The Presidency of Teddy Roosevelt is often considered the beginning of “The American Century.” The Great White Fleet circled the world. The US defeated Spain in the Spanish American War, probably instigated by the US as it fought to “free” Cuba and the Philippines “fell” into our Empire. Our iron and steel production had surpassed that of Europe. Problems began in 1912 when leading “Progressive” Woodrow Wilson was elected President. This came about as Teddy Roosevelt, for reasons that were not clear, opposed his own successor, William Howard Taft. Roosevelt formed his “Bull Moose” party and divided the vote, electing Wilson. In 1916, Wilson was re-elected, promising to keep us out of World War I. In 1917, following Germany’s decision to wage unrestricted submarine warfare, Wilson declared war on Germany, thus disclosing his lie.
America entered the war in 1917 at the cost of 53,000 lives lost. The intervention probably led to the 1918 Armistice and the Treaty of Versailles, which French Marshall Foch called (accurately) “an armistice for 20 years.” Wilson’s Progressive rule included many similarities to Fascism that would be come more apparent in years to come. Harding and Coolidge were elected in 1920 and reversed many of Wilson’s policies. The next 9 years were marked by prosperity and a surge of innovation. The German war debts, plus those of the allies, put pressure on the international economic system, which resulted in the 1929 panic and elected Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 as Herbert Hoover’s attempts to cope with the 1929 crash failed. Roosevelt campaigned on a platform of a “balanced budget,” which was quickly abandoned once elected. Roosevelt’s experimentation with the economy produced no better results until World War II provided the stimulus to spending plus the absorption of millions of unemployed and an economic boom followed. The cost of this war was 407,000 American lives but it left us with the only undamaged industrial system in the world. A real Boom followed until Lyndon Johnson got us involved in the Vietnam War plus The Great Society, both of which brought us close to financial ruin.