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DO NOW. Between the end of Civil War and the turn of the twentieth century, the United States became a more industrialized and urbanized nation These changes brought many benefits to American society, but they created problems as well.

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do now

Between the end of Civil War and the turn of the twentieth century, the United States became a more industrialized and urbanized nation

These changes brought many benefits to American society, but they created problems as well

create a graphic organizer to list problems brought on by rapid industrialization and urbanization
Create a graphic organizer to list problems brought on by rapid industrialization and urbanization
the progressive movement

The Progressive Movement

Responses to the Challenges Brought About by Industrialization and Urbanization

the big idea

The Progressive Era was a period of reform movements during which:

Progressives promoted political, economic, and social reform

Reforms were made at the city, state, and national levels

Progressive reforms laid the groundwork for future success



To what extent did Progressive reformers succeed in bringing about political, economic, and social reform?

reform in america overview
Reform in AmericaOverview

From the 1890s to 1920, a reform movement swept the nation as many people focused their energies on improving conditions within the United States

The Progressive movement was made up of groups and individuals who worked to address the negative effects of industrialization and urbanization in the United States

Three progressive presidents- Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson- implemented bold domestic reform programs at the national level

pressures for progressive reform
Pressures for Progressive Reform

By 1900, the United States was a rich and powerful nation. Industrialization, urbanization, and immigration had helped to transform the nation into a major economic power. The changes in American life, however, also brought problems. The call of Progressive reformers for change led to a period known as the Progressive Era

pressures for progressive reform1
Pressures for Progressive Reform

The call of progressive reformers for change was also a reaction to a government which, at all levels, had been relatively unresponsive to the negative effects of industrialization and urbanization. The theory of Social Darwinism was used to explain the widening gap between the rich and the poor and laissez faire philosophy prevailed, thwarting governing intervention

By the turn of the century, industries largely remained unregulated by federal and state governments

Granger laws were struck down as unconstitutional. Federal legislation, such as the Sherman Anti-Trust Act had failed to bring an end to monopolistic business practices

Courts most often favored the interests of business over those of the working class

Because of rampant political corruption at all levels of government, the public received little help from its elected representatives


Several United States Supreme Court rulings provide examples of the mixed response of the federal government in the struggle to improve working conditions

Lochner v. New York (1905)

Muller v. oregon (1908)

  • In Lochner v. New York (1905), the Supreme Court ruled that a New York state law limiting bakers’ hours was unconstitutional because it interfered with the contract between employer and employee
  • In Muller v. Oregon (1908), the Supreme Court let stand an Oregon state law limiting women to a ten-hour work day, ruling that the law was justified because it protected the health of women. The effect of the law, however, was to keep women out of better paying jobs
who were the progressives
Who Were the Progressives?

The Progressive reform movement was made up of many individuals and groups who set out to tackle the problems of their era

Progressive reformers represented a diverse cross-section of America

Their success at bringing about political, economic, and social reform varied from reformer to reformer and cause to cause

Progressives, however, did hold some characteristics in common. First and foremost, they shared a belief in the power of the government to change people’s lives for the better

who were the progressives1
Who Were the Progressives?


The Progressives were influenced by the Populists but differed from them.

who were the progressives2
Who Were the Progressives?

Beliefs and Goals

  • Like all reformers, Progressives were optimists who believed that the abuses of government and business could be ended.
  • They believed that new developments in science and technology could be used to improve the basic institutions of American society- business, government, education, and family life
  • Progressives were not revolutionaries. They did not seek to overthrow the nation’s political and economic institutions. Although they sought to bypass party politics, which they saw as corrupt, they had faith that good government could and should correct abuses and protect the interests of the public.
progress toward social and economic reform
Progress Toward Social and Economic Reform
  • Attempts to end poverty, crowding, and disease in America’s urban slums began before 1900
  • One early urban Progressive reform effort was the settlement house movement
  • Settlement houses, such as Hull House, founded in Chicago by Jane Addams, and the Henry Street Settlement, founded in New York City by Lillian Wald, were established in urban slums in an effort to help the poor and working-class
  • Settlement houses offered people, especially immigrants, education, child care, and cultural and social activities
progress toward social and economic reform1
Progress Toward Social and Economic Reform

The Muckrakers and Reform

  • Muckrakers helped bring reform issues to the attention of the public. Most were journalists and writers, but others were artists and photographers, such as Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine.
  • Muckrakers investigated and exposed corruption and injustice through articles in mass-circulation magazines. They also wrote novels dramatizing situations that demanded reform.
progressive era muckrakers
Progressive Era Muckrakers
  • Urban social reformers, such as the muckraking journalist Jacob Riis, used writings and photographs to show the need for better housing for the poor and the working class
  • Riis’ searing work How the Other Half Lives (1890) dramatically depicted the wretched living conditions in New York City’s tenements
  • Riis’ work prompted important legislative reforms in New York City, such as the passage of landmark building and housing codes, the first such laws in the country, requiring better and more sanitary living conditions
progressive era muckrakers1
Progressive Era Muckrakers

“There would be meat stored in great piles in rooms; and the water from leaky roofs would drip over it, and thousands of rats would race about on it. It was too dark in these storage places to see well, but a man could run his hand over these piles of meat and sweep off handfuls of the dried dung of rats. These rats were nuisances, and the packers would put poisoned bread out for them; they would die, and then rats, bread, and meat would go into the hoppers together..”

Upton Sinclair, The Jungle

consumer fraud
Consumer Fraud

The industrial growth of the late 1800’s often brought with it a reduction in the quality of goods, especially in large food factories

No longer were customers able to deal directly with people from whom they bought their food; as a result, consumers had no safeguards against poor quality or misleading advertising

consumer protection
Consumer Protection
  • The meatpacking industry was notorious for unsanitary conditions
  • President Roosevelt pressed Congress to pass meat inspection laws, in part due to the fact that hundreds of American-soldiers had died during the Spanish-American War from eating tainted meat
  • In 1906, Congress passed the Meat Inspection Act requiring federal inspection of meat processing to ensure sanitary conditions in meatpacking plants
consumer protection1
Consumer Protection
  • The misuse of chemical additives and misleading advertising were other problems faced by consumers in the early 1900s
  • Canned foods, for example, were contaminated with dangerous chemicals and adulterants
  • Companies in the pharmaceutical industry claimed-without any proof-that their products could cure a variety of ills. Often, such products contained high concentrations of alcohol or dangerous sedatives
  • Pushed b President Theodore Roosevelt, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. The act, which led to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration, barred (banned) the use of harmful additives in foods and forbade the use of misleading statements in the advertising of drugs.
reform of city governments
Reform of City Governments

Given the Progressives’ urban, middle class roots, it is not surprising that they first concentrated their efforts on the governments in which they lived and in which they were influential citizens

They attacked political machines where they controlled government at city and state levels, condemning practices such as accepting bribes in return for favors

In the 1890s, Americans interested in good government worked to elect reformist mayors

Success in doing so, however, did not always ensure permanent improvement. Progressives had to change not only the leader, but the way city government worked

reform of city governments1
Reform of City Governments

Two new types of city government are associated with the Progressive movement. They were popular in small and medium-sized cities.

progressives respond to urban problems
Progressives Respond to Urban Problems
  • While some Progressives concentrated not only on making city governments more efficient and less corrupt, architects and city planners tried to improve the appearance of cities by constructing large, elaborate libraries, museums, and other public buildings.
  • Progressive engineers recognized that the sudden and rapid growth of cities called for redesigning and improving needed city services such as sanitation, street lighting, and the water system.
  • Still others worked to regulate these other utilities or even turn them into publicly owned facilities
reforms of state government
Reforms of State Government
  • Progressives also acted to limit the power of boss-controlled political machines and powerful business interests at the state level
  • Progressives recognized that states exercised control over many of their cities
  • Extension of reform to the state, even the national level, was necessary to protect any gains made at the municipal level
reforms of state government1
Reforms of State Government

The secret, or Australian, ballot lessens the chance of intimidation because it prevents party bosses (and anyone else) from knowing how people vote

The initiative is a system that allows voters to petition the legislature to consider a proposed law

In a referendum, voters, not the legislature, decide whether a given bill or constitutional amendment should be passed

Recall is a form of petition used by voters to force elected officials out of office

A direct primary allows voters, rather than party leaders, to select the candidates who will run for office

Ratified in 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment provided for the direct election of senators

state social economic and environmental reforms
State Social, Economic, and Environmental Reforms
  • Wisconsin, under Governor Robert M. La Follette was the model for Progressive reforms
  • The state passed laws to regulate railroads, lobbying, and banking.
  • It also started civil service reforms , shifted more of the tax burden to the wealthy and to corporations, required employers to compensate workers injured on the job and provided for factory inspections
state social economic and environmental reforms1
State Social, Economic, and Environmental Reforms

Several other states passed laws like those of Wisconsin

In 1912 Massachusetts became the first state to pass a minimum wage law

Leading Progressive governors included Hiram Johnson of California, who reformed the railroad industry, and Theodore Roosevelt of New York

As governor of NY (1899-1900), he supported the creation of NY State Tenement Commission to investigate NYC tenements

He also worked to eliminate sweatshop factory conditions which forced women and children to work long hours for very low pay in dangerous conditions

triangle shirtwaist fire
Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
  • In March 1911, a horrific fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York City caused the deaths of almost 150 people, mostly young immigrant women
  • Dozens leapt to their deaths from upper stories to escape the burning building due to locked exits and inadequate fore escapes
theodore roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
  • Roosevelt was elected Vice President in 1900, and became President when President William McKinley was assassinated. He was elected in his own right in 1904.
  • Roosevelt saw his job as one of stewardship – leading the nation in the public interest, like a manager or supervisor
  • He believed that the President had any powers not specifically denied to the executive in the Constitution
  • Roosevelt’ administration is often known as the Square Deal because of the many reforms made during his presidency

As a naturalist, Theodore Roosevelt was interested in conservation, or protecting the nation’s environment and its wilderness lands

His policies were influenced by the conservationists Gifford Pinchot and John Muir

Before Roosevelt, the government’s land policy put land in the private hands of homesteaders, railroads, and colleges.

Roosevelt shifted this policy and kept some land under federal government protection

progressivism under taft
Progressivism Under Taft
  • After Roosevelt declined to run for a third term, William Howard Taft succeeded him in 1909
  • Taft began his presidency with the support of Roosevelt and the Progressive wing of the Republic Party
reforms under taft
Reforms Under Taft

Under Taft, the Justice Department brought twice as many suits against big business as it had under Roosevelt

One of the most important cases involved the Supreme Court’s ruling in Standard Oil Co of New Jersey v. United States (1911) held that the monopoly should be dissolved

But it also applied the so-called “rule of reason” to the Sherman Antitrust Act. There was a difference, said the Court, between “reasonable” and “unreasonable” business combinations

Size alone did not mean that a company was “unreason”

reforms under taft1
Reforms Under Taft
  • The Taft era witnessed other reforms, too
  • The Mann-Elkins Act of 1910 gave the ICC the power to regulate communication by telephone and telegraph
  • In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified, authorizing Congress to impose an income tax
problems for taft
Problems for Taft

Taft, who was not as politically able as Roosevelt, soon ran into problems that split the Republican Party into a Taft faction and a Progressive faction

Like other Progressives, Taft wanted to lower tariffs, but he was unable to stand up to the Republican Congress that raised them with the Payne-Aldrich Act of 1909

Taft angered Progressives by calling the law “the best bill that the Republican party ever passed.”

woodrow wilson and the new freedom
Woodrow Wilson and the New Freedom
  • In 1912, Teddy Roosevelt challenged Taft for the Republican presidential nomination
  • When the nomination went to Taft, Roosevelt ran as the candidate of a third party, the Progressive or Bull Moose Party
  • Wilson was the Democratic candidate and Eugene Debs ran on the Socialist ticket
woodrow wilson and the new freedom1
Woodrow Wilson and the New Freedom

Roosevelt offered what he called the New Nationalism, while Wilson called his program the New Freedom

Both were Progressive philosophies

Roosevelt, however, accepted social legislation and business regulation

The more traditional Wilson aimed for a return to competition in the marketplace with enforcement of antitrust laws

Wilson won the election of 1912 by a landslide of electoral votes, although he received only 41 percent of the popular vote. In 1916, he was reelected into office in an even closer race

wilson and the new freedom
Wilson and the New Freedom

Financial reforms

Federal reserve

  • In 1913, he pressured Congress to pass the Underwood Tariff Act, which lowered tariffs for the first time since the Civil War
  • The law also provided for a graduated income tax, or a progressive tax, which taxed larger incomes at a higher rate then it did lower ones
  • Also in 1913, the Federal Reserve was created
  • This national banking system is divided into 12 districts, each with a Federal Reserve bank
  • The federal government could now
    • Issue a new, sound currency – Federal Reserve Notes
    • Control the amount of money in circulation and interest rates
    • Shirt money from one bank to another as needed
  • The Federal Reserve Board lowers interest rates to stimulate consumer spending in times of recession or raises interest rates to control inflation
business regulation
Business Regulation

The federal trade commission act

The Clayton antitrust act

  • The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 aimed to prevent unfair competition
  • It created a commission to investigate such practices as false advertising and mislabeling
  • The Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 strengthened the government’s power to control business practices that threatened competition
  • Among other things, the act prohibited companies from price fixing and from buying stocks in competing firms
  • Later in the twentieth century, federal prosecutions of alleged violations of antitrust laws continued against corporations such as AT&T and Microsoft
end of the progressive era
End of the Progressive Era

The Progressive Era came to an end when the United States entered World War I

During the war, American priorities shifted to the war effort, and in the 1920s, the trend shifted away from reform and toward acceptance of society as it was