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Progressives Dbq Essay

1334 words - 6 pages

Roosevelt and Wilson were both strong believers in Progressivism. The Progressive movement was time of eliminating corruption and reform. Roosevelt wanted a stronger central government to help the people. He used his position as president as a “bully pulpit”, in that he would influence public opinion through his popularity. Roosevelt often took a more aggressive approach to domestic policy in that he would go against the Old Guard Republicans, whereas Wilson was one to speak directly in front of congress in order to gain their support. Roosevelt became president towards the beginning of the progressive movement, and so he had a harder time trying make reforms than Wilson did. Also, by telling the public that he was only going to run one term, his chances of running for a second term was greatly diminished, which is one of the reasons why Wilson came ahead in the election of 1912. Roosevelt promoted New Nationalism, while Wilson promoted New Freedom. They were very popular presidents in the eyes of the American people. Especially Roosevelt, who liked to vocalize his opinions and open up his private life to them. Throughout the early 1900s, Roosevelt and Wilson both were leaders in the progressive movement, with their own spin on how it should be done. The two presidents altered labor and large businesses, civil rights, and ultimately the role of the federal government.
To begin with, Roosevelt made many important modifications to the way the government should be run. Roosevelt’s major plan to help America was his “Square Deal.” Roosevelt was a big believer in compromise, and he believed that the square deal would help compromise power between workers and their employers. This outlined consumer protection, control of corporations, and conservation. For consumer protection, he created the Meat Inspection and Pure Food and Drug Act. He agreed with muckrakers, especially Upton Sinclair’s book The Jungle. This inspired him to create the Meat Inspection Act. He was a progressive in that he wanted to set standards for consumer rights. Another one of these changes was his policy on labor. After the start of corporations, the federal government chose to follow the laissez - faire ideology and leave big businesses alone. However, after the addition of labor unions, the government sided more with corporations. They eventually tried to use the Sherman Antitrust Act to break up certain unions and have their leaders arrested. Teddy Roosevelt put labor into an entirely different perspective. He felt sympathy toward workers with unfair conditions, and he felt that it was the employer’s responsibility for the safety of their employees. Moreover, in the Coal Strike of 1902, Roosevelt threatened to send troops to take control of the mines unless the employers were willing to compromise (Doc A). Roosevelt eventually used the same antitrust act to break up unfair trusts. He knew that certain trusts were essential to the benefit of the...

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