The Progressive Era 1890-1920

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The Progressive Era 1890-1920

  1. 1. Please Note: The images included in this presentation, some of which are copyrighted, are being used under the “fair use” provision (for educational purposes) of the U.S. law governing usage of copyrighted material.
  2. 2. The Progressive Era, 1890-1920 © Edward T. O’Donnell, 2006
  3. 3. My Approach to Teaching History • Conflict: Finding and Exploring Conflict and Debate • Agency: Recognizing How People Shape Their Era • Choices: History is the study of Choices - Nothing is inevitable! • Relevance: Make Connections (carefully) to the Present • Documents and Images
  4. 4. The Progressive Era • Defined • Background to the Progressive Era • Three Main Ideas of Progressivism • Who Were the Progressives • Key Progressive Era Reforms • The Darker Side of Progressivism • When Did the Progressive Era End?
  5. 5. The Progressive Era Defined The period from (roughly) 1890-1920 when many diverse groups in American society launched efforts to reform or eliminate the many social problems resulting from rapid industrialization, urbanization, and immigration.
  6. 6. Background to the Progressive Era The “New” Immigration total 1880 1,206,299 1890 1,515,301 1900 3,437,202 1910 4,766,883 1920 5,620,048 1930 6,930,446
  7. 7. Who Came? • Russian and Eastern European Jews • Italians • Poles • Greeks • Czechs • Bohemians • Irish and Germans (continuing but declining) • African Americans - The Great Migration
  8. 8. Ethnic Groups in Chicago’s Hull House Neighborhood, 18
  9. 9. Immigrant Cities 1910 % immigrants and their US- born children New York 78.6% Chicago 77.5% Milwaukee 78.6 San Francisco 68.3 Overall, the foreign-born = 14.8% of US population in 1910 (12.5% in 2009)
  10. 10. Conflicted Views on Immigration LOVE IT HATE IT
  11. 11. Many Types of Nativism • Disease • Superstition • Poverty • Anarchy • Sabbath desecration • Intemperance • Crime The Immigrant: The Stranger at Our Gate from The Ram’s Horn April 25, 1896 Source: www.projects.vassar.edu/1896/0425ramshorn.html
  12. 12. Toward Immigration Restriction Early Immigration Restriction • 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act • 1885 Contract Labor Prohibited • 1890 Federal Immigration Act • Ellis Island opens • Four Categories of Exclusion 1. Health 2. Poverty 3. Criminality Dumping European Garbage 4. Radicalism Judge Magazine, 1890
  13. 13. Background to the Progressive Era Industrialization
  14. 14. Background to the Progressive Era Industrialization – Some Stats 1860 1900 % INCREASE FACTORIES 140,500 510,000 263 VALUE FACTORY $1.9 bil $13 billion 584 PRODUCTION INDUSTRIAL 1.3 mil 5.1 mil 292 WORKERS PATENTS ISSUED 4,589 95,573 1,983 1860 1900 % INCREASE OIL 500,000 barrels 45,824,000 9,065 barrels RAILROADS 30,000 miles 193,000 miles 543 STEEL 13,000 tons 10,382,000 7,9762 tons Gross National $7 billion $19 billion 171 Product
  15. 15. Background to the Progressive Era Industrialization
  16. 16. Background to the Progressive Era Urbanization 1890 1920 New York 1,515,301 5,620,048 Chicago 1,099,850 2,701,705
  17. 17. Background to the Progressive Era Jim Crow and the New South
  18. 18. Background to the Progressive Era Conquest of the West The Wounded Knee Massacre, 1890
  19. 19. Three Main Ideas of Progressivism 1. Anti-Monopoly (vs. Big Business) 2. The Common Good (vs. Individualism) 3. Government Regulation (vs. Laissez-Faire)
  20. 20. Who Were the Progressives? 1. Women 2. Evangelicals 3. Journalists 4. Social Workers 5. Experts 6. Professionals 7. Politicians 8. Conservationists 9. Civil Rights Activists
  21. 21. Key Progressive Era Reforms Political Reform The Problem - corruption - unresponsive government
  22. 22. Key Progressive Era Reforms Political Reform The Goal - revitalize democracy and increase the influence of the people - eliminate corruption
  23. 23. Key Progressive Era Reforms Political Reform Municipal Government Reforms 1. City Manager 2. City Commission 3. Civil Service Exams
  24. 24. Key Progressive Era Reforms Political Reform State Government Reform 1. The Initiative 2. The Referendum 3. The Recall
  25. 25. Key Progressive Era Reforms Political Reform Federal Government Reform 17th Amendment – the direct election of Senators
  26. 26. Key Progressive Era Reforms Economic Reform The Problem 1. Unchecked power of big business 2. Lack of competition 3. Dangerous products 4. Boom and Bust cycles
  27. 27. “The Bosses of the Senate” Puck 1889
  28. 28. “What A Strange Little Government” The Verdict Jan 22 1900 [source: Andrist_The Confident Years]
  29. 29. Key Progressive Era Reforms Economic Reform The Limits of Economic Reform 1. Diminish the power of Trusts, but leave most intact 2. Regulate private business, but not control it 3. The Underlying Assumption – capitalism’s benefits outweigh its harmful effects -- the government should minimize the latter
  30. 30. Key Progressive Era Reforms Economic Reform Corporate Regulation 1902 Trust Busting 1906 Hepburn Act 1911 Standard Oil Trust broken up 1914 Clayton Anti-Trust Act
  31. 31. Key Progressive Era Reforms Economic Reform Consumer Protection • The Pure Food and Drug Act • The Meat Inspection Act
  32. 32. Key Progressive Era Reforms Economic Reform Banking Regulation Goal – reduce “Boom and Bust” 1907 Banking Crisis 1911 Pujo Investigation 1913 Federal Reserve Act
  33. 33. Key Progressive Era Reforms Economic Reform Greater Tax Equity No Income Tax - Carnegie’s $25 mil The 16th Amendment
  34. 34. Growing Economic Disparity 1890 –Top 1% of pop owned 51% of all wealth –Lower 44% of pop owned 1.2% of all wealth –Top 12% owned 86% of all wealth –Remaining 88% owned just 14% of all wealth Source: Walter Licht, Industrializing America, p 183
  35. 35. Key Progressive Era Reforms Social Reform The Goal - The Protection and Expansion of Individual Rights
  36. 36. Key Progressive Era Reforms Social Reform Pro-Labor Legislation The Problem – few laws or protections for workers Growing labor unrest ex: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
  37. 37. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 1911
  38. 38. Key Progressive Era Reforms Social Reform Pro-Labor Legislation 1902 Coal Strike 1903 Dept of Commerce and Labor By 1912 38 states enact child labor laws By 1912 24 states enact the 8- hour day for public works By 1917 38 states enact workmen’s compensation laws
  39. 39. Lewis Hine and Child Labor
  40. 40. A moments glimpse of the outer world. Said she was 11 years old. Been working over a year. Rhodes Mfg. Co. Lincolnton, N.C. (Lewis Hine)
  41. 41. Some boys and girls were so small they had to climb up on to the spinning frame to mend broken threads and to put back the empty bobbins. Bibb Mill No. 1. Macon, Ga. (Lewis Hine)
  42. 42. One of the spinners in Whitnel Cotton Mill. She was 51 inches high. Has been in the mill one year. Sometimes works at night. Runs 4 sides - 48 cents a day. When asked how old she was, she hesitated, then said, "I don't remember," then added confidentially, "I'm not old enough to work, but do just the same." Out of 50 employees, there were ten children about her size. Whitnel, N.C. (Lewis Hine)
  43. 43. Breaker boys. Smallest is Angelo Ross. Pittston, Pa. (Lewis Hine)
  44. 44. Adolescent girls from Bibb Mfg. Co. in Macon, Georgia. (Lewis Hine)
  45. 45. Key Progressive Era Reforms Social Reform Women’s Suffrage The movement revived in 1893 – NAWSA State by State effort Federal Effort
  46. 46. World War I = Opportunity
  47. 47. Key Progressive Era Reforms Social Reform Women’s Suffrage 1919 Congress passes the 19th Amendment 1920 Ratified What’s Next?
  48. 48. Key Progressive Era Reforms Social Reform Anti-Poverty Initiatives
  49. 49. Traditional Views of the Poor Demonizing the Poor “There is a large class—I was about to say a majority—of the population of New York and Brooklyn … to whom the rearing of two or more children means inevitably a boy for the penitentiary, and a girl for the brothel.” -- A New York City judge, ca. 1885 Loring Brace, Source: Illustration in Charles The Dangerous Classes and My Twenty Years Among Them, 1874
  50. 50. Traditional Views of the Poor As Dangerous Revolutionaries “The city has become a serious menace to our civilization. . . . It has a peculiar attraction for the immigrant. … Here is heaped the social dynamite; here roughs, gamblers, thieves, robbers, lawless and desperate men of all sorts, congregate; men who are ready on any pretext to raise riots for the purpose of destruction and plunder; here gather foreigners and wage- workers; here skepticism and irreligion abound.” -- Josiah Strong, a prominent Midwestern minister, in his best-selling book, Our Country: Its Possible Future and Its Present Crisis (1885)
  51. 51. Traditional Views of the Poor Social Darwinism “What a blessing to let the unreformed drunkard and his children die, and not increase them above all others. … How wise to let those of weak digestion from gluttony die, and the temperate live. What benevolence to let the lawless perish, and the prudent survive.” — The Christian Advocate (N.Y.), 1879
  52. 52. Key Progressive Era Reforms Social Reform Jacob A. Riis sheds new light on poverty and its causes
  53. 53. Street Arabs
  54. 54. Before?
  55. 55. After? Bandits Roost
  56. 56. How to Read a Historical Image S scan for important details I identify the conflict or tension G guess the creator’s intent or message H hear the voices T talk about your observations S.I.G.H.T. tm © 2008 Edward T. O’Donnell
  57. 57. An Italian Rag-Picker in Jersey Street
  58. 58. Key Progressive Era Reforms Social Reform Anti-Poverty Initiatives – Settlement Houses
  59. 59. Key Progressive Era Reforms Social Reform Anti-Poverty Initiatives – Tenement Reform
  60. 60. Key Progressive Era Reforms Social Reform Anti-Poverty Initiatives – Public Education Expansion Before After
  61. 61. Key Progressive Era Reforms Social Reform Anti-Poverty Initiatives – Public Parks in Poor Neighborhoods Elite Recreation in Central Park in New York
  62. 62. Anti-Poverty Initiatives – Public Parks in Poor Neighborhoods Mulberry Bend, ca. 1890
  63. 63. Anti-Poverty Initiatives – Public Parks in Poor Neighborhoods
  64. 64. Recreational Facilities
  65. 65. Public Health Cleaning the Streets (finally!)
  66. 66. Before and After
  67. 67. Key Progressive Era Reforms Environmental Reform Conservation
  68. 68. The Dark Side of Progressism The Eugenics Movement
  69. 69. The Dark Side of Progressism A.J.N. Tremearne, "A New Head-Measurer", Man 15 (1914):
  70. 70. The Dark Side of Progressism Eugenics and Immigration Restriction “The Only Way to Handle It” Providence Evening Journal, 1921
  71. 71. The Dark Side of Progressism The Lynching Epidemic 183 lynchings a year in the 1890s Or 1 every two days
  72. 72. Thousands gathered in Paris, Texas, for the 1893 lynching of Henry Smith.
  73. 73. The Dark Side of Progressism The Anti- Lynching Crusade “Although lynchings have steadily increased in number and barbarity during the last twenty Ida B. Wells years, there has been no single effort put forth by the many moral and philanthropic forces of the country to put a stop to this wholesale slaughter.” -- Ida B. Wells
  74. 74. The Dark Side of Progressism The Birth of A Nation (1915)
  75. 75. The Dark Side of Progressism Imperialism
  76. 76. Progressivism and Imperialism? International Competition and Questions of Security
  77. 77. Progressivism and Imperialism? America Becomes an Imperial Power 1867 Purchase of Alaska 1878 Naval Bases Established in Samoa (Pacific) 1893 Hawaii annexed 1898 Spanish-American War: U.S. acquires Cuba, Philippines, Samoa, and Guam 1899 "Open Door" policy established with China 1899-1902 U.S. puts down Philippine insurrection 1904 Columbia "Revolution" leads to creation of pro-US nation of Panama which agrees to allow Panama Canal 1909-10 US troops occupy Nicaragua 1912-25 1926-33 1914 US intervenes in Mexican Revolution 1916-1924 US troops occupy Dominican Republic 1915-1934 US troops occupy Haiti
  78. 78. Progressivism and Imperialism? The White Man’s Burden, American Style
  79. 79. Progressivism and Imperialism? Bringing Civilization to the Savages
  80. 80. Progressivism and Imperialism? “Civilization Begins at Home”
  81. 81. When Did the Progressive Era End?
  82. 82. Teaching American History “Who dares to teach must never cease to learn” -- Librarian and Educator, John Cotton Dana “Trying to plan for the future without knowing the past is like trying to plant cut flowers.” -- Historian Daniel Boorstin
  83. 83. How to Read a Historical Image S scan for important details I identify the conflict or tension G guess the creator’s intent or message H hear the voices T talk about your observations S.I.G.H.T. tm © 2008 Edward T. O’Donnell
  84. 84. Appealing to the Feminine Ideal of Purity
  85. 85. Appealing to 1776
  86. 86. Appealing to 1776
  87. 87. Denying the Threat to Motherhood and Family
  88. 88. The Question of Democracy Belittling and Denouncing the Idea of Women’s Suffrage
  89. 89. The Question of Democracy

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