Progressive Presidents

 Born to wealthy New York
 Sickly and nearsighted; he
compensated by building
himself into a physical and
intellectual athlete
 Boxer, wrestler, mountain
climber, hunter
 Wrote 38 books on a wide
variety of subjects
 Graduated Harvard,
traveled Europe, and
quickly rose in politics
 Then disaster struck
 His mother and
beloved wife both die
on Valentine’s Day in
 TR went west and
became a cowboy
 When a drunken
cowboy made fun
of his glasses he
laid him out with
one punch
 After 2 years TR went
back to NYC, became
police commissioner,
then Assistant Secretary
of the Navy under
 After becoming a hero in
the Spanish American
War, Republican bosses
decided to make TR
McKinley’s VP in 1900
 Hoped to get him out of
the way
• Less than a year after the election, McKinley
assassinated by an anarchist
• “Now look, that cowboy is President of the United States”
 Bully Pulpit
 Refers to the ability of a president to use his position to
influence the nation
 Roosevelt increased the power of the presidency this way
Roosevelt’s Progressivism
• Roosevelt’s policies known as the
Square Deal
• 3 C’s
– Corporations
– Consumers
– Conservation
• Corporations
– Roosevelt believed in
regulating monopolies to
prevent abuses
– However, if they (or
Congress) refused, then
Roosevelt used Sherman
Anti-Trust act to break up
Coal Strike 1902
• Coal miners went on strike
– Mine owners shut down the
mine & refused to negotiate
– Mine owner: “The miners
don’t suffer – why, they can’t
even speak English”
• As winter approached,
Roosevelt invited union &
management to White
House to negotiate
• When owners refused to
budge, TR threatened to
take over mines & have
the army operate them.
– First time government sided
with a union.
 Consumers
 Roosevelt read The Jungle
& demanded an
 Results in Meat
Inspection Act
 Later Pure Food and Drug
Act passed
 Creates FDA
 Placed restrictions on makers
of food and medicine
 Truth in labeling
Patent medicine
Patent medicine
Makers of unregulated patent medicines advertised exorbitant results from
using their products. This ad, while warning against "fraudulent claims,"
asserts that a wide belt can cure a variety of ailments. The Pure Food and
Drug Act of 1906 did not ban such products but tried to prevent
manufacturers from making such unsubstantiated statements. (Picture
Research Consultants & Archives)
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
• Conservation
– Many were worried that
development would
destroy what remained of
– John Muir was a famous
preservationist who formed
the Sierra Club
– Other early conservationists
were sport hunters
– Roosevelt created many
new national parks
– Also appointed
conservationist Gifford
Pinchot as head of Division
of Forestry
• Pinchot said conservation
movement sought to
promote the “greatest good
for the greatest number for
the longest time.”
William H. Taft
 Roosevelt’s Sec. of War
 He’s more conservative than
 Weighed 355 lbs. He was the
largest president that we’ve
 Runs for president in 1908
Postcard with Taft cartoon
Postcard with Taft cartoon
This postcard depicts how President Theodore Roosevelt, in command of the
Republican Party, persuaded his friend William Howard Taft to run for
president in 1908. Taft was not eager for that office, but Roosevelt succeeded
in convincing him to seek it. With Roosevelt's strong support, Taft was
elected, but he proved a disappointment to Roosevelt. (Collection of Janice
L. and David J. Frent)
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
 Roosevelt goes on a
hunting safari in Africa
& leaves politics behind
 J.P. Morgan: “Let every
lion do his duty.”
• Tried to continue
Roosevelt’s policies, but
lacked TR’s personality
– Detested backroom politics &
never felt comfortable in the
White House
• 16th & 17th amendments
were passed
– 16th – income tax
– 17th – direct election of
• Disagrees w/Roosevelt
over trusts & conservation
– Fires Pinchot for
insubordination after he
criticizes land sales
1912 Election
 TR decides to run for 3rd term
 When Republican convention
chooses Taft, Roosevelt
forms 3rd party
 “Bull Moose” Party
 Assassination attempt
 Crazed assassin who thinks that
third parties shouldn’t exist
tries to kill TR
 Bullet goes through his speech
& lodges next to his ribs
 Roosevelt tells crowd to stand
back as they attack the assassin
 Then TR goes to auditorium
and delivers two hour speech
before going to the hospital
 Democrats nominate
Woodrow Wilson
 What happens when a
political party splits?
Wilson and Taft
Wilson and Taft
Having just squared off in the 1912 election campaign, the two politicians
share a light moment before Wilson's inauguration on March 4, 1913. (Library
of Congress)
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
• Federal Reserve Act:
Created Federal Reserve
– Central bank divided into 12
federal branches across U.S.
– The “Fed” can regulate the
money supply to prevent
panics or inflation
• Also created Federal Trade
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• Passed the 18th and 19th
Commission (FTC)
– Meant to prevent unfair
• 18th – Prohibition
trade practices (monopolies)
• 19th – Women’s suffrage
Limits of
 Progressivism didn’t extend
to African Americans
(despite talk of greater
 TR invited Booker T.
Washington to White House
for dinner (first president to
ever invite a black man to
 But Woodrow Wilson called
African Americans “an
ignorant and inferior race”
and appointed many racists
who segregated federal
 even though many had been
integrated for over 50 years
 Carnage of World War I convinces
many that “progress” for mankind
is impossible