The Progressive Era's Influence on the New Deal

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The accomplishments taken place upon the onset of the many New Deal legislations owe much to the seeds implanted and unknowingly disseminated by the pre-WWI Progressive movement. Sparked by the new image as a world power, industrialization, and immigration at the dawn of the new century, a new found reform movement gripped the nation. With the new found image of the nation and world as a whole, the reforms advanced the position of the previously ignored people of the nation, as did its reincarnation and rebirth apparent in the New Deal. Although the first signs of this pristine Progressive movement shone since the mid-1800s, no one had cleared the way for its momentous effect upon the nation in the same degree as Theodore Roosevelt. Although at times hot-tempered and brash, his charismatic attitude pushed forward many of the original progressive legislations. For example, his Sherman Anti-Trust Act proposed the life of a trust should be based on its history and actions, since he believed "good" trusts existed along with "bad" ones. Next, the Elkins Act proposed railroads and shippers to offer rebates illegal. They also had to have fixed rates, and couldn't change without notice. Also, the Hepburn Act gave ICC the power to set maximum railroad rates. Next, of course because of the impetus for reform provided by the many socialist writers, such as Upton Sinclair, was the landmark Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act, protecting the health and safety of consumable products and establishing the Food and Drug Administration. He also wished to preserve the untainted countryside, and established the National Forest Service and also strengthened the Forest Bureau. He also passed the Newlands Act which helped to create subsidies for irrigation in 16 western states. The actions taken by Theodore Roosevelt proved to throw the Progressive movement into the mainstream of the nation, showing its true, ingenuous face. When Theodore Roosevelt's successor, William...
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