Theodore Roosevelt and the End of Progressivism Essay Example


Progressivism is defined as a movement for reforms for society and individuals through government action. Also, being progressive means that all citizens (regardless of race, nationality, culture, social class, sex or religion) have equal opportunities and that their rights should be respected. Therefore, one of its main objectives is to achieve a social transformation that benefits all people.

The United States was fundamentally ignorant of the conditions (labor, sanitary) in which the industrial activity in the factories was developed. It is for this reason that the progressive movement arose, and it was founded by the Republican Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt was a leader who thought that a president should use federal power to improve the living conditions of the people. My opinion is if I had been present in that elections, my vote would have been for Roosevelt. He showed himself to be a person who cared about the well-being and equality of people, and made several projects abroad, and always concerned about the welfare of the country and people.

Theodore Roosevelt was the founder of the Progressive Party in 1912. Roosevelt tried to change the Republican Party towards progressivism, including the fight against monopolies and the regulation of business. According to historians, Roosevelt was considered one of the best presidents in the United States. Roosevelt wanted a reform to end corruption. When Roosevelt founded the Progressive Party, his goal was to defend equality of vote, avoid corruption in elections, preserve nature, industrial and social justice, and the prohibition of child labor. President Theodore Roosevelt strengthened the federal regulation of the railroads and promoted the conservation of natural resources so that the next generation would have reserves of forests, coal, oil, minerals and water.

The United States lived a true "progressive era," especially under the charge of Theodore Roosevelt and the Democrat Woodrow Wilson. William Howard Taft was the least progressive. William Howard Taft was the successor of Theodore Roosevelt. But William Howard Taft stumbled dramatically as president. On the other hand, Taft helped in the regulation of fixed tariffs in the railroads and foreign policy. Taft was an undecided leader, especially in comparison to his predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, and his successor, Woodrow Wilson. Taft mentions in his speech that he was not going to appoint African-Americans to federal jobs. Also, he mentioned the elimination of the majority of blacks as holders of public offices in the south. His presidency was marked by a tendency to suppress the progressive initiatives of his predecessor in office, Theodore Roosevelt.

Roosevelt after leaving his charge, on his return to the United States, faced the new President William Howard Taft. Roosevelt did not find his ideal candidate for him to run in his place, so Roosevelt went back to running as a candidate because he was unhappy with the policy developed by his successor, William Howard Taft. Roosevelt left the Republican party to form his own group, the Progressive Party. Roosevelt was defeated by Taft because he still controlled the party's internal machinery. Roosevelt won in second place in the presidential election beating Taft but lost against Woodrow Wilson. Without a doubt, the division in the Republican Party allows the Democratic candidate, Woodrow Wilson, to win the election against Roosevelt.

Woodrow Wilson led the progressive movement to the White House in 1912. Wilson promised the United States that he was going to maintain neutrality and they were not going to enter to the World War I. Wilson in his position introduces economic reforms, established the working day in eight hours, and defends women's suffrage. Also, as part of his "New Freedom" program, Wilson decreed a personal income tax, and created the Federal Trade Commission to monitor unfair industrial competition.

The progressivism ended with the World War I. The consequences of the war exposed the cruelty of the people and many Americans associated with President Woodrow Wilson's use of progressive language as "the war to make the world safe for democracy." Woodrow promised that he would not have any relationship to participate in World War I, but he did, and this takes away points from his performance. The World War I was the destruction of progressive reform. The World War I brought the consummation of all these progressive tendencies, such as militarism, compulsory military service, massive internal and external intervention, and a collectivized war economy.

After World War I ended in 1920, Theodore Roosevelt died in 1919 and Woodrow was invalidated and could not continue as president. Then, Warren Harding during his presidential campaign promised to return from the nation to normalcy. Harding left the progressive movement rejecting all activity of Theodore Roosevelt and the idealism of Woodrow Wilson. The voters reacted well to his proposal to return to normalcy and that is why he won the presidential elections. People did not want to know anything about the progressivism, for that reason they went to normalcy because they suffered all the changes that occurred during that era.

 

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