3. Muckraking: journalism that exposed corporate and political wrongdoing and social injustice.
Helped secure progressive legislation. Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906) led to Pure Food
and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act.
4. Panic of 1907: A run on the banks and trusts companies caused by a 50% drop in the stock
market. Panic was short but severe. J.P. Morgan stepped in to avert disaster by propping up
weak institutions in exchange for Roosevelt’s word not to institute antitrust proceedings against
U.S. Steel when it acquired Tennessee Coal and Iron. Progressives condemned deal as
collusion between government and business. Start of corporate liberalism.
C. Roosevelt the Conservationist
1. Conserving Natural Resources: More than quadrupled the number of acres of land in
government reserves (from 43 m to 194 m) fought western cattle barons, lumber kings, mining
interests, and powerful leaders in Congress. Placed the nation’s conservation policy in hands of
scientifically trained experts.
2. Congressional Backlash: Antiquities Act of 1906 gave the president unchecked power to
protect significant federal lands. Congress put the brakes on Roosevelt’s environmental efforts
by passing a law limiting his power to create forest reserves. Before law went into effect
Roosevelt saved an additional 16 million acres.
B. Roosevelt and the World
1. Foreign Policy and Executive Power: Roosevelt was convinced of Congress’s ineptitude in
foreign affairs. Used executive power to affect a vigorous foreign policy. Relied on military
strength and diplomacy, a combination he described as “speak softly but carry a big stick.”
2. Panama Canal: In the Caribbean, Roosevelt vigorously enforced the Monroe Doctrine [you
stay the hell out we stay the hell out]. Proprietary attitude toward the Western Hemisphere
became evident in his Panama Canal dealings. Backed Panamanian uprising in order to
purchase land for canal.
3. Roosevelt Corollary: U.S. would not intervene in Latin America as long as nations
conducted their affairs with “decency.” Made the U.S. the policeman of the Western Hemisphere
and served notice to the European powers to keep out.
4. Rising Force in the World Affairs: Inherited Open Door Policy in China. Exerted influence
in Europe. Negotiated an end to the Russo-Japanese War. Demonstrated naval power by
dispatching the Great White Fleet on a “goodwill” [showing how strong we are; don’t mess with
us] mission around the world. Signed Root-Takahira agreement with Japan. Troubled Presidency of William Howard Taft
1. Rise of Taft: Roosevelt’s hand-picked successor. A lawyer who had no experience in
elected office, no feel for politics, and no nerve for controversy.
2. Tariff Issue: Endorsed the Payne-Aldrich Bill which raised instead of lowering the tariff.
3. Alienating Roosevelt: Undid Roosevelt’s work to preserve hydroelectric power sites
and fired Pinchot.
4. Progressive Reform in Congress: Progressives bypassed Taft and worked with Dems
to pass legislation to regulate mine and RR safety, create a Children’s Bureau in the
Department of Labor and establish an 8 hour workday for federal workers and the 16 & th
5. Dollar Diplomacy: Believed he could substitute “dollars for bullets” in the Caribbean.
6. Alienating Roosevelt Again: Filed antitrust suit against U.S. Steel. Roosevelt was both
embarrassed and angered, hinted that he might run for president again.
Election of 1912: The Progressive Election
1. Republican Primaries: Roosevelt ran in thirteen state primaries and won 278 delegates
to Taft’s 48, but Republican Party refused to seat Roosevelt delegates at the convention.
Taft won nomination on the first ballot.
2. Progressive Party: Roosevelt’s supporters bolted the Republican Party. Formed
Progressive Party and nominated Roosevelt for president. Party plank called for woman
suffrage, presidential primaries, conservation of natural resources, a minimum wage for
women, an end to child labor, workers’ compensation, social security, and a federal
income tax. Nicknamed the Bull Moose Party [“fit as a bull moose”].
3. “New Nationalism” versus “New Freedom”: Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism”
expressed his belief in federal planning and regulations. Demanded that government act
as a steward of the people to regulate giant corporations. Wilson’s “New Freedom”
promised to use antitrust legislation to get rid of big corporations and give small
businesses and farmers better opportunities in the marketplace. Insisted that democracy
must be reinvigorated by restoring market competition and freeing government from the
grasp of big business. Wilson and Roosevelt fought it out, but Republican vote was split
and Wilson won by a decisive victory in the Electoral College.
Wilson and the High Tide of Progressivism
A. Wilson’s Reforms: Tariff, Banking and the Trusts 1. Underwood Tariff (1913): lowered tariff by 15%. To compensate for lost revenue,
congress also approved a moderate federal income tax.
2. Federal Reserve Act (1913