Progressive Presidents

By: Amanda Kapp

Theodore Roosevelt

He was born on October 27, 1858 in Manhattan, New York. Teddy became the 26th President of the United States. The Republicans did not want him as president so they gave him the opportunity to run as vice president to McKinley. When McKinley was assassinated however, Roosevelt became the president. He was a sickly child which made him all the more determined to always be doing something when he was president. He led the nation into the Progressive Era with new ideas for the nation. Teddy was loved by the people.

Report Card

Leadership- A+ Roosevelt was loved by the people and they were willing to listen to him. His Square Deal was formed and benefited the middle class. It focused on conservation of natural resources, control of corporations, and consumer protection. This deal focused heavily on helping the general population. Roosevelt gained a great amount of support due to his efforts to break up industrial combinations under the Sherman Antitrust Act which gained him the title “trust buster”.

Organization- A. Roosevelt knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish while in office. He wanted America to become stronger and a world power. He expanded the navy then. His main idea with foreign policy was to speak softly and carry a big stick. He used this in helping Panama secede from Columbia and in turn giving us a canal zone. Roosevelt’s Corollary helped him succeed in the whole Panama crisis. His Corollary stated that the U.S. would keep foreign interventions from happening in Latin America and the U.S. would be the police and make sure the countries paid their international debts. Roosevelt wanted to make the nation more conservative so he granted America millions of acres of land for parks.

Professionalism- A. Roosevelt was able to diplomatically break up large industries that held too much power. Roosevelt was able to start construction of the Panama Canal. He was able to convince congress to let him start construction, and then he reached a treaty with the new Panama government after the last one was overthrown because of this issue. Roosevelt made a peace treaty to end the Russo-Japanese War which showed he had to be professional to end that.

Contributions- A. Roosevelt, being the conservationist he was, had 200 million acres for national forests, reserves, and wildlife. Roosevelt transformed the U.S. Navy into an international power at sea. He was able to convince Japan to accept our presence in the Philippines. Teddy also helped start the building of the Panama Canal.

William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft was born on September 15, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Taft was a judge in the Ohio Superior Court and in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals before becoming the first Civilian Governor of the Philippines in 1900. William Howard Taft became the 27th president and won an easy victory in 1908 due to Teddy’s help. Taft was Roosevelt’s Secretary of War to make him into a great successor. He was not a successful politician but he was a successful administrator.

Report Card

Leadership- C+. Taft did not let African Americans be appointed to positions that could cause race friction. Taft changed most of the cabinet and only kept two previous people. He broke his promise to one man to make him Secretary of War. Taft was not as loved as Roosevelt by the people because Taft was not firm in his word and did not think of repercussions.

Organization- C. Taft was organized in the sense that he knew what he wanted to accomplish. He wanted to emphasize trust busting, civil service reforms, strengthen the Interstate Commerce Commission, improve postal service, pass the Sixteenth Amendment, make a federal income tax, and overseas to use the Dollar Diplomacy. The Dollar Diplomacy was guaranteeing loans made to Latin American countries. This supported American bankers to find new opportunities abroad. Trust busting continued to take place and monopolies were broken up.

Professionalism- D. Taft was oblivious about the fact most of his decisions lost him all political support. Taft did not make professional decisions that looked at all of the facts surrounding the decisions. He listened to his family's decisions more than his own opinions.

Contributions- B-. Taft promoted the Dollar Diplomacy. He also made sure the U.S. protected other countries while they were in rebellion (to keep new opportunities available). He broke up trusts that were becoming too great. He passed the Sixteenth Amendment. Taft did make contributions as president.
#27 William Howard Taft

Woodrow Wilson

Wilson was born on December 28, 1856 in Staunton, Virginia. Woodrow Wilson became the 28th President of the United States in 1913. He was a member of the Democratic Party. Wilson worked heavily on passing progressive legislation policies which included reintroducing income tax and lowering tariffs. Wilson was able to keep us neutral with the beginning of WWI in 1914, but at the same time he was able to be more aggressive with Mexico’s civil war. When the U.S. did enter WWI, Wilson focused more on the diplomacy and financial problems and left all the military strategy to the experts. Wilson helped negotiate a peace treaty and the formation of a League of Nations.

Report Card

Leadership- A. Wilson was one of the smartest presidents. Most of Wilson’s support in winning the election came from young progressives. Wilson took 41% of the popular vote and a huge majority of the electoral votes. When Wilson was campaigning he also talked about a New Freedom Reform. He focused on this idea once he became president. The New Freedom talked about tariff reform, which was done under the Underwood Tariff Act of 1913 which lowered the tariffs. In 1914 the Federal Trade Act was passed along with the Clayton Antitrust Act which helped crack down on illegal business practices. The other part of this New Freedom was the Banking Reform which was done in 1913 by the Federal Reserve System and the creation of the Federal Farm Loan Act in 1916.

Organization- A-. Wilson knew what he needed to accomplish. He took his idea of the New Freedom and passed acts to fulfill the changes he knew needed to take place. He helped fix tariff, trust, and money issues. He was able to keep America out of the war until 1917. Once we entered the war, he made the Selective Service Act to help the U.S. ensure we had enough men in the military. Wilson focused on the issues he saw as important and fixed them in an orderly manner. For example, he passed the Nineteenth Amendment, finally giving women the right to vote and ending women’s suffrage.

Professionalism- B. Wilson was professional because he was able to get his ideas out into the open and get his points across. He attempted to start the League of Nations. With the Mexican Revolution, Wilson first withdrew diplomatic recognition. He did not immediately jump into using force to get them to listen. Once he removed the embargo of arms shipment, he realized this approach wasn’t working. Then he used force to try and take care of the issue in Mexico. Wilson tried to make peace with the Allies and Central Powers. He was able to get the Germans to stop unrestricted warfare for a time without us entering the war. However, once the Zimmerman telegram came to Wilson, he knew we needed to enter the war. Wilson was able to build up the army and send troops to France to help end the war.

Contributions- A. Wilson kept us out of WWI for a good amount of time. He passed many acts such as the Selective Service Act, Federal Reserve Act, and the Clayton Antitrust Act. He passed the Nineteenth Amendment. Wilson was able to help all different aspects of America. Wilson knew what he wanted to fix and change and he put his best effort forward and helped change the tariffs, banking system, and helped make businesses less corrupt.