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Essential Question : How did progressives bring reform to urban & state governments? PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Essential Question : How did progressives bring reform to urban & state governments? Warm-Up Question: How effective were progressive reformers in addressing: (a) Problems in cities? (b) Discrimination against African-Americans? (c) Inequalities against women? . Government Reform.

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Essential Question : How did progressives bring reform to urban & state governments?

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  • Essential Question:

    • How did progressives bring reform to urban & state governments?

  • Warm-Up Question:

    • How effective were progressive reformers in addressing:

      (a) Problems in cities?

      (b) Discrimination against African-Americans?

      (c) Inequalities against women?

Government Reform

  • City, state, & national governments were in need of reform:

    • Corrupt political machines controlled city governments

    • Monopolists used theirwealthtoinfluencepoliticians, encourage monopolies, & fight labor laws

    • Political positions were gained based on patronage not merit

    • Corruption scandals plagued the national government

Quick Class Discussion:What problems existed within the city, state, & national governments?

Urban Government Reform

  • In the 1880s, reformers began to demand change in city gov’ts:

    • Reformers tried to end patronage (appointment based on loyalty) by passing the Pendleton Act which required merit-based exams

    • Reformers tried to make gov’t more efficient & break the power of machines by shifting power to city commissions & managers

After a hurricane destroyed the city of Galveston, Texas…

Rather than 1 mayor making all decisions, a committee oversaw different aspects of local government

…politicians created the 1st city commission gov’t

Other cities adopted this model, but added a trained city manager to carry out the day-to-day operation of government

Some cities created their own government-run water, gas, electricity utility companies

These changes were much more efficient & less corrupt than traditional city gov’ts

Progressive Reform in the States

  • Progressive reformers impacted state governments too:

    • Most states created commissions to oversee state spending

    • States began regulating railroads & other big businesses to help workers & promote competition

    • States passed laws limiting workhours for children & women

Progressive Reform in the State

  • The most significant

    state reformer was

    governor Robert La


    “Wisconsin Idea”:

    • Used academic

      “experts” from the

      University of Wisconsin

      to help create state laws

    • Wisconsin was the 1st

      state to create an income

      tax, form industrial commissions, & regulate railroads

Progressives helped make state governments more democratic

State of Texas


Citizens can vote to remove an elected official


Citizens can put an issue on a state ballot & vote to make it a law

Referendum: Citizens vote to increase taxes for new programs

Progressive Reform in the States

  • Progressives helped make state governments more democratic:

    • Most states had direct primary elections to allow voters to choose candidates, not parties

    • In 1912, the 17th Amendment was ratified which allowed for the direct election of Senators by the people

The Senate

Direct Primary Elections

National Progressive Reform: Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, & Woodrow Wilson

President Theodore Roosevelt

  • VP Theodore Roosevelt became president after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901

McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist in Buffalo in September of 1901

President Theodore Roosevelt

  • TR was a different kind of president

    • He thought the

      gov’t ought to



      for the welfare

      of the American


    • His agenda of progressive reform was called the “Square Deal”

Theodore Roosevelt: A “Modern” President

  • TR was committed to a series of reforms:

    • Breaking up harmful monopolies (called “trustbusting”)

    • Regulating businesses such as railroads & the meat industry

    • Conservation of natural resources

“It is the duty of the president to act upon the theory that he is the steward of the people, and…to assume that he has the legal right to do whatever the needs of the people demand, unless the Constitution or the laws explicitly forbid him to do it”


  • During the Gilded Age, Congress passed a series of laws designed to keep big business in check:

    • The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) was formed in 1886 to regulate railroads

    • The Sherman Anti-Trust Act in 1890 made it illegal for companies to restrict trade

  • But neither of these laws were strict enough to control monopolies


  • Roosevelt saw the benefit of efficient monopolies, but wanted to control badtrusts:

    • In 1902, the gov’t ordered the Northern Securities Company (a giant railroad monopoly) broken up because it violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act

    • The Roosevelt administration “busted”25 trusts in 7 years

Theodore Roosevelt, the Trustbuster


Supporting Workers

  • In 1902, the United Mine Workers went on strike to demand higher pay & an eight-hour work day

    • The Anthracite Coal Strike lasted 11 months & threatened the nation as winter approached

Supporting Workers

  • Unlike the Gilded Age presidents, TR did not side with the owners & break up the strike

    • TR forced both sides to arbitrate or face gov’t seizure of the coal mine

    • The result was a “square deal” for both sides

Regulating Business

  • When muckraker Upton Sinclair’s The Junglewas published, Roosevelt pushed for regulation of the meat packing industry

    • Congress passed the Meat Inspection Act in 1906

    • To ban harmful products & end false medicine claims, the Pure Food & Drug Act passed in1906

Quick Class Discussion: Why did The Jungle generate so much outrage from Americans & politicians? Read excerpts from The Jungle

Unregulated Food & Medicines:The Need for the Pure Food & Drug Act

Conservation of the Environment

  • During the Gilded Age, corporations clear-

    cut forests &

    viewed America’s

    natural resources

    as endless

  • Roosevelt began

    the 1st national


Conservation of the Environment

  • The gov’t protected 195 million acres as off limits to businesses

  • The Reclamation Service placed natural resources (oil, trees, coal) under federal protection

National Parks and Forests

The Legacy of Theodore Roosevelt

  • In 1908, Roosevelt decided not to run for re-election as president

  • TR’s presidency was important because for the first time, the national government:

    • Regulated big business

    • Protected the environment

    • Assumed responsibility for the welfare of workers & consumers

William Howard Taft

When Roosevelt decided not to run for re-election in 1908, his successor to the presidency was Republican William Howard Taft

The Presidency of Taft

  • Like TR, Taft believed that the U.S. needed progressive reform:

    • In his 4 years as president, Taft helped break up twice as many monopolies as Roosevelt

    • Created the Children’s Bureau & pushed for child labor laws

    • Helped create safety codes for coal miners & railroad workers

The Presidency of Taft

  • But, Taft did not always trust the gov’t to solve problems & often sided with conservative Republicans

    • He angered progressives when he supported a high tariff which helped monopolies

    • He allowed a cabinet secretary to sell 1 million acres of conservation land to businesses

  • Progressive politicians hoped that TR would run for president again

Progressives (& Roosevelt) began to view Taft as having made a mess of TR’s reforms

The Election of 1912

  • TR decided to run for president in 1912 but the Republican Party picked Taft as their candidate

    • TR created the Progressive (“Bull Moose”) Party

    • Taft was the Republican nominee & the Democrats ran a reform governor, Woodrow Wilson

  • Republican voters were divided in whom to support: Roosevelt or Taft

The Election of 1912 & the Progressive Party (Bull Moose Party)

I’m feeling as fit as a “bull moose”

The Election of 1912

With the Republicans divided, Democrat Woodrow Wilson won the election of 1912

Republicans divided by a Bull moose equals a Democratic victory!

President Woodrow Wilson

  • President Wilson oversaw a great wave of progressive reforms:

    • 16th Amendment created the 1stincome tax in U.S. history

    • 17th Amendment allowed for the direct-election of U.S. Senators

    • 18th Amendment outlawed alcohol (prohibition)

    • 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote (suffrage)

“Progressive Amendments”

President Woodrow Wilson

  • President Wilson oversaw a great wave of progressive reforms:

    • Created the Federal Reserveto regulate the economy by adjusting the money supply & interest rates

    • The Clayton Anti-Trust Act limited the ability of companies to form monopolies & protected workers’ right to strike

    • The Federal Trade Commission monitoredunfairbusinesspractices

The Federal Reserve System

The “Fed” regulates the amount of money in circulation to help keep the economy strong

The End of Progressive Reform

  • The Progressive Era (1890-1920) brought major changes:

    • Gov’t regulation of big business

    • Improvements in U.S. cities

    • More democracy for the people

  • But, the outbreak of World War I in Europe distracted Americans & brought an end to the Progressive Era

  • The End

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