What was the Progressive Party platform?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The Progressive, or "Bull Moose" Party platform included a number of reforms that many progressives had advocated for decades. The Party advocated woman's suffrage, consumer protection laws, federal workman's compensation, child labor laws, and ballot reforms across the country, including the initiative, the referendum, and the recall. Many of these items were on the Democratic Party's agenda as well, but what really set the Progressive Party apart was Roosevelt's commitment to the use of government power, particularly in regulating the power of trusts:

Unquestionably…the great development of industrialism means that there must be an increase in the supervision exercised by the Government over business enterprises.…Neither this people nor any other free people will permanently tolerate the use of the vast power conferred by vast wealth, and especially by wealth in its corporate form, without lodging somewhere in the Government the still higher power of seeing that this power, in addition to being used in the interest of the individual or individuals possessing it, is also used for and not against the interests of the people as a whole.… No finally satisfactory result can be expected from merely State action. The action must come through the Federal Government. (Theodore Roosevelt)

Roosevelt, who had earned a reputation as a "trust-buster" during his tenure as President, argued in 1912 that the best way to curb the power of "malefactors of great wealth" was to expand the powers of government to regulate the activities of business.

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