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Roosevelt & the Progressives: America Seeks Reforms in the early 20th century What was the connection between the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Roosevelt

Roosevelt the ProgressivesAmerica Seeks
Reforms in the early 20th century
  • What was the connection between the Gilded Age
    and the Progressive Era?
  • What were the goals of Progressive reformers? How
    was this different than reforms of the Gilded
  • How did Roosevelt embody the Progressive movement?

Origins of Progressivism
  • As America entered the 20th century, middle class
    reformers at the municipal, state, and national
    levels addressed the problems of the Gilded Age,
  • Economic inequities
  • Environmental issues
  • Social welfare
  • Working conditions
  • Rights for women and children

Four Goals of Progressive Reformers
  1. Protect social welfare
  2. Promote moral development
  3. Secure economic reform
  4. Foster efficiency

Theodore Teddy Roosevelt
  • Born into an elite New York family
  • Had some physical limitations, pushed himself
    through with a love of exercise and the outdoors
  • After graduating from Harvard, married love of
    his life, enters politics
  • Wife dies in 1884 he becomes depressed and moves
    his family west to the robust life
  • By 1890, already back in NY politics and elected
    to the Senate and eventually runs Department of
    the Navy
  • Roosevelt captured national attention by
    advocating war with Spain in 1898.
  • His volunteer cavalry brigade, the Rough
    Riders, won public acclaim for its role in the
    Battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba.
  • Roosevelt returned a hero, and was elected NY
    governor and later, McKinleys vice-president.

Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders
Roosevelts Modern Presidency
  • President McKinley was assassinated just months
    into his second term in 1901.
  • Theodore Roosevelt became the nations 26th
  • he became the youngest president at age 42
  • He quickly established himself as a modern
    president who could influence the media and shape
  • bully pulpit
  • stump speeches (including one in which he is
  • Using the new motion picture to showcase his
    actions and the work of the government

McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist in
Buffalo in September of 1901. The assassin was
refused a patronage position by NY party members.
The Square Deal
  • While McKinley was pro-business, Roosevelt came
    into office with a strong anti-corruption agenda,
    called The New Nationalism
  • Goal to eliminate influence of political machines
    and big business trusts (the trust-buster)
  • Success in using Sherman Antitrust Act against
    monopolies restricts business (next slide)
  • Reforms greatly influenced economic,
    environmental, and international affairs (see
  • Roosevelts platform became known as the Square
    Deal because he vowed not to favor any group of
    Americans but to be fair to all.

The Square Deal
  • Roosevelt defended the right of labor to
    organize, and avoided use of federal troops to
    put down strikes.
  • In 1902, he intervened in a United Mine Workers
    Strike and got miners a wage increase and
    shortened workday
  • Roosevelt restricted the power of big business by
    breaking up monopolies and trusts
  • Northern Securities Co. v. United States (1904)
  • Court ruled against the stockholders of the Great
    Northern and Northern Pacific railroad companies,
    who had essentially formed a monopoly, and
    dissolved Northern Securities Company
  • After reelection in 1904, Roosevelt negotiated
    the passage of the Hepburn Act which gave the
    Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), a
    previously weak agency, to set maximum railroad
    rates and inspect railroad companies financial

Other trust-busting
  • By 1900, trusts legal bodies created to hold
    stock in many companies controlled 80 of U.S.
  • Roosevelt filed 44 antitrust suits under the
    Sherman Anti-Trust Act

Raking the muck
  • The term muckraker was coined by TR in his 1906
    speech, The Man With the Muck Rake
  • However, he was not in favor of most of these
    journalists. The term was in reference to one of
    his favorite books, Pilgrim's Progress, in which
    a character was so busy raking up muck that he
    could not see a heavenly crown over his head
  • One of the most famous Progressive era muckrakers
    was Ida Tarbell, who caused a sensation with her
    "History of the Standard Oil Company," an account
    of how Rockefeller ruthlessly crushed his
    competition to become the first American

The Jungle Leads to Food Regulation
  • Muckrakers exposés, such as Upton Sinclairs The
    Jungle, highlighted the unsanitary conditions in
    food plants and dangerous ingredients in foods
    and medicines
  • Disgusted by what he read, in 1906 Roosevelt
    endorsed the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat
    Inspection Act
  • The first act prohibited the sale of adulterated
    or inaccurately labeled foods and medicines, and
    the second established federal regulations for
    meatpackers and a system of inspection (later,
    the USDA).

Roosevelt and the Environment
  • Early 20th century rise in environmental concerns
    led to conservation and protection movement by
  • Preservationists were often in direct opposition
    to business interests, who saw the environment as
    unlimited resources and development sites
  • Roosevelt was at heart a preservationist, but saw
    a need for compromise through his conservation
    program, which provided for the regulated use of
    the nations wilderness
  • 200 million acres as national forests, mineral
    reserves, and potential waterpower sites
  • Creation of national parks and monuments
  • Creation of the National Conservation Commission
    in 1908 to inventory the nations resources and
    efficiently manage their use

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Roosevelt and Civil Rights
  • Roosevelt failed to support legislation or
    actions for ongoing Civil Rights for African
  • Booker T. Washington founded the Tuskegee
    Institute to provide a technical education for
    African Americans
  • George Washington Carver, head of Tuskegee's
    agriculture department, helped end the failing
    cotton industry in the South by convincing
    farmers to plant peanuts, soybeans and sweet
    potatoes to save the soil
  • Allowed black farmers to get new sources of
    income, food

G. W. Carver
Booker T. Washington
W.E.B. DuBois
  • In 1909 black and white reformers, including
    W.E.B. DuBois created the formed the National
    Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • goal was full equality among the races through
    the court system

Limits of Progressivism
  • Progressive era was responsible for many
    important reforms, but failed to make gains for
    African Americans
  • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) Court allows separate
    but equal facilities
  • The KKK, which formed during Reconstruction, grew
    to almost 4.5 million members by 1924
  • D.W. Griffiths' silent film Birth of a Nation
    (1915) glorified white supremacy and the Ku Klux
    Klan (premiered at the Wilson White House)
  • Massive parade in D.C.
  • Lynching nationwide
  • Billie Holidays Strange Fruit
  • Some, like Marcus Garvey, advocated a Back to
    Africa movement, as they believed equality could
    never be reached
  • Brownsville Incident (1906)
  • Roosevelt dishonorably discharged 167 black
    infantrymen at Fort Brown, TX after some whites
    allege they shot and killed a white man
  • Senate upholds Roosevelts actions

Progressivism under President Taft
  • William Howard Taft (right) was Roosevelts War
    Secretary, and was hand-selected by Roosevelt to
    be the next Republican president
  • Taft easily defeated Democrat William Jennings
    Bryan in 1908
  • Among his accomplishments, Taft busted 90
    trusts during his four years in office more
    than Theodore Roosevelt during his eight years in
  • However, Taft was not popular with the American
    public or reform-minded Republicans.
  • Presidency was the lonesomest job in the world.
  • By 1910, Democrats had regained control of the
    House of Representatives
  • Roosevelt was not pleased with Tafts inability
    to keep the party in line

REVIEW Progressive Era
Four Goals of Reformers
  1. Protect social welfare
  2. Promote moral development
  3. Secure economic reform
  4. Foster efficiency

Protect Social Welfare
  • Industrialization in the late 19th century was
    largely unregulated. Employers felt little
    responsibility toward their workers.
  • As a result, settlement houses and churches
    served the community and organizations like the
    YMCA and the Salvation Army took on service roles.

Salvation Army Shelter
Promote Moral Development
  • Some reformers felt that the answer to societys
    problems was personal behavior. They proposed
    such reforms as prohibition.
  • Groups wishing to ban alcohol included the
    Womans Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)

Secure Economic Reform
  • The Panic of 1893 prompted some Americans to
    question the capitalist economic system.
  • As a result, some workers embraced socialism.
    Eugene Debs organized the American Socialist
    Party in 1901.

Debs encouraged workers to reject American
Muckrakers Criticize Big Business
  • Though most Progressives did not embrace
    socialism, many writers saw the truth in Debs
  • Investigative journalists, known as Muckrakers,
    exposed corruption in business. For example, Ida
    Tarbell exposed Standard Oil Companys
    cut-throat methods of eliminating competition.

Fostering Efficiency
  • Many Progressive leaders put their faith in
    scientific principles to make society better.
  • In industry, Frederick Taylor began using time
    and motion studies to improve factory efficiency.
    Taylorism became an industry fad as factories
    sought to complete each task quickly.

Cleaning Up Local Government
  • Efforts at reforming local government stemmed
    from the desire to make government more efficient
    and responsive to citizens.
  • Some believe it also was meant to limit
    immigrants influence on local governments.

Regulating Big Business
  • Under the progressive Republican leadership of
    Robert La Follette, Wisconsin led the way in
    regulating big business and implementing the
    Wisconsin Idea a partnership between government
    and the experts at the University of Wisconsin.

Robert La Follette
Protecting Working Children
  • As the number of child workers rose, reformers
    worked to end child labor.
  • Children were more prone to accidents caused by
  • Nearly every state limited or banned child labor
    by 1918

Efforts To Limit Hours
  • The Supreme Court and the states enacted or
    strengthened laws reducing womens hours of work.
  • Progressives also succeeded in winning workers
    compensation to aid families of injured workers.

Election Reform
  • Citizens fought for and secured such measures as
    secret ballots, referendums, and recalls.
    Citizens could petition and get initiatives on
    the ballot.
  • In 1899, Minnesota passed the first statewide
    primary system.

Direct Election Of Senators
  • Before 1913, each states legislature had chosen
    U.S. senators. To force senators to be more
    responsive to the public, Progressives pushed for
    the popular election of senators.
  • As a result, Congress passed the 17th Amendment
    in 1913.

Women in Public Life
  • Before the Civil War, American women were
    expected to devote their time to home and family.
  • By the late 19th and early 20th century, women
    were visible in the workforce.

Domestic Workers
  • Before the turn-of-the-century women without
    formal education contributed to the economic
    welfare of their families by doing domestic work.
  • Altogether, 70 of women employed in 1870 were

Women in the Work Force
  • Opportunities for women increased especially in
    the cities. By 1900, one out of five women
  • The garment industry was popular as were office
    work, retail, and education.

Women Lead Reform
  • Many of the leading Progressive reformers were
    women. Middle and upper class women entered the
    public sphere after graduating from the new
    womens colleges.

Colleges like Vassar and Smith allowed women to
Women and Reform
  • Women reformers strove to improve conditions at
    work and home.
  • In 1896, black women formed the National
    Association of Colored Women (NACW).
  • Suffrage was another important issue for women.

Three-Part Strategy for Winning Suffrage
  • Suffragettes tried three approaches to winning
    the vote
  • Convincing state legislatures to adopt the vote.
  • Pursuing court cases to test 14th Amendment.
  • Pushing for national Constitutional amendment.

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Women Win Suffrage
  • Native-born, educated, middle-class women grew
    more and more impatient. Through local, state,
    and national organization, as well as vigorous
    protests, women finally realized their dream in
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