Progressive Presidents

a comparison of three presidents

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt (also know as Teddy Roosevelt) was born on October 27, 1858 in New York City. After graduating from Harvard college, he enrolled himself into law school. Instead of staying at law school, he joined the New York State Assembly as a representative and later became New York governor. He became vice president under William McKinley and then became president in 1901. Roosevelt was a conservationist that fought for reform, a hunter that formed the Antiquities act, a trust buster, and the greatest political force.

Teddy Roosevelt died on January 6, 1919.


Leadership A

Theodore Roosevelt was admired by many Americans. He became president in 1901 and was reelected in 1904. His reelection shows that many people believed in him and followed his lead. They trusted him enough to elect him for a second term, to lead their country once again.

Organization A

Roosevelt accomplished a great deal of things while in office. Some of these things are :

SQUARE DEAL- The square deal was Roosevelt's idea creating a fair deal for all sides (labor/management, consumer/business, and conservation). This included fighting large trusts that threatened trade. In 1902, he won a lawsuit against the North Securities Company and other big companies making him the first "trust buster" president.

The Sherman Anti-Trust Act was passed in 1890 to prohibit trusts.

DRUG AND FOOD ACT: Act banning the manufacture, transport, and/or sale of

un-inspected food/drugs. The Meat Inspection Act (1906) was also passed for the inspection of meat before sale.

FOREIGN POLICY- Teddy believed that the United States should "speak softly and carry a big stick" in international affairs. He followed this policy mostly when dealing with Latin America. In 1903, he helped Panama secede from Columbia which helped the construction of the Panama Canal. The following year after multiple European countries tried collecting debts on Latin American countries, he added a "corollary" to the Monroe Doctrine. It stated that the US would ensure that countries would pay their debts.

CONSERVATIONISM- Roosevelt used his executive power to conserve. In 1902 the National Reclamation Act was passed for irrigation projects in the west. Another act that was passed was the Antiquities Act. The Act protected any natural resources. He also set aside almost 200 million acres of land for reserves, national forests, and wildlife.

BUSINESS REGULATIONS- Roosevelt learned valuable lessons for working people and he never forgot them. He did a lot during his presidency to help people. Yet, he defended big businesses and their right to exist. He wanted it to to be fair for everyone though. Businesses were growing and he tried his best to make it fair. Unfair trusts were being broken and working conditions were being improved. He created a Bureau of Corporations to regulate big businesses. He sued more than 40 corporations in his presidency.

Professionalism A

Roosevelt always made sure he was doing something for the good of the country. He was known as the president that "kept congress busy". Politicians usually disliked him for his personality and ego, but the public loved him as a president. The public believed that no one loved being president more than him. He liked to listen to the people and do things that contributed everyone.

Contributions A

Roosevelt also left a pretty big impact on our nation and its history. He is most known the things he did while in presidency. He used most of his executive power for conservation. He made sure resources were saved for future generations.

Another thing he was known for was being the first president to win the Nobel Peace Prize. His negotiations that ended the Russo-Japanese War helped him earn the prize.

He also helped expand the US Navy. The Navy was sent around the world showing that the United States had "world power". By 1904, the Navy was the 5th largest in the world.

Since Roosevelt became president because of McKinley's early death, he was the first person to be reelected after a presidency's death in office.

The History of Theodore [Teddy] Roosevelt - A Short Story

William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft was born on October 15, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1900, President McKinley sent him to the Philippines as Chief Civil Administrator. In 1904, he came back to be Roosevelt's secretary of war. After Roosevelt pledged not to run a third term, he made Taft his successor. He then became the 27th president in 1909. Wilson lacked a view of presidential power, he was more successful as an administrator than a politician. In 1921, Taft was appointed chief justice of Supreme Court.

Taft died on March 8, 1930.


Leadership D

Taft had an easy election in 1908 because of the popularity of Roosevelt's past presidency. Although the victory was easy, the rest of his presidency was not as simple. He was much lazier and did not have the commitment like Roosevelt. Not using his presidential power to his full extent caused him to loose support of supporters, opponents, and the majority of republicans in Congress. They did not believe in him as much as they believed in Roosevelt. Taft left office in 1913 because he was defeated by Woodrow Wilson.

Organization B

President Taft got a quite of few things accomplished while in office.

TRUST BUSTING- Most people do not know that Taft broke up more trusts in his four years then Theodore Roosevelt in 8 years. His intent was to "provide more efficient administration for reform policies." His two most famous Anti-trust cases were the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey and the American Tobacco Company. He also won a lawsuit against the American Sugar Refining Company (sugar trusts raised prices). When he went to break up the US Steel Company, Roosevelt blamed him for not knowing the difference in good and bad trusts. So by 1911, Taft backed away from his anti-trust efforts.

SOCIAL AND GOVERNMENT REFORMS- Taft wanted to to improve many thing sin the nation. He showed Congress how to save energy, time, and money. He improved the system of collecting custom duties, cut military appropriations, reduced federal spending, stopped the pork-barrel legislation, and improved social welfare programs.

DOLLAR DIPLOMACY- The Dollar Diplomacy encouraged investments and negotiations in South & Central Americas, the Caribbean, and the far east (China). Taft used government officials to promote sale of American Products overseas. His effort for designing a new look for the US and its foreign policies failed. China declined trade with the US and the Americas were furious with new interventions. This created the Pan-American conference. The Pan-American conference was to impose restrictions on US intervention, penetration, and influence.

INCOME TAX- He also imposed a income tax to the US. This raised the revenue to mare than 13 million dollars.

CIVIL RIGHTS- Taft supported Booker T Washington in "uplifting" African American people in the nation. He did this by endorsing free immigration and putting a veto on the law imposing unskilled laborers to take a literacy test.

Professionalism D

Taft was not into using his executive power to help improve the nation. He lost many supporters and opponents during his presidency. Many people said that he was a below average president and could of done more for the US.

It was very hard for Taft to meet the people's expectations of being like Roosevelt. He had so much stress about it that his large appetite increased. He gained up to 350 pounds. This caused people in the US and around the world to make fun of him. Many did not believe he was taking his job as seriously as he could.

Contributions D

President Taft did not leave a huge impact on the nation but he was known for many things.

The first thing he was known for was his big size. He was almost six feet tall and weighed over 350 pounds.

He was known as the president of many "firsts". Taft was the first president with an automobile, first to work inside the Oval Office, played golf as a hobby, threw the first pitch at a baseball game, and the last American president to have facial hair.

Taft was also the first person to serve both as President and Supreme Chief Justice.

William Howard Taft | 60-Second Presidents | PBS

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson was born on December 28, 1856 in Staunton, Virginia. He graduated from Princeton University in 1879 and went onto law school after. In 1910, he was elected governor of New Jersey and he earned national attention for being a progressive reformer. In 1912, he was nominated for presidency and gained more than 42% of the votes. He became president in March 1913. Wilson achieved great progressive reform, child labor laws, and eight hour work days. He also led the United States through World War I. In 1916. he was re-elected for a second term. He helped form the League of Nations and pass the 18th & 19th amendments.

Woodrow Wilson died on February 3. 1924.


Leadership A

Woodrow Wilson was a great president and many followed his lead. His is often ranked as one of the greatest presidents in the progressive reform. His reelection in 1916 shows that many people believed in him. Most followed his lead because he kept them out of war in his first administration. He inspired many for years to come.

Organization A

President Wilson accomplished a lot while in office.


TARIFF REDUCTION: Wilson wanted to reduce tariffs on imported goods in the nation. He claimed tariffs created monopolies and hurt the people.

The Underwood Simmons Tariff Act was passed in 1913 to help reduce tariffs. It made it manufacturing more efficient and provided companies with competing prices. It also created a an income tax to help raise lost revenue. This helped encourage the import of materials/goods and to lower the cost of living. This was short lived because of the outbreak of WWI.

BANKING REFORM: After settling the tariffs issue, Wilson tackled banking reform. Since the civil war democrats wanted a more flexible money supply and system. By the 20th century, businessmen and bankers also began to demand reform. In response, Wilson pushed for the Federal Reserve Act (1913). The Federal Reserve Act put banking systems under supervision. It set up 12 regional reserve banks that could control interest rates and the country's money supply.

ANTITRUST LAWS: More antitrust acts were passed in Wilson's presidency. He fully supported the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914. This act excluded laborers and farmers from antitrust prosecution under the Sherman Antitrust Act. It also banned some antitrust business practices like price fixing.

At the same time, the Federal Trade Commission Act was passed. It enforced antitrust laws and prevented unlawful business practices.

SUFFRAGE- American woman wanted the right to vote in the US. Up to that time only men were allowed to vote. They had many strikes and organizations to help them achieve their goal. In 1920, Wilson helped push congress to pass the 19th amendment. The 19th amendment allowed all women in every state to vote.

ERA OF PROHIBITION- In his second administration, prohibition was the new era. The 18th amendment was passed to ban the manufacture, sale, or transport of alcohol. Wilson tried to veto the Volstead Act to enforce the 18th amendment but his veto was overrid by Congress.The prohibition lasted until 1933.


WWI: President Wilson's second administration was overtook by WWI. He tried hard to keep the US neutral in the war. He declared war on Germany in 1917 when the US got serious threats from them. America helped bring out victory for allies. Wilson helped negotiate the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty included a charter for the League of Nations and prevented future international disputes/wars.

MEXICO: The US hoped to make peace and friendship with Latin States by allowing them to conduct their own affairs with out American interference. At the same time Mexico fell into a revolution because a Mexican general declared himself dictator. Wilson told him the US wouldn't stand for it so Mexico started Killing Americans. Instead of going into war, Wilson called in other Latin countries to help. A new government was formed in 1915.

Professionalism A

Wilson's intent was to expand economic opportunity for people at the bottom of society and to eliminate most privileges for powerful people in society.

He helped keep the US together, especially during WWI. He always did what he believed was best for the nation. Many people admired him for idealism that appeared in his presidency and leadership. Wilson also had a lot of self determination. Once he started something, he would finish it. He inspired many Americans and shaped the US for many years later.

Contributions A

Woodrow Wilson had a huge impact on the United States. He is most known for making a strong central government and leading the country through WWI. He is also thanked for child labor laws and the federal reserve.

Many people say that Wilson still has a silent impact today. His ideology was that internationalism and democracy should always be kept and should work together.

Woodrow Wilson | 60-Second Presidents | PBS