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The Progressive Impulse


... Florence Kelley, Frances Willard Beliefs: need for basic structural changes in the economy, some endorsed radical goals of European Marxists, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Progressive Impulse

The Progressive Impulse
  • Progressivism was an optimistic vision, an idea
    of progress, believed society was capable of
    improvement and that continued growth and
    advancement were the nation's destiny, believed
    that direct, purposeful human intervention in
    social and economic affairs was essential to
    ordering and bettering society

The Progressive Impulse
  • Antimonopoly was the fear of concentrated power
    and the urge to limit and disperse authority and
    wealth, this appealed to workers, farmers, and to
    some middle class Americans

The Progressive Impulse
  • Social Cohesion was the belief that individuals
    are not autonomous but part of a great web of
    social relationships, the welfare of any single
    person is dependent on the welfare of society as
    a whole

The Progressive Impulse
  • Based on a deep faith in knowledge, social order
    was a result of intelligent social organization
    and rational procedures for guiding social and
    economic life

The Progressive Impulse
  • Role of Government modernized government must
    play an important role in the process of
    improving and stabilizing society

The Progressive Impulse
  • Muckrakers crusading journalists, committed to
    exposing scandal, corruption and injustice to
    public view

The Progressive Impulse
  • Charles Francis Adams Jr- began to uncover
    corruption among railroad barons

The Progressive Impulse
  • Ida Tarbell most notable of railroad trust
    exposes, wrote an enormous and influential study
    of the Standard Oil trust

The Progressive Impulse
  • Lincoln Steffens wrote a portrait of machine
    governments and boss rule, his tone studied moral
    outrage (The Shame of the Cities) - all helped
    arouse sentiment for urban political reform

The Progressive Impulse
  • Muckrakers investigated governments, labor
    unions, corporations explored the problems of
    child labor, immigrant ghettoes, prostitution,
    and family disorganization denounced the waste
    of natural resources, subjugation of women, and
    occasionally the oppression of blacks

The Progressive Impulse
  • Muckrakers argued that people themselves must
    take greater interest in public life by
    presenting social problems to the public with
    indignation and moral fervor they helped inspire
    other Americans to take action

The Progressive Impulse
  • Expressed basic progressive impulses opposition
    to monopoly, belief in the need for social unity
    in the face of corruption and injustice

The Progressive Impulse
  • Social Gospel reformers committed to the
    pursuit of social justice, powerful movement
    within American Protestantism, chiefly concerned
    with redeeming nation's cities

The Progressive Impulse
  • Salvation Army- example of fusion of religion
    with reform, offered both material aid and
    spiritual service to the urban poor

The Progressive Impulse
  • Charles Sheldon wrote In His Steps about a young
    minister who abandoned comfortable life to work
    among the needy, became the most successful novel
    of the era

The Progressive Impulse
  • Walter Rauschensbusch published a series of
    influential discourse on the possibilities for
    human salvation through Christian reform

One could hear human virtue cracking and
crashing all around. Walter Rauschenbusch
The Progressive Impulse
  • Catholic liberal Father John A. Ryan worked to
    expand the scope of Catholic social welfare

The Progressive Impulse
  • Critics of Social Gospel saw it as irrelevant
    moralization, William Graham Sumner argued that
    people's fortunes reflected their inherent
    "fitness" for survival, many progressive
    theorists disagreed ignorance, poverty and
    criminality were not result of genetic failings-
    effects of unhealthy environment

The Progressive Impulse
  • Jacob Riis exposed the crowded immigrant
    neighborhoods of the American cities through
    photographs and lurid descriptions

The Progressive Impulse
  • Jane Adams established the Hull House which
    became a model for more than 400 similar
    institutions, sought to help immigrant families
    adapt to the language and customs of their new
    country, training ground for future female
    leaders, spawned the profession of social work
    where women played a vital role, produced
    elaborate surveys, reports and collected

The Progressive Impulse
  • Women played an important role in social work
    where they produced elaborate surveys and
    reports, collected statistics, and published
    scholarly tracts on the need for urban reform

The Progressive Impulse
  • Many reforms came to believe that only
    enlightened experts and well-designed
    bureaucracies could create stability and order

The Progressive Impulse
  • Thorstein Veblen was one of the most influential
    social scientists, critical of the "leisure
    class" (industrial tycoons), proposed new
    economic system in which power would reside in
    the hands of highly trained engineers

The Progressive Impulse
  • Taylorism impulse toward expertise and
    organization, encouraged development of mass
    production techniques, assembly line, new
    organization, resulted in a dramatic expansion in
    number of Americans engaged in administrative and
    professional tasks, the new Middle Class placed
    high value on education

The Progressive Impulse
  • Doctors who considered themselves trained
    professionals began forming local associations
    and societies- American Medical Association
    reorganized into a national professional society

The Progressive Impulse
  • Johns Hopkins compared favorably with the leading
    medical schools in Europe, and doctors there such
    as William H. Welch taught by moving the students
    out of the classrooms and into laboratories and

The Progressive Impulse
  • By 1916 lawyers in 48 states had established
    professional bar associations
  • The Progressive Impulse
  • Business administration created the National
    Association of Manufactures and the United States

The Progressive Impulse
  • Admission requirements into newly formed
    professions effort to defend the professions from
    the untrained and incompetent, women found
    themselves excluded from most of the emerging
    professions, most important job for women was
    teaching 90 of all professional women were

The Progressive Impulse
  • Women's Professions had much in common with other
    professions, value placed on training and
    expertise, creation of professional organizations
    and professional identity usually helping
    professions like nursing and librarians

Women and Reform
  • New Woman house work was less onerous, occupies
    only a small part of the day, began looking for
    activities outside the home, declining family
    size, lived longer, single women were among the
    most prominent female reformers, high levels of
    education became available

Women and Reform
  • The divorce rate rose quickly in the late 19th
    century from one divorce in 21 to one in 9 by
  • Boston Marriages women lived together,
    sometimes romantically

Women and Reform
  • Women's Clubs were a large network of
    organizations to provide an outlet for
    intellectual energies, General Federation of
    Women's Clubs had over 1 million members by 1917,
    became more concerned with social betterment,
    most excluded blacks who formed their own clubs

Women and Reform
  • National Association of Colored Women some
    crusaded against lynching, protested aspects of

Women and Reform
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman in her book Woman and
    Economics argued that the traditional definition
    of gender roles was obsolete

Women and Reform
  • Accomplishments of Clubs supported schools,
    libraries, settlement houses, built hospitals,
    important force in winning passage of state laws
    that regulated conditions of women and child
    labor, outlawed the manufacture and sale of

Women and Reform
  • Mother's Pensions some state legislatures
    provided pensions to widowed or abandoned mothers
    with small children, became part of the Social
    Security system

Women and Reform
  • Childrens Bureau in the Labor Department
    directed to develop policies to protect children

Women and Reform
  • Womens Trade Union League persuaded women to
    join unions, the WTUL raised money to support
    strikers on picket lines and bail strikers out of

Women and Reform
  • Suffrage seemed a very radical demand, women
    presented their views in terms of "natural
    rights", Elizabeth Cady Stanton believed that a
    woman is the arbiter of her own destiny

Women and Reform
  • Powerful anti suffrage movement emerged defended
    existing social norms, posed a threat to "natural
    order", suffrage associated with divorce,
    promiscuity, looseness and neglect of children

Women and Reform
  • Anna Howard Shaw and Carrie Chapman Catt were a
    Boston social worker and journalist, thanks to
    them membership in the National American Woman
    Suffrage Association grew to over 2 million,
    argued enfranchisement would help temperance

Women and Reform
  • National American Woman Suffrage Association
    believed war would become a thing of the past,
    promised to reshape the role of women and reform
    social order, separation of the suffrage movement
    from more radical feminist goals and its
    associations with other reform causes of concern
    helped it gain widespread support

Women and Reform
  • Some suffrage advocates claimed that once women
    could vote war would stop, one reason why WW1
    gave a decisive push for suffrage

Women and Reform
  • Florence Kelley helped organize NAACP, was a
    prominent social reformer

Women and Reform
  • In 1910, Washington became the first state in 14
    years to extend suffrage to women, California
    followed a year later, strength of suffrage in
    western states result of an absence of large
    Catholic communities, suffrage fight rarely
    intersected with other, more divisive issues

Women and Reform
  • By 1919, 39 states has given women the right to
    vote, in 1920 ratification of the 19th amendment
    guaranteed political rights to women, Alice Paul
    was the head of the militant National Woman's
    Party and argued women needed a constitutional
    amendment that would provide clear legal
    protection for their rights, prohibit
    discrimination on the basis of sex- Equal Rights

The Assault on the Parties
  • Only government could effectively counter the
    many powerful private interests that threatened
    the nation

The Assault on the Parties
  • Before they could reform society effectively they
    would have to reform government- considered
    parties corrupt, undemocratic and reactionary

The Assault on the Parties
  • Former Mugwumps (Independent Republicans) became
    important supporters of progressive political

The Assault on the Parties
  • States adopted secret ballot- helped chip away at
    the power of the parties over the voters

The Assault on the Parties
  • Party Rule could be broken by increasing the
    power of the people and by permitting them to
    circumvent partisan institutions and express
    their will directly at the polls or by placing
    more power in the hands of nonpartisan officials

The Assault on the Parties
  • By the end of the century a new generation of
    activists were taking a growing interest in
    government no longer "vulgar" activity

The Assault on the Parties
  • Opponents city bosses, large group of special
    interests, saloon owners, businessmen who
    established lucrative relationships with the
    urban machines, influential newspapers ridiculed
    reforms as naive do gooders

The Assault on the Parties
  • Galveston, Texas after a devastating tidal wave
    the reformers won approval of a new city charter
    mayor and council replaces by an elected
    nonpartisan commission

The Assault on the Parties
  • City-manager-Plan another approach to municipal
    reform, elected officials hired an outside expert
    to take charge of the government

The Assault on the Parties
  • Tom Johnson celebrated reform mayor of
    Cleveland- waged a long and difficult war against
    powerful streetcar interests.
  • Cleveland came to be known as the best-governed
    city in America

The Assault on the Parties
  • State-level progressives considered existing
    state government unfit to answer society's needs

The Assault on the Parties
  • Initiative allowed reformers to circumvent state
    legislatures altogether by submitting new
    legislation directly to voters in general

The Assault on the Parties
  • Referendum provided a method by which actions of
    legislature could be returned to the electorate
    for approval.

The Assault on the Parties
  • Direct primary attempt to take selection of
    candidates away from the bosses and give it to
    the people- effort to limit black voting

The Assault on the Parties
  • Recall gave voters the right to remove a public
    official from office at a special election

The Assault on the Parties
  • Robert M La Follette helped turn the state of
    Wisconsin into a "laboratory of progressivism"
    regulated railroads and utilities, referendums,
    primaries, initiatives, compensation for laborers
    injured on the job

The Assault on the Parties
  • Decline in voter turnout and political parties,
    1900 73 of the electoral voted while by 1920 it
    declined to 49

The Assault on the Parties
  • Interest groups new organizations outside the
    party system, designed to pressure government to
    do their member's bidding

The Assault on the Parties
  • New pattern of politics many individual
    interests organized to influence government
    directly rather than through party structure

Sources of Progressive Reform
  • Middle class reformers mainly from the east
    dominated the public image of progressivism, but
    working class Americans, African Americans,
    westerners, and even party bosses played
    important roles in reforms of the era

Sources of Progressive Reform
  • California passed a child labor law, womens
    compensation law and a limitation on working
    hours for women

Sources of Progressive Reform
  • Tammany Hall leader Charles Francis Murphy, used
    political power on behalf of legislation to
    improve working conditions, protect child
    laborers and eliminate the worst abuses of
    industrial economy

Sources of Progressive Reform
  • Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire killed 146
    workers mostly women, many of them died because
    the management had locked the emergency exits to
    keep malingering resulted in reports calling for
    major reforms in the conditions of modern labor

Sources of Progressive Reform
  • Most effective supporter were two Tammany
    Democrats- Wagner and Smith- steered through a
    series of pioneering labor laws that imposed
    strict regulations on factory owners and
    established effective mechanisms of enforcement

Sources of Progressive Reform
  • Western state reformers important target was the
    federal government- authority over the land
    rested in federal bureaucracies- could move
    quickly and decisively to embrace reforms.
    Question of who had the rights to the waters of
    the Colorado River

Sources of Progressive Reform
  • Most of the growth of the west was a result of
    federally funded dams and water projects

Sources of Progressive Reform
  • Booker T. Washington to work for immediate
    self-improvement rather than long- range social

Sources of Progressive Reform
  • W.E.B Du Bois The Souls of Black Folk rather
    than content themselves with education at trade
    and agricultural schools advocated talented
    blacks should accept nothing less than a full
    university education, fight for immediate
    restoration of their civil rights- not simply
    wait for them to be granted

Is it possible and probable that nine millions
of men can make effective progress in economic
lines if they are deprived of political rights,
made a servile caste, and allowed only the most
meager chance for developing their exceptional
men? W. E. B. Du Bois
Sources of Progressive Reform
  • Niagara Movement formed the NAACP, led the drive
    for equal rights
  • NAACP one of the nations leading black
    organizations, stressed the opportunity for
    exceptional blacks to gain positions of full

The Crusade for Social Reform
  • Women saw alcohol as a source of some of the
    greatest problems of working-class wives and
    mothers, hoped through temperance to reform male
    behavior and thus improve women's lives

The Crusade for Social Reform
  • Political reformers saw an attack on drinking as
    an attack on the city bosses

The Crusade for Social Reform
  • 1873 temperance advocates formed the Women's
    Christian Temperance Union led by Frances
    Willard, publicized the evils of alcohol and the
    connection between drunkenness and family
    violence, unemployment, poverty and disease

The Crusade for Social Reform
  • Anti-Saloon League joined with the WCTU and began
    to press for legal abolition of saloons

The Crusade for Social Reform
  • Americas entry into World War 1 and the moral
    fervor it unleashes provided last push to
    advocates of prohibition

The Crusade for Social Reform
  • 1920 18th amendment became a law- Rhode Island
    and Connecticut last to ratify

The Crusade for Social Reform
  • Some progressives argued that the introduction of
    immigrants was polluting the nations' racial

The Crusade for Social Reform
  • Eugenics the science of altering the
    reproductive processes of plants and animals to
    produce new hybrids and breeds

The Crusade for Social Reform
  • When applied to people an effort to grade races
    and ethnic groups according to their genetic
    qualities, advocated forced sterilization of the
    mentally retarded, criminals and others

The Crusade for Social Reform
  • Madison Grant The Passing of the Great Race-
    nations most effective nativist, warned of the
    dangers of racial mongrelization and importance
    of keeping Anglo-Saxon pure

The Crusade for Social Reform
  • The Dillingham Report argued that the new
    immigrant groups had proven themselves less
    assimilatable than earlier immigrants-
    immigration should be restricted by nationality

Challenging the Capitalist Order
  • Issue that overshadowed and helped to shape all
    others in the minds of reformers was the
    character of the dramatically growing modern
    industrial economy- corruption and growing
    influence of corporate America

Challenging the Capitalist Order
  • Socialist Party of America grew during the
    progressive era
  • Socialist Presidential Candidate 1912 Eugene
  • Strongest following in urban immigrant
    communities, Germans and Jews, Protestant farmers
    in the South and Midwest

Challenging the Capitalist Order
  • Supporters Lincoln Steffens, crusader against
    municipal corruption, Walter Lipman brilliant
    social critic, Florence Kelley, Frances Willard
  • Beliefs need for basic structural changes in the
    economy, some endorsed radical goals of European
    Marxists, other envisioned a more moderate reform
    that would allow small-scale private enterprise
    to survive

Challenging the Capitalist Order
  • Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies)
    radical labor union, under leadership of William
    (big Bill) Haywood- advocated single union for
    all workers and abolition of the "wage slave"
    system, rejected political action in favor of
    strikes, dynamiting of railroads lines and power

Challenging the Capitalist Order
  • 1917 strike by IWW timber workers in Washington
    and Idaho virtually shut down production in the
    industry- federal authorities imprisoned the
    leaders of the union

Challenging the Capitalist Order
  • Reformers argued that the federal government
    should work to break up the largest combinations
    and enforce a balance between the need for big
    business and the need for competition

Challenging the Capitalist Order
  • Louis D Brandeis brilliant lawyer and later
    justice of the Supreme court- spoke about the
    "curse of bigness", threat not just to efficiency
    but to freedom

Challenging the Capitalist Order
  • Government should distinguish between good and
    bad trusts- continued oversight by strong
    centralized government was essential

Challenging the Capitalist Order
  • Herbert Croly The Promise of American Life
    became one of the most influential progressive
    documents, "nationalist" position, focused on
    some form of coordination of the industrial

Challenging the Capitalist Order
  • Theodore Roosevelt was one who endorsed the
    notion of the government playing a more active
    role in regulating and planning economic life