How Did Theodore Roosevelt Violate The Constitution

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Theodore Roosevelt was thrust into the presidency after William McKinley was assassinated on 6 September 1901 while attending the Pan-America Exposition. Roosevelt assured McKinley supporters that he would adhere to his policies, as well as keep the current cabinet. Nonetheless, Roosevelt sought to position himself as the country’s undisputed leader, wanting to bolster the role of the president and ready himself for the upcoming election. Sometime later in his first term as president, Roosevelt set a lofty goal; create a canal in Panama. The series of events that followed are what gained Roosevelt some of the most criticism in his career. He began relatively moderately, he convinced Congress to approve what was called the Panamanian alternative, …show more content…

Although it was in a time of war, it does not change the fact that Lincoln overextended his powers beyond what is stated in the Constitution. The suspension of habeas corpus is a power delegated to Congress in times of rebellion, it is true that the country was in a time of rebellion, however the president does not have the authority to suspend habeas corpus. In addition, the Emancipation Proclamation was also unconstitutional. The Constitution does not give the president or any federal branch the power to free slaves in any states. This changed with the 13th amendment, but Lincoln went beyond what the Constitution allows when he declared that all slaves in states of rebellion will be free. This is furthered by Lincoln not consulting Congress when enacting the proclamation. He claimed it as an act to assist with war, which should therefore have been approved by Congress before its declaration. Lincoln was forced to use unusual methods due to the complicated situation he was in, and although he violated the Constitution, in the long term he helped keep America whole. Theodore Roosevelt is the most egregious violator of the Constitution however. Roosevelt interfered heavily with the events that unfolded in Panama without Congressional consent including the sending in of troops, which is in direct violation of the Congressional consent needed for military actions. Roosevelt continued his overstepping of the Constitution as he participated in multiple negotiations with the Panama Canal Company without consulting the Senate or Congress. Roosevelt also displayed his disregard of the Constitution when dealing with the Coal Strike of 1902. Roosevelt took executive action although he was informed frequently about his lack of authority. Roosevelt took control of negotiations and although it ended with a compromise that benefited both parties involved while still overstepping his

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