The Progressive Period

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In 1901, America welcomed the youngest president to ever rule, President Theodore Roosevelt. At forty-two years old, the former New York governor dominated the news unlike any previous president had done. His many exploits, such as boxing and horseback riding, led the press to gain interest in him. Known for being very outgoing and likable, Roosevelt used his personality and popularity to advance in his programs. “His leadership and publicity campaigns helped create the modern presidency, making him a model by which all future presidents would be measured”(524). He felt that the government should take control when states show incompetence in dealing with problems. Roosevelt saw the presidency as a “bully pulpit.” He believed he could use…show more content…
Pinchot advised Roosevelt to keep large tracts of federal land exempt from private sale. By doing this forests and grazing lands would be conserved. Making agriculture possible, under Roosevelt’s federal water projects, some dry wilderness areas were transformed. In 1902 the National Reclamation Act, also known as the Newlands Act, established the precedent that the federal government would manage that precious water resources of the West. Although Roosevelt failed to support civil rights for African-Americans, like most other progressives, he did support a few individual African-American rights. Even though some opposed, he appointed an African-American as the head of the Charleston, South Carolina, customhouse. When Roosevelt made a decision, he stuck with it. For example, he appointed a black postmistress. Even though some whites refused to accept the postmistress, Roosevelt chose to close the station rather than give in. However, in 1906, “Roosevelt angered many African-Americans when he dismissed without a question an entire regiment of African-American soldiers accused of conspiracy in protecting others charged with murder in Brownsville, Texas”(530). Roosevelt even invited Booker T. Washington, who was then the African-American leader most respected by powerful whites, to the white house as a symbolic gesture. In 1905 a civil rights conference in Niagara Falls was held. The goal for this conference was to create complete equality between blacks and
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