Birth-Death: (1858 - 1919 ) Term: (1901-1909 )
President Roosevelt used his Executive powers freely and without hesitation. His administration focused on a few key domestic issues, and successfully implemented policy. Roosevelt spoke of his "Square Deal," and cracked down on public injustice. With Secretary of the Interior Ethan A. Hitchcock, Roosevelt brought sweeping changes into the Government's role in the environment.
Domestic Events of Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt brought something new to the White House. He was put on the ticket with William McKinley as a vice-president to satisfy his political hunger. However, after McKinley was assassinated, the Republicans realized what a mistake they have made: Marcus Hanna, one of the main supporters of McKinley said of Roosevelt, "I told William McKinley it was a mistake to nominate that wild man in Philadelphia . . . now look, that damned cowboy is President of the United States."
The change in the White House was immense. Roosevelt respected his authority but he also exercised his power whenever needed. Theodore Roosevelt is commonly known as the "trust buster." He was the first President to be harsh on large businesses and monopolies. He promised the people a "Square Deal" and he kept that promise. The first situation which showed his attitude towards large businesses was the 1902 Coal Strike. After the owners refused to arbitrate, Roosevelt threatened to seize the mines. The miners received a 10 percent raise along with other benefits.
Roosevelt was also the first President to address the Conservation problem. He used the Forest Reserve Act of 1891, which permitted the President to seize lands for National parks, to add more than 150 million acres, to the National Forests, three times more than Harrison, Cleveland and McKinley combined.
The muckrakers came to power during Roosevelt's presidency. It was only after Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle," that the government passed the Pure Food and Drug Bill. The other famous muckrakers included Lincoln Stephens, Ida Tarbell, Frank Norris and others. The magazines also started to publish "muckraker" stories. The most famous stories were McClure¹s History of the Standard Oil Company, and Collier¹s Series of Articles on Patent Medicines.
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