It has been said of Theodore Roosevelt that "he stood close to the center and bared his teeth at the conservatives of the right and the liberals of the extreme left." Do you think this is an accurate judgment of Roosevelt's politics? Why or why not? Cite specific actions taken by Roosevelt.

This quote is an accurate judgment of Roosevelt's politics, because Roosevelt refused to be defined by either the right or the left, instead displaying values and policies of both. For example, in agreement with conservatives, Roosevelt advocated for a free-trade economy and imperialist policies, and in agreement with liberals, he expanded government control with acts such as the Pure Food and Drug Act. 

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In many ways, Theodore Roosevelt cannot be classified as a true conservative nor as a liberal. However, it would not be correct to call him a moderate, either. Many of his actions and policies belonged to both the ideologies of the left and the right. Yet, he refused to be...

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In many ways, Theodore Roosevelt cannot be classified as a true conservative nor as a liberal. However, it would not be correct to call him a moderate, either. Many of his actions and policies belonged to both the ideologies of the left and the right. Yet, he refused to be defined by them. In that sense, the quotation in your question certainly applies to this president. Let's look at some examples of this.

In defiance of the conservatives of his day, President Roosevelt sought to expand the government's role in the progressive sense. He supported the enactment of the nation's first price controls under the Hepburn Act. He signed the Pure Food and Drug Act. He broke up large monopolies, including JP Morgan, earning him the title of "Trust Buster."

His Square Deal sought to even the playing field for the average American farmer and worker. However, it did not overlook the needs of big businesses. He sought to settle disputes between the two often competing factions. This included arbitrating deals between workers and business owners, most notably by helping to negotiate a settlement of the Coal Strike of 1902.

Despite his many progressive reforms and expansions of the role of government, Roosevelt also had characteristically conservative traits. He advocated for a free-trade economy. However, he was a protectionist at heart. He saw the potential of the United States to be a global economic power. To this end, he advocated imperialistic policies that put him at odds with the left. This included the construction of the Panama Canal and Panamanian independence from Colombia.

All this can be seen as ways that the president refused to be beholden to any particular side. He saw himself as both a man of the people and a supporter of American free enterprise.

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