Theodore Roosevelt: the Progressive

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Hofstadter DBQ

Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States of America, and was the first modern president. (Document Original) He was a Progressive who also happened to be a Republican, because to his policies, political practices, and opinions were mainly of a progressive nature; however, these policies often contained secondary, and often veiled, Hamiltonian machinations to them. Still, his particular political styling was not in tune enough with the Republican Party, and it would eventually lead to the splitting of the party's vote in the Election of 1912, allowing for the Democrats to regain the Presidency. (Document Presidential) To better understand why Theodore Roosevelt is a Republican Progressive, it is necessary to understand what Progressivism is. As Hofstadter defined it “... at the heart of progressivism was a vision of the past, an attempt to restore economic individualism and political democracy.” They believed that economic individualism and political democracy were harmed the most by “giant corporations, burgeoning unions and corrupt political bosses.” (Document Progressivism) One of the most well-known, and influential, progressives of the time was Robert La Follette, who listed 14 goals of the progressives, in a speech given in 1924. Important goals of the progressives included: crushing of private monopolies by the Federal Government, implementation of the Child Labor Amendment and child labor laws, as well as laws to guarantee the freedoms listed in the Bill of Rights. (Document La Follette) President Roosevelt's presidency began with conservative politics in order to preserve stability, (document Presidential) but he began to implement more progressive laws and actions later on. His domestic reform agenda, he referred to as his Square Deal was a series of reforms, such as the antitrust cases, Department of Commerce and Labor, the Hepburn Act, the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. (Document Original)...
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