Habeas Corpus Essay

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Roosevelt vs. Wilson’s Progressivism Policies
Leslie Dee Huffman
HIS 204: American History Since 1865
Professor Cheryl Lemus
May 25, 2014

Roosevelt vs. Wilson’s Progressivism Policies
Progressive candidates vying for the Presidential election of 1912 included Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Although they both were very different from each other, they had a strong commitment towards reforming American society. This difference was not only apparent in their attitudes towards progressivism, but was also reflected in their policies as well. The purpose of this essay is to offer a deeper insight to the complex nature of Progressivism, each President’s key political principles while highlighting comparing and contrasting details, and whether or not their political policies mirrored their principles after taking office. The late 19th and early 20th century proved to be a time of many changes in our government. Monopolies, corruption in businesses, inefficiencies, and social injustices, such as women’s suffrage and legalized racism, were some of the injustices happening in full-view of our government. According to Bowles (2011), “Punctuating these ongoing problems were horrific events that indicated the nation might be heading down the wrong path” (Bowles, 2011, sect 2.2, para 1). Indeed the United States was heading down the wrong path, however, there were many activists that wanted to put an end to such injustices and find a way to reform American society; “They would be known as Progressives because they firmly believed that they could change society for the better, and even come close to a state of perfection” (Bowles, 2011, sect 2.2, para. 3). The progressives were responsible for bringing a voice to those that felt helpless and without a say in the way they were lived or were treated. They (progressives) also worked diligently to shed a light on those doing the harm and to initiate and petition for help from the government in hopes that they would abandon their “do-nothing” laissez-faire approach. And because Progressives consisted of many small groups such as the muckrakers, women suffragists, social justice groups, and progressives against racism, many areas of injustices could be addressed resulting in in a fierce push for reform for the better. After President McKinley tragic assassination, Vice President Roosevelt was placed in office bringing along his passionate views towards Progressivism. Although his key political principles were more traditional and cautious, dubbing him a Conservatist, his personality gave him the edge he need to win public approval and support. According to Bowles (2011), “He used his personality and charisma to win votes on the grueling election trail and to also gain support while in office” (Bowles, 2011, sect. 2.5, para.1). While Roosevelt was appealing to his supporter’s emotions, Wilson had a very different approach to his campaigning trail. Woodrow Wilson used his eloquent way of speaking to appease to his supports. According to Bowles (2011) “He used poetic phrases with a call for all Democrats to organize the forces of liberty in our time in order to make conquest of a new freedom in America" (Bowles, 2011, sect. 2.5). This approach gave Wilson the advantage of appealing to potential voters educating them on his political key policies and principles as well as those of his opponent, Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s and Wilson’s key political views and principals were significantly different from each other and became apparent in the speeches they presented. Roosevelt used newly implemented policies such as The Square Deal, with a slogan that reads: “We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less" (Bowles, 2011, sect. 2.5). His implementation of the Hepburn Act of 1906 gave the courts access to financial records