Saturday, March 15, 2008

T.R.'s New Nationalism, 1910

"The object of government is the welfare of the people."
"This New Nationalism regards the executive power as the steward of the public welfare." - Teddy Roosevelt

On August 31, 1910, Teddy Roosevelt delivered his famous speech, known as the "New Nationalism" speech. The main issue of the speech was human welfare. He believed that it the government's chief responsibility was to protect people and property, but if there had to be a choice, the welfare of the people should come first. His agenda for public welfare included these goals: 1) a federal child labor law; 2) regulation of labor relations; 3) a national minimum wage for women.
Roosevelt gave this speech about a year and a half after he had left office as President of the United States and and about a year and half before he tried to win his party's nomination in 1912 (in which he was defeated by Taft).
This speech is important in that it shows Roosevelt's progressive philosophy of the need for reform, as we read in "America" on page 621: "This formulation unleashed Roosevelt's reformist bent."

1 comment:

A. Mattson said...

A great post.

Roosevelt's progressive program for federal intervention was popular with many Americans, but all of his speeches were not enough to get him elected in 1912.

He was popular enough to split the Republican party and emerge at the head of a new third party: the Progressive or "Bull Moose" party. This new party was inspired by the ideology of the "New Nationalism."