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Progressivism and the Republican Roosevelt

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1 Progressivism and the Republican Roosevelt

2 The Progressive Era The Progressive Era was time period when reformers sought to use government action to solve the various economic, political and social problems within the U.S. The members of the progressive movement were a very diverse group (militarists, pacifists, female settlement workers, labor unionists and others) who wanted to use the government as an agency of human welfare. The progressive movement’s political roots came primarily from the Populist Party and the movement’s social/religious roots came from the Social Gospel movement.

3 Muckrakers The muckrakers where men and women who used the media of the day to make the public aware of society’s problems, hoping that the public outcry would lead to change – typically in the form of government regulation. Popular newspapers and magazines of the day courted the muckrakers because their stories helped increase circulation.

4 Muckrakers

5 Jacob Riis In his book How the Other Half Lives, Jacob Riis used photographs to show the abject poverty faced by people living in the New York tenements. Many New Yorkers were shocked, having no idea that there were people living in the city in such a manner.

6 How the Other Half Lives

7 Lincoln Steffens In McClure’s magazine, Lincoln Steffens published a series of articles entitled The Shame of the Cities. These articles exposed the corruption that occurred between big businesses and municipal governments.

8 Ida Tarbell Ida Tarbell published a scathing expose of the business practices used by the Standard Oil Company in McClure’s magazine also. Her father had been put out of business by Standard Oil.

9 The Progressive Era Political Changes
One main goal of the progressive movement was to reduce the influence of big business on the U.S. government and put the power of the government back into the hands of the people. This was done several ways: the initiative, which allowed voters to directly propose legislation. the referendum, which allowed voters to place laws on the ballot for final approval by the people. the recall election, which enabled voters to remove corrupt government officials. the Australian ballot, or secret ballot, which helped remove the influence of political machines. the 17th Amendment, which allowed for the direct election of Senators instead of having the chosen by state legislatures.

10 Public Safety Many muckrakers protested the terrible conditions within the factories of the time. In 1911, a fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company left 146 workers dead (mostly young women) and led to the state of New York passing new regulations regarding working conditions and workers compensation laws.

11 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

12 Prohibition Organizations continued their support of prohibition, especially the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League. Their actions will culminate in the passage of the 18th Amendment in 1919, which banned the production, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages. The Volstead Act was later passed to create the methods of enforcing the 18th Amendment. Unfortunately, the only thing that really developed out of the 18th Amendment was organized crime.

13 Prohibition

14 The Support/Non-Support of the Courts
One of the major victories of the progressive movement was the case of Muller v. Oregon (1908), which upheld an Oregon law prohibiting women from working move than 10 hours a day. A major part of this decision was the state’s attorney, Louis Brandeis and his Brandeis brief, which used psychological and sociological evidence to support his argument. A set-back for the progressive movement was the case of Lochner v. New York (1905), which declared a state law limiting bakers to 10 hour days unconstitutional.

15 Teddy Roosevelt and the Square Deal
Teddy Roosevelt’s political platform was known as the Square Deal. His Square Deal consisted of the Three C’s. The first was corporate control – use the government to regulate large corporations/monopolies – he wanted to show that the government was in charge of the country, not big business. The second was consumer protection – he wanted to protect the American public from unsafe products. The third was conservation – he wanted the government to manage the nation’s resources on behalf of the public.

16 Controlling Corporations

17 TR and the Coal Strike of 1902
One of the first issues TR had to deal with was the Coal Strike of 1902. Coal miners in Pennsylvania demanded better pay and fewer hours – when the coal mine owners refused to bargain with them, they went on strike. As the strike continued, national coal reserves dwindled, causing numerous shutdowns in all types of institutions. Finally, TR stepped in and threatened to use the military to take over the mines if the owners didn’t agree to arbitration. The miners ended up getting some of their demands met, but more importantly, it was the first time the federal government intervened between big business and labor and didn’t automatically side with big business.

18 TR and Trusts Roosevelt believed there were good trusts (those that promoted the public’s interest) and bad trusts (those that worked against the public’s interest). He used the federal courts to go after bad trusts but left the good ones alone. Again, he wanted to demonstrate to the American public that the government was in charge, not big business.

19 TR and the Railroads One of the first monopolies TR went after was the railroad. He strengthened the Interstate Commerce Commission with the passage of the Elkins Act (1903) and Hepburn Act (1906), which gave the ICC enforcement powers over its rulings, especially in regard to rates and rebates. The federal government also took over the regulation of telegraph and telephone companies.

20 In 1906, Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle was published.
The book was meant to expose the harsh treatment of immigrants working in the meat packing industry. Instead, people only saw the unsanitary conditions of the meat packing industry itself. He remarked that he aimed for the nation’s heart and hit its stomach. Consumer Protection

21 Effect of The Jungle In 1906 the Meat Inspection Act was passed to regulate the meat packing industry – the federal government could inspect the meat from “corral to can”. The Pure Food and Drug Act was also passed in 1906 to prevent the adulteration and mislabeling of foods and pharmaceuticals.

22 Conservation TR was an avid outdoorsman and was appalled at the practices of the lumber and mining operations of the day. The Forest Reserve Act of 1891 had ready set aside land for public parks and reserves but TR didn’t feel this went far enough in protecting the nation’s resources. In 1902 he signed the Newlands Act, which used the money raised from selling public land to fund projects to improve other public lands – primarily with dam building to irrigate the more arid regions of the west. He also created the National Conservation Commission to catalog the nations resources and to develop a comprehensive plan to manage them (it didn’t last).

23 TR’s Critics TR ran for reelection in 1904 but hurt himself politically when he announced that he would not run for reelection in 1908. He was already facing critics, even within his own party, because of his vast expansion of the powers of the presidency. When a panic occurred in 1907, he faced even more criticism – one positive of the panic was the Aldrich-Vreeland Act – which allowed national banks to issue currency during financial crises and paved the way for the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 (Wilson). In 1908, as TR was stepping aside, the Republicans chose William Howard Taft, TR’s chosen successor.

24 Passing the Torch

25 Taft as President Taft didn’t really enjoy the spotlight the way TR did – he also was a legal scholar and believed that TR had overstepped his authority as president in many ways. Taft continued to act as a trustbuster, breaking up even more monopolies as TR. However, TR didn’t belief Taft was doing enough to protect the American public. In foreign diplomacy, Taft also made a change – he practiced dollar diplomacy – would use our finances instead of our military to influence the countries of Latin America.

26 The Payne-Aldrich Tariff
In 1909 Taft called a special session of Congress to lower the tariff. Instead, Congress passed the Payne-Aldrich Tariff, which actually increased the tariff in many areas – especially goods needed in manufacturing. Taft, who’s own party had opposed him in passing this tariff, didn’t like the law but signed it. The tariff ended up splitting the Republican party between the progressives and the Old Guard/pro-business Republicans. It also caused Taft to fall out of favor with TR.

27 The Ballenger – Pinchot Affair
In 1910, Taft’s Secretary of the Interior, Richard Ballinger opened up some western lands for corporate development (these lands had been protected by TR). The Division of Forestry leader, Gifford Pinchot, criticized Ballenger over his actions and Taft ended up firing Pinchot. TR and Pinchot were big buddies and this will cause TR to begin publicly speaking out against Taft. In 1912, TR will end up actively seeking the Republican nomination for president (over Taft).

28 TR v. Taft

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