The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents: America Enters a Dangerous New Century (1899-1921) | History

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The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents: America Enters a Dangerous New Century (1899-1921) | History

>> AMERICA AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY FOUND A GROWING CHASM BETWEEN THE RICH AND POOR THE COUNTRY’S PRIORITIES WERE CHANGING AS WAS THE PRESIDENCY SINCE THE END OF THE CIVIL WAR, CONGRESS AND THE DEEP POCKETS OF BIG INDUSTRY HAD DICTATED THE COURSE FOR THE NATION. BUT ONE PRESIDENT WOULD TAKE BACK THE REINS, FIGHTING FOR THE COMMON MAN JUST AS A GRISLY INTERNATIONAL FIGHT BEGAN THAT WOULD TEST AMERICA’S STRENGTH AND THE RESOLVE OF ITS LEADER >> IT IS THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT THAT MOST EMBODIES THE HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IT’S A POSITION INVESTED WITH GREAT POWER, THAT IS DEFINED BY CHALLENGES AND CRISES, BY THE BURDEN OF THE PAST AND VISIONS OF THE FUTURE, AND BY THE PERSONALITIES OF THE 43 MEN WHO HAVE BECOME PRESIDENT A STORY OF AMERICA CAN BE TOLD THROUGH THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE PRESIDENTS >> DECEMBER 31, 1899–THE EVE OF A NEW CENTURY IN SAN FRANCISCO, EXTRA POLICE WERE STATIONED ON THE STREETS TO WARD OFF AN EXPECTED WAVE OF PUBLIC KISSING NEW YORK CELEBRATED WITH A THRILLING NOVELTY– COLORED ELECTRIC LIGHTS AMERICA WAS MODERNIZING NEW INVENTIONS– CARS, RADIOS, MOVIES– WERE TRANSFORMING THE NATION AND THEODORE ROOSEVELT WOULD PROVE TO BE THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE RIGHT TIME HE WOULD CHANGE THE ROLE OF PRESIDENT FROM ADMINISTRATOR TO VISIONARY LEADER >> IN SO MANY RESPECTS, THEODORE ROOSEVELT IS THE FIRST MODERN PRESIDENT. THE DEBATE WE ARE HAVING NOW OVER EXECUTIVE POWER IS ONE THAT HE WOULD RECOGNIZE, BECAUSE HE IGNITED IT A CENTURY AGO >> THEODORE ROOSEVELT AS A BOY WAS FRAIL, ASTHMATIC THEODORE ROOSEVELT’S FATHER SAID TO HIM AS A YOUNG BOY, “THEODORE, YOU HAVE THE MIND BUT YOU DO NOT HAVE THE BODY, AND WITHOUT THE BODY, THE MIND CAN NOT GO AS FAR AS IT SHOULD.” >> SO HE BUILT HIMSELF UP HE LEARNED TO BOX HE WENT OUT WEST, WORKED ON RANCHES. HE BUILT HIS BODY, AND HE MADE HIMSELF DO SO MANY THINGS THAT WOULD PRODUCE THIS EXTRAORDINARY ADULT >> HE FIRST EARNED HIMSELF RECOGNITION AS NEW YORK CITY’S POLICE COMMISSIONER, AND EVENTUALLY BECAME A NATIONAL HERO IN THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR AND AS THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK, HE BECAME WELL KNOWN FOR HIS PROGRESSIVE REFORMS >> HE’S TRYING TO CONTROL KIDS WORKING AROUND HEAVY MACHINERY AND HE’S SENDING INSPECTORS INTO FACTORIES AND THIS IS REALLY UPSETTING THE PRO-BUSINESS WING OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND THEY’RE SITTING AROUND THINKING, “HOW DO WE GET RID OF HIM? HOW DO WE SEND HIM SOME PLACE WHERE NO ONE WILL EVER HEAR FROM HIM AGAIN? WHAT DO WE DO? WE’LL MAKE HIM VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.” >> MCKINLEY’S FIRST VICE PRESIDENT, GARRET HOBART, DIED IN OFFICE AND SO MCKINLEY CHOSE THEODORE ROOSEVELT HIS FRIEND, MARK HANNA SHOOK HIS HEAD AND SAID, “DON’T YOU REALIZE THERE’S ONLY ONE LIFE BETWEEN YOU AND THAT COWBOY?” >> SEPTEMBER, 1901 SIX MONTHS AFTER HIS SECOND INAUGURATION, MCKINLEY WAS ASSASSINATED THEODORE ROOSEVELT, AT 42 YEARS OLD, BECAME THE YOUNGEST PRESIDENT THAT WOULD EVER HOLD THE OFFICE THE MAN REPUBLICANS WERE TRYING TO RID THEMSELVES OF WAS NOW IN CHARGE. AND HE IMMEDIATELY CONFRONTED AN INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION THAT HAD ITS VICTORS AND VICTIMS >> FOR THE FIRST TIME IN AMERICAN POLITICS, YOU GET A HUGE CONCENTRATION OF PRIVATE POWER IN THE FORM OF LARGE CORPORATIONS– THE GIANT TRUSTS >> THE TRUSTS, THROUGH THEIR CONTROL OF TRANSPORTATION AND PRODUCTION OF BASIC NEEDS, HAD A STRANGLEHOLD ON PRICES FOOD COSTS WERE INCREDIBLY HIGH THE AVERAGE SALARY WAS $750 PER YEAR. IT TOOK NEARLY HALF OF THAT JUST TO FEED AN AVERAGE FAMILY OF FIVE >> WHEN ROOSEVELT BECOMES PRESIDENT IN 1901, THERE WAS NO INCOME TAX, THERE WAS VERY LITTLE REGULATION BUSINESS HAD GROWN TREMENDOUSLY OVER THE PAST 40 YEARS AND MOST PRESIDENTS WERE WILLING TO JUST LET IT HAPPEN TEDDY ROOSEVELT WAS NOT TEDDY ROOSEVELT WANTED TO CREATE A SOCIETY THAT WAS MORE BALANCED AND HE SAW THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY AT THE CENTER OF THAT STRUGGLE >> THEODORE ROOSEVELT BELIEVED THAT UNLESS PRESIDENTS ACTED TO MITIGATE AGAINST SOME OF THE EXCESSES OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, THE ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE SOCIAL CHAOS AND FUNDAMENTAL REVOLUTION

>> ROOSEVELT DECIDED TO TAKE ON THE CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY THE MOST PERHAPS NOTORIOUS ONE WAS J.P. MORGAN, THE GREAT FINANCIER AND ROOSEVELT HAD NOT BEEN IN OFFICE SIX MONTHS BEFORE HE INITIATED AN ANTI-TRUST LAWSUIT AGAINST NORTHERN SECURITIES, A RAILROAD COMBINATION >> IN 1900, 90% OF THE COUNTRY’S CARGO TRAVELED BY TRAIN AMERICA WAS UTTERLY DEPENDENT ON THAT 200,000 MILE WEB OF STEEL AND NORTHERN SECURITIES CONTROLLED EVERY RAIL LINE BETWEEN CHICAGO AND THE NORTHWEST >> IT DECIDED WHETHER TOWNS WOULD LIVE OR DIE IT WAS REALLY THE LIFEBLOOD OF AMERICAN COMMERCIAL SOCIETY ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IS THEY DISCRIMINATED AGAINST SMALL SHIPPERS AND GAVE ADVANTAGES TO LARGE SHIPPERS SO HE PROPOSED SOMETHING CALLED THE HEPBURN ACT WHICH WOULD PROHIBIT THE RAILROADS FROM DISCRIMINATING AGAINST SMALL SHIPPERS >> ROOSEVELT’S POINT WAS NOT REALLY TO BREAK UP ALL OF THE TRUST IT WAS TO REMIND THE BIG CAPITALISTS, PEOPLE LIKE MORGAN, ANDREW CARNEGIE, JOHN ROCKEFELLER, THAT IN A DEMOCRACY, THE PEOPLE RULE, WHICH MEANT THAT CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT HAVE THE LAST SAY THIS IS NOT A COUNTRY OF, BY, AND FOR CAPITALISM >> MORGAN FOUGHT HIM ALL THE WAY TO THE SUPREME COURT, WHERE ROOSEVELT WON A PRECEDENT WAS SET, ALLOWING THE PRESIDENT TO HAVE AN EXPANSIVE VIEW OF THE OFFICE >> HE EXPLICITLY SAID THAT HE LOOKED AT THE CONSTITUTION AND DOES IT SAY, CAN I NOT DO IT? AND IF IT DIDN’T SAY HE COULDN’T, THEN HE FIGURED HE COULD >> IN CONGRESS, THERE’S MANY LEGISLATORS THAT DON’T AGREE WITH ROOSEVELT AT ALL ABOUT HIS VISION FOR AMERICA. THEY WANTED TO CONTINUE TO DO BUSINESS AS BUSINESS HAD BEEN DONE IN THE PAST >> ROOSEVELT INHERITED THE OFFICE. HE WASN’T ELECTED HE HAD DEMOCRATS HE HAD TO DEAL WITH. HIS OWN REPUBLICAN PARTY WAS DIVIDED YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT ROOSEVELT HAD NO MANDATE BUT HE MANUFACTURED ONE HE HAD A VISION OF THE PRESIDENCY HE WANTED TO USE IT AS A BULLY PULPIT TO TRY TO CHANGE AMERICA >> WHETHER IT WAS THROUGH FIERY SPEECHES OR THE PRESS, ROOSEVELT’S GOAL WAS TO BUILD A LEGISLATIVE AGENDA BY GAINING THE SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE >> THEODORE ROOSEVELT COMES INTO OFFICE DETERMINED TO CREATE A MODERN PRESIDENCY. HE WAS NOT GOING TO RELATE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THROUGH THESE LAYERS OF CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT–THE STATE LEGISLATURE, THE CONGRESS, THE POLITICAL PARTIES HE WANTED TO BUILD A DIRECT RELATIONSHIP >> HE TOOK HIS CASE TO THE PUBLIC TO TRY TO CONVINCE CONGRESS AND PRESIDENTS DIDN’T DO THAT BEFORE. THEY DIDN’T GO OUT AND SPEAK ON BEHALF OF POLICY NOW IT’S VERY COMMON >> HE HAD AN AVENUE TO PUBLICITY THAT NOBODY ELSE HAD. T.R REALLY PIONEERS THIS IDEA OF A CELEBRITY PRESIDENT >> AMERICANS DIDN’T JUST HAVE A GROWING FASCINATION WITH THEIR PRESIDENT, THEY WERE CAPTIVATED BY MANY NEW SENSATIONS SWEEPING THE NATION ANNUAL BASEBALL ATTENDANCE WENT FROM ONE MILLION TO SEVEN MILLION PEOPLE WERE BUYING 10 MILLION BICYCLES A YEAR. AND THEY FELL IN LOVE WITH ITALIAN OPERA SINGER ENRICO CARUSO, MAKING HIM THE FIRST ARTIST TO SELL A MILLION COPIES OF A SINGLE SOUND RECORDING THE COUNTRY’S RAPID CHANGES WERE FREQUENTLY FRONT-PAGE NEWS AND ROOSEVELT KNEW IT WOULD BE TO HIS POLITICAL BENEFIT IF HE WERE ASSOCIATED WITH THEM >> HE WAS THE PRESIDENT WHO EMBRACED THE GADGETS HE WAS THE FIRST PRESIDENT TO RIDE IN A CAR HE WAS THE FIRST PRESIDENT TO FLY IN AN AIRPLANE >> THE KEY IS THAT ROOSEVELT WAS PHOTOGRAPHED DOING ALL THESE THINGS WHICH KEPT HIM IN THE PUBLIC EYE. AND IN DOING SO, HE INCREASED THE VISIBILITY OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY >> HE GAVE INTERVIEWS TO THE PRESS WHILE BEING SHAVED HE MET WITH THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR WHILE HIKING AND HE NEVER STOPPED SPEAKING >> I AM LEADING BECAUSE SOMEBODY MUST LEAD OR ELSE THE FIGHT WOULD NOT BE MADE AT ALL >> HE KEPT A HUGE PERSONAL STAFF TO TAKE DOWN HIS THOUGHTS–FOUR TYPISTS, SIX STENOGRAPHERS, SIX MESSENGERS, AND SEVERAL CLERKS >> ROOSEVELT ALSO TURNED HIS PERSONAL LIFE INTO A PHOTO OP >> THEODORE ROOSEVELT KNEW THAT IT WAS VERY ATTRACTIVE TO VOTERS >> HE WAS A YOUNG, VIRILE GUY WITH THIS LARGE FAMILY, WITH KIDS RUNNING ALL AROUND THE WHITE HOUSE. AND SO THEODORE ROOSEVELT, AT TIMES, WOULD BRING THE KIDS INTO THE LIMELIGHT >> EVERY DAY AT 4:00 PM, ROOSEVELT HAD CHILDREN’S HOUR– READING OR PLAYING WITH HIS SIX CHILDREN, INCLUDING GAMES OF HIDE-AND-GO-SEEK IN THE WHITE HOUSE >> HE INVENTED THE MODERN PRESIDENTIAL FAMILY THERE IS A DIRECT LINE FROM T.R.’S FAMILY TO JOHN F KENNEDY’S FAMILY. EACH WERE POPULARIZED. EACH BECAME PART OF OUR EXTENDED FAMILY THROUGH THE MEDIA OF THEIR DAY >> TO MAKE ROOM FOR HIS LARGE FAMILY AND HIS HEAVY WORKLOAD, ROOSEVELT INITIATED

THE MOST EXTENSIVE RENOVATION IN WHITE HOUSE HISTORY HE ADDED A NEW WEST WING, TO RELOCATE AND EXPAND EXECUTIVE OFFICE SPACE THE MODERN OVAL OFFICE WOULD EVENTUALLY BE CARVED OUT OF THE SPACE IN 1934 BY HIS COUSIN, FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT T.R. ALSO OFFICIALLY RENAMED THE MANSION >> UNTIL HIS PRESIDENCY, THE PLACE WHERE THE PRESIDENT LIVED WAS KNOWN AS THE “EXECUTIVE MANSION.” WELL, THEODORE ROOSEVELT DECIDED, WELL, HOW CAN PEOPLE ESTABLISH A DIRECT RELATIONSHIP WITH AN EXECUTIVE MANSION? SO HE CHANGES THE NAME OF THE PRESIDENT’S RESIDENCE TO THE “WHITE HOUSE” SO THAT IT BEGAN TO SYMBOLIZE THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE >> BUT ROOSEVELT’S REMODELING OF THE PRESIDENCY WENT MUCH DEEPER THAN RENAMING THE MANSION AND KNOCKING OUT WALLS. HE WAS REMAKING THE OFFICE TO SUIT HIS OWN UNIQUE PERSONALITY >> THEODORE ROOSEVELT NEEDED TO BE AT CENTER STAGE AS HIS DAUGHTER SAID, “TO UNDERSTAND MY FATHER, YOU NEED TO REALIZE THAT HE MUST BE THE BRIDE AT EVERY WEDDING AND THE CORPSE AT EVERY FUNERAL >> HE’S THE FIRST PRESIDENT TO REALLY EXTENSIVELY USE UNILATERAL PRESIDENTIAL POWER TO GET THINGS DONE THAT IS, TO ACT WITHOUT HAVING TO HAVE CONGRESS PASS LEGISLATION >> THEODORE ROOSEVELT HAD VIRTUALLY NO PATIENCE WITH THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS GET IT DONE YESTERDAY GET IT DONE BEFORE YESTERDAY AND SO HE CREATED WAYS OF GETTING THINGS DONE, EXECUTIVE ORDERS. I’LL JUST SIGN AN ORDER BOOM, IT’S DONE >> HE WASN’T THE FIRST TO DO SO–THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION WAS SUCH AN ORDER– BUT WHILE A WAR-TIME PRESIDENT LIKE LINCOLN ISSUED 3, ROOSEVELT ISSUED 1,006 EXECUTIVE ORDERS IN PEACETIME AND MANY OF THEM INVOLVED HIS PET CAUSE–CONSERVATION >> IN THE EARLY 1900S, WOOD WAS VERY IMPORTANT BECAUSE WE WERE BUILDING OUR CITIES FAST AND FURIOUS SO THE COMMERCIAL PRESSURE TO GO INTO THE LANDS THAT WE NOW KNOW AS THE NATIONAL PARKS WAS VERY STRONG >> ROOSEVELT USED THE PRESIDENTIAL PEN TO ENCLOSE LARGE AREAS OF THE WEST AS NATIONAL FORESTS, SEVERAL MILLION ACRES THIS IS REALLY THE BEGINNING OF A STRONG CONSERVATION MOVEMENT IN AMERICAN POLITICS >> CONGRESS CHALLENGED WHAT THEY BELIEVED WAS AN OVERREACH OF EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY >> THEY PASS SOME LEGISLATION RESTRICTING THE ABILITY OF ROOSEVELT TO CLOSE OFF MORE LAND. IN THE 10 DAYS IT TAKES FOR THAT BILL TO BECOME LAW, HE SIGNS AN EXECUTIVE ORDER CLOSING OFF 16 MILLION MORE ACRES FOR NATIONAL FORESTS >> THEODORE ROOSEVELT, TO THIS DAY, ENTERTAINED THE MOST SWEEPING ASSERTION OF EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY. NOW WE TEND TO LOOK BACK AT THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH HE GRABBED THIS POWER, AND SAY, “THANK GOD THAT HE PRESERVED THE GRAND CANYON AND A HOST OF OTHER SITES FROM COMMERCIAL EXPLOITATION >> IT WAS OFTEN T.R.’S METHOD, TO MOVE AHEAD IF HE KNEW IT WAS THE RIGHT THING, AND LET THOSE MATTERS TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES IN TIME HE DIDN’T WANT TO LET CONGRESS STOP WHAT HE KNEW WERE THE PROGRESSIVE THINGS THIS COUNTRY NEEDED, JUST TO TALK ‘EM TO DEATH >> BUT THIS ACT FIRST/TALK LATER ATTITUDE WASN’T JUST ROOSEVELT’S WAY OF DEALING WITH DOMESTIC POLICY IT WOULD SOON BECOME HIS WAY OF DEALING WITH THE WORLD >> 1910 AFTER NEARLY 8 YEARS IN OFFICE, THEODORE ROOSEVELT WAS TOURING EUROPE. AT THE START OF HIS PRESIDENCY, THE U.S HAD BEEN A FLEDGLING POWER NOW, BECAUSE OF HIS EFFORTS, THE COUNTRY WAS POISED TO BECOME A GLOBAL FORCE THE PROUD LEADER DELIVERED A ROUSING SPEECH IN FRANCE, LAYING OUT HIS IDEALS FOR THE CHARACTER OF A STRONG COUNTRY >> IT IS NOT THE CRITIC WHO COUNTS BUT THE MAN WHO IS IN THE ARENA. THAT IS, THE MAN WHO IS ACTUALLY IN THE FIGHT, WHOSE FACE IS COVERED WITH DIRT AND MUD AND, AND ACTION >> T.R. BROUGHT THAT SAME DEFIANT ATTITUDE TO THE WHITE HOUSE BUT UNLIKE A COMBATIVE PRESIDENT SUCH AS ANDREW JOHNSON, ROOSEVELT EFFECTIVELY CHANNELED HIS FIGHTING SPIRIT TO MAKE AMERICA A GLOBAL FORCE FOR GOOD >> THEODORE ROOSEVELT THOUGHT THE PRESIDENCY SHOULD BE A BULLY PULPIT. AND HE INTENDED TO USE THAT PULPIT TO ITS FULLEST EXTENT. AND MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE ACCEPTING THAT THE UNITED STATES IS GOING TO BE A WORLD POWER. AND ROOSEVELT ESTABLISHES THE FOUNDATION >> SO WE OFTEN DEBATE IS IT THE MAN OR IS IT THE TIMES THAT MAKE A GREAT PRESIDENT IN ROOSEVELT’S CASE, IT’S A MARRIAGE OF THE TWO YOU HAD THE END OF THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR AND AMERICA’S DREAM OF EMPIRE YOU HAVE A BOOMING ECONOMY. AND HERE YOU HAVE STEP ONTO THE SCENE A MAN WITH A VISION FOR THE PRESIDENCY, WHO’S WILLING TO CHANGE THINGS AT HOME AND WANTS TO PROJECT AMERICAN VALUES ABROAD >> ROOSEVELT REALLY HAS ALMOST A MESSIANIC VIEW OF AMERICA’S PLACE IN THE WORLD HE BELIEVES THAT THE RIGHTEOUS USE OF FORCE ABROAD IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE RIGHTEOUS USE

OF GOVERNMENT POWER IN SOLVING OUR DOMESTIC CRISES >> TO MAKE HIS GLOBAL AMBITIONS A REALITY, ROOSEVELT NEEDED TWO THINGS–A POWERFUL NAVY AND A QUICK WAY TO MOVE THOSE SHIPS FROM THE ATLANTIC TO THE PACIFIC THE KEY TO THE SECOND WAS A SWAMPY STRIP OF LAND CALLED PANAMA >> A CANAL WOULD ENABLE THE UNITED STATES TO PROJECT ITS NAVAL POWER ROOSEVELT TOOK THAT IDEA AND DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT >> THERE WAS ONE OBSTACLE TO BUILDING THE 102-MILE-LONG CANAL–THE COUNTRY THAT OWNED THE PROPERTY–COLOMBIA THE SENATE RATIFIED A TREATY TO LEASE THE LAND, BUT COLOMBIA REFUSED TO SIGN CONGRESS HAD TRIED THINGS THEIR WAY, AND NOW ROOSEVELT WOULD TRY HIS >> ROOSEVELT QUIETLY HELPED FOMENT A REVOLUTION IN PANAMA, WHICH ESTABLISHES ITSELF AS AN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY. AND TO HELP FOSTER THAT REVOLUTION, ROOSEVELT STATIONED SHIPS CLOSE BY SO THAT COLOMBIA REALLY COULDN’T GET THEIR TROOPS TO PANAMA TO PUT DOWN THAT REVOLUTION PANAMA DECLARES INDEPENDENCE LIKE A FEW MINUTES AFTER THAT, MAYBE AN HOUR AMERICA RECOGNIZES PANAMA AS A COUNTRY >> T.R. WAS VERY SHREWD TO CREATE THIS NEW COUNTRY THAT WOULD THEN CEDE TO THE U.S THE RIGHTS TO BUILD A CANAL THROUGH THEIR PROPERTY >> WE BUILT THE PANAMA CANAL BUT THAT CREATED ILL FEELINGS IN LATIN AMERICA THAT WOULD LAST FOR A LONG TIME >> FUTURE PRESIDENTS WOULD FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE OF TAKING BOLD ACTION IN LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN AFFAIRS, AND EXPECTING CONGRESS TO BACK THEM UP. KENNEDY ATTEMPTED TO OVERTHROW CASTRO, REAGAN ORDERED THE INVASION OF GRENADA, AND CLINTON SENT TROOPS TO HAITI WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL IT WOULD TAKE 12 YEARS FOR THE PANAMA CANAL TO BE COMPLETED. BUT ROOSEVELT COULDN’T WAIT THAT LONG TO SEE WHAT HE BELIEVED WOULD BE HIS GREAT LEGACY >> ROOSEVELT IS THE FIRST PRESIDENT TO GO ABROAD. AND HE VISITED PANAMA AS THE PANAMA CANAL WAS BEING BUILT >> HOW ARE WE GOING TO ADDRESS THE GROWING POLITICAL POWER AND MILITARY POWER OF THE U.S. IN A WORLD WHERE FROM JAPAN TO GERMANY THERE ARE TENSIONS A-BREWING? >> ROOSEVELT BELIEVED THAT THE KEY TO PRESERVING AMERICA’S INTERESTS AND ALSO EXPANDING AMERICA’S ECONOMIC INFLUENCE WAS TO HAVE A TWO-OCEAN NAVY AND THE KEY TO THAT WAS TO BUILD A CANAL THAT WOULD ALLOW AMERICAN SHIPS TO MOVE QUICKLY FROM THE ATLANTIC TO THE PACIFIC >> AS THE CANAL WAS BEING CARVED OUT OF THE MUD, ROOSEVELT CONVINCED CONGRESS TO BUILD A STRONG NAVY TO USE IT. HE MORE THAN DOUBLED THE NUMBER OF PERSONNEL FROM 10,000 TO NEARLY 25,000, AND INCREASED ITS BATTLESHIPS FROM 10 TO 25, MAKING IT SECOND IN THE WORLD ONLY TO BRITAIN. TODAY, THE U.S HAS THE LARGEST NAVY ON EARTH WITH MORE THAN 300,000 ACTIVE DUTY PERSONNEL, AND 282 BATTLESHIPS, THE CULMINATION OF A GOAL ROOSEVELT HAD LONG BEFORE HE BECAME PRESIDENT >> HE HAD BEEN TO EUROPE HE HAD SEEN WHAT THE OTHER COUNTRIES WERE BUILDING AND SAID THE U.S. MUST GET TO THIS POINT STEEL-HULLED VESSELS, FAST, SLEEK, WELL-ARMED FLOTILLA >> DECEMBER 16, 1907 ROOSEVELT SENT THE NEW AND IMPROVED NAVY ON A TRIP AROUND THE GLOBE–A GRAND TOUR OF 16 BATTLESHIPS KNOWN AS THE GREAT WHITE FLEET HE WAS SETTING THE STAGE FOR THE U.S. TO BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL POWER PLAYER, AND TO EMBODY ONE OF HIS FAVORITE PHRASES– “TO SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK.” >> HE SENT THE GREAT WHITE FLEET AROUND THE WORLD TO MAKE A STATEMENT, NOT TO START A WAR. AND HE VERY SUCCESSFULLY, WITH THAT BIG STICK, QUIETED THE POTENTIAL FOR WAR FOR A DECADE TO COME >> THE ONLY BATTLE WAGED OVER THE GREAT WHITE FLEET WAS BETWEEN ROOSEVELT AND CONGRESS THE TENTATIVE LEGISLATURE THOUGHT SENDING THE NEW SHIPS AROUND THE WORLD WAS TOO EXPENSIVE, AND AN UNNECESSARY DISPLAY OF BRAVADO THEY THREATENED TO WITHHOLD FUNDING FOR THE ENTIRE OPERATION ROOSEVELT CALLED THEIR BLUFF >> SO ROOSEVELT SENT THE FLEET HALF WAY AROUND THE WORLD AND THEN DARED CONGRESS TO LEAVE THE FLEET THERE CONGRESS WOULD HAVE TO APPROPRIATE THE MONEY TO BRING THE FLEET HOME AND, IN FACT, CONGRESS DID EXACTLY THAT, GRUMBLING, BUT NONETHELESS, ROOSEVELT GOT WHAT HE WANTED >> BUT MANY OF T.R.’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS WOULD SOON BE THREATENED BY THE MOST UNLIKELY OF SOURCES–HIS OWN HANDPICKED SUCCESSOR >> 1907 TEDDY ROOSEVELT HAD A NICKNAME FOR THE NUMEROUS DOMESTIC REFORMS HE HAD PUT IN PLACE–

THE “SQUARE DEAL.” HE HAD FORGED A BALANCE BETWEEN WORKERS AND EMPLOYERS, CONSUMERS AND BUSINESSES >> HE WAS A DOER AT A TIME THAT WE NEEDED TO HAVE A LOT OF THINGS DONE QUICKLY, EFFICIENTLY I THINK WE LOOK AT T.R.’S PRESIDENCY AS THE BRIDGE BETWEEN THE AGRARIAN 19TH CENTURY, AND THE INDUSTRIAL 20TH CENTURY >> WITH URBANIZATION, MORE JOBS, AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION, MANY PEOPLE STARTED TO FIND THEMSELVES WITH DISPOSABLE INCOME. A GROWING MIDDLE-CLASS WAS SNAPPING UP NEW, AFFORDABLE GOODS– GEORGE EASTMAN’S ONE-DOLLAR CAMERA, HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE. HENRY FORD’S GROUNDBREAKING MODEL-T WOULD DEBUT THE NEXT YEAR, THE FIRST CAR AIMED SQUARELY AT THE COMMON MAN. BUT NEAR THE END OF HIS TERM, AFTER TRYING TO BALANCE THE SCALES OF THE COUNTRY, ROOSEVELT FOUND HIS INFLUENCE OVER POLICY AND CONGRESS WAS WANING. HE HAD BECOME A LAME-DUCK PRESIDENT >> ROOSEVELT WOULD CONSIDER HIS FIRST TERM–THE ONE THAT HE HAD INHERITED FROM WILLIAM MCKINLEY, AS THE EQUIVALENT OF A FIRST TERM UNDER THE INFORMAL GEORGE WASHINGTON RULE OF NO MORE THAN TWO TERMS HE LATER SAID THAT HE WOULD HAVE GIVEN HIS RIGHT ARM TO BE ABLE TO TAKE BACK THAT STATEMENT >> HE MADE SURE THAT HIS HEIR APPARENT WAS PUT IN PLACE TO CONTINUE HIS LEGACY BECAUSE HE WAS FAR FROM THINKING THAT HIS WORK WAS DONE IN CREATING THE MODERN PRESIDENCY, AND PROGRESSIVE REFORM, AND EXPANDING AMERICA’S ROLE IN THE WORLD. AND HIS HEIR APPARENT WAS WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT >> TAFT WAS ROOSEVELT’S SECRETARY OF WAR THE TWO MEN WERE VERY CLOSE IN SOME WAYS ROOSEVELT THOUGHT OF TAFT ALMOST AS HIS LITTLE BROTHER. ROOSEVELT BELIEVED THAT TAFT HAD ABSORBED HIS PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT AND HIS VALUES AND HE THOUGHT IT’D BE PRETTY SAFE LEAVING THE COUNTRY IN TAFT’S HANDS >> TAFT’S DREAM WAS TO BE APPOINTED TO THE SUPREME COURT HE HATED THE DISCORD OF POLITICS >> TAFT WAS A GREAT ADMINISTRATOR HE WAS PERFECTLY SUITED TO BE A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE–TO LISTEN TO ARGUMENTS AND TO DRAW JUDGMENTS BUT ROOSEVELT WAS A VERY PERSUASIVE MAN AND TAFT WAS NOT A GUY THAT WAS GOOD AT SAYING “NO.” SO TAFT ENDS UP IN A POSITION THAT HE REALLY NEVER COVETED AND NO PERSON SHOULD BE PRESIDENT UNLESS THEY COVET THE POSITION >> IN THE 1908 ELECTION, THE “SOLID SOUTH,” WHICH HAD VOTED EXCLUSIVELY DEMOCRATIC EVER SINCE THE END OF RECONSTRUCTION, HOPED THE THIRD TIME WOULD BE THE CHARM FOR THEIR CANDIDATE, WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN, A MAN WHO’D LOST TWICE TO BILL MCKINLEY BUT T.R.’S POPULARITY CARRIED OVER FOR THE REPUBLICAN TAFT, EVEN THOUGH DURING THE CAMPAIGN, SOME JOKED THAT TAFT STOOD FOR “TAKE ADVICE FROM THEODORE.” >> SO IN HIS MIND, HE SAW HIMSELF LEAVING THE PRESIDENCY IN GOOD HANDS WITH HIS FRIEND, HIS TRUSTED COLLEAGUE, WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT. T.R ENVISIONED A ROLE FOR HIMSELF AS YET UNDEFINED IN TAFT’S PRESIDENCY >> 1909 AS TAFT TOOK OFFICE AS THE 27TH PRESIDENT, IT BECAME CLEAR HE WAS VERY DIFFERENT FROM T.R A RELUCTANT LEADER, HE FELT OUT OF PLACE IN THE WHITE HOUSE HE CALLED THE MANSION “A PRISON” AND AVOIDED HIS JOB WHENEVER POSSIBLE >> TAFT LOVED GOLF HE WASN’T THAT GOOD. HE WAS A LARGE MAN. BUT HE ENJOYED PLAYING. HE ALSO LOVED CARS THE THINKER THAT HE WAS, HE SHOULD HAVE INVENTED THE GOLF CART. MIXING GOLF AND CARS WOULD HAVE SUITED HIS FANCY PERFECTLY >> TAFT DID HAVE A VISION OF FEDERAL ACTIVISM, JUST A QUIETER AND NARROWER ONE >> TAFT HAS REAL DOUBTS ABOUT SOME OF THE EXERCISES OF EXECUTIVE POWER THAT THEODORE ROOSEVELT HAD ENGAGED IN, IN CONSERVATION AND IN FOREIGN POLICY >> WHEN THE T.R.-APPOINTED HEAD OF THE BUREAU OF FORESTRY PUBLICLY CRITICIZED TAFT FOR NOT BEING A STRONG ENOUGH CONSERVATIONIST, TAFT PROMPTLY FIRED HIM THE MOVE WAS APPLAUDED BY PARTY CONSERVATIVES >> DURING ROOSEVELT’S ADMINISTRATION, THE CONSERVATIVES WITHIN THE PARTY REALLY HAD FELT BULLIED AND IGNORED SO NOW WHEN TAFT COMES IN, TAFT DOESN’T WANNA PICK A FIGHT WITH THE CONSERVATIVES. AND TIME AND TIME AGAIN HE COMPROMISES WITH THEM. SO IT SETS UP THIS BATTLE WITHIN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY BETWEEN THE CONSERVATIVES AND THE PROGRESSIVES WHO ARE NOW INCREASINGLY ALIENATED BY TAFT >> TAFT TRIED TO PLACATE PROGRESSIVES BY PURSUING ANTI-TRUST LAWSUITS, BUT ENDED UP WIDENING THE RIFT WHEN HE WENT AFTER THE GIGANTIC U.S STEEL TRUST STEEL WAS ONE OF THE FEW TRUSTS THAT ROOSEVELT THOUGHT WAS BENEFICIAL TO THE COUNTRY T.R. WAS FURIOUS WITH TAFT >> THERE WERE ENOUGH OLD ROOSEVELT SUPPORTERS. AND THEY STARTED WHISPERING IN ROOSEVELT’S EAR, “YOU SHOULD BE PRESIDENT AGAIN. YOU COULD BE PRESIDENT AGAIN.” SO, ROOSEVELT DECIDED THAT HE WOULD CHALLENGE TAFT FOR THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION IN 1912 >> HE UNDERTAKES AN ASSAULT ON WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT, PERSONALIZES A CONTEST BETWEEN

THEM WHICH HAD NEVER OCCURRED BEFORE IN AMERICAN POLITICS. AND I DON’T THINK HAS OCCURRED SINCE >> IT WAS SHOCKING TO MANY UP TO THAT POINT, ULYSSES S GRANT HAD BEEN THE ONLY PRESIDENT TO EVER SEEK A THIRD TERM >> BY 1912, TEDDY ROOSEVELT IS A VERY DIFFERENT POLITICIAN THAN HE WAS IN 1901. HE HAD MOVED DRAMATICALLY TO THE LEFT CONSERVATIVES FEARED THE POSSIBILITY OF ANOTHER ROOSEVELT PRESIDENCY SO THEY RALLIED AROUND TAFT AND NOMINATED HIM IN 1912 BUT ROOSEVELT WAS NOT ABOUT TO GIVE UP. AND HE WENT OFF AND HE FORMED HIS OWN THIRD PARTY >> TO ROOSEVELT, THE ELECTION WAS LIFE AND DEATH FOR THE COUNTRY. IT NEARLY WAS FOR HIM, AS WELL >> KNOWN TO SPEAK FOR MULTIPLE HOURS, T.R.’S LONG-WINDEDNESS MIGHT HAVE SAVED HIS LIFE AT A CAMPAIGN STOP IN MILWAUKEE, AN ASSASSIN SHOT ROOSEVELT DIRECTLY IN THE CHEST BEFORE A SCHEDULED SPEECH THE .32 CALIBER BULLET HAD BEEN SLOWED BY HIS METAL EYEGLASS CASE, AND THE 50-PAGE SPEECH FOLDED IN HALF IN HIS BREAST POCKET. WITH THE BULLET STILL IN HIS CHEST, T.R. DELIVERED HIS 90-MINUTE ORATION AS PLANNED >> AND ROOSEVELT WON 27% OF THE POPULAR VOTE. NO THIRD PARTY CANDIDATE BEFORE 1912 OR AFTER, HAS COME CLOSE TO ACCOMPLISHING THAT >> THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS SPLIT WIDE OPEN. WOODROW WILSON’S ELECTION IS ESSENTIALLY A FLUKE AND HE WINS WITH ABOUT 42% AND IT’S A LANDSLIDE >> T.R.’S CHOICE TO LEAVE THE RANKS OF THE REPUBLICANS HAD LONG-LASTING IMPLICATIONS, CHANGING THE FACE OF THE TWO MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES FOREVER >> IN SOME WAYS TEDDY ROOSEVELT, HE LOSES THE BATTLE. BUT HE WINS THE WAR BECAUSE THE PROGRESSIVE WING, WHICH GOES WITH ROOSEVELT IN 1912, NEVER ACTUALLY GOES BACK TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY >> THE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT NOW RUNNING THE COUNTRY WAS WOODROW WILSON, A MINISTER’S SON. AND HE HAD GRAND PLANS FOR THE NATION HE DREAMED OF AN ETHICAL AND RIGHTEOUS COUNTRY, NOT REGULATED BY GOVERNMENT, BUT BY FAIR RULES AND ISOLATED FROM GLOBAL STRIFE WHAT HE GOT WAS THE BLOODIEST CONFLICT THE WORLD HAD EVER SEEN >> 1913. BUSINESS REFORMS AND TRUST-BUSTING HAD HELPED STRENGTHEN A GROWING AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS THAT COULD NOW AFFORD THEIR OWN HOMES IN WHAT WERE CALLED “STREETCAR SUBURBS.” BUT IN MANY CITIES, THE POOR LIVED IN TENEMENTS WITHOUT HOT WATER OR EVEN BATHROOMS AN ESTIMATED 25,000 DIED EACH YEAR IN WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS. AND ANOTHER 700,000 WERE MAIMED OR DISABLED. THE NEWLY ELECTED 28TH PRESIDENT, WOODROW WILSON, KNEW THERE WAS WORK TO DO. BUT HE WOULD GO ABOUT THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY >> ROOSEVELT BULLIED CONGRESS TAFT BARGAINED WITH CONGRESS WILSON SEDUCED THEM HE BROUGHT THEM INTO THE WHITE HOUSE. HE ALLOWED THEM TO PARTICIPATE IN MEETINGS. AND IT WAS HARD AT TIMES FOR CONGRESSMEN TO KNOW WHETHER THEIR IDEAS WERE THEIR OWN OR WHETHER THEY CAME FROM THE WHITE HOUSE >> HE BELIEVED THAT LEADERSHIP WAS BASED ON ORATORY, THE ABILITY TO PERSUADE OTHERS IN VERBAL ARGUMENTS, AND VERBAL DEBATES. WILSON WAS A POLITICAL SCIENTIST, A PHD, PRESIDENT OF PRINCETON UNIVERSITY BEFORE BECOMING GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY AND FROM THERE, PRESIDENT >> LIKE HIS PREDECESSORS, WOODROW WILSON CONTINUED TO CHIP AWAY AT THE CONCENTRATED POWER OF BIG BUSINESS >> DESPITE THE PROGRESSIVE PRESIDENCY OF TEDDY ROOSEVELT AND TAFT’S MOVE AGAINST THE TRUSTS, THERE WERE A LOT OF BIG ISSUES THAT REMAINED UNRESOLVED. THE BANKING SYSTEM WAS A MESS. THERE’S STILL CHILD LABOR. THERE’S STILL HIGH TARIFFS SO THERE WAS A LOT OF PROBLEMS ON WILSON’S PLATE WHEN HE ASSUMES THE PRESIDENCY >> THE PRESIDENT SET HIS GOALS BEFORE CONGRESS IN PERSON, SOMETHING THAT HAD BEEN DONE ONLY BY THE FIRST TWO PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES >> WOODROW WILSON WAS THE ONE WHO RESURRECTED THE GEORGE WASHINGTON-JOHN ADAMS MODEL OF DELIVERING THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS IN PERSON TO CONGRESS BECAUSE WILSON BELIEVED THAT ONCE PEOPLE HEARD HIM SPEAK, THEY COULDN’T RESIST HE WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL >> THE STORY GOES THAT AFTER HE LEFT THE CONGRESS AFTER GIVING HIS FIRST SPEECH, WHICH WAS A GREAT SUCCESS, DRIVING BACK TO THE WHITE HOUSE HE LAUGHED AND SAID TO HIS WIFE, “THIS IS ONE THING THAT THEODORE ROOSEVELT WOULD BE FURIOUS THAT HE DIDN’T THINK OF TO DO HIMSELF.” >> WILSON’S BOLD DECISION TO BRING HIS AGENDA DIRECTLY TO CONGRESS WORKED. IN TWO YEARS HE ACHIEVED MORE REFORM LEGISLATION THAN THE LAST TWO PRESIDENTS HAD

IN 11 >> WOODROW WILSON’S FIRST TERM IS A MASTERPIECE OF LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP WILSON SECURED THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, TARIFF REFORM, ALL SORTS OF PROGRESSIVE LEGISLATION A WHIRLWIND UNMATCHED BEFORE THE NEW DEAL >> BY THE TIME WILSON TOOK OVER IN 1913, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAD EIGHT CABINET DEPARTMENTS AND HAD BALLOONED TO OVER 600,000 EMPLOYEES, INCLUDING MILITARY AND CIVILIAN WORKERS WHEN GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS PRESIDENT, THERE HAD BEEN JUST 50 CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AND FOUR CABINET DEPARTMENTS. WILSON BELIEVED IN USING THIS EXPANSIVE GOVERNMENT POWER TO LEAD AMERICANS INTO A NEW ERA OF ECONOMIC FREEDOM >> WILSON FELT AMERICA WAS TOO TIED DOWN BY SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS AND HE WANTED TO FREE AMERICA UP FOR COMPETITION ONCE AGAIN HE WANTS A BANKING SYSTEM THAT’S FAIR, A BANKING SYSTEM WHERE MEN ON THE MAKE CAN GO AND GET THE MONEY THEY NEED TO MAKE MORE MONEY. HE WANTED TO BREAK UP THE TRUSTS. HE WANTED ANTI-TRUST REGULATION TO MAKE AMERICA A FAIR PLAYING GROUND AGAIN >> THE RESULT WAS WHAT MANY BELIEVE WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT ACHIEVEMENT OF WILSON’S PRESIDENCY–THE FEDERAL RESERVE ACT OF 1913 >> THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM– THEIR JOB WAS TO MANAGE THE MONEY SUPPLY OF THE UNITED STATES. AND FOR ALL OF ITS STUMBLES, THE FED HAS BEEN A VAST IMPROVEMENT OVER WHAT HAD GONE BEFORE >> MIDWAY THROUGH HIS FIRST TERM, THE 58-YEAR-OLD PRESIDENT HAD A NUMBER OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS UNDER HIS BELT AND HE DID IT WITH SURPRISINGLY LITTLE EFFORT >> WE TEND TO THINK OF WILSON AS A GUY WHO WAS ALWAYS AT HIS DESK. HE REALLY COULDN’T WORK MORE THAN THREE OR FOUR HOURS EVERY DAY. HE SUFFERED FROM HEADACHES, MIGRAINE HEADACHES AND FOR RELAXATION, HE LOVED GOLF. HE PLAYED GOLF LITERALLY EVERY DAY, MORE THAN ANY PRESIDENT WE’VE EVER HAD. AND HE STILL DID A GREAT JOB IN OFFICE >> HE WAS A MAN WHO WAS VERY PIOUS. HE READ THE BIBLE EVERY DAY, HE PRAYED EVERY DAY A CONGRESSMAN, AFTER HE CAME OUT OF A MEETING WITH WOODROW WILSON, HE SAID, “YOU KNOW, I COULDN’T TELL WHETHER IT WAS THE PRESIDENT TALKING TO ME OR GOD.” AND HE BELIEVED THAT HE HAD A DIVINE MISSION TO LEAD THE NATION. AND HE BELIEVED THE UNITED STATES HAD A DIVINE MISSION TO LEAD THE WORLD >> WILSON’S WORLDVIEW WAS ABOUT TO BE PUT TO THE TEST >> WILSON, AFTER HE WAS ELECTED, SAID, “YOU KNOW, IT WOULD BE IRONIC IF FOREIGN POLICY HAD A LOT TO DO WITH MY PRESIDENCY BECAUSE ALL MY TRAINING IS IN DOMESTIC POLITICS.” AND YET FROM 1915 ON, WITH THE OUTBREAK OF THE GREAT WAR IN EUROPE, WILSON’S PRESIDENCY IS CONSUMED BY FOREIGN POLICY >> A PRESIDENT REACTS TO EVENTS FAR MORE THAN HE CONTROLS EVENTS THE SECOND PRESIDENT BUSH FOUND HIS PRESIDENCY HIJACKED BY EVENTS THAT NO ONE COULD HAVE PREDICTED. BARACK OBAMA DID NOT RUN FOR PRESIDENT TO DEAL WITH A WALL STREET FINANCIAL CRISIS THAT WAS THRUST UPON HIM DURING THE CAMPAIGN PRESIDENTS DO THE UNEXPECTED BECAUSE THE UNEXPECTED IS WHAT HAPPENS IN THE MODERN WORLD >> WHEN WORLD WAR I BEGAN IN 1914, IT WAS A BOON FOR AMERICAN MANUFACTURERS, WHO SUPPLIED BOTH SIDES WITH FOOD, OIL, STEEL, AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF EXPLOSIVES >> WILSON’S POLICY OF NEUTRALITY WAS ALWAYS AN ILLUSION BECAUSE ENGLAND CONTROLLED THE SEAS, WHICH MEANT THAT IT COULD STOP GERMANY FROM GETTING SUPPLIES SO THE ONLY WAY FOR GERMANY TO HAVE ANY CHANCE OF WINNING THE WAR WAS TO START SINKING SHIPS– SOMETIMES NEUTRAL SHIPS WITH AMERICANS ON THEM AND ALSO AMERICAN SHIPS THEMSELVES >> DESPITE THE COUNTRY’S LONG-STANDING POLICY OF STAYING OUT OF EUROPEAN WARS, WILSON REALIZED NEUTRALITY WAS NO LONGER POSSIBLE >> IN 1917, HE CHANGES HIS MIND WILSON GIVES THIS VERY FAMOUS SPEECH, WHICH ASKED CONGRESS TO DECLARE WAR WHERE HE SAYS, “WE HAVE THE DUTY TO MAKE THE WORLD SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY.” HE REALLY MADE THE UNITED STATES A CENTRAL PLAYER IN WORLD AFFAIRS >> IT’S THE PRESIDENT’S AUTHORITY AS COMMANDER-IN- CHIEF, THE PRESIDENT’S LEADERSHIP DURING WARTIME, THAT CAUSES AMERICANS TO CONCLUDE, WELL, WE HAVE TO GO ALONG WITH OUR PRESIDENT HE IS THE LEADER OF OUR COUNTRY, AND THE COUNTRY IS UNDER THREAT >> LIKE F.D.R.’S WAR POWERS ACT DURING WORLD WAR II, AND GEORGE W. BUSH’S PATRIOT ACT AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY ABROAD GAVE WILSON THE POWER TO CURTAIL FREEDOM AT HOME >> WHEN WE WERE SKIRMISHING WITH FRANCE, WE HAD THE ALIEN AND SEDITION ACTS DURING THE ADAMS

ADMINISTRATION WHEN ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS PRESIDENT, THEY SUSPENDED THE RIGHT OF HABEAS CORPUS, DURING THE CIVIL WAR WOODROW WILSON THREW PEOPLE IN JAIL, INCLUDING PEOPLE THAT HE HAD RUN AGAINST FOR PRESIDENT, LIKE EUGENE DEBS WHEN YOU DO THAT BALANCING TEST BETWEEN SECURITY AND RIGHTS, THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS ALMOST ALWAYS GONNA GO FOR SECURITY >> EVEN MORE FAR-REACHING WAS A LITTLE-KNOWN ACT, THE LEVER FUEL AND CONTROL ACT, PASSED BY CONGRESS IN 1917 IT GAVE WILSON THE AUTHORITY TO DICTATE THE PRICE AND DISTRIBUTION OF COAL, OIL AND FOOD. IN JANUARY OF 1918, ALL FACTORIES EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI WERE ORDERED TO CLOSE DOWN FOR 4 DAYS TO CONSERVE COAL THE RAILROADS THAT TEDDY ROOSEVELT HAD BATTLED TO SET FREE FROM MONOPOLIES, NOW FELL UNDER GOVERNMENT CONTROL >> THIS WAS ONE OF THE MOST SWEEPING GRANTS OF PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY IN HISTORY ESSENTIALLY, WILSON HAD COMPLETE CONTROL OF THE ECONOMY AND AFTER THE WAR ENDED, THE EMERGENCY WAS OVER, CONGRESS REPEALED THE ACT IN 1921 >> AS EUROPE WAS TEARING ITSELF APART, WILSON WASN’T JUST BUILDING UP HIS AUTHORITY AT HOME, HE WAS PREPARING AN IDEA THAT WOULD REDEFINE PEACE, PROSPERITY, AND COOPERATION FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD >> 1917. WASHINGTON, D.C. WAS IN THE MIDST OF A MAKEOVER THOUSANDS OF BUILDINGS HAD BEEN BUILT SINCE 1900. TREES WERE BEING PLANTED ON THE NATIONAL MALL. AND THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL WAS UNDER CONSTRUCTION BUT BENEATH THE CAPITAL CITY’S FACELIFT, THERE WAS AN UNDERCURRENT OF ANXIETY. THE COUNTRY HAD DECLARED WAR ON GERMANY >> MANY IN EUROPE LIKED THE IDEA THAT THE UNITED STATES WAS COMING IN AND WOULD BREAK THE DEADLOCK THEY SAW THE UNITED STATES AS SOMETHING OF AN HONEST BROKER, NOT LIKE THE SELF-INTERESTED COUNTRIES IN EUROPE ALREADY >> WE HAD NOT BEEN ATTACKED DIRECTLY. BUT WILSON DECIDES WE HAVE NO RECOURSE BUT TO GET INVOLVED IN THIS GREAT CONTEST PARTLY BECAUSE HE SEES THAT THERE MIGHT BE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE A NEW INTERNATIONAL ORDER >> 2.8 MILLION MEN WOULD BE DRAFTED, AND THE TOP INCOME TAX RATE WAS RAISED TO 77% TO HELP COVER $12 BILLION IN DEFENSE SPENDING IN JANUARY OF 1918, EIGHT MONTHS AFTER WAR HAD BEEN FORMALLY DECLARED, WILSON LAID OUT HIS VISION WITH A SPEECH TO CONGRESS EVEN WITH PATRIOTISM RUNNING HIGH, IT RECEIVED A MIXED REACTION >> THE “14 POINTS SPEECH” WAS PRAISED BY SOME IN THE UNITED STATES, BUT OTHERS THOUGHT GEORGE WASHINGTON, THOMAS JEFFERSON ESTABLISHED THE PRINCIPLE THAT EUROPE’S AFFAIRS WERE EUROPE’S AFFAIRS JAMES MONROE IN THE MONROE DOCTRINE HAD SAID THE SAME THING AND WHAT HAD SERVED THIS COUNTRY WELL FOR OVER A CENTURY, PRESIDENT WILSON SEEMS TO BE DENYING PRESIDENT WILSON SEEMS TO THINK THAT THE UNITED STATES WILL BECOME THE WORLD’S POLICEMAN >> AMERICA’S ENTRY INTO THE WAR HAD SPELLED DEFEAT FOR GERMANY BUT THEIR SURRENDER IN NOVEMBER OF 1918 SET THE STAGE FOR THE GREATEST BATTLE OF WILSON’S CAREER >> WILSON’S DREAM WAS TO MAKE THE WORLD SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY. AND THE KEY INSTITUTION IN THAT DREAM WAS THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS, A WORLD GOVERNING BODY THAT WOULD SETTLE DISPUTES AND PREVENT THINGS LIKE WORLD WAR I FROM BREAKING OUT BY 1919, AMERICANS WERE WEARY OF BEING INVOLVED IN WORLD AFFAIRS THEY WERE TIRED OF WOODROW WILSON’S MORALIZING AND THEY WERE SKEPTICAL OF CEDING NATIONAL POWER TO AN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION LIKE THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS THAT WOULD MAKE DECISIONS FOR THE UNITED STATES >> SUCCESSFUL PRESIDENTS ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT SUCCESS IN A DEMOCRACY CONSISTS OF NEVER GETTING MORE THAN A HALF-STEP AHEAD OF THE COUNTRY IF YOU’RE MORE THAN A HALF-STEP AHEAD OF THE COUNTRY YOU GET TOO FAR AHEAD AND NOBODY WILL FOLLOW YOU >> THEN HIS PARTY LOST THE MAJORITY IN 1918. AND SO HE CONTINUED TO SERVE AS PRESIDENT WITH A REPUBLICAN MAJORITY AND THEY WERE AT LOGGERHEADS IT’S A TERRIBLE LAST TWO YEARS OF HIS ADMINISTRATION >> CONGRESS DREW THEIR BATTLE LINES OVER ONE PARTICULAR POINT OF THE TREATY–ARTICLE X– THAT PLEDGED THE U.S. TO DEFEND ANY MEMBER NATION THAT CAME UNDER ATTACK >> THE REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED CONGRESS DOESN’T LIKE ARTICLE X BUT WILSON WON’T COMPROMISE THREE TIMES THE TREATY’S BROUGHT UP TO VOTE IT’S NEVER PASSED. WILSON’S SOLUTION FOR THE IMPASSE WITH CONGRESS IS TO USE THE CELEBRITY PRESIDENCY LIKE T.R HAD DONE IT HIS IDEA IS, “I’M TAKING THIS BEYOND CONGRESS. I’M GOING TO THE PEOPLE. I AM GOING TO GET THE PEOPLE ENERGIZED AND ON MY SIDE. AND CONGRESS WILL BE UNABLE TO RESIST THE PEOPLE.”

>> IN ORDER TO SAY THAT, HE DECIDES HE’S GOING TO APPEAL TO PUBLIC OPINION AND FOR A WHILE IT LOOKED LIKE THAT TREATY WAS VERY POPULAR HE GOES OUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY GIVING SPEECHES IN DEFENSE OF THE LEAGUE OF THE NATION >> AFTER HITTING 23 CITIES IN 3 WEEKS, THE EXHAUSTED 62-YEAR-OLD PRESIDENT REACHED PUEBLO, COLORADO >> HE HAS A STROKE, LITERALLY, ON THE PLATFORM AS HE’S SPEAKING IN PUEBLO, COLORADO JUST…STOPS…DEAD >> IT WASN’T THE FIRST TIME A SITTING PRESIDENT BECAME SERIOUSLY ILL IN 1893, GROVER CLEVELAND HAD SURGERY FOR MOUTH CANCER, SECRETLY ABOARD A FRIEND’S YACHT, AND MANAGED TO KEEP THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IN THE DARK BUT WILSON’S ILLNESS WAS FAR MORE DEBILITATING BY SOME ACCOUNTS HE WAS SIMPLY WEAKENED–BY OTHERS, HE BECAME LITTLE MORE THAN A SHUFFLING ZOMBIE >> HE IS NEVER ABLE TO COMMAND THE PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES AGAIN HE VERY RARELY RECEIVES VISITORS, EVEN AMONG HIS OWN CABINET NOT EVEN HIS VICE PRESIDENT, WHO REALLY RUNS AWAY FROM EXERCISING ANY DEGREE OF POWER >> THE PERSON WHO DID FILL THE VOID WAS WILSON’S 2ND WIFE EDITH, WHO FEARED IF WILSON RESIGNED, IT MIGHT KILL HIM >> EDITH WILSON BECAME ALMOST AN ACTING PRESIDENT WHEN WILSON SUFFERED HIS STROKE AND DURING THE LAST 18 MONTHS OF WILSON’S PRESIDENCY, THERE IS ROOM TO SAY THAT SHE BECAME ALMOST THE FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WE’LL NEVER KNOW EXACTLY BECAUSE SHE SO CONTROLLED ACCESS TO THE PRESIDENT HOW MUCH OF WHAT WAS COMING OUT OF WILSON’S OFFICE WAS WOODROW WILSON, HOW MUCH WAS EDITH WILSON? >> UNABLE TO FIGHT FOR HIS BELOVED LEAGUE OF NATIONS, AND UNWILLING TO COMPROMISE AFTER YEARS OF TOTAL CONTROL, WILSON WOULD NOT SIGN THE SENATE’S MODIFIED VERSION OF THE TREATY, WITH TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES >> AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE VICTORS IMPOSED A HARSH PEACE TREATY ON GERMANY WHICH LEAD TO FINANCIAL RUIN AND ALLOWED FOR THE RISE OF A NEW NATIONALISTIC LEADER WHO PROMISED TO RETURN GERMANY TO ITS GLORY DAYS THE MAN WAS ADOLF HITLER >> IN THE END, WILSON, LIKE THEODORE ROOSEVELT BEFORE HIM, WON A NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FOR HIS EFFORTS IN FOREIGN POLICY BOTH MEN STEERED THE UNITED STATES INTO A PREMIER INTERNATIONAL ROLE, WITH THE PRESIDENT CLEARLY, FOR BETTER OR WORSE, THE MAN LEADING THE WAY >> UNTIL ROOSEVELT, CONGRESS HAD A CLAIM TO BE THE PREEMINENT BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT BUT BY THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY WITH ROOSEVELT, IT’S THE PRESIDENT CLEARLY WHO IS THE FOCUS OF AMERICAN POLITICAL ATTENTION >> TEDDY ROOSEVELT CREATES THE MODEL THAT EVERY ACTIVIST PRESIDENT FROM HIS COUSIN, FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, UP TO BARACK OBAMA, WOULD FOLLOW IT’S THE BELIEF THAT THE PRESIDENT PLAYS THE KEY ROLE IN PROTECTING THE GENERAL WELFARE AT HOME AND IN PROJECTING AMERICAN POWER AND INFLUENCE AND VALUES ABROAD >> WOODROW WILSON SAID THE PRESIDENT CAN BE AS BIG A MAN AS HE CAN BE AND SO HE WOULD ARGUE THAT THE MAN CAN MAKE THE OFFICE, IF YOU HAVE AN IMAGINATIVE ENOUGH IDEA OF THE PRESIDENCY, THAT YOU CAN THEN TRANSFORM THE OFFICE AND WHAT IT CAN DO >> THE START OF WHAT CAME TO BE CALLED THE AMERICAN CENTURY BROUGHT REVOLUTIONARY, PROGRESSIVE CHANGES–A PAIR OF PRESIDENTS TOOK THE COUNTRY FROM AN EMERGING ECONOMIC MACHINE AND TURNED IT INTO A GLOBAL POWER PLAYER BUT THE NATION WOULD NEED EVERY TOOL THEY’D CREATED TO FIGHT OFF A CRISIS THAT WOULD STRIKE AT THE HEART OF AMERICAN PROSPERITY, A DEPRESSION THAT WOULD THREATEN TO BREAK THE COUNTRY’S SPIRIT AND TEST ITS LEADER LIKE NEVER BEFORE