The progressive era was a major period in the United States. During this period, social activism and political reformed helped make the government better. They did so by eliminating corruption such as political machines and bosses. Reformers also improved people’s rights and their health/safety issues. The progressive era had three presidents that helped fixed these problems. They are Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, and Woodrow Wilson. It is known that Theodore Roosevelt had the most lasting impact on these progressive issues because he had urged Congress to pass many laws/acts that helped the United States by using leadership and showing examples. His idea of the “Square Deal”, impacted most of his decisions by wanting to do the following, break up trusts, protect consumers, and conservation.
On September 14, 1901 Roosevelt became President of the United States after McKinley died. One of the first things Roosevelt did was to address Congress by using the “bully pulpit” approach. He told Congress that he would attack large corporations that were monopolies and disband them. That shows true leadership in a President and got him the name trust buster. Roosevelt fought against monopolies by using the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Any companies that violated this act would be broken up. Roosevelt was able to break up many monopolies, like the Northern Securities Company. Roosevelt strengthened the ICC power, by allowing them to regulate businesses. He also passed the Hepburn Act and Elkins Act, which allowed the ICC to fine railroad companies and regulate their fee of admission. Roosevelt also created the Department of Commerce and Labor which looked over major companies.
Roosevelt was concern about people’s health. After reading The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, Roosevelt was disgusted by the food industry. He decided to change that. He urged Congress to pass the Food and Drug Act, and the Meat Inspections Act. The Food and Drug Act was created in order to protect consumers from harmful food substances and drugs. It also stopped the sale of dangerous food and medicine. Meat inspections were also brought created to protect consumers. Any meat shipped out of state will be inspected by federal inspectors to see if they are safe to