Saturday, April 5, 2008

Compare and Contrast T. Roosevelt and Truman

President Theodore Roosevelt was a reform leader set to change the nation in several ways. He was President during the Progressive Era, and during this time only one percent of the population held over half of the nation's wealth. He focused on putting an end to monopolizing trusts, protecting the consumers, and conserving the environment. President Truman was in power during wartime. He was a though leader who also wanted to limit the power of wealthy corporations. Truman's domestic policy, however, differed from Roosevelt's. Truman preferred to concentrate on reform for the average worker, and incorporated civil rights into his policy. Therefore, Truman's policies were more effective with regards to the economy, the consumers, and society.

Truman is often viewed as a tougher leader because he made the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. However, his main concern at the moment was to put a quick end to World War I, and the bomb successfully did so. Although President Roosevelt introduced the Square Deal to make everything fair and square for all consumers, Taft's Fair Deal seemed more effective. President Taft had a harder task: demobilization. He had to reconvert the economy from one tailored to wartime needs to a consumer economy. His Fair Deal program is often compared to FDR's New Deal due to its extensive focus on reform.

Although President Truman wanted reform, his main concern was to prevent inflation due to postwar causes. He successfully did so with the aid of the Office Price Administration. Also, he prevented work stoppage during the railroad workers strike. When he threatened to seize the railroads, the strike ended. He also used his rough ways to end the United Mine Workers Strike by taking over the mines until the workers and the companies compromised. His iron fist proved to be effective in keeping the economy flowing. As part of his Fair Deal, he provided the nation with the Minimum Wage Act of 1949, which increased minimum wage.

When it came to consumers, they were a top priority for Truman. The Pure Food and Drug Act as well as the Meat Inspection Act also show Roosevelt's concern for American consumers. Those acts passed by Roosevelt protected individuals by requiring the federal government to inspect food. Yet, Truman's consumer policy was more effective in aiding the general public rather than targeting only meat consumers. The Social Security Act of 1950 extended coverage to self-employed Americans. It also increased benefits for retired individuals. Also, the Housing Act of 1949 aided poor Americans by providing the means necessary for clearing slums and providing affordable housing.

President Truman successfully helped American consumers. Yet he was also concerned about society. President Roosevelt hoped to provide a better society by conservation, which in turn would lead to a more caring and aware society. He passed the Newlands Reclamation Act Bill. However, the lands set aside with this bill were later used for capitalistic purposes. Truman's plan to aid society was more effective. Although he angered Democrats and Republican conservatives, he created the Committee on Civil Rights, which was focused anti-discrimination and anti-segregation. He also desegregated the federal government and the armed forces. Finally, he appointed black federal judges.

Both Presidents, Truman and Roosevelt were passionate about their causes. They also both intended to reform America. However, when it comes to the economy, the consumers, and society, Truman was more effective. He successfully prevented work stoppages after World War II, and helped the economy smoothly transition back into a peacetime economy. Also, he provided American with housing and extended social security benefits. Finally, he called for black civil rights. Policies he enacted then set the tone for present day America. The government as well as the armed forces remain desegregated today. Most importantly, by appointing black federal judges he paved the way for black Americans to hold leadership positions.

1 comment:

Luke said...

"Truman is often viewed as a tougher leader because he made the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. However, his main concern at the moment was to put a quick end to World War I, and the bomb successfully did so."

the atomic bomb was dropped by President Truman in world war 2, NOT ww1 as you mentioned.

Probably a typo tho