Theodore Roosevelt and Progressivism


Length: 794 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Theodore Roosevelt and Progressivism


Despite the criticism of their reform efforts, Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson's commitment to and success in achieving national reform made them successful progressive presidents. There hasn't yet been a presidency that didn't receive criticism, with or without justification. Roosevelt in particular, received a lot of praise and criticism for his successes and failures. Overall, however, both Roosevelt and Wilson acknowledged and were committed to bringing about changes during their presidencies. They were both good presidents for the Progressive Era.

President Roosevelt was deeply criticized during his presidency. Robert La Follette, the Republican leader of Progressivism before Roosevelt, was one of Roosevelt's biggest critics. In his Autobiography: A personal narrative of political experiences, he talks about Roosevelt's reform policies, particularly his position on the Anti-Trust Law and his trust strategy in general, and how he didn't solve the problems, but only increased the growth of monopolies and the power of business (Doc E). There were also many political cartoons published which criticized Roosevelt's policies. One in particular pictures Roosevelt singing loudly his Progressive fallacies, with La Follette sulking in the background (Doc G). There was justification to criticize Roosevelt. Although he was infamous for his "square deal," taking on trusts, he busted only about half as many trusts in twice as much time as President Taft later did. The cases he did take on were high profile, and he was noisy about them. Also, he may have only fought trusts because he thought it would be riskier to ignore them.

Woodrow Wilson also had policies that were controversial, and the extent of his progressivism can be questioned. Wilson's progressive attitude didn't extent to many areas. For example, he didn't reform the way government corruption occurred. He would even encourage this by giving his friends rewards and punishing his enemies. He operated on a minimal spoils system. He was also quite racist. His reform policies didn't extend to African-Americans. He appointed many Southern racists to his cabinet and was strongly opposed to black suffrage. He considered enfranchisement an evil. Wilson also didn't want to reform social injustices. Offering no support for the ratification a suffrage movement, Wilson preferred state action for women's suffrage. Child labor was another issue he considered a state matter. Reform was something Wilson only considered on certain issues.

Despite questions of motive and success, Roosevelt can be considered a successful progressive president and reformer.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Theodore Roosevelt and Progressivism." 123HelpMe.com. 26 Apr 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=23357>.
Title Length Color Rating  
A Period of Progressivism and Improvement Essay - ... This belief of the middle class also was view by significant people such as Theodore Roosevelt who once quoted, “No hard-and-fast rule can be laid down as to the way in which such work [reform] must be done; but most certainly every man, whatever his position, should strive to do it in some way and to some degree.” The Progressives brought an era of many changes supported by many, but also rejected and neglected by others Doctorow demonstrated the many reactions to these changes by the characters of Father and Mother....   [tags: progressivism, progressive era, child labor] 846 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Truman vs. Roosevelt in Progressivism Essay - Truman vs. Roosevelt in Progressivism Theodore Roosevelt's "New Nationalism" and Woodrow Wilson's "New Freedom" were revolutionary thoughts in the early part of the 20th century. Well ahead of its time were the economic intervention policies introduced by these Presidents to transform America into a strong and fair country. The main concern of these "progressives" was the abuse of power by government and businesses. Even though Wilson's plan and Roosevelt's plan would differ in several ways, the nationalistic tone was quite similar....   [tags: Papers] 830 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Party - During the turn of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century, Americans were going through a rapidly growing industries and corporations, corruption in the political system, and disorder in the structure of the country. It led to the reform of movement which ultimately led to the creation of a third party called the Progressive Party. It was also known as the “Bull Moose Party.” Some of the programs and policies that are still in existence today were created by The Progressive Party who reached their peak during the 1912 Presidential election (Milkis, p....   [tags: U.S. History]
:: 3 Works Cited
1883 words
(5.4 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Progressivism on a National Level Essays - Reform of corrupt businesses and government first drew attention at local and state levels. Big businesses in the late 1800s preferred profit over patriotism, credit over honor, individual gain over national prosperity, and trade and dickering over principles. It was not until 1901, when Theodore Roosevelt became president, that progressivism was brought to the national level. During Roosevelt’s presidency, he would push reform as much as possible by strengthening the power of the federal government....   [tags: essays research papers] 457 words
(1.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Progressivism Essays - Progressivism implies a philosophy which welcomes innovations and reforms in the political, economic, and social order. The Progressive movement, 1901 to 1917, was ultimately the triumph of conservatism rather than a victory for liberalism. In a general sense, the conservative goals of this period justified the Liberal reforms enacted by Progressive leaders. Deviating from the “traditional” definition of conservatism (a resistance to change and a disposition of hostility to innovations in the political, social, and economic order), the Conservatist triumph was in the sense that there was an effort to maintain basic social and economic relations vital to a capitalist society....   [tags: essays research papers] 1908 words
(5.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about John McCain: Modern Progressivism - John McCain: Modern Progressivism. Presidential hopeful John McCain seems to want to revive the Progressive Republican Party. With the elections around the corner, McCain’s campaign is off the ground. And the comparisons to former progressive president Theodore Roosevelt are endless. The divide between him and the other major Republican candidate, George W. Bush are increasingly obvious on most of the issues. John McCain promises to expand and improve the United States’ Armed Forces for better military preparedness....   [tags: essays research papers] 650 words
(1.9 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Theodore Roosevelt's Shaping of America Essay - Theodor Roosevelt, our 26th president, was a gruff politician who had a huge impact on America. He is known for his accomplishments in the political, social, and business world during the Progressive Era. His accomplishments helped shape America, and because of this influence, he is one of the faces found on Mount Rushmore. Theodor Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858, in New York, New York. As a child he was frail and timid, and as a result, most of his education was through tutors in his home before he went to college....   [tags: Theodore Roosevelt, USA, history,] 1075 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Theodore Roosevelt and His Contributions to the World Essay examples - Theodore Roosevelt was a man that made great contributions to this world. He was born on October 27, 1858 in New York City. He was given the nickname Teddy by his family. His parents were Theodore and Martha Bulloch Roosevelt and he had three brothers and sisters. Their names were Anna, Elliot, and Corinne and they all had nicknames just like Teddy Roosevelt. In 1865 he watched Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession from his grandfather’s house. He attended Harvard College and graduated in 1880. His father died of stomach cancer before Teddy Roosevelt could graduate from college....   [tags: Theodore Roosevelt, presidents, USA, ] 779 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Teddy Roosevelt in the Progressive Era Essay - Teddy Roosevelt in the Progressive Era Progressivism originated as the optimistic vision that society was capable of improvement, and that continued growth and advancement were the nation's destiny. This, however, would require direct, purposeful human intervention in social and economic affairs. Progressive reformers wished to limit the disperse authority and wealth by empowering the government to regulate or break up trusts at both state and national levels. They also believed in the importance of social cohesion....   [tags: AP US History DBQ] 1184 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Wilson vs. Roosevelt - Wilson vs. Roosevelt In the first two decades of the twentieth century the national political scene reflected a growing American belief in the ideas of the Progressive movement. This movement was concerned with fundamental social and economic reforms and gained in popularity under two presidents. Yet Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson espoused two different approaches to progressive reform. And each one was able to prevail upon congress to pass legislation in keeping with his own version of the progressive dream....   [tags: Compare Contrast President Progressive Essays] 726 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]

Related Searches




In his first inaugural address, he addressed the problems that needed reforming and that he was aware of the issues and prepared to fight them (Doc B). In "High Regard for Theodore Roosevelt by Afro-Americans," from the Cleveland Journal in 1903, it's discussed that African Americans' favored Roosevelt's policies. The article also quotes Roosevelt telling the country that he won't be a corrupt president, offering favors and handing out special privileges (Doc C). His "square deal" sought to create a moral approach to many social problems. In his speech, "The New Nationalism," he distinguished between what he considered good and bad trusts and he would not respect labor organizations simply because they represented workers, but based on merits (Doc H). He tried to enforce existing anti-trust laws rather than creating new ones. The square deal called for tighter control of big business, particularly less power for the railroads. In Roosevelt's Annual Message to Congress in 1908, he discussed the corruption in business and how he will reform corporations and reduce their power (Doc F). Roosevelt had many successful endeavors as president.
Woodrow Wilson was also a successful progressive president. In his first inaugural address, he discussed all the reforms he planned to overtake. Among these were reforming tariffs, reorganize banking, and more (Doc A). His second inaugural address looked back on his first four years and discussed their success (Doc D). There were many successes to discuss. Wilson took great initiative to reduce tariffs. To discuss the issue, he called Congress into session, something a president hadn't done since John Adams. He proposed a bill to reduce tariffs, which passed through the House immediately. The Senate also passed what would later become the Underwood-Simmons Tariff, after Wilson made a public statement appealing to the Senate regarding the passage of the bill. Wilson also created the Federal Trade Commission, which regulated big business, and still operates successfully to this day. These programs were important victories for the Progressive Era.

President Roosevelt and President Wilson were both important progressive presidents. Many of the changes they brought about still affect our society today. Despite criticism, they did good things with their presidencies. Each had a different approach to progressivism, but that's what progressivism was. Progressivism was change and reform. Both presidents were successful in bringing this about, and both presidents impacted society for the better.


Return to 123HelpMe.com