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Progressives Dbq Essay

1213 words - 5 pages

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, former presidents of the United States in the early 1900s, have impacted America deeply with their domestic policies. These two presidents had some similar views; however, the vision that these two presidents had were executed differently. Theodore Roosevelt, a progressive and conservationist, believed in creating a powerful nation and assisting the employees in businesses. Woodrow Wilson, a progressive and idealist, believed in trying to make the world a peaceful place. After Roosevelt’s term, William Howard Taft was president for one term. After that term in the Election of 1912, the Republican party split into the Progressive party and the Republican Party due to both, Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft respectively, wanting to run for office. Due to this party split, the Republicans lost the election to the Democrats (Doc E). This led to Woodrow Wilson winning the Election of 1912. These men had great aspirations for their nation, and their domestic policies on Progressive reform helped affect the government’s role in American lives.
President Roosevelt worked towards many different objectives throughout his 8 years of presidency. He believed in the social justice and economic opportunity of the people. For this reason, he committed himself and the government to trying to regulate big businesses and being in favor of the workers after being elected president (Doc A). One example of this taking place would be the Coal Strike of 1902. During this strike, workers demanded shorter work days, higher wages, and recognition of the union. When the coal company failed to meet the workers’ demands, the government was forced to intervene to avoid the risk of a coal shortage for the winter. The government threatened to send in troops to the coal mines to operate the mines and work, that placed both, the coal mine and workers, in risk of losing money. After a settlement was made through an arbitrator, the workers returned to their jobs.
Nevertheless, he liked the idea of the regulating trusts. At heart, however, he was a trust buster (Doc D). He believed that by regulating trusts and big businesses, the welfare of society would be protected. For this reason, he labeled different trusts, “Good trust” and “Bad trust.” Good trusts would create competition, which would lead to lower prices. Bad trusts, on the other hand, would create less competition and lead to higher prices. In Northern Securities Company v United States (1903), Roosevelt sued the company under the Sherman Anti-trust Act of 1890, which opposes companies that would cause a decline in competition such as monopolies. The company was, later, dismantled after the investors for this company lost the lawsuit. Roosevelt believed in something called, “New Nationalism.” This belief emphasized the need to regulate big businesses to avoid monopolies. Woodrow Wilson, however, believed in “New Freedom,” which is a belief that big businesses should be eradicated...

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