Quotations From THEODORE ROOSEVELT


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  • Speak softly and carry a big stick.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. Speech, April 2, 1903, Chicago. The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, vol. 13. A favorite adage, referring to military preparation and the Monroe Doctrine.
  • A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. More than that no man is entitled to, and less than that no man shall have.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. Speech, June 4, 1903, Springfield, Illinois. Addresses and Presidential Messages (1904).
  • Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. Kansas City Star (April 27, 1918).

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  • The men with the muck-rakes are often indispensable to the well-being of society; but only if they know when to stop raking the muck.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. Speech, April 14, 1906, Washington, D.C.. The Penguin Book of Twentieth Century Speeches, ed. Brian MacArthur (1992). The "Man with the Muck-rake" is a character in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.
  • I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. Speech, April 10, 1899, Chicago. The Penguin Book of Twentieth Century Speeches, ed. Brian MacArthur (1992). Roosevelt devoted much of his life to "strenuous" pursuits, building up a slender frame by vigorous exercise, and enduring extreme conditions as rancher and soldier.

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  • I don't pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. speech, Sept. 8, 1902, Chattanooga, Tenn.

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  • There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country. There is room here for only 100% Americanism, only for those who are Americans and nothing else.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. Speech, July 19, 1918, State Republican Party Convention, Saratoga, New York. Roosevelt Policy, vol. 3 (1919). Roosevelt had earlier drawn attention to "hyphenated Americans" in a speech, Oct. 12, 1915: "Americanism is a matter of the spirit and the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States."
  • Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. Labor Day speech, Sept. 7, 1903, Syracuse, New York.

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  • Germany has reduced savagery to a science, and this great war for the victorious peace of justice must go on until the German cancer is cut clean out of the world body.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. speech, Sept. 30, 1917, Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

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  • It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive) politician, president. speech, Oct. 14, 1912, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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