In the area of labor legislation, Roosevelt called for restrictions on the use of injunctions against unions during strikes (injunctions were a powerful weapon that helped the economy in particular). He wanted a law on employees` liability for workers` compensation (anticipating state laws). He called for an eight-hour law for federal employees. In other areas, he also sought a postal savings system to compete with local banks, and eventually campaign finance reform. The greatest failure of progressive reform was its tolerance of the legal and forced disenfranchisement of African Americans. Most progressive reformers failed to join African-American leaders in their fight against lynching. Many supported Southern progressives` efforts to enact voting literacy tests and other legislation in the name of a good government that effectively denied black Americans the right to vote and enshrined Jim Crow segregation. By 1920, all Southern states and nine states outside the South had enacted such laws. The term was broader when Roosevelt asserted in July 1903 that “this administration represents a square agreement all around,” or when he wrote to Paul Lacey of Chicago: If there is one thing I want to advocate, it is a just agreement, an attitude of benevolent justice among men, whatever a man`s creed, place of birth or social position, as long as he shows in his life and work the qualities that give him the right to respect his neighbor. Roosevelt told the official Frank C. Nunemacher, he believes, “that the motto `fair play for the worker and a fair deal for every American, employer, or employee` is as good as you could wish it to be.” In 1904, he confessed to journalist Ray Stannard Baker “my favorite formula – A fair deal for every man.” Roosevelt`s desire to control corporations went beyond breaking trust.
In 1903, Roosevelt signed the Elkins Act, which prohibited railroads from offering discounts to their favorite and wealthiest customers. The Hepburn Act of 1906 expanded the power of the Interstate Commerce Commission and allowed it to set railroad rates — a reform that progressives and even former populists had been calling for for years. Roosevelt also created a new cabinet department, the Department of Commerce and Labor, to control the excesses of big business. At the end of Roosevelt`s presidency, it even hosted a White House conference on dependent children, focusing on child welfare and labor issues. All these lawsuits, laws, departments and conferences were new territory for the federal government. Never before has a president or federal government been so heavily involved in regulating the economy. Most presidents approached economics with a laissez-faire attitude, allowing capitalists to run their businesses as they saw fit. Now, Roosevelt has called for ethical standards for big business, insisting that they will not abuse their economic power to exploit workers and consumers.
When I say that I am in favour of a fair deal, I do not only mean that I am defending fair play under the current rules of the game, but that I am advocating that these rules be changed in order to work towards greater equality of opportunity and a reward for equally good services.  While Roosevelt was naturally able to favor conservation—preserving the natural state of America`s lands and resources—he recognized the commercial interests of Western farmers and miners and supported conservation ideals—and used natural resources sustainably. Roosevelt clearly supported rational use of land and its resources when he signed the Newlands Reclamation Act in 1902, which sold public land to raise money for irrigation projects. Roosevelt also appointed Gifford Pinchot, a conservationist, to head the newly created National Forest Service in 1905. Roosevelt took many steps to preserve America`s natural beauty. With the signing of the Antiquities Act in 1906, Roosevelt created a procedure for designating national monuments. In a 1903 speech in Springfield, Illinois, he said, “It seems to me more fitting that the guard around Lincoln`s grave should be composed of colored soldiers. I was fortunate in Santiago to serve alongside the colored troops. A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to get a fair deal afterwards.  The unions in Samuel Gompers` time were generally on the side of the Democrats, but Roosevelt believed that favorable policies would win votes against them, or at least neutralize their opposition.  He had spoken out against unions in 1896 when they supported William Jennings Bryan, and after 1900 he came to appreciate their value. He played a central role in negotiating a compromise to end the 1902 coal strike, which threatened the country`s energy supply.
 He decided that they also needed a fair deal and a stronger voice and collective bargaining with the companies.   Improving the effects of industrialization had at its heart a highly effective women`s political network. In settlements, for example, black and white reformers living in working-class urban neighborhoods provided child care, kindergartens, health programs, job placement and safe recreational activities. They also called for new government accountability for sanitation, regulation of working conditions and wages in factories, housing reform, and the abolition of child labor. Executives such as Jane Addams and Ida B. Wells-Barnett in Chicago and Lillian Wald in New York pioneered municipal and state governments in ensuring the basic social well-being of citizens. This part of progressive reform included improving urban services, such as garbage collection and sanitation. Some activists focused on housing reforms, such as the New York Tenement House Act of 1901, which required better lighting, ventilation, and toilets. Laws protecting workers` health and safety mobilized other reformers. Protective laws limiting women`s working hours, eliminating child labor and setting minimum wages could be found throughout the country. Twenty-eight states have passed laws regulating women`s working hours, and thirty-eight enacted new child labor regulations in 1912 alone. A first use of “Square Deal” by Theodore Roosevelt in the press occurred in 1899, when the New York Times quoted his statement: “I did not name a man because he came from Dr.
Wall or any other church; I have given every man fair treatment on his own account. That`s what I mean by Americanism.  His policy reflected three fundamental ideas: conservation of natural resources, control of enterprises, and consumer protection. These three requirements are often referred to as the “three Cs” of Roosevelt`s Square Deal. Thus, the agreement aimed to help middle-class citizens and included attacks on plutocracy and lack of trust, while protecting the economy from the most extreme demands of organized labor. As a progressive Republican, Roosevelt believed in government action to alleviate social ills, and as president in 1908 he condemned “representatives of predatory wealth” as guilty of “every form of injustice, from the oppression of wage workers to the unjust and unhealthy methods of breaking competition and deceiving the public through the manipulation of securities and the manipulation of securities.” Trusts and monopolies have become the main target of the Square Deal legislation. The 75 topics in the 94-page booklet include: America, A Good American, Alaska, Anarchy, Army and Navy, Capital, Character, Charity, Citizenship, Farmer, Peace, Publicity, Trusts, Weaknesses, and World Power. Some imitate the form of proverbs.  Throughout 1905, Roosevelt used his slogan in newspapers, adding “Square Deal” to the headlines: in 1901, during a speech in Lynn, Massachusetts, he declared “a square accord for every man, great or short, rich or poor,” taken by stereogram (pictured).   Although Roosevelt is known as the Buster Trust, his ultimate goal was not to destroy big business, but to regulate it.
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