Capture.JPG
  • Joan Rothchild Hardin

Teddy Roosevelt on Citizenship in a Republic



After serving two terms as 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909, Theodore Roosevelt embarked on a tour of Northern Africa and Europe in 1910, attending events and giving speeches in places like Cairo, Berlin, Naples and Oxford.

On April 23 1910, Roosevelt delivered a speech on “Citizenship in a Republic” at the Sorbonne in Paris. In the speech, he spoke about his family history, war, human and property rights, and the responsibilities of citizenship. “The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer,” he said. “A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticize work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life’s realities—all these are marks, not … of superiority but of weakness.” (McCarthy, 2015, updated 2020)