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How were the goals of Wilson's New Freedom similar to or different from Roosevelt's New...

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gaara1012 | Salutatorian

Posted May 21, 2013 at 4:22 AM via web

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How were the goals of Wilson's New Freedom similar to or different from Roosevelt's New Nationalism? 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 21, 2013 at 5:31 AM (Answer #1)

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In theory, at least, the New Nationalism and the New Freedom were very different approaches to achieving the same goal.  In practice, they ended up being very similar.

Both Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt wanted the government to bring about progressive ends.  They wanted the government to help the common people against the power of the big businesses.  This was the major goal that they hand in common.

However, the two meant to go about this very differently.  Roosevelt’s ideas can be described as “Hamiltonian means to achieve Jeffersonian ends.”  What that means is that Roosevelt wanted a bigger government on a permanent basis (this is Hamiltonian) so as to bring about more equality among all Americans (this is Jeffersonian).  By contrast, Wilson did not want bigger government on a permanent basis.  He wanted the government to act temporarily to break up the monopolies and create more competition.  After that, however, the government should shrink and Jeffersonian ends should be achieved through competition in the private sector.

In practice, Wilson was not able to pull government back.  Instead, his policies ended up looking much more similar to Roosevelt’s than they were supposed to be in theory.

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