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Chapter 19 section 1 Chapter 19 section 1 Presentation Transcript

  • Chapter 19
    Political Reform & the Progressive Era
  • Section 1
    The Gilded Age & Progressive Reform
  • Reform in the Gilded Age
    Gilded Age
    Period after Civil War
    Lasted from 1870s through 1890s
    Age of serious problems hiding under shiny surface
    Political Concerns
    Americans feared industrialists & wealthy men were enriching themselves at expense of public
    Corruption/Dishonesty in government
    Bribery & voter fraud appeared widespread
  • Taming the Spoils System
    Source of corruption was Spoils System
    Practice of rewarding political supporters w/ gov’t jobs
    W/ election of new President, people swarmed to Washington looking for jobs in rewards for their political support
    1881
    James Garfield elected President
    4 months later was shot by disappointed office seeker
    Sparked efforts to end spoils system
    Vice President Chester A. Arthur became President
    Owed his rise to spoils system
    1883
    Pendleton Act signed
    Created Civil Service Commission
    A system that includes most gov’t jobs, except elected positions, the judiciary, & the military
    Aim was to fill jobs on basis of merit
    Jobs went to those who scored highest on civil services examinations
  • Controlling Big Business
    Late 1800s
    Big business influenced politics, often w/ bribery
    Americans demanded limiting power of railroads & monopolies
    Congress
    Under Constitution has power to regulate interstate commerce
    1887
    President Grover Cleveland signed Interstate Commerce Act
    Forbade practices such as rebates & set up Interstate Commerce Commission to oversee railroads
  • 1890
    President Benjamin Harrison signed Sherman Antitrust Act
    Prohibited businesses from trying to limit or destroy competition
    Difficult to enforce
    Judges often ruled in favor of trusts & the Sherman Act was used to limit the power of labor unions (strikers blocked free trade & threatened competition)
  • Corruption in the Cities
    Expansion of cities led to expansion of sewers, garbage collection, & roads
    City politicians often excepted money to award jobs to friends
    Powerful politicians (bosses) controlled work done locally & wanted payoffs from businesses
    Popular w/ poor
    Gave turkeys & coal
    Poor voted for them in return
  • William “Boss” Tweed
    1860s & 1870s he cheated NY City out of $100 million
    His crimes were exposed by journalists, before being arrested he fled to Spain
    He was arrested in Spain & died in jail in 1878
  • Progressives & Political Reform
    Progressive Movement
    Corruption led to rise
    Progressives: diverse group of reformers united by a belief in the public interest
    Not sacrificed to greed of huge trusts & city bosses
    Wisconsin idea
    1st to adopt Progressive reforms
    Governor Robert La Follette “Battling Bob”
    Opposed political bosses
    Appointed commissions of experts to solve problems
    Railroad commission recommended lowering railroad rates; as rates decreased, rail traffic increased
    1903 Wisconsin was 1st state to adopt a primary run by state gov’t officials
    1917 all but 4 states joined
  • More Power to Voters
    Recall
    A process by which people may vote to remove an elected official from office
    Easier to remove corrupt officials
    Initiative
    Process that allows voters to put a bill before a state legislature
    Voters must collect a certain # of signatures on a petition
    Referendum: way for people to vote directly on a proposed new law
  • Two Constitutional Amendments
    Progressive Reformers
    Backed graduated income tax (method of taxation that taxes people at different rates depending on income)
    Wealthy pay higher taxes than poor
    Supreme Court ruled this was unconstitutional
    16th Amendment (gives Congress the power to pass an income tax) was ratified in 1913
    1789
    U.S. senators were elected by state legislatures
    Bribery was a problem
    Progressives wanted people to vote for senators
    1913
    17th Amendment was ratified to require the direct election of senators
  • The Muckrakers
    Press play important role in exposing corruption
    President Theodore Roosevelt
    Compared these reporters to men who raked up dirt/muck in stables
    Muckraker became a term for a crusading journalist
    Ida Tarbell
    Targeted big business
    Work led to demands for more controls on trusts
    Accused oil baron John D. Rockefeller of unfair business methods
    Other reporters described how corruption had led to inadequate fire, police, & sanitation services
    Jacob Riis
  • Jacob Riis Photographs
  • 1906
    Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle
    Grisly details about the meatpacking industry
    Described how packers used meat from sick animals & how rats often got group up in the meat