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Theodore Roosevelt and Progressivism. Heather McTaggart, Aly Go, Ellie Mamatis. Introduction. In the 20 th century millions of middle-class Americans joined a new movement called PROGRESSIVNISM

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theodore roosevelt and progressivism

Theodore Roosevelt and Progressivism

Heather McTaggart, Aly Go, Ellie Mamatis

  • In the 20th century millions of middle-class Americans joined a new movement called PROGRESSIVNISM
  • They sought solutions to problems caused by industrialization, the rapid growth of cities, waves of immigration, economic depression
  • Progressives came from across the political spectrum
  • When Roosevelt became president, the Progressive Movement got a leader who was sympathetic to its goals
theodore roosevelt and progressivism1
Theodore Roosevelt and Progressivism
  • Roosevelt sought a “square deal” where business would be able to make a profit through fair competition rather than the expense of labour
  • He founded the Department of Commerce and Labour in 1903
  • Also persuaded the Congress to pass laws that regulated railroad rates and improved health standards
  • Roosevelt entered Harvard in 1876, and won the election to the New York State Assembly after graduating
the muckrakers
The Muckrakers
  • Roosevelt made the term “muckrakers”, which describes critics who were so preoccupied with exposing wrongs in society that they ignored any positive elements
  • They tried to rouse public anger to force governments to take action by implementing forums
  • Leading muckraker’s in Roosevelt’s era:
  • Frank Norris
  • Ida Tarbell
  • John Spargo
lincoln steffens and upton sinclair muckrakers
Lincoln Steffens and Upton Sinclair, Muckrakers
  • Magazines such as McClure’s and the Atlantic Monthly emerged for a liberal middle class
  • Muckracking journalists would write articles for these magazines exposing corruptions, resulting in several reforms
  • An expose on a meat packaging industry would result in a Federal Meat Inspection Act now that journalist had such a platform
political reforms
Political Reforms
  • Progressives began to achieve political reforms at every level of government
  • Mayor-council systems were replaced by commission or council manager systems
  • Robert La Follette, a Progressive advocate, would introduce several reforms, referendums and recalls while governor of Wisconsin
  • A referendum is when a government submits a proposal to the public
  • A recall gives voters the right to petition to have a government official stand for re-election
  • Theodore Roosevelt would use several progressive reforms in his presidential campaign such as old age pensions, unemployment insurance, woman’s suffrage act and a ban on child labour
reforms benefitting workers
Reforms Benefitting Workers
  • Immigrants would be drawn into mainstream American society through reforms to improve working conditions
  • Since reforms affecting workers came from laws passed at state level, conservative judges would strike them down
  • Reforms meant to limit and regulate woman’s work hours and child labour were struck down
  • Reforms would only be achieved through tragedies such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, killing 146 women aged 13 to 23
african americans the progressive movement
African-Americans & the Progressive Movement
  • This period of time erupted with race riots when tensions between blacks & whites arose
  • In 1908, Springfield, Illinois
    • A riot broke out where white mobs killed several blacks
    • Destroyed black businesses, residences, & forced thousands to flee the city

The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) was a multi-racial group that met in NY in response to that incident in Illinois

  • William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was a black man who was discouraged from attending Harvard because he was black, years later he eventually was admitted to the school
  • He was the first African-American to earn his PhD

He joined the NAACP

    • They sought to protect the constitutional rights of blacks by using the federal courts
    • He became the leading African-American voice for civil rights as the editor for the NAACP’s journal, The Crisis
the african american press
The African-American Press
  • Used newspaper & magazine to advance the struggle for civil rights
    • Example. Pittsburg Courier protested poor living conditions for blacks & called for better medical & education services