Progressive Presidents


Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858 in Manhattan. In his youth he lived a sickly childhood; his most notable debilitation being asthma. He was home schooled in his childhood and later graduated from Harvard University. Roosevelt's political career includes Governor of New York, and President of the United States.

Report Card

Leadership - A-

Theodore Roosevelt can be considered a people's president while also supporting big business. He was given the nickname "trustbuster", his most notable bust being J.P. Morgan's Northern Securities Company which limited the power of the railroads. This gave him great support with the public even though he supported corporations that benefited the nation as a whole. Another important event in his presidency is the building of the Panama Canal. This was controversial and as a result he lost some of his support. However overall, he was viewed with respect and admiration.

Organization - A

As mentioned before, Roosevelt was a people's president. He made many motions to improve life at home. One such motion was the Pure Food Act. This act required that medicine be tested before put on the market. A similar act was the Meat Inspection Act that required the inspection of meat. As some might know from Roosevelt's love for hunting, he enjoyed the outdoors. As a result he motioned for the protection of the environment with the U.S. Forest Service. The USFS protected forests and developing natural areas. Some of Roosevelt's most famous words were "speak softly and carry a big stick". These refer to his foreign policy. He believed in peaceful negotiation but would use force when necessary. This is evident through the Roosevelt Corollary, an extension of the Monroe Doctrine.

Professionalism - B-

Roosevelt can not be considered a professional. While many important and influential Acts were passed, he did them how he wanted to. He did not believe in living the easy life. He valued his hunting and boxing hobbies just as much as trust busting. He can be credited for taking trips to Africa to hunt elephants and for the installation of a boxing ring in the white house.

Contributions - A

Teddy Roosevelt now serves as the example all presidents strive to be like. From the Square deal to his preservationist ideals to his trustbusting he remains "the president to beat". He was arguably the most influential president and is often considered "the perfect modern president."

Theodore Roosevelt - Mini Biography

William Taft

Taft was born in Cincinnati OH on September 15, 1857. He was a graduate from Yale and University of Cincinnati College of Law. In addition to becoming the 27th president of the United States he also served as the 10th chief justice.

Report Card

Leadership - B-

Taft suffered leadership skills. He tended to delegate his duties instead of acting on them. He hated the position of presidency and reluctantly took office as recommended by TR. He is known to gravitate towards legal action which directly opposes TR. On top of that, he fired Gifford Pinchot whom TR trusted highly. Overall, in comparison to Roosevelt Taft was a terrible leader.

Organization - A

Taft can be considered well organized because of all the things he accomplished as president. He ended up busting nearly twice as many trusts as Roosevelt ever did. He prosecuted any trust with indeterminable motives. He fought to protect workers with an 8 hour work day. He also motioned to reform the Justice Department and banking system in favor of the working class.

Professionalism - C

Taft was a worse professional than he was a leader. He hated the press and media as much as his job. He neglected and procrastinated some of his duties and is later presidency was marked by depression. This can also be pinpointed as the cause of his massive weight gain. History shows that he had very little control over his cabinet and overall he was not cut out for politics.

Contributions - B+

Taft's contributions more near his organization. He busted more trusts than Roosevelt and supported the working class. He passed the Payne Aldrich Act which protected American business by raising tariffs. Taft's contributions are often undermined when compared to TR's however some of them have proven to be very beneficial.

#27 William Howard Taft

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson was born on December 28, 1856. He was known as the southern academic and is the only president with a PHD. He worked at several universities before becoming the Governor of New Jersey and later the 28th president of the Unites States.

Report Card

Leadership - A+

Woodrow Wilson is widely regarded as one of the smartest presidents ever and for good reason. He put an end to many political machines run by big corporations. His famous plan was called New Freedom. This plan was an effort to support small businesses and break all trusts. He was very much a people's president as he tried frequently to let the people's voice be heard.

Organization - A+

Just like his leadership skills, he was very organized. Perhaps his most famous/well known achievement was the creation of the Federal Reserve, the driving factor that stabilizes American economy. Wilson was also a supporter of labor unions as evident by the Clayton Act. These two acts in combination created a strong, independent working class America that he is highly praised for.

Professionalism - C+

Wilson receives much criticism as to his professionalism. This mostly stems from the events surrounding WWI. Because Wilson faced many health complications, many say he was unfit to serve as president and selfishly continued to assume the position. This is harsh considering all of the contributions he previously made and the time he kept the United States out of the war. His other traits are more important than his professionalism.

Contributions - A+

Wilson made progressive contributions in every aspect of American life. From worker freedom to women's suffrage he contributed heavily in the social department. He can also be credited with the creation of the national park service that echoed TR preservationist beliefs. Arguably his greatest contribution was the establishment of the federal reserve. He brilliantly was able to avoid war for a decent amount of time and had a part in the peace negotiations after WWI. Overall, Woodrow Wilson could be considered one of the greatest contributing presidents of all time.

#28 Woodrow Wilson