Roosevelt - VI TR's Square Deal for Labor I The...

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VI. TR’s Square Deal for Labor I. The Progressivism spirit touched President Roosevelt, and his “Square Deal” embraced the three Cs: control of the corporations, consumer protection, and the conservation of the United States’ natural resources. II. In 1902, a strike broke out in the anthracite coalmines of Pennsylvania, and some 140,000 workers demanded a 20% pay increase and the reduction of the workday to nine hours. o Finally, after the owners refused to negotiate and the lack of coal was getting to the freezing schools, hospitals, and factories during that winter, TR threatened to seize the mines and operate them with federal troops if he had to in order to keep it open and the coal coming to the people. o As a result, the workers got a 10% pay increase and a 9-hour workday, but their union was not officially recognized as a bargaining agent. III. In 1903, the Department of Commerce and Labor was formed, a part of which was the Bureau of Corporations, which was allowed to probe businesses engaged in interstate commerce; it was highly useful in “ trust-busting .” VII. TR Corrals the Corporations I. The 1887-formed Interstate Commerce Commission had proven to be inadequate, so in 1903, Congress passed the Elkins Act , which fined railroads that gave rebates and the shippers that accepted them. II. The Hepburn Act restricted the free passes of railroads. III. TR decided that there were “good trusts” and “bad trusts,” and set out to control the “bad trusts,” such as the Northern Securities Company, which was organized by J.P. Morgan and James J. Hill. o In 1904, the Supreme Court upheld TR’s antitrust suit and ordered Northern Securities to dissolve, a decision that angered Wall Street but helped TR’s image. IV. TR did crack down on over 40 trusts, and he helped dissolve the beef, sugar, fertilizer, and harvester trusts, but in reality, he wasn’t as large of a trustbuster as he has been portrayed. o He had no wish to take down the “good trusts,” but the trusts that did fall under TR’s big stick fell symbolically, so that other trusts would reform themselves. V. TR’s successor, William Howard Taft , crushed more trusts than TR, and in one incident, when Taft tried to crack down on U.S. Steel, a company that had personally been allowed by TR to absorb the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company, the reaction from TR was hot! VIII. Caring for the Consumer
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Roosevelt - VI TR's Square Deal for Labor I The...

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