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Progressive Era 1900-1916. Expose the ills of society brought on by the Industrial Revolution and Big Government urbanization social disorder (labor) political corruption Write new laws to correct social problems Ideas based on Populism and goals of labor movement

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progressive era 1900 1916
Progressive Era1900-1916

Expose the ills of society brought on by the Industrial Revolution and Big Government

        • urbanization
        • social disorder (labor)
        • political corruption
  • Write new laws to correct social problems
  • Ideas based on Populism and goals of labor movement
  • Government can be an instrument of social change
  • Journalistic “Voice” of Progressives
  • Investigative journalists –
  • Expose corruption and other problems that needed to be addressed (no solutions)
  • Profitable for magazines:

McClure’s, Cosmopolitan, Collier’s

Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle

Lincoln Stephen’s The Shame of the Cities

Ida Tarbell’s History of the Standard Oil Co.

** coined by T. Roosevelt

goals of progressives
Goals of Progressives
  • End laissez-faire
  • End abuses of monopolistic power with antitrust legislation
      • ex: Sherman Antitrust Act
  • Make government more responsive
      • Government the vehicle to improved society
  • Limit power of party bosses
      • end government abuse of power
progressive methods
Rely on Scientific Data

Value of Expert Opinion

Use Collective Action

Inform using Publications--muckrakers

Pressure on legislatures to pass laws

Progressive Methods
origins of progressivism
Origins of Progressivism

Could You?

  • Explain the four goals of progressivism.
  • Summarize progressive efforts to clean up government.
  • Identify progressive efforts to reform state government, protect workers, and reform elections.
progressive political reforms
Progressive Political Reforms
  • Political parties corrupt and Undemocratic
    • Power must be diminished
    • People must be given more power
          • Australian (secret) ballot 1890
          • Direct primary (nominate candidates)1902
          • Initiative (propose laws)
          • Referendum (vote yes or no on laws)
          • Recall (call for re-election)
          • Direct election of Senators (17th)
          • Women’s suffrage (19th)
progressive social reforms
Progressive Social Reforms
  • Temperance movement
    • WCTU
    • Anti-Saloon League
  • 18th amendment (1919)
    • Volstead Act enforced prohibition
  • MannAct (1910) (White Slave Traffic)Illegal to bring women into U.S. or across state lines for immoral purposes
    • Many states passed laws against prostitution
social gospel movement
Social Gospel Movement

Social responsibility for others’ well being

“my brother’s keeper”

Church people doing humanitarian work -- YMCA

PADS program - food pantry

progressive economic reform
Progressive Economic Reform
  • Hepburn Act of 1906 : Regulate Rail Roads
  • Mann-Elkins Act of 1910:
    • ICC - Communications
  • The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) 1906
    • Prohibited mislabeling
    • Sanitary Codes
  • Tariff Reform - Lowered Tariffs on foreign goods (permitted competition)
federal reserve act
Federal Reserve Act
  • Weakness of existing system: No plan for times of financial crisis.
  • Solution: Create 12 Federal Reserve Districts: “A” - “L”
  • Purpose: Control the Nation’s Supply of Money
robert m lafollette
Robert M. LaFollette
  • US Rep and US Senator
  • Progressive Wisconsin governor
  • Wisconsin a model for progressive reform

“laboratory of progressivism”

“Wisconsin idea”

efforts to clean up city government
Efforts to Clean Up City Government
  • Toledo Reform - Samuel “Golden Rule” Jones
    • Lower utility rates
    • Minimum wage & More Parks.


  • Commission System
    • Galveston, Tx
    • Take politics out of the process
    • Specialized professional ran departments.
  • The City Manager System
    • Elected Boards of Commissioners
    • City manager elected by commissioners
national political reformers
National Political Reformers

Teddy Roosevelt

Howard Taft

Woodrow Wilson

Progressive Era Presidents 1901-1921

teddy roosevelt square deal
Teddy Roosevelt“Square Deal”
  • McKinley Assassination
  • VP, Age 42, young, active, reform minded president
  • 1902 anthracite coal miner strike
    • Demands: 20%/8hr/union
    • Reality: 10%/9hr/no union
  • Conservation
    • Newlands Reclamation Act (1902)
      • Dams for irrigating 16 states
    • 150 million acres reserved for public
    • National Conservation Commission
      • established under Gifford Pinchot
  • Northern Securities case (RR monopoly)
    • “trustbuster” Teddy
teddy roosevelt consumer protection
Teddy RooseveltConsumer Protection
  • Pure Food and Drug Act (1906)
    • forbade the manufacture, sale and transportion of adulterated or mislabeled foods and drugs.

(No harmful chemicals and preservatives-labels required )

  • Meat Inspection Act (1906)
    • Federal inspection and regulation of minimum standards of sanitation.
upton sinclair
Upton Sinclair

“I aimed at the public’s heart and by accident I hit them in the stomach.”

  • A socialist trying to raise an outcry over working conditions under capitalism
  • He wanted people to demand socialism from their government (do away with capitalism)
  • Belief workers should control both the government and the means of production
excerpt from the jungle
Excerpt from The Jungle

“There was never the least attention paid to what was cut up for sausage; there would come all the way back from Europe old sausage that had been rejected, and that was moldy and white – it would be dosed with borax and glycerine and dumped into the hoppers and made over again for home consumption . . . There would be meat stored in great piles in rooms; and the water from the leaky roofs would drip over it, and thousands of rats would race about on it . . . These rats were a nuisance, 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.”

taft as the big guy
Taft as the Big Guy
  • Poor leader – not charismatic like TR
  • Lost progressive support over tariff
    • Not low enough!!
  • Yet, more antitrust suits than TR
  • Yet, more conservation than TR
  • And…groundwork for 16th amendment
rise of the socialist party 3 rd party developed in 1901 dedicated to working class
Rise of the Socialist Party3rd Party--developed in 1901 dedicated to working class.

Platform: more radical reforms than Progressives

  • public ownership or RR, utilities, oil, steel

18 socialists elected city mayors in 1911

presidential candidate Eugene Debs

Peak in 1912 --900,000 votes (6% of total) for president

Most Americans feared socialism

American workers satisfied with

pay and union progress

Rise of the Socialist Party

tr to wilson

Election of1904

Election of1908

Election of1912

woody as president new freedom
Woody as President“New Freedom”

Economic Reforms attack on the “the triple wall of privilege”

  • Federal Reserve System (1913)
    • Regulate money supply
  • Underwood Tariff (1913)
  • Clayton Antitrust Act(1914)
    • Strengthened Sherman Antitrust Act

Federal Trade Commission Act (1914)

    • “cease and desist” orders for unfair business practices
  • Adamson Act (1916)
    • 8-hour work day for RR (new standard)
  • Keating-Owens Act (1916)
    • no interstate trade if co. employs <14 yr olds
  • Re-elected in 1916
    • “He kept us out of war”
progressive amendments
Progressive amendments

direct election of Senators

  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19



income tax


african americans

Ignored by main progressive movement

Booker T. Washington

Take a lower status temporarily

Vocational training (Tuskegee Institute)

W.E.B. DuBois

Did not agree with BTW (“leading the way backward”)

“Talented Tenth” AIM HIGHER!!!!

Founded NAACP (1905) - fought racism

women s efforts
Women’s Efforts
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote Women andEconomics (1898)
    • Child care centers; common dining area
  • Margaret Sanger Planned Parenthood
  • Florence Kelley (social worker)
    • 10-hour day for women
  • Carrie Chapman Catt
    • National American Woman Suffrage Association
    • Worked for passage of 19th amendment