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Chapter 29 Progressivism and the Republican Roosevelt
Roosevelt the Progressive n n Roosevelt waged war on monopolies corruption, inefficiency and social injustice. Writers politicians, immigrants aided in the progressive movement
Whether in his exploits with Western cowboys and outlaws, leading the Rough Riders in Cuba, rattling Wall Street plutocrats, or battling political adversaries in Congress, Roosevelt always enjoyed a good fight.
During his presidency, Roosevelt maintained an active life of horseback riding, tennis, hiking, swimming, hunting, polo, rowing, wrestling, boxing, and judo. He often led visiting foreign dignitaries to the White House on strenuous swims in the Potomac and hikes in Washington's Rock Creek Park. Among family and friends he was famous for challenging outdoor romps.
Young “Thee” was a bookish and sickly child. To overcome severe asthma, at the urging of his father, he began a strenuous regimen of exercise and outdoor activity that would become a lifelong obsession.
From 1884 to 1886 Roosevelt lived the rough life of a rancher in the Badlands of Dakota Territory. Though the typical Eastern dude in some respects--with his fancy cowboy outfit, eyeglasses, books, clean language and hygiene--he soon gained the respect of the other ranchers.
Roosevelt spent entire days in the saddle and was physically transformed, developing a deep tan, broad shoulders, a powerful chest, and a purposeful walk. The western experience also deepened his love of the great outdoors.
At age 42, skeptics called him the “Boy President. ” He brought his wife Edith and six children to the White House. Roosevelt wasted no time establishing himself as a strong and independent president.
His achievements in domestic affairs included trustbusting; helping settle the 1902 coal strike; and passage of the Elkins Act, Hepburn Act, Meat Inspection Act, Pure Food and Drug Act, and Newlands Act.
Muckrakers n n n n Muckrakers wrote sensationalized stories; good at digging up dirt Lincoln Stiffens “Shame of the Cities” – linked big business to municipal governments Ida M. Tarbell – factual expose on Standard Oil David Phillips “The Treason of the Senate” – corruption of Congress; railroads had Senators in their pockets Ray Stannard Bakers “Follow the Color Line” – inequality of African Americans John Spargo “The Bitter Cry of the Children” – child labor Dr. Harvey Wiley – poison squad uncovered medicines that were habit forming
Political Progressives n n Goals: Use state power to curb the trusts and to stem the socialist threat by improving the common person’s life
Progressive Reforms n n n Direct election of US Senators Initiative – voters could propose legislation Referendum – voters could approve laws directly Recall – remove elected officials Limits on campaign contributions Australian secret ballot
Notable Reformers n n Galveston (1901) – set up commission to manage urban affairs Robert La Follette – Progressive governor of Wisconsin Hiram Johnson – California Charles Evans Hughes – New York
Settlement Housing n n n Women worked to protect the public welfare Settlement Housing Jane Addams and Hull House
Labor Gets Protection n n Lochner vs. New York (1905) – 8 hour work day for bakers 1917 – 30 states had workers’ compensation laws on the books
Temperance/Prohibition n n Alcohol connected to prostitution, drunken voters, corruption in city governments, miscounting ballots, accidents on the jobs Women’s Christian Temperance Union – Frances Willard Anti Saloon League By 1919 – 18 th Amendment outlaws alcohol
The Square Deal n n TR caught up in progressive reforms The Square Deal embraced control of corporations and consumer protection
Successes of the Square Deal n n Ended the coal strike in Pennsylvania through arbitration – established the Department of Commerce Elkins Act of 1903 – stopped rebates on railroads Hepburn Act 1906 – severely restricted the practice of free passes Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle leads to the Meat Inspection Act of 1906 and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906
Conservation and the Square Deal n n Desert Land Act of 1877 – sold arid land purchaser promised to irrigate Forest Reservation Act of 1891 – set aside public forest for national parks and other reserves Carey Act of 1894 – federal lands to states on the promise that it would be settled Newlands Act of 1902 – collect money from the sale of public lands in the western states; funds would be used to set up irrigation projects; settlers repaid the cost of reclamation from their now productive soil
Panic of 1907 n n n TR wins in 1904 – announces that he will not seek a 3 rd term Sharp set back in the Panic of 1907 results in “runs” on banks, suicides, and criminal indictments against speculators Led to fiscal reforms Aldrich-Vreeland Act – allowed the feds to issue emergency currency backed by various forms of collateral Laid the foundation for the Federal Reserve Act of 1913
Election of 1908 n n Republicans nominate William Howard Taft (hand picked by TR) Democrats pick William Jennings Bryan (third time in the ring – ding!)
Successes of Roosevelt n n n Enlarged the power and prestige of the federal government Shaped the Progressive Movement Square Deal foundation for the New Deal
William Howard Taft n n n Poor public speaker Went on world tour to boost political interest abroad – “Dollar Diplomacy” Problems in the Caribbean led to Taft sending US troops (several times) Busted 90 trusts including Standard Oil and US Steel Lowing the tariff major goal of Progressives – Payne Aldrich Tariff (did little to lower the tariff) Ballington – Pinchot quarrel – dispute over opening of public land
Bull Moose n n Taft and Roosevelt clash Roosevelt decides to run again Taft gets the nomination from the Republican Party Roosevelt starts the Bull Moose Party