Theodore “Teddy “ Roosevelt was the 26th American President, who was born in 1858 and died in 1919. He was fortunate to be born into a rich family environment. However he was not a healthy child; who was home schooled for a majority of his early academic years. He had many accomplishments’ throughout his career and has been remembered mainly for his energetic personality, and his intelligence. He was a leader of the Republican Party, and held positions at all levels’ of government prior to winning the election for presidency.
He created the Department of Commerce in addition to the Bureau of Corporations. This allowed the department to investigate actions as well as activities of business and corporations, that are involved in forms of interstate trade. This was seen as Roosevelt showing his new Presidential power. This went over well with the average citizen, but of course angered the owners of these businesses. They made it clear that Roosevelt wanted to limit the size of business as well as regulating their profits. Roosevelt constantly stated he was not anti business. I personally feel he was influenced with his new found power, and wanted to throw his weight around. I feel the government should not be allowed to tell me how to run my business.
He also passed the pure food and drug act that still influences are current society. At the beginning of the century American’s were going through a lot of changes. This new law stated that diseased and bad food was not allowed in foreign and interstate commerce. This made it illegal to sell spoiled vegetables as well as animal products. In addition drugs could not have misleading and or false statements. He established fines and penalties for violations, and also enforced them. Society as a whole benefited from this law. It gave people confidence in purchasing products, as well as ensuring these products are safe. I agree with the passing of the food and drug act. If companies operated with common sense they would not be in this situation. As a byproduct of the passing of this act; investigative journalism came about. This is where Teddy Roosevelt first learned about the conditions associated with the meat industry. I cannot agree any company saying that they will lose money because of this, even though many companies did make this statement.
The meat Inspection Act was passed next. This basically had three parts. The provide information with the history of laws that oversee the slaughtering, processing, and distribution of meat and meat products. It also explained the difference between meat grading and meat inspection. This was passed to benefit the citizens of America. The benefits defiantly outweighed the cost to the business owners and purveyors. There are so many things that can go wrong during the processing of meat for human consumption. Anything can go wrong from selection, processing, and distribution of meat. This law was the foundation of many amendments to come. Once again I have to agree with the president, even if the business owner began to cry fowl.
The Hepburn Act of 1906 was a very important act as it strengthened existing railroad regulations. The first thing it did was to increase the membership from 5 to 7 members in the Interstate Commerce Commission. This also includes the restriction of free passes, and the power to establish maximum rates. This brought certain companies under the control of the ICC; to include businesses that transported goods or information for a fee. An example is ferries we have today. This was meant to benefit the people, but caused a lot of headache with the owners of these types of business. It made the cost of operating rise, as well as implemented new tougher rules, as well as penalties for non-compliance. It also streamlined the process for filling claims for shipping incidents, versus the old way which included a lengthy and costly process. Perhaps the best thing to come about was the uniform accounting practices for these carriers.
One of the last things he passed was the Forest Service Act in 1905. The previous administration that was in charge had a lot of fraud as well as incompetence. He wanted to bring forests and foresters together in an efficient Department of Agriculture. The goal was to use the forest industry in the best interest of the people. There mission statement could best be stated as to care for the land and serve people, to help protect and administer forests and rangelands for this and future generations. He also allocated a lot of funding for research. At the time this seemed to be a waste of public money; however as we progress in the present day this was a very important act. It showed future Presidents that the environment was important and worth investing in. this is very important as we currently face global warming. If not for this Act we might be years behind then where we are now. I am glad he had the public in mind when he passes this. Even though the loggers, and foresters hated him for this.
In conclusion Roosevelt’s achievements as a naturalist, explore, hunter, author, and soldier as much a part of his fame as any office he held as a politician. We as a country were fortunate to have a president that far ahead of his time.
Walsh. B. (2009 January 08). TEDDY ROOSEVELT. Retrieved January 11, 2010 from, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/10,9171,1870485,00.html
http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/theodoreroosevelt/ Retrived January 12, 2010