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Theodore Roosevelt's Military Experience - Research Paper Example

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Theodore Roosevelt’s Military Experiences Theodore Roosevelt assumes a unique place in the United States’ history as an accomplished assistant secretary of the navy; his lead in the war in Cuba in 1898 and his military valor won him not only national recognition and fame but it also helped him to become the Vice-president as well as the President of the nation…
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Download file to see previous pages One can never undermine the naval reconstruction undertaken by Theodore Roosevelt. As the Assistant Secretary of the Navy Roosevelt was deeply influenced by naval officer and historian Alfred Thayer Mahan and he rendered remarkable services in establishing a modern navy that could protect the interests of the nation around the globe. In fact, Roosevelt strongly believed in expansionism and he held that “the United States should build up its navy and start asserting its global power” (Shmoop 9). Even though he served the navy as assistant secretary for only one year Roosevelt took special efforts to develop “contacts with noted naval strategists, planned future strategies for a naval war with Spain, and appointed George Dewey to command the Asiatic Squadron” (Crucible of Empire-PBS Online). All these efforts culminated in the emergence of Roosevelt as one of the most efficient and tactful of American military officers. Theodore Roosevelt’s war in Cuba has elaborately been documented by many authors of history. As the Assistant Secretary of the Navy he prepared the navy ready for any wars and he succeeded in convincing the army that intervention in Cuba is necessary. He convinced his navy men that “it was the moral duty of the United States to end Spanish misrule in Cuba and to stop at once and forever the despotic tyranny of the Spanish Governor-General, Weyler” (Lewis 120). In his autobiography Roosevelt himself confesses that the war in Cuba was inevitable and that it was motivated by humane motives rather than for political interests. In his autobiography he observes that “Spain attempted to govern her colonies on archaic principles which rendered her control of them incompatible with the advance of humanity and intolerable to the conscience of mankind” (Roosevelt 159). Thus, Roosevelt sought to wipe out the misery, degradation, devastation and destruction that the Cubans had to endure at the hands of the Spanish imperialists. In 1898 the explosion occurred on the USS Maine in Havana Harbor offered a golden opportunity for Roosevelt to prompt the American government to wage war in Cuba. Roosevelt also motivated his men to assist the Cubans who were waging a very important war to gain independence from Spain since 1895. Roosevelt played a pivotal role in the Spanish-American War, the Battle of Manila Bay and his able leadership at the helm of the First Volunteer Cavalry, nicknamed as the "Rough Riders" won him recognition as well as popularity. The voluntary cavalry men under Roosevelt supplemented the depleted U.S. Army in the war and tuned the war in favor of the US army. Roosevelt and his Rough Riders landed in Cuba on 22 June 1898 and by August the Rough Riders turned the war in favor of the American force. At the battle of San Juan Heights Roosevelt led the army from the forefront and the image of Roosevelt charging up the San Juan Hill in 1898 turned out to be a historical icon in the US history and very soon he assumed the status of a national hero. The question whether Theodore Roosevelt should be awarded the medal of honour evoked a lot of debates in the United States. While his own companions offered testimony for his courage and absolute fearlessness in the battlefield it is doubtful why he was not honoured with the Medal of Honor during his life time itself. There are many historians who hold that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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