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THE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT 1890-1919 Chapter 13. Industrialization changed American society…. Cities were crowded with new immigrants, working conditions were often bad, and the old political system was breaking down. These conditions gave rise to the Progressive movement.

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Chapter 13


Industrialization changed American society….

Cities were crowded with new immigrants, working conditions were often bad, and the old political system was breaking down.

These conditions gave rise to the Progressive movement.

Progressives campaigned for both political and social reforms for more than two decades and enjoyed significant successes at the local, state, and national levels.


Roots of Progressivism

The Rise of Progressivism

A. Who were the Progressives?

1. People with different ideas

& activities who wanted

to reformUS society.

2. Believed industrialism & urbanization had

created social problems.

3. From bothmajor political parties.

4. Usually urban, educated, and middle-class.

5. Usually journalists, social workers,

educators, politicians, or clergy.


B. Beginning of Progressivism

1. Reaction against laissez-faire economy

2. Belief that government must be fixed before

other problems could be fixed.

3. Progressives had faith in

science & technology;

thought those could be used

to fix society's problems.

C. Muckrakers

1. Journalists who investigated

social problems & political



2. Ida Tarbell - wrote

articles critical of

Standard Oil Co.

3. Lincoln Steffen - wrote

about urban political machines.

Ida Tarbell

Lincoln Steffen


4. Jacob Riis

a. Wrote How the Other

Half Lives

b. Described poverty,

disease, crime in NY

City immigrant


5. Result of muckrakers:

voters put pressure on

politicians to introduce

reform legislation.

Jacob Riis


City Government Reforms

  • A. Scientific management - Frederick Taylor
  • 1. Believed companies could be more
  • efficient by managing time, breaking tasks
  • into small parts, & using standardized tools
  • 2. "Taylorism" or "Taylor System."
  • B. Progressives & Taylor’s theory for city gov't:
  • * Commission plan
  • a. Divide city gov’t into several departments,
  • each under an expert commissioner
  • b. Hire a city manager (city services expert) & hire department specialists.

c. Galveston, Tx – first to adopt commission

system after huge hurricane in 1900.

Galveston, Tx after

the 1900 hurricane


III. State Government Reform

A. First - Wisconsin Idea

* Robert La Follette –

governor who wanted

the people, not

political bosses, to

select candidates to

run in the general


* Led to the directprimary.


B. Other states followed La Follette’s ideas

1. Initiative - citizens could introduce

legislation; state legislatures would then be required to vote on it.

2. Referendum

a. Legislature introduces


b. Votersdecide whether to

pass it.

3. Recall - voters could demand a special

election to remove an elected official before

his term was up (kick him out of office).


C. Direct election of senators

1. Originally, the Constitution called for senators

to be elected by state legislatures.

2. 1913 - 17th Amendment was ratified; senators

were now elected directly by voters.


SuffrageMovement – Right to Vote for Women

A. Early problems

1. Slow start - women suffragists were accused

of being unfeminine & immoral.

2. Civil War Era – focus on abolition of slavery

3. 14th & 15th



only on



not women.


B. Support for women's vote


1. Women lobbied lawmakers.

2. Marches

3. Public speeches

4. Alice Paul organized

Washington protest march

to force Pres. Wilson to act!

5. Carrie Chapman Catt –

nationwide push!!

Alice Paul


Chapman Catt


Women’s Suffrage


C. 19th Amendment -

1920 - Women’s

vote went into



Social Welfare Progressivism

  • A. Child labor
  • 1. 1900 - 1.7 million under age
  • 16 worked.
  • 2. Dangerous, unhealthy
  • 3. Muckrakers publicized the
  • problem.
  • 4. States began to pass laws:
  • a. Minimum age for working.
  • b. Maximum hours to make kids work.
  • c. Compulsory education laws.

B. Health & safety codes

1. Triangle Shirtwaist

Factory fire (NYC) -


a. 146 women workers

died; many jumped

to their deaths.

b. NYC passed strict

building codes

dealing with fire

hazards, and unsafe

working conditions.


2. Workers compensation laws


a. Insurance funds financed

by employers.

b. Injured workers receive $$$.

3. Zoning laws- regulated how

businesses & land could be used.

4. Building codes- for safe &

healthy buildings (ex: fire escapes)

5. Health codes

(ex: clean restaurants)


C. Prohibition movement

1. Temperance - moderation/

elimination of alcohol.

2. Mostly women-led.

3. Women’s Christian

Temperance Union.

4. Anti-Saloon League

5. Later emphasis more

on prohibition- laws

banning manufacture,

sale, consumption.


Progressives vs. Big Business

* Belief that wealth was concentrated in hands of

too few people; esp.trusts (giant corporations

that dominated entire industries)

1. Some wanted to “bust up” trusts

2. Others wanted government to regulate big


3. Some advocated socialism –

idea that government should

own and operate business

(ex: Eugene Debs and the

American Socialist Party)


The Theodore Roosevelt Administration

TR’s Beliefs

A. Social Darwinist in

international affairs;

believed that US was

in competition with

other nations and must

be the “fittest.”

B. Progressive in domestic

affairs – believed that

government should

balance the needs of

different American groups.


C. TR’s Square Deal

1. Name that TR gave to his reform programs.

2. “Every man must get an equal shot at the

American dream.”


D. TR & Big Business

1. TR was called a


* Ordered his

attorney general

to file lawsuits

under the


Anti-trust Act.


2. Coal strike of 1902

a. United Mine Workers (union) called a

strike for150,000 workers.

b. Coal prices rose.

c. TR urged the parties into arbitration

(settlement by a third party); threatened to

use army to run

mines; owners gave in. gave in.

d. Something new: US

government used to

broker deal between

powerful groups in



E. More of TR’s progressivism

1. Dept. of Commerce

& Labor- formed

to regulate business

& working conditions.

2. HepburnAct

a. To strengthen Interstate

Commerce Commission


b. By 1920, the ICC had become more

interested in protecting the RR’s profits.


II. TR’s Social Welfare Action

** Problems & Solutions

A. Medicines that were fake

or harmful to consumers;

need better labeling.

B. Food supply

1. Dangerous preservatives in


2. Upton Sinclair - wrote

The Jungle- about horrible

conditions in Chicago’s


Upton Sinclair


C. Results

1. Pure Food & Drug Act

2. Meat InspectionAct


Conservation- Protection of Natural Resources

  • ** Most important part of TR’s first term.
  • 1. Reclamation Act - used federal funds to buy
  • up and protect public lands (esp. in the West)
  • 2. Gifford Pinchot
  • a. Head of US Forest Service
  • b. Regulation of lumber
  • companies on federal land.
  • c. National parks & wildlife
  • preserves were set aside.

Gifford Pinchot


d. Yellowstone - first national park.

Yellowstone -

the nation’s first national park.

TR created 16 national monuments,

51 wildlife refuges, and 5 new national parks


Naturalist John Muir founded the Sierra Club and helped to convince TR to create Yosemite National Park.


The Taft Administration

Taft Becomes President

A. Hand-picked by TR as his


B. Hated politics

C. Looked at issues from a strictly legal standpoint.

D. Not as personable as TR.

E. Angered progressives (they thought he wasn’t

doing enough).

F. Payne-Aldrich Tariff – pro-business tariff;

progressives were angry!


Pres. Taft weighed

approximately 350 lbs.

He had to have a


bathtub for the White House.


II. Taft’s Progressive Reforms

A. TR was called “trustbuster,” but Taft actually

filed more lawsuits against big business than

TR did.

B. Created the Children’s Bureau to help protect America’s children.

C. Mann-Elkins Act – increased power of ICC

D. Conservation – Taft actually stronger than TR

had been

1. Regulated mining companies.

2. More new national forests.

3. Protected waterpower sites.


E. TR was angry at Taft; thought he was not

following TR’s programs; publicly criticized his old friend.





The Wilson Administration

Election of 1912

A. GOP splits

1. Conservative

GOPs for Taft.

2. Progressive

GOPs for TR

3. Taft’s supporters had more votes at

the National GOP convention, so he

received the Republican nomination.


3. TR leaves the GOP, forms the Progressive

Party, aka the Bull Moose Party

(TR said he was “strong as a bull moose”

and ready to run for President again.)


B. Woodrow Wilson

1. Democrat candidate

2. NJ Governor; former

head of Princeton


3. He was a progressive.

C. The Campaign

1. TR’s progressive plan

was called New Nationalism.

2. Wilson’s progressive plan was called

New Freedom.

Woodrow Wilson


The Election of 1912was about these issues:

・ Should America be capitalist or socialist?

・ Should government protect the social welfareof its citizens?

・ Should women be allowed to vote?

・ Should government exercise more control over business?

・ Should government try to solve theconflict

between "capital" and "labor?”

・ Should the government work vigorously for the conservation of natural resources?





D. Wilson is elected

* TR & Taft split the GOP vote; Wilson got only 42% of popular vote, but won electoral vote.


Wilson & Regulating the Economy

  • A. Reforming tariffs
  • 1. He wanted lower tariffs; thought that the
  • resulting competition would force American
  • manufacturing to improve their products &
  • lower their prices.
  • 2. Underwood Tariff passed – 1913
  • a. 1/2 the rate of the 1890s.
  • b. Included provision for an
  • income tax to be paid by the states.
  • (The 16th Amendment will make personal
  • income taxes constitutional.)

B. Reforming banks

1. Established the Federal Reserve System -

banks had to keep a portion of their deposits

in a regional bank.

2. FederalReserveBoard

a. Appointed by the President

b. Set interest



C. Antitrust Action

* Federal Trade Commission formed

a. To monitor business

b. Could regulate business against unfair

business practices.


Federal Aid & Social Welfare Under Wilson

  • A. Child labor laws
  • B. 8-hour workday
  • for RR workers
  • C. Federal Farm Loan Act –
  • low cost, long-term
  • loans to farmers.

IV. Legacy of Progressivism

A. Americans now expected the government to

regulate the economy & solve social


B. African-American issues were

largely ignored….however….

* The NAACPwas formed in

1909 by a group of black &

white progressives.

C. Progressivism expanded democracy

D. Progressivism improved quality of life for

millions of Americans.


Reviewing Key Terms

Define Match the terms on the right with their definitions on the left.


__ 1. a vote held by all members of a political party to decide their candidate for public office

__ 2. the right to vote

__ 3. a tax based on the net income of a person or business

__ 4. laws banning the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages

__ 5. a journalist who uncovers abuses and corruption in a society

A. muckraker

B. direct primary

C. initiative

D. referendum

E. suffrage

F. temperance

G. prohibition

H. Square Deal

I. syndicate

J. income tax






Reviewing Key Terms (cont.)

Define Match the terms on the right with their definitions on the left.


__ 6. the practice of letting voters accept or reject measures proposed by the legislature

__ 7. a business group

__ 8. moderation in or abstinence from alcohol

__ 9. the right of citizens to place a measure or issue before the voters or the legislature for approval

__ 10. Theodore Roosevelt’s promise of fair and equal treatment for all

A. muckraker

B. direct primary

C. initiative

D. referendum

E. suffrage

F. temperance

G. prohibition

H. Square Deal

I. syndicate

J. income tax