The United States in the Early 20th Century Essay (Critical Writing)

July 25, 2022 by Essay Writer

Progressive movement

In the early 20th century, the United States went through a time of enlightenment. The nation experienced a movement that focused on the achievement of the various tenets outlined by the concept of progressivism. Notably, the focus of the movement was on the three main pillars of progressivism, which espouse the promotion of morality, improved efficiency, and promotion of democracy and fairness in governance.

From the standpoint of the leaders of the movement, the country suffered from poor democracy, corruption, and unfair treatment. The leaders argued that the country had not managed the issues of industrialization, immigration, and women’s suffrage effectively. As such, the movement focused on ensuring that companies did not exercise the exploitation of the citizens and that the state had to respect the people of all genders and give them a voice.

Although the main leaders of the movement such as Grace Abboth and Sophonisba Breckinridge did not involve themselves in politics, some leaders in the political class who comprised Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt became ambassadors of the movement. These leaders advocated for the inclusion of all individuals in government activities and equal treatment.

Furthermore, the leaders advanced trusts and laws that could help govern the operations of industries as some of the tools useful in the attainment of fair democracy. The movement also challenged the government to improve old methods of doing things and adopt modern methods that are more efficient. As such, it is practical to assert that the factors advanced by the progressive movement centered on morality, just democracy, and, improved efficiency. In effect, the current state of the United States is an outcome of the movement that initiated the enactment of various laws that shaped the destiny of the country.

US-Japanese relations from 1853-1941

The relationship between the United States and Japan has grown over time to its present state. The earliest stages of the relationship dating back to 1853 when the Japanese government approved a treaty presented to them and the United States acquired the right to dock their vessels and trade at the ports of Japan. The treaty ensured that citizens of the United States would enjoy a decent treatment in case of accidents and shipwrecks as well as a privilege to enjoy religious freedom.

Moreover, the treaty approved by the government of Japan enabled the United States to enjoy the privileges of the ‘most favored country’, also enjoyed by countries like Germany and Britain. A chance to trade in the Far East and Japan received some scale of hostility especially from the Japanese citizens, a situation that led to an exchange of fire and penalties that amounted to $3,000,000 on the Japanese government.

However, after the hostile treatment, Japan began a journey towards industrializing herself in the quest to minimize vulnerability to treaties and laws enacted in favor of European countries. The journey led to the improvement of immigration between the United States and Japan. As a result, people from Japan started migrating to the United States. The favorable immigration rules that emerged because of improved relations between the United States and Japan led to an influx of Japanese citizens.

Some of the treaties that facilitated the flourishing relationship between the two countries include the ‘Five Power Treaty’ signed in 1922which gave Japan an equivalent position among Germany, Great Britain, France, and the United States. The treaty also ensured that Japanese nationals would enjoy a number of naval privileges in the Pacific without discrimination. Therefore, it is conclusive to assert that the relationship between the United States and Japan is a journey that has progressed productively over a number of decades.

Compare and contrast Roosevelt’s ‘New Nationalism’ with Theodore’s ‘New Freedom’

Although the two ideologies had a number of differences, they still displayed a range of similar factors. One of the major similarities presented by the two ideologies comprised the interest that they had towards the citizens of the United States. While Woodrow Wilson argued that the government would help address the exploitation experienced by the people, Roosevelt argued that human rights had to supersede property rights.

Scrutiny on the two arguments presents a similarity between the concept of ‘New Nationalism’ and ‘New Freedom’. It is important to note that ‘New Nationalism’ held the view that large companies had to be managed using trusts so that they deliver their services without exploitation and for the common good of the nation. On the other hand, ‘New Freedom’ stated that although monopolies should not be subjects of trust, the federal government has to regulate their actions so that they execute their activities in the right manner.

The major contrast that is evident from the two ideologies revolves around the manner in which the state should control the operations of companies. Roosevelt believed that trust should be a tool that the government employs to manage the operations of large entities. The belief is different from that held by Wilson who stated that the federal government should monitor the behavior of companies without the need for enactment of trusts. Notably, Wilson observed that there would be no freedom if the government used trusts to manage the operations of companies. In his perspective, Wilson stated that for America to be free the government had to exercise minimal direct control on companies and allow them to run their affairs in an independent manner.

Read more