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Conceiving the FuturePronatalism, Reproduction, and the Family in the United States, 1890-1938$
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Laura L. Lovett

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831076

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807868102_lovett

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Men as Trees Walking

Men as Trees Walking

Theodore Roosevelt and the Conservation of the Race

(p.109) 5 Men as Trees Walking
Conceiving the Future

Laura L. Lovett

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on Theodore Roosevelt and his campaign for country life and the conservation of race. It examines Roosevelt's articulation of his case for conservation and country life by appealing to a racialized agrarianism that invoked nostalgic ideals of the farmer and the rural family. The chapter also discusses his argument that conserving the nation's natural resources was strongly related to the idea of conserving the “race.” It traces the roots of Roosevelt's affinity for the countryside to his early interest in natural history and looks at his creation of two major commissions, the National Conservation Commission and the Country Life Commission, as president of the United States. The chapter then describes the tensions between Congress and Roosevelt's allies over who should control conservation legislation, Roosevelt's advocacy of putting homes on the land, and his nationalization of his conservation policies. Finally, it analyzes the rationale for Roosevelt's claim that both conservation and country life were relevant to the future of the “American race.”

Keywords:   country life, conservation of race, Theodore Roosevelt, agrarianism, rural family, natural resources, countryside, natural history, National Conservation Commission, Country Life Commission

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