The Progressive Movement Essays

Submitted By donal08
Words: 508
Pages: 3

The Progressive Movement changed the American government and way of life in response to the wake that the Industrial Revolution left behind. It meant big business, and long business hours for the factory workers. This era brought an end to slavery, promoted women’s rights, and reconstructed what the Civil War had destroyed. The progressives aimed to control big business with free enterprise in mind, put an end to all of the corruption and return control to moral citizens, and preserve American ways for future generations. Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, and Woodrow Wilson were all key pioneers in the Progressive Era.

Theodore Roosevelt was not a fan of big business. He would encourage and help the businesses he deemed “moral” to monopolize and take down other greedy businesses, earning him the title of “trust-buster.” Roosevelt even pressed for an income tax that would affect the wealthy, however this proposal was not constitutional. Rather than change the proposal, Teddy wanted to change the constitution.

William Howard Taft supported Roosevelt’s “Square Deal,” attempting to please both the Progressives and Conservatives along with the employees and employers. Sadly, it proved too difficult to find the balance. The true “trust-buster” of the era was Taft, who filed more suits on monopolies in America than Roosevelt had. Taft allowed the U.S. to loan quite a bit of money to Latin American countries in order to be in good graces with them so that American based companies could be in control of local production. Taft pleased more conservatives than progressives during his term, having a much smaller impact on the Progressive movement than Roosevelt or Wilson.

Like Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson shared the idea of a larger role for the Federal Government in the economy and a smaller role for the United States’ Constitution. Wilson signed multiple acts into place that bettered the working conditions and cut labor hours for many American workers. He also passed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 in hopes to benefit business in America. The sixteenth…