Theodore Roosevelt maintained a strong commitment to military preparedness throughout his career. He was involved in the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War and watched all four of his sons serve in World War I. Learn more about the wars during Roosevelt’s lifetime, the U.S. armed forces, and the military leaders among his friends and in his presidential administration.
George Dewey (1837-1917) was an American naval officer whose victory over the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay in 1898 made him a national hero.
The Great White Fleet, consisting of 16 battleships and accompanying vessels, sailed around the world between December 1907 and February 1909. An important show of America’s naval power, the fleet’s successful return added luster to Roosevelt's presidential career.
The Moro Rebellion (1901-1913) occurred after the conclusion of the Philippine-American War and involved sporadic confrontations between the Muslim Filipinos living in the southern part of the Philippines and the American soldiers there to oversee the transition from Spanish rule to U.S. oversight.
The Philippine-American Conflict developed out of the Philippine struggle for independence from Spain. This struggle was played out both in Cuba and in the Philippines.
Theodore Roosevelt’s four sons inherited their father’s burning desire to serve in uniform when duty called. Given their father’s heroics during his own crowded hour, it would have been nearly impossible for TR’s sons not to test themselves in the crucible of battle.
The Spanish-American War began on April 25, 1898, when the United States declared war against Spain on behalf of Spain’s colony, Cuba. Cubans had been agitating for freedom from Spanish rule for several decades.