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Politics and Government


Theodore Roosevelt’s political career spanned more than three decades. He was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1881 and formed the Progressive Party in 1912. Learn more about the important topics, events, and people in Roosevelt’s political life.

Article List

La Follette, Robert Marion, Sr.

Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette (1855-1925), a progressive reformer from Wisconsin, resisted the corrupt influence of railroads, utilities, and large corporations. Like other early twentieth century activists, he challenged fellow citizens to take control of the machinery of government.

Hanna, Marcus Alonzo

Marcus Alonzo Hanna (1837-1904), a wealthy Ohio industrialist, political organizer, and United States Senator, epitomized the close relationship that existed between the titans of industry and politicians during America's Gilded Age.

Smoot, Reed

Reed Smoot was a Republican Senator from Utah for whom Theodore Roosevelt's support was necessary to ensure his being seated in the Senate.

Cannon, Joseph Gurney

Joseph Gurney Cannon was the influential Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives during most of Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency.

Aldrich, Nelson Wilmarth

Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich was the powerful senior Republican Senator from Rhode Island during Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency.

Kellor, Frances

Frances Kellor's national status as an immigration expert drew President Roosevelt’s attention and she became part of his “Female Brain Trust” with Jane Addams and Florence Kelley.

Dear Maria Controversy

The "Dear Maria" controversy concerned the separation of church and state in regards to President Roosevelt's endorsement of a Catholic archbishop for elevation to the position of cardinal.