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Root, Elihu

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Definition: Root, Elihu from

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

, Elihu 1845–1937.


American lawyer and public official who served as US secretary of war (1899–1904), secretary of state (1905–1909), and senator from New York (1909–1915). He won the 1912 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in international law.

Summary Article: Root, Elihu from The Columbia Encyclopedia
Root, Elihu, 1845-1937, American cabinet member and diplomat, b. Clinton, N.Y. Admitted to the bar in 1867, he practiced law in New York City, became prominent in Republican politics, and was appointed (1883) U.S. attorney of the southern district of New York. He soon returned (1885) to his private practice, in which he gained distinction as a corporation lawyer. As U.S. Secretary of War (1899-1904) under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, Root improved the efficiency of the War Dept., made drastic reforms in the organization of the army, introduced the principle of the general staff, and established the Army War College. He helped direct U.S. policy in the areas acquired as a result of the Spanish-American War and was largely responsible for the Platt Amendment (see under Platt, Orville Hitchcock) regarding Cuba. He also fostered the establishment of civilian governments in Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Root...    Continue Reading
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