Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement Essay

This essay has a total of 679 words and 4 pages.

Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement



Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement


Progressivism was a period of American history in which improving working conditions,
improving the way of life, exposing corruption, expanding democracy and making reforms
were the issues of this period. Also, the expansion of the federal government’s powers,
competition and economic distribution of wealth, and the social welfare of American
citizens concerned many leaders during this time. During the Progressive Era business had
a great influence on politics. They almost went hand in hand. However, the leading
progressive political figures, Roosevelt, and Wilson were out to change things. Not only
did the two leaders bring about new heights for government regulation, but they also set
the standards for political intervention. Theodore Roosevelt was known as the "trust
buster" and that is exactly what he did to help control big business. Roosevelt went in to
these companies and helped to stop this type of monopoly. Roosevelt was also a big
supporter of labor he tried almost everything and anything to help the citizens of the
United States. President Wilson also tried to help and improve the conditions for workers
he did this by adding the income tax. This really helped the poor because they were taxed
less than big business men were. Wilson helped the economy by instituting a Federal
Reserve Bank. All national banks were required to join this system. This bank system made
a compromise between private and public control. Wilson also added a tariff called the
Underwood Tariff, which lowered the price on imported goods.


Although, Wilson accomplished many progressive oriented things during is presidency. The
more progressive of the two is Teddy Roosevelt who accomplished many things during his
four years in office. His accomplishments helped to pave the way for other progressive
leaders such as Taft and Wilson. He had goals and appeared to have been very determined to
accomplish them. Roosevelt brought new meaning to government regulation. In the Anti-Trust
policy of 1902 Roosevelt pledged government intervention to break up illegal monopolies
and regulate corporations for the public good. Roosevelt felt that many trusts threatened
competition and many markets. So in order to restore free competition, President Roosevelt
ordered the Justice department to prosecute the companies practicing a monopolies. He in
intervened in 1902 during the Anthracite Coal, Strike, when the United Mine Workers were
willing to make a settlement, but the coal operators stubbornly opposed to recognize their
union. Roosevelt stepped in and ended the strike; he appointed a commission to rule on the
issues. Roosevelt also viewed the railroads as a problem and in 1903 the Elkins Act
empowered the Interstate Commerce Commission to set its own fair freight rates. This did
very little to end the biased rebates that were given to favored corporations by the
railroads because of the lack of enforcement but was valiant effort put forth by President
Roosevelt.

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