Chapter 8. The Progressive Presidents 1900 - 1920. REFORMING GOVERNMENT. Political Machines demanded bribes from anyone wanting to do business with city government Political Machines were favorable to business interests tax breaks, favorable legislation, etc.
The Progressive Presidents
1900 - 1920
Problems: Political corruption at all levels of govt.
Reformers wanted to restore honest government and give power back to the people.
Give power to the people to solve the problems of American life.
A nominating election in which voters choose the candidates who will later run in a general election. Wisconsin started in 1903, most other states by 1916.
Reforms to give people ways to influence public policy
Gives voters the power to introduce legislation. If enough voters petition their legislature to enact a measure, the legislature must consider it.
Companion to initiative, voters can force the legislature to place a measure on the ballot.
Allows citizens to vote on recently proposed or existing law
Reforming City Government
“Those skilled in business management & social service should run municipal affairs on a business basis.”
Corruption had become too costly
Most cities had been ruled by mayor & city council made up of aldermans who were elected from wards. Political machines prospered under this because it was easily corrupted.
Led to “Good Government Campaigns”
Ex. Samuel “Golden Rule” Jones served as mayor of Toledo 1897- 1904.
Overhauled the municipal system.- Police, Fire, water, trash, etc.
Believed in the Biblical Golden Rule- “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
Ex. Tom Johnson, was a businessman, mayor of Cleveland, worked to cut ties with political machines.
Event: Galveston hurricane 1900, killed approx 6000. - traditional city government were unable to cope with disaster
Citycommissionwas formed by Texas Legislature, was composed of experts in their field to improve efficiency and honesty
Reforming State Government
In 1900, Wisconsin Gov. Robert LaFollette’s reforms to government
- Wisconsin was then called the “laboratory of democracy.”
Pres. McKinley assassinated on Sept. 6, 1901
1902 PA Coal Strike
Miners wanted higher wages & recognition of the United Mine Workers union.
Owners (RR co’s.) did not negotiate
TR proposed arbitration(letting a 3rd party settle the dispute)
Mine owners refused; TR threatened federal take over mines. Mine owners backed down.
Compromise was reached.
- LANDMARK settlement
FOR THE FIRST TIME the fed government got involved to protect the interests of
TR’s campaign slogan 1904
Every man has a square deal, no less, no more
Balancing the interests of labor, business, and consumers.
Limit the power of trusts, promote public health & safety, improving working conditions.
1902 US government sued Northern Securities Co. (J.P. Morgan) for monopolizing RR shipping in the northwest.
1904 Supreme Court ruled (using the Sherman Anti-Trust Act) in US government’s favor & ordered the corporation to be dissolved.
TR went on to file 44 suits against “BAD” trusts.
- not the size of the trust, but whether the trust was bad for the public as a whole.
-Interstate Commerce Commission gained great power with the passage of:
-Elkins Act 1903 which forbade shippers from accepting rebates. (money given back to shippers in return for business)
-Hepburn Act 1906 authorized the ICC to set RR rates & to regulate other companies engaged in interstate commerce.
Protecting the Consumer
-Food and Drug industries were producing dangerous products
Enacting of Consumer Protection Laws
Meat Inspection Act 1906 required govt inspection of meat shipped from one state to another
Pure Food & Drug Act 1906 forbade the manufacture, sale, or transportation of food and patent medicine containing harmful ingredients. Also required content labels on bottles.
Protecting the Environment
-Business always more important than environment
-Newlands Reclamation Act 1902 allowed money from the sales of public land to be used for irrigation and reclamation (making damaged land productive again).
-Withdrew sale of millions of acres of public land
-Creation of National Parks and animal sanctuaries
-Created the National Conservation Commission to study natural resource issues and to the establishment of conservation agencies in 41 states.
REFORM UNDER TAFT
1908 - 1912
William Howard Taft
TR chooses not to run
He names/supports his friend and Secretary of War as successor
Wins by huge margin
- Stressed the limitations of the president
Worked to secure Roosevelt’s reforms rather than build upon them
(later Chief Justice)
90 vs. 44
Taft vs. TR
Mann – Elkins Act1910
Extends regulatory powers of the Interstate Commerce Commission to telephone and telegraph companies
Supported Conservation programs
Dept. of Labor established
Mine safety laws passed
8 hr workday for companies doing business with the federal gov’t.
Hilda L. Solis
Proposed in 1909; Ratified 1913
Graduated Income Tax
(based on individual income)
Funded needed gov’t programs in fair manner
Taft loses support of Progressives
He supports Payne-Aldrich Tariff 1909 over Progressive protests
TR sided with his friend, Pinchot
He campaigned for Progressive Republicans who were running against Conservative (Taft) Republicans
Bold program of social legislation calling for tough laws to
ensure public health
Government must become the “steward of the public welfare.”
New Nationalism is a revival of the progressive spirit.
Conservatives vs. Progressives
TR and supporters formed Progressive Party
“Bull Moose Party”
Underwood Tariff Act1913
Clayton Anti-Trust Act 1914
Clarified and extended the Sherman Antitrust Act
Reduced tariffs to lowest levels in 50 years
Federal Trade Commission
Authorized to investigate corporations
Used courts to enforce rulings
Federal Reserve Act
Creates 3 Level Banking System
Federal Farm Loan Act
Federal Workmen’s Compensation Act
National AmericanWomen Suffrage Association
Founded in 1890
Susan B. Anthony & Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Non-partisan local approach
Later led by Carrie Chapman Catt
National Women’s Party
Broke from NAWSA in 1913
Involved in National Politics