Progressive Era Apush Question Essay

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Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency began in September 1901 following the assassination of president William McKinley. Prior to the start of his term the government had less of an active approach towards conservation and labor reform. Roosevelt helped usher in a more progressive attitude within the United States. His policies toward conservation and labor reform, such as the Newlands Act of 1902 and the Square Deal, changed the role of the federal government drastically. Not much thought had been put into conservation before Roosevelt’s presidency. Americans had become increasingly more wasteful and careless toward natural resources. Roosevelt had noticed this trend and was concerned about preserving the environment. One of the first measures enacted was the Newlands Act of 1902. The act allowed the government to collect money from public land sales in the west and use the funds in order to develop new irrigation systems. Another concern was the destruction of forests, to which Roosevelt responded by setting aside in federal reserves 125 million acres of land. The president’s passion for conservation created awareness and interest in the issue. Through these acts Roosevelt led the government to have a more active role in preserving the nation’s environment. Roosevelt was took many conscious efforts towards improving labor conditions for workers during his presidency. He was afraid of public interest being lost and the government seeming indifferent toward public struggles. In response, Roosevelt came up with a “Square Deal” for capital, labor, and the public. The program consisted of the three C’s: control of corporations, consumer protection, and conservation of natural resources. It was tested during the anthracite coal strike of 1902, where 140,000 mine workers began to protest for a twenty percent increase in pay and a reduction in work hours. Mine owners were

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