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The Progressive Era Solving the problems of a changing and growing nation through education and reform.

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Presentation on theme: "The Progressive Era Solving the problems of a changing and growing nation through education and reform."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Progressive Era Solving the problems of a changing and growing nation through education and reform

INTRODUCTION The changes of the late 19th and early 20th century brought challenges to the nation INDUSTRIALISM IMMIGRATION URBANIZATION

3 Mark Twain coined the term “The Gilded Age” to refer to this time period. It was not a Golden Age of progress, but more a time of corruption and greed lying beneath a golden surface. The Populist Movement of the mid-1800s attempted to organize the common man, but failed to create lasting change. The Progressive Movement of the early 1900s shared the same goal as the Populist Movement--reform American institutions while preserving the ideals of the past

4 PROGRESSIVE ISSUES A. Eliminate corruption in the political system--restore confidence in our government B. Improve working conditions in the economic system-- reform conduct in our businesses C. Create greater equality in the social system--relieve people of injustices

A. The People 1. The urban middle class (doctors, engineers, teachers, social workers, etc.) led the efforts at change 2. Women, many of whom had just finished college, used their new knowledge for reform 3. Religious leaders called for people to extend their love for God to their fellow man - Social Gospel

6 B. The Press 1. Magazines published stories exploring corruption and social problems 2. Muckrakers - journalists who exposed the worst elements of society 3. Novelists who explored the darker side of the new industrial society’s effects on people’s behavior and values

A. Economic Reforms 1. Child labor laws set a minimum age for employment and prohibited children from working in dangerous occupations (e.g hour days, literacy requirements) 2. Women labor laws set minimum wage and maximum hours for women workers (states set original limits, federal minimum wage in 1938)

8 3. Consumer protection laws assured honest transactions
3. Consumer protection laws assured honest transactions and safe food (the Pure Food and Drug Act required labeling on food products) 4. State regulation of intrastate railroads and public utilities improved service and reduced rates 5. Fair tax laws, by taxing incomes, relieved the burden on owners of real estate (the 16th amendment authorized a national income tax)

9 6. Factory inspection laws improved sanitation, lighting, and safety
7. Protections given to the labor unions a. Closed shop: workplace where all workers must belong to the union b. Open shop: nonunion workplace; membership optional c. Socialism: system under which the government or worker cooperatives own the factories, utilities, and transportation and communications systems

10 d. Arbitration: process by which two opposing parties
d. Arbitration: process by which two opposing parties allow a third party to settle the dispute e. Examples of labor unions: American Federation of Labor (skilled workers) International Ladies Garment Workers Union (unskilled workers) Industrial Workers of the World (William Haywood – vowed to overthrow capitalism and lead the workers to take control of industry) 8. Federal loans to farmers

11 B. Social Reforms 1. Welfare benefits were enacted for dependent children, widows, and the aged 2. Conservation laws preserved America’s natural resources a. conservation: the need to preserve the country’s natural environment b. reclamation: the process of making damaged land productive again

12 3. Campaigns to make the cities more healthful and livable
a. New building codes to allow for light and air circulation b. Medical associations advocated for education and special hospitals c. Playgrounds and recreational facilities 4. City-planning commissions became a function of municipal governments (developing parks, building codes, sanitation standards, and zoning)

13 5. Temperance movement – anti-alcohol
a. groups (Anti-Saloon League and Woman’s Christian Temperance Union) offered education programs in schools, worked to close saloons, and preached against the problems of alcohol use b. The 18th Amendment banned the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages (Prohibition) c. The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th

14 6. States established censorship boards to ban movies
6. States established censorship boards to ban movies they considered immoral 7. The Progressive Movement ignored the plight of African-Americans a. Some believed they should work in harmony with the establishment to end discrimination: Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery b. Some believed they should fight against discrimination: W.E.B.Dubois and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Persons (NAACP)

15 c. Some thought they should solve their own problems:
c. Some thought they should solve their own problems: The National Urban League worked to improve job opportunities and housing for blacks 8. Society of American Indians provided a forum for American Indians and laid groundwork for future attempts to improve their condition; they were challenged by different attitudes of what should be done 9. Progressives worked to assist immigrants, but also encouraged their “Americanization”

16 C. Political Reforms 1. Direct primaries enabled voters rather than party bosses to nominate candidates 2. Corrupt practices laws regulated political contributions and campaign spending 3. The Australian ballot allowed citizens to vote in secrecy 4. Initiative: citizens could propose laws by obtaining a certain percentage of voter signatures on a petition

17 5. Referendum: citizens could demand a law passed by
5. Referendum: citizens could demand a law passed by the legislature be “referred” to voters for their approval or rejection 6. Recall: gave voters the ability to remove public officials from office 7. Commission and city manager reforms of municipal government reduced the power of political machines 8. Civil service exams reduced the number of positions available to political machines for patronage

18 9. Direct election of senators achieved by the 17th Amendment (1913)
10. The woman’s suffrage movement a. Strategy: press for a constitutional amendment, get individual states to allow women to vote b. Leaders: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lace Stone, National American Women Suffrage Association, Congressional Union c. Result: 19th Amendment (1920) 11. Home rule laws allowed cities to exercise self-rule without influence from state governments

A. Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt 1. Roosevelt succeeded President McKinley after he was assassinated 2. He provided strong presidential leadership: former military officer, outdoorsman, governor 3. The “Square Deal” offered all Americans a chance to succeed a. Assure honesty and fairness in both government and business b. Give greater opportunity to the individual c. Encourage gradual, moderate reform

20 4. His accomplishments a. Limiting “bad” trusts earning the nickname of “trust-buster” b. Settling the Anthracite Coal Strike (1902) forcing arbitration between workers and owners c. Conserving natural resources 1) increased the national reserves of forests, coal lands, and water power sites 2) secured passage of irrigation projects 3) encouraged the conservation efforts of the Forest Service (Gifford Pinchot) d. Protecting the consumer through legislation

21 B. William Howard Taft 1. A lifetime of experience in government, but in appointed positions, not elected ones. 2. He lacked the personal magnetism of Roosevelt and reduced the power of the president 3. He expanded some progressivism reforms, but limited others a. Mann-Elkins Act extended the regulatory powers of the Interstate Commerce Commission to telephone and telegraph industry

22 b. Created the Department of Labor to enforce labor laws
c. Payne-Aldrich Bill raised tariffs, making consumer goods more expensive d. Ballinger-Pinchot Affair-disagreed with Pinchot’s handling of the Forest Service; fired him 4. During the mid-term election of 1910, Roosevelt favored a New Nationalism-a series of tough laws to protect workers, ensure public health, and regulate business

23 Divisions in the Republican Party
Members differed over Taft’s performance; some saw him as eroding Roosevelt’s accomplishments Split in the Republican Party Members upset with Taft’s nomination left the convention to start a new party: The Progressive Party (Bull Moose Party), with Roosevelt as their candidate Effect on the Election Split votes of the Republican Part allowing the Democrat (Wilson) to win the election

24 Presidential Election of 1912
Candidate (Party) Popular Vote Percent Electoral Vote Woodrow Wilson (Democrat) 6,296,547 41.8 435 Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive) 4,118,571 27.4 88 William H. Taft (Republican) 3,486,720 23.2 8 Eugene V. Debs Socialist 900,672 6 -- Eugene Chafin (Prohibition) 206,275 1.4 Arthur E. Reimer (Socialist Labor) 28,750 .8

25 C. Woodrow Wilson 1. Wilson’s background was in education (college professor) and government (governor of New Jersey) 2. He believed the president should show strong leadership, pressuring Congress and appealing directly to the people 3. His “New Freedom” policies followed a Progressive Program

26 a. Preserve and strengthen democratic capitalism
b. Lower tariffs c. Improve the banking system (Federal Reserve Act 1913) d. Regulate business (Clayton Anti-trust Act ) e. Protect unions and workers


28 Bibliography Boyer, Paul and Sterling Stuckey. The American Nation: Civil War to the Present. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2001. Clayton, Andrew, et al. America: Pathways to the Present. Needham, MA: Prentice Hall, 2002. Davidson, James West and Michael B Stoff. The American Nation. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995. Davidson, James West, Predro Castillo, and Michael B. Stoff. The American Nation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000. Gordon, Irving. Review Text in American History. New York: Amsco School Publications, Inc., 1983.

29 Picture Credits Hine, Lewis. Child labor in America, The Jungle. The Octopus. Mark Twain.


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