Many presidents have had great impacts on the standing of the United States but at the start of the 20th century there were three notable presidents; Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson. Although Roosevelt and Taft stood up for the common American and improved relationships with foreign countries during their terms, Wilson’s international leadership and comprehensive domestic policy reform had the most significant impact on how the world viewed the United States.

            Roosevelt, during his two terms in office, contributed greatly to the progress of the United States by taking an aggressive stand against large domestic corporations, also known as trusts. This helped the average worker in the United States, many of whom worked under harsh conditions for low wages. (Theodore Roosevelt Association) Taft, who succeeded Roosevelt, carried on this trust-busting tradition, which further improved the working lives of people. However it was Woodrow Wilson who made the greatest contribution. While Wilson agreed that too much power in the hands of too few was dangerous, He perused a more sophisticated approach to encouraging competition. He oversaw the establishment of the Federal Trade Commission, which helped reduce unfair trading practices. (John Simkin) He also passed the Clayton Anti-trust act, which prevented monopolies and made many unfair business practices illegal. This approach was superior because it laid out clear guidelines for the corporations to follow.

            In addition to supporting workers, Wilson also oversaw improvements in other areas of American Life including Woman’s voting rights, supporting farmers with the Federal Farm loan Act and by creating the Federal Reserve System. He was a supporter to the progressive movement; he also passed in 1894 income taxes, which was a big change and success for average citizens. Wilson was very big on science technology to improve sufficiency and modernization. (Paul Dean)

            Roosevelt helped lead the US successfully into the American and Spanish War  and finished within three months. Wilson led the US into WW1, which obviously was successful and showed the world that America was powerful and willing to stand up for moral issues. Wilson created the fourteen points that spread democracy, established some international protocol and helped with world peace. Wilson’s Moral Diplomacy greatly influenced many countries, forced democracy and furthered the economic interests of the United States. ( John McLoughlin)

            All three presidents were very accomplished, efficient and had strategic plans to strengthen the United States both internally and internationally. Wilson, however, was more effective with the string of Acts that he created and passed to protect the average American citizen.  Wilson had a more effective strategy when he tried a different way of approaching life by creating and passing act, which leads me to think he was a more proficient and successful president.           

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