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Address of President Roosevelt at Cincinnati, Ohio (prepared copy)
In the script for an economic policy speech to be delivered at the Cincinnati Music Hall before many captains of industry, President Roosevelt argues that the trusts are a natural result of the prosperity brought by the Industrial Revolution and that we cannot pride ourselves on progress while denouncing the men whose “commanding business ability” made it possible. He uses the example of how one can control the Mississippi River's flooding but not prevent it; therefore, America cannot end corporations but can and must study and regulate them. Roosevelt urges calm, informed evolution on the issue of trusts, not rancorous revolution. Labeling the “demagogic denunciation of wealth” to be unwholesome and even dangerous, he asserts that the public's objection to any corporation should be based on its conduct, not its size or wealth. Roosevelt opposes lifting tariffs for trust-made goods, as that would hurt smaller producers and wage workers more than the trusts. Since most trusts conduct interstate commerce, Roosevelt recommends federal oversight, calling for legislative solutions and perhaps a constitutional amendment. He reminds the crowd that, as part of the executive branch, he is limited in his ability to stop the trusts alone.
Address of President Roosevelt at Cincinnati, Ohio (prepared copy).
Theodore Roosevelt Papers.
Library of Congress Manuscript Division.
Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library. Dickinson State University.
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U.S. President - 1st Term (September 1901-February 1905)
Library of Congress Manuscript Division
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