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The Progressive Era. 1880s-1920s. A Reaction to Industrialization. And it’s associated problems. The Sweat Shop. …ills…. Corruption Scandals Waste. …and troubles. Child Labor Immigration. Characteristics of Progressives. Most were WASPS White Anglo Saxon Protestant

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  • Corruption
  • Scandals
  • Waste
and troubles
…and troubles.

Child Labor


characteristics of progressives
Characteristics of Progressives
  • Most were WASPS
    • White
    • Anglo
    • Saxon
    • Protestant
  • Northeastern-Midwest origins
  • Do-gooders, busy-bodies middle-class, liberals with college education
their causes were many
Their Causes Were Many
  • Reforms in business, politics, education, labor, sanitation, social status distinctions, and living conditions
    • Trust-busting
    • Destruction of the urban political machines
    • Temperance
    • Unions
    • Immigrants
    • Food and drugs
    • Housing, sewers, and conservation

Three Presidents Claimed to be Progressives

Theodore Roosevelt



William Howard Taft



Woodrow Wilson



local and state politics
Local and State Politics

New York: Tenement House Law

Maryland: Workmen’s Compensation Law

Wisconsin: Direct Primary Law

Oregon: Initiative and Referendum

Women’s Labor Law

Virginia: Newlands Act

the robber barons over time
The Robber Barons over Time

Slave Master



robber barons
Robber Barons

Milton Pennybags/Mascots

Ford/Motor Corp.

Carnegie/US Steel

Morgan/J.P. Morgan Finance


Rockefeller/Standard Oil

progressive personalities
Progressive Personalities
  • The Muckrakers—journalists who exposed the dirt (raked up the muck)
  • Novelists—much like Charles Dickens did in England
  • Social Workers—settlement house movement
  • Conservationists—national parks, forest preserves, environment, outdoorsmen

Ida B. Wells/Lynching

Ida Tarbell/Standard Oil

Nellie Bly/Insane Asylums

Helen Hunt/Indians

Jacob Riis/Slums

the novelists
The Novelists

Benjamin Franklin Norris—

The Octopus—monopolies and their affects on society

John Spargo—

The Bitter Cry of Children—

child labor

Upton Sinclair—


meat packing and immigrant labor in Chicago

social workers
Social Workers

Hull House founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Starr Gates near UIC as a settlement house for “new immigrants” mainly Greeks and Italians.

Services: kindergarten, English classes, nutrition, housekeeping, hygiene, recreation, lending library, shelter from domestic violence.

a place to hide
A Place to Hide

Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir

Not all appreciated Muir

booker t washington
Booker T. Washington
  • Tuskegee Institute in Alabama
  • Vocational training
  • Useful, indispensible
  • Gradual integration
  • Work for equal rights
  • Patience, respect
  • Influence on M.L. King—passive resistance, non-violent
william edward burckhardt dubois
William Edward Burckhardt DuBois
  • First Harvard PhD in sociology
  • Entitled to equality
  • Demand immediate results
  • Influence on Malcolm X—byany means necessary
prohibition temperance
  • Cause of…
    • Poverty
    • Domestic violence
    • Prostitution
    • Child labor
    • Crime
    • Being “Ethnic”
  • Associated with…
    • Catholics
    • Immigrants (German, Irish, Polish, Russians)
radical campaign
Radical Campaign

Frances Willard—Evanston, Women’s Christian Temperance League

Carrie Nation—Anti-Saloon League, smashes up bars with her hatchet

bleeding heart liberals
“Bleeding Heart Liberals”

Lincoln, Garfield, and now McKinley, died for your sins (slavery, trusts, imperialism)

Guilt by association…lie down with dogs and wake up with fleas…you are known by the company you keep….

  • Graduated taxes—rate depends on income
  • Direct election of Senators by the people
  • Prohibition of alcohol
  • Women’s suffrage
  • Child labor laws
  • Sanitation
  • Compulsory education
  • Meat and drug inspection
  • Open voting
  • Anti-trust laws
  • Hospital, asylum, and prison reform
  • Civil rights movement
  • Immigration quotas