Roosevelt and Wilson: Progressive Presidents
The Progressive Era was a time of social, political, and economic reform throughout the United States in the early 1900s. Many citizens looked towards the government as the agent of change. Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson are fondly remembered as progressive presidents though their methods were different. Without a doubt, both of these men brought about great change in America during the Progressive Era. Teddy Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States. After serving in the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt entered politics and soon became Vice President. After the assassination of William McKinley, Roosevelt was President. As a progressive reformer, Roosevelt ran his presidency morally, liberally, and equality based. Roosevelt said “My problems are moral problems, and my teaching has been plain morality.” His statement was accurate because a major contribution to the Progressive movement was his homilies. Homilies are like sermons, and Roosevelt made his opinions of morality public with these. In his speech Nine Reasons Why a Man Should Go to Church, Roosevelt points out moral reasons why a man should go to church, like “Church work and church attendance mean the cultivation of the habit of feeling responsibility for others.” Because he was so fixated on his moral campaign, he never thought to transfer his judgments into social realizations. Roosevelt’s constant need to fix moral problems in the United States shows that he was progressive in the aspect of reform. A liberal is defined as someone who is favorable to progress and reform and Roosevelt was definitely this. After reading Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Roosevelt pushed Congress to pass a law to check meat. The Meat Inspection Act, as well as the Pure Food and Drug Act, was something never done before, and a popular reform made by the president. Roosevelt also started a National Parks System, to which he signed five park systems during his...
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