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The Progressive Era
Transcript of The Progressive Era
Problem: Monopolistic control of big business
Trusts and holding companies formed by John D. Rockefeller
Eliminate smaller businesses and establish total dominance of an industry
Solution: Enforcement of antitrust laws
The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890
Made it illegal for businesses to form trusts and other conspiracies in "restraint of trade" Problem: Poor living conditions in urban slums
Solution: Building codes and settlement housing
Regulation of construction of factories and tenement houses
Encouraged voluntary efforts of middle-class women like Jane Addams who established settlement houses among the urban poor in an attempt to help and educate them Problem: Businesses and labor unions
Underpaid, overworked, and working in unhealthy working conditions
Strikes for better pay, shorter hours and greater safety
Solution: State labor laws
Protect workers from unsafe conditions and force employers and insurance companies to compensate workers for injuries Problem: Power of corrupt city bosses and their political machines
Loyal party workers who took orders from the boss were rewarded with government offices
Rounded up voters to elect candidates handpicked by the boss
Solution: Campaigns to elect honest, progressive candidates
Newspapers played a major role in exposing political tricks and corrupt practices of city bosses
Break the power of corrupt politicians by increasing the power of voters Rise of the Middle Class and Media
Progressive candidates running for office depended upon the backing of middle-class voters and publishers of popular magazines and city newspapers
Took civic duties very seriously
Most were native-born citizens who took pride in their country's traditions and growing strength The goal of newspapers and magazines was to increase daily readership and advertising pages Newspapers and Magazines One of ways newspaper publishers increased readers was through yellow journalism; selling newspapers for only a penny and running feature stories that appealed to people's appetite for scandal and sensation Muckrakers were article writers who wrote about corruption in the city government and shocking conditions in factories and slums. Muckrakers Ida Tarbell-History of the Standard Oil Company Upton Sinclair-The Jungle Government and Business Conservative View
Businesses should be free to compete as they saw fit. Businesses should not be regulated by government commissions or agencies Progressive View
They wanted laws that would stop businesses from competing in unfair ways and provide some protection for consumers and the general public from the unpleasant effects of industrialism.
Businesses should be regulated by government commissions or agencies. Reforms for Children, Workers, and Voters Movement for Social Justice Reforms in America African Americans
13th Amendment abolished slavery
14th Amendment guaranteed U.S. citizenship to African Americans and the right to due process of law
15th Amendement granted African Americans the right to vote Women's Suffrage
Suffrage is the right to vote
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Candy Stanton were leaders in the Women's Suffrage Movement
Began at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848
19th Amendment granted women the right to vote in 1920 Temperance Movement
Prohibition is the legal act that makes the manufacture and sale of wines, beers, liquors, and other alcoholic beverages illegal
Women wanted to abolish the sale of alcohol in public places
Argued that the consumption of alcohol increased the poverty of working families
18th Amendment in 1919; repealed in 1933 Civil Service Reform
Prior to the 1880s, many government jobs were given based on political patronage (returning favors to those who helped the political party). This is also known as the Spoils System.
1881- President James Garfield was shot and killed by a man who expected to be given a federal job after campaigning for Garfield.
Reformers argued that officials should be elected by means of an examination, not presidential appointment.
1883-Congress passed the Pendleton Act which created a civil service system (an organization of government workers) These journalists were critically important to the Progressive movement Progressives who were concerned about the welfare of people living in urban slums were at the forefront of the social justice movement
Newspaper reporter and author of How the Other Half Lives (1890): Jacob Riis. It documented the living conditions of the New York City slums through photographs.
Settlement houses: buildings located in a poor immigrant neighborhood where women and children could go for help in adjusting to American life.
Immigrants parents were offered free classes in English as well as the arts, literature, and music. Social workers became experts on urban poverty and used their knowledge to persuade state legislatures to enact laws for children’s protection. Movement for Social Justice Child Labor Laws: Children were exploited by many business employers, forcing the children to work for pennies an hour
The National Child Labor Committee was formed in 1904. It is an organization dedicated to the abolition of all child labor. By publishing information on the lives and working conditions of young workers, it helped to mobilize popular support for state-level child labor laws. These laws were often paired with compulsory education laws which were designed to keep children in school and out of the paid labor market until a specified age.
1916: Keating-Owen Act
First federal child labor law
U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law two years later in Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918), declaring that the law violated a child's right to contract his or her own labor.
Child labor would remain nationwide until the Great Depression Movement to Regulate Business and Labor Reformers were concerned about the effects of long hours of work on women’s health.
Business firms and lawyers argued that state regulatory laws were unconstitutional because they infringed upon a property owner’s rights.
Case of Lochner v. New York (1905): New York law prohibited bakers in the state from working more than a 60-hour week or a 10-hour day. Supreme Court ruled that the New York law violated a business owner’s right under the 14th Amendment not to be deprived of the use of property without due process of law.
Case of Muller v. Oregon (1908): Oregon law stated that women could not work more than 10 hours a day in factories and laundries. Lawyer Louis Brandies used scientific studies to prove that women’s health could be injured by overly long hours of physical labor. Reforms in the Election Process Progressives believed that more power should be given to the voters.
Initiative: By signing a petition, a small percentage of voters could force the state legislature to consider a proposed law.
Referendum: A proposed law could be submitted directly to the people to be voted upon in an election.
Recall: In a special election, people could vote on whether or not to remove an elected official from office before the end of his or her term.
Australian ballot: Also known as the secret ballot; Instead of openly choosing a ballot issued by a political party, voters would enter a curtained booth and vote in secret using an official ballot printed by the state government.
Direct primary: Instead of state conventions nominating candidates for office, the voters would nominate them by direct popular vote in a primary election (an early election before the general election in November). The Progressive Presidents' Policies Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) Progressive governor of New York in 1890s
Hero of the Spanish-American war in 1898
Successful candidate for vice president in the election of 1900
Roosevelt promised a "square deal" to all groups in the American population; both business and labor should be fairly treated by the government.
Trust Busting: Roosevelt was the first president to seriously enforce the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) He prosecuted the Northern Securities Company, a powerful holding company that controlled several Western Railroads. The Supreme Court ruled that Roosevelt’s decision to break up the company was constitutional in 1904. He broke up several other companies including Standard Oil Company.
He became known as a trust buster: a breaker of monopolistic businesses. He was not against big business, however. He always distinguished between good trusts (those that acted responsibly) and bad trusts (those that ignored the public interest). Coal Strike (Pennsylvania, 1902)
Earlier presidents used troops to support big business and break strikes. Roosevelt invited the leaders of both the coal miners’ union and the mining company. The strike was settled when the company agreed to a shorter workday and a 10 percent increase in miners’ wages.
Regulating Railroads and Meat Packers
The Meat Inspection Act of 1906 gave U.S. officials the power to check the quality and healthfulness of meats shipped in interstate commerce.
The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 banned the manufacture and sale of impure foods, drugs, and liquors and required commercially bottled and packaged medicines to be truthfully and fully labeled. Conserving Forests and Rivers
From the beginning to the end of his presidency, Roosevelt tried to win public support for conservation: the wise management and careful use of the natural environment.
The Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902 provided money from the sale of desert lands in the West to be used to finance irrigation projects.
The Inland Waterways Act of 1907 provided for the appointment of a commission to study the use of the nation’s major rivers. William Howard Taft Chosen by Roosevelt as the Republican nominee for president in 1908 with the hope that Taft would continue his progressive policies.
Still Busting Trusts
Taft ordered the Justice Department to prosecute 90 businesses for violating the antitrust law.
Losing the Progressives’ Support
Taft failed to meet progressives’ expectations on two issues: tariff reform and conservation.
Instead of lowering prices on imports, the new Payne-Aldrich Tariff (1909) raised prices on many products.
Taft fired leading conservationist Gifford Pinchot as the head of the Forest Service. Unhappy reformers in the Republican party invited Roosevelt to seek the Republican nomination for another term as president. The Election of 1912 William Howard Taft: Conservatives in the Republican party
Theodore Roosevelt: Progressive supporters formed new political party titled the Bull Moose Party, or the Progressive Party.
Woodrow Wilson: Progressive, Democratic governor of New Jersey.
Eugene V. Debs: Running with the socialist party and believed that all major industries should be owned and operated by the U.S. government. Woodrow Wilson Wilson’s New Freedom: A program of progressive reforms, including a lower tariff, a new antitrust law, and a system for regulating banks and currency.
Lower tariffs: When Congress disagreed to change the current tariff, Wilson appealed to the American people to put pressure on their representatives. In 1903, the Underwood Tariff became law.
One effect of lower tariffs was to lower the prices of many consumer goods. Another effect was to remove the special protection that big business had. Regulation of Big Business
The Clayton Antitrust Act (1914): Businesses could not grow bigger by organizing holding companies and the same people could not sit on the board of directors of several companies (interlocking directorships). It was also illegal to have secret agreements among companies to fix prices, and to prosecute unions. The Elkins Act of 1903 strengthened the Interstate Commerce Commission by providing for the punishment of railroads that grants rebates (special reductions in price) to favored customers.
The Hepburn Act of 1906 gave the Interstate Commerce Commission the power to fix rates that railroads charged for their services. It also strictly limited the free passes that railroads gave out to politicians and business owners. The Federal Trade Commission Act (1914): Created the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC was given power to investigate business practices suspected or being unfair, and issue orders demanding that companies cease and desist from acting in illegal ways as defined by the antitrust laws. Woodrow Wilson Woodrow Wilson The Federal Reserve
Prior to Wilson’s presidency, coins were the only form of U.S. currency and there was no federal system for expanding or contracting the supply of currency when businesses’ need for currency expanded or contracted.
Private banks would often have too little money in reserve (kept in their vaults). If too many customers demanded the withdrawal of their money at the same time, a bank with a low reserve of currency might go bankrupt. Woodrow Wilson The progressive solution was the Federal Reserve System. Private banks would hold their cash reserves in 12 regional banks. General policy for these banks would be made by a small group of U.S. officials: Federal Reserve Board.
Regional banks could make loans to private banks around the country at interest rates set by the governing board.
Loans would consist of a paper currency printed by the U.S. government as Federal Reserve notes (dollar bills). The Federal Reserve System also made it possible for the supply of currency to increase or decrease according to the changing needs of business. The interest rates charged by the Federal Reserve (regional) banks indirectly affected the interests rates of all banks and thus gave the U.S. government the power to influence the entire national economy. Woodrow Wilson Woodrow Wilson Child labor
In 1916, Wilson decided to support a reform long urged by Jane Addams and other leaders of the social justice movement. He persuaded Congress to pass a law that prohibited the shipment across state lines of any products made by child laborers.
Declared unconstitutional in 1918 Woodrow Wilson Progressive Amendments
1. 16th Amendment (1913): gave Congress the power to collect a tax on incomes and removed an earlier requirement that such a tax be apportioned according to a state’s population. The tax was considered _______________ because at first it was collected only from people with extremely high incomes. It was known as a _____________________________ or progressive income tax: a tax whose rates go higher as a person’s reported income increases.
2. 17th Amendment (1913): required that the _____________ from every state be elected by the voters of the state (not by state legislatures). 16th Amendment (1913): gave Congress the power to collect a tax on incomes and removed an earlier requirement that such a tax be apportioned according to a state’s population. The tax was considered democratic because at first it was collected only from people with extremely high incomes. It was known as a graduated income tax or progressive income tax: a tax whose rates go higher as a person’s reported income increases.
17th Amendment (1913): required that the senators from every state be elected by the voters of the state (not by state legislatures). Progressive Amendments Birth Control: Margaret Sanger
Sanger observed many women of the working class risking their lives and suffering increased poverty because of frequent pregnancies and births.
She believed that women should be given information on how to prevent pregnancy.
1914: Published a magazine on birth control and opened the first birth-control clinic.
Women in the Progressive Movement Women and Minorities in the Progressive Era Progressive Era leaders were Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt.
Some men supported the movement but many still thought that women should not become involved in politics.
Suffragists kept pressure on state legislatures, asking how the United States could be a democracy if women could not vote. Women's Suffrage Immigration from Europe was open in the years before World War I, but it was not open to the Chinese and Japanese.
Native-born Americans often exhibited religious and cultural prejudices against Jewish immigrants. As a result, they formed the Anti-Defamation League in 1913.
Foreign-Born Minorities The Niagara Movement of W. E. B. DuBois
1905: The Niagara Movement focused on publicizing and protesting acts of injustice against African Americans.
1909: members of the movement joined with white reformers in organizing the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
African-Americans Ida B. Wells: one of the NAACP’s founders, she was horrified at the number of African Americans who were lynched (hanged) by white mobs. She wrote a muckraking book about lynching and dedicated her career to the cause of racial justice. Antilynching Campaign He ordered the washrooms in federal buildings in the nation’s capital to be strictly segregated.
African Americans were limited to one washroom. Segregation Policies of Woodrow Wilson The grandfather clause was declared unconstitutional
Segregated housing law ruled unconstitutional
The practice of denying African Americans the right to serve on juries
The practice of denying African Americans the right to run for office in party primaries. Victories in the Supreme Court