Progressive Era Presidents
Biography of Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858, in New York City, New York. He is known for his foreign policy, corporate reforms, and ecological preservation. Roosevelt's family owned a very successful plate-glass business when he was a child. Teddy's education consisted of Columbia Law School and Harvard College. Roosevelt was the governor of New York before becoming the US vice president. He, also, became the youngest man to become the president at age 42 when McKinley was assassinated in 1901. Become of extreme popularity, he won a second term in 1904. On January 6, 1919, Theodore Roosevelt died in Cove Neck, New York.
Overall, the nation believed in Theodore Roosevelt and followed his lead for the most part. Theodore Roosevelt believed in fairly representing the people similarly to Andrew Jackson. Once in office, Roosevelt immediately pursued progressive goals such as labor mediation (pro-labor), consumer protection, conservation, and foreign engagement. Roosevelt's platform for reform was called The Square Deal. The Square Deal focused on consumer protection. This gained the respect of many people. He also gained more support from the people when he broke up JP Morgan's Northern Securities Company. He also limited the power of railroads which excited many. However, Theodore supported big businesses because he believed them to stimulate the economy of the nation. He had a Laissez Faire policy with big businesses. The reason Teddy scores an A- is because he, unfortunately, lost some supporters during his presidency. The decision to build the Panama Canal was found to be useless by many citizens at the time. This stops Roosevelt from scoring an A+.
Theodore Roosevelt was able to get a great deal accomplished while in office. The US Forest Service (1905) was created because of Roosevelt's conservation policies. The US Forest Service protected vasts amount of forest and allowed the federal government to lay claim on a land to prevent industrial development. He also passed the Spooner Act (1902) which gave Roosevelt rights to build the Panama Canal even though many people were not confident of the matter or did not see the use of it. He initiated two key laws that are still applicable today in some form. They were the Pure Food and Drug Act (1906) and the Meat Inspection Act (1906). The Pure Food and Drug Act was passed to establish the FDA in order to remove harmful and misrepresented foods and drugs from the market and regulate the manufacture and sale of drugs and food involved in interstate trade. The Meat Inspection Act required the Department of Agriculture to prevent adulterated meat/meat products from being sold as food and to ensure that meat/meat products are slaughtered and processed under sanitary conditions. Theodore enforced the Sherman Antitrust Act against trusts. Lastly, Roosevelt expanded the Monroe Doctrine (1823) with the Roosevelt Corollary which allowed the US to intervene in order to protect the stability of the nations from any European power.
Many people admired Theodore Roosevelt from his revolutionary efforts such as the Rough Riders. Many people supported Roosevelt and his actions. However, Roosevelt was not professional. Roosevelt developed a very vigorous physical routine as a child that contained weightlifting and boxing. These activities were not given up once in office. The White House was always chaotic because of his six children and Roosevelt's encouragement. Roosevelt receives a low B because his appearance was lacking. The President should be composed and formal which was the complete opposite of Roosevelt. He does not get a lower grade because of all of his accomplishments during his presidency.
Theodore Roosevelt left a huge impact on our nation and history. Roosevelt was most known as a "Trust Buster" because he broke up trust. Theodore was responsible for suing JP Morgan's Northern Securities Company in order to prohibit the formation of a monopoly. He ordering the Justice Department to file a lawsuit, and he succeeded. The Supreme Court favored Roosevelt in a 5-4 vote. Our national parks and reservations are because of Roosevelt's conservation efforts. Theodore saved approximately 150 million acres of forest. Theodore also established general foreign policies. He believed in the Big Stick Diplomacy which composed of diplomatic talking, cautious advice, and the violence if necessary. Roosevelt received a high mark because of his lasting contributions to this nation. Even the building of the Panama Canal benefits the nation and others now of which many citizens at the time were against.
Biography of William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on September 15, 1857. Roosevelt endorsed Taft's presidency until Taft made controversial conservatism decisions. Taft was accustomed to politics because he born into a very wealthy and privileged centered family. Taft's education consisted of Yale College and University of Cincinnati College of Law. Taft achieved his biggest aspiration by being appointed Chief Justice in the Supreme Court. Taft is the only person to have served as both a US Chief Justice and US President. On March 8, 1930, William Howard Taft died in Washington, DC.
The nation had trouble following Taft's leadership because they were unconvinced of his efforts. This was shown through Taft's presidency for he also was unconvinced. He was pressured by Roosevelt to campaign in the next presidency. Taft did not have a natural leadership tendency because he never wanted to become president. He didn't was to succeed Roosevelt in the presidency. Taft was often compared to Roosevelt which caused for many people to believe that Taft was a downgrade. Taft accomplished a lot in his presidency, yet he angered many conservationists and Roosevelt in the process. The Ballinger-Pinchot controversy stimulated this because Taft's secretary sells millions of acres of coal-rich land to a private investor. This was against many of the conservationists' beliefs. Taft received a low C because he was not the best leader for the US and had trouble rallying people behind him.
Taft achieved a great deal during his presidency despite being an ineffective leader. William Taft supported a more strict interpretation the Sherman Antitrust Act. He also expanded worker protection which was one of Roosevelt's key point. However, Taft went further to established the Children's Bureau under the Department of Labor. The purpose was to investigate and regulate the intensive labor of children with the goal to protect the well-being of children. For adults, Taft established the 8 hour workday for his government employees. Taft, along with the cooperation of the Justice Department, brought 90 lawsuits against trusts which is double of Roosevelt's efforts. Taft was the biggest trust buster during this era. Many assume that Roosevelt was the biggest trust buster because of his name, yet Taft accomplished more trust busting throughout his presidency. Taft would have scored a high A if it weren't for a slip up in his presidency. Taft wanted to reform the banking system, but an agreement was not finalized so nothing was done any further. Because of this, Taft scores a low A.
The people did not admire Taft, and the public often ridiculed him. Taft was unable to successfully succeed Roosevelt in his presidency. Therefore, he was criticized throughout his presidency despite his accomplishments. The public did not favor Taft and insulted him when possible. For instance, his weight was always an issue so the "stuck in the bath" incident was highly remembered. Taft was not a natural president so he was not social enough with the public. Taft also despised media coverage, so he attempted to avoid them. This led to him becoming depressed and neglect his roles as president. His responsibilities were given to his cabinet frequently because he was not up for the work. He did not embody the US President as others did before him. Taft scores a low mark because he was not able to step up in the eyes of the public and failed to maintain a tone of professionalism during his presidency.
William Taft contributed to the progressive era by stimulating more reforms during his presidency. Taft is most known for establishing the Dollar Diplomacy. The Dollar Diplomacy was a foreign policy that focused on investing money in Latin America. This money investments were loans in order to stimulate the economic power of the US. Taft was also the biggest trust buster in the era. He fought to limit the power of big businesses and to help the working class. He established the 8 hour work system with his government employees. Although Taft has controversies concerning his conservation methods, he still added land to the national forest system. Taft also imposed a corporate income tax which raised national revenue. Taft also supported Booker T. Washington's efforts of helping African American citizens. Taft also endorsed free immigration. William Howard Taft he made many contributions that still has an effect today which is why he received a low A.
Biography of Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia, on December 28, 1856. Wilson is known for his negotiations of the Versailles Treaty, construction of the League of Nations, reforms for the middle class, voting rights for women, and the principle of world peace. Wilson lived in the South during his youth and witnessed the Civil War and is aftermath. His education consisted of Princeton University, Davidson College, Wesleyan University, Bryn Mawr College, Law School of the University of Virginia, and John Hopkins University. Wilson was governor of New Jersey for two years. In 1912, Wilson became the US President with a total of two terms. On February 3, 1924, Woodrow Wilson died in Washington DC.
The nation highly believed in Woodrow Wilson and followed his lead. He is considered one of the greatest president in US history. Woodrow Wilson believed in giving Americans a voice which is the reason he never lost support from the public. Wilson supported the progressive movement and stimulated many reforms. Such reforms were meant to control big businesses and to give the power back to the working class. New Freedom was Wilson's reform program. The public supported Wilson's reform plans to near perfection. His primary goal was to eliminate all trust. He believed that trusts were restricting economic freedom to small businesses and everyday citizens. Reform goals were initiated by using public opinion and stimulating responses from the citizens. Wilson receives a high A mark for his consistent leadership through times of peace and war.
Woodrow Wilson achieved a great deal of things during his presidency. Wilson passed many progressive reforms in his first term in office. Examples of the reforms were reduced tariffs aiding big businesses, the Federal Reserve Act which created a strong, central bank institution, Anti-Trust Acts and Injury Compensation Acts, and lastly passed the 17th (direct election of senators), 18th (prohibition), 18th (suffrage) Amendments.
He passed the Clayton Antitrust Act (1914) through Congress. Wilson supported labor unions, so he allowed for strikes, boycotts, and peaceful picketing. with out Anti-Trust Acts. The Clayton Anti-Trust Act extended the power of the Sherman Antitrust Act by establishing specific guidelines that made it difficult for trust to form and eliminate competition. Wilson created the Federal Trade Commission in order to enforce this act. Congress agreed with Wilson's proposal for a government banking system that was decentralized. So, the Federal Reserve Act (1913) was passed. The Federal Reserve made America's financial system much more stable than before. The Federal Reserve set a precedence. Wilson's effectiveness in office with the amount of bills passed earns him a high A mark.
The people admired Woodrow Wilson. Many citizens support Woodrow Wilson's decisions in office. The ability to get things done appealed many people to Wilson. However, he was not the most devoted president to the people. He usually put his personal health before the nation. Wilson had many health problems. For instance, he suffered from atherosclerosis. circulatory problems, and nervous issues. Wilson's vision also suffered. Wilson was disabled for a period of time during this presidency, and the nation suffered because of this. The Executive Branch malfunctioned during his absence. Wilson had critical health. He was also suffering from his weak immune system and further health issues. Therefore, there was a lack of stability in the White House during his presidency. Wilson earned a C because of his health problems getting in the way of assuming his roles as president. There were moments where his presidency suffered from his illnesses. Yet, the people still loved and supported him.
The president contributed a great deal during his presidency. His efforts still have an effect today, especially women's suffrage. Women are now allowed to vote because of Wilson's efforts for gender equality. Wilson not only convinced Congress to pass this proposition, but also supported prohibition. Wilson also supported the creation of the National Park Service (1916) which coincided with many conversationalists. Wilson signed the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act, which prohibited companies hiring children under age 14. Like Taft, Wilson supported the eight-hour workday. He went to further lengths and secured the 8 hour workday for railroad workers. Before WWI, Wilson had problems with Mexico because of a dictator takeover. Wilson denounced the dictator rule of Huerta. Wilson didn't want to go to work so he asked Argentina, Brazil, and Chile to intervene which was a success. Wilson created the Fourteen Points (1918) which was to be used for peace negotiations after World War I. However, his plan was rejected by the Senate. He attempted to create the League of Nations which was a failure, yet it eventually led to the United Nations in modern day. Wilson's contributions during his presidency earned him a high A mark for he passed a lot of bills and stimulated many reform movements.