Teddy Roosevelt: A Joy of Life

In The Joy of Life, the biography of Teddy Roosevelt, the author described TD’s forecasting magic. Famous for anchoring the “Big Stick” policy, TD strengthened the US authority in the American continent and steered the US from stumbling in wars in Europe. In his years, TD has however repeatedly expressed opinions in further global interactions. When looking at the Russo-Japanese War negotiation, TD reiterated his respects for the Japanese, despite, domestically, many had considered the Japanese in San Francisco secondary race. On a dinner reception where he received both Russian and Japanese ambassadors, he stayed unimpressed by the Russian prowess and praised the Japanese for his well-kept demeanour.

Demeanour, defined as a way of looking or behaving by the Cambridge Dictionary, is a manner beyond oneself. To refine a way of looking, one needs to go beyond his or her own environment. Modern day CFDA-awarded fashion blogger Garance Dore wrote, “culture … shows that you are open to the world!”

One century ago, the Japanese, who were the bourgeoning military power, showed their demeanour through diplomatic involvement. The Japanese had finished Meiji Restoration and many young had ventured in the world. The military might, improved education, and a deeply rooted sense of conquest stunned the world. Japanese had rarely flaunted their power. They had real power. A few years later, the once Sick Man of Asia brought the Russians down in the Russo-Japanese War. In fact, Russians were annihilated. Japan has since become a major world power.

In comparison, today we praise ignorance and protection. Back to the era TD lived in, venture was the theme. He annexed Panama Canal and hunted in Africa. When he heard that oriental children were sent to segregated schools on the West Coast, he took a strong stand and ordered the San Francisco Board of Education to admit school-aged English-speaking kids without discrimination. While fighting for a belief he held to be true, TD influenced generations of public servants. Teddy Roosevelt also emerged to be a golden name to be remembered.

In TD’s later years, he accurately foretold Second World War decades before its happening. While Woodrow Wilson had kept US secluded from world affairs for years, TD had vehemently protested such seclusion policy. Politicians disliked TD and his Bull Moose Party at his later age, believing that his ideas were outdates. TD passed away without seeing an open policy, but his honour as the fighter has been preserved. One of his epitaphs said: “… if Roosevelt had been awake, there would have been a fight.” Months later, World War I bursted. Decades later, the US entered into war with Japan after the Pearl Harbour bombing.


*”Big Stick” Policy is the signature foreign policy of Teddy Roosevelt. With this policy, TD boasted the rising American military prowess, especially navy force, to the world. Confronting the Canadians in Alaska, incensing Panama to be independent from Colombia, he subsequently annexed the Panama Canal. Under “Big Stick”, which is by large defined by threatening, TD has advanced US’s influence into Central and Southern Americas. The policy in a way has established the US foreign policy in many regards. Scholars have traced similarities of policies in contemporary era, namely, of Bush’s meddling in the Iraqi wars.

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Zhu is a fashion and travel influencer based in New York. She talks about elegant styles and under-discovered cultures and sub-cultures in an elegant manner. Born in the East and educated in the West, she is most famous for her work on Middle East.

Photo Credit: CNN.

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