Domestic policy objectives

Domestic policy objectives 

Domestic policy objectives 

The Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, and Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, both had the same domestic policy objectives in the first two decades of the 20th century. The program was called Progressivism and the ultimate goal was to clear up corruption in all phases of the economy and the government and to give the working man a better chance to advance. Their methods and motivations, however, were different. Discuss the problems faced by the Progressives and the manner in which they attempted to rectify the problems. Compare these two presidents as far as their accomplishments. Make sure you include the following in your answer: Muckrakers, Northern Securities Case, Hepburn Act, Clayton Anti Trust Act, initiative, referendum, recall.

Domestic policy objectives 

Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilsons remain successful progressives even though they have been greatly criticized. Their commitment, struggles and efforts to ensure national reforms continue to be felt even today. The progressives believed that it was possible for man to improve his living conditions. They rejected the church as a solution to the social and economic problems of their era. Their main goal was to have the government participate in ending corruption, public involvement in the political process and active involvement of the government in solving social and economic problems. They also aimed at take control of public utilities like the railroads, trusts and to pass legislation that would protect consumers, labor groups and the minorities.

Domestic policy objectives 

In solving these problems, the ‘Muckrakers’ were of great influence in publicly exposing the social evils that had prevailed. These writers/journalists exposed the horrors of urban slums, poverty, poor working conditions, child labor, and other evils. This served as an eye-opener to the public to support the call for reforms by the progressives (Roark, Johnson, Cohen, Stage, & Lawson, 2000).

Problems in urban areas were addressed by establishment of settlement houses by social workers to protect the poor. The problem of child labor proved hard to solve as their efforts were thwarted by the courts. The labor regulation problem was solved when the progressives fought to ensure government’s role in workplace regulation. Since then, government oversight has expanded and accepted as part of American Industry. Problems in food and drug industry were solved when the progressives pushed the government to create a legislation that would see all products meant for human consumption being tested. This saw the enaction of the pure food and drug act and meat inspection act. Since then Americans have left the role of ensuring quality and safety of products, verifying labeling and marketing information to the government (Roark et al., 2000).

Domestic policy objectives 

A number of progressives called for direct democracy where citizens would be equally involved in legislation. Three citizen measures the initiative, referendum and recall were called for. The ‘initiative’ makes it possible for citizens to enact law, ‘referendum’ enables citizens to block and reject laws passed by the legislature while ‘recall’ gives citizens mandate to remove from office an official. The achievement of this helped bring reforms and control in the government and encouraged full participation of citizens in the process (Roark et al., 2000).

Meanwhile, the regulation of railroads was achieved through the passing of Elkins Act and Hepburn Act by Congress. Roosevelt accused various trusts under the Sherman Anti-trust Act and signed the Newlands Act, and sold lands in the north to fund irrigation. The Clayton Anti-Trust Act was passed by Wilson as a replacement of the frail Sherman Act of 1890. He signed many other progressive bills into law. This helped stop monopolization in business, including the monopolistic Northern Securities Company which had not been prosecuted under the Sherman Act, even after being declared an illegal due to its monopolistic nature (Roark et al., 2000).

Domestic policy objectives 

In conclusion, the progressive movement left a legacy in the American history. They believed in the role of government insight in solving social and economic problems. Although they did not solve all the problems, they changed their situation back then and because of them, the government started to play an active role in America’s economy, even today.

Domestic policy objectives 

References

Roark, J. L., Johnson, M. P., Cohen, P.C., Stage, S. & Lawson, A. (2000). The American 

Promise: A History of the United States. (3rd ed).Vol.2 From 1865. Boston: St. Martin’s 

Press.

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