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Theodore Roosevelt and the Prelude to 1914

Theodore Roosevelt, circa 1913.

SELECTIONS FROM THE CORRESPONDENCE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT AND HENRY CABOT LODGE. EDITED BY HENRY CABOT LODGE. 2 vols. New York: Scribner's, 1925.

ROOSEVELT AND THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. BY TYLER DENNETT. New York: Doubleday, Page, 1925.

FORTUNE took Theodore Roosevelt in her lap, showered gifts upon him during the course of nearly a generation, and ended by playing him a scurvy trick. Tragedy is obviously too strong a word; but irony does enter into the last five years of Roosevelt's record. It consists in the fact that to him was denied a share in the biggest event of his age. During the World War, Theodore Roosevelt was on the sidelines. Writing him from Paris towards the end of July, 1905, after Roosevelt's intervention in the Moroccan crisis and on the eve of the Portsmouth Peace Conference, Senator Lodge ventures to anticipate the verdict of posterity: "Your great work in world politics this summer, will be, when the history of our time is written, one of your most, if not your most, certain titles to a really enduring fame." That forecast might have been vindicated if less than ten years later the World War had not come around to reduce the events of 1905 to the dimensions of a prologue. The historian of the first quarter of the twentieth century will by no means overlook the war in Manchuria and the Algeciras Conference. But he will inevitably be in a hurry to move on to the main event. To Roosevelt, the sturdy fighter, fate assigned only a part in the preliminary bouts. She behaved much more kindly to many of his contemporaries of the year 1905. For Balfour, Lloyd George, the Kaiser, and for the impersonal forces behind the Russian and Japanese governmental systems of the first years of the century, she reserved rôles of high importance in the forthcoming drama. Even for William J. Bryan she kept in store a few exciting moments. But with Roosevelt and the World War it was as if some impresario had

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