Comparing Roosevelt’s and Wilson’s Philosophies
Roosevelt was motivated by philosophical analysis by Herbert Croly in his book The Promise of American Life. These were the two schools of thought that dominated the American politics. These are what he called Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian. Hamiltonian was of the idea of a powerful government, special privilege and aristocracy.
That of Jefferson was that of the acceptance of weak government bringing the illusion of democracy, equal rights and access to opportunity. Croly’s proposal was that there should be a balance of the two. Roosevelt proposed the New Nationalism which would champion for democracy and give opportunities to the laboring man and the consumer. This was by protecting their interests. Roosevelt proposition was partly a federal system. He advocated an economic system that each person would have access to opportunity to show the best that is in him.
This simply meant that each person will get the fruit of his effort. This was that every one will earn for himself according to his or her input in terms of energy, time and resource. Roosevelt too holds the opinion that the past evil should not be remembered but people should focus on the potential good that is in them. He said this as he remembered the civil war that had struck the nation some time ago. On his bid to continue to champion for the people who labor in different institutions of life, he says that capital is the fruit of labor and so labor is the superior of capital. To bring a balance he says that capital has a right that is worth of protecting.
He views capital in this case from a different point of view. That capital is a representative of property. The property is the fruit of labor and so it needs protection. In reference to Lincoln speech, he explained how to balance between human labor and capital, their rights and property rights. He observes that as society advances from one stage to another, peple have to fight through to remove a minority that blocks them from opportunities. He says that it is characterized by the braking or removing the special interest groups.
On this he says, “The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity, which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows” (Roosevelt, 1910). He goes ahead to reiterate that the people who own much that have not worked for should quit. They should let the people that work earn the fruits of their labor. He says that a good deal of poor men should get those opportunities that are being held by a few rich who gain but not through their labor. He clarifies the point that it is not about the poor man who does not have energy to work. On public utilities and businesses, Roosevelt proposes that the government should fully supervise all co-operations that handle them.
This is not only to co-operations in the government wing but also for others that work or are involved in interstate dealings. On this he put the directors of the state corporations on high alert, should there be a braking of the law in the various institutions. They are the ones to be held responsible for any breech of the law. He finalizes that the reason for a government to be in place is the welfare of the people. In this he advocates the need of good morals, being genuine for this is the basic of progress to success. He says that for this progress, America need good citizens, who he strongly believed that they can be made.
Woodrow Wilson went in for the New Freedom, which had its kernel a contrast of Roosevelt’s New Nationalism. President Woodrow’s philosophy was completely federal and lacked any touch of state corporations. Woodrow Wilson had a different opinion from that of Roosevelt when it came to the matter of state monopoly. Roosevelt proposed a powerful government that controlled public utilities very closely. Woodrow on the other hand supported Antitrust Law. This was a law that encouraged competition in various business fields.
This law had three aspects. The first one prohibited licenses that prevented the competition in business in various levels. This aimed at repressing cartels. The other part of the law was aimed at banning dominant business in the market. The last part of the law supervised mergers and the acquisition of joint ventures and large corporations.
This went to the extent of divesting some merged institutions to create more licenses for other business to compete. The similarities in their policies were that America needed to dismantle the powers that dominated the America’s market. The difference was on how to manage corporations and large firms. For Roosevelt America needed a government that would directly control them. For Wilson, the corporations were to be licensed out to smaller and many other businesses. According to Woodrow, this would enhance healthy competition, and in so doing offering many people the opportunity to excel.
Woodrow believed that the making the country perfectly federal will allow many small companies grow. This would also help them stage a very healthy completion and consequently enhance the speed of growth of the various small companies. This would also break the monopoly of the very big corporations, in turn opening an opportunity for many (Woodrow, 1913). The two Presidents wanted to make opportunity available to many. Roosevelt’s combination of the two schools of thoughts, which are the weak democratic government and the powerful dominating government, was not very suitable in making the nation perfectly federal. Woodrow improved on the policy by moving away completely form the powerful controlling government, to offering numerous groups of people to own up the national resources.