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The Progressive Era
Transcript of The Progressive Era
The Media Fights Back
Accomplishments & Failures:
* (verb): to make changes in something in order to improve it.
#1: Economic Inequalities
(because they wanted to clean up the "muck" of society) began to raise awareness of social, economic, and political inequalities.
The Progressive Era
*World War I interrupted some Progressive Reforms, which is part of the reason why it was not more successful*
Fixing America's Problems
#2: Social Inequalities
Awful living conditions in cities for immigrants and the poor:
tenements (run down apartments)
pollution, hunger, disease
Question #1: What were three major problem areas of inequality in America in the early 1900s?
Dangerous working conditions in factories & sweatshops
Bosses and barons get incredibly rich, while, 1 in 4 workers are at risk of starving to death
Child labor puts young children at risk
Cycles of Poverty/Inequality
Many Americans are taken advantage of, but have no ideas or resources to use to fight back/change society.
Many adults have little-to-no formal education, or skills for quality jobs.
Many kids work instead of going to school, or are kept out of good schools by discrimination.
#3: Political Inequalities
Political Corruption (Dishonest Behavior)
* Food travels greater distances between farm, factory, store, and table without being cared for.
Zero Government Regulations
* No "truth in labeling." People do not know ingredients of food, medicine, or other products.
Photographer who documented the desperation of poor people living in tenements in "How the Other Half Lives."
* Government does not regulate many food, medicine, or other kinds of industries.
* People buy more products like shampoo, medicine, and toys that have not been tested for safety, and are dangerous for use.
Result: People get sick, some die.
Question #2: Who were some major Progressives in America, and what problem did they each aim to reform?
“There is a great stir about colored men getting their rights, but not a word about the colored women . . . And if colored men get their rights, and not colored women theirs, you see the colored men will be masters over the women, and it will be just as bad as it was before.”
* Sojourner Truth * 1869
Ida B. Wells:
-Racial violence is all-too-common in the South: groups like the KKK are responsible.
-Mobs of people lynch (kill by hanging) black Americans in almost every state, and are almost never prosecuted by the law.
Segregation is Legal
Segregation also existed in the Northeast and Midwest.
Racial discrimination in housing, banks, and businesses was also common.
Segregation Across America
In 1896, Supreme Court rules racial segregation was constitutional due to the 14th amendment.
“separate, but equal" for whites. blacks, and all other races.
Plessy v. Ferguson
More and more Americans learn to read and write, but educational opportunities are highly unequal.
Most Americans only complete up to a fourth-grade education.
Schools segregated in most places; "whites" attend one school and "coloreds," including immigrant and black students, attend another - with white schools always being better funded.
In the South, segregation was enforced by the Jim Crow Laws.
"political machines" take over cities - groups that promise poor people they will help them (just to earn their votes), but never actually do anything other than embezzle (steal) taxpayer money
Women of any race do not have the right to vote in most states.
Women's Suffrage (Right to Vote)
white = full suffrage
dotted = presidential suffrage
+++ = primary suffrage
black = no suffrage
In the South, black men were also still routinely denied the voting rights promised to them in the 15th Amendment.
* The federal government did not step in to protect the civil rights of African-Americans until 1964.
Many new Progressive groups tried to persuade people to join their cause.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
National Woman Suffrage Association
National Consumers League
Immigrant & Neighborhood Associations
Groups and activists:
Organized protests and public demonstrations.
Published and distributed information.
Other than muckrakers, there were Progressives who brought problems to the public's attention using:
Posters & flyers
* Government began regulating food/medicine, housing, and the environment.
*End of child labor, higher pay and improvement in workplace conditions.
* More money was spent on public education.
* Women's rights were improving
*After World War I:
1920-1933 Prohibition (18th Amendment)
1920 Women's Suffrage (19th Amendment)
1938 National Fair Labor Standards Act
Settlement Movement (urban poverty/housing)
Labor Reform (unions and child labor)
Conservation (the environment)
Anti-Lynching and Anti-Segregation
Women's Suffrage (the right to vote)
Temperance Movement (against drinking alcohol)
Given a budget of $1,000,000 (one million) dollars, choose as many issues as you would like to donate to in order to improve society, and explain your reasoning for each:
Discuss with a partner:
How do people break out of poverty/inequality cycles like these?
-Do you need political changes (laws), social changes (more education), etc.?
-If so, what kind of each?
Segregation in the US applied to:
If you and your partner finish early, discuss your Level 4, and then read through these articles for review!
Learning Goal: I will be able to identify Progressives and the problems they aimed to fix in American society.
Level 4: What do you think was the most important problem in America for Progressives to fix, and why?
Dangerous Working Conditions/Massive Wealth Gap
Horrible Living Conditions
Activist who documented lynchings of African-Americans in the South and pushed for greater legal punishments of the crimes.
Suffragette who fought for women's rights to vote.
Helped found the NAACP (we'll discuss this group later!)
wrote a book, "History of the Standard Oil Company", which called for the break-up of Rockefeller's trusts/monopolies.
Carry A. Nation:
Wrote "The Jungle", as well as many other novels about awful working conditions, in order to inform the general public and create changes.
At first Nation would sing protest hymns outside of bars, but soon she started going into bars and smashing bottles with a hatchet!
Helped found the "Temperance Movement" - a religious fight to ban alcohol in America in order to improve society, especially for women.
Samuel Hopkins Adams:
Worked for McClure's Magazine (a major muckraking paper) to write about false labeling of ingredients in medicines.
His work led to the "Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906", which required truthful labeling of foods and medicines!
If finished early:
Discuss the following question with your partner: do you believe Progressives would have been as successful in raising awareness about the problems they wanted to fix without the help of mass news print or photography?
Discuss with a partner: why could a poster or song be as powerful in getting a point across as a book/article?
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
W.E.B. Du Bois
Booker T. Washington
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt
A Legend is Born
Question #3: What were major successes and failures of the Progressive Era?
*Began the first
movement in America.
*Cared about women's suffrage,
but also wanted women to have
more legal rights and better pay.
Did not support the 14th and 15th amendment, because she felt men of all races should not be able to vote before women.
Lifelong friend of Susan B. Anthony.
Susan B. Anthony
Worked first in
anti-slavery groups, before fighting for women's suffrage.
Was arrested in 1872 for trying to vote,
and after a very public trial was ordered by a court to pay a fine - she never did.
*Even after her death, her work led to the 19th amendment - granting women the right to vote,
worked closely with religious Temperance Movements later in life.
*Was extremely passionate about the right to vote, more than any other issue women were fighting for.
Critical of religion and some Temperance Movements.
First African American to receive a doctorate degree from Harvard.
Co-founded NAACP with Ida B. Wells.
*Critical of Jim Crow Laws (segregation) and wanted full integration and cooperation between blacks and whites.
His work eventually led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, one year after his death.
Born into slavery near end of the Civil War, but was freed shortly after.
Went to religious schools in the South to receive higher education.
*Did not like Jim Crow Laws, but believed whites would never see blacks as equals and argued African-Americans should have their own all-black communities to strengthen themselves.
First African-American invited to dinner at the White House by a President (Theodore Roosevelt).
Born into wealthy family in the north.
Grew up in NYC, as a small and sick child. Eventually turned to exercise to build up strength.
Became a war hero in the Spanish-American War, followed by Governor of New York, then Vice President of the United States.
*After President McKinley was killed Roosevelt became President at 42 (the youngest ever) and favored Progressive policies, which he called a "Square Deal".
Goals of Roosevelt's "Square Deal" Program:
Break-up of trusts
Increased wages for workers
More children in schools, and better education
Above all else: *
Roosevelt wanted to protect the environment through "conservation" - he established many national parks, forests and monuments under government protection!
On a hunting trip in Mississippi in 1902, Roosevelt's group captured and injured a bear so that Roosevelt could shoot it easily, but he refused - saying it was unsportsmanlike, and that the bear should be humanely put down to end its pain.
A German toy company making stuffed bears was moved by the story, and named a new line "teddy bears" - the rest is history!
*Jim Crow Laws did not end until 1954.