Theodore Roosevelt

1858 - 1919

A Quote by Theodore Roosevelt on america, civilization, community, conflict, conquest, day, debt, humanity, idleness, impatience, interest, judgment, mankind, morality, nations, needs, rudeness, rules, sentimentality, stability, success, war, and world

Theodore Roosevelt, impatient with the excesses of "purely sentimental historians," authored his own stirring vindication of America's relations with the Indians: Looked at from the standpoint of the ultimate result, there was little real difference to the Indian whether the land was taken by treaty or by war. . . . No treaty could be satisfactory to the whites, no treaty served the needs of humanity and civilization, unless it gave the land to the Americans as unreservedly as any successful war. Whether the whites won the land by treaty, by armed conflict, or, as was actually the case, by a mixture of both, mattered comparatively little so long as the land was won. It was all-important that it should be won, for the benefit of civilization and in the interests of mankind. It is, indeed, a warped, perverse, and silly morality which would forbid a course of conquest that has turned whole continents into the seats of mighty and flourishing civilized nations. . . . It is as idle to apply to savages the rules of international morality which obtain between stable and cultured communities, as it would be to judge the fifth-century English conquest of Britain by the standards of to-day. The most ultimately righteous of all wars is a war with savages, though it is apt to be also the most terrible and inhuman. The rude, fierce settler who drives the savage from the land lays all civilized mankind under a debt to him. . . . It is of incalculable importance that America, Australia, and Siberia should pass out of the hands of their red, black, and yellow aboriginal owners, and become the heritage of the dominant world races.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919)

Source: The Winning of the West: Book IV, 1896

Contributed by: Zaady

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