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

Aldrich, Nelson Wilmarth

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

Cannon, Joseph Gurney

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

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.

Fairbanks, Charles

Charles W. Fairbanks (1852-1918) served as Theodore Roosevelt’s vice president from the inaugural in 1905 until the end of Roosevelt’s four-year term in 1909.

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.

Henderson, David Bremner

David Bremner Henderson served as Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 56th and 57th Congresses—which included President Theodore Roosevelt’s first term—until Henderson’s surprise resignation in 1903.

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.

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.

Loeb, William, Jr.

William Loeb Jr. began as a stenographer for Theodore Roosevelt and became, by 1903, his private secretary, a trusted assistant and advisor, widely recognized as Roosevelt’s “right-hand man.”

Simms, Ruth Hanna McCormick

Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms was a United States Representative from Illinois and a prominent advocate for women’s suffrage.

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.

The Square Deal

The Square Deal is the name given to Theodore Roosevelt’s domestic legislative program.