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Progressivism and the Great War

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Jarod Roll

on 30 August 2017

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Transcript of Progressivism and the Great War

Progressivism and The Great War

HIS 106
Dr. Roll
Despite return of prosperity, problems of American development remained: poverty, dangerous working conditions, terrible living conditions, corruption
Broad array of reform groups tried to solve these problems beginning around 1900: collectively have become known as Progressives (Progressive Era, 1900-1915)
Unlike Populists and labor activists of earlier decades, Progressives were middle-class people from towns and cities
College-educated women among the first:
Jane Addams
Hull House (Chicago), founded 1889
Henry St. (New York)
National Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Women's Trade Union League
Florence Kelley
Muller v. Oregon (1908)
Social Gospel
Women's Voting Rights:
National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1890
--by 1912 nine states allowed it
Role of government in society: key to Progressivism
--many came from Republican Party
Robert La Follette: Gov. then Senator from Wisconsin
Hiram Johnson: Gov. then Senator from California
Tom Johnson (D): mayor from Cleveland
Progressive journalism (muckrakers):
Ida Tarbell, exposed Standard Oil
Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (1906)
Progressive government:
--more democracy
--or more control?
Theodore Roosevelt, R, President (1901-1909)
--trust busting
--environmental protection (conservation and hunting)
--Pure Food and Drug Act (1906)
--Hepburn Act (1906)
William Howard Taft, R, President (1909-1913)
--16th amendment (income tax) 1913
Election of 1912:
--Taft (R)
--Woodrow Wilson (D)
--T. Roosevelt (Progressive Party of America)
--Eugene Debs (Socialist Party)
Wilson as a Progressive President:
--17th amendment (direct election of senators) 1913
--Clayton Anti-Trust Act (1914)
--Federal Reserve Act (1913)
--Federal Trade Commission (1914)
--also laws regulating employment for sailors, railroad workers, and child labor
--a southern progressive, though: segregated federal government employees by race; valorized the Ku Klux Klan
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 1909
Theodore Roosevelt hunting

The Great War (World War I: 1914-1918)
--USA: official neutrality
--but, tilt toward Allies (UK, France, Russia)
--trade, finance, cultural bias of leaders

By 1916, US supplying 40 percent of Allied war materiel: Germans want to stop it, use U-boats against allied shipping, including American ships
Sinking of the Lusitania, 1915
Preparedness Movement, 1915-1917
--military build-up
--100% Americanism
--KKK refounded in Atlanta in 1915

Peace movement:
--Women's Peace Party
--isolationism, especially in the South and West, especially among the poor: "rich man's war, poor man's fight"
--Wilson re-elected in 1916 on peace platform

The Pull of War:
--Zimmerman telegram, February 1917
--Germany restarts unrestricted submarine warfare
--April 1917, US declares war "to end all wars"

Progressive government at war: No big war without big government
--income tax increases (avg. collections up from 281 million to 2.88 billion)
--excess corporate profit tax
--New national bureacracies to mobilize and run the war:
War Industries Board
War Fuel Administration
War Food Administration
War Railroad Administration
War Labor Board
Committee on Public Information
(largest expansion of the federal government, by far, to that date)

Building an army:
--Selective Service Act, 1917
--100,000 soldiers before 1915
--3 million in service 1917-1918

America Fighting:
--no action until 1918
--key role after Russia withdrew
--decisive in counter-attack against Germany in late 1918
--Germany surrendered Nov. 11, 1918 (armistice day, now celebrated as veteran's day in U.S.)
--1.4 million Americans in combat; 112,000 combat deaths

Effects at home:
--labor: higher wages, access to new jobs
--Great Migration: around 400,000 African Americans leave south for northern cities, jobs
--increased Mexican immigration
--women's campaign for voting rights wins: National Women' Party (1916), legislation that would become the 19th amendment passed Jan. 1918, ratified 1920
--anti-booze activists win: prohibition on manufacture, transportation, and sale of intoxicating beverages becomes 18th amendment, 1919

Fighting the "war for democracy" at home:
--Espionage Act, 1917
--Trading with the Enemy Act, 1917
--Sedition Act, 1918

Key ideological debate of 1912 election:
--Roosevelt's New Nationalism: big business ok, but only if matched by regulatory power of big government
--Wilson's New Freedom: big government would be used to break up big businesses to restore traditional economic relationships
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