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Jon Thorpe

on 4 March 2011

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Transcript of Progressivism

Progressive Era America is a time of rapid social development.
Part I: Modern society
1901: Economy approaches full employment
1900 - 1910: farm prices increase by 50 percent
1900: median industrial wage is 418 dollars a year
1915: median industrial wage is 800 dollars a year

Becomes the favorite buzzword.

everywhere there is talk of the new city, new art, the new democracy, and the new morality.
Americans love mass everything!
they love how big america is geographically.
they love how massive the american economy has become.
they love america's massive population.
they love mass entertainment.
they read mass circulation magazines and newspapers.
they take mass transit from the suburbs into the city.
they even boast about the massive crowds that turn out to watch major league baseball and college football.
cities grow to colossal size.

downtowns become clusters of tall buildings.

large department stores spring up along with massive warehouses and hotels.

strips of factories radiate out from the center.

streetcar transit lines spread and american cities assume their modern patterns of ethnic, social, and economic segregation.

segregation takes the form of concentric rings.
racial minorities and immigrants are packed into the innermost ring.
the remaining rings represent increasing status and affluence, radiating outward toward posh suburbs where the rich and elite classes live.
middle class
upper-middle class
filthy rich
The largest cities are new York, chicago, and philadelphia.

Their shops and factories churn out every kind of product used by american farmers, merchants, and the growing legion of consumers.

los angeles, 1915
1915: Los angeles passes a series of ordinances that create modern zoning.

for the first time a legal code divides an american city into three districts of specified use: (1) a residential area, (2) an industrial area, and (3) an area open to both residences and light industry.

other cities quickly follow suit.

zoning gives order to urban development and ends the chaotic, unplanned growth of the gilded age.
zoning also has important sociological and political consequences.

in southern cities zoning becomes another tool to extend segregation.

in northern cities it is a weapon used against blacks and ethnic minorities: against jews in new york city, italians in boston, and poles in detroit.

in chicago, new york, and detroit, zoning helps confine rapidly growing black populations to particular districts, creating ghettos.
between 1900 and 1910 almost 10 million immigrants enter the united states, more than those who came in any other decade in american history.

newcomers continue the trend established during the late 19th century: most of these "new" immigrants are from southern and eastern european countries with the largest number coming from italy, poland, russia, and austria-hungary.

about 1.5 million are eastern european jews, mainly from poland and russia.

those immigrants who come with their families, such as the jews, rarely return to their home country.

nativist sentiment intensifies in response to the massive influx of new immigrants.

Americans look down at the newcomers' appearance, behavior, and language.

racial theorists stress the superiority of northern european races over those from the south and east of europe.

new! NEW! NEW!
Progressivism is best understood as a varied collection of reform communities with the aim of curing the ills of an increasingly industrial and urbanized society.
people from all walks of life participate in reform efforts duing the progressive era, however most progressives are native born, middle or upper class, and college educated.
In the early 1900s almost half of the women who work in such jobs as factory workers, store clerks, and laundresses earn less than 6 dolLars a week.

This means every penny has to be counted, every normal desire stifled, and each basic necessity of life is barely satisfied.
children are regularly employed in labor that is dangerous.

few child laborers ever attend school and most can not read.

many mothers explain they put their children to work in mills or factories because if their children do not work the entire family will starve.
Although most children work in agriculture, children in the factories (more than 2 million by 1910) face the worst conditions.

supervisors splash cold water on the children's faces to keep them awake.

Girls work 16 or more hours a day in canning factories.
florence kelley
in 1904 reformer florence kelley helps organize the national child labor committee to persuade state legislatures to pass laws against employing small children.

by 1912 child-labor laws have been passed in 39 states with some states even limiting older children's employment to 8 or 10 hours a day and barring children from working at night or in dangerous occupations.

other states require children be able to read and write before they are sent to work.
enforcement of child labor laws is lax.

many employers who rely on child labor refuse to obey the laws and continue to hire child workers.
progressives also campaign for laws to force factories to limit the hours employers demand.

in 1903 florence kelley helps lobby the oregon legislature to pass a law limiting female laundry workers to 10-hour days.

utah enacts a law limiting workdays to eight hours in certain occupations.
progressive reformers also fight for higher wages.

some 30 million men and 7.5 million women are employed in 1910 with one third living in poverty.

in 1912 massachusetts responds to progressive lobbying by passing the nation's first minimum-wage law setting base wages for women and children.

other states follow suit but it is not until 1938 that congress passes a national minimum wage law.
Progressives seek to improve workplace safety.

a tragic event in 1911 highlights the need for such reforms.

on march 25 500 employees, most of them young jewish or italian immigrant women, are completing their six-day workweek at new york's triangle shirtwaist company.

as they rise from crowded work tables to leave, a fire erupts in the rag bin.
within moments the entire eighth floor of the 10-story building is ablaze.

escape is impossible. there are only two stairways, and because managers are afraid workers will steal fabric, the fire doors to the stairways are kept locked.

some women try to take a freight elevator to safety but it jams as women on higher floors jump down the shaft to flee the flames.

desperate workers leap from windows to their deaths.
through the night weeping family members wander among the crushed bodies on the sidewalk looking for loved ones.

by the time firefighters gain control of the blaze more than 140 workers have perished in the triangle shirtwaist fire.

popular outrage is so great that lawmakers soon pass protective legislation to help workers and as a result the new york legislature passes the nation's strictest fire safety code.
however, as states pass protective legislation, business owners fight back through the courts.

the 14th amendment prohibits states from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

owners claim that laws regulating their businesses unfairly deprive them of their property.

the supreme court sides with business owners and declares much of early social legislation unconstitutional.
the court rules social legislation violates the constitution by denying workers their freedom of contract (freedom to negotiate the terms of their employment).

in the 1905 case lochner v. new york the supreme court overturns a new york law limiting bakers' workdays to 10 hours.

the court rules workers should be free to accept any conditions of employment that business owners require.
the supreme court did uphold some legislation.

in muller v. oregon (1908) an employer challenges the 10-hour-workday for women that florence kelley had pushed through the legislature.

kelley responds by gathering information to defend the law and asking brilliant lawyer louis brandeis to argue the case.

brandeis argues that working long hours damages women's health and well-being.

the research convinces the court to uphold the oregon law and the case becomes a model for the defense of other social legislation.
men and women of the urban middle class (doctors, engineers, ministers, small-business owners, social workers, teachers, and writers) find progressivsm particularly attractive.

because reform efforts are an acceptable way for women to influence politics and society, many middle class women are drawn to the progressive movement.

reform work offers college educated women a way to use their knowledge of medicine, psychology, sociology, and other subjects.
part II: the movement
progressives try to reform american institutions while preserving ideals of the past, such as a sense of community.

progressive reformers take a leading role in promoting social change in the united states.
major issues
dangerous workplace:
(1) industrial workers face dangerous conditions and long hours with some 70 percent of all american industrial laborers working 54 hours a week.
(2) as a result u.s. workers have higher accident rates than other industrialized countries.
(3) working conditions lead progressives to demand limits on corporate power and to promote laws prohibiting monopolies, eight-hour workdays, minimum wage, safer working conditions, and an end to child labor.
social problems:
(1) progressives want people to have greater control of government and call for election reforms and political measures to make government more responsive to the will of the people.
(2) like populists and social gospel ministers, progressives are inspired by the spirit of social justice.
(3) progressives believe the power of science and technology can solve social problems and that public education should prepare students to function well and efficiently in society.
inspiration for reform
muckraking press
investigative journalists who rake up and expose the muck or filth of society.

muckrakers expose corrupt political machines, expose corrupt business practices of large corporations, and examine the plight of the dispossesed.
writers and social theorists
novelists and intellectuals explore the dark side of industrial society's effect on people's behavior and values.

in novels such as "sister Carrie" and "the financier" theodore dreiser depicts workers brutalized by greedy business owners.

intellectuals propose alternatives to the idea that fierce competition is the best formula for social progress.

in "the promise of american life" political theorist herbert croly argues government should use its powers to promote the welfare of all its citizens.

although progressives want to transform u.s. society, they are not revolutionaries and remain committed to democracy.
reforming the industrial order
labor unions
unions fight for better working conditions and for the closed shop (a workplace where all employees must belong to a union)

most unions want to change how workers are treated but some want to replace capitalism with an economic system controlled by workers (socialism), a system under which the government or worker cooperatives own most factories, utilities, and transportation and communication systems.
important unions
(1) major labor organization of the progressive era.
(2) favors working within the system.
(3) led by samuel gompers and grows by 400 percent between 1900 and 1914.
(4) excludes unskilled workers, most of whom are eastern european immigrants or african americans.
(5) believes skilled workers have the greatest potential to cause change.
(6) approach leaves most urban workers without organized support (by 1902 only 3 percent of african american workers are union members).
(1) an afl union that tries to organize unskilled workers.
(2) seeks to unionze workers employed in sewing shops.
(3) in 1909 workers at three different factories walk off their jobs and turn to ilgwu.
(4) in november 1909 thousands of workers heed the union's call and walk off their jobs to demand their companies recognize the ilgwu as their union.
(5) strike lasts through the winter and strikers receive aid from progressive groups such as the women's trade union league.
(6) the strike's results are mixed. Most employers agree to many of the ilgwu's demands (wage increases and reduced working hours) but most employers are determined to run an open shop (nonunion workplace) and refuse to recognize the union
(7) after the strike membership rises from 400 to 65,000.
american federation of labor
international ladies' garment workers union
(1) founded in chicago in 1905.
(2) opposes capitalism and denounces AFl's cooperation with business owners and its failure to include unskilled workers.
(3) attempts to organize lumber workers, migrant farmworkers, and textile workers to overthrow capitalist system.
(4) enlists african american, asian american, and hispanic workers.
(5) actively recruits female workers and wives of male workers.
(6) pursues goals through boycotts, general strikes, and industrial sabotage.
(7) greatest hour is 1912 when iww leads 10,000 workers in strike against lawrence, massachusetts textile mills to protest wage cuts. after two months, the mill owners give in.
(8) several other strikes fail miserably and americans grow fearful of the iww's revolutionary goals and methods.
(9) government cracks down on the union with increasing force.
international workers of the world (aka wobblies)
part III: reforming society
reforming city life
1920: more than 50 percent of americans live in urban areas.

as urban populations soar, cities struggle to provide garbage collection, safe and affordable housing, health care, police and fire protection, and public education.
lawrence veiller, the secretary of the new york state tenement housing commission, campaigns tirelessly for improved housing.

the commission concludes new york has the most serious tenement housing problem in the world and in 1901 veiller succeeds in getting the new york state tenement house act passed.

the law requires that any new tenements be built around open courtyards to allow in light and air.

new buildings have to contain one bathroom for each apartment or for every three rooms.

housing reformers in other states use the new york law as a model for their proposals.
to further improve living conditions physicians and reform-minded citizens form the national tuberculosis association to lobby the government to fund special hospitals to treat victims of tb.

due to the association's efforts, by 1915 the death rate from tb drops significantly.
reformers campaign for the creation of safe places for children to play.

a 1908 massachusetts law requires all cities with a population greater than 10,000 to hold a referendum on whether that city should build at least one playground.

within a year 41 out of 42 cities show support for such action and by 1920 cities across the united states spends millions of dollars building playgrounds.
city planning
the city planning movement grows out of the progressive belief that cleaner cities will produce better citizens.

the first conference on city planning is held in 1909 and its participants hope that wise planning can halt the spread of slums and beautify cities.

beautiful cities, they argue, will instill patriotism among the immigrant population.

city planning commissions in cleveland, san francisco, and washington, d.c. hire daniel burnham, a leading architect and city planner who has developed a comprehensive plan to redesign chicago.

his plans are never fully completed, but his efforts help people realize that city planning (park construction, building codes, sanitation standards, and zoning) are a necessary function of a municipal government.
moral reform
progressives also want to clean up immoral behavior.

they call for prohibition (the ban on the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages) and the closing of the nation's saloons because they believe a ban on alcohol will reduce crime and stop the breakup of families.

the drive for prohibition takes many forms.

colleges do not allow student athletes to drink.

industrialists initiate programs intended to convince their workers not to drink alcohol.

textbooks inform students about the dangers of alcohol.
liquor being poured down the drain during prohibition
the anti-saloon league and the women's christian temperance union lead the crusade against alcohol.

by 1902 the asl has branches in 39 states and 200 paid staff members.

thousands of volunteers, many of them protestant ministers, spread the antisaloon message in the nation's churches.
in 1917 congress proposes the 18th amendment which bars the manufacture, sale, and distribution of alcoholic beveages.

the states ratify the amendment in 1919.

it will prove unpopular and difficult to enforce and will be repealed in 1933.
the growing popularity of movies worries urban reformers who believe movies are a threat to morality.

by 1910, millions of americans are going to the movies each week.

by 1916, films are the fifth-largest u.s. industry.

to the urban poor a 5-cent movie ticket bought at movie houses called nickelodeons offers cheap, readily available entertainment.

many middle-class americans believe movies and movie houses are immoral and sources of temptation.

declaring that moviegoing promotes immoral values, progressive reformers demand that movies be censored.

several states and cities set up censorship boards to ban movies they consider immoral.

in 1909 the movie industry begins to centsor itself.
progressivism and racial discrimination
for nonwhites the progressive movement has mixed results.

most progressives are concerned about the plight of the poor but few white progressives devote much energy to the problems of discrimination against african americans and american indians.
w.e.b. dubois
dubois is one of the most influential african american leaders.

in 1895 he is the first african american to earn a doctorate at harvard.

two years later he is appointed professor of history at atlanta university where he teaches until 1910.

he is a strong supporter of civil rights and believes access to college and vocational training offers the best chance of progress for african americans.

he believes african americans should be politically active in the struggle for racial equality.
in 1909 du bois and a group of white progressives meet in new york city.

they discuss the lynching of two african american men in springfield, illinois.

out of this meeting comes the national association for the advancement of colored people (NAACP), an organization dedicated to ending racial discrimination.

du bois edits "The crisis", the naacp's monthly magazine which publicizes cases of racial inequality.
the naacp uses the court system to fight for civil rights.

in 1915 the naacp wins its first major victory in guinn v. united states.

in this case the supreme court outlaws the "grandfather clause" which requires that one's father and grandfather have voted in order to be qualified to vote. southern states used this clause to bar african americans from voting.

in 1917 naacp lawyers win buchanan v. warley which overturns a louisville kentucky law requiring racially segrgated housing.
immigrants and assimilation
many progressive reformers sympathize with the newcomers and lobby for laws to improve their lives.

at the same time, progressives criticize immigrants and accuse them of immoral behavior and denounce their support for big-city political machines.

progressives express concern about african americans, jews, and immigrants from southern and eastern europe diluting the united states' northern european stock.

progressives support americanization, a process of preparing foreign born residents for full u.s. citizenship with most efforts to make immigrants more like native-born americans focusing on education.

immigrants are taught to read, write, and speak english in addition to learning about u.s. history and government.

the settlement houses
to confront the problem of urban poverty, some reformers establish settlement houses (community service centers) in poor neighborhoods.

the houses offer neighborhood residents educational opportunities, skills training, and cultural events.

jane addams is at the forefront of the american settlement house movement.

addams begins her settlement house work in 1889 with the establishment of hull house, located in a run-down mansion in one of chicago's immigrant neighborhoods.
goals of hull house
provide educational and cultural opportunities
improve living conditions in the neighborhoods.
provide fulfilling careers for settlement house volunteers (mostly young women).
provide women with the skills and knowledge to make important contributions to social reform and politics.
addams tirelessly promotes women's suffrage and serves as president of the international league for peace and freedom from 1919 until her death in 1935.

she receives the nobel peace prize in 1931.

hull house will serve as a model for others hoping to aid the poor.

in 1890 african american teacher janie porter barrett founds one of the first african american settlment houses in hampton, virginia.

three years later lillian wald starts the henry street settlement in new york's lower east side.

by the end of the century nearly 100 settlement houses open across the country.
the social gospel movement
at the same time the settlement houses begin their work, a number of protestant ministers join the battle against poverty and develop the idea of the social gospel, which calls for people to apply christian principles to address social problems.

washington gladden, a congregational minister in columbus, ohio is an early leader of the social gospel movement and aruges the church has a moral duty to confront social injustices.

many churches attempt to act according to the social gospel movement by providing classes, counseling, job training, libraries, and other social services.
part iv: reforming government
progressives seek to break the power of political bosses by reforming the election process.

progressives push for the direct primary (a nominating election in which voters choose the candidates who later run in a general election).

mississippi adopts the direct primary in 1902.

wisconsin follows in 1903.

by 1916 most states adopt direct primaries.
progressives propose method of electing senators.

the u.s. constitution gave state legislatures the power to elect senators.

by 1912 progressives influence congress to propose 17th amendment.

the amendment gives voters the power to elect senators.

the 17th amendment is ratified in 1913.

finally, progressives urge states to adopt three additional election-reform measures:

(1) intiative
(2) referendum
(3) recall
initiative, referendum, recall
(1) gives voters power to initiate, or introduce legislation.
(2) if a certain percentage of voters in a state signs a petition, a proposed policy must be put on the ballot for public approval.
(1) a companion to the initiative.
(2) by securing a specified number of signatures on a petition, citizens can force the legislature to place a recently passed law on the ballot, allowing voters to veto or approve the measure.
enables voters to remove an elected official from office by calling for a special election.
city commissions and managers
devastating hurricane strikes galveston, texas in 1900.

hurricane produces an alternative to political machines.

storm kills 6,000 people and destroys the city.

state legislature names a five-person commission to rebuild the area.

commissioners are experts in their field rather than party loyalists.

citizens praise the commission as being more honest and efficient than the city's previous governments.

galveston keeps the system and soon other cities establish similar commissions to increase efficiency.

the system gives rise to the hiring of city managers (individuals who are expert administrators employed to run cities as they might run a business).
reforming state government
in wisconsin republican politician robert la follette finds himself at odds with a republican political machine dominated by railroad and lumber interests.

he's elected governor in 1900 and he backs a reform program (the wisconsin idea) that becomes a model for other states.

la follette calls for

(1) direct primary
(2) increased taxes on railroads and public utilities and the creation of a commission to regulate these companies
(3) laws that curb excessive lobbying
(4) labor reforms and the conservation of resources
part v: roosevelt and the square deal
nation is shocked on september 6, 1901 when anarchist leon czolgosz shoots president william mckinley at the pan-american exposition.

eight days later mckinley dies and teddy roosevelt becomes president.

roosevelt is only 42 years old when he takes the oath, but he will set about the task of reform with enthusiasm and energy.

he will reshape the country.
the united mine workers strike
spring of 1902: 150,000 miners strike for higher wages and the recognition of the mine workers union.

mine owners refuse to negotiate.

conservatives urge roosevelt to send in the u.s. army to end the strike while progressives want him to place the mines under federal control.

roosevelt encourages both sides to accept arbitration (a process by which two opposing sides allow a third party to settle a dispute).

the mine owners decline arbitration.

roosevelt responds by threatening to take over the mines which brings the owners to agree to his plan of appointing a commission of arbitrators.

in the end the arbitrators give both sides part of what they wanted.

workers get a shorter workday and higher pay.

owners do not have to recognize the union or bargain with it.

this is the first time the federal government has intervened in a strike to protect the interests of both the workers and the public.

roosevelt pronounces the compromise a square deal.
the square deal becomes roosevelt's 1904 campaign slogan.

he believes in balancing the interests of business, consumers, and labor.

he calls for limiting the power of trusts, promoting public health and safety, and improving working conditions.

roosevelt wins the 1904 election easily.
one of the major issues facing roosevelt is the rapid business consolidation taking place in the american economy.

in 1902 he directs the department of justice to begin a series of prosecutions under the sherman anti-trust act.

the first target: northern securities company (nsc)

nsc is a huge merger of transcontinental railroads brought about by financier j.p. morgan and would create a giant company controlling all of the long-distance rail line from chicago to california.

the justice department fights the case all the way to the supreme court.

in northern securities v. the united states the court holds that the stock transaction constitutes an illegal combination in restraint of interstate commerce (or its not fair or good for business to have one company dominate so much of the nation's railways).
the case establishes roosevelt's reputation as a trustbuster.

during his two terms the justice department will file 43 cases under the sherman anti-trust act to restrain or dissolve business monopolies.

however roosevelt accepts centralization as a fact of modern life and considers government regulation the best way to deal with big business.

in 1906 roosevelt responds to public pressure for greater government intervention and signs three important measures into law.
hepburn act
strengthens the interstate commerce commission as the first independent regulatory agency by authorizing it to set maximum railroad rates and inspect financial records.
pure food and drug act
establishes the food and drug administration (FDA) which tests and approves drugs before they go to market.
the meat inspection act
passes with help from the shocking publicity surrounding upton sinclair's muckraking novel "the jungle". the law empowers the department of agriculture to inspect and label meat products.
as a naturalist and outdoorsman, roosevelt also believes in the need for government regulation of the natural environment.

he worries about the destruction of forests, prairies, streams, and the wilderness.

in 1905 he creates the u.s. forest service and names conservationist gifford pinchot to head it.

pinchot recruits a force of forest rangers to manage the reserves.

by 1909 total timber and forest reserves increase from 45 to 195 million acres and more than 80 million acres of mineral lands are withdrawn from public sale.

in 1908 roosevelts keeps his promise to retire after a second term.

his chosen successor, secretary of war william howard taft, easily defeats democrat william jennings bryan in the 1908 election.

taft brings a restrained concept to the presidency.

he supports some progressive measures, including the 16th amendment legalizing a graduated income tax, safety codes for mines and railroads, and the creation of a federal children's bureau.

but in a series of bitter political fights involving tariff, antitrust, and conservation policies, taft alienates roosevelt and many progressives.
roosevelt returns from an african safari in 1910 and throws himself back into national politics.

he challenges taft for republican party leadership.

in a dozen bitter primaries taft and roosevelt fight for the nomination, with roosevelt winning most of the contests.

however, the old republican guard still controls the convention and, in disregard of the voters, taft is renominated in 1912.

roosevelt storms out of the convention and in august of 1912 forms the progressive party.
the republican split and the election of 1912
woodrow wilson
with the republicans so badly divided, the democrats smell a chance for their first presidential victory in 20 years.

they choose woodrow wilson, governor of new jersey, as their candidate.

wilson posseses a strong reputation as a reformer.

he studies law at the university of virginia and earns a ph.d in political science from johns hopkins university.

he becomes president of princeton in 1902.

he wins the nomination with the support of many of the party's progressives.
wilson declares himself and the democratic party to be the true progressives and introduces the new freedom platform which emphasizes restoring conditions of free competition and equality of economic opportunity.

he also argues against allowing the federal government to become as large and paternalistic as roosevelt has advocated.
the socialist party candidate eugene debs offers the most radical choice to voters.

by 1912 more than a thousand socialists hold elected office in 33 states and 160 cities.

debs can take credit for pushing roosevelt and wilson to the left as both their party platforms contain proposals considered extremely radical only ten years earlier.
in the end, the divisions in the republican party give the election to wilson.

electoral resuls:

wilson: 6.3 million votes, 435 electoral votes
roosevelt: 4.1 million votes, 88 electoral votes
taft: 3.5 million votes, 8 electoral votes
debs: 900,000 votes (strongest socialist showing in american history)

the election of 1912 is the first modern presidential race.

it features the first direct primaries, challenges to traditional party loyalties, an issue-oriented campaign, and a high degree of interest group activity.
underwood-simmons act of 1913
federal reserve act
federal trade commission
clayton anti-trust act
substantially reduced tariff duties on a variety of raw materials and manufactured goods including

(1) wool
(2) steel
(3) sugar
(4) agricultural machinery
(5) shoes
(6) iron

also imposed the first graduated income tax
restructures nation's banking system and currency system.

creates 12 federal reserve banks regulated bya central board in washington.

by giving central direction to banking and monetary policy, the federal reserve board diminishes the power of large private banks.
replaces sherman act of 1890 as nation's basic antitrust law.

exempts unions from being construed as illegal combinations in restraint of trade and forbids federal courts from issuing injunctions against strikes.
estbalished in 1914.

seeks to give the federal government the same sort of regulatory control over corporations the icc has over railroads.
wilson's first term
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