Teddy Roosevetl Essay Research Paper Theodore Roosevelt

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Teddy Roosevetl Essay, Research Paper Theodore Roosevelt Essay At the turn of the century the United States rapidly began coming into its own with Theodore Roosevelt at the head. Enveloped in the expectations, ideals, and philosophies of a swiftly changing country; Theodore Roosevelt sought to bring about many progressive reforms during his time as president. America now possessed a president that could not only keep up with the exponential growth but push it even faster. Both on the domestic and international front Roosevelt aggressively expanded the power of the presidency, the federal government and the nation. Roosevelt did not exactly epitomize Progressive America due to his more moderate tactics; including compromise, but he did however achieve many progressive reforms

throughout his presidency. The road to presidency began in 1899. Garret Hobart the vice-president of the United States died that year leaving a vacant place on the Republican ticket. Roosevelt received much encouragement from friends ( as well as enemies) to run for vice-president. Roosevelt accepted the vice-president nomination and together with Robert McKinley; went on to win the 1900 presidential election against William Jennings Bryan. In September, 1901, less than one year into his new term, McKinley was shaking hands with the public at the Pan-American Exposition when a young anarchist walked up to him and shot him twice. Characteristically Roosevelt, a great outdoors man, was climbing a mountain when he received word of McKinley s death, and how he would soon be

President. Now president, Roosevelt felt the power of the office of president and the federal government should be broadened. This act proved to be two fold: Roosevelt not only expanded the government s power but he weakened the wealthy and powerful Big Businesses. It was in the business arena that Roosevelt most aggressively extended the power of the federal government. The present policy between government and business was unrestricted laissez faire. Having a laissez faire policy ment that the government could not interfere with private businesses there by restricting the free-market system. This privilege of free-market enterprise was abused by the greedy owners of businesses they exploited workers and formed trusts to exploit consumers. The government had passed a few

business regulations but in general left businesses to do as they saw fit. Roosevelt was the first president that felt it was the proper role of the federal government to make sure that business was responsive to public needs. Because of this he actively sought to regulate business by enforcing the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and pushing new regulatory legislation through Congress. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act, passed in 1890, declared illegal every contract combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce. The act made it illegal to combine individual business firms in ways that restricted competition It further provided any person or corporation that monopolized, or tried to monopolize, trade and/or commerce would be found guilty of a

criminal act. Once it had a monopoly a trust could unilaterally control prices and rack up huge profits. The king of trusts, a banker named J.P. Morgan, became the first target of Roosevelt’s assault. Many progressives felt that all trusts were bad and should be abolished; Roosevelt held a different view. The more moderate president felt the era of big business was inevitable, and that it had important economic benefits such as increased productivity and efficiency. In his opinion, there were good trusts and bad trusts. The good ones were responsive to the needs of the public, and he wanted to leave those alone. He only wanted to go after ones that did not act in the public interest. On February 18, 1902, he directed the Justice Department to use the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to