Roosevelt/Taft Essay

601 words - 3 pages

Just after the turn of the twentieth century, America continued to blossom into the country it is now known as today. With new leaders coming into power, the country’s pace was quickly advancing. Of course with huge advancements in American society and culture, come ones who wish to reform. These were commonly known as progressives. Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt are remembered as two of the major leaders in the progressive movement.
After Theodore Roosevelt had already completed his time serving as president, he gradually increased his progressive views. During his presidency, Roosevelt practiced impeccable conservation skills and encouraged the rest of the country to do so as well. His progressive qualities also included his free use of executive powers and his desire to see the commerce between states governmentally regulated. In 1910, Roosevelt embraced his new philosophy of “New ...view middle of the document...

Wilson’s main concern rested within the question of trusts in American economy. He wanted them highly regulated because he believed that there should be a competition in the business world that trusts took away. Both ideas were progressive in nature.
Although these two men campaigned against the other’s ideas, their plans were somewhat similar. Both the plans advocated the strengthening of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Trusts had become a large problem in the American economy. Many believed that trusts took the competition away from small business owners. Roosevelt wanted Americans to be able to live that “American dream” and be prosperous in their lives, but not at the expense of others. To this point, Wilson also agreed. Although Wilson went about his “trust-busting” on a much quieter scale, both the men wanted the competition in business restored. As just one of the major agreeing points of “New Freedom” and “New Nationalism”, the economy occupied most of the reform, progressive based work of the time.
A major place of disagreement between the politicians was on the subject of society and how they government should work with them. Roosevelt believed that the government should help take care of the people. One of the main points of his platform was the need for a government run “old-age” pension program. Wilson argued that the people of America did not want the government to care for them; they only wanted competition restored so that the free enterprise system could continue to work and prosper. Roosevelt exemplifies another social aspect of progressivism by supporting the women’s suffrage movement. The differences that the two plans had were few, but the ones that they did have were of importance.
These different and similar plans that Wilson and Roosevelt envisioned had many effects on American history. The systems and programs that they advocated can be seen in modern America. Looking back on the times, many probably did not imagine how the decisions they made then, help or even hinder the decisions made today. Two different men with two different plans helped continue the history of the United States.

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