Friday, October 5, 2007

Message #25 - Words versus Deeds - Does Your Deeds Follow Your Words

Most People are similar in their sincerity to keep Promises, but it is their actual deeds that separates them.

Three years Before Teddy Roosevelt was president of the United States he was Assistant Secretary to the Navy, and on June 2nd, 1897, he gave a speech to the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

In his speech he gave a very patriotic message that was well received and one of the focuses of his message was this: "The only way to keep peace was to be ready for war, and the only way to be ready for war was to enlarge the Navy".

Eight months later, on February 15th, 1898, one of the Navy's battle ships, the USS Maine was attacked and blown up, killing 264 sailors, precipitating the The Spanish-American War, and in the process created a ground swell of American sentiment popularizing the phrase "Remember the Maine!" In April 1898, president William McKinley declared war on Spain.

A Little Background
The Spanish-American War was an armed military conflict between Spain and the United States that took place from April to August in 1898. The war began due to American demands that Spain peacefully resolve the Cuban fight for independence, though strong expansionist sentiment in the United States may have also motivated the government to target Spain's other remaining overseas territories: Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam and the Caroline Islands.

Riots and civil disturbances in Havana by local insurrgents gave the United States a reason to send the warship USS Maine to protect their national interests there. As a result of the explosion of the USS Maine, tensions among the American people grew with further pressure put on the American government from the "Sensationalism Journalism" that accused Spain of extensive atrocities.

The war ended in only 109 days after several quick, decisive naval and military victories for the United States in the Philippines and Cuba. The Treaty Paris, ended the conflict, gaving the United States ownership of the former Spanish colonies of Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam. The United States then occupied Cuba for a time, ending the insurrection and expelling the Spanish colonial authorities.

What Roosevelt Did
Teddy Roosevelt supported the decision to go to war, and 3 weeks after the war declaration, he resigned his position as Assistant Secretary to the Navy to join the war effort, so he'd be ready to fight. All who knew him; collegaues, friends and family were against his decision and felt he was throwing away his political future (how wrong they were), but they also knew of his resolve once he'd made up his mind.

Roosevelt later wrote that he wanted to be able to tell his children why he had fought in the war and opposed to why he had not fought in the war. Roosevelt was a person that couldn't preach one thing and do another.

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