The origins of progressivism
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THE ORIGINS OF PROGRESSIVISM . Warm Up . Please read the excerpt from Upton Sinclair’s ‘The Jungle’ After reading the article, what are three concerns you have about the meatpacking industry in the early 1900s?. The Progressive Era. 1895 -1920

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The origins of progressivism

Warm up
Warm Up

  • Please read the excerpt from Upton Sinclair’s ‘The Jungle’

  • After reading the article, what are three concerns you have about the meatpacking industry in the early 1900s?

The progressive era
The Progressive Era

  • 1895 -1920

  • Middle class movement, those above are abusing the system & those below will become a socialist threat

  • Gov’t needed to be the agency of human welfare

Roots of progressivism
Roots of Progressivism

  • Jane Addams (Hull House) Starts settlement house movement

  • Protestant clergymen –”Social Gospel” –Christian Socialists

    • Post-millenialism (must perfect society before the second coming)

  • Greenback Labor Party (1870s) & Populist Party (1890’s) demanded gov’t intervention

  • Excesses of the monopolies & trusts

Goals of progressivism

  • Progressive organizations were separate movements that worked independently to solve various societal problems

  • Each worked to one of the following:

    • Protect social welfare

    • Promote moral improvement

    • Create economic reform

    • Foster efficiency

Protecting social welfare

  • Out of the religious community a new social gospel was preached

    • Josiah Strong

    • Walter Rauschenbusch ‘Theology of the Social Gospel’ (1917)

  • WASP culture has a moral imperative to spread the values of civil liberty & Christianity *

  • Its message was religious groups should work to help the poor

    • The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA)

    • The Salvation Army

      • Instructed poor immigrants in middle class values of hard work and temperance


  • Magazine publishers make money off exposing ills of society

    • McClure's, Cosmopolitan, Colliers

    • Term coined by Theodore Roosevelt

      • John Spargo –’The Bitter Cry of Children’

      • Jacob Riis –’How the Other Half Lives’

      • Ida Tarbell –’The History of the Standard Oil Company’

      • Upton Sinclair –’The Jungle’

      • Licoln Steffens –’Shame of the Cities’

Municipal state national reform
Municipal, State & National Reform

  • Progressives believed that one could solve social problems by taking control of elections & law making

  • Initiative, Referendum, Recall

  • Laws to limit political gifts; no free rail passes

  • Direct elections of Senators to avoid ‘millionaire’s club’

  • Public commissioner and city manager who are hired, not elected –Galveston, TX flood of 1900

  • Western states need federal intervention in water rights issues

  • Stop monopolies at city level –stop selling streetcars & utilities to private companies w/o regulation

Reforming state government

  • A key individual that proposed many voting reforms was Governor Robert La Follette of Wisconsin

    • Congressman, Senator, 1924 candidate for president

  • Recall & referendum

  • State legislatures to require direct primaries for each party to select a candidate –before party bosses controlled candidate selection

‘Fighting Bob’ La Follette

Reforming national government

  • 16th Amendment (1912) individual income tax

    • Elimination of tax breaks for corporations

  • Creation of the Federal Reserve (1913)

  • The most significant reform at the national level was the 17th Amendment (1913)

    • Senators were chosen by state legislatures, not the people

Progressive presidents
Progressive Presidents

  • Theodore Roosevelt – “Square Deal” for all Americans

  • Control Corporations

    • Trustbusting -1st railroads Northern Securities Co. v. US, 1903; brings 43 other indictments

    • 1902 Coal Strike

    • Hepburn Act, 1906 –regulate interstate railroads b/c ICC didn’t have enough power

  • Consumer Protection

    1. Pure Food and Drug Act –labeling

  • Conservation of Natural Resources

    • John Muir; Gifford Pinchot

    • Newlands Act –federal lands sold to pay for western irrigation

    • Implementation of National Parks laws -125 mil. Acres saved

    • Balance corporate interests w/nature –Sierra Club

Economic reform

  • American Railway Union leader Eugene V. Debs organized the American Socialist Party

  • Organized the Pullman Strike of 1894

    • After arrest became anti-capitalistic

    • Advocated that workers could use elections to gain control of gov’t, thus business

  • In Re Debs –SC ruled that the federal gov’t could intervene in intrastate & interstate commerce to limit strikes

  • With Daniel De Leon founded in 1905 the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

Promoting morality

  • improving the lives of the poor through improving personal behavior

  • Prohibition

  • In 1874, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was founded

    • Frances Willard

    • Carrie Nation

  • Anti-Saloon League was founded in 1895 as the “Church in action against the Saloon”

    • worked to pass laws to have alcohol banned and lawbreakers punished

    • created tensions with many immigrant groups

Protecting social welfare1

  • Florence Kelley

    • advocate for improving the lives of women and children

    • founded the National Consumers League, which organized boycotts of goods produced by children

    • helped win passage of the Illinois Factory Act in 1893

      • It was the first law that prohibited child labor under the age of 14

    • Muller v. Oregon, 1908

      • Limits women’s work day

  • *Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, 1911


Women s rights
Women’s Rights

  • Western states pass suffrage first

  • Challenging the ‘female sphere’

  • ‘New Women’ –for the middle class the home is no longer an all consuming place

  • Women’s Clubs

  • Carrie Chapman Catt

    • National American Women’s Suffrage Assoc. (NAWSA); precursor to League of Women Voters

  • Alice Paul

    • National Women’s Party (off-shoot of NAWSA)

    • sought a Constitutional suffrage Amendment

    • Later Equal Rights Amendment

    • Margaret Sanger

      • founded Planned Parenthood

        • Provided contraceptives to women

      • wrote ‘Motherhood in Bondage’

Three models black leadership
Three Models Black Leadership

  • Booker T. Washington

    • Tuskegee Institute, 1888

    • Economic advancement before political advancement

    • ‘Atlanta Compromise Speech’ (1895)

  • W.E.B. Du Bois

    • Niagara Movement (1905)

    • NAACP (1910)

    • Immediate political, social & economic equality

  • Marcus Garvey

    • Pan-Africanism, Universal Negro Improvement Association(UNIA)

African americans in the progressive era
African Americans in the Progressive Era

  • Post-Civil War Era

  • 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments passed, but not consistently honored (14th/15th)

    • Reconstruction ends too soon (Tilden-Hays Compromise of 1877)

    • Economic disadvantages

      • Sharecropping

      • Crop lien system

    • Rise of segregation –Plessy v. Ferguson

    • Republicans are the party of African Americans, but do little to protect suffrage

    • 30% of blacks in the south were illiterate in 1900

The chink in the republican armor
The Chink in the Republican Armor

  • Panic of 1907

    • Industrial capacity had outrun domestic and foreign consumption

    • Rampant speculation & unregulated banking

  • Industrialists blamed TR’s ‘trustbusting’; TR countered that more regulation was needed

  • JP Morgan saves the day, but makes deal w/TR

    • Expands power of US Steel w/purchase of the Tennessee Coal & Iron Co.

  • Conservative Republicans withdraw support

Taft the bigger trustbuster
Taft – the ‘bigger’ trustbuster

  • 90 indictments’ BUT

  • Becomes an enemy of TR & splits Republican party due to:

  • Ballinger-Pinchot scandal

  • Payne-Aldrich Tariff (1909)

    • Raises most tariffs

    • Free trade w/ Philippines

      • Ultimately loses 1910 Congressional election & presidency

  • TR responds w/‘new Nationalism’

Wilson s new freedom
Wilson’s New Freedom

  • Assault on the triple wall of privilege

    • Tariffs –Underwood Tariff bill, graduated income tax revenue

      • Graduated income tax

    • Banking –Federal Reserve Act of 1913

      • Result of 1907 Panic

      • 12 regional banks run by gov’t, $ supply easily increased/decreased

    • Trusts –Clayton Anti-trust Act of 1914

      • Allows for labor protest –helps unions

      • Tries to stop shell companies of trusts

      • Inspired by Louis Brandeis -‘Other People’s Money’ (1913) -Curse of bigness –competition needed, trusts threaten freedom

      • Federal Trade Commission Act, 1914

Immigration reform
Immigration Reform

  • ‘Stem the tide’ –overcrowding, unemployment, alcoholism

    • Immigrants must assimilate

  • Eugenics

    • Science of altering the reproduction process of flora, fauna

    • Forced sterilization –Carnegie Foundation

  • Nativism

    • Madison Grant ‘The Passing of the Great Race’

    • Senator William Dillingham