March 25 th 1911 – a fire broke out on the upper floors of a factory building – and nearly 150 died (trapped, some jumped, some burned) Was not the worst industrial fire ever, but had a huge impact on public consciousness- and became an example of why business NEEDED regulation. Focused attention on the social divisions within America
The period from just before the turn of the century through WWI became defined by a movement that emphasized correcting the social and economic injustices created by industrialization. Embraced by both political parties (as well as creating its own) it represents a new definition of expectations- that government should protect the public interest and restore social order.
Progressives will take up many Populist ideas and fight for Trustbusting (esp for RR) passed 1903 and 1906 Income Tax- 16 th amendment ratified in 1912 Credit/Currency reform- passed 1913, 1916 Direct election of senators- 17 th amendment ratified 1913 Federal savings banks- 1910 Farm subsidies and relief- 1916 Progressives will succeed where populists had failed b/c they didn’t advocate a return to an agrarian economy- wanted to reform industrial society without hampering progress.
Felt industry had widened gap between rich and poor to an unacceptable breach. But instead of an outcry from the proletariat, Progressives tended to be from the middle class, who were genuinely moved by the plight of poor, and wanted to do something about it- largest reform movement since 2 nd Great Awakening Issues (beyond populist) Killing political machines- voting reform Improving urban living/working conditions Consumer protection (clean food/water) Conservation Women’s Suffrage
America recovered from the depression of 1893 and entered a boom period, economic output grew 85% from 1900-1910. Agriculture booming too- massive influxes of population created demand for food- prices rising, farmers making $$. More people filed for Homestead act land in that decade than previous 40 years! There are now 21 cities that have over 100K – NYC had more people than 33 states combined.
Growing cities needed planning- which they didn’t always get. Wider, straighter streets, in a grid pattern (electric lines). Often used numbers for streets- easier for immigrant population to understand Cities are still a hot mess….but we are starting to work on it…. Steel allowed building to go UP rather than just OUT- and elevators made upper floors desirable 1 st Steel skyscraper was built in 1885: the Home Insurance building in Chicago- 10 stories Louis Sullivan of NY was an important architect in early skyscraper design Steel used in Bridges too: esp. Suspension bridges like the Brooklyn Bridge (John Roebling)
Journalism becoming important in forming public opinion- especially exposing what people might not have wanted to see in industrial society. Magazines and Newspapers becoming big business. TR coined the term- inspired by the work of Ida Tarbell (writing about JD Rockefeller and Standard Oil) Lincoln Steffens: The Shame of the Cities Theodore Dreiser: Sister Carrie Upton Sinclair: the Jungle
Late 1800s-WWI is the time of the refugee- people leaving Europe to start a new life in land where they believed “the streets were paved with gold”. 1840-1914 60 million people leave Europe, the largest % settle here (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and S Africa also popular) (1901-1914) 13 million will arrive- with the largest numbers from southern (Italy) fleeing econ instability, and Eastern (Russia/Poland) Europe. Fleeing Revolution/Repression Also largest period of Jewish immigration. (persecution) Had a lot more trouble assimilating, and didn’t always try…instead worked to maintain their own cultural heritage. 25% of those who come will make $$ and go back to Europe
Opened in 1892 - functions until 1954. 1/3 of Americans have an ancestor they can trace to Ellis Island. “Processed” 12 million immigrants. Questioned about family, occupation, amount of $$ with you ($18). Given a medical inspection. 2% turned away Immigrants tended to stay in large cities where they could find factory (unskilled) jobs, and get help from countrymen. Angel Island in San Fran has similar function for immigration in West (after 1910) El Paso TX for immigrants from Mexico (fleeing revolution of 1911- 10 th of the population of Mexico comes to US)
Immigrant came imagining an America as a land of freedom, where “the streets were paved with gold” – trying to escape the hopeless poverty that was typical in many parts of Europe. Immigrants tended to feel more comfortable within their own cultural groups. Areas with large numbers of Southern/Eastern Europeans tended to be known as “Ghettos”, indicating that those types of immigrants were less desirable Immigrants live in Tenements: 7-8 stories (no elevator) 1 window, little ventilation, no plumbing- and everyone in one room. Lower East Side in NYC.
One of the changes being seen at turn of the century was development of a mass consumer economy- meaning that there were lots of items available and affordable for ordinary Americans- which once again changes the definition of freedom- to freedom to own. And we begin to measure success by what you have. Department Stores: Copied from London/Paris, Drew people to shop in Urban commercial centers with large selections and discount prices “One stop shopping”. Became luxuirous showplaces of gilded age architecture. Macy’s Founded 1858 Marshall Fields (Chicago) 1852 Woolworths founded 1878
Gender roles continued to change- and women were able to take a more independent role in society (going to places like Vaudville theater and Dance Halls by themselves) Larger numbers of (native born) women employed in “respectable” office work- and more women continued to work after they were married, looking for fulfillment in the workplace. (Charlotte Perkins Gilman) Immigrant families sometimes struggled with the “freedoms” offered to young women which had not been typical in Europe
Did NOT invent the automobile. (that was Karl Benz in Germany) But did improve the internal combustion engine, and most importantly, invented the Assembly Line Process for manufacturing cars, with each worker assigned a single task. Workers actually hated it, so Ford had to pay higher wages to get them to stay, $5 a day. This cut production costs, so Ford was able to “democratize” the automobile by building the Model T (1908) which at $400 was within reach for the majority of the middle class (became a symbol of middle class lifestyle)
Turn of the century was when advertising became a big part of sales- often linking goods to the ideas/values of freedom –after all you are making a “choice” with a product. Those left out of the consumer culture complained of being denied their “rights” (need higher wages etc)
Criticism of division between top and bottom of society- discussion of a “Living Wage” (John Ryan 1906) which talked about the right to make enough $$ to participate in the consumer economy as part of citizenship Again, reflects the changes that are making the US into a society based on mass consumption (as opposed to self reliant pioneers) Progressives want to create a world where (relative) economic equality will create independence and freedom
There was more than one way to be a Progressive. Some wanted to return to a market of small producers (industrial Jefferson) Others accept large business, but want the government to reverse the concentrations of wealth and ensure social justice. But all agree that in order to protect American freedom, there need to be adjustments in the economic and social conditions
Industrial work is repetitive- even if you are not on the factory floor. Scientific managers found ever more efficient methods, but that made things boring and repetitive – and workers resented it as a loss of freedom. Even “white collar” (management) felt it- in earlier times they would have owned a business. So Unions began to talk about the right of workers to participate in decision making as an aspect of freedom – it’s self government (political liberty v. industrial slavery – Louis Brandeis)
1901 the Socialist Party becomes part of the political landscape (came over from Europe) and by 1912 have 150k members American Socialism combined ideas from a number of earlier groups (populists, knights of labor, Bellamy etc) and called for : Free College Education (yes please) Laws to improve working conditions Pubic ownership of RRs and factories
Eugene Debs was the most important socialist leader in the US. Went on a national speaking tour saying the country needed a couple dedicated to political equality and economic freedom. Brought together urban/industrial poor with intellectuals troubled by unbridled capitalism – would get nearly a million votes for president in 1912
Unions were important parts of progressivism- after all, they were often the ones suffering! AFL represented “privileged” (skilled) workers – and won acceptance for collective bargaining, safety improvements and pension plans Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) founded 1905 to represent ALL workers. Part union, part political (solidarity- proletarian revolution) organization. Headed by “Big Bill” Haywood - “the most dangerous man in America”. Offered membership to ALL- women, blacks, immigrants, even the Chinese
Larger scale “mass” or “general” strikes became more common as workers realized that working together could help them all. (which is a step forward, ethnic divisions had often been an impediment to solidarity) Lawrence Massachusetts (1912) particularly well known- Said they wanted “Bread and Roses” (living wage and ability to be consumers) IWW sent striker’s children to NYC- where their obviously underfed/overworked condition inspired a lot of middle class sympathy. City officials in Lawrence (directed by mill owners) tried to refuse to let other children leave- turned into a riot of police attacking mothers and children. Governor intervened, and strike settled on worker’s terms. Ludlow Massacre: (1914) mine owners in CO evict 11,000 strikers from a tent city – killing 20-30 in process (again, mostly women and children”
Business often tried to prevent unions from speaking out (speeches, pamphlets, pickets)- the way they invoked “freedom” as their goal seemed to resonate with too many people. Courts often supported this limitations on speech, but the challenges became important for civil liberties later IWW got creative- holding impromptu meetings in random locations to spread message and avoid rules. Lots of cities responded by limiting outdoor gatherings w/o a permit.
The women’s movement was interested in more than the vote- they also discussed “women’s emancipation as a human being”. Protested the double standard of sexuality between men and women. Part of the Bohemian (artistic) circle of the “lyrical left” interested in extremes of freedom and liberation in art, movement, clothing etc.
Up to this point there has been one correct way to have a relationship: courtship, marriage (which is when nooky becomes ok) to create a family (which is however many kids happen to pop out) The discussions and desires for more options sexual freedom can be seen not only in feminism, but in the 1 st homosexual communities within cities- like Greenwich village in NYC (they were still pretty darn quiet, but not entirely secret)
Right to control one’s body meant right to accept or refuse sexual advances (even a husband’s) AND have “relationships” that did not lead to children…. Margaret Sanger: challenged laws that restricted access to birth control in many states. Wrote a frank column “What Every Girl Needs to Know”. Opened a clinic in Brooklyn in 1916 to distribute contraceptives to urban poor (jailed)
One positive of the Dawes Act (if you can find one) is that it brought tribes together in same area, and gave them common goal- creating a Pan- Indian movement, and progressivism offered opportunities for Change Carlos Montezuma: Founded Society of American Indians, Condemned federal paternalism and wanted to abolish Bureau of Indian Affairs. Rather like Booker T Washington, said self determination and work was the only way for Indians to escape poverty “We must free ourselves”. Did demand full citizenship.
Social Reform was very active in Europe in late 1800s as well. Pioneered by Prussia (remember, Bismarck wants to avoid revolution) Britain and France, countries adopt old age pensions, min. wage, max hours, unemployment insurance, and workplace safety The idea (abroad and at home) is of a socially conscious, activist government – that government must act to protect rights/freedom (rather than the founders view of gov’t as a threat to freedom)
Reform work began at the state and local levels- where populism already had a strong hold. Progressives broke up political machines in major cities like NY, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee. Simplified ballots (Australian Ballot), direct primary elections (no more back room deals.) City Managers and professional bureaucracy Robert A Follette (WI) Hazen Pingee (Detroit) Sam “Golden Rule” Jones (Toldeo) well known state/local, instituted a number of progressive reforms, and their success helped inspire others to follow along.
Wanted to restore harmony to society- which they thought would create true democracy- unify “the people”. Elected Officials: 17 th Amendment: Direct Election of Senators Election of judges Primaries to determine candidates Initiative, referendum, recall in place in most states by 1920, as well as minimum wages, maximum hours etc. Expand electorate with more women voting (state) But made no move against disenfranchisement in the south- there is a strong idea that democracy is for the “deserving”
Politics is always so …. Political – meaning that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Progressives wanted to remove incompetency and corruption from gov’t by making sure that the bureaucracy was full of impartial experts Robert La Follette an early example - used U of Wis professors as bureaucrats. Progressives have faith in experts to solve issues, and think freedom comes not just from voting, but having qualified people making decisions in best interest of population
Settlement houses were Designed to help immigrant/poor families get on their feet and learn skills to help them better their lives Jane Addams- founded Hull House in Chicago in 1889 to teach immigrants English, offer classes in health/nutrition, and provide social gatherings for urban poor. Florence Kelley- Henry Street settlement in NY, fought for legislation to regulate hours and working conditions for women and children. Both women quite controversial b/c of socialist political views
Women always key in reform movements, after all, they have been seen as guardians of morality since the revolution. Volunteerism the only acceptable “career” for a middle class married woman, and this is the 1 st generation with a large number of female college graduates (80K by 1900) Late 1800s a time with extreme Victorian morality- and there was concern that urbanization/industrialization brought traditional protestant values under attack. There was the concept of a “Christian duty” to help those in need
Moved beyond elite women, and became a mass movement. National American Women’s Suffrage Association (NAWA) had 2 million member is1917 Half of the state (mostly west – IL 1 st east of Mississippi) had enfranchised women, though often only for local/state elections “New” Suffragists were much more militant – used advertising, publicity and mass communication. Focus shifted from state campaigns to a national amendment.
If gov’t is going to “take care” of anyone- women and children 1 st (which is nice- and insulting at the same time) Muller v Oregon: max working hours for women b/c we can’t handle it like men (might damage our reproductive capacity) Many states established pensions for widows and orphans. In this end, this will help push forward rights for everyone- because it will be effective at improving quality of life
We are slowly (really slowly- takes until new deal) working our way towards the idea of a “safety net” – a standard of living below which is unacceptable. Begins with idea of helping workers in trouble Workman’s Compensation: benefits for employees injured/killed at work. $$ came from employees (contributions) but was a 1 st step
Progressive reform had been successful in states, but more and more, we define ourselves as a nation- and it was national businesses that needed regulation, and national problems that needed solutions Herbert Croly: in order to achieve “Jeffersonian ends” (personal freedom) we need “Hamiltonian means” (intervention from a powerful national government The 3 progressive presidents (TR, Taft, Wilson) had varying political ideology- but a commitment to get involved and make changes
1.Abraham Lincoln 2.Franklin Roosevelt 3.George Washington 4.Theodore Roosevelt 5.Harry Truman 6.John Kennedy 7.Thomas Jefferson 8.Dwight Eisenhower 9.Woodrow Wilson 10.Ronald Reagan 11.Lyndon Johnson 12.James Polk 13.Andrew Jackson 14.James Monroe 15. Bill Clinton 16. William McKinley 17. John Adams 18. George H.W. Bush 19. John Quincy Adams 20. James Madison 21. Grover Cleveland 22. Gerald Ford 23. Ulysses Grant 24. William Taft 25. Jimmy Carter 26. Calvin Coolidge 27. Richard Nixon 28. James Garfield 29. Zachary Taylor 30. Benjamin Harrison 31. Martin Van Buren 32. Chester Arthur 33. Rutherford Hayes 34. Herbert Hoover 35. John Tyler 36. George W. Bush 37. Millard Fillmore 38. Warren Harding 39. William Harrison 40. Franklin Pierce 41. Andrew Johnson 42. James Buchanan
TR is the 1 st “modern” president, the first to use gov’t to directly help the public interest- his vision was of an “umpire” to help make the world more fair. Bully Pulpit: President is visible- he is the “leader” he should set the tone for policy. Most personally dynamic president since Jackson
Actually believed in regulating more than fragmenting- combination and integration is efficient, and why should he punish success? Got federal regulation of Econ started – trust-busting. though he did differential between “good” trusts (Rockefeller’s standard oil) and “bad” trusts (JP Morgan Northern Securities). Took regulatory laws that already existed and gave them teeth- like the Hepburn Act, so the ICC could enforce policy
Sought a “Square Deal” for Business, Labor, and the Public Corporate regulation Consumer protection Conservation of natural resources Felt that it is the president’s job to intervene for the good of the nation. For example, during a Coal strike in 1902 he threatened to seize the mines and operate them with federal troops is owners refused to meet and negotiate. Created idea of arbitrators/mediators to settle disputes
Shocked by The Jungle- TR creates a commission to investigate food conditions, and finds Sinclair hadn’t been exagerating Meat Inspection Act - required inspection of packaged meat, could not be sold w/o seal of approval Pure Food and Drug Act – required ingredients to be listed, and prohibited various dangerous medicines (1 st step towards modern packaging)
John Muir was a Scottish born naturalist- founded the Sierra Club in 1890s to help preserve the west (which was being logged and RR’d quite a bit) Blended evangelical Protestantism (woods are God’s temple) with Transcendentalism – (cities are soulless), nature is a place for recreation and personal growth
TR’s most significant and long lasting contribution- this is what puts him in 1 st Column. Outdoorsman and sportsman- concerned by irresponsible use of resources. Heavily influenced by naturalists Guifford Pinchot and John Muir- TR creates US forest service to protect federal land from overdevelopment of timber, farming, and herding. National Reclamation Act: put federal gov’t in charge of building dams, reservoirs etc in west to ensure regulation National Park System: had been established with Yellowstone in 1872, but TR put aside 125 million acres, more than all previous presidents combined
TR honored 2 term tradition, and “hand picked” his successor- William Howard Taft- a much more conservative republican from Ohio. Taft did not have TR’s personality, but actually accomplished more progressive goals- Doesn’t rock the boat, worked under the radar, but “busts” twice as many trusts, and got the 16 th and 17 th amendments passed. Mann Elkins Act- finally gave the ICC the powers it needed to regulate. Taft often unpopular- passed Payne Aldrich Tariff: reducing to 37% (progressive goal)- but conservatives hate it- and Taft got caught in the middle. Fired Guifford Pinchot for insubordination, seemed a betrayal of conservation
The person most “offended” by Taft was TR- after all, Teddy assumed Taft stay the course. Progressives talk of supporting Robert la Follette in 1912- but TR lets it be known he is willing to run again (tradition is 2 consecutive terms) Democrats run Woodrow Wilson- progressive governor of New Jersey (and southern white supremacist) who favored states rights for social issues Socialists run Eugene Debs- showing that “progressive” is not enough for some
When asked by reporters- TR says he felt “as strong as a Bull Moose” which became the common term for his progressive party. Platform called for consolidation of trusts, along with greater federal regulation, and more efficient government. Also called for women’s suffrage, abolition of child labor, and unemployment benefits. Splits the Republican party- Wilson wins with only 41% of the popular vote
Woodrow Wilson 1 st president since Zachary Taylor to be from a southern state (Virginia). Believed president should play a dynamic role in government- and that the gov’ts role was to pass “good” laws. Lacked TR popularity- moral righteousness made him uncompromising and off putting (and a white supremacist to boot) New Freedom: Came of office with a clearly defined reform program- to attack the “triple wall of privilege” tariff, trusts, and banking. Passed a ton of legislation, only GW and Lincoln before him pass more (FDR overall winner). Est 8 hour workday and forbids child labor for all interstate businesses. Workman’s Comp
He’s a democrat- wants to lower tariffs. Went straight to Congress to talk (since TJ tradition has been to send letter) and appealed to the public to write congressmen/senators to approve Underwood Simmons Tariff- lowers substantially down to 29% (had been 37% under Payne Aldrich). Bill also contained the Income Tax permitted by passage of 16 th amendment- 1% on incomes over $4,000, up to 7% on incomes over $500,000 –which only represented the richest 5% of Americans (can we have that one back please) over time eliminates need for major tariffs
Thought monopolies threatened individual liberty and a free marketplace- wants regulation. Clayton Act: designed to strengthen Sherman Anti-trust by increasing the list of illegal business practices, and exempted unions from anti trust regulation(Gompers called it the “magna carta” of labor) Federal Trade Commission: created to investigate and regulate, with power to issue “cease and desist” orders”
Panic of 1893 etc had shown weakness of inelastic $$ system. There was a National Bank in NYC, but that didn’t help the rest of the nation, and though we are going to maintain gold standard, we need more flexibility. Federal Reserve Act (1913): 12 regional banks empowered to manage currency (issue $$), aid banks in trouble, and influence interest rates to control inflation Most important economic legislation between civil war and great depression
People don’t always WANT to be reformed (especially into someone else’s idea of “correct”) Progressives criticized for imposing values on society- specifically WASP values. After all, their greatest national success - Prohibition - is one of the most disastrous laws ever attempted. Nativist: they were not fans of immigrant culture, or Indians (Dawes Act 1887) or African Americans. Also a big part of the “Red Scare” of post WWI- leading to ugly violations of civil rights.