Progressive Era Presidents
By Elizabeth Vogt
The Leadership of Roosevelt
The citizens of the United States already knew his name from when he fought in the Spanish-American War. The citizens tended to admire his leadership because he worked in the favor of all people. Roosevelt believed that no individual should control the representatives. He then proposed that the government contained the right to relegate large business's. Roosevelt also showed his leadership in other nations. He confronted both Latin America and the Caribbean and passed the Roosevelt Corollary which also became known as the Monroe Doctrine. The doctrine stated that the United States did not need the interventions of England, along with stating that the United States should intervene in any Latin American economic problems. Roosevelt died in 1919 at his house in Long Island.
Organization of Roosevelt
Roosevelt was very organized in office. As the youngest president to be in office at age 43 he brought a new power. He guided the congress and the American citizens toward progressive reforms, the Three C's, and created a strong foreign policy.Theodore Roosevelt worked with the Sherman Act and forced a dissolution of the railways in the North. He won a Nobel Peace Prize after reaching a Gentlemen's Agreement with Japan over immigration. Roosevelt also worked in conservation. He crated large national parks in the west and fostered great irrigation problems. He ended the dispute over the Alaskan Territory along with creating the first federal bird in 1903.
The citizens of the United States tended to look up to Roosevelt. They knew his name from the time that he was a Governor of New York, and from when he served as Lieutenant Colonel of the Rough Rider Regiment. Roosevelt was the first president whose election was based on personal opinions rather than their political party's. He was one of the most poplar presidential candidates of his time and used his enthusiasm to win votes and shape his ideas.
The Contributions of Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt set up many different foreign affairs. He increased the influence of the United States to make the country a global power. One of his foreign policy's was the establishment of the Panama Canal. The canal shortened the transportation of goods from the United States to other nations by 8,000 miles. He also worked with congress in order to strengthen the Navy. He thought that a stronger Navy would keep enemies away from the United States. He also worked to balance the power in the world. He worked for consumer protection and passed the Federal Meat Expectation Act and the Pure Food Drug Act. Consumer protection fell under the Square Deal along with the conservation of natural resources and the control of the corporations. The three C's, conservation of natural resources, control of corporations, and consumer production all paved the path to the Square Deal. The deal allowed for middle class white men to attack on wanted trusts and protected business from the demands of organized labor.
William Howard Taft
With the help from Theodore Roosevelt, Taft won the election of 1908. He strengthened the Interstate Commerce Commission, passed a civil service reform, helped in trust busting and improved the postal service. Taft did fail his pledge to Roosevelt and he did not keep up the programs and progressive reforms that Roosevelt worked toward during presidency. He sold thousand of acres of land to a private investors for mining. Taft had changed the power that Roosevelt created in the White House. Taft was also not interested in becoming president and enjoyed serving for the courts. It was his wife and his father who pressured him into working for the government and running for president. The lack of passion of becoming president reflected in Taft's presidential power which lead to the loss of support from his own political party along with the nation.
Taft promoted Dollar Diplomacy in the country. The diplomacy involved a coordination of the loans to help aid foreign country's in economic development. These country's included Latin America and Asian nations. He strengthened the Interstate Commerce Commission to help negotiate the rates of the railways, along with undertaking a post office reform and continued trust busting. Taft passed the Sixteenth Amendment which allowed for the federal government to have the right to tax income in the states. Also he worked in trade with foreign country's. Taft passed the Payne- Aldrich Tariff Act which raised tariffs on goods that entered the United States.
Professionalism of Taft
Taft was pressured into becoming president and showed that he was not really interested in the position. Taft did, however, make several contributions to improve foreign affairs and he kept busting trusts. In his four years as president he had doubled the amount of trusts busted compared to Roosevelt who was in office for eight years. The nation was not that amused with Taft, and even his own party split forming a new progressive party. The splitting of the party paved the way for a democratic president. His relationship with the former president Roosevelt even fell apart. Roosevelt was not happy with the decisions he was making while in office.
While in office Taft did but more trusts than Roosevelt. Taft opened up new global markets for trade and raised import tariffs and lowered exports. He had passed the Sixteenth Amendment which allowed for an income tax of the states. He improved the post office and passed a civil service reform. He also strengthened the Interstate Commerce Commission. Taft is known as being the only president who has ever served on the Supreme Court.
Leadership of Wilson
Once in the White House, Wilson managed to pass significant progressive reforms. The Underwood- Simmons Act was passed, which lowered the tariff on imports and imposed a new income tax. The Act also allowed for the creation of Federal Reserve and the trade Commission. Wilson also enforced child labor laws along with governmental loans to the working farmers and eight hour days to those who worked on the railways. Wilson was looked up upon by the nation especially during the time of World War One. Wilson attempted to keep the country out of war and did so for almost three years. He asked congress for a delectation of war after a Zimmerman telegram to Mexico, and the Untied States declared war on Germany.
Wilson accomplished a lot during his two terms as president despite the war. He passed the Underwood- Simmons Act along with creating a Federal Reserve and a Trade Commission. Wilson also passed the Clayton Antitrust Act to help regulated the number of trusts in the country. It named some business tactics illegal and declared that strikes, boycotts, and picketing was to be legal. He lent his support for the women suffragist and fought for their behalf. He wrote letters and gave speech on the event and he got congress to pass the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. After declaring war in 1917, he spread democracy, opened global markets, and created international organization to keep the peace.
The citizens of America tended to admire Wilson because of his contributions and how he tried to keep the country out of war. Wilson handled events that he faced in the White House well. When the Mexican government was overthrown by General Huerta who wanted to be a dictator, and a small group of American sailors was captured Wilson responded to this threat with force. He sent in the Marines to occupy Mexico's main port at sea. The conflict was resolved in 1915 and a new Mexican government was formed.
Wilson had many significant contributions during his presidency. He stood with the women suffragists and helped them pave a path towered the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. He helped improve the problem of child labor, and shortened the working hours for the railroad workers. He was also able to get congress to pass important acts that helped the common person. The public followed his lead into a banking reform, tariff reductions and antitrust laws, which helped both the farmers and small business owners. He worked largely in foreign affairs and helped Mexico regain it government and he maintained trade. When other country's went to war Wilson kept the United states out of it for almost three years then he had congress declare war on Germany. Once the war ended Wilson helped in the creation of the Treaty of Versailles and created his Fourteen Point for post war resettlement.