eponymous wrote:Up:no, this thread has been pretty light on particulars. i wouldnt presume to know what TR's positions would be on the social issues of our day, except to say that they would likely be informed by a morality not quite the same given a century's time difference. Regarding other positions held by TR, you tell me if they were progressive or conservative:
What would you postulate was TRs position on abortion? Gay marriage? Tax cuts in general? Just because he was not a corporations guy and did big time things for the national parks/environment does not make him a progressive. (Just as being against something like gay marriage makes you a conservative. I belive our current president is not in the affirmative for gay marriage for example.) That would be remaking history.
caveat that I have not read this thread in detail. sitting in the airport wasting time before a flight. you may have adressed this already. apologies if I missed it.
Roosevelt attempted to move the Republican Party in the direction of Progressivism, including trust busting and increased regulation of businesses. Roosevelt coined the phrase "Square Deal" to describe his domestic agenda, emphasizing that the average citizen would get a fair shake under his policies. As an outdoorsman and naturalist, he promoted the conservation movement.While the laws that created the federal income tax were passed by wilson in 1913, the wheels had been in motion for a while. the USSC battle that led to the 16th amendment took place under roosevelt's watch and he was enforcing the previous set of federal tax laws that were found to be unconstitutional. Mind you that this was a much more radical stance given where the nation was on these issues only 20 years earlier. The santa clara case that created corporate personhood in a most scandalous fashion and led to so many abuses by the RR's was in 1886.
One of his first notable acts as president was to deliver a 20,000-word address to Congress asking it to curb the power of large corporations (called "trusts"). For his aggressive attacks on trusts over his two terms he has been called a "trust-buster."
Referring to the “bad trusts” and their operators as the “malefactors of great wealth,” Roosevelt instructed his Attorney General to use the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Act to break up the Northern Securities Company, a conglomerate that worked to restrict trade. In Northern Securities v. United States, the government prevailed, marking the first time the Sherman Act was effectively used to “tame” the trusts.
The Elkins Act of 1903 further strengthened railroad regulation by monitoring unfair discrimination and imposing fines. The Newlands Act of 1902 provided government assistance for western irrigation projects and in early 1903 the Nelson Amendment established the Department of Commerce and Labor as well as giving the president the right to publicize corporate wrong doing. Roosevelt used the opportunity to appoint Oscar Strauss as the first Jew to serve in a presidential Cabinet.
Roosevelt dealt with union workers also. In May 1902, United Mine Workers went on strike to get higher pay wages and shorter work days. He set up a fact-finding commission which stopped the strike, and resulted in the workers getting more pay for fewer hours.
Roosevelt helped the wellbeing of people by passing laws such as The Meat Inspection Act of 1906 and The Pure Food and Drug Act. The Meat Inspection Act of 1906 banned misleading labels and preservatives that contained harmful chemicals in them. The Pure Food and Drug Act banned food and drugs, that are impure or falsely labeled, from being made, sold, and shipped.
The Hepburn Act of 1905 increased the power of the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate railroad rates. The act also imposed penalties on railroads if they sought to fight the regulation in the courts. Pro railroad senators questioned this, charging that the Hepburn Act indirectly gave the federal government the power to set freight rates.
In June 1906, Congress passed the Employer Liability Act to address workplace related injuries in the railroad industry. Job related injuries were rampant in all industries and Roosevelt’s Square Deal had called for a system of workmen’s compensation. According to Page Smith, in 1904 27,000 workers died in job related accidents and in one year 50,000 job-related accidents were reported in New York factories alone. The Employer Liability Act was declared unconstitutional on the basis that the original act failed to limit the injury liability to interstate commerce in terms of railroads crossing state lines. Congress corrected the errors and a revised bill was passed in 1908.