America & World History
Final Exam Essay
The Best and Worst of Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Period 1Final Exam Essay
Woodrow Wilson served as our twenty-eighth president for eight years showing the United States his loyalty, leadership ability and response to tough times.
Woodrow Wilson did many great things for the United States, one of them being his support of the women’s suffrage. For many years women led rallies in front of the white house, begging the president to support their cause. Finally, in 1918, Wilson finally announced his support of the cause, promising women the right to vote. Between the time in 1919 that the senate finally passed the amendment and the time Wilsons support was announced, women saw three results: increased activism among local groups, new, bold ideas to build enthusiasm and rebirth of the national movement.
However, though Wilson had his shining moment with women, he also had some darker days- Although in 1912, Wilson won the support of the NAACP’s black intellectuals and white liberals by promising to treat blacks equally and to speak out against lynching, Wilson did not elect any black officials for his cabinet and instilled segregation facilities, only separating and betraying blacks, not keeping his promises. I believe that if a president is going to make a promise for a change, he needs to either follow through or withdraw his promise with an apology publicly.
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Theodore Roosevelt, our twenty sixth p[resident also had his shining moments, for instance, setting aside 194 acres of land for national parks, forests and preserves. By putting aside so much land, Roosevelt showed the United States that he was really serious about being president and wanted to not only better the day, but better the future as well. However, even though he worked hard to preserve America’s future, he did it no justice by pushing William Taft to run for office. Taft had no confidence or desire to be president and though he did a decent job when in office, I believe it was wrong to push him to become something he didn’t want. Without any drive to become president, he was unable to show America the spark that said “I am here for you and will lead you through the rough times”.
Taft was our twenty seventh president and his biggest mistake while in office was allowing his self confidence to drain and become little nonexistent. Taft was a bleeding heart and was unable to say no when a request was made to him. Taft had no idea who was appropriate to talk to or not, often giving too much information to the wrong person or giving himself an image that was not true. Taft’s lack of self confidence could be most greatly reflected on in the instances where someone would refer to his mass “president Taft” or “r. President”- during this moments, Taft would turn and look for the addressee of the statement, not realizing that people were referring to his as “Mr. President” because he was in fact, President of the United States.
However, even with his lack of self confidence, Taft did have one very strong point about him; his support of the 17th Amendment. The 17th amendment allowed “the people” to elect their senators directly. This is extremely important because a senator is who represents a state in making important decisions- without a senator that ‘the people’ have chosen and trust, there would be no agreement and thus chaos within the government.