What Was The Difference Between Roosevelt And Woodrow Wilson

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Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, both becoming presidents in an era dominated by private trusts and powerful businessmen, sought to revive American Democracy from its ashes. Theodore Roosevelt, having a semi-conservative perception of monopolies, believed strong American Capitalism could let America compete with the other great world powers. Roosevelt also believed that small businesses should be able to compete with the large trusts, as long as they are aware of the sheer power of the trusts. Above all, however, Roosevelt stressed the importance of government intervention in America’s economics. Redefining the power of the president, Roosevelt established many government agencies and commissions to combat the power of the large conglomerates. …show more content…
Whereas Theodore Roosevelt tolerated corporate monopolies, Woodrow Wilson dissented monopolies, describing them “indefensible and intolerable” (Wilson). Specifically addressing monopolies on raw materials, Wilson declared that “independent development….[would be] absolutely impossible” if the trusts gained private control over the trusts (Wilson). Wilson’s ultimate goal, like Roosevelt, was to restore American Democracy; private control of anything, from natural resources to manufacturing industries, threatened any hope of a restored democracy. Because Wilson refused to tolerate monopolies, he did not advocate for the same level “healthy competition” that Roosevelt had advocated for. Instead, Wilson called for more equality…[as he believed] there must be no squeezing out of the beginner, no crippling his credit” (Wilson). In his proposed program New Freedom, Wilson called for a meritocracy; believing in the small entrepreneur, Wilson encouraged Americans to come up with “invention[s] which would improve the kind of machinery” being used (Wilson). A successful entrepreneur that created good for American society was described as having American “brains” (Wilson). Wilson used Andrew Carnegie as an example of American “brains;” while most leaders of big …show more content…
Roosevelt, seeing how monopolies could make America competitive with the other major world powers, offered to work with the “concentration” of capital in certain industries as long as the government gained the control over certain aspects of the economy. Redefining his role as the president, Roosevelt demanded control over various governmental agencies, interstate commerce, and the effort to eradicate corporate abuses. As president, Roosevelt believed he represented the common good, and his increased control over the economy reflected the interests of America. Wilson, however, was intolerant towards the trusts. Rather than believing in “healthy competition,” Wilson believed in fair play. Along with his effort to eradicate the trusts, Wilson gave the power towards the small companies by advocating for their fair treatment. Because the small companies are the trusts’ rivals in some cases, Wilson made sure the power of the trusts did not overshadow the companies trying to gain funding and develop their brands. Additionally, Wilson admired the entrepreneurs who invented new methods and materials, calling them the next generation of American “brains” (Wilson). In his address on his antitrust efforts, Wilson pointed to Andrew Carnegie as an example of American

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