Roosevelt, Theodore


U.S. President

At the beginning of the twentieth century, many white middle-class Americans feared that a shift in lifestyles—from manual labor and frontier expansionism to professional careers and urban living—would make men weak. Theodore Roosevelt, who came of age at a time when these changes caused considerable anxiety about the future of American manhood, created a new image of masculinity that combined education, physical strength, and rugged individualism. As president of the United States (1901–09), Roosevelt extended these ideals from the individual to the national level.

As a boy, Theodore Roosevelt was often ill. His health improved during his teens when he forced himself to increase his physical strength. In 1881, at the age of twenty-three, he won a seat in the state assembly of New York, ...

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