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Robert Baker

on 3 January 2017

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Transcript of Progressivism

A reaction to perceived excesses of business and industry coupled with growing social concerns
reformers sought to make improvements in America's political and social environment
these reformers were called "Progressives"
protect social welfare
promote moral improvement
create economic reform
foster efficiency
The Progressive era marks the second definitive era of social and political reform
When was the first?

Some reforms strengthened Democracy and still impact us today
Sadly, not all parts of American society felt the impact
Jim Crow laws denied basic rights to black citizens
The Age of Progressivism

Payne-Aldrich Tariff
Taft signed it
Progressives felt the tariff rates were too high
Cabinet Squabbles
Conservative and Progressive factions of his Republican cabinet were at odds
Taft angered the Progressive faction

Taft Not a Progressive

Easily defeated William Jennings Bryan
Weighed over 300 lbs.
Worked hard to preserve Roosevelt's “Square Deal” policy
1910 created the Department of Labor
Filed more anti-Trust suits than Roosevelt (94)
including People v. Standard Oil
Why was Taft not a progressive president?

William Howard Taft (1909-1913)

Hepburn Act of 1906
Strengthened the ICC
1906 Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Thanks to The Jungle
Meat Inspection Act

More Reform

June 1902 – United Mine Workers Strike
Wanted: Higher pay & less hours
Mine was shut down
Roosevelt threatened mine owners with taking away their mine
Workers got small increase in pay and shorter day
Called “Square Deal” by Roosevelt
Three Ideas:
conservation of natural resources
control of corporations
consumer protection
Roosevelt believed in government action to mitigate social evils, and as president denounced "the representatives of predatory wealth” as guilty of “all forms of iniquity from the oppression of wage workers to defrauding the public."

Coal Strike

Brief Bio:
a Harvard grad
Police Commissioner
Cowboy in North Dakota (actually served as Deputy Sheriff)
Assistant Secretary of Navy
Volunteered for Spanish War - "Rough Rider"
Governor of New York
asked to serve as President McKinley's VP in the 1900 election
President McKinley was assassinated in 1901
Teddy became President

President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)

Local/State Reforms
allowed voters to suggest and approve laws directly without going through state legislatures
enabled voters to get rid of politicians who were unsatisfactory, without waiting for a complete election cycle

National Reforms
Direct election of Senators:
The 17th Amendment provided for the direct elections of U.S. Senators ending the state legislative cronyism responsible for the appointment of Senators

Political Reforms
Robert M. La Follette
Reform candidates began to win elections
Samuel “golden rule” Jones won election to become Mayor of Toledo, OH
Minimum wage
Lower rates for utilities
Concerts and parks

Reform Candidates
"Fighting Bob" revamped Wisconsin’s state government
Wisconsin Governor
Passed laws against corruption
Initiated tax reform
Later became Senator

Sinclair wrote
The Jungle
Intended to write about the dangerous working conditions in America for immigrants
Instead, readers noted the unsanitary process of meatpacking
Novel took two years to publish due to the horrific subject matter
it became an instant success

Upton Sinclair

Nickname was coined by Theodore Roosevelt
From a speech he gave which praised journalists in their role of uncovering that which was hidden from and corrupted society

Muckrakers were the first investigative journalists

They Focused on problems and corruption in society
Two of the most famous:
Upton Sinclair
Ida Tarbell


Social Gospel Movement - Walter Rauschenbusch
Preached salvation through service to the poor

Settlement houses
Community centers in slum neighborhoods
Provided assistance to people in the area, especially immigrants

Jane Addams and the Hull House
Settlement house created in 1889
Became the standard for settlement houses

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (1909)
emerged in response to the widespread violence, including lynchings, against African-Americans
Created by W.E.B. DuBois and a group of white supporters
Secure the rights of all people guaranteed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments
Began to challenge "Jim Crow" and specifically, lynchings

WCTM (Women’s Christian Temperance Movement)
18th amendment
"prohibited the manufacture, sale, transport, import, or export of alcoholic beverages"
NAWSA – National American Woman Suffrage Movement
Fighting for the Right to vote
Susan B. Anthony
Major Leader in suffrage movement

Women and Reform
Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
Labor Laws:
state child labor laws set a minimum age for employment and restricted the types of jobs that children could hold
state laws were passed which protected women by setting a minimum wage and laws that created maximum work hours
work site inspections to insure health, safety, and sanitation
state worker's compensation laws

Economic Reforms
Eugene V. Debs
Union leader
Turned Socialist Party leader
Influential American Socialist

Socialism – Equality for all
Established an Income Tax

Established the Direct Election of Senators
Established Prohibition
19th (after World War I)
Women’s suffrage
Gave women the right to vote

Amendments from the Progressive Era
Ida Tarbell
“[T]he meat would be shoveled into carts, and the man who did the shoveling would not trouble to lift out a rat even when he saw one—there were things that went into the sausage in comparison with which a poisoned rat was a tidbit. There was no place for the men to wash their hands before they ate their dinner, and so they made a practice of washing them in the water that was to be ladled into the sausage. There were the butt-ends of smoked meat, and the scraps of corned beef, and all the odds and ends of the waste of the plants, that would be dumped into old barrels in the cellar and left there. Under the system of rigid economy which the packers enforced, there were some jobs that it only paid to do once in a long time, and among these was the cleaning out of the waste barrels. Every spring they did it; and in the barrels would be dirt and rust and old nails and stale water—and cartload after cartload of it would be taken up and dumped into the hoppers with fresh meat, and sent out to the public's breakfast.”
Trust Buster
Presented a 20,000 word address to Congress asking to curb the power of Trusts
As President Roosevelt pursued dozens of federal lawsuits against various business Trusts
Roosevelt came back to run for President again
Teddy lost the GOP primary to Taft and started his own party
Teddy ran for President as the candidate of his newly formed party, "The Progressive Party"
later it became affectionately known as the "Bull-Moose Party"
Opened the door for a Democratic Party victory
Sinclair's novel roused the middle class in a call to action
These calls led to the broadening of the Federal Government
The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 required the meatpacking industry to produce food that was safe to consume
Between 1902 and 1904 Ida Tarbell wrote a series of magazine articles which exposed Standard Oil's Business Practices - published in
McClure's Magazine
"History of the Standard Oil Company" - it had 19 parts
marked the beginning of investigative journalism
she looked into public records, newspaper coverage, and interviewed former Standard Oil executives
Her investigation demonstrated that Rockefeller used questionable business methods to destroy independent Pennsylvania oilmen to create a monopoly
Her efforts convinced many that the government should intervene in business and not allow monopoles
Conservation Movement
Two schools of Conservationism
Businesses supported laissez-faire: businesses should be allowed to do as they wished with public lands
Environmentalist: nature was sacred and humans were the intruders
Roosevelt was a Conservationist
He thought nature could be used but also protected

Roosevelt was a lifelong naturalist and avid hunter
Throughout his Presidency he set aside lands as national forests, mineral lands, and hydro power sites
As President he:
Created the National Forest Service
Created Five New National Parks
18 U.S. National Monuments
51 Bird Reserves
Four Game Preserves
150 National Forests
Encouraged states to follow their lead

Secures the Presidency against a fractured Republican Party
Continued reforms
Lowered tariffs
Created Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Clayton Antitrust Act
Strengthened Sherman Antitrust Act

Election of 1912
Full transcript