During the Progressive Era, America had a lot of issues to address. Some issues included political corruption, monopolies, land loss, and poor working conditions. The second president during the Progressive Era, President William Howard Taft, seemed to be the most progressive by busting the most trusts and protecting consumers.
First, Taft busted twice as many monopolies as the Great Trust-Buster Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt busted the trusts that he believed were bad, but Taft busted all of them. This trust-busting shows that Taft was the best because he busted all of them regardless of his own opinion. Secondly, Taft strengthened the Interstate Commerce Commission by allowing, Congress to pass the Mann-Elkins Act of 1910 which authorized the Interstate commerce Commission to set rates for railroads. The act also expanded the Interstate Commerce Commission’s authority to cover telephones, telegraphs, and radios (millercenter.org). This act made Taft successful because it protected consumers, the working class, which was one of the main goals of the Progressive Era. Thirdly, Taft established the Postal Savings System which provided working class families a safe place to invest funds, encouraged deposits from people who were afraid of using private banks, increased the supply of currency, and made bank services available to working people who did not have time to travel to far away banks (the Ultimate History Project). The Postal Savings System was also successful because it also protected consumers. Fourth, Taft passed the Sixteenth Amendment which reduced the federal government’s authority to tax income without equally dividing it up among the states and the Seventeenth Amendment which allowed the direct election of senators. These amendments were just another important aspect because they decreased political corruption, which was another major goal of the Progressive Era.
Theodore Roosevelt deserves the grade of a B- because during his presidency he set the precedent for the future presidents. He was a very popular president, but he did not accomplish as many goals that Taft and Wilson did. Taft deserves an A because he achieved nearly all the Progressive Era goals. Lastly, Wilson deserves a B because he protected consumers and the environment, but he engaged in World War I in 1917.
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