Aim: Topic: Government Action in Progressive Era Document #1

Topic: Government Action in Progressive Era
Document #1 – President Theodore Roosevelt
President Theodore Roosevelt was Governor of New York and a friend of many Progressives and
Muckrackers. When he became President in 1901, he made it one of his missions to reform all of the
problems facing America – his presidency is known as the Square (Fair) Deal because of all of the
reforms made. In 1906, Roosevelt influenced the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat
Inspection Act which required federal inspection of food. Again in 1906, he helped pass the Hepburn
Act which strengthened the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate businesses. Throughout his
presidency, Roosevelt was also known as a “Trust-Buster” – he created new government
administrations to regulate companies and bring them to the Supreme Court to break-up their
monopolies into several smaller companies. He went after railroads, oil companies and meat companies
– breaking them up and turning them into little companies. Roosevelt also made sure that companies
treated their workers well. He used his government administrations to go after companies and sue
them in court and passed acts such as the Employers Liability Act to force businesses to give workers
injury compensation, but had only mixed results trying to improve wages and hours.
1) How did Theodore Roosevelt try to address the problems facing America?
How successful do you believe Theodore Roosevelt was?
Document #2 - Woodrow Wilson’s Presidency
Woodrow Wilson was elected President in 1912 and continued Roosevelt’s and William Howard
Taft’s (who followed Roosevelt) examples of reforming the government and the economy. In 1913, he
passed the Underwood Tariff Act which lowered tariffs (trading tax) and created a graduated income
tax (a tax that is proportionate to the amount of money people make). Wilson also helped to pass the
Clayton Anti-Trust Act which helped to control businesses and let smaller businesses compete, created
the Adamson Act which created an 8-hour workday, the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act which outlawed
child labor, and the Federal Farm Loan Act which made it easier and cheaper for farmers to get loans. In
addition, in 1913, the Federal Reserve System was created which was the new national bank that
controlled all of the banks in America, set a national interest rate and could increase or decrease the
amount of money in circulation.
1) How did Woodrow Wilson address the problems facing America?
How did Wilson try to make the economy stronger?
How did the new Federal Reserve System helped solve the problems with banking?
Document #3 - Woman’s Suffrage – look at the timeline and answer the questions.
What does the timeline say about the Woman’s Suffrage Movement? What conclusions
about this movement can you draw?
Why do you think it took 70 years since the movement started (and 160 years since we
became a nation) for women to achieve the right to vote?