Front Matter The Beginning of the U.S Franklin's Return Troubles After the War The Constitution The First President Washington's Troubles A Wonderful Invention Death of Washington The U.S. Buys Land War With African Pirates Death of Somers The First Steamboat The Gerrymander The War of 1812 "Don't Give Up the Ship" The Star-Spangled Banner Clinton's "Big Ditch" More Land Bought Jackson Stories Jackson's Presidency New Inventions Whitman's Ride The Mormons The First Telegraph The Mexican War The Slavery Quarrel Daniel Webster's Youth Webster's Speeches Early Times in California Discovery of El Dorado Rush to California The Underground Railroad The First World's Fair John Brown's Raid Lincoln's Youth The First Shot The Call to Arms The President's Decision Admiral Farragut The Monitor and Merrimac The Penninsular Campaign Barbara Frietchie Lincoln's Vow The Battle of Gettysburg The Taking of Vicksburg Riots, Raids, and Battles The Burning of Atlanta The March to the Sea Sheridan's Ride The Doings of the Fleet Lee's Surrender Decoration Day Lincoln Stories Lincoln's Rebukes A President's Son A Noble Southerner Hard Times in the South The Atlantic Cable Best Way to Settle Quarrels Our One Hundredth Birthday Gold for Greenbacks A Clever Engineer Death of Garfield The Celebration at Yorktown The Great Statue A Terrible Flood Lynch Law The Great White City The Explosion of the Maine The Battle of Manila Hobson's Brave Deed Surrender of Santiago The Hawaiian Islands The Annexation of Hawaii The Philippine War Assassination of McKinley The Panama Canal Roosevelt's Administration Two Presidents German Views The World War Since the World War

Story of the Great Republic - Helene Guerber

Roosevelt's Last Administration

Although President Roosevelt had shown during the Cuban War that he was not afraid to fight, he firmly believed that most quarrels could and should be settled by arbitration. A deadly war had long been raging between Russia and Japan, when he persuaded those two countries to send delegates to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. After much discussion, the Treaty of Portsmouth, ending the Russo-Japanese War, was signed.

The year 1906 was an eventful year for us. Congress passed a pure food law obliging all provision and drug merchants to state on the labels of their goods exactly what they were selling. Congress also passed laws providing for a more strict control of the railroads. An earthquake in California, followed in San Francisco by a terrible fire, left that city in a mass of ruins. On all sides, helping hands were immediately held out and money and supplies were sent to the homeless people. With admirable courage, the people of San Francisco at once set to work to rebuild their ruined city.

We have seen that the Chinese immigration was stopped while Cleveland was President. When Japanese began to come in large numbers, the people of our far western states objected to them also. In 1907 the United States made a "gentleman's agreement" with Japan by which the Japanese government checked immigration to this country. Later the Pacific states made laws which prevented the Chinese and Japanese from owning land there.

For some time a few far-sighted Americans had realized that if we wished to remain a rich and prosperous nation, we must cease to be as recklessly wasteful as in the past. Our game had been so ruthlessly killed that some kinds of animals such as the buffalo—had ceased to exist in a wild state. Our forest, water, and mineral resources had also been wasted, misused, or neglected. The government had given, or sold at low prices, so much land that only some 700,000,000 acres were left to distribute. About half of this was in Alaska and the rest was too dry to be of use.

Roosevelt fought hard to prevent this wasting of the country's resources; under his leadership government forests were made into national forest reservations. Dams were built to regulate the flow of streams, and canals carried water to irrigate arid lands.

Believing that nations often misunderstood each other simply because they were not well enough acquainted, the President sent a fleet of sixteen American battleships to make a tour of the world, paying friendly visits to all the principal ports. This thirty-thousand mile voyage proved a liberal education to the officers and sailors of the fleet, since they had to meet all kinds of people in a friendly way, and it made our country favorably known to many foreign nations.

Roosevelt in Africa


Roosevelt, as we have seen by his part in the settlement of the Russo-Japanese War, was interested in arbitration. At his suggestion, the Czar of Russia called a second Peace Conference at The Hague in Holland. At the first conference, held in 1899, only twenty-six nations had been represented. At the second one there were delegates from forty-seven nations. Our representatives were warmly welcomed, for the United States had grown to be an important country.

When the time came for the election of 1908, Roosevelt, having occupied the White House for nearly eight years, decided not to become a candidate. William H. Taft was elected President. As soon as he was free from his burdens as President, Roosevelt undertook a hunting expedition to Central Africa. From there he sent home rare animals and photographs to enrich the zoological gardens and natural history museums of our country.