UNITED STATES HISTORY Unit 3 THE PROGRESSIVE ERA Aka Power to the People PROGRESSIVISM Progressivism- reform movement in the early 1900s U.S. aimed at returning control of the government to the people, restoring economic opportunities, and correcting injustices in society There were many progressive groups wanting many reforms, but most generally agreed with the following goals: Foster efficiency Promote moral improvement Protect social welfare Create economic reform
Who Were the Progressives? Businessmen Southerners Northerners Professional Groups Rural dwellers Non-Europeans
Immigration Prohibition Womens Suffrage Municipal Reform Conditions of labor Pure Food and Drugs Protect consumers Trusts & Corporations Power of the Railroads
Natural Resources (Conservation) Political Power Tariffs and Taxes Minority Rights Some Progressive Era Issues Fostering efficiency Efficiency- acting or producing effectively with a minimum of waste, expense, or unnecessary effort One such thing was the assembly line which was first used extensively in the automotive factories (Henry Ford). Overall, it led to mass production in the factories, which lowered costs. Other Progressive reforms/reformers:
Reform governors Most well known was Wisconsins Robert La Follette who attacked the railroads and their business practices. Political Reforms (Direct) Primaries (Primary elections) were introduced in which members of a political party selected a candidate for public office through a special election (the winner will be the partys candidate for the general election) This is going to take power away from political machines! Introduction of initiative, referendum, and recall
Initiative- a bill (proposed law) originated by the people Referendum- voters accept/reject the initiative by vote Recall- voters remove elected public officials by forcing them to face another election if enough voters ask for it 16th Amendment- (ratified in 1913) a graduated income tax that taxed individual earnings and corporate profits 17th Amendment- (ratified in 1913) U.S. senators were to be elected directly by the people instead of being chosen by state legislatures (make them more responsive to citizens) Prohibition will become law with the passing of the 18th Amendment (ratified in 1919) Push for womens suffrage - right to vote Will eventually lead to the passage of the 19th Amendment (ratified in 1920) which granted women the right to vote
Two major supporters of this were Lucy Stone and Susan B. Anthony Lucy Stone Susan B. Anthony Promoting moral improvement Many reformers thought morality (right & wrong) was the main problem issue in society One area they attacked was alcohol consumption by supporting the idea of prohibition- banning all alcoholic beverages This will fester in years to come (a.k.a. Temperance Movement) ***The main task of the Progressives was to correct the wrongs caused in govt., society, and the economy by industrialization. Protecting social welfare Child Labor/Educational Reform By 1920, most states had banned child labor altogether.
Compulsory school attendance will also be put into place requiring kids of certain ages to attend school. Provided shelter, food, tutoring, clothing, and recreational activities Florence Kelley became an outspoken advocate for improving the lives of women and children and helped win passage of the Illinois Factory Act (1893): Prohibited child labor Limited womens working hours Served as a model for future child/women labor laws in other states Organizations like the YMCA and Salvation Army became very active in society Jacob Riis published photo book How the Other Half Lives exposing tenement living to middle and upper class. Creating economic reform
Rise of muckrakers- journalists that wrote about the corrupt side of business, government, and public life in mass circulation magazines in the early 1900s Influential muckrakers were Upton Sinclair who wrote the novel The Jungle (exposed the many wrongs in the meat-packing industry) and Ida Tarbell (wrote a monthly column in McClures Magazine about the evils of Standard Oil Co.) Three Progressive Presidents: Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson Theodore Roosevelt became president following McKinleys assassination. He was the youngest president (42 yrs. old) up to that point in time. Roosevelt was also the first progressive President and he wanted to ensure common people received fair treatment in all areas. His
plan to accomplish this was called the Square Deal- term used to describe the various progressive reforms sponsored by the Roosevelt administration. Reforms/events during Roosevelts administration: Earned the title of trustbuster as he attacked and broke up many trusts. He did this b/c he felt it eliminated competition in business and hurt public interest in general. Roosevelt stepped in and negotiated an end to the 1902 coal strike that threatened public welfare (coal supplies were running short). A new principle in the federal govt. was born as a result --- when a strike threatened the publics well-being, the govt. was expected to intervene or step in to solve it. He regulated railroads by halting rebates to shippers and receivers, as well as ending free railroad passes (common form of bribery at that time).
Looking to protect the citizens, Roosevelt pushed for and won passage of the following: Meat Inspection Act (1906)- placed strict cleanliness requirements for meatpacking and created a federal meat inspection program Pure Food and Drug Act (1906)- halted the sale of contaminated food/medicine and called for truthful labeling Conservation issues Conservation- trying to prevent the loss of wildlife, forests, and natural resources Roosevelt set aside millions of acres of land for national parks, water-power sources, and mineral/water exploration. He also had several dams constructed and put large scale irrigation projects in place. EVENTS/INFO
Roosevelt chose not to run again in 1908 after winning reelection in 1904. He handpicked his secretary of war, William Howard Taft, as the Republican nominee. Taft won easily. However, he quickly angered many people with the raising of tariffs. Taft was not well-liked and was not reelected in 1912. Even Roosevelt ran against him as a candidate of the Bull Moose Party (essentially the Progressive Party). Tafts lack of popularity, coupled with Roosevelt and Taft splitting the Republican vote, allowed Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win the 1912 election. William Howard Taft Woodrow Wilson Woodrow Wilson His plan for America was called New Freedom and was aimed
at attacking what he called the triple wall of privilege: trusts, tariffs, and high finance. Several important pieces of legislation were put into place during Wilsons presidency: Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve Act of 1913)created to strengthen banks and to quickly adjust money in circulation; divided the nation into 12 districts with a main regional bank to serve all others in each district Federal Trade Commission (FTC)- established a watchdog agency to investigate corporate violations of the law, as well as unfair business practices Clayton Antitrust Act- aimed at strengthening the Sherman Antitrust Act by prohibiting corporations from acquiring stock of another if it created a monopoly The goals of the Progressives were very similar in many regards to those of the Populist Party (no longer in existence by
this time). One of these goals that the Progressives had great success was the regulation of big business and industry.
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