114: A Square Deal (pt. 3): “Leave it as it is” (Teddy Roosevelt & Conservationism)


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“Very well then–I so declare it.”

This is the story of the final “C” of President Theodore Roosevelt’s Square Deal: conservationism.

Teddy loves the outdoors. He loves to challenge himself in the American wilderness. He also fears the nation’s natural resources and various species are disappearing. And TR won’t let that stand. From Florida’s Pelican Island to the Arizona Territory’s extremely large canyon—perhaps “grand,” you might say—and far beyond, TR is out to create bird reserves, national parks, and national monuments that cover some 230 million acres of the United States.

But are his actions executive overreach? Or does he not go far enough, as protectionists might argue? From camping with John Muir, to outflanking members of Congress, we’re in for a “rough ride” as we follow Teddy on his crusade for conservationism.

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142 episodes