The end of the Civil Was and the Reconstruction gave way to imperialism. America was ripe at home, and felt it was time to expand its new territiories. Since the U.S. had already expanded westward, it was time to conquer overseas. Yet while doing so, important reform movements were takeing place at hime. A middles class thrived in advocating for democracy to be expressed in every aspect of American economy, politics, and society. The three persidents during the Progressive Era, Roosevelt, Taft, and Woodrow Wilson claimed to support progressive reform. However, Roosevelt did the best job due to his genuine feelins regarding trusts, conservation, and consumer protection.
President Roosevelt was against monopolies. With his anti-trust mentality, he did not allow Northern Securites to merge together. Although Taft "busted" ninety trusts, Roosevelf did more to enhance the power of the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. This Elkins Act of 1903 regulated railroad rates and prohibited secret rebates. The Hepburn Act fixed rates for railroads. In doing so, Roosevelt helped control the manipulatorypowers of the prime method of transportation at the moment, railroads.
Although the other presidents of the Progressive Era helped continue Roosevelt's legacy with regards to big businesses, they failed to continue advocating for conservation policies. Roosevelt, who initiates such policies, felt passionate about the subject. In order to perserve the environment, he establised the Newlands Reclamation Act Bill which set aside 150 million acres for forests reserve. Roosevelt also establised the Conservation Congress and appointed a conservationist, Pinchot as head of the Division of Forestry. Essentially, Roosevelt wanted a balance between the environment and America's grown capitalistic needs that exploited it.
Trust-bustying and conservation were not the only things on Roosevelt's agenda. The ame man who carried a big stick wanted fair treatment for laborers and the public. He called all these ideals collectively the Square Deal. The Pure Food and Drug Act show's Roosevelt's concern for consumer protection. It is evident that his sucessor, Taft was not as concerned about consumers when he sided with the Payne Aldrich Tariff to allow such an outrageous Tariff. Wilson did a better job protaction consumers with his significant reduction of Tariffs in the Lindenwood Tariff.
In addition to trust-busting, protection the environment, and advocation for consumers, Roosevelt also cared for American bancking. The Panic of 1907 revealed the flawed currency system. Roosevelt created a national monetary commission to make recommendations regarding the American banking system.
Roosevelt was the pioneering president for the Progressive Era. He let his anti-trust feelings guide him towards molding a more consumer-friendly economy. Aside from trust-busting, his sucessor, Taft failed to follow through with his legacy. The following president, Wilson sided more with big businesses. President Roosevelts's Square Deal had the best policies. Evidence of that, such as Forest Preserves, show his policies still live on today.