Theodore Roosevelt and the Native Americans: How his beliefs influenced his treatment of the Native Americans

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Southern New Hampshire University
In the attempt to characterize the historical character, Theodore Roosevelt historians have oversimplified the history and the character, leading to extreme perspectives. Some historians have written of him as a hero of the people, a progressive reformer who saved the less fortunate from the wealthy elitists. While other historians referred to him as a racist bent on expansionistic ideas to conquer the world in the name of the Anglo-Saxons. The present thesis accurately interprets Theodore Roosevelt and shows how his progressive ideals and his racist beliefs both originated from the same part of his character. Roosevelt’s progressive ideals and his Anglo-Saxon superiority views led him to believe that his superior Anglo-Saxon race was destined to conquer and then educate the inferior races in self-government. His Native American policies and actions toward Native Americans present clear evidence of how Roosevelt’s dual views came together to create this enigma of a historical character.