Teddy Roosevelt and the Square Deal

Teddy Roosevelt and the Square
Square Deal
• “It is the duty of the president to act upon the
theory that he is steward of the people, and …
to assume that he has the legal right to do
whatever the needs of the people demand,
unless the Constitution or the laws explicitly
forbid him to do it.”
• Square Deal -> described the various
progressive reforms sponsored by the
Roosevelt Administration
Using Federal Power
• Thought the U.S. required strong federal gov’t
• Trusts -> legal body that would control stocks of a
particular company (Standard Oil)
– Controlled about 4/5 of U.S. industries
– Lower prices to drive out competition then raise them
after competition was gone
• Roosevelt attacks Northern Securities Company
(controlled northwestern railroads)
– Had Justice Department sue this company leading to it
1902 Coal Strike
• 140k + coal miners in Penn. strike for 20%
raise, 9 hr. workday, right to form union
• Roosevelt invites both parties to White House
– Got 10% raise, 9 hr. workday
– Had to give up right to form union and the ability
to strike for 3 years
• Federal gov’t now expected to intervene in
future strikes
Railroad Regulation
• Roosevelt passes the Elkins Act
– Made it illegal for railroad officials to give, and
shippers to receive, rebates for using particular
• Hepburn Act 1906
– Limited the distribution of free railroad passes
(used as bribery)
– Gave commission the right to set max. railroad
Health + Environment
• Food and Drugs
– “The Jungle” leads to Meat Inspection Act
• Dictated strict cleanliness requirements and the
inspection of meat by the federal gov’t
– Pure Food and Drug Act
• Halted the sale of contaminated foods and medicines
• Called for truth in labeling (accurate labels)
• Natural Resource Conservation
– Overuse of natural resources
• Deforestation, excessive coal mines, overgrazing plains
– Measures were taken
• Kept large pieces of federal land from being sold
• Mediation between conserved land and exploited land
• Funded large scale irrigation projects in the West
Roosevelt on Civil Rights
• Failed to support civil rights for AfricanAmericans
– Did appoint African-American to head of custom
house in Charleston, S.C.
• When Mississippi refused to acknowledge this,
Roosevelt shut their office down
– Dismissed African-American regiment from army
on suspicions of protecting someone in a murder
• Fired back by inviting Booker T. Washington to White
• W.E.B. Du Bois shows opposition
– Attacks Washington
• Says he accommodates segregationists
• Blames blacks for their poverty
• Urges them to accept discrimination
– Quote pg. 325
• Du Bois holds rally in Niagara Falls and forms
the NAACP (National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People)
– 6,000+ members by 1914
– Progressive ideals focused on middle class whites
Taft and Progressivism
Becoming President
• Was Roosevelt’s Secretary of War
– Picked to run against William Jennings Bryan
• Easily beat Bryan who was running for the 3rd
consecutive time
Early Stumbles
Wanted to consolidate previous reforms
Not very popular in the beginning
Had trouble with members of his own party
Tariffs and conservation become main focus
Tariffs and Conservation
• Payne Bill (H.O.R.)
– Lowered rates on imported manufactured goods
• Aldrich Bill (Senate)
– Made fewer cuts and increased many rates
• Payne-Aldrich Tariff
– A compromise that only moderated the high rates of the Aldrich
– Believed that Taft was straying from Progressivism
– Taft calls it the “best tariff bill the Republicans had ever passed”
• Taft appoints Richard A. Ballinger as secretary of the
– Removed 1 mil. Acre of forest and mining lands from the
reserved list and returned it to the public domain
Split of the Republicans
• Two types of Republicans
– Progressives who wanted change and those who
• Joseph Cannon (Uncle Joe) -> Speaker of House
– Chairman of House Rules Committee (decides which
bills Congress will consider)
– Often ignored progressive bills
• With help from Dem. Progressive Rep. called for
the entire House to elect the Committee on Rules
and excluded the Speaker from membership in
the committee
Bull-Moose Party
• Roosevelt leaves office, goes to Africa to hunt, comes back
to people wanting him back in office
– Decides to run for 3rd term
– Taft has advantage because he is incumbent
• His supporters relocate to areas where Roosevelt had supporters
• Progressive Republicans refuse to vote and create 3rd party
(Bull Moose Party)
– Wanted direct election of senators and the adoption in all states
of the initiative, referendum, and recall
– Agreed with women’s suffrage , workmen’s compensation, 8 hr.
workday, min. wage for women, no child labor, federal
commission to regulate business
• Democrats get great chance to regain White House
– Nominate Woodrow Wilson as their candidate
1912 Election
• Wilson runs on “New Freedom” idea
– Demanded stronger antitrust legislation, banking
reform, and reduced tariffs
• Roosevelt and Taft fighting each other
– “Don’t’ interfere when your enemy is destroying
• Race between Roosevelt’s progressivism, Taft’s
conservatism, and Wilson’s “New Freedom”
• Wilson wins election and Roosevelt defeats Taft
as 3rd party candidate