National Geographic : 1965 Oct
dealing with the abuses of his day; but they did not apply the spirit in which Lincoln worked to the abuses of their own day." Roosevelt's ideal was to use the Govern ment as the arbiter among conflicting eco nomic forces in the Nation, especially between capital and labor, guaranteeing justice to each and dispensing favors to none. Thus he emerged as a "trust buster." He shared Amer ican pride in the enormous productivity of factories, with consequent high living stan dards, but he realized that the abuses grow ing out of the new industrial combinations the trusts-must be curbed. T. R. vs. the Railroad Trusts Roosevelt fought for legislation to investi gate large interstate corporations and to im pose supervision on them; in 1903 Congress established a Department of Commerce and Labor which contained a Bureau of Corpora tions to investigate trusts. Roosevelt also initiated numerous antitrust suits. The first and most spectacular of these was the Government case against the Northern Securities Company, a great railroad combi nation in the Northwest. To the distress of J. P. Morgan of Wall Street, the Government won. The Supreme Court later upheld the decision to break up the combine. In 1906, Roosevelt proposed stronger Gov ernment regulation of the railroads. Through adroit maneuvering, he obtained the Hep burn Act, giving firmer regulatory power to the Interstate Commerce Commission, es 544 Poised, self-assured Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt joined in the vigorous fun of hus band and six children, yet firmly asserted herself when things got out of hand. Roosevelt exuberance echoed in the 22 rooms of Sagamore Hill on Long Island, T. R.'s summer White House. His daughter in-law Eleanor Alexander recalled the Sag amore scene: "The Roosevelt family enjoyed life far too much to... waste time sleeping. Every night they stayed downstairs until midnight; then, talking at the tops of their voices, they trooped up the wide, uncarpeted staircase and went to their rooms. For a brief ten minutes all was still; and, just as I was dropping off to sleep for the second time, they remembered things they had for gotten to tell each other and rushed shouting through the halls." Tusks and game heads, esteemed by Roosevelt as "proof of the hunter's prowess," N fill Sagamore Hill, now a national shrine. tablished in 1887 under Grover Cleveland. In dealing with labor problems, Roosevelt pursued a similar course. In May, 1902, the miners in the anthracite coal fields had struck for an eight-hour day, a wage increase, and union recognition. Roosevelt had forced the mine operators to confer with labor leaders and had used Government influence for the first time to gain impartial arbitration. Some of Roosevelt's highest achievements were in conservation. He believed in both the scientific development of national resources and the preservation of wilderness areas. In the spring of 1903, Roosevelt toured the West, noting in many places how the uncon trolled exploitation of lands, forests, minerals, and water was threatening our natural re sources. He camped in Yosemite Park with naturalist John Muir and became converted to Muir's view that it could best be preserved under Federal control. With the approval of most Californians, Roosevelt brought Yosem ite under national administration in 1906. He also added enormously to the national forests in the West, reserved coal deposits and future sites for power dams for public use, and fostered great irrigation projects. In foreign policy, Roosevelt steered the United States toward more active participa tion in world politics. He liked to quote what he called a West African proverb, "Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far." The "big stick" was the new American Navy, which he prodded Congress to build up to a strength equaling that of other world powers.