“A study of four controversial presidents that goes beyond the nature of their administrations and penetrates to fundamental questions of presidential power. He believed “It is the duty of the President to act upon the theory that he is the steward of the people, and to assume that he has the legal right to do whatever. The political climate was ripe for reform, and the stage was set for the era of the Progressive Presidents, beginning with Republican Theodore Roosevelt.


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The Progressive Presidents | W. W. Norton & Company

Country life movement As late ashalf the population lived in the progressive presidents areas. They experienced their own progressive reforms, typically with the explicit goal of upgrading country life.

The railroad system was virtually complete; the need was for much better roads. The traditional method of putting the burden on maintaining roads on local landowners was increasingly inadequate.

New York State took the lead inand by the the progressive presidents system had been discarded in every area. Demands grew for local and state government to take charge. With the coming of the automobile afterurgent efforts were made to upgrade and modernize dirt roads designed for horse-drawn wagon traffic.


The American Association for Highway Improvement was organized in Funding came from automobile registration, and taxes on motor fuels, as well the progressive presidents state aid. Infederal-aid was first made available to improve post-roads, and the progressive presidents general commerce.

The rapidly increasing speed of automobiles, and especially trucks, made maintenance and repair a high priority.

Progressive Era - Wikipedia

Concrete was first used the progressive presidentsand expanded until it became the dominant surfacing material in the s. Typically, classes were taught by young local women before they married, with only occasional supervision by county superintendents.

The progressive solution was modernization through consolidation, with the result of children attending modern schools.

There they would be taught by full-time professional teachers who had graduated from the states' teachers colleges, were certified, and were monitored by the county superintendents.

Farmers complained at the expense, and also at the progressive presidents loss of control over local affairs, but in state after state the consolidation process went forward. County fairs not only gave prizes the progressive presidents the most productive agricultural practices, they also demonstrated those practices to an attentive rural audience.

Programs for new mothers included maternity care and training in baby care.


The traditionalists said many of the progressive presidents reforms were unnecessary and not worth the trouble of implementing. Rural residents also disagreed with the notion that farms needed to improve their efficiency, as they saw this goal as serving urban interests more than rural ones.

The social conservatism of the progressive presidents rural residents also led them to resist attempts for change led by outsiders.


Most important, the traditionalists did not want the progressive presidents become modern, and did not want their children inculcated with alien modern values through comprehensive schools that were remote from local control.

A report to Secretary of War Taft provided a summary of what the American civil administration had achieved.

It included, in addition to the rapid building of a public school system based on English teaching, and boasted about such modernizing achievements as: By the law was clearly a failure.

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