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Chapter 22, Section 2: The Progressives

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1 Chapter 22, Section 2: The Progressives
Main Idea: Progressive reformers worked to end political corruption and give voters greater power.

2 A. Reforming City Governments
Cities became corrupt because, as they grew, politicians accepted money to give away service jobs. Bribes & corruption became common & widespread. Political Bosses were powerful politicians that controlled many local governments. They ran political machines that controlled services in cities in exchange for payoffs from businesses. They were popular with poor immigrants because they provided jobs & charity, which allowed them to continuously get reelected. Boss Tweed ran NYC in the 1860/70s and cheated the city out of over $100 million. He was eventually exposed by journalists such as Thomas Nast (political cartoonist) & fled to Spain, but was apprehended & sent to jail because he was recognized (cartoons). Good Government Leagues – goal was to replace corrupt officials with honest leaders.


4 Muckrakers and Reform Efforts
“Let’s stop them damned pictures,” he said. “I don’t care so much what the papers write about – my constituents can’t read – but they can see pictures.” – Boss Tweed Muckraker: Thomas Nast, cartoonist for Harper’s Weekly Reform: - Tweed was arrested

5 Muckrakers and Reform Efforts
Problem: Corrupt city bosses, such as Boss (William) Tweed in NYC. With his 1873 conviction behind him, Tweed was sued by New York State for $6 million. Held in debtor's prison until he could post half that amount as bail, the former boss had few options. Still wealthy, his prison cell was fairly luxurious. Yet Tweed was determined to escape. Fleeing to Spain, he worked as a common seaman on a Spanish ship until recognized by his likeness to a Nast cartoon & captured. Extradited to New York, William Marcy Tweed died in debtor's prison on April 12, 1878. Tweed-le-dee and Tilden-dum, Thomas Nast, Artist, Illustration in Harper's Weekly, July 1, 1876.

6 B. The Muckrakers Reformers used the press to turn public opinion against corruption. Reporters described how corruption led to poor city services. Muckrakers – crusading journalists who “raked the dirt” to expose wrong-doing. They helped change public opinion to demand change & reform. Jacob Riis - photographed slum life & Child Labor (How the Other Half Lives) Ida Tarbell - wrote articles about big business (particularly Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Co.) Upton Sinclair – wrote The Jungle, a novel that depicted the terrible conditions in the meat packing industry Lincoln Steffens – wrote The Shame of the Cities , about corruption in city governments



9 President Roosevelt proposed legislation to clean up the meatpacking industry after reading The Jungle. Food and Drug Act Meat Inspection Act


11 C. The Progressives Progressives was the term that reformers called themselves (forward-thinking people who wanted to improve American life) is known as the Progressive Era They were never a single, united group with one goal. They were many groups & individuals with many causes & goals that believed that society’s problems could be solved. They fought for public interest (good of the people) Progressives valued education. They wanted schools to promote reform & teach democratic values by example (ask questions & work together to solve problems)

12 PROGRESSIVISM Muckrackers Suffragettes Temperance Popul ists
M i d c l a s s W o m e n Civi l Rights Labor Unions 12

13 D. Political Reforms Gov. Robert “Battling Bob” La Follette & his Wisconsin Idea: “The will of the people shall be the law of the land.” Empowering voters (give them more power): Primary – voters choose their party’s candidate for the general election Initiative – gave voters right to put a bill before a state legislature Referendum – allowed voters to vote directly on a bill Recall – allowed voters to remove an elected official from office due to incompetence (not same as impeachment) 2 new amendments: 16th – gave Congress power to levy an income tax (graduated – tax diff. rates based on ability to pay) 17th – allowed for direct election of senators (used to be elected by state legislatures, who were controlled by special interests)

14 Progressive Political Reforms
Before After Party leaders pick candidates for state and local offices Voters select their party’s candidates PRIMARY Only members of state legislatures can introduce bills Voters can propose bills to the legislature INITIATIVE Only legislators pass laws Voters can vote on bills directly REFERENDUM Only courts or legislature can remove corrupt officials Voters can remove elected officials from office RECALL


16 Political Reforms 16th Amendment (1913) – gave Congress the power to impose an income tax

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