president Theodore Roosevelt were at odds with one another over World War I.
  • The elements of modern warfare as developed in World War I that contrasted with TR’s romantic idea of heroic warfare.
  • Why Wilson turned down TR’s offer to enlist in the armed forces as a volunteer.

Key Question: Was TR right that entering World War I was “good for us”?

TR’s Policies and Actions

Pros Cons
 

 

 

 

Handout: Primary Source Documents

Theodore Roosevelt and the Nobel Laureate Speeches of 1906 & 1910

Theodore Roosevelt was US president from 1901 to 1909. TR was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1906 for negotiating peace between Russia and Japan. At the time he did not travel to Norway, but sent an American dignitary to receive the prize for him. The first speech below is the presentation speech given by Norwegian Gunnar Knudsen (1848-1928) in Norway in 1906.

Roosevelt traveled to Norway in 1910 when he formally accepted the prize in person and delivered his Nobel lecture before an audience of over 2,000 people. Later that evening, at a banquet in his honor, he delivered the third speech represented here, The Colonial Policy of the United States. Roosevelt’s two speeches, taken together, comprise his policy of “peace with action.”

Directions: Review the instructions below. Find your reading assignment and use the questions that follow as a guide.

All Teams: Read the introductory paragraph to The Colonial Policy of the United States an Address Delivered at Christiania, Norway, May 5, 1910

  • When, where, and why did Theodore Roosevelt deliver this speech? How do the occasion and the audience shape the content TR delivers here? Might he have given a different speech in front of the armed forces, for example?
  • Is TR concerned with how history will remember his “colonial policy”? By what criteria does TR wish to be judged?

Teams 1A and 1B Read Philippines from The Colonial Policy

  • Locate the Philippines on a map. Approximately how far is it from the Philippines to the continental United States?
  • Circle what you believe are key words in the text. Look up key words you do not know.
  • What is TR’s rationale for why the United States cannot leave the Philippines in the short term?

For further research:

  • The Philippine-American War, 1899-1902
  • Emilio Aguinaldo
  • The Anti-Imperialist League

To support TR’s assertions, what else would you want to know? From whose point of view?

To challenge TR’s assertions, what else would you want to know? From whose point of view?

Teams 2A and 2B Read Cuba from The Colonial Policy

  • Locate Cuba on a map. Approximately how far is it from Cuba to the continental United States?
  • Circle what you believe are key words in the text. Look up key words you do not know.
  • What criticisms did TR evidently face regarding his policy in Cuba? What is your evidence from the speech?
  • As leader of the Rough Riders, what role did TR personally play in Cuba in the Spanish- American War?
  • What was TR’s “colonial policy” regarding Cuba as president? On what basis does he justify it? For further research:
  • The Teller Amendment of 1898
  • The Platt Amendment of 1901
  • The second occupation of Cuba, 1906-1909

To support TR’s assertions, what else would you want to know? From whose point of view?

To challenge TR’s assertions, what else would you want to know? From whose point of view

Teams 3A and 3B Read San Domingo [the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine] from The Colonial Policy

  • Locate the Dominican Republic on a map. Approximately how far is it from the Dominican Republic to the continental United States?
  • Circle what you believe are key words in the text. Look up key words you do not know.
  • Why did TR believe that the United States had to interfere with the situation in San Domingo?
  • What criticisms of his actions do you think TR faced regarding his actions in the Dominican Republic? What is your evidence from the speech?
  • What arguments does TR make in his own defense?

For further research:

  • The text of the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, 1904
  • The crisis in Venezuela that also led to the Roosevelt Corollary

To support TR’s assertions, what else would you want to know? From whose point of view?

To challenge TR’s assertions what else would you want to know? From whose point of view?

Teams 4A and 4B read Panama from The Colonial Policy

  • Locate Panama on a map. Approximately how far is Panama from the continental United States?
  • Circle what you believe to be are key words in the text. Look up key words you do not know.
  • What are the arguments TR uses to justify dealing with Panama by himself?

For further research:

  • The Hay-Herran Treaty of 1903 (the United States and Colombia)
  • Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty of 1903 (the United States and Colombia)

To support TR’s assertions, what else would you want to know? From whose point of view?

To challenge TR’s assertions, what else would you want to know? From whose point of view?

Teams 5A and 5B read Presentation Speech by Gunnar Knudsen

  • Circle what you believe are key words in the text. Look up key words you do not know.
  • How did TR’s winning of the Peace Prize further US prestige in the world?
  • Gunnar Knudsen says that the goal of world peace was regarded by most leaders of the day as utopian rather than realistic. Do you think that TR believed in the possibility of world peace, or was he just trying to “score points”?

For further research:

  • The founding of the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Other early Nobel Peace Prize winners
  • Subsequent relationships between Japan, Russia, Korea, and China until 1918.

Teams 6A and 6B read International Peace from The Colonial Policy

  • Use the Roosevelt timeline (Theodore Roosevelt Timeline, National Parks Service, http://www.nps.gov/thro/historyculture/theodore-roosevelt-timeline.htmto determine what TR did between the time he left the White House in 1909 and the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Why do you think he visited Oslo at this time
  • Circle what you believe are key words in the text. Look up key words you do not know.
  • Given the audience and occasion, why do you think TR ends his speech on the theme of international peace?
  • Based on TR’s comments in this speech, do you think we can call Theodore Roosevelt a “man of peace”? Why or why not?

For further research:

  • The Hague Tribunal
  • The US entry into World War I
  • The League of Nations

Presentation Speech by Gunnar Knudsen, December 10, 1906

As the Nobel Committee meets today, the tenth of December … to announce to the Norwegian Parliament its decision concerning the award of the Peace Prize, it is appropriate to recall that the Norwegian Parliament was one of the first national assemblies to adopt and to support the cause of peace. Twelve or fifteen years ago, Gentlemen, the cause of peace presented a very different aspect from the one it presents today. The cause was then regarded as a utopian idea and its advocates as well- meaning but overly enthusiastic idealists who had no place in practical politics, being out of touch with the realities of life. The situation has altered radically since then, for in recent years leading statesmen, even heads of state, have espoused the cause, which has now acquired a totally different image in public opinion. The United States of America was among the first to infuse the ideal of peace into practical politics. Peace and arbitration treaties have now been concluded between the United States and the governments of several countries. But what has especially directed the attention of the friends of peace and of the whole civilized world to the United States is President Roosevelt’s happy role in bringing to an end the bloody war recently waged between two of the world’s great powers, Japan and Russia. On behalf of the Norwegian Parliament, I now present to you, Mr. Ambassador [standing in for President Roosevelt], the Peace Prize along with its insignia, and I add the request that you convey to the President the greetings of the Norwegian people and their gratitude for all that he has done in the cause of peace. I would also add the wish that this eminent and highly gifted man may be blessed with the opportunity of continuing his work to strengthen the ideal of peace and to secure the peace of the world.

Nobel Lecture

An Address Delivered at Christiania, Norway, May 5, 1910 By Theodore Roosevelt

It is with peculiar pleasure that I stand here today to express the deep appreciation I feel of the high honor conferred upon me by the presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize. The gold medal which formed part of the prize I shall always keep, and I shall hand it on to my children as a precious heirloom. …

We must ever bear in mind that the great end in view is righteousness, justice as between man and man, nation and nation, the chance to lead our lives on a somewhat higher level, with a broader spirit of brotherly goodwill one for another. Peace is generally good in itself, but it is never the highest good  unless it comes as the handmaid of righteousness; and it becomes a very evil thing if it serves merely as a mask for cowardice and sloth, or as an instrument to further the ends of despotism or anarchy. … Finally, it would be a masterstroke if those great powers honestly bent on peace would form a League of Peace, not only to keep the peace among themselves, but to prevent, by force if necessary, its being broken by others. … Each nation must keep well prepared to defend itself until the establishment of some form of international police power, competent and willing to prevent violence as between nations.

[The compete lecture can be found at The Nobel Peace Prize.org http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1906/roosevelt-lecture.html]

The Colonial Policy of the United States

An Address Delivered at Christiania, Norway, May 5, 1910 By Theodore Roosevelt

Introduction

When I first heard that I was to speak again this evening, my heart failed me. … I am going to say a word or two about my own actions while I was President. I do not speak of them, my friends, save to illustrate the thesis that I especially uphold, that the man who has the power to act is to be judged not by his words but by his acts—by his words in so far as they agree with his acts. All that I say about peace I wish to have judged and measured by what I actually did as President. …

Cuba

At the close of the war of ’98 we found our army in possession of Cuba, and man after man among the European diplomats of the old school said to me: “Oh, you will never go out of Cuba. You said you would, of course, but that is quite understood; nations don’t expect promises like that to be kept.” As soon as I became President, I said, “Now you will see that the promise will be kept.” We appointed a day when we would leave Cuba. On that day Cuba began its existence as an independent republic. Later there came a disaster, there came a revolution, and we were obliged to land troops again, while I was President. Then the same gentlemen with whom I had conversed before said: “Your promise has [not] been kept, and now you will stay in Cuba.” I answered: “No, we shall not. …We will stay in Cuba to help it on its feet, and then we will leave the island in better shape to maintain its permanent independent existence.” And before I left the Presidency Cuba resumed its career as a separate republic. …

San Domingo [and the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine]

We acted along the same general lines [in Cuba as] in the case of San Domingo [now the Dominican Republic]. We intervened only so far as to prevent the need of taking possession of the island [by the European nations to which it was in debt]. None of you will know this so I will just tell you briefly what we did. The Republic of San Domingo, in the West Indies, had suffered from a good many revolutions.

… A number of dictators, under the title of President, had seized power at different times, had borrowed money at exorbitant rates of interest from Europeans and Americans, and had pledged the custom-houses of the different towns to different countries. … Things got to such a pass that it became evident that certain European Powers would land and take possession of parts of the island.

We then began negotiations with the Government of the island. We sent down ships [to prevent revolutionaries from taking control of the custom-houses] and after some negotiations, we concluded an agreement. … It was agreed that we should put a man in as head of the custom-houses, that the collection of customs should be entirely under the management of that man, and that no one should be allowed to interfere with the custom-houses. … We agreed to turn over to the San Domingo Government forty-five percent of the revenue, keeping fifty-five per cent as a fund to be applied to a settlement with the creditors.

The creditors also acquiesced in what we had done, and we started the new arrangement. I found considerable difficulty in getting the United States Senate to ratify the treaty, but I went ahead anyhow and executed it until it was ratified. … Under the treaty we have turned over to the San Domingo Government forty-five percent of the revenues collected and yet we have turned over nearly double as much as they ever got when they collected it all themselves. In addition, we have collected sufficient to make it certain that the creditors will receive every cent to which they are entitled. It is self-evident, therefore, that in this affair we gave a proof of our good faith. We might have taken possession of San Domingo. … The ultra-peace people attacked me on the ground that I had “declared war” against San Domingo, the “war” taking the shape of the one man [the customs agent] put in charge of the custom- houses! I disregarded those foolish people. …

Philippines

The same reasoning applies in connection with what we did at the Isthmus of Panama, and what we are doing in the Philippines. Our colonial problems in the Philippines are not the same as the colonial problems of [European] Powers. We have in the Philippines a people mainly Asiatic in blood, but with a streak of European blood and with the traditions of European cultures, so that their ideals are largely the ideals of Europe. At the moment when we entered the islands [during the Spanish-American War] the people were hopelessly unable to stand alone. If we had abandoned the islands, we should have left them a prey to anarchy for some months, and they would have been seized by some other Power. …

Now I hold that is not worth while being a big nation if you cannot do a big task. I care not whether that task is digging the Panama Canal or handling the Philippines. In the Philippines I feel that the day will ultimately come when the Philippine people must settle for themselves whether they wish to be entirely independent, on in some shape to keep up a connection with us. The day has not yet come; it may not come for a generation or two. … A child has to be governed from without, because it has not yet grown to a point when it can govern itself from within. … Our aim in the Philippines is to train the people so that they may govern themselves from within. Until they have reached this point they cannot have self-government. I will never advocate self-government for a people so long as their self-government means crime, violence, and extortion, corruption within, lawlessness among themselves and towards others. If that is what self-government means to any people then they ought to be governed by others until they can do better.

Panama

What I have related represents a measure of practical achievement in the way of helping forward the cause of peace and justice, and of giving to different peoples freedom of action according to the capacities of each. It is not possible, as the world is now constituted, to treat every nation as one private individual can treat all other private individuals, because as yet there is no way of enforcing obedience to law among nations as there is among private individuals. If in the streets of this city a man walks about with the intent to kill somebody, if he manages his house so that it becomes a source of infection to the neighborhood, the community, with its law officers, deals with him forthwith. That is just what happened at Panama, and, as nobody else was able to deal with the matter, I dealt with it myself, on behalf of the United States Government, and now the Canal is being dug, and the people of Panama have their independence and a prosperity hitherto unknown in that country.

International Peace

In the end, I firmly believe that some method will be devised by which the people of the world, as a whole, will be able to insure peace, as it cannot now be insured. How soon that end will come I do not know; it may be far distant. Until it does come I think that, while we should give all support that we can to any possible feasible scheme for quickly bringing about such a state of affairs, yet we should meanwhile do the more practicable, though less sensational things.

… Let us advance step by step; let us, for example, endeavor to increase the number of arbitration treaties and enlarge the methods of obtaining peaceful settlements. Above all, let us strive to awaken the public international conscience, so that it shall be expected, and expected efficiently, of the public men responsible for the management of any nation’s affairs that those affairs shall be conducted with all proper regard for the interests and well-being of other Powers, great or small.

From African and European Addresses by Theodore Roosevelt, G. P. Putnam’ Sons, New York, 1910.

The full speech can be accessed at the Theodore Roosevelt Almanac, http://www.theodore- roosevelt.com/trspeeches.html.

Handout: TR’s Contemporaries and Historians Weigh In

Directions: Find the headings that pertain to your role assignments. Evaluate the source of the information. These excerpts are taken from both primary and secondary sources and date from 1899 to 2012.

Underline comments that support TR’s actions and policies in black and use a different color to underline comments that detract from TR’s accomplishments. These statements can be used in the debate with citations.

TR Readings Cuba

TR was acclaimed by the American Press as the foremost hero of the day. Certainly, he enthusiastically led the Rough Riders into battle and was an inspiration to his men. He was also among the first group of Americans to reach the summit of Kettle Hill. To many newsmen TR was the man who had led the charge that had broken the Spanish defensive line and ensured victory. … TR was presented as the model American citizen who had chosen to fight as a soldier for his country. … The image was forever etched in public memory by Frederic Remington’s celebrated painting entitled The Charge of the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill, 1898 that showed TR leading the charge. TR was certainly brave and inspirational, but the fighting was so confused that it cannot be ascertained with any certainty exactly which officer led the charge. There is no doubt, however that TR stormed Kettle Hill and not the more formidable San Juan, a fact that both he and his admirers conveniently neglected to emphasize.

Joseph Smith, “Spanish American War Hero,” in Blackwell’s Companion to American History: Companion to Theodore Roosevelt, 2011 (47).

The Rough Riders were the first volunteer regiment organized, armed, and equipped. They were the first volunteer soldiers to land in Cuba. They raised the first flag flown by the military forces of the United States on foreign soil since the Mexican War. They were the first regiment of the army to fire a shot at the Spaniards, and the first man killed was one of them. Indeed, they bore the brunt of the first battle, and they bore it with unexampled bravery. In the second battle, their colonel (Theodore Roosevelt) and his men led the van and headed one of the most desperate charges in the history of warfare. From the first to last they were always in the lead, and always a credit to themselves and to their country. …

My own connection with the regiment began the day after they landed in Cuba (where I had gone as a war correspondent for the New York Journal), and lasted just twenty-four hours. It was then quickly put a stop to by a Mauser bullet. Not more than six weeks ago Colonel, now Governor, Theodore Roosevelt sent me the medal of the regiment, and was good enough to say that he was glad to consider me a member of it.

Edward Marshall, The Story of the Rough Riders 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, New York: G. W. Dillingham Co., 1899 (xxi-xxii).

The Philippines

Emilio Aguinaldo* “Proclamation to the Philippine People,” February 5, 1899

… In my manifest of January 8 last I published the grievances suffered by the Philippine forces at the hands of the [American] army of occupation [after the end of the Spanish-American War]. The constant outrages and taunts, which have caused the misery of the people of Manila, and, finally the useless conferences and the contempt shown the Philippine government prove the premeditated transgression of justice and liberty. …

I have tried to avoid, as far as it has been possible for me to do so, armed conflict, in my endeavors to assure our independence by pacific means to avoid more costly sacrifices. But all my efforts have been useless against the measureless pride of the American Government and of its representatives in these islands, who have treated me as a rebel because I defend the sacred interests of my country and do not make myself an instrument of their dastardly intentions.

*Aguinaldo led forces against the Spanish, and then against the occupying forces of the United States in the Philippine-American War (1899-1901).

From The Columbia Documentary History of Race and Ethnicity in Americaedited by Ronald H. Bayor, Columbia University Press, 2003 (accessed as an ebook).

Philippine Independence

… Although Roosevelt’s philosophy was rather ordinary in a transatlantic context, it was extraordinary among Americans. At first wishing to retain the Philippines for several generations at a minimum, President Roosevelt ended up preparing the islands for independence. He created in 1907 a Philippine assembly that shared decision making between American appointees and elected Filipinos, and he left office favoring the relinquishment of the islands within a single generation.

Stephen Wertheim, “Reluctant Liberator: Theodore Roosevelt’s Philosophy of Self-Government and Preparation for Philippine Independence,” in Presidential Studies Quarterly, Columbia University, 2009. http://www.columbia.edu/~saw2156/ReluctantLiberator.pdf

 

The young jingo [Theodore Roosevelt] is to blame for the present embarrassing possession of the Philippine Islands by the United States. He and Henry Cabot Lodge cooked up the attack on Manila before hostilities in 1898 had begun. The order which eventually sent Dewey to the Philippines was issued by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy Roosevelt one day after Secretary Long had gone home to sleep—and Long never quite dared countermand it. It would make him look like a fool! But at the time it was issued McKinley had not given a thought to the Philippines [then owned by Spain] and most Americans didn’t know of their existence.

John Chamberlain, “The Progressive Mind in Action,” 1932, in The American Past Volume II: Conflicting Interpretations of the Great Issues, edited by Sidney Fine and Gerald Brown, 1970.

Treaty of Portsmouth

Theodore, like his cousin Franklin, enjoyed world politics. His mediation in the Russo-Japanese War, undertaken on the suggestion of the Japanese and German emperors, is the best example. … The President negotiated directly with premiers and crowned heads, brought the two belligerents together, and broke the deadlock from which the Treaty of Portsmouth (5 September 1905) emerged. The wisdom of that treaty is now questionable. It probably saved Japan from a beating, but her government and press persuaded the Japanese people that Roosevelt’s “big stick” had done them out of vast territorial gains.

And a few years later, in violation of the treaty, Japan annexed Korea [August 1910]. The treaty established Japan as overlord in Manchuria and enabled her to become the dominant naval power in the Pacific. Between 1941 and 1945 the United States paid heavily for the long-term results of Roosevelt’s meddling, for which, ironically enough, he was awarded the Nobel peace prize.

Samuel Eliot Morison, The Oxford History of the American People, 1965 (832).

 

TR’s mediation, one must conclude, perhaps wistfully, marked the last time a great international dispute proved susceptible to personal arrangement. His momentary success closed the diplomacy of the nineteenth century. … And TR was not only mediating, but mediating as a powerful actor with a clear national interest in the sustaining or creating an Asian balance of power. … But Theodore Roosevelt succeeded, and thus his work of 1904 and 1905 takes on special interest for the historian. TR did not disclose his assertive role at Portsmouth to the Nobel crowds at Christiania in 1910. Nevertheless, the compromise of August 28, 1905, remained a great personal victory. The peace treaty … was the turning point. Without it, no peace would have ensued—good or bad. It was the cornerstone entitling TR to the Nobel Peace Prize.

Eugene P. Trani and Donald E. Davis, “The End of an Era: Theodore Roosevelt and Treaty of Portsmouth,” in A Companion to Theodore Roosevelt, edited by Serge Ricard, 2011.

Panama

Roosevelt’s critics have accused him of “fomenting” the revolution in Panama and have called it “an ineffaceable blot of dishonor” upon his administration. But to the end of his life he was emphatic in his insistence that “no one connected with his government had any part in preparing, inciting, or encouraging the late revolution on the Isthmus of Panama”; and in this he was supported by the leading men in his cabinet, John Hay and Elihu Root. … Roosevelt did not instigate the revolution in Panama; when it was started he refused to allow Colombia to try to put it down. We had a treaty with Colombia, dating from 1846, which gave us the right to intervene in Panama to prevent disorders which might interfere with free transit across the Isthmus. And this right of intervention had been exercised many times in the half century previous to the Panama revolution.

David Saville Muzzey, History of the American People, 1932 (543).

 

Roosevelt’s high-handed policy (with Colombia) won general approval in the United States—after all, the President did get canal rights. What was more, the administration claimed to have acted legally, under a Colombian-American treaty of 1846, which gave the United States the right to intervene to protect the Isthmian transit route. But, in bullying Colombia, the United States won the animosity of many Latin Americans. United States businessmen found it difficult to get economic concessions.

Finally, in 1921, the United States gave Colombia $25,000.000. Although the sum was not accompanied by apologies, it was plain that the United Sates was asking the Colombians to forget the Panama affair— and consider Americans for oil concessions. All this might have been avoided if Theodore Roosevelt had been less impulsive, or more generous, in 1903.

Merle Curti, Richard H. Shryock, Thomas C. Cochran, and Fred Harvey Harrington, An American History Volume Two, 1950 (337).

Imperialism

… Roosevelt shared with other imperialists a sense of Anglo-Saxon superiority to peoples over whom we were extending our rule and also superiority to some of those with whose imperialism we would compete. Roosevelt’s sense of superiority was not the usual sort of racism preached by the more extreme leaders of his day … (27). Unlike many promoters of racism of his day he did not regard the “backward people” as permanently or inherently inferior. … Finally, in Roosevelt’s race attitudes there were was no element of contempt for an individual member of a race who had attained qualities superior to other members of a backward people. So thoroughly imbued was he with what he considered the American quality of individualism, such respect did he have for the sacredness of the individual personality that he judged separate men as individual human beings, not as members of a class, a race, or a nation. … When he spoke of national groups, or race, or peoples he spoke in general and classed each as a group in a category superior or inferior to others groups. Individuals, though, he judged as individuals.

Howard K. Beale, Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power, 1956 (30-31).

 

The responsibility of U.S. imperialism, as Roosevelt saw it, was to unselfishly deliver with a vigorous spirit the blessings of if its civilization. Self-government and American-styled democracy was one of the most advanced institutions of U.S. civilization that it could tender to the world, according to TR. … It should not be forgotten that these duties were also about U.S. control and dominance wrapped up in what it viewed as its strategic and material interests. With these imperial responsibilities also came access to the world stage as a “great power.” Dominance over Cuba ensured long held U.S. aspirations for a stabilized trading relationship and the expulsion of another European power [Spain] from America’s backyard. Smaller acquisitions such as Puerto Rico, Guam, and Hawaii gave the US strategic coaling stations [needed to supply steamships] that helped to realize Alfred Thayer Mahan’s dream of U.S. naval preponderance and trading advantage. The acquisitions made demands for a trans-isthmian canal more sensible. It was an ambitious “large policy.” …

Michael Patrick Cullinane, “Imperial ‘Character’: How Race and Civilization Shaped Theodore Roosevelt’s Imperialism,” in America’s Transatlantic Turn: Theodore Roosevelt and the “Discovery” of Europe, edited by Hans Krabbendam and John M. Thompson, 2012 (32).

Roosevelt Corollary

During the conflict over Santo Domingo, Theodore Roosevelt gave to the world a new interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine thoroughly imperialistic in letter and spirit. … Foreign Powers, he declared, are not to seize nay more territory in this hemisphere, as the old Monroe Doctrine affirmed. … Then he also proclaimed a new doctrine all his own: if governments in Latin America cannot keep order and pay their debts the United States, having prevented other Powers from acting, must intervene, stop disorders, and make sure that just debts are paid. This pronouncement by the President of the United States was immediately characterized in Latin America as crass “Yankee imperialism.” Nevertheless, on this theory, presidential actions in the Caribbean region were multiplied.

Charles and Mary Beard, A Basic History of the United States, 1944 (352-353).

 

President Roosevelt was eager to prevent any European country from interfering in the affairs of the small nations of the Caribbean. These countries were all poor, and most of them were badly governed. Their governments frequently borrowed money from European banks and investors and did not repay them when the loans fell due. Sometimes, European governments sent in warships and marines to force them to pay their debts. Before he became president, Roosevelt did not object. “If any South American state misbehaves toward any European country,” he wrote, “let the European country spank it.” After Roosevelt became president, he had second thoughts. Any European interference in the affairs of Latin American nations violated the Monroe Doctrine, he decided.

Debts, however, must be paid. If a nation in the Western hemisphere did not pay its debts, the United States must make it do so. That way justice could be done to the lenders, there would be no European interference in the hemisphere. This policy became known as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.

John A. Garraty, The Story of America, 1989 (776-77).

World War I

Roosevelt felt that Wilson was ruining his diplomatic legacy and that he was incompetent, weak, and passive, as illustrated by his lack of action in the case of Mexico. By promoting neutrality, Wilson was emasculating America’s martial vigor. Roosevelt acknowledged the need to establish and maintain a balance of power between the emerging nations and the established nations, and Wilson’s idea of peace without victory infuriated him. His goal was to protect the United States’ security while showing to the rest of the world that it had become a strong nation in its own right. What Roosevelt despised most was Wilson’s separation of words and actions. He believed that words and declarations of peace were only effective when backed by military power. … He tried to push the administration into a prowar stance, and pressed for a big army. He advocated the universal military training of all young men and compulsory military training in the public schools.

Claire Delahaye, “Showing Muscle: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and America’s Role in World War I,” in America’s Transatlantic Turn: Theodore Roosevelt and the “Discovery” of Europe, edited by Hans Krabbendam and John M. Thompson (162).

 

President Wilson is certainly not desirous of war with anybody. But he is very obstinate, and he takes the professorial view of international matters. I need not point out to you that it is often pacifists who halting and stumbling and not knowing whither they are going finally drift helplessly into a war, which they have rendered inevitable, without the slightest idea that they were doing so. A century ago this was what happened to the United States under Presidents Jefferson and Madison—although at that time the attitude of both England and France rendered war with one of them, and ought to have rendered war with both of them, inevitable on our part. …

From a letter of Theodore Roosevelt to Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary.

Accessed from The Theodore Roosevelt Almanac, http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trspeeches.html.

 

“It would be an irony of fate if my administration has to deal chiefly with foreign problems; for all my preparation has been in domestic matters” goes one of the most oft quoted remarks of Woodrow Wilson. But from TR’s point of view it must have been an even more bitter “irony of fate” that when the Great War broke out it was a completely inexperienced former college professor and governor of New Jersey and not the supremely qualified TR. … In office he charted a new imperial and great power course for  America. … Roosevelt was very well aware of the German threat to world peace, and he fostered what has come to be called the “special relationship” with Britain and her Empire. … He also believed deeply the destiny of what he called the English-speaking peoples as a positive and civilizing force in the world.”

Lee Thompson, Never Call Retreat Theodore Roosevelt and the Great War, Palgrave, 2013. From “The Prologue.”

 

Handout: Form for Evaluating the Debate

Topic:

Debaters Team A:

Debaters Team B: _

*Criteria: President and Foreign Policy Class Criteria

Team A Criteria Used* Reasons and Facts
Constructive

Delivery: Clear and forceful?

Team B Criteria Used Reasons and Facts
Constructive

Delivery: Clear and forceful?

Team A Criteria Used Reasons and Facts
Rebuttal

Delivery: Clear and forceful?

Team B Criteria Used Reasons and Facts
Rebuttal

Delivery: Clear and forceful?

Handout: Rubrics

Assessment

Students’ debate speeches and essays (if you assign them) can be assessed using the following rubric.

CATEGORY 4 3 2 1
Organization Information is very organized with well-constructed paragraphs and subheadings. Information is organized with well-constructed paragraphs. Information is organized, but paragraphs are not well constructed. The information appears to be disorganized.
Amount of Information All topics are addressed and all questions answered with at least two sentences about each. All topics are addressed and most questions answered with at least two sentences about each. All topics are addressed, and most questions answered with one sentence about each. One or more topics were not addressed.
Quality of Information Information clearly relates to the main topic. It includes several supporting details and/or examples. Information clearly relates to the main topic. It provides one or two supporting details and/or examples. Information clearly relates to the main topic. No details and/or examples are given. Information has little or nothing to do with the main topic.
Voice The writer’s voice is individual and engaging, demonstrating awareness of and respect for the audience and the purpose. The writer’s voice is appropriate to the purpose and engages the audience. The writer’s voice is generally clear but may not be fully engaged with the audience or purpose. The writer’s voice is indifferent and unengaged with the audience and purpose.
Mechanics No grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors. Almost no grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors. A few grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors. Many grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors.