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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 2, 1902

Roosevelt, Theodore
Message of the president, annual,   pp. XI-XXXIV PDF (1.5 MB)

Page XI

To Eke SenaEe and House of R~ftresen1aEives: 
 We still continue in a period of unbounded prosperity. This prosperity is
not the creature of law, but undoubtedly the laws tinder which we work have
been instrumental in creating the conditions which made it possible, and
by unwise legislation it would be easy enough to destroy it. There will undoubtedly
be periods of depression. The wave will recede; but the tide will advance.
This Nation is seated on a continent flanked by two great oceans. It is composed
of men the descendants of pioneers, or, in a sense, pioneers themselves;
of men winnowed out from among the nations of the Old World by the energy,
boldness, and love of adventure found in their own eager hearts. Such a nation,
so placed, will surely wrest success from fortune. 
 As a people we have played a large part in the world, and we are bent upon
making our future even larger than the past. In particular, the events of
the last four years have definitely decided that, for woe or for weal, our
place must be great among the nations. We may either fail greatly or succeed
greatly; but we can not avoid the endeavor from which either great failure
or great success must come. Even if we would, we can not play a small part.
If we should try, all that would follow would be that we should play a large
part ignobly and shamefully. 
 But our people, tile SOflS of the men of the Civil War, the sons of time
men who had iron in their blood, rejoice in tile present and face the future
high of heart and resolute of will. Ours is not the creed of time weakling
and the coward; ours is tile gospel of hope and of triumphant endeavor. We
do not shrink from tile struggle before us. There are many problems for us
to face at the outset of the twentieth century—grave problems abroad
and still graver at home; but we know that we can solve them and solve them
well, provided 

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