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election of Senators (17th amendment), instead of having federal Senators chosen by state legislators.Political parties were somewhat de-emphasized with the development of special interest groups such as women's clubs, trade associations, and labor groups who could lobby for legislation along non-partisan lines.Social legislation, such as child labor laws, compulsory school attendance (age 14); workmen's compensation, and pension plans were also enacted at the state level.Professional certification for teachers, doctors, and lawyers became more stringent. Professional organizations such as the American Medical Association were formed to establish minimum standards--although some said the more rigorous requirements were more to limit numbers and keep the competition down than to police the professions.PROGRESSIVISM AT THE NATIONAL LEVELTEDDY ROOSEVELT--Many believe the Progressive Movement actually began in September of 1901 when President William McKinley, starting his second term, was gunned down by an assassin. Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Rough Rider, Governor of New York, Vice-President, Theodore Roosevelt came to power. They called him, "Teddy," and named a stuffed bear after him.A master politician, charismatic and colorful, Roosevelt disliked radicalism and decided it was better for reform to be implemented under a conservative like himself rather than under the auspices of someone ultra-liberal. To Roosevelt, reform was less a vehicle for remaking American society than for protecting it against radical challenges (socialism). To preserve what was vital, one had to reform.Once president, he looked for ways to expand the power and influence of his office and began using the Sherman Anti-trust Act to dissolve some monopolies and give everyone a "Square Deal." Despite his nickname, "trustbuster," he preferred the regulation of the giant businesses (New Nationalism) instead of their dismantling and actually
dissolved very few (ex.--Northern Securities). He did, however, establish the precedent that the federal government HAD the power to take action against big business, and those businesses that would not abide by HIS particular rules of fair play could expect a challenge.The passage of the Hepburn Act put more teeth into railroad regulation, establishing maximum rates, thus quieting the demand for the nationalization of the rails.Roosevelt was reelected by a landslide in 1904, to serve four years of hisown term.Other legislation supported by Roosevelt included the Meat Inspection Act as a response to THE JUNGLE, the Pure Food and Drug Act to protect consumers from undesirable additives, especially in patent medicines (drugs, alcohol, tar, arsenic, oil), and the Forest Reserve Act which set aside 150 million acres of public land for conservationist purposes, such as national parks and game preserves.