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PROGRESSIVE ERA, 1890 -1920
THE PROGRESSIVE ERA Progressive Era – The period from about 1890– 1920 Progressives were not a single unified movement. Their reforms fell into three categories: § Social § Economic § Political Common themes: § § Democracy Efficiency Regulation Social justice
PROGRESSIVE BELIEFS Some common basic beliefs of the Progressives: 1. Government should be more accountable to its citizens. 2. Government should curb the power and influence of wealthy interests. 3. Government should have expanded powers to become more active in improving the lives of its citizens. 4. Governments should be more efficient and less corrupt.
IGNITING REFORM Populism was one antecedent of Progressive reform, as was civil service reform and socialism. Many writers and journalists (“muckrakers”) influenced public opinion about reform. Some respected writers and muckrakers: § § Jacob Riis Upton Sinclair Lincoln Steffens Ida Tarbell
SOCIAL AND MORAL REFORM Those pursuing social justice advocated a variety of tactics. The Women’s Christian Temperance Movement is a good example of the diversity of interests of social reformers. Some of the greatest gains are in the area of labor laws, especially for children and women. The Supreme Court rulings on labor are erratic. 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire added impetus to worker protection efforts. Moral reformers advocated Sunday closing laws and Prohibition.
AN EXPANDED ROLE FOR GOVERNMENT Progressives sought more social welfare programs to help ensure a minimum standard of living. Many of the earliest Progressive reforms were made at the municipal level Other important reforms were initiated by Progressive governors, such as Robert La Follette of Wisconsin
PROGRESSIVE POLITICAL REFORMS
PROGRESSIVE ERA LEGISLATION Hepburn Act, 1906 Authorized the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate railroad rates. Pure Food and Drug Act, 1906 Banned interstate shipping of impure food and deliberate mislabeling of food and drugs. Meat Inspection Act, 1906 Required federal inspection of meat processing to ensure sanitary conditions. Department of Labor, 1913 Cabinet department created to promote the welfare and employment of working people. 16 th Amendment, 1913 Gave Congress the power to levy an income tax. 17 th Amendment, 1913 Provided for the direct election of senators. Federal Reserve Act, 1913 Created Federal Reserve System of government banks to supervise private banks and provide a flexible money supply. National Park Service, 1916 Conservation act created to administer the nation’s parks. 18 th Amendment, 1919 Prohibited the manufacture and sale of liquor. (Repealed in 1933) 19 th Amendment, 1920 Granted women full suffrage.
REFORM UNDER TR Theodore Roosevelt was the first Progressive president, active in: § Labor relations § “Trust busting” § Railroad regulation § Public health § Conservation Referred to his programs as a “Square Deal” for Americans
REFORM UNDER TR: LABOR RELATIONS 1902 Coal Strike – TR doesn’t wait for the strike to get violent, as previous presidents had done. Doesn’t always side with business.
REFORM UNDER TR: TRUST BUSTING Used Sherman Act to bring 25 anti-trust cases. § 1902 – Northern Securities Company (railroads) § 1905 – Swift and Company v. United States (meat packing) Formation of Bureau of Corporation (1903) would lead to other important “trust busting” in post-TR years.
REFORM UNDER TR: RAILROAD REGULATION Elkins Act (1903) prohibited rebate practices. Hepburn Act (1906) extended the authority of the ICC.
REFORM UNDER TR: PUBLIC HEALTH Meat Inspection Act (1906) established oversight of the industry as well as sanitation standards. Pure Food and Drug Act (1906) required accurate branding and elimination of harmful ingredients.
REFORM UNDER TR: CONSERVATION Conservation movement had begun in 1886 with the founding of the Audubon Society. With his head of Forestry, Gifford Pinchot, TR championed systematic management of natural resources. Newlands Reclamation Act (1902) to provide water to arid Western states.
TAFT’S PRESIDENCY Pledged to carry on TR’s progressive program Did NOT appoint Progressives to his Cabinet Added tariff increases Progressives didn’t want Angered conservationists Taft became very unpopular
TURMOIL IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY Roosevelt criticized Taft & proposed the New Nationalism, which called for: § business regulation § welfare laws § workplace protection for women and children § income and inheritance taxes § voting reform Progressives left the Republican Party & formed the Progressive Party or Bull Moose Party
THE ELECTION OF 1912 A Four-Way Election William Howard Taft Republican Party Theodore Roosevelt Progressive Bull Moose Party Eugene V. Debs Socialist Party Woodrow Wilson Democratic Party; with the Republican Party split between Taft and Roosevelt, Wilson won
WILSON’S POLICIES AS PRESIDENT Tariff reduction Clayton Antitrust Act (1914) strengthened the Sherman Antitrust Act Created the Federal Trade Commission & Federal Reserve System
THE LIMITS OF PROGRESSIVISM Did little for tenant or migrant farmers Did not pursue social justice reforms Continued the Jim Crow practice of separating the races in federal offices By 1916, replaced by concerns about World War I
PREPARING THE WAY FOR SUFFRAGE Women activists demanded suffrage in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention in New York Two tactics to pursue the right to vote: § Fight for a constitutional amendment for suffrage § Work to win voting rights on the state level In 1872, in an act of civil disobedience, Susan B. Anthony insisted on voting and was arrested
A NEW GENERATION Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in 1890. Carrie Chapman Catt led the movement from 1900 to 1904 and again after 1915. In March 1913 Alice Paul and Lucy Barns organized a parade of 5, 000 women in Washington, D. C. Paul created the Congressional Union.
Chapter 11, Section 4 VICTORY FOR SUFFRAGE The Nineteenth Amendment (1920), granting women the right to vote, was the last major reform of the Progressive Era.