Thursday, December 01, 2005

Teddy Roosevelt on Motherhood

I'm currently reading through So Much More, by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin. So far I am quite enjoying it. I found the following quote from the book, by Teddy Roosevelt, to be quite interesting. Truly he believed that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Hard to imagine a modern-day president giving a similar speech.

In 1905, when President Theodore Roosevelt addressed the nation on the
importance of motherhood, he revealed a mature understanding of the biblical

No piled-up wealth, no splendor of material growth, no brilliance of artistic development, will permanently avail any people unless its home life is healthy. . . unless the average woman is a good wife, a good mother, able and willing to perform the first and greatest duty of womanhood, able and willing to bear, and to bring up as they should be brought up, healthy children, sound in body, mind, and character, and numerous enough so that the race shall increase and not decrease.

There are certain old truths which will be true as long as this world endures, and which no amount of progress can alter. One of these is the truth that the primary duty of the husband is to be the home-maker, the breadwinner for his wife and children, and that the primary duty of the woman is to be the helpmate, the housewife, and mother. . .

Into the woman's keeping is committed the destiny of the generations to come after us. . . The woman's task is not easy - no task worth doing is easy - but in doing it, and when has done it, there shall come to her the highest and holiest joy known to mankind; and having done it, she shall have the reward prophesied in Scripture; for her husband and her children, yes, and all people who realize that her work lies at the foundation of all happiness and greatness, shall rise up and call her blessed.


Mrs.B. said...

Good Post!!! Liked it a lot! (o:

Jessie said...

A wonderful comment. I love it.
I'll try to e-mail you tonight or tomorrow!

Helen said...

That's a really good speech! I laughed at his injunction that mothers ought to raise enough children for the race to increase. We've seen a coule of TV programs recently bemoaning the declining population of Europe. Strange thing is that nobody seems to see that the obvious answer to the problem is for the women to be encouraged to stay home - not for more child-care options to become available.

Susan said...

Funny you should mentioned that particular part. I thought that bit about children "numerous enough to make the reace increase, not decrease" was the most interesting part of the speech. How times have changed. . .

For all those waiting as I have been, the Ladies Against Feminism website is up and running again :). In light of Roosevelt's above comment, I found the following article, just linked from LAF, quite interesting:

Susan said...

tag on .pdf to my link

Why do links never copy well into blogger comments?