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VUS 8 – Progressive Movement Mrs. Saunders Progressive Movement

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progressive movement
Progressive Movement

The economic progress made by the United States between 1877 and 1920 came at a price. Industrial development raised the standard of living for millions of Americans. However, it also brought about the rise of national labor unions and clashes between industry and labor.

An urban reform demanded most frequently by city dwellers was the reform and professionalization of city police forces. Here, one of New York City's Finest poses for the camera in 1907.

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Progressive Movement

Social problems in rural (country) and urban (city) settings gave rise to third-party movements and the beginning of the Progressive period.

The "bathroom" in a New York City cold-water tenement flat. As many as 150 people and two shops on the bottom level filled each building. Toilets like this, four per floor, were communal, and were located near and vented into the air shaft that served the inner apartments as their only source of light and air. 1905 photo.

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Progressive Movement

The Progressive Era from 1890 to 1913 was a time when large numbers of people were working to improve society. Many people turned away from the idea of “Social Darwinism” – the idea that society was based on “the survival of the fittest”. This was fine for Animals in the wild but American Government should work for all the citizens, not just the fittest.

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Progressive Movement

Angered at the limited gains won by the A. F. of L. and the United Mine Workers, miners helped organize the International Workers of the World in Chicago in 1905. Rather than organizing workers within a craft, the IWW, like the Knights of Labor before them, wanted workers organized within an industry. Their target was unskilled and foreign-born workers and the large industries that exploited them; their aim was not short-term economic gains but revolution; and their tactics were to foster class conflict and open confrontation with mine and industry owners. Although the IWW probably never had over 150,000 members, its impact in the mine fields of the far West, and the immigrant workers of the Northeast, helped spark fears that labor unions were sources of anarchy and socialism.

Unemployed men receiving bread on a New York City street in March 1893. The overexpansion of railroads, and heavy borrowing by farmers and businesses in the 1880s, led to a sudden collapse of the stock market in 1893. The Panic of 1893 deepened into a full depression in 1894, when more than three million were unemployed.

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Progressive Movement

The Progressive Movement, which began in the early twentieth century, wanted to use government to reform problems created by industrialization. Progressives had three main goals.

  • First, they favored government controlled by the people, instead of by big business and other wealthy special interests.
  • Second, they hoped to guarantee Americans economic opportunity through government regulation of business. This idea challenged the traditional American belief in laissez faire economics.
  • Third, Progressives aimed to eliminate social injustices that existed in late nineteenth century America.
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Progressive Movement

The Progressive movement occurred on all three levels of government (federal, state, and local) and included both Republicans, like Theodore Roosevelt, and Democrats, like Woodrow Wilson.

Theodore Roosevelt - Progressive program the “Square Deal”

Woodrow Wilson - Progressive program the “New Freedom.”

theodore roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was 42 years old when McKinley's assassination made him the 26th and youngest president of the U.S. He was an acknowledged Progressive, and his presidency saw a shift from the cautious regulatory moves of his first administration to a series of far-reaching actions that reduced the power of business by dismantling some trusts and regulating others.

theodore roosevelt9
Theodore Roosevelt

The “Square Deal” was a term used to describe various Progressive acts that sought to give common people fair treatment.

  • Hepburn Act of 1906 – limited distribution to free railway passes
  • Meat Inspections Act – standards for meat packing industry
  • Pure Food and Drug Act – halted sale of contaminated food and medicine and required truth in labeling.
  • Conservation - doubled the number of national parks, wildlife reserves, water-power sites, land set aside for mineral and water resources
william howard taft
William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft (1857-1930). Roosevelt’s handpicked successor was the Progressive administrator of the Philippines, William Howard Taft (1857-1930), who had become Roosevelt's Secretary of War in 1904. As the 27th president, Taft continued to follow some of Roosevelt's domestic policies, particularly the breaking up of trusts and monopolies. But in other areas, such as conservation and tariff reform, Taft angered the Progressive leadership in Congress.

He was not reelected to a second term, but served from 1921 until his death as an effective chief justice of the Supreme Court.

the progressive or bull moose party
The Progressive or “Bull-Moose” Party

Roosevelt's remark to the press that he felt "as fit as a bull moose" gave the party its enduring nickname. The Progressives' platform lacked a strong anti-trust, or anti-monopoly, plank. But it backed the creation of an income tax, supported women's suffrage and supported the citizens' right to be involved in the legislative process through initiatives, referendums and the recall, and to elect senators and party candidates directly.

election of 1912
Election of 1912

The disillusionment of Progressives with Taft split the Republican party, with the conservatives nominating Taft for a second term and the Progressives bolting to form the Progressive, or "Bull Moose" party, which nominated Theodore Roosevelt. This gave the Democrats a hope of winning the White House, and they chose as their candidate the Virginia-born governor of New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson.

woodrow wilson
Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924). A Princeton graduate, he had gone on to earn a law degree in Virginia, and then had become first a professor at, and then president of Princeton. As governor he had reformed corrupt state politics and strengthened the regulation of the state's railroads. However, he was almost totally inexperienced in national politics.

woodrow wilson14
Woodrow Wilson

Wilson’s New Freedom plan was an attack on the “triple wall of privilege: the trusts, the tariffs and high finance” saying “Freedom today is something more than being left alone.”

  • Underwood Tariff of 1913 – eliminated or lowered protective tariffs for big business and created the first income tax law after the passage of the sixteenth amendment allowing for the income tax.
  • Federal Reserve Act of 1913 - created 12 Federal Reserve Districts each with a Bank for banks (not individuals) and a Federal Reserve Board to run the banks.
  • Clayton Anti-trust Act of 1914
  • Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 – set up the Federal Trade Commission as a watch-dog agency to investigate violations of regulatory laws.
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Progressive Movement

The Muckrakers were an important group of Progressives who drew national attention to these problems. Muckrakers were writers during the Progressive Era, who exposed social and political evils. For example, muckraking literature describing the abuses of child labor led state governments to pass child labor laws.

Young cigarmakers in the Englehardt & Company factory at Tampa, Florida, January 1909. Lewis Hine wrote, "Three boys looked under 14. Labor leaders told me in busy times many small boys and girls were employed. Youngsters all smoke."

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Progressive Movement

Upton Sinclair (1878-1968), an ardent Socialist, used fiction to work for industrial reform. Sinclair (right) is shown here in May, 1914, picketing the Rockefeller building in New York City. The revelations of unsanitary conditions in the meat packing industry in Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle (1906) shocked Americans into demanding regulation of the food industry.

Workers in a Chicago meat packing plant in 1905. Roosevelt played a key role in the fashioning of a Pure Food and Drug Act, and a Meat Inspection Act, both in 1906. Reformers had been demanding federal regulation of patent medicines and processed meats for some time.

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Progressive Movement

At the state level, Progressives attempted to make government more democratic through referendum, initiative, and recall. Some states adopted these democratic reforms, while others did not.

  • Referendum is a process by which citizens may vote on laws that have been passed by a legislative body.
  • Initiative is a process that permits citizens to propose laws to their state or local governments. The referendum and initiative enable citizens to use the vote as a resource to propose, amend, and defeat laws made by governments.
  • A recall election is a process by which citizens may vote to remove government officials from office before their terms are finished. Approximately thirteen states adopted procedures for recall elections during the Progressive period.
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Progressive Movement

Progressives also tried to make the election process more democratic

  • on the state level by both requiring use of the secret ballot and providing for primary elections. A primary election is an election in which voters nominate candidates for office, rather than allowing political party leaders to choose that party’s candidates at state or local conventions.
  • on the national level, when they achieved ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment. The Seventeenth Amendment provided for direct election of United States senators by the people, rather than by the state legislatures.
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Progressive Movement

During Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, Congress passed the Clayton Anti-Trust Act. This law outlawed price-fixing by competing corporations and exempted unions from the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. At first, the federal courts used the Sherman Act more to limit unions than business monopolies.

Sherman, a Republican senator, addressed two of the agricultural West and Midwest's economic concerns with legislation that bears his name. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 outlawed the monopolistic trusts that kept oil and railroad rates high, and the Sherman Silver Purchase Act sought to inflate the currency by requiring the federal government to purchase fixed amounts of silver for coinage.

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Progressive Movement

Finally, at the local level Progressives tried to make city governments less corrupt, more efficient, and more responsive to the people’s needs by adopting either the commission or council/manager methods of organization.

Tammany Hall was the name given to the Democratic political machine that dominated New York City politics from the mayoral victory of Fernando Wood in 1854 through the election of Fiorello LaGuardia in 1934.

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Progressive Movement

William Magear Tweed (1823-1878), was a New York City politician who led a group of corrupt politicians who gained power in the Democratic party in 1863, when Tweed was elected “Grand Sachem” of Tammany Hall. Tweed primarily exercised power through his control of patronage, the ability to appoint supporters to jobs in New York City government. For instance, after he was appointed commissioner of public works, Tweed enlarged the street maintenance crew to include twelve jobs as “manure inspectors.”

Thomas Nast (1840-1902) is most often remembered for his cartoon campaign in the 1870s against Boss Tweed and New York's corrupt Tammany Hall political machine. After Nast portrayed Tweed and the Tammany Ring pointing at each other in answer to the question, "Who stole the people's money?" Tweed is reported to have demanded, "Stop them damned pictures. I don't care what the papers write about me. My constituents can't read. But, damn it, they can see pictures."

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Progressive Movement
  • In a commission form voters elect a certain number of commissioners who serve as a board that sets the city’s policy. In addition, each commissioner is in charge of a city department. Because a small board is unable to deal with complex urban problems, the commission form of city government is seldom used today.
  • In contrast, approximately half of America’s cities now use a council/manager form of government. Under this system, voters elect a small city council. The council hires a professional manager to serve as the city’s administrator. The city manager appoints city department heads and carries out the council’s policies. Since the city manager is not elected, he or she can devote full time to conducting city business.
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Progressive Movement

The Progressive Movement recognized that America’s promise of equality had largely ignored American women. As a result, many Progressives supported the women’s suffrage movement.

Since suffrage means the right to vote, the women’s suffrage movement worked to gain the right to vote for American women,

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Progressive Movement

On November 5, 1872, SusanB.Anthony voted for Ulysses S. Grant in the presidential election. Authorities arrested Anthony and put her on trial for the crime of casting an illegal ballot, since as a woman she could not legally vote. They fined her one hundred dollars, which she refused to pay. Three years later she was jailed because, once again, she tried to vote. The nineteenth Amendment, which allows women the right to vote, was finally ratified in 1920.

nineteenth amendment
Nineteenth Amendment

This constitutional amendment, which became part of the Constitution in 1920, gave American women the right to vote. The women’s suffrage movement was a forerunner of many modern protest movements, especially the feminist movement. Many American feminists today belong to the National Organization for Women (NOW), which continues to work for equal rights for women in American society.

This March 3, 1913 parade of suffragists, held in Washington the day before the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, created a national shock when hostile onlookers, unopposed by local police, attacked the marchers.

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Progressive Movement

A YWCA group in Washington, D.C. For women office workers, the Young Women's Christian Association often became a source for organization and support. Founded in the U.S. in 1858, the leadership of the YWCA was dominated by elite and upper-middle-class women.

In the Progressive era, many of these women used the organization to provide aid and education to young, unmarried women away from their own homes. In urban areas, the YWCA represented a safe lodging place, an opportunity for recreation, and a place for instruction in good hygiene, high culture, and better work habits.

discrimination
Discrimination

Discrimination and segregation against African-Americans intensified and took new forms in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Racial segregation means separation of the races. After Reconstruction, Southern state governments passed “Jim Crow” laws, forcing separation of the races in public places. Different states passed these laws in different years, but by the early twentieth century all Southern states required racial segregation in public facilities and had denied most African-Americans the right to vote. These laws limited the freedoms of African-Americans who lived in the South.

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Discrimination

In addition, Southern whites directed intimidation and crimes against African-Americans. Lynching, hanging someone without a trial, became a major form of intimidation used by Southern whites against African-Americans.

Booker T. Washington's rhetoric and patronage could not stem the rising tide of violence against African Americans. African-American men who resisted white authority were all too frequently victims of mob violence and lynchings. In 1892, there were 235 lynchings in the South; more than 100 followed every year until 1908.

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Discrimination

By the late 19th century, African-Americans began the “Great Migration” to Northern cities in search of jobs and to escape poverty and discrimination in the South. This black migration north continued in the early 20th century, particularly during World War I, when the enlistment of thousands of white males in the U.S. Army opened up jobs for African-Americans.

African Americans had been moving from the rural South into the industrial North since the beginning of the 20th century, but the "Great Migration" from field to factory was accelerated by industrial job opportunities during WWI. Beginning in 1916, labor agents traveled throughout the South, actively recruiting African-American men and women. By 1920, half a million of them had moved into segregated neighborhoods in northern cities. Cleveland's African-American population multiplied three-fold; Detroit's increased six-fold. Though they still faced discrimination, their children attended better schools, and the men were able to vote.

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Discrimination

Black Americans looked to the courts to safeguard their rights. They hoped the judicial branch would interpret the laws in a way that would honor the intent of both the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. However, in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson the Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal” facilities did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. In other words, the Supreme Court said that Southern states could legally segregate whites and blacks, as long as the separate facilities were equal.

By this ruling the Supreme Court upheld the segregation laws of the Southern states. In practice the separate facilities, provided African-Americans by Southern states, were always separate, but seldom, if ever, equal.

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Discrimination

Education for the freedmen begun by reformers of radical reconstruction did not stop at basic and practical learning; higher education and professional training would be available to talented African Americans at universities such as Howard in Washington, D C., founded in 1867 and named for Oliver O. Howard, director of the Freedmen's Bureau.

African-American leaders disagreed about how to respond to both the South’s Jim Crow laws and racial discrimination in the North. Booker T. Washington believed the way to equality was through vocational education and economic success. He accepted social separation of the races. In contrast, W.E.B. DuBois believed that education was meaningless without equality. He supported political equality for African-Americans by helping to form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909.

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Discrimination

Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), born in slavery, founded the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1881 to educate freedmen in the dignity of the manual work to which they were relegated in much of the South.

Practical work, and an industrial education, he insisted, could bring them the economic security by which their precarious status in the South could be stabilized. At the Cotton States Exposition, Washington reassured whites by calling, not for equality, but for economic opportunity. The speech earned him national fame, and the patronage of presidents and business leaders. Labeled a conservative, Booker T. Washington secretly funded legal challenges to the growing segregation of the "Jim Crow" laws.

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Discrimination

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963) openly broke with the public accommodationist stance of Booker T. Washington in 1903 with the publication of The Souls of Black Folk. A Harvard-educated sociologist and historian, and faculty member at Atlanta University, Du Bois demanded rigorous intellectual training for the "Talented Tenth" of African-American youth.

In 1905, DuBois met with William Monroe Trotter and other militant African-American journalists and educators to form the "Niagara Movement" to oppose Washington's leadership. In the aftermath of the Springfield riots, a few white progressives joined with Du Bois to help establish the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. By 1914, the NAACP had grown to 50 branches with 6,000 members. Du Bois broke with the organization in 1934, and left the U.S. for Ghana in 1961.

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Discrimination

Ida B. Wells, who generally agreed with DuBois’ ideas, led an anti-lynching crusade and called on the federal government to take action.

  • Ida B. Wells was an
  • anti-lynching crusader,
  • women's rights activist,
  • passionate crusader against racism,
  • journalist and teacher who spoke out on racial issues,
  • civil rights pioneer, and one of the founders of the NAACP