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 1890/95-1920 1900-1917.  A middle-class movement-mostly urban, white, native-born and white-collar professionals  Some upper class-business leaders.

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Presentation on theme: " 1890/95-1920 1900-1917.  A middle-class movement-mostly urban, white, native-born and white-collar professionals  Some upper class-business leaders."— Presentation transcript:

1  1890/95-1920 1900-1917

2  A middle-class movement-mostly urban, white, native-born and white-collar professionals  Some upper class-business leaders who were committed to social justice  Response to challenges of industrialization, urbanization and immigration

3  New ideas and honest, efficient govt. can bring about social justice; get rid of corrupt govt. officials/organizations and make govt. responsive to the people’s needs  Industrialization and urbanization have created troubling problems-wretched living conditions, harsh conditions for laborers  Eliminate the abuses of big business; create opportunities for small businesses  Reduce the gap between rich and poor (enter Socialist party)

4  Socialists wanted a complete change of the system, not merely reform, but, socialism and progressivism did overlap on some issues  Socialist Eugene V. Debs won 400,000 votes in 1904 and nearly a million in 1912 as presidential candidate  U. Sinclair was a Socialist

5  Sensational investigative reporters/stories  Published in magazines like McClure’s books (1893)  S.S. McClure-magazine that exposed Tammany Hall/Boss Tweed (controlled NYC politics and helped immigrants) (Thomas Nast- ”The Vulture”  Jacob Riis, “How the other half lives”-about NYC tenements  Lincoln Steffens-”The Shame of the Cities”-1904; exposed corruption of boss politics  Ida Tarbell-”History of the Standard Oil Company”-1904; ruthless practices of monopoly  Upton Sinclair-”The Jungle”-1906-industry conditions in Chicago’s meatpacking industry  Naturalist novels portraying human misery and struggles of the common people also became popular


7  Reforms begin in the cities, work to eliminate the corruption of machine politics  In the 1890s, many bosses were replaced with city managers or other forms of expert govt.  Worked to regulate urban utilities; some even advocated public ownership  1900-a massive hurricane hit Galveston, TX.; left it in ruins- killed more than 8000; as an emergency measure, Galveston replaced its mayor with a 5-person commission (5 people=legislative body)  Commission form of govt.-proved efficient through rebuilding effort; many adopt it

8  Robert M. Lafollette: direct primary-citizens themselves vote to select nominees for upcoming elections  17 th amendment (1913)-direct election of senators  Initiative-gave people the power to put a proposed new law on the ballot; voters could pass laws  Referendum-allow citizens to approve or reject laws passed by a legislature  Recall-voters the power to remove public servants from office before their terms end  By and large, these reforms failed to oust party bosses and special interest who learned to control the new mechanisms

9  Early 1900s-U.S. had the highest rate of industrial accidents (long hours, poor ventilation, fumes, unsafe machinery, etc.)  Early year some 30,000 workers died on the job; another half a million were injured  Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire (March 1911)-NYC, kills 146, many young women, little chance of escaping as managers had locked most of the exits; many jump in desparation  Leads to workplace safety laws and workers compensation laws  Many attempts to limit workday (to 10 hours), especially with women  Child labor reform-min. age for employment (12-16) and max. hours (10); Keating-Owens Act-bans child labor, but 2 years later will be ruled unconstituional  Not until 1938 that child labor will be banned for good


11  Social Gospel-follow the Bible’s teachings-about charity and justice, people could make society “the kingdom of God”  Est. of settlement houses-community centers that provided social services to the urban poor (gave working mothers classes in day care, taught English to immigrants, etc.)  Jane Addams-Hull House-in Chicago, grew to 13 buildings and inspired other college-educated, middle-class women to become social workers

12  A number of states passed laws requiring a child attend school until a certain age  John Dewey-criticized schools for teaching memorization, encouraged creative thought and also wanted schools to teach practical subjects/skills

13  Several states set up censorship boards to control movies  Prostitution-Red-light districts like New Orleans “Storyville” were shut down  1910-legislation passed to make it illegal to transport a woman across state lines for “immoral purposes”  Theda Bara (1885-1955)-the original vamp (sex symbol); sensuality in movies deeply troubled moral reformers


15  The temperance movement was one of the oldest and strongest reform movements  By 1900, 25% of Americans lived in “dry” counties or states, but, total per capita alcohol consumption was on the rise  Protestant rural native born reformers vs. Catholic urban immigrants  18 th amendment (1919)-prohibition-outlawed manufacture, sale and transport of alcoholic beverages

16  Education helped women achieve their goals  Worked in prohibition movement  Some women worked against sweatshops, fought for min. wage, 8-hr. workdays and children’s rights  Boldest goal=suffrage; wanted to make sure govt. protected their children, fostered education and supported family life  Suffrage leaders: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton  19 th amendment (1920)-cannot deny right to vote based on gender

17  Booker T. vs. W.E.B. DuBois  Niagara Movement-group met at Niagara Falls, expressed DuBois’ ideas, never grew large enough, needed a more powerful voice  NAACP-formed in response to a riot; to protect lives, secure the right to vote and civil rights  Anti-Defamation League-goal to defend Jews and others vs. physical and verbal attacks, vs. false statements, and to secure justice and fair treatment for all

18  Some believed only fewer and “better” immigrants could reduce the social problems of the city  Immigration restriction league-1894-founded to oppose the “new” immigrants  Some restriction already (Chinese Exclusion Act), but much more will follow WWI

19  Theodore Roosevelt-1901-1909  William Howard Taft-1909-1913  Woodrow Wilson-1913-1921

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