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Theodore Roosevelt And The Progressive Era

1476 words - 6 pages

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in the early 1900s? The turn of the century left Americans feeling more optimistic about life (Woog 4). People were honest and kind (Woog 5). The 1900s can be remembered as a happy time, but also a time of hardship for some Americans (Woog 5). Theodore Roosevelt, President 1901-1910, guided America in a way in which he created laws to help the social and economic problems of the time as well as improving politics by being a strong leader and recognizing the true needs of the country.
Social problems of the 1900s included conservation of wildlife and forest, the creation national monuments, immigration, and child labor. President Roosevelt firmly believed that America’s forest should be preserved and cared for (Kelley 66). President Roosevelt once said, "We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune." ("Theodore Roosevelt and Conservation") Meaning we should care for nature and wildlife, because it is a gift to us. He still hunted and was often put down for it (Kelley 68). One time he refused to shoot an elderly bear and later a stuffed bear toy was developed and named after him as the “Teddy Bear.” (Kelley 68). The National Conservation Commission was formed as a result of a conservation conference in May 1908(Kelley 69). President Roosevelt is also responsible for creating 18 national monuments, one being the Grand Canyon, which was declared a national monument on January 11, 1908 ("Miller Center"). America also saw a record number of immigrants from 1900-1910. Around 8,796,000 people immigrated to America in search of “the American Dream.” (Woog 32). This brought new languages, customs, foods, and religions to America (Woog 32). Progressive reformers were interested and intent on helping new people learn the “American way of life.” Throughout the 1900s, child labor was also a huge dilemma. Many young children were working in unsafe and poor conditions. States worked on establishing a law that put a minimum age of when children could work and also for how long ("Political and Social Reforms"). Throughout the many different problems and solutions America has become a stronger and more united country.
The economy during the 1900s was booming compared to rival European countries, but poor working conditions and low wages troubled many Americans (Mabry; Woog 4). Due to the vast amount of immigration during the time there were a lot of available people to work jobs for low wages (Woog 49). This gave business owners the opportunity to give them as little money as possible sometimes barely enough to feed their family. There was not a minimum wage set, so you could pay as little as you wanted (Woog 48). In addition to already low wages came long work hours (Woog 49). The average American for a one week period would work anywhere from 60-70 hours (Woog 49). Workers, in...

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