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The Progressive Presidents - Research Paper Example

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The Progressive Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson Name Institution Date The Progressive Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson The first two decades in the twentieth century of the national political landscape in America were characterized by ideas of Progressivism…
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The Progressive Presidents

Download file to see previous pages... Although they had different principles, they had common goals that were to make changes for the improved welfare of the people. As a result, Wilson turned out to be the ‘better’ progressive president while Roosevelt became a representative of the common people (Holmes, 2013). Although both presidents were progressive, they shared different dreams for America’s future. The disparity in priorities and perspectives were evident in their public speeches. Wilson’s speeches were centered on New Freedom while Roosevelt’s speeches focused on New Nationalism (Holmes, 2013). Wilson’s New Freedom facilitated the destruction of trusts to enhance economic competition and ensured survival of small businesses. The federal government used its powers to put an end to all trusts and they were to play a minimal role in regulating businesses thereby any regulation was left in the hands of state governments (Holmes, 2013). On the contrary, Roosevelt’s New Nationalism made way for a greater role for the president and the federal government in dealing with abuses of corporate power and regulation of the economy. New Nationalism and New Freedom differed in their views of the federal government power. Roosevelt wanted to use this power while Wilson did not. Roosevelt’s ‘square deal’ brought back the role of the government as the overseer of activities that took place in the country. His main accomplishment was putting an end to ‘trust busting’ that attacked all corrupt industry companies that had created monopolies in their respective industries. This power was vested upon him by the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 although it was not heavily enforced (Holmes, 2013). He went ahead to attack some of the well established ventures under the accusations that they were practicing unfair business practices and this allowed fair competition. This strengthened the economy and resulted to strong economic growth and healthy competition in prices. The other major reform was in railroad regulations. The Hepburn Railway Act gave Roosevelt the power to regulate railroads. This principle helped railroads affordable for those who were financially unstable (Napolitano, 2012). His contribution was also notable in the sphere of the Pure Food and Drug Act and in creation of national parks that improved the comfort of the American people. Roosevelt was a Republican and this was evident in his policies (American Experience, n. d. a). When Wilson entered office, he had similar views with Roosevelt but wanted to accomplish them in a different way. As a Democrat, he reduced taxes by putting in place the Underwood Tariff Act the minimized the impact of trust in those sectors of the economy and increased competition in the economy (American Experience, n. d. b). He set up the Federal Reserve Act that was the national banking system that was not predisposed to economic pressures. This led to the ultimate control of huge ventures to the hands of the government. He established the Federal Trade Commission that investigated companies not complying with Sherman Antitrust Act (Napolitano, 2012). This process was free and fair as companies who felt that were being discriminated against could make a plea in the Supreme Court. This was a constitutional method that enabled a judicial review and it meant that the fate of companies was not left in the hands of a few individuals. Roosevelt ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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