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The Progressive Impulse Who were the Progressives? –“A mov’t so broad gauged it almost defies definition” –a reform movement that sought new responses.

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Presentation on theme: "The Progressive Impulse Who were the Progressives? –“A mov’t so broad gauged it almost defies definition” –a reform movement that sought new responses."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Progressive Impulse Who were the Progressives? –“A mov’t so broad gauged it almost defies definition” –a reform movement that sought new responses to the complex social ills brought on by the urban-industrial revolution –generally sought an expansion of local, state, and federal authority

2 The Progressive Impulse Roots of Progressivism: –Populism –Mugwumps –Late 19th c. middle class reform movements settlement house; temperance; etc. –Socialism & Social Critics The push-pull effect of socialism Voices of dissent: Henry Lloyd; Thorstein Veblen; Lincoln Steffens; Jacob Riis

3 The Progressive Impulse Themes of Progressivism –Reform Democracy –Good Government is Possible –Regulation of Big Business –Efficiency and Scientific Management to Solve Problems –Protect Consumers

4 Democratic Reforms Direct primary Recall, initiative, referendum Corrupt-practices acts Direct election of senators: Nevada (1899) is the first 17 th Amendment Australian ballot –All states employ this by 1910 Robert La Follette

5 Municipal Reforms –Target city bosses and their alliances with local businesses (e.g., trolley lines and utility companies) –Progressive mayors lead charge –Samuel “Golden Rule” Jones (Toledo): free kindergartens, night schools, public playgrounds –Tom L. Johnson (Cleveland) : Tax reform, 3-cent trolley fares, public ownership of utilities –“Gas and Water Socialism” –By 1915, 2/3 of the nations cities own their waterworks; gas lines, electric power plants, and urban transit soon follow. –Commission System and City-Managers –Galveston, 1901 – voters elect heads of departments, not just mayor –Dayton, 1913 – expert manager hired by city council Good Government

6 State Reform –Reform Governors Charles Evans Hughes (NY) Hiram Johnson (CA) Robert La Follette (WI): “The Wisconsin Idea” –Direct primary, tax reform, regulation of RR rates, etc. –Temperance and Prohibition –2/3 of state adopt prohibition –“drys” and “wets” are sharply divided –Goals: social/moral improvement; attack on power base for urban political machines Good Government (2)

7 The Progressive Impulse Themes of Progressivism (con’t) –Efficiency Frederick Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management (1911) Commission System in gov’t –Galveston 1901 City Manager system Budget and fiscal management

8 Regulation of Biz Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890): more symbolic than effective Four options for dealing with concentrated economic power: –Extremes: laissez-faire and socialism –Middle ground: trust-busting to restore competition or accept big businesses as the most efficient, but regulate them.

9 Government Solutions Social evils greater than private charities can handle; need to harness the power of state to correct Labor Legislation –Child Labor National Child Labor Committee (1904) Lewis Hine photos –Women’s Labor Florence Kelley & the National Consumer’s League

10 Government is the Solution or Problem? Supreme Court and Labor Lochner v. New York (1905) Muller v. Oregon (1908) Protecting Workers Triangle Shirtwaist Co. Fire (1911) workman’s compensation laws and accident insurance

11 The Progressive Impulse Themes of Progressivism (con’t) –Social Justice Con’t Prohibition –WCTU (1874) –ASL (1893) »first modern single issue pressure group »1913 endorses a prohibition amendment »by 1919, 3/4 of the nation’s population resides in “dry” country


13 Triangle Shirtwaist Co. Fire Triangle Co. Building

14 Triangle Shirtwaist Co. Fire Fighting the Fire

15 Triangle Shirtwaist Co. Fire Jumping to their death...

16 Triangle Shirtwaist Co. Fire …or perishing in the blaze

17 Triangle Shirtwaist Co. Fire …or perishing in the blaze

18 Triangle Shirtwaist Co. Fire Identifying the dead at Pier Morgue

19 Triangle Shirtwaist Co. Fire Public outcry over unsafe conditions at the factory

20 TR and the Square Deal TR as President –Youngest ever @ 42 years old –Promotes “the strenuous life” – mountain climbing, hunting, boxing, football, tennis, etc. –View of presidency: activist. President should set the legislative agenda, not just lead the executive departments “Bully Pulpit”

21 TR and the Square Deal The Square Deal for Labor –TR abandons traditional presidential support for business over labor Hayes and the Great Strike (1877); Cleveland and the Pullman Strike (1894) –1902 Anthracite Coal Strike TR calls for mediation and a “square deal” for both Threatens to send in troops to operate mines if no agreement reached. Miners get a 10% pay increase and a 9 hour day, but no UMW recognition.

22 TR and the Square Deal Trust Busting –TRs philosophy: “good v. bad trusts” –Creation of the Bureau of Corporations in 1903 – a regulatory and investigative agency –Begins enforcing the Sherman Anti-Trust Act Northern Securities Company (RR trust) broken up in 1904 Standard Oil Trust broken beef trust, sugar trust, harvester trust all follow

23 Myth v. Reality Trust buster?Trust tamer? Break up of Northern Securities Co. Leads to Gentleman’s Agreement between Morgan and TR Wall Street leaders will meet with BOC before making mergers 1907 BOC agrees to allow Morgan’s US Steel to purchase Tennessee Coal as a way of staving off the “Roosevelt Panic”

24 TR and the Square Deal Railroad Regulation –Congress strengthens the ICC Elkins Act (1903) – abolishes secret rebates Hepburn Act (1906) – ICC now sets maximum freight rates; extends to sleeping cars, gas pipelines, etc. Consumer Protection –The Jungle (1906) by Upton Sinclair –Meat Inspection Act (1906) – inspections

25 Consumer Protection (2) Patent medicines = advertised drugs whose ingredients were often unknown and whose effectiveness was untested Pure Food and Drug Act (1906) – forbids sale of mislabeled or adulterated foods and drugs

26 Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup, a popular teething remedy contained a combination of alcohol and 65g of morphine per ounce.

27 TR: Conservation Conservation –TR uses the Forest Preserve Act of 1891 to set aside 125 million acres of public land –1902 Newlands Reclamation Act: $ used from sale of public lands to fund irrigation in the western states (that is, to reclaim arid land) –1908 White House conference on conservation Gifford Pinchot (US Forest Service Director) named as heard of National Conservation Commission –Conservationism (Pinchot, TR) v. Preservationism (John Muir)


29 TR and the Square Deal Conservation –Hetch-Hetchy controversy: City of San Francisco plan to construct a dam flooding the Hetch-Hetchy Valley in the Sierra Nevadas

30 End of the TR Presidency Panic of 1907 – “The Roosevelt Panic” Aldrich-Vreeland Act 1908 – response to hard times; allows banks to issue emergency currency during a contraction (inflationary) TRs Legacy: –The modern activist presidency –Bully Pulpit –Middle road b/w laissez faire and socialism –US emerges as major force in world affairs

31 William Howard Taft Election of 1908 –Taft is the hand-chosen successor of TR –Defeats William J. Bryan and Eugene Debs easily –Never escapes TRs “shadow”

32 William Howard Taft Taft the Trustbuster –A more vigorous anti-trust prosecutor than TR TR: 44 anti-trust suits in 7 ½ years WHT: 90 anti-trust suits in 4 year – Key anti-trust activities 1911: Standard Oil Trust dissolved 1911: Taft goes after the United Steel Corporation –infuriates TR, who had given his imprimatur to JP Morgan's merger with Tennessee Coal & Iron -- one of the merger's that prompted the suit –Beginning of TR-Taft rift –Mann-Elkins Act (1910) – Gives ICC oversight of telephone, telegraph, and cable companies

33 William Howard Taft The Split in the GOP: Taft Alienates the Progressives –Payne Aldrich Tariff After running on tariff reduction, Taft signs a the Payne- Aldrich Tariff, which actually raises most tariff rates Taft defends the Bill, calling it the “best…ever seen” –Pinchot-Ballinger Controversy Secretary of Interior Richard Ballinger opens public lands to private interests; criticized by Gifford Pinchot Taft dismisses Pinchot –Joe Cannon Taft refuses to aid Progressives in their attempts to curb the powers of the dictatorial Speaker of the House –Midterm Elections Taft supports Conservative candidates and the split GOP loses big…prompts creation of the National Progressive Republican League to challenge for the GOP nomination in 1912.

34 The Election of 1912 The Rise of the Socialists –Socialist Party of America (1897) Calls for more radical reforms than Progressives: –Public ownership of RRs, utilities, and major industries such as coal, steel, and oil. Eugene V. Debs –5 time presidential candidate from 1900-1920 –Head of the American Railroad Workers Union –Jailed more than once! –Relationship with Progressives Work together on issues such as minimum wage, 8-hr. day, pensions for employees Generally distance themselves from SPA policies –Peak of power is 1912: Debs wins almost 1 million votes.


36 Woodrow Wilson Assaults the “Triple Wall of Privilege” –Tariffs –Banking –Trusts

37 Triple Wall: The Tariff Underwood Tariff –Reduces tariffs and imposes a 1% income tax –WW uses publicity to keep lobbyists in check

38 Triple Wall: The Banking System Federal Reserve Act of 1913 –Pujo Committee Investigation of banking practices stirred call for reform –Louis Brandeis’ Other People’s Money –Federal Reserve System: A decentralized bank 12 district banks US controls through the Federal Reserve Board


40 The Federal Reserve System (2) Brings elasticity to the money system. Federal Reserve can release more money to banks during downturns to bring about inflation: –Lower interest rates (what the Fed charges member banks to borrow money) make more money available for loans, and stimulates the economy. Federal Reserve can contract money by raising interest rates when there is too much inflation.

41 Triple Wall: The Trusts Clayton Anti-Trust Act (1913) –Expanded the Sherman Anti-Trust Act; –Companies cannot buy each other’s stock, if it creates a monopoly (holding companies) –Company officers can be prosecuted. –Exempts labor: “The Magna Carta of labor.” Federal Trade Commission (1914) –Watchdog agency; “turns a searchlight” on business

42 Other Wilson reforms Labor –Seaman’s Act – conditions in merchant marine –Workingmen’s Compensation Act – for fed employees –Keating-Owen Act – child labor Farming –Federal Farm Loan Act (1916) –Warehouse Act (1916) – fed loans with crops as collateral –Highways Act (1916) Race –Brandeis to Supreme Court –Opposes Federal Anti-Lynching Laws –RE-segregates the US Govt

43 Progressive Presidents Comparison TRTAFTWILSON Domestic Policy Square Deal New Nationalism New Freedom Foreign Policy Big StickDollar Diplomacy Moral Diplomacy

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