Theodore Roosevelt: The Great Environmentalist

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

download word file, 8 pages 5.0

This Paper will outline President Theodore Roosevelt's role in helping to
our environment during his administration (1901-1909). It will also examine
his theory of
a stronger American democracy through environmental conservationism.

"The movement for the conservation of wildlife, and the larger movement for
the conservation of all our natural resources, are essentially democratic in
spirit, purpose, and method." (Roosevelt 274)

As president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt made conservation a
policy issue of his administration. He created five National Parks, four Big
Refuges, fifty-one National bird Reservations, and the National Forest
Service. Roosevelt
advocated for the sustainable use of the nation's natural resources, the
protection and
management of wild game, and the preservation of wild spaces. Considering
landscape to be the source of American wealth and the American character,
believed conservationism was a democratic movement necessary to maintain and
strengthen American democracy.

Roosevelt recognized America's vast natural resources as the source of the
economic wealth and subsequent political strength globally. The abundance of
timber, waterways, and mineral deposits fueled the continuing expansion of
industry. In a speech addressed to a national conference on conservation held
at the White
House in 1908, Roosevelt stated, "Our position in the world has been attained
by the
extent and thoroughness of the control we have achieved over nature; but we
are more,
and not less, dependent upon what she furnishes than at any previous time of
(Internet 1) The United States had built its economic and political strength
by exploiting
the nation's natural resources; but Roosevelt, like other leading
conservationists, no
longer believed that these natural resources were infinite in their
The end of the nineteenth century brought the closing of the frontier, the
extinction of the...