The Duties of American Citizenship

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In this speech, a young Theodore Roosevelt describes what he believes are the key principles to good citizenship. In addition to emphasizing ethical behavior, Roosevelt takes a firm stance on the necessity of engaging in politics and voting. He states unflinchingly, “The people who say that they have not time to attend to politics are simply saying that they are unfit to live in a free community.” To be “a good American citizen,” Roosevelt says one must boldly engage with the issues our nation faces today, and in doing so, shape its future.