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Teddy Roosevelt. “The Wild President”. Roosevelt, a New President. William McKinley was assassinated Roosevelt was only McKinley’s VP for 1 year. Roosevelt, “The Wild President”. Only VP for a year, known as a wild man in the Republican party b/c independent Party boss Mark Hana said

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Teddy Roosevelt

“The Wild President”


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Roosevelt, a New President

  • William McKinley was assassinated

  • Roosevelt was only McKinley’s VP for 1 year.


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Roosevelt, “The Wild President”

  • Only VP for a year, known as a wild man in the Republican party b/c independent

  • Party boss Mark Hana said

    “I told William McKinley that it was a mistake to nominate that wild man at Philadelphia. I asked him if he realized what would happen should he die. Now look, that damned cowboy is President of the United States!”

  • Not so much what he did that made him wild, but rather his style – lots of energy.

  • Did not openly rebel, made change through moderate measures


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Roosevelt’s Philosophy

Reform was less a vehicle for remaking American society, but rather for protecting it against more radical changes.


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Government and Business Reforms

  • Gov. should be the mediator of public good, president at center.

  • Liked economic concentration in big business, but knew too much consolidation produced dangerous abuses of power

  • TRANSPARENCY and investigations of corporations

    • Established the DEPT. of COMMERCE AND LABOR

  • NOT A TRUSTBUSTER AT HEART but made a FEW highly public efforts to break up combinations

    • Ex. 1902 Break up of the railroad monopoly Northern Securities Company


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Reform for Workers

  • Non-committal attitude to be the impartial regulator of labor.

  • In the past federal intervention on labor disputes = Support for the employers

  • Fed. Intervention under Roosevelt = meant both employers AND labor’s position as well.

    • EXAMPLE: Coal Strike of 1902


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1904 Election

  • Reform not a TOP priority first term, did not want to antagonize republicans

  • Easy re-election

  • BOASTED that he gave everyone a SQUARE DEAL

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK the meaning of a SQUARE DEAL means?


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The Square Deal

  • INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT of 1887 was ineffective and weakened by courts  Roosevelt asked Congress for INCREASED gov. power to oversee railroad rates.

  • HEPBURN RAILROAD REGULATION ACT of 1906 sought to restore some regulatory authority to the Gov. Reformers were not satisfied bc Roosevelt made some concessions to railroad tycoons.

  • PURE FOOD AND DRUG ACT – Weak in enforcement, restricted sale of dangerous or ineffective medicines. Created FDA.

  • Meat Inspection Act – ultimately helped eliminated diseases transmitted through impure meat.

  • Proposed MEASURES: 8 hour workday, broader compensation for victims of industrial accidents, inheritance & income taxes, regulation of the stock market.


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Roosevelt’s Conservationism

  • Almost a romantic regard for the wilderness

  • Attempted to seize land from Private Sector, predominately in the west so as to conserve the land for the public.

  • Created an Act to provide federal funds for construction of dams, reservoirs, and canals in the West – little impact after 20 years.


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