How did the progressive philosophies of Roosevelt and Wilson differ?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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President Roosevelt and President Wilson had different philosophies regarding the Progressive Movement. President Roosevelt believed it was acceptable to work with big businesses. Roosevelt felt big businesses were acceptable as long as they didn’t do things that hurt society but benefited themselves. If a business acted in a self-serving way, then Roosevelt would take action against the business. This happened with the coal strike in 1902. When the coal companies wouldn’t negotiate with workers, Roosevelt threatened to take over the mines. This threat brought action in the strike. Roosevelt felt government and business could work together.

President Wilson felt big businesses couldn’t be trusted. He wanted to eliminate monopolies and regulate big businesses. The Clayton Antitrust Act and the Federal Trade Commission were created to regulate the actions of big businesses. Laws restricting child labor were also passed while Wilson was president. Wilson had a much less trusting viewpoint of big businesses.

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