Political Reform in the Progressive Era


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This PowerPoint was created to help present material about political reform in the progressive era to my 8th grade students

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  • William Marcy Tweed, “Boss Tweed,” was a key political leader in New York City in the 1850s and 1860s. In this cartoon, Tweed is the main vulture. He led a so-called “political machine,” a type of organization common in big cities in the late 1800s. From what you know of U.S. cities in the 1800s, briefly describe what these political machines were.
  • Political Reform in the Progressive Era

    1. 1. The Progressives
    2. 2. Political Reform <ul><li>Religious Leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Corruption </li></ul><ul><li>Boss Tweed </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Progressives saw political corruption as both a cause and a symptom of the growing urban disorder . In this Thomas Nast cartoon, a pack of vultures waits out a storm. The vultures have the heads of the infamous “Boss Tweed” and his gang. “Boss Tweed” was William Marcy Tweed, leader of the Tammany political organization that controlled the Democratic Party in New York City in the late 1800s. The “Tweed Ring” grew rich and powerful through its control of New York City expenditures and the patronage jobs it could give loyal Democrats . But in part because of Nast’s cartoons, public anger was roused over Tweed’s criminal activities. In time, this “storm” of outrage on the part of Progressives and others drove Tweed from power and, ultimately, to prison. </li></ul>
    4. 4. A Group of Vultures Waiting for the storm to “Blow Over” – “Let Us Prey” <ul><li>Bones and Skulls </li></ul><ul><li>Law </li></ul><ul><li>Justice </li></ul><ul><li>Suffrage </li></ul><ul><li>Liberty </li></ul><ul><li>New York City Treasury </li></ul><ul><li>Rent Payer </li></ul><ul><li>Tax payers </li></ul>
    5. 5. Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918). “ Social Gospel” challenged “ laissez-faire” “ Gospel of Wealth,” the intellectual justifications of privilege and wealth in the 19th century . The church must transform society as well as save individual souls.
    6. 6. Progressive leader Father John A. Ryan. <ul><li>The Catholic church, too, produced important Progressive leaders such as Father John A. Ryan (protected Catholic immigrant workers) , who sought to prevent the exploitation of working men and women – many of them Catholic immigrants – that produced poverty and political corruption. 1930 photo. </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li> “ Wisconsin Idea,” </li></ul><ul><li>People select political candidates </li></ul><ul><li>First state income tax </li></ul><ul><li>Replaced a spoils system with a state civil service , and pushed through regulations for factory safety, railroads, and public utilities. </li></ul>Robert La Follette at his desk in 1906. The best known Progressive reformer at the state level was Robert La Follette (1855-1925) of Wisconsin.
    8. 8. <ul><li>Thomas Loftin Johnson (1854-1911), a Progressive mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, from 1901 to 1909, </li></ul><ul><li>Fought for public ownership reducing the costs of essential services , such as transportation, and electric and gas utilities. </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>An urban reform demanded most frequently by city dwellers was the reform and professionalization of city police forces . Here, one of New York City's Finest poses for the camera in 1907. </li></ul>