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The Progressive Era, 1900–1916 Norton Media Library Chapter 18

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1 The Progressive Era, 1900–1916 Norton Media Library Chapter 18
Eric Foner

2 I. Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire

3 II. An Urban Age and a Consumer Society
Farms and Cities For the last time in American history, farms and cities grew together American agriculture entered what would later be remembered as its “golden age” The city became the focus of Progressive politics and of a new mass consumer society New York was the largest The city captured the imagination of artists, writers, and reformers

4 II. An Urban Age and a Consumer Society (con’t)
The Muckrakers A new generation of journalists writing for mass-circulation national magazines exposed the ills of industrial and urban life Lincoln Steffens Ida Tarbell Major novelists of the era took a similar unsparing approach to social ills Theodore Dreiser Upton Sinclair The Immigrant City Between 1901 and 1914, 13 million immigrants came to the United States Ellis Island Asian and Mexican immigrants entered in fewer numbers

5 II. An Urban Age and a Consumer Society (con’t)
The Immigrant Quest for Freedom Progressive-Era immigration formed part of a larger process of worldwide migration set in motion by industrial expansion and the decline of traditional agriculture Like their nineteenth-century predecessors, the new immigrants arrived imagining the United States as a land of freedom Some immigrants were “birds of passage,” who planned on returning to their homeland The new immigrants clustered in close-knit “ethnic” neighborhoods

6 II. An Urban Age and a Consumer Society (con’t)
Consumer Freedom The advent of large department stores in central cities, chain stores in urban neighborhoods, and retail mail-order houses for farmers and small town residents made available to consumers throughout the country the vast array of goods now pouring from the nation’s factories Leisure activities also took on the characteristics of mass consumption Vaudeville

7 II. An Urban Age and a Consumer Society (con’t)
The Working Woman Traditional gender roles were changing dramatically as more and more women were working for wages Married women were working more The working woman became a symbol of female emancipation Charlotte Perkins Gilman claimed that the road to women’s freedom lay through the workplace Battles emerged within immigrant families of all nationalities between parents and their self-consciously “free” children, especially daughters

8 II. An Urban Age and a Consumer Society (con’t)
The Rise of Fordism Henry Ford concentrated on standardizing output and lowering prices of automobiles Ford revolutionized manufacturing with the moving assembly line Ford paid his employees five dollars a day so that they could buy his car

9 II. An Urban Age and a Consumer Society (con’t)
The Promise of Abundance Economic abundance would eventually come to define the “American way of life,” in which personal fulfillment was to be found through acquiring material goods The desire for consumer goods led many workers to join unions and fight for higher wages A Living Wage Earning a living wage came to be viewed as a “natural and absolute” right of citizenship Father John A. Ryan Mass consumption came to occupy a central place in descriptions of American society and its future

10 III. Changing Ideas of Freedom
The Varieties of Progressivism Progressives wished to humanize industrial capitalism Industrial Freedom Frederick W. Taylor pioneered “scientific management” Eroded freedom of the skilled workers White-collar workers also felt a loss of freedom Many believed that union embodied an essential principle of freedom—the right of people to govern themselves

11 III. Changing Ideas of Freedom (con’t)
The Socialist Presence The Socialist Party brought together surviving late-nineteenth-century radicals Socialism flourished in diverse communities throughout the country New York Milwaukee Eugene Debs was socialism’s loudest voice

12 III. Changing Ideas of Freedom (con’t)
AFL and IWW The AFL sought to forge closer ties with forward-looking corporate leaders willing to deal with unions as a way to stabilize employee relations A group of unionists who rejected the AFL’s exclusionary policies formed the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) William “Big Bill” Haywood

13 III. Changing Ideas of Freedom (con’t)
The New Immigrants on Strike Immigrant strikes demonstrated that while ethnic divisions among workers impeded labor solidarity, ethnic cohesiveness could also be a basis of unity Lawrence strike demonstrated that workers sought not only higher wages but the opportunity to enjoy the finer things of life New Orleans dockworker strike showed interracial solidarity Ludlow strike ended soon after many strikers were killed

14 III. Changing Ideas of Freedom (con’t)
Labor and Civil Liberties The courts rejected the claims of labor Like the abolitionists before them, the labor movement, in the name of freedom, demanded the right to assemble, organize, and spread its views The Free Speech Fights Labor had to fight to get the right to assemble and speak freely

15 III. Changing Ideas of Freedom (con’t)
The New Feminism Feminists’ forthright attack on traditional rules of sexual behavior added a new dimension to the discussion of personal freedom Heterodoxy was part of a new radical “bohemia” The lyrical left made freedom the key to its vision of society The Rise of Personal Freedom Issues of intimate personal relations previously confined to private discussion blazed forth in popular magazines and public debates Sigmund Freud

16 III. Changing Ideas of Freedom (con’t)
The Birth Control Movement Emma Goldman lectured on sexual freedom and access to birth control Margaret Sanger placed the issue of birth control at the heart of the new feminism The birth control issue became a crossroads where the paths of labor radicals, cultural modernists, and feminists intersected

17 IV. The Politics of Progressivism
Effective Freedom Progressives assumed that the Modern era required a fundamental rethinking of the functions of political authority Drawing on the reform programs of the Gilded Age and the example of European legislation, Progressives sought to reinvigorate the idea of an activist, socially conscious government Progressives could reject the traditional assumption that powerful government posed a threat to freedom because their understanding of freedom was itself in flux John Dewey

18 IV. The Politics of Progressivism (con’t)
Progressive Politics State and local governments enacted most of the era’s reform measures Gilded Age mayors Hazen Pingree and Samuel “Golden Rule” Jones pioneered urban progressivism The most influential Progressive administration at the state level was that of Robert M. La Follette, who made Wisconsin a “laboratory for democracy”

19 IV. The Politics of Progressivism (con’t)
Progressive Democracy Progressives hoped to reinvigorate democracy by restoring political power to the citizenry and civic harmony to a divided society But the Progressive Era also witnessed numerous restrictions on democratic participation Voting was seen more as a privilege for a select few

20 IV. The Politics of Progressivism (con’t)
Government by Expert The impulse toward order, efficiency, and centralized management was an important theme of Progressive reform “Mastery” required applying scientific inquiry to modern social problems

21 IV. The Politics of Progressivism (con’t)
Spearheads for Reform Organized women reformers spoke for the more democratic side of Progressivism Jane Addams founded Hull House in Chicago The “new woman” was college-educated, middle-class and devoted to providing social services Settlement houses produced many female reformers The Campaign for Suffrage Campaign for women’s suffrage became a mass movement By 1900, over half the states allowed women to vote in local elections dealing with school issues

22 IV. The Politics of Progressivism (con’t)
Materialist Reform Ironically, the desire to exalt women’s role within the home did much to inspire the reinvigoration of the suffrage movement Muller v. Oregon upheld the constitutionality of an Oregon law setting maximum working hours for women Louis Brandeis A breach in liberty of contract doctrine The Idea of Economic Citizenship Brandeis argued that the right to government assistance derived from citizenship itself

23 V. The Progressive Presidents
The process of nationalization was occurring throughout American life Theodore Roosevelt Roosevelt regarded the president as “the steward of the public welfare” The Square Deal attempted to confront the problems caused by economic consolidation by distinguishing between “good” and “bad” corporations

24 V. The Progressive Presidents (con’t)
Roosevelt and the Trusts Roosevelt used the Sherman Antitrust Act to dissolve Northern Securities Company Roosevelt helped mine workers during a 1902 coal strike Roosevelt improved the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) and regulated the food and drug industry

25 V. The Progressive Presidents (con’t)
The Conservation Movement Roosevelt also moved to preserve parts of the natural environment from economic exploitation John Muir and the Sierra Club Conservation also reflected the Progressive thrust toward efficiency and control Taft in Office Taft pursued antitrust policy even more aggressively than Roosevelt Taft supported the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution Progressive Republicans broke from Taft after the Ballinger-Pinchot affair

26 V. The Progressive Presidents (con’t)
The Election of 1912 The election was a four-way contest among Taft, Roosevelt, Democrat Woodrow Wilson, and Socialist Eugene V. Debs It became a national debate on the relationship between political and economic freedom in the age of big business

27 V. The Progressive Presidents (con’t)
New Freedom and New Nationalism Wilson insisted that democracy must be reinvigorated by restoring market competition and freeing government from domination by big business Roosevelt called for heavy taxes on personal and corporate fortunes and federal regulation of industries including railroads, mining, and oil The Progressive Party platform offered numerous proposals to promote social justice Wilson’s First Term Wilson proved himself a strong executive leader

28 V. The Progressive Presidents (con’t)
With Democrats in control of Congress, Wilson moved aggressively to implement his version of Progressivism Underwood Tariff Clayton Act Wilson abandoned the idea of aggressive trust-busting in favor of greater government supervision of the economy Federal Reserve system Federal Trade Commission

29 Socialist Towns and Cities • pg. 693

30 The Presidential Election of 1912 • pg. 715

31 Table 18.1 • pg. 679

32 Table 18.2 • pg. 682

33 Table 18.3 • pg. 685

34 Table 18.4 • pg. 685

35 Table 18.5 • pg. 688

36 fig18_02.jpg Page 677: Policemen stare up as the Triangle fire of 1911 rages, while the bodies of factory workers who plunged to their deaths to escape the blaze lie on the sidewalk. Credit: Brown Brothers.

37 fig18_06a.jpg Page 681 (left): A photograph by Lewis Hine, who used his camera to chronicle the plight of child laborers, of “breaker” boys who worked in a Pennsylvania coal mine (1911). Credit: Bettmann/Corbis.

38 fig18_06b.jpg Page 681 (right): A photograph by Lewis Hine, who used his camera to chronicle the plight of child laborers, of a young spinner in a Georgia cotton factory (1909). Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection, LC-USZC

39 fig18_08.jpg Page 683: An immigrant from Mexico, arriving around 1912 in a cart drawn by a donkey. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USZ

40 fig18_09.jpg Page 684: Mulberry Street, part of the densely populated immigrant neighborhood on New York’s Lower East Side, in a turn-of-the-century photograph. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection, LC USZC

41 fig18_11.jpg Page 686 (top): Women at work in a shoe factory, 1908.
Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USZ

42 fig18_12.jpg Page 686 (bottom): The Return from Toil, a drawing by John Sloan for the radical magazine The Masses, pictures working women not as downtrodden but as independent-minded, stylish, and self-confident. Credit: John Sloan, cover of The Masses, July 1913.

43 fig18_14.jpg Page 689: Cars entering the Holland Tunnel, which links New York City with New Jersey, in Most of the cars appear to be standardized Fords. Credit: Bettmann/Corbis.

44 fig18_16.jpg Page 692 (top): A Socialist Party campaign poster from 1904, with images of labor and technology and the party’s candidates. Credit: Corbis.

45 fig18_18.jpg Page 692 (bottom): Roller skaters with socialist leaflets during a New York City strike in A “scab” is a worker who crosses the picket line during a strike. Credit: Corbis.

46 fig18_19.jpg Page 695: Striking New York City garment workers carrying signs in multiple languages, 1913. Credit: Brown Brothers.

47 fig18_20.jpg Page 696: Striking textile workers at Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912, carrying American flags, were confronted by the state militia. Credit: Reproduced from the Collections of the Library of Congress, LC-USZ

48 fig18_28.jpg Page 707: Two well-dressed Cincinnati women putting up a poster for women’s suffrage, 1912. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USZ

49 fig18_29.jpg Page 711: Theodore Roosevelt and the conservationist John Muir at Glacier Point, Yosemite Valley, California, in Yosemite was set aside as a national park in 1890. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USZC

50 fig18_30.jpg Page 712: The Monopoly Brothers Supported by the Little Consumer, a cartoon from the New York American, April 2, 1912, shows the consumer supporting bloated monopolies and political bosses. Theodore Roosevelt marches by with a group of governors who had urged him to run for a third term, one of whom has abandoned him to support President Taft. Taft himself watches the performance on the upper left, seated next to a sheep representing the high tariff on woolen goods. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USZ

51 Go to website

52 Give Me Liberty! An American History
End chap. 18 W. W. Norton & Company Independent and Employee-Owned This concludes the Norton Media Library Slide Set for Chapter 18 Give Me Liberty! An American History by Eric Foner

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