written 1899, by Teddy Roosevelt- An individual who puts great effort into his work and is not lazy, he claims, will be a success. It is the duty of someone who does not engage in manual labor for a living to devote himself to the arts or sciences. He uses the citizens of Chicago and Illinois as examples of people who embody such a spirit. Those who do not embrace the strenuous life, however, do not live meaningful lives.
As the speech continues, Roosevelt claims that the strenuous life can benefit not just the individual, but also the entire country. He advocates imperialism as an extension of the strenuous life. America must become involved in global affairs, or else it will suffer as a nation. America must be a powerful country, and it must exert this power if it sees fit. Such strength necessarily requires a strong military, and a strong military presence. Roosevelt's concluding words tie together the importance of the strenuous life in the individual and the nation.