Theodore Roosevelt's greatest accomplishment as a president?


Forum Staff
Oct 2009
What do you think it was? Do you feel he deserves a place amongst the presidential 'greats' or 'goods'?

As a human being, 'Teddy' (or in his own lifetime, Teedy) Roosevelt was probably the most fascinating man to ever ascend the American presidency.
Oct 2013
I agree - the Panama Canal.
Second would be his conservation efforts regarding America's beautiful natural landmarks.


Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
I agree - the Panama Canal.
Second would be his conservation efforts regarding America's beautiful natural landmarks.
That would probably get my vote as his greatest accomplishment. He preserved some 200 million acres of 'wild' America at a time when it was quickly being gobbled up by industry and development.

His trust busting and skillful foreign policy would be worthy of mention as well though. He also had a fairly solid (if flawed) civil rights record for the era. He was the first to invite an African-American to dinner in the White House (Booker T. Washington), he appointed blacks to federal offices, bitterly opposed the segregation of Japanese-American students in San Francisco, and was the first American president to appoint a Jew to the cabinet. I think he belongs on the pantheon of America's greatest leaders.


Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
New Amsterdam
He built up the Navy and got us the Panama Canal thus allowing for Greater West Coast security since most US shipbuilding was in the northeast.
Nov 2013
He presided over the United States during an imperialist war in the Philippines which caused hundreds of thousands of deaths there. His conservation efforts were rooted in the idea that hunting spaces should be preserved so that soldier-aristocrats could regenerate their masculinity, which was necessary to assure white race supremacy. He more or less seized what would become the Panama Canal zone by the threat of force. His work The Winning of the West was a racist history of America, one which reified conceptions of Native Americans as savage. Should he be vilified? Maybe not. Were his views a product of his time? Sure. Was he great? I don't think so.
May 2012
Puerto Rico
Well, Teddy was certainly was of the strongest and most vigorous presidents the US ever had.
I'd simply say his imperial policy was his most enduring.
May 2012
Puerto Rico
Well, to me, his imperial policy was his most enduring legacy.

(sorry about that)
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Nov 2013
Two things about Theodore Roosevelt that make him unique

1. He didn't have one particular crowning accomplishment to be remembered by. He delivered across the board.

2. He was one of the only presidents who took initiative rather than letting the circumstances of the country dictate what he had to do.