An Examination of the Views on Regulation Possessed by New Nationalism and New Freedom

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The Election of 1912 culminated in a conflict between the New Nationalism espoused by candidate Theodore Roosevelt and the New Freedom posited by his opponent, Woodrow Wilson. These two proposed systems contrasted mostly on their content, as they both dealt with the issue government regulation of the U.S. economy in quite similar manners--therefore, any noticeable difference must lie with the existence of certain issues within one such system, and a lack thereof within the other. This would be the wider field of interest characteristic of New Nationalism, which includes a concern for a variety of social and political issues which are not addressed by its adversary. For instance, Roosevelt’s call for women’s suffrage appeared to be entirely nonexistent in Wilson’s New Freedom. Wherefore, one may note that the platforms of New Nationalism and New Freedom are similar in that they both address economic reform - particularly such issues as trusts and competition - while remaining different in terms of their content: for particular issues which pertain to the former are entirely absent in the latter; and thus, they do not possess contrasting visions of regulation. Both Roosevelt and Wilson sought to bring about changes within the economic system, having been specifically interested in encouraging competition, and subsequently, the end of many of the monopolistic trusts prevalent at the time. Both candidates pledged to, and as presidents worked to, increase the government’s ability to break apart these trusts; while they also tended to, whether explicitly or implicitly, favour small businesses. Noting that these issues appear to be the core of both postulated programs, one may note that they are quite similar. However, one may argu... ... middle of paper ... ...similar ideologies. The only discrepancy one may find would be the former’s interest in a much larger quantity of issues, and of course, its desire for more profound and wide reaching reform. Thus it would be, perhaps, wholly inaccurate for one to posit that Roosevelt and Wilson possessed contrasting visions, while it would be correct for one to assume that they viewed government regulation quite similarly. Essentially, both candidates desired to increase the government’s ability to regulate the economy - whether Wilson proclaimed to seek limited government or not - in order to encourage competition and to dissolve the monopolies which had grown rampant during their time period. Therefore, it can be deduced that New Nationalism and New Freedom were no different in terms of their views on government regulation, only having differed in the variety of their content.

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