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The world war made the canal even more strategically important, but the Wilson administration, rather than building up the navy to defend the waterway in Rooseveltian fashion, hoped to get a dividend in reduced naval spending by a partition of the US fleet between the Atlantic and Pacific. The proposed division challenged a key tenet of naval strategy put down by TR’s naval mentor Alfred Thayer Mahan: fleet concentration. Both TR and Mahan attacked the plan, the Colonel in the August 1914 Outlook.

On September 26, Wilson signed an act creating the Federal Trade Commission, a regulatory agency strikingly like the one TR had been calling for since 1912. To help draw up the bill, Wilson had even called in George Rublee, a New York attorney who had worked on the 1912 Progressive platform. ”69 This undoubtedly cost the Progressives labor votes, as did the party’s support in some places for prohibition of alcohol, despite TR’s objections. Nevertheless, Roosevelt pressed on to the finish. ”70 The election had become for TR a test for not only the party but the American people.

55 This work exposed a variety of German brutalities and included reports of the impaling of babies on bayonets and the amputations of women’s breasts. Besides the domestic audience, these broadsides also were aimed at world and, most importantly, American opinion. 56 This first installment, dealing with preparedness, reached an audience of 15 million, and it increased the circulation of the New York Times alone by thousands of copies. The London Daily Mail agreed with TR’s assessment of Germany while at the same time praising the arbitration treaty between the United States and Great Britain just ratified by the Senate.

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