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Teddy's Struggle

            "The Struggle for Social Justice" was the basis of the platform that Theodore Roosevelt and his Progressive Party ran on in the 1912 presidential campaign. In 1901 Theodore Roosevelt was elected president after an anarchist killed President McKinley. Roosevelt was a Republican, but was truly a progressive at heart. During his presidency, he reformed American industries in order to give the rule of government back to the people to restore social justice and human rights. Roosevelt said that, "We must, through the law, make conditions of life more fair, make equality of opportunity more real. We must strive for industrial as well as political democracy." Throughout his political career, Roosevelt struggled to reach the social justice he described in 1912.
             The progressive movement was based on the idea of progress in society. They believed that America could improve but in order to do so the government had to take more action, i.e. the people needed to get more involved. Their ideas centered on actions taken only upon scientific facts and solutions provided by academic and professional experts. The progressives were people that believed in the Social Gospel, do what Jesus did. More so, that the ideas of Social Darwinism or survival of the fittest were immoral. Darwinism thought that after the all the world was settled, the wealthy Anglo-Saxons, or the superior race, would achieve world wide dominance. Josiah Strong said, "It seems to me that God, with infinite wisdom and skill, is training the Anglo-Saxon race for an hour sure to come in the world's future." On the contrary, Progressives had the idea of the equality of human beings despite wealth. "The very rich men have shown that they are not loyal to the cause of human rights, human justice, human liberty." Thus, the idea of laissez faire, or little government influence, had to be discontinued because these wealthy Americans and their corporations assumed control of politics.

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