The Progressive Era's Presidents

Roosevelt, Taft, and Woodrow Wilson

Theodore Roosevelt

Biography

Theodore Roosevelt was born to wealthy parents in New York City on October 27, 1858. As a child, he was given the nickname "Teedie," which later became "Teddy." He then went to Harvard and then Columbia University Law School, which he left after one year to enter public service. Teddy then was elected into the New York State Assembly for two terms. Soon, however, both his wife and mother died on the exact same day. To help Teddy deal with his own grief, he spent two years driving cattle and hunting. Later, Theodore would be named the assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy by William McKinley. When the Spanish-American War began, Theodore left this position to become colonel of the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, also known as "The Rough Riders." Theodore then returned to the United States, declared a war hero. Roosevelt, eventually, became McKinley's running mate. McKinley was elected, but, soon into his presidency, McKinley was shot, dying eight days later. Thus, Roosevelt was named president. After this presidency, he threw most of his support behind William Howard Taft, who was then named the next president. Later, though, Roosevelt felt unhappy with Taft, and would campaign against him in the 1912 election. Roosevelt had one of the most successful third party campaigns in American history. He died in his sleep on January 6, 1919.

Report Card

Leadership - A

Roosevelt managed to become a war hero. He was also capable of convincing Americans to vote for Taft, whom Roosevelt originally supported. Roosevelt, his his Bull Moose Party, managed to run one of the most powerful third party campaigns in American history.


Organization - B

Roosevelt was deemed a "trust-buster." He also facilitated the construction of the Panama Canal.


Professionalism - B

The public admired Theodore Roosevelt, but he wasn't considered the conventional president of his time.


Contributions - B

Roosevelt's policies would affect the development of America and Latin American countries to this day with his idea that America should police the entire hemisphere.

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

William Howard Taft

Biography

Taft, born on September 15, 1857, would attend Yale University, and then would study law at the University of Cincinnati. In 1890, he became the U.S. solicitor general, and would then serve as a judge on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. President McKinley would then appoint Taft in the task of setting up a civilian government in the Philippines. Taft would be offered a position on the U.S. Supreme Court by president Roosevelt, but he declined this to remain in the Philippines. Taft was then Roosevelt's secretary of war. Taft was heavily promoted by Roosevelt in Taft's race to the presidency, but Taft disliked campaigning. Taft pledged to continue Roosevelt's work, and won the election. Over the course of Taft's presidency, Roosevelt would become increasingly dissatisfied with Taft, and would then run against him in his own party. Taft would lose the next election to Woodrow Wilson. Taft would teach law later in life, and died of heart disease complications on March 8, 1930.

Report Card

Leadership - C

Taft was not nearly as well-received as Roosevelt. In fact, Roosevelt was so unhappy with his poor leadership that he formed a rival party against him.


Organization - B+

Taft was a major trust-buster, breaking twice as many as Roosevelt. He also gave America direct election of senators.


Professionalism - C+

Taft was not known for being great at speeches, and did not have the same level of energy that Roosevelt had.


Contributions - B

Taft created the direct election of senators, which is still in place today.

#27 William Howard Taft

Woodrow Wilson

Biography

Thomas "Tommy" Woodrow Wilson was born on December 28, 1856. Wilson graduated from Princeton University and then attended law school at the University of Virginia. He then taught at Bryn Mawr College and Wesleyan College. Later Wilson would be elected governor of New Jersey, and, eventually, he would be nominated as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate. With the Republicans divided, Wilson managed to become president. When World War I eventually broke out, Wilson tried to keep the United States neutral. Wilson would then win a second election with the slogan "He kept us out of war." However, after relentless, unrestricted submarine warfare, Wilson decided that America would need to join the war. The United States would side with the Allies. After his presidential career, Wilson would establish a law firm. His poor health, however, would keep him from working. He died on February 3, 1924.

Report Card

Leadership - B

Wilson managed to keep America out of World War I, but changed his policies in his second term.


Organization - B+

Wilson managed to pass child labor laws. Wilson also helped to negotiate the Treaty Of Versailles. He also helped to pass the 19th Amendment.


Professionalism - B

Wilson managed to be liked by the public, but often could not compromise with Republicans.


Contributions - B

Wilson brought America into World War I, which would contribute to the outcome of the war. Wilson also helped to pass the 19th Amendment, which allowed women to vote.

#28 Woodrow Wilson