The Progressive Movement: Theodore Roosevelt And Woodrow Wilson

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The Progressive era was a time of economic growth caused by rapid industrialization, urbanization, and immigration. This resulted in many social and political problems that individuals in American society wanted to make known. These individuals rose mainly from the middle class and were called Progressives. The term “Progressive” arose around 1910. It described a political movement that sought to cure America’s social and political problems and change the relationship between government and society. They were not against the government, but thought that the government could be used as a weapon to better the environment and living conditions. Progressives suggested that rash actions by political machines and bosses were corrupting public and …show more content…
They were known as the Progressive Presidents. Theodore Roosevelt was a republican who brought the movement to the federal level, and he became president in 1901 after the assassination of William McKinley. After becoming president, he demanded a “Square Deal.” The goal of this “deal” was to prevent the waste of natural resources, control corporations, and provide consumer protection. He aimed to differentiate good corporations from bad corporations. Good corporations provided useful products and services for reasonable prices while bad corporations only had mercenary intentions. He also wanted the federal government to control the economy directly and decrease the power of wealthy corporations, so he used the Sherman Antitrust Act to eliminate bad trusts like the Northern Securities …show more content…
They were William Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Eugene Debs, and Woodrow Wilson. The election turned out to be a competition between Wilson’s and Roosevelt’s views. Wilson thought the danger was in increasing economic concentration, and Roosevelt saw the danger in increasing government power. Wilson created a program called “New Freedom.” This was supposed to make democracy better by restoring market competition and stopping big businesses from controlling the government. Roosevelt responded to “New Freedom” with a program called “New Nationalism.” This program pointed out the unavoidably of big business and hoped to use the government to stop its corruptions. Roosevelt’s Progressive Party Platform called for many things like: women’s suffrage; federal supervision of corporate enterprise; direct election of senators; national labor and health legislation for women and children; shorter work days and living wage; social insurance for health, unemployment, and old age. The platforms includes that equality and liberty could be achieved if the government would step in and supervise these problems. Even though many Americans supported his platform, Roosevelt still lost. People supporting the Republican Party split the vote between Taft and Roosevelt which left Democrat Woodrow Wilson with almost half of the popular

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