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Chapter 11 The Progressive Reform Era (1890 – 1920)

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1 Chapter 11 The Progressive Reform Era (1890 – 1920)

2 Section 1 The Origins of Progressivism

3 Setting the Scene Upton Sinclair – author of The Jungle
exposed the meatpacking industry: depicting the violent accidents, horrible illnesses, and painful deaths that came to packinghouse workers described how meat – and what was called meat – was processed on the way to their dinner tables

4 Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (1906)
“It seemed they must have agencies all over the country, to hunt out old and crippled and diseased cattle to be canned. There were cattle which had been fed on ‘whisky-malt,’ the refuse [garbage] of the breweries, and had become what the men called ‘steerly’ – which means covered with boils … It was stuff such as this that made the ‘embalmed beef’ that had killed several times as many United States soldiers as all the bullets of the Spaniards [in the Spanish-American War].” Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (1906)

5 The Progressive Era The Roots of Twentieth-Century Reform
new groups had their roots in movements such as nativism, prohibition, purity crusades, electoral reform, charity reform, social gospel philosophy, and the settlement houses wanted to combat slums and congestion and work to expand public services, such as pure water, schools, and healthcare Progressive Era – period from about 1890 to 1920

6 The Progressives: Their Goals and Beliefs
social, moral, economic, and political goals 1. Government should be more accountable to its citizens. 2. Government should curb the power and influence of wealthy interests. 3. Government should be given expanded powers so that it could become more active in improving the lives of its citizens. 4. Governments should become more efficient and less corrupt so that they could competently handle an expanded role.

7 Igniting Reform: Writers and Their New Ideas
Two Early Reformers Henry George (Progress and Poverty) – effort to explain why poverty continued to plague such an advanced civilization Edward Bellamy (Looking Backward) – a man falls asleep in a society of harsh working conditions and poverty; and wakes up in the year 2000, where government takes over largest companies and people live in a utopia

8 The Muckrakers muckraker – a journalist who uncovers wrongdoing in politics or business “those who earn their livelihood by telling scandalous falsehoods about honest men” – per TR Roosevelt

9 Progressive Reform Organizations
The Labor Movement unions were troubled with injunctions – court orders that prohibit certain activity they continued to fight for better working conditions through collective rather than individual bargaining Labor Parade

10 Socialists socialism – an economic and political philosophy favoring public or government control of property and income wanted to free the existing government of corruption and refocus its energies toward guarding the welfare of workers and the poor

11 Women’s Groups National Consumers’ League (NCL) – investigated the conditions under which goods were made and sold believed they needed the right to vote in order to influence government actions


13 Two Women Reformers Florence Kelley Mother Jones
helped to pass a law prohibiting child labor, limiting working hours for women, and regulating sweatshop conditions Mother Jones Mary Harris Jones – organized union workers, both men and women (“Join the union, boys!”) helped found the International Workers of the World (IWW)

14 Progressive Reforms Meet With Resistance
Progressives wanted increased government involvement in people’s lives housing, health care, and even content in the movies many felt that Progressives were insensitive to the poor and provoked a lot of resistance

15 Section 2 Progressive Legislation

16 Setting the Scene fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company
added pressure to expand workplace protections: fire inspectors, compulsory fire drills, unlocking and fireproofing exits, require automatic sprinklers in buildings more than seven stories high A horse-drawn fire engine on their way to the factory.


18 An Expanded Role for Government
social welfare programs – help ensure a minimum standard of living unemployment benefits, accident and health insurance, social security system for the disabled and elderly

19 Municipal Reforms municipal – city or local level
home rule – system that gives cities a limited degree of self-rule Attacking the Bosses were against political bosses, argued for a civil service system based on merit instead of favors

20 New Forms of Municipal Government
September 8, 1900 – Galveston hit by a hurricane, left 6,000 people dead city created an emergency commission to handle the relief effort, would become a model for later systems

21 Cities Take Over Utilities
regulate water, gas, and electricity pioneer city control or ownership of these utilities Providing Welfare Services Hazen S. Pingree – provided public baths, parks, and work-relief programs Samuel M. Jones – opened playgrounds, free kindergartens, and lodging houses for the homeless believed all people could be good citizens if social conditions were good

22 State Reforms More Power to Voters
direct primary – election where citizens vote to select nominees for upcoming elections (voters select their parties candidates) initiative – process where citizens can put a proposed new law directly on the ballot in the next election by collecting voters’ signatures on a petition (voters can put bills before the legislature) referendum – process that allows citizens to approve or reject a law passed by the legislature (voters can vote on bills directly) recall – procedure permits voters to remove public officials from office before the next election (voters can remove elected officials from office) Seventeenth Amendment – provided for the direct election of senators; instead of having them chosen by the state legislature

23 Reforms in the Workplace
worked to curb workplace hazards created workers’ accident insurance and compensation systems Muller v. Oregon – women’s long work hours in laundries harmed their health

24 Wisconsin’s Reform Governor
Robert M. La Follette (“Fighting Bob”) – made continual efforts to clean up government and produce social welfare reforms “It can be shown that Wisconsin is a happier and better state to live in, that its institutions are more democratic, that the opportunities of all its people are more equal, that social justice more nearly prevails, that human life is safer and sweeter – then I shall rest content in the feeling that the Progressive movement has been successful … [T]here is no reason now why the movement should not expand until it covers the entire nation.” Robert M. La Follette

25 Federal Reforms “bully pulpit” – an ideal platform from which to guide or rally the American public to support moral, worthy causes TR’s “Square Deal” worked through arbitration with United Mine Workers and resolved with a “square deal” for both sides

26 Antitrust Activism holding company – a firm that buys up stocks and bonds of smaller companies; can create a monopoly TR did not wish to destroy trusts that did not harm the public; did believe that government should regulate them

27 Railroad Regulation Hepburn Act moved the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to a more active role with legislative and judicial powers; could set and limit railroad rates

28 Protecting Public Health
Pure Food and Drug Act & Meat Inspection Act began requiring accurate labeling of ingredients, strict sanitary conditions, and a rating system for meats A New Labor Department Children’s Bureau and a Women’s Bureau

29 Protecting the Environment
Yellowstone in Wyoming – first national park (1872) United States Forest Service National Reclamation Act (1902) – used money from the sale of public lands to build irrigation systems in arid states

30 New Constitutional Amendments
16th Amendment – federal income tax 17th Amendment – direct election of senators 18th Amendment – banned alcohol

31 Section 3 Progressivism Under Taft and Wilson

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