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Teddy Roosevelt in the Progressive Era Essay

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Teddy Roosevelt in the Progressive Era Progressivism originated as the optimistic vision that society was capable of improvement, and that continued growth and advancement were the nation's destiny. This, however, would require direct, purposeful human intervention in social and economic affairs. Progressive reformers wished to limit the disperse authority and wealth by empowering the government to regulate or break up trusts at both state and national levels. They also believed in the importance of social cohesion. Individuals were not autonomous; rather they are each part of a great web of social relationships. Therefore they pushed for reforms to help women, children, industrial workers, immigrants, and even African Americans to…show more content…
Roosevelt acknowledged that consolidation produced dangerous abuses of power and urged for the regulation of monopolies and trusts. Early on in his presidency the Hepburn Act was passed. The Hepburn Act was an attempt to clean up the railroad issues by setting fair rates and demanding to see their accounting records. There were ways to get around the law, but it was a sincere attempt to help. Roosevelt also went after the Northern Securities, a railroad holding company established by J.P. Morgan. Then, he went after Rockefeller's standard oil trust. By the time Roosevelt left office he had attacked twenty five different monopolies. He created the Department of Commerce and Labor to report on any illegal activities that businesses were participating in. This was truly progressive of him, in his attempt to help the little guy. From 1902 through 1908 a serried of laws were passed called the Conservation Laws. One of them, the Newlands Act, put an end to strip mining. This was very progressive because Roosevelt was the first person to actually come out and say we can't keep abusing our natural resources, because they won't last forever. (Document B) In his 1907 annual message to Congress Roosevelt said: "To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin an exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining
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