Presentation on theme: "The Progressive Era What is a progressive? Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods. Positive change."— Presentation transcript:
The Progressive Era
What is a progressive? Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods. Positive change.
Progressive Presidents Theodore Roosevelt (R) became Pres when McKinley was assassinated; TR elected 1904 became Pres when McKinley was assassinated; TR elected 1904 William Howard Taft (R) elected 1908; lost reelection bid in 1912 elected 1908; lost reelection bid in 1912 Woodrow Wilson (D) elected 1912; reelected 1916 elected 1912; reelected 1916 Populist Influence??
Problems Leading to Progressive Reforms Political? Social? Economic? Progressivism was a result of the dark side of the Gilded Age.
Goals of the Progressives Political: restore control of the gov’t to the people Social: correct abuses and injustices brought into lives of people by urbanization and industrialization Economic: restore greater equality of economic opportunity; draw up new rules for the conduct of business
Roots of Progressivism 1880’s-90’s –debates on how to reform society-nature v. nurture, James, Addams, etc. Journalists, Socialists, labor leaders and city gov’t reformers offered ideas Muckrakers investigated and exposed abuses; alerted public to wrongdoing in politics and business and raised social issues
Leading Muckrakers and their works Jacob Riis – How the Other Half Lives; The Battle with the Slum (urban issues) Upton Sinclair – The Jungle (consumer protection – abuses in meatpacking) Ida Tarbell – A History of the Standard Oil Trust (monopolies and trusts) Lincoln Steffens – Shame of the Cities (political machines, corruption, voting fraud) Lewis Hine – photographs exposed child labor
Jungle clip Jungle clip
Local Political Reforms Machines work with voters: registration; improved city services; public health programs; enforced tenement codes Cities take over utilities: efforts to regulate or dislodge monopolies providing city services; provided residents w/ more affordable utilities City-supported welfare services created
State Level Political Reforms Direct primary Initiative Referendum Recall Australian Ballot – standard ballot printed by gov’t at public expense; cast in secret Reduced “vote buying” and fraud in elections
National Level Political Reforms 17 th Amendment (1913): direct popular election of U.S. Senators; previously chosen by state legislatures 19 th Amendment (1920): women’s suffrage
Social Reforms: Consumer Protection Pure Food and Drug Act (1906): medicine and food must be safe; contents must be labeled; FDA established Meat Inspection Act (1906): The Jungle influenced Roosevelt and Congress to act; strict sanitary conditions set; rating system for meat; fed gov’t given authority to inspect meat crossing state lines (interstate commerce)
Social Reforms: Labor State Level: labor depts created; workers’ compensation laws; child labor laws (by 1914, all states except 1); min. age laws National Level: U.S. Dept of Labor created (1913); 8 hr day for federal gov’t workers
Social Reforms: Conservation Measures Roosevelt interested in conservation Congress created U.S. Forest Service Gifford Pinchot (expert forester) appointed head of Forest Service Set aside 200 mill. acres of land for nat’l forests, mineral reserves & water projects National (Newlands) Reclamation Act passed (1902): set aside $ from sale of public lands to fund construction of irrigation systems in arid states
Social Reforms: Prohibition 18 th Amendment (1919): outlawed manufacture, sale, transportation of intoxicating liquor Reformers believed would protect society from poverty and violence associated with alcohol consumption Miserable failure; led to bootlegging; widespread lawbreaking; speakeasies; rise of organized crime Repealed in 1933 (21 st Amendment)
Economic Reforms: Tariff Reform Progressives wanted to lower tariffs (reform); Conservatives opposed reform Payne-Aldrich Tariff (1909): failed attempt to lower tariff rates; actually raised rates on more items than lowered Taft sided with conservatives in Rep. Party Signed bill; this began rift between Taft and progressives in his party Underwood Tariff Act of 1913: tariff reform finally achieved; lowered tariff rates on thousands of items: lowest tariff since Civil War
Economic Reforms: Banking Reform Federal Reserve Act (1913): created the Federal Reserve System – Created a decentralized nat’l banking system; 12 district banks distributed throughout country (see $1 bills) Established a flexible currency – Fed controls amount of $ in circulation by controlling district banks’ lending-how?
Economic Reforms: Business Reform Hepburn Act of 1906: ICC could regulate RR rates; made ICC effective for 1 st time Mann-Elkins Act of 1910: gave ICC power to regulate lines of communication such as telephone and telegraph rates
Business Reforms (con’t) Clayton Antitrust Act (1914): finally created effective law gov’t could use to prosecute monopolies; specified illegal business activities & contained protections for unions Federal Trade Commission Act (1914): created FTC to set up fair trade laws and enforce antitrust laws; could punish companies for unfair business practices created FTC to set up fair trade laws and enforce antitrust laws; could punish companies for unfair business practices
Roosevelt as Trustbuster Did not believe gov’t should attack all trusts, only those that were “bad” Even those that were “good” should be controlled / regulated Directed his Attorney General to file antitrust suit against Northern Securities Co. – 1904 gov’t won case & company dissolved 42 antitrust suits were filed during TR’s presidency
Split in the Republican Party Taft did not continue to vigorously push progressive reforms Progressives in Republican Party became upset with Taft: major causes: 1.Tariff – Taft signed Payne-Aldrich Tariff 2.Taft’s firing of Gifford Pinchot 3.Taft’s support of conservative Speaker of the House Joe Cannon
Impact of the Split 1912 Election – Progressive Republicans did not want to support Taft Split from the party and formed a 3 rd party called the Progressive Party Nominated T. Roosevelt (“Bull Moose” Party) This split the Republican vote in 1912; Wilson won (42% the popular vote)
1912 Election: Wilson v. Roosevelt Wilson (D) – New Freedom Roosevelt (P) – New Nationalism Roosevelt called for stronger, more active role on part of federal gov’t Wilson portrayed Roosevelt’s ideas as “radical” (more like socialism) Wilson’s platform more conservative, but still focused on reforms – enforce antitrust laws without threatening free economic competition
Evaluating the Progressive Era: Political Pros / Cons Accomplishments: Voting rights protected & participation expanded Some success against polit. Machines Outstanding Issues: Machines & corruption still existed African Americans rights still denied
Social Pros / Cons Accomplishments: Labor reforms (esp. child labor laws and workers’ compensation) Consumer protection Conservation – TR considered this his greatest achievement Outstanding Issues: Little done to address plight of farmers Non-union workers saw little change Nativism still existed Jim Crow system continued (segregation)
Economic Pros / Cons Accomplishments: Tariff, tax, banking reform achieved Stronger, more effective antitrust laws enacted Outstanding issues: Trusts continued to dominate economy
The End of Progressivism For most part, WW I ended Progressive Era; nation’s attention shifted to foreign affairs (war began 1914; US declared war 1917) Final reform of Progressive Era was the 19 th Amendment – women’s suffrage (1920); changing roles of women due to WW I gave suffrage its final momentum