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Chapter 18: The Progressive Movement. Section 1: The Roots of Progressivism. The Rise of Progressivism. Progressive Era 1890- 1920. Progressivism was a collection of different ideas and activities about how to fix the problems within American society.

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Chapter 18 the progressive movement

Chapter 18:The Progressive Movement

Section 1: The Roots of Progressivism

The rise of progressivism
The Rise of Progressivism

  • Progressive Era 1890- 1920.

  • Progressivism was a collection of different ideas and activities about how to fix the problems within American society.

    • Progressives felt that government should take a more active role in solving society’s problems caused by urbanization and industrialization.

    • Felt that government needed to be fixed and made more responsive to the people.

  • The muckrakers- a group of journalists who investigated social conditions and political corruption.

    • Their articles led to public debate on social and economic problems.

    • Muckrakers uncovered corruption in many areas.

    • Results in pressure on politicians to introduce reform.

Making government efficient
Making Government Efficient

  • There were many types of progressivism.

    • One group believed that problems in society could be solved if government was efficient.

    • Government could be efficient by applying principles of scientific management.

      • Become more efficient by managing time, breaking tasks down into small parts, and using standardized tools.

    • Commission Plan- replace existing system with a board of commissioners or a city manager with an expertise in city services who would select and hire specialists to run city departments.

Democracy and progressivism
Democracy and Progressivism

  • Robert La Follette- Governor of Wisconsin, criticized how political parties ran their conventions. He pressured the state legislature to require each party to hold a direct primary.

    • Direct primary- a party election in which all party members vote for a candidate to run in the general election.

  • Three new reforms introduced by progressives.

    • 1. Initiative-allowed a group of citizens to introduce legislation and require the legislature to vote on it.

    • 2. Referendum- allowed proposed legislation to be submitted to the voters for approval.

    • 3. Recall- allowed voters to demand a special election to remove an elected official from office.

The suffrage movement
The Suffrage Movement

  • Suffrage- the right for women to vote.

    • Becomes one of the major issues/topics for progressives.

    • July 1848, Elizabeth Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the first women’s rights convention.

  • After the Civil War, the 14th and 15th Amendments were passed to protect the voting rights of African Americans.

    • Women wanted to be apart of this but they were refused.

  • By 1900 only Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, and Colorado had granted voting rights to women.

  • 1890 National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) was formed.

    • They picketed the White House and went on hunger strikes to get their message across.

  • August 26, 1920, the states ratified the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote.

Social welfare progressivism
Social Welfare Progressivism

  • Progressives created charities to help poor and disadvantaged.

  • 1900 over 1.7 million children under the age of 16 worked outside the home.

    • The National Child Labor Committee worked to end child labor.

  • Many adults worked in difficult and dangerous conditions.

    • Building codes, worker’s compensation laws, zoning laws, and health codes all made working conditions better.

The bitter cry of the children
The Bitter Cry of the Children

  • Written by John Spargo in 1906.

  • The book presented detailed evidence on child labor conditions.

  • “Breaker boys”- hired at age 9 or 10 to pick slag out of coal and were paid 60 cents for a 10 hour work day.

    • The work left there backs permanently bent and their hands crippled.

  • Convinced States to push for child labor laws and prevent child labor.


  • Temperance movement called for moderation or elimination of alcohol.

    • Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) worked to reduce alcohol consumption and pushed for prohibition.

      • Prohibition- laws banning the manufacture, sale, and consumption of alcohol.

  • 18th Amendment in 1919 prohibited the manufacturing, sale or transport of intoxicating beverages in the United States.

    • The Volstead Act of 1919 defined intoxication as having a alcohol content greater than 0.5 %.

Progressives versus big business
Progressives Versus Big Business

  • Progressives focused on regulating big business but they disagreed on the solutions.

    • One side believed government should break up big companies to restore competition.

    • Other side wanted the creation of government agencies to regulate big companies and prevent them from abusing their power.

  • Socialism- the idea that government should own and operate industry for the community as a whole. (Small group of progressives).

  • Eugene Debs- led the American Socialist Party and ran for President in 1912.

Roosevelt revives the presidency
Roosevelt Revives the Presidency

  • Square Deal- Roosevelt’s reform program in his second term.

    • Roosevelt felt the government should try to balance the needs of all the groups in American society.

    • T.R. believed that the U.S. needed progressive reforms to remain an efficient society that could compete successfully with other nations.

  • Northern Securities- new holding company created by E.H. Harriman (Union Pacific), James J. Hill and J.P. Morgan (Great Northern and Northern Pacific).

    • T. R. felt that the Northern Securities violated the Sherman Antitrust Act and he filed a lawsuit.

    • Supreme Court ruled in favor of T.R.

      • Northern securities was broken up.

  • United Mine Workers (UMW)- called for a strike of the miners who dug coal.

    • About 150,000 workers from the mines in Eastern PA demanded pay increase, shorter work hours, and union recognition.

    • The strike goes on for months, threatening a coal shortage.

    • T.R. urges the union and owners to accept arbitration (a settlement imposed by an outside party), the workers agreed but the owners did not.

    • T.R. threatens military action and then the owners agree to terms.

Department of commerce and labor
Department of Commerce and Labor

  • The Bureau of Corporations-

    • Had the authority to investigate corporations and issue reports on their activities.

    • The Bureau began by investigating U.S. Steel.

  • “Gentlemen’s Agreement”- a deal between T.R. and the leaders of U.S. Steel.

    • Afraid of anti-trust law suit, U.S. Steel agreed to open up their account books and records to the Bureau.

    • In exchange, if the Bureau found anything wrong, the company would be advised privately and allowed to correct the problem without going to court.

      • T.R. has the ability to regulate big business without having to sacrifice economic efficiency by breaking up the trusts.

Hepburn act and the icc
Hepburn Act and the ICC

  • The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)-

    • Hepburn Act was designed to strengthen the ICC by giving it the power to set railroad rates.

    • The railroad companies found that they can work with the ICC to set rates and regulations that would limit competition and prevent new competitors.

Social welfare action
Social Welfare Action

  • By 1905 consumer protection became a national issue. Patent medicines and food consumption became serious threats to Americans, forcing new legislation.

  • 1906 Upton Sinclair’s The Junglebrought light into the poor conditions of the slaughter houses of Chicago.

    • The Meat Inspection Act required federal inspection of meat sold and set standards of cleanliness in meatpacking plants.

    • The Pure Food and Drug Act prohibited the manufacture, sale, or shipment of impure or falsely labeled food and drugs.


  • President Roosevelt urged Americans to conserve natural resources.

    • 1902 the Newlands Reclamation Act authorized the use of federal funds from public land sales to pay for irrigation and land development projects.

  • Gifford Pinchot- appointed by Roosevelt to head the United States Forest Service to carefully manage the timber resources in the West.

    • Pinchot and his department created regulations controlling lumbering federal lands.

  • Americans began to look to the President to solve the nation’s economic and social problems. As a result, the executive branch greatly increased in power.

Taft becomes president
Taft Becomes President

  • The Election of 1908:

    • Roosevelt endorsed Republican candidate William Howard Taft.

      • T.R. hand selected Taft, because T.R. promised not to run for another term.

    • Democrat candidate, William Jennings Bryant.

    • Taft easily defeated Bryant in the election.

  • Taft felt that high tariffs limited competition, hurt consumers, and protested trusts. Taft called Congress into session to lower tariff rates.

  • Payne- Aldrich Tariff-raised some tariffs instead of lowering them. Taft had alienated progressives and made progressives feel betrayed and angry.

  • Richard Ballinger- named Secretary of the Interior by Taft.

    • Gifford Pinchot charged that Ballinger had tried to turn over valuable public lands in Alaska to a private business group for his own profit.

    • Taft in return fired Pinchot for insubordination.

  • Progressives felt that Taft had sold the Square Deal down the river and resulted in a Democratic victory in 1910.

    • Democrats took control of the House and Democrats and Progressive Republicans gained control of the Senate.

Taft s progressive reforms
Taft’s Progressive Reforms

  • Taft brought twice as many antitrust cases as Roosevelt.

  • Taft establishes the Children’s Bureau to fight child labor.

  • He monitored the activities of the mining companies, expanded national forests, and protected waterpower sites from private development.

  • T.R. refused to criticize Taft ‘s actions as President until Taft brought an antitrust lawsuit against U.S. Steel.

    • Progressives convinced Roosevelt to reenter politics and attempt to replace Taft as the Republican nominee for president in the election of 1912.

The wilson years

The Wilson Years

Section 4

The election of 1912
The Election of 1912

  • Republican conservatives supported William Taft.

  • Republican progressives supported Theodore Roosevelt.

    • Taft gained the Republican nomination.

  • Roosevelt runs as an independent for the Progressive Party, the Bull Moose Party.

  • Democrats select Woodrow Wilson governor of New Jersey and a progressive.

  • The election comes down to Roosevelt and Wilson.

    • Roosevelt runs with New Nationalism, reforms that favored legislation to protect women and children in the workforce and workers’ compensation.

    • Wilson plan was New Freedomwhich supported free enterprise and criticized Roosevelt for supporting programs that Wilson felt supported monopolies.

  • Roosevelt and Taft split the Republican vote, giving Wilson the Electoral College win.

    • Wilson is first Democratic President since 1892.

    • Taft only received 8 electoral college votes.

Regulating the economy
Regulating the Economy

  • In 1913, the Underwood Tariff reduced the average tariff on imported goods to about half of what it had been in the 1890’s.

    • Income tax- a direct tax on the earnings of individuals and corporations.

  • Wilson supported the Federal Reserve system where the banks would have to keep some of their deposits in a reserve to protect customers’ money.

  • 1914 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)- monitors American business involved in unfair trade practices.

    • Clayton Antitrust Act-put a ban on tying agreements, which required retailers who bought from one company to stop selling a competitor’s products, and price discrimination.

      • It declared that unions were not unlawful and called the worker’s “Magna Carta” because it gave unions the right to exist.

Federal aid and social welfare
Federal Aid and Social Welfare

  • In 1916 Wilson signed the Keating- Owen Child Labor Act.

    • Prohibited children under the age of 14 from working in factories.

  • Adamson Act-

    • Established an 8 hour workday for railroad workers.

  • Federal Farm Loan Act-

    • Provided farmers with long- term loans at low interest rates.

The legacy of progressivism
The Legacy of Progressivism

  • By the end of the Progressive era, Americans looked to the government to play an active role in regulating the economy and solving social problems.

  • In 1905 African American leaders met to demand full political rights and responsibilities and an end to racial discrimination for African Americans.

  • 1909 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded.

    • Group still exists today and protects the interest of minority groups.