Analysis Of Theodore Roosevelt's Square Deal

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Theodore Roosevelt is widely regarded as the first modern President of the United States. Throughout the second half of the 1800s, Congress had been the most powerful branch of government. Although the presidency began to amass more power during the 1880s, Roosevelt completed the transition to a strong and powerful President. He made the President the center of American politics, rather than the political parties or Congress. Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States of America, serving from 1901 to 1909 (Pringle 14). Theodore Roosevelt was an accidental president (14). He was pushed into the vice presidency in 1900 to get him out of the New York state governor job. This strategy failed. Roosevelt became president on September…show more content…
As president, Roosevelt tripled the acreage of the National Forest system, created the first fifty-one National Wildlife Refuges, secured passage of the National Monuments and reclamation acts, and doubled the number of National Parks (18). During Roosevelt’s presidency, the basic infrastructure of the American West took shape during the twentieth century. (19) Roosevelt’s Square Deal was one of his main policies formed upon three basic ideas, conservation of natural resources, control of corporations, and consumer protection. These three demands are often referred to as the "three C's" of Roosevelt's Square Deal (27). Roosevelt’s Square Deal aimed at helping middle class citizens and involved attacking the upper class and bad trusts while at the same time protecting business from the most extreme demands of organized labor and included regulation of railroad rates and pure foods and drugs. He saw it as a fair deal for both the average citizen and the businessmen.…show more content…
These laws required labeling of foods and drugs, inspection of livestock and mandated sanitary conditions at meatpacking plants (61). Congress replaced Roosevelt's proposals with a version supported by the major meatpackers who worried about the overseas markets, and did not want small unsanitary plants undercutting their domestic market. (62) Roosevelt's clear strength was in foreign policy. Backed by John Hay and Elihu Root, Roosevelt set out to strengthen the world position won by the United States in the Spanish-American War (Pringle 81). His efforts to improve U.S. status and influence won him the hatred of many anti-imperialist groups. (81) In 1904, when the Dominican Republic was deeply in debt to European bond holders Roosevelt created a new U.S. policy (88). The policy stated the United States could intervene in conflicts between European countries and Latin American countries to enforce legitimate claims of the European powers, rather than having the Europeans press their claims directly (88). The President claimed that the United States had direct interest and the obligation to impose order in the affairs of Latin American countries.
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