Progressivism and the Republican Roosevelt
Big ideas matter. Here are the most important themes for this chapter.
The over-arching theme of chapter 28 is that reformers called “Progressives” sought to clean up America on behalf of the people. Teddy Roosevelt became the best-known and most active Progressive.
- The Progressives grew out of the Populist (or People’s) Party and sought to correct injustices.
- Progressives and “muckraker” writers attacked city corruption, corporate greed, poor living and working conditions, alcohol, and women’s right to vote. Each of these ills saw laws and/or Amendments passed to attempt to better the condition.
- Teddy Roosevelt made a name for himself as a “trust-buster”. That is, he broke up a few high-profile companies that he said were monopolies (or trusts). Busting trusts and thus creating competition was to benefit the average person.
- He also obtained huge tracts of land, usually out West, for parks and conservation.
- Roosevelt picked Taft to follow him, but Taft began to stray from Roosevelt’s ways and the two split.