But it is more likely that the paternalistic notions of the Roosevelt conservationists included a belief that somehow the federal government could enact a balance between traditional and modern America.
In this sense conservation legislation was intended to preserve the status of representatives of older America by insuring that they could adapt to the new times (Morris 234). Thus the Newlands Act, which protected the small homemaker from monopoly and oppression by the intrusion of a benevolent government into local affairs, clearly envisaged a society where each man could develop expertise without losing his identity or trampling upon someone else. Since industrialism, with its rapid technological changes and consequent social flux, threatened the maintenance of balanced progress, an enlightened government of experts was needed to insure that modern America somewhat resembled the nation from which it had sprung.
Roosevelt received a reputation as a "trust builder". ...
Roosevelt spoke of the "square deal" in domestic affairs and of "gentleman's agreements" in foreign policy. This morality in government was perfectly consistent with a consensus of values which affirmed equality of opportunity, the right of the common man, and the democratic political process, while at the same time upholding an open-class society with acknowledged leaders, correct practices, and certain social barriers. In reorganizing the structure of the government, the technocratic paternalists were attempting to insure the "stability of American institutions" in what they recognized as a changing age. In appealing to traditionalist patterns of behavior, such as self-reliance, and eulogizing traditional success models, such as the yeoman farmer, they were articulating America's need to reassert the common elements of her heritage. More moral functions they could not have imagined (Morris 296). The Roosevelt administrators may have recognized that one logical extension of rapid industrialization was a new American ethos built upon science and technology, fully urbanized, symbolized by large corporate structures, and ruled by an educated elite, but they were less capable of recognizing that this ethos was far removed from the rural, individualistic, agrarian, egalitarian one of their fathers. As President Coolidge stressed repeatedly, the great American need is not more law enforcement but better general law observance. A square deal involves a just tax system, really a system for nation, state and locality combined; one that is fair as a whole not simply just in spots. The giving of a square deal is an inescapable responsibility of a democratic society. To secure it we shall need the best