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The Progressive Era

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Sarah Rogers

on 7 September 2016

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Transcript of The Progressive Era

Explore The Progressive Era
The Progressive Era
The Progressive Era was a time of change and reform. The movement responded to the economic, political, and social challenges caused by the quickly changing American society of the late 1800's.
Social
Labor Reforms
Political
Economic
Trustbusters
Trustbusting: Breaking up large monopolies (businesses) into many smaller, competing businesses
Gives more people and companies a chance to be a part of the process and compete for business
How did the Congress/President do this?
Sherman Antitrust Act
Clayton Antitrust Act
Get rid of dirty politicians
Worker's Rights
Labor unions
: groups of workers organized to protect the interests of its members
3 main goals:
Higher wages
Shorter hours
Better working conditions
Helped give workers a voice! Helped groups to organize against the big factories and businesses
One strategy: strike! This is when workers simply refuse to go to work
Child Labor
Many children worked because families needed the extra money AND factories could pay them less
NO AGE LIMITS in 1800's
Kids would get the most dangerous jobs--they could fit in small places of machines
The Progressive Presidents
Protecting consumers
Muckrakers exposed TERRIBLE working conditions in factories (i.e. rats in canned meat)
Factories were polluting the air and the water
Animal/human waste littered the streets
Immigration/Growth of Cities
Cities were growing like crazy!
Immigrants were pulled to the cities of the US because of the jobs, natural resources, democratic society
They were pushed by hunger, lack of farmland, and other troubles in their home countries
The infrastructure (toilets, roads, houses, buildings) couldn't keep up with the expanding populations!
Progressives thought it was up to the government to fix these problems!
Click Here for pictures: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ma01/davis/photography/images/riisphotos/slideshow1.html
Women's Rights
Women demanded suffrage (the right to vote) as early as 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention
Slow progress on this goal
Without the vote, a lot of women workers' concerns were ignored and they lacked many protections
Federal government didn't give women the right to vote until the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920
WIlliam Howard Taft
Theodore Roosevelt
US President from 1901-1909
Expanded the power of the president
Known as a "trustbuster" who worked hard to break up trusts/monopolies to create fair business competition

Strong supporter of the environment; wanted to protect US natural resources
Woodrow Wilson
Political Reforms:
power back to the people!
Secret ballot:
votes are cast in secret
Direct primary:
allows voters to select candidates rather than having them selected by party leaders
Recall:
process by which voters can remove elected officials before their terms ends
Referendum:
process that allows citizens to reject or accept laws passed by legislature
Political Corruption
One problem?
POLITICAL MACHINES... organizations of full-time politicians whose main job was to get political power & keep it.
How?
Get rid of the competition
Hand out favors, bribes
Rig elections
Give jobs to friends/supporters
Had control at ALL levels of government
US President from 1909-1913
Many thought he was not as "progressive" as Roosevelt
Broke up trusts that put limits on trade
Helped to establish a Children's Bureau in Dept of Labor and jumpstarted the 8 hour workday
US President from 1913-1921
Created the Federal Trade Commission to stop unfair business practices
Created National Park Service
Worked hard to push through progressive laws establishing institutions to stop child labor and start the Federal Reserve
Goals of Progressivism
Protect social welfare
Promote moral improvement
Create economic reform
Increase efficiency in the government
Foster equality
Just a few issues
problems in 1900:
Political corruption
Inequality
Child labor
Poor working conditions
Terrible condition of cities
No "checks" on food or medicine production
Growing gap between rich and poor
Limited participation of citizens in government
Muckraker:
group of journalists
who uncover the nation's
problems and write about them
"Boss" Tweed of NY's Tammany Hall machine
What's a progressive?
Political, social, and economic reformers of the early 1900's committed to improving conditions in American life
Progressives helped change this and get laws passed to set working age at 14 and limit children's hours
Improvements were made to education to give kids and families options
Meat Inspection Act: ALL packaged meat must be inspected
Pure Food & Drug Act: Created the FDA; required testing and approval of food and drugs before they went on the market
Government needed to do something!
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
This was one of the most tragic events of the progressive era.
It shocked the country that workers (especially young women) were being treated so horribly and there was no concern for their safety.
http://trianglefire.ilr.cornell.edu/
What were factories like?
They were dangerous and uncomfortable places where workers spent long hours often locked in to prevent them from sneaking out to take breaks.
Sometimes, when a big order was due, managers wouldn't let workers go home until it was finished.
Workers could be fired for any reason.
See some pictures...
https://www.loc.gov/collection/films-of-westinghouse-works-1904/about-this-collection/
Women's Movement:
Path to Suffrage
Key Figures
Vocabulary
Timeline
Suffrage
: The right to vote
Anti-Suffragism:
campaign AGAINST women gaining the right to vote
NAWSA:
National American Women Suffrage Association; worked towards suffrage
Check out the major events of the women's suffrage movement:
http://www.crusadeforthevote.org/timeline
Declaration of Sentiments (1848)
American Equal Rights Association (1868)
First time the women's suffrage amendment was rejected (1887)
National Women's Party stages large scale protests (1917)
19th amendment passed granting women right to vote (1920)
Susan B. Anthony
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Alice Paul
Check out more about these women at: http://www.crusadeforthevote.org/timeline
Full transcript