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The Progressive Era


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Lecture over Progressivism developed for College level survey of US History.

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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The Progressive Era

  1. 1. Progressivism<br />Reform in the late 19th-early 20th century<br />
  2. 2. Progressivism<br />Dominated US politics from 1890s to 1920s<br />Advocated social reform through government<br />WWI ended progressivism<br />Progressivism is often considered the beginning of liberalism in American politics<br />Liberal or progressive<br />Person willing to accept change<br />Conservative<br />Person resistant to change<br />Reactionary: wants to undo progress and return to some “ideal time” in past<br />
  3. 3. Problems in America<br />Huge gap between rich and poor<br />Rich had the political power and did nothing for problems of America’s poor and working class<br />Politics was corrupt<br />Machines dominated city political scene<br />Working class lived in squalid slums where health was poor and conditions atrocious<br />Pay was low and working conditions unsafe<br />
  4. 4. Progressivism<br />Reaction to:<br />“extremes” of modern life<br />Capitalism & individualism<br />Urbanization & Industrialization<br />Labor conflict<br />Immigration<br />Environmental exploitation<br />Social “problems”<br />
  5. 5. Images of the progressive era society<br />
  6. 6. Images of the progressive era society<br />Terrible slum conditions in America’s cities<br />
  7. 7. Images of the progressive era society<br />Meatpacking industry—terrible, filthy, dangerous as revealed in the Jungle<br />
  8. 8. Images of the progressive era society<br />Corruption dominated politics<br />
  9. 9. Images of the progressive era society<br />Race relations included widespread mob violence against Blacks— lynchings were common!<br />
  10. 10. Triangle Shirtwaist Fire<br />Ultimate Unsafe Working Conditions: Women factory workers locked in upper story workrooms; jumped to death or burned alive when factory caught on fire!<br />
  11. 11. Immigrant Slums<br />
  12. 12. Images of the progressive era society<br />
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  15. 15. Progressivism<br />Muckrakers—drove the movement w/information<br />Reporters in magazines like McClure’s<br />at right is front of McClure’s issue, Jan. 1901<br />
  16. 16. Famous Muckrakers<br />Ida Tarbell<br />History of the <br />Standard Oil Company<br />Lincoln Steffens<br />Shame of the Cities <br />(1904)<br />
  17. 17. 1908--Jack London writes novel warning of the rise of fascism<br />
  18. 18. Muckrakers<br />Jacob Riis<br />Danish-American<br />Photojournalist<br />How the Other Half Lives (1890)<br />Exposed the horrible slum conditions of New York City<br />
  19. 19. Upton Sinclair<br />Wanted to write an expose of life of immigrants in Chicago slums<br />Set in meat packing business<br />The Jungle<br />Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food & Drug Act <br />“I aimed for their hearts, but I hit them in the stomach”<br />
  20. 20. Progressives and Labor: Mother Jones<br />Born in Ireland 1830;<br />Died 1930; stopped working as labor organizer in 1922<br />“The Miner’s Angel”<br />First involved with KOL<br />Organizer for United Mine Workers in 1890<br />Arrested & jailed repeatedly<br />One of most feared women in America by Mine Owners<br />
  21. 21. Progressives and Labor: Eugene V. Debs<br />1855-1926<br />1893 organized first industrial union in US: American Railway Union (ARU)<br />1894 struck Great Northern<br />1894 Pullman boycott<br />Ran as candidate on Socialist Party ticket for pres. 5 times, once from jail cell<br />
  22. 22. Progressives and Labor: IWW<br />Industrial Workers of the World<br />Founded Chicago 1905<br />All workers should unite together, regardless of job, skill, etc.<br />“Wobblies”<br />Political action as well as “direct action”<br />
  23. 23. Progressives and Labor: Clayton Act<br />1914<br />Granted workers the right to organize without violating Sherman Anti-Trust<br />Limited use of injunctions against unions<br />Called the “Magna Carta” of American labor movement<br />
  24. 24. Progressivism<br />Politics<br />Some states had progressive governors<br />Robert “Battling Bob” LaFollette from Wisconsin<br />
  25. 25. Progressivism<br />Settlement Houses<br />Jane Addams<br />Hull House<br />Chicago 1889<br />Run by middle-class women to provide services to poor<br />
  26. 26. Successes of Movement<br />Political reforms<br />Initiative and referendum adopted in many states<br />Secret Ballot first adopted in Wisconsin as well as direct primary elections <br />16th Amendment passed –graduated income tax <br />17th Amendment - Direct Election of Senators 1913 <br />
  27. 27. Successes of Movement<br />Women's Rights <br />National American Women’s Suffrage Association under Carrie Chapman Catt <br />National Women’s Party under Alice Paul <br />19th Amendment in 1919 <br />
  28. 28. Successes of Movement<br />The first woman elected to Congress Jeannette Rankin introduced the bill which became the l9th Amendment -- Susan B. Anthony Amendment <br />
  29. 29. Successes of Movement<br />Other feminist areas <br />Charlotte Perkins Gilman urged economic independence for women <br />Margaret Sanger–reproductive rights (birth control movement) <br />
  30. 30. Progressive Failures <br />Race Relations and Civil Rights <br />Many progressives were racists<br />No significant steps taken to challenge Jim Crow laws of south<br />Teddy Roosevelt had Booker T Washington to dinner at White House<br />Wilson, born in south, was racist<br />
  31. 31. Jim Crow Laws<br />In the South mostly (but other areas, too)<br />Laws designed to undo the rights guaranteed African Americans during Reconstruction<br />Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) “separate but equal” does not violate 14th Amendment<br />Williams v Mississippi (1898) poll tax, literacy test does not violate 14th Amendment<br />
  32. 32. Jim Crow<br />Most former slaves found themselves working as sharecroppers in the South<br />
  33. 33. Crop Lien System<br />Each area had “furnishing merchants” who sold the tenant farmers things on credit<br />Charged interest <br />Had a lien on the crop until paid back<br />Because of falling prices, debt could not be paid<br />Farmer in “debt slavery” and could not leave<br />
  34. 34. Jim Crow Laws<br />After Plessy, laws enforced separate:<br />Public places of all sorts<br />Waiting rooms, water fountains, restrooms (often not provided), hotels, dining rooms<br />Miscegenation laws passed<br />Separate schools by law<br />Jury duty banned<br />
  35. 35. Booker T. Washington<br />"Atlanta Compromise", Washington called for education, self-help, and accommodation to whites. He believed that by making himself economically necessary to white society, the black man would eventually gain equal rights and respect. <br />
  36. 36. W.E.B.DuBois<br />Harvard professor history<br />Helped to found Niagara Movement in 1905<br /> opposite to the ideas of Washington<br />the first collective attempt by African-Americans to demand full citizen rights in the 20th century <br />NAACP 1909<br />
  37. 37. Progressive Presidents <br />Teddy Roosevelt<br />Became president after McKinley assassinated by Leon Czolgosz <br />Trustbuster<br />Nation’s first forester, Gifford Pinchot<br />
  38. 38. Roosevelt’s Accomplishments<br />Main strengths of progressivism came in areas of conservation <br />Got Newlands Reclamation Act passed in 1902 for irrigation projects in the West <br />Set aside millions of acres under Forest Reserve Act including 85 million acres in Alaska <br />Created 5 new National Parks such as Crater Lake in Oregon and Mesa Verde in Colorado <br />Created the first National Monument, Devil’s Tower in Wyoming <br />51 wildlife sanctuaries created <br />
  39. 39. William Howard Taft<br />Hand-picked by TR as his successor <br />fired Gifford Pinchot <br />only American to have served as both president of the US and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court <br />Stuck in White House bathtub<br />Had large tub installed<br />
  40. 40. Taft<br />Taft was also the first president to throw out the opening pitch in baseball and created the custom of the seventh inning stretch and was president when the Titanic went down <br />Teddy & Taft had falling out & in election of 1912, Teddy ran against Taft on Bull Moose Party<br />Wilson won when TR split Republican vote<br />
  41. 41. Woodrow Wilson<br />Progressive record mainly in business<br />Departments of Labor and of Commerce <br />Federal Reserve Act<br />Federal Trade Commission Act passed in 1914 <br />Clayton Anti-Trust Act (1914) <br />Keating-Owen Child Labor Act (1916)<br />Federal worker’s comp law<br />9 hour workday for fed employees & 8 hr for RR<br />
  42. 42. Progressivism<br />Conclusion<br />Progressives tried to spread themselves too thin over too many areas of concern. This confused workers and supporters. But progressives succeeded in several areas, especially political reforms and business reforms. They failed in areas like civil rights soundly and all-too-often attempted to force upon a multi-cultural society values of the white middle class. <br />