In 1897 the newly elected Republican president William McKinley appointed Roosevelt assistant secretary of the navy. Roosevelt made the preparations for the Spanish-American War. Being secretary of the navy, he responded to the explosion of the Maine in Havana harbor in 1898 by putting the navy on full alert. Roosevelt instructed Commodore George Dewey , to make ready for war with Spain by taking the necessary steps for bottling up the Spanish squadron in Asian waters. Roosevelt also asked Dewey to prepare for the probable invasion of the Philippines.Theodore Roosevelt being the leader in the Spanich-American war and winning it helped raise the visibitlity of himself to people.The Spanish-American War affected the United States in a number of ways. It firmly established the United States as a major military power and illustrated the importance of a two-ocean navy to U.S. military planners. The war helped speed the building of the Panama Canal, which was completed in 1914 and was vital to linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans for U.S. commerce and military activities.When the Spanish-American War began, Roosevelt volunteered for service as commander the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry, a unit known as the Rough Riders a group comprised of Ivy League gentlemen, western cowboys, sheriffs, prospectors, Native Americans, and a few Hispanics and European Americans. He distinguished himself by leading a charge on San Juan Hill on the outskirts of Santiago. Known as a war hero Roosevelt ran for governor of New York. He won the election by just a few thousand votes. Roosevelt then decided he wanted to run for the republican presidential candidate, William McKinley. He traveld all over the place giving speeches, and after many speeches McKinley won with the biggest republican victory in years.
Theodore Roosevelt pressed the congress to do many things in his domestic program. Roosevelt pressed Congress to regulate railroads, the food and drug industries, and to increase environmental protections. The success of his domestic program which he considered a Square Deal, made him the most popular president between Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. In a break with Platt, Roosevelt wanted the taxation of the rights to sell public services Almost overnight the insurance companies, the construction contractors, and the privately owned public service monopolies realized that all the money they were contributing to Platt 's political machine brought them little if any influence with Governor Roosevelt. Platt knew that something had to be done with Roosevelt before he completely destroyed the Republican machine organization in the state. Platt decided to put Roosevelt to vice presidency in 1900. Vice President Garret Hobart had just died in office.This would keep Roosevelt from running for a second term in New York. Roosevelt agreed, persuaded that the vice presidency might lead to a chance at the White House in 1904.
In domestic affairs Roosevelt controlled the progressive movement, which tried to stop economic and political that undermined equality of opppertunity. His comitment to racial equlaity led him to invite American educator Booker T. Washington to dinner at the White House in 1901. This was the first time an African American had dinner at the White House. Roosevelts purpose of this was to have people start having social equlaity, the south supported him on this one. Him doing the led to stopping racism just about completly.