Most influential president: Theodore Roosevelt or Dwight Eisenhower? | The Tylt
Most influential president: Theodore Roosevelt or Dwight Eisenhower?
The President of the United States is the most powerful political figure in America, and throughout history, presidents have shaped the very fabric of our nation. As we approach President's Day 2018, we are asking Tylters to tell us which president they believe had the biggest impact—positive or negative—on America.
Presidents have led us through global conflict, civil war, economic crises and cultural revolutions. From George Washington to Donald Trump, which president do you believe was the most influential?
Be sure to vote on our other President's Day matchups below!
After President William McKinley was assassinated in 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th president of the United States. At age 42, Roosevelt was the youngest president in the nation's history.
Roosevelt led the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War and was elected governor of New York in 1898 before becoming McKinley's running mate. As president, Roosevelt championed progressive ideas that included trust busting railroad companies, supporting labor unions and prioritizing nature conservation. He also had a tough, but diplomatic approach to foreign policy, often saying "Speak softly and carry a big stick..."
I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose... I believe that the Progressive movement is making life a little easier for all our people; a movement to try to take the burdens off the men and especially the women and children of this country.
It is essential that here should be organizations of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize. My appeal for organized labor is two-fold; to the outsider and the capitalist I make my appeal to treat the laborer fairly, to recognize the fact that he must organize that there must be such organization, that the laboring man must organize for his own protection, and that it is the duty of the rest of us to help him and not hinder him in organizing.
Roosevelt served one full term after finishing McKinley's term. He ran again in 1912 as a third party candidate for the Progressive "Bull Moose" Party, but lost.
The 34th president of the United States, Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower navigated America through the beginnings of the Cold War be deescalating tension between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and obtaining a truce in Korea.
Eisenhower had a long military career before entering politics, where he served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces. As president, Eisenhower's main achievements were negotiating a truce in North Korea, signing the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and creating the Interstate Highway System.
In his farewell address, Eisenhower warned of the dangerous military-industrial complex:
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience... Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Eisenhower served two terms and was voted Gallup's most admired man 12 times. Many historians champion him as one of the greatest president of the modern era.