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“The Strenuous Life” Speech by Theodore Roosevelt Essay

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Updated: Aug 19th, 2020

Outlook and Biases of the Theodore Roosevelt in his “The Strenuous Life” Speech

Theodore believes that to realize success, you must live a strenuous life. It is a life of hard work and taking risks without being afraid of danger. According to Theodore, this kind of life brings joy and is important for both the mind and body. While peace is important, it will not bring success if one is lazy. The whole document is based on nothing else but hard work. Whereas Theodore believes that leisure is important, it is after hard work that one should enjoy the fruits of his labor. In most cases, a rich man will teach his son the importance of working to earn a decent living. The kind of work a person does should not matter be it arts, research or science.

People who only work for peace are not valued in America. A person who works his way through a difficult situation is of value to the nation. Everything in life is only gotten through constant effort. A simple life is not satisfactory in any way. The author is biased on what he believes to be a healthy state. For instance, to Theodore, men have to labor to provide for the family. However, a woman should be a housewife and give birth to the children. The children have to be taught from a young age to prepare and make them ready to face difficulties and not shy away from such responsibilities.

Theodore is against those who do not try to achieve their goals. For example, to be a superpower, America has always been ready to go to war. The country fought many nations and always emerged victorious. The state has a strong military suggesting that America must involve itself in the global affairs. The assertion is where the document drives its theme of a strenuous life. There is no other life to live apart from the strenuous life, which is of benefit to the nation. He believes in his country’s power, greatness and thinks that without hard work, it would not prosper.

Depicting the Subjects of a Particular Place

Different subjects from diverse places are mentioned in the document, and each one has various traits. Porto Rico is a small island with people who cannot govern themselves. Thus, it has to be governed by America who should work with the people’s interest in mind. Cuba can govern itself and is an independent state, but the people there are not secure due to political instability. They will be governed by America until they restore order in the island.

On the other hand, Philippine offers the greatest challenge to other states and the government. The island has three types of people namely pagans, Moslems, and Christians. These people are often at war and cannot manage self-governance. Hardworking individuals are described as successful, and people from Chicago are examples of citizens with the strenuous life and spirit.

The Broad Historical Significance

Theodore uses the history and origin of America to encourage his approach to life. He talks about the strength and workforce that created America. The Civil War illustrated the sacrifice and commitment of people in whatever one was doing. He continuously talks about Lincoln’s wisdom during the Civil War. Although many lives and wealth were lost, the Civil War proved that America was a great nation.

The people of Chicago are called great for choosing Lincoln who proved to have the American spirit. The war with Spain also worked in favor of the strenuous life. By deciding to fight America, he chose the hard way. They would have decided to surrender, but they decided to fight for their nation. People showed that one had to fight for what he believed was right. Hard work gives one the power that he deserves. The document acknowledges all those who made America a success since it helps the young generation to appreciate their past heroes.

The Moral and Political Judgments

Theodore believes in tackling issues and challenges. He believes that people have to do their part in bringing Cuba, Porto Rico, and Philippines under control. These challenges have to be met in a way that benefits the nation. It is better to try solving a problem even if the solution backfires than not trying at all. Every action taken has to be done with integrity and accountability. No public servant should be unfaithful to his duties and should always have the interest of the people in mind. Besides, people should be courageous and wise.

Politically, the army should be strongly built. It needs to be reorganized, and more people recruited. People should protect the nation and citizens need to have faith in the military. A proper legislation should be put in place, and the Congress needs to get insight and lessons from the war.

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IvyPanda. (2020) '“The Strenuous Life” Speech by Theodore Roosevelt'. 19 August.

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