Remarks in Newport, New Hampshire

August 29, 1902

It has been to me a very great pleasure to visit your State, and above all, to meet your people. Your town here is a curiously exact production of America as a whole. You have manufactories in your town—shoes, linen, underwear. You have hay and stock farms outside, and you, therefore, have in this community the farmer and the towns man, the employer and the wage worker. You have all the component parts that go to make up the entire American body politic. In your four or five thousand citizens in the town and adjacent neighborhood, the representatives of whom I am addressing, you have produced all the essential types of all our people among our eighty million inhabitants of the nation as a whole.

We are going to get good government, square and fair dealing between man and man in the nation at large, by the application of exactly the same principles which you find it necessary to apply in order to get good government and decent living here. There is no royal road to good government any more than there is a royal road to learning. You can give a child every advantage, give him books and the teachers, but he has got to learn, he has got to do that himself, and it is the same way with citizenship. You can frame laws and have a good constitution, and after all has been done that you can do in that way you have accomplished simply the creating of conditions which render it possible to have good citizenship. The good citizenship has to come from the people themselves.

Theodore Roosevelt, Remarks in Newport, New Hampshire Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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