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The Progressive Era


The Progressive Era Reform shifts from the farm to the city and climbs the ladder of government from the local to the state and then to the national level. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Progressive Era

The Progressive Era
  • Reform shifts from the farm to the city and
    climbs the ladder of government from the local to
    the state and then to the national level.

I. The Problems of the 1890s
  • Huge Gap between rich and poor
  • Tremendous economic and political power of the
  • Wealthy were insensitively flaunting their wealth
    before a poorer public

I. Problems of the 1890s (cont.)
  • Industrial workers hideously poor, living in
    squalor and working in dangerous conditions
  • Jacob Riis How the Other Half Lives (1890)
  • Little concern for Black America

Origins of Progressivism
  • Antimonopoly appealed to lower and middle class
  • Belief in social cohesion
  • Increasing faith in knowledge

II. Progressive Reformers
A. Streams of Reform
  • The Social Gospel movement salvation through
  • --Walter Rauschenbusch Christianity and the
    Social Crisis (1907) (Protestant)
  • Settlement House Workers
  • --Jane Addams, Hull House in Chicago (1889)
  • Americans of Old Wealth (Nurture)

A. Streams of Reform (cont.)
  • Young, socially-conscious lawyers
  • Investigative Journalists
  • -- Muckrakers
  • --Lincoln Steffens, Ida Tarbell, and Upton
  • Small businessmen

B. Features of Progressive Reform
  • Desire to remedy problems through government
  • Reliance on experts
  • -- Robert Lafollettes Wisconsin Idea
  • Wanted reform not revolution
  • Stressed the importance of efficiency in reform
  • --Frederick W. Taylor

B. Features of Progressive Reform (cont.)
  • Want to bring order out of chaos
  • --Creation of NCAA in 1910
  • --Federal Budget (1921)
  • Desire to make politics more democratic
  • Desire to make businessmen more responsible for

B. Features of Progressive Reform (cont.)
  • Desire to make society more moral and more just
  • Desire to distribute income more equitably
  • Desire to broaden opportunities for individual
  • Women were active in progressivism
  • --Suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony

B. Features of Progressive Reform (cont.)
  • Infiltrated both political parties
  • -- Republican insurgents
  • Middle-class reform movement
  • Operated on all three levels of government

III. Sample Progressive Reforms
African Americans and Reform
  • Booker T. Washington Work on self improvement
  • W.E.B. Dubois Demand more, mainly for talented
    African Americans (The Souls of Black Folk)
  • Marcus Garvey Advocated a global African pride
    movement. Eventually inspired Rastafarianism,
    Nation of Islam

African American Migration 1910-1930
  • To escape the Jim Crow South
  • Boll weevil infestation ruined crops
  • Northern industrial war economy jobs
  • WWI and Immigration Act of 1924 halted flow of
    new, immigrant labor
  • About 1.6 million African-Americans moved to
    north to industrial, urban areas

Civil Rights Organizations
  • NAACP formed in 1905 Dubois led it
  • Used the courts to advance civil rights, attack
    segregation laws, and to overturn voting
  • Used the talented 10th to gain positions of
    full equality for accomplished blacks

A. Political Reforms
  • Tried to put more power into the hands of the
  • Innovative changes in city government
  • --city managers and commission model
  • The Direct Primary
  • Initiative, Referendum and Recall
  • The Secret Ballot
  • Direct Election of Senators and the Vote for Women

B. Social Reforms
  • Child labor laws
  • Ten-hour work days
  • --The Brandeis brief
  • --Muller v. Oregon (1908)
  • --Bunting v. Oregon (1917)
  • Prohibition initiatives
  • Moral Purity campaigns
  • --Mann Act (1910)

B. Social Reforms (cont.)
  • Minimum safety standards on the job
  • Minimum standards for housing codes
  • City Beautification movement
  • Immigration Restriction
  • Eugenics
  • --Buck v. Bell (1927)
  • Little Help for Blacks
  • --NAACP (1909)
  • -- Birth of a Nation

The Dream of Socialism
  • Anti-corporate forces challenged capitalism
  • Some sought to own utilities, regulate RRs and
    even own some major corporations
  • 1912, Eugene Debs received 1 million votes
  • Socialists won 1,000 state and local offices
  • Varied widely in approach on how radical
  • IWW (Wobblies) were radicalstrikes

Centralia Massacre
IV. Progressive Amendments to the Constitution
  • Progressive reliance on the law
  • 16th Amendment (1913)federal income tax
  • 17th Amendment (1913)direct election of senators
  • 18th Amendment (1919)prohibition
  • 19th Amendment (1920)vote for women

V. Presidential Progressivism Theodore Roosevelt
  • Great drive, energy and exciting personality
  • TRs interests and early years
  • NYC police commissioner
  • Spanish-American War experience
  • -- Rough Riders
  • Political Rise from NY Governor to Vice-President

A. First Term as President (1901-1904)
  • McKinleys assassination
  • Offered energetic national leadership
  • Cast every issue in moral and patriotic terms
  • --The Bully Pulpit
  • Master Politician
  • Modest goals for his accidental presidency

B. Trust-Buster?
  • TRs attitude toward Big Business
  • Wants to regulate in order to get businesses to
    act right
  • The Square Deal (1902)
  • Making an example of the Northern Securities Co.
  • The Elkins Act (1903) and the Bureau of

C. Second Term as President (1905-1909)
  • More vigorous progressivism
  • Hepburn Act (1906)
  • Federal Meat Inspection Act (1906)
  • Pure Food and Drug Act (1906)
  • Conservation Policy
  • --Preservation vs. Conservation

VI. A Tough Act to Follow The Presidency of
William Howard Taft (1909-1913)
  • The Election of 1908
  • Tafts political experience
  • Tafts weight
  • Not a dynamic politician
  • Never completely comfortable as President

VI. Presidency of Taft (cont.)
  • Controversy over the Tariff
  • More conservative than TR, but also more trust
  • The Ballinger-Pinchot Affair
  • Growing tension with Teddy Roosevelt

VII. The Election of 1912
  • Growing split within the Republican Party
  • Creation of the Bull Moose Party
  • Progressive Party Platform New Nationalism
  • Democrats drafted Woodrow Wilson
  • Results of the Election

VIII. Democratic Progressivism The Presidency
of Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
  • Wilsons early life and political career
  • True progressive and dynamic speaker
  • Sympathetic to small businessmen
  • Could be a stubborn, moral crusader and ideologue

A. New Freedom
  • Wilsons brand of progressivism
  • Wants to recreate the golden age of small
    American businesses
  • Wilson wants to open channels for free and fair
  • Historic Jeffersonian approach to federal power

B. Key Wilsonian Legislation
  • Underwood Tariff Act (1913)
  • Federal Reserve Act (1913)
  • Clayton Anti-Trust Act (1914)
  • Federal Trade Commission (1914)

C. Congressional Progressivism After 1914
  • Wilson was not a strong progressive when it came
    to social reform
  • Congress takes over the progressive agenda
  • Appointment of Brandeis to Supreme Court
  • Examples of congressional progressive legislation
    after 1914
  • --Federal Highways Act (1916)

IX. The Waning of the Progressive Movement
  • Progressive movement peaks by 1917
  • Success of the movement led to its decline
  • Advent of World War I also hurt progressive
  • Progressives themselves began to weary of their
    reform zealas did the nation as a whole
  • Ironically, voter participation has steadily
    declined since the election of 1912
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