Theodore Roosevelt as a Moderate

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Madison Caruth
AP US History
October 9, 2012
Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States of America, began his presidency in 1901 as a republican and ended it in 1909 as a moderate progressive. He was well known for his energetic personality, large ego, and his slogan, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Most importantly, however, he is recognized for his many progressive reforms and accomplishments as president, one of which was the Square Deal. Roosevelt’s Square Deal was a program formed upon three ideas: corporation control, consumer protection, and conservation of natural resources, also known as the three c’s. Theodore Roosevelt’s Square Deal program embracing the three c’s take on a “middle of the road” role between liberalism and conservatism, making Roosevelt the ultimate moderate. Theodore Roosevelt, often known as the “trustbuster”, believed that there were good trusts and evil trusts. Due to his commitment to mend relations between capital and labor, he strived to take power away from only the evil and greedy corporations. In 1902, Roosevelt achieved his first acclaimed trust bust with the attack on a railroad holding company known as the Northern Securities. James J. Hill and J.P Morgan, the organizers of the Northern Securities, had attempted to create a monopoly of the railroads in the Northwest but were shot down in 1904 when the Supreme Court prosecuted Hill and Morgan for violating the Sherman Anti-trust Act. The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 was finally strengthened when Roosevelt urged congress to pass the Elkins Act of 1903 and the Hepburn Act of 1906. These acts fined railroads giving rebates and terminated free passes of the railroads. In 1903, wishing to promote economic growth, Roosevelt encouraged congress to create the Department of Commerce and Labor a part of which was the Bureau of Corporations which found and exposed violations in many trusts. Roosevelt’s busting of only evil trusts and his earnest desire...
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