Roosevelt and Wilson

Theodore Roosevelt – Progressive President

The actions of the muckrakers and a newly active middle class were
heard by the then Vice President of the United States, Theodore
Roosevelt. When the President, a very conservative William McKinley
was assassinated, Roosevelt became President. Roosevelt was the son
of a wealthy old money family. He was involved in government from
when he was very young. It was his belief that the wealthy had an
obligation to serve. This led him to government service. He became
the Assistant Secretary of War, left to form the Rough Riders and
took them to Cuba where he fought in the famous battle of San Juan
Hill during the taking of Cuba in the Spanish American War.

Teddy Roosevelt

I. Theodore Roosevelt – Progressive

A. The “Square Deal” – Reforms – Increase in
Federal Power, ended Laissez Faire. (Result of Roosevelt’s belief
in “Noblesse Oblige.”

“Let the watchwords of all our people be the old familiar
watchwords of honesty, decency, fair-dealing, and commonsense.”…
“We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see
that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more
and should receive no less.””The welfare of each of us is dependent
fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us.”

–New York
State Fair, Syracuse September 7, 1903

1. Sherman Anti trust Act (Felt trusts should be judged on

2. Mediated Coal Strike

3. Elkins Act (1903)

-Made it illegal for railroads and shippers to offer
rate rebates. Railroad had to set rates. They couldn’t change w/out

4. Hepburn Act (1906)

-Gave ICC the power to set maximum railroad rates.

5. Pure Food and Drug Act – Passed in 1906 and amended in
1911 to include a prohibition on misleading labeling.

6. Meat Inspection Act (1906)

7. Conservation

-Strengthening of Forest Bureau and created National
Forest Service.

-Creation of much national park land.

-Appointment of Gifford Pinchot, professional conservationist to
be in charge of national forests.

B. Roosevelt and William Howard Taft

1. Roosevelt did not run for a third term.

2. He was only in his mid fifties.

3. Stayed involved in politics.

4. Became dissatisfied with Taft and ran for a third term with a
third party, the Progressive Party, which was later nicknamed the
“Bull Moose Party.” Bull Moose Party–Nickname for the Progressive
Party of 1912. The bull moose was the emblem for the party, based on
Roosevelt’sboasting that he was “as strong as a bull moose.”


C. Election of 1912

TR is “Dee-Lighted” to throw his
hat into the ring of the 1912 presidential election.

Copyright 1997 State Historical
Society of Wisconsin

1. Roosevelt runs for the Progressive
Party a.k.a. The Bull Moose Party.

2. Republicans split and the Democratic candidate Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson – Progressive President

When Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat won the election of 1912 he
received only 42% of the vote. The Progressive candidates; Roosevelt,
Taft and Debs totaled 58% of the vote. Clearly America still sought
progressive change. Wilson, an educator and the son of a Presbyterian
Minister, recognized this and embarked on a program to continue
Progressive reform called the “New Freedom.”

Woodrow Wilson

I. Woodrow Wilson – The “New Freedom” reforms

A. Underwood Tariff of 1913

-First lowering of tariffs since the Civil

-Went against the protectionist lobby

B. Federal Trade Act (1914)

-Set up FTC or Federal Trade Commission to
investigate and halt unfair and illegal business practices. The FTC
could put a halt to these illegal business practices by issuing what
is known as a “cease and desist order.”

C. Clayton Antitrust Act (1914)

-Declared certain businesses illegal
(interlocking directorates, trusts, horizontal mergers)

-Unions and the Grange were not subject to antitrust laws. This
made unions legal!

-Strikes, boycotts, picketing and the collection of strike benefit
funds ruled legal

C. Creation of Federal Reserve System (1914)

– Federal Reserve Banks in 12 districts
would print and coin money as well as set interest rates. In this way
the “Fed,” as it was called, could control the money supply and
effect the value of currency. The more money in circulation the lower
the value and inflation went up. The less money in circulation the
greater the value and this would lower inflation.

D. Federal Farm Loan Act set up Farm Loan Banks to support