Progressive Era Presidents -

Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Goals For Today
• Understand how Teddy Roosevelt used his
power as president to support progressive
movement goals.
• improvement of conditions for workers and
consumers (social welfare)
• providing a more responsive and responsible
government (economic/political reform)
• women gaining the right to vote and the outlawing
of alcohol in the United States (moral welfare)
• Fostering efficiency
Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal
• 1902 Coal Strike:
– Miners in PA
• 20% pay raise
• 9 hr. day
• union
– T.R. called both sides to White House to
– Threatened to take over mines
– Legislation: none
Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal
• Trusts:
– “Good” v. “Bad” trusts
– Filed suits under Sherman Antitrust Act
• Railroad, beef, oil, tobacco and others
– Ordered Justice Dept. to sue Northern
Securities Company
• NSC est. monopoly over Northwestern Railroads
– Legislation: Sherman Antitrust Act
– Trustbuster
Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal
• Unregulated Big Business:
– Strengthened the Interstate Commerce
– Fought for passage of :
• Elkins Act
• Hepburn Act
– Legislation: Interstate Commerce Act,
Elkins Act, and Hepburn Act
Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal
• Dangerous Foods and Medicine:
– Appointed a commission to study the
meatpacking industry.
– Legislation:
• Meat Inspection Act
• Pure Food and Drug Act
Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal
• Shrinking Wilderness and Natural Resources:
Promoted conservation of natural resources
Set aside thousands of acres of forest reserves
Water-power sites
Wilderness sanctuaries
National parks
Pinchot to head U.S. Forest Services
Irrigation projects
Legislation: National Reclamation Act (Newlands Act)
Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal
• Racial Discrimination:
– Appointed an African American as head of
Charleston, SC
– Customhouse
– Refused to dismiss an African American
postmistress in Miss.
– Invited Booker T. Washington to dinner
– Legislation: None
William Howard Taft
Progressivism Under Taft
• Support:
– Conservatives
• Opposed progressivism
• Opposed Roosevelt
• Opposed low tariffs
• Favored business
Progressivism Under Taft
• Opposed:
– Progressives opposed Taft b/c he:
• Signed and defended Payne-Aldrich
• Seemed to oppose conservation
• Supported conservative boss Joseph
Progressivism Under Taft
• Progressives:
– Progressive or Bull Moose Party
• Conservatives:
– Republican Party
Progressivism Under Taft
• Progressive- Theodore Roosevelt
• Republican- William Howard Taft
• Democratic- Woodrow Wilson
• Socialist- Eugene Debs
Progressivism Under Taft
• Progressive: Supported govt. action to supervise big
business, but did not oppose all big business monopolies.
• Republican: Favored business, but fought to break up
• Democratic: Supported small business and free market
competition; thought that all big business monopolies were
• Socialist: Felt that big business was evil and that the
solution involved doing away with capitalism and
distributing wealth more equally among the people.
Progressivism Under Taft
• Payne-Aldrich Tariff:
–Set of tax regulations (1909)
–Goal: Lower tariffs
–Failed to significantly reduce
tariffs on manufactured goods
Wilson’s New Freedom
Wilson’s New Freedom
• Federal Trade Act:
– Set up Federal Trade Commission w/
power to investigate both possible legal
violations by corporations & unfair
business practices
– Had power to issue orders to “cease and
desist” unfair practices
Wilson’s New Freedom
• Clayton Antitrust Act:
– Strengthened the Sherman Antitrust Act
by declaring certain business practices
– Freed labor unions and farm
organizations from antitrust laws
– Prohibited most injunctions against
Wilson’s New Freedom
• Underwood Tariff:
– Substantially reduced tariff rates for
the first time since the Civil War
• Sixteenth Amendment:
– Legalized a federal income tax
Wilson’s New Freedom
• Federal Reserve Act:
– Established the Federal Reserve
• A decentralized private banking system
under federal control
Wilson’s New Freedom
• Wilson Retreats on Civil Rights:
– Opposed federal anti-lynching
– Appointed segregationists to his
– Failed to oppose the resegregation of
federal offices
Wilson’s New Freedom
• New developments that brought success
of female suffrage movement:
– Increased activism of local and grass roots
– Use of bold new strategies to build enthusiasm
for the movement
– Regeneration of the national movement under
Carrie Chapman Catt