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The Progressive Era

Chapter 18: The Progressive Era (1900-1916)

Britt Christensen

on 28 January 2016

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Transcript of The Progressive Era

The Progressive Era
Just the Facts...
Macy's (1902)
New York City
The Working Woman
Opportunities were limited for black or immigrant women
Native-born white women enjoyed more options
Telephone operators, office workers
1920-8 million women working for wages (25% were married)
New sense of independence signaled future changes in regards to women's rights, gender roles, and family life
The Rise of "Fordism"
Skim the "13 Principles of Scientific Management" and discuss your response to the instructions on the bottom of the sheet with those sitting near you.
-1st assembly line in Highland Park, MI (1913)
An American Standard of Living...
"A living wage"
"A standard of living"
"Natural and absolute right of citizenship"
For the first time, the idea of "mass consumption" occupied a central place in descriptions of American society
Why did economic progress increase both wealth and misery?
Varieties of Progressivism
"Industrial Freedom"
The Socialist Party
Socialist Party Platform (1912)
"The Socialist party declares that the capitalist system has outgrown its historical function, and has become utterly incapable of meeting the problems now confronting society. We denounce this outgrown system as incompetent and corrupt and the source of unspeakable misery and suffering to the whole working class."
Immigrants on Strike
1912-state legislature enacted 54 hour limit on work week and employers reduced the weekly take home pay
Workers went on strike with IWW help
Sent their children out of the city during the strike
When officials tried to prevent children from leaving, the story made headlines
Strike settled on the terms of the workers
Labor and Civil Liberties
Key to the Modern Progressive Era:
Fundamental rethinking of the function and purpose of political authority

Progressive Presidents:
Roosevelt (1901-1909)
Taft (1909-1913)
Wilson (1913-1921)
Radicals + Populists + Labor Movement
Improve working conditions
Free college educations
Public ownership
AFL and Eugene Debs
Cross ethic, regional differences to bring lower class together (skilled workers)
"While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
Expansion of federal power, but to what ends?

At the time of its arrival?
In the late 1800s-early 1900s (height of immigration)?
Immigration (1865-1920)
German=2.8 mil
British=1.8 mil
Irish=1.4 mil
Italian=3.8 mil
Russian=3 mil
Immigration Myths:
For each myth, answer the following questions:
1) From where did the myth originate?
2) Who benefits from the myth?
3) What is an argument against the myth?
4) Is there any way to support the validity of the myth?
Signs of Problems....
-Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" (1906)
-Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (1911)
Era was a time of growth and a new consumer spirit, but also plagued by problems caused by this growth and industrialization.
Journalists who exposed the ills of urban and industrial life
New era of consumer freedom
Freedom=access to manufactured goods
Jane Addams and Hull House (Chicago)
IWW=every wage worker
Politics of Progressivism
Read over the Progressive Era reforms handout. How would you characterize the political reforms made during the progressive era?
Settlement house devoted to improving the lives of the immigrant poor from within the neighborhood itself
Women like Addams played a huge role in moving towards a more ACTIVIST government
Muller vs. Oregon (1908)
Argued that women lacked the strength and endurance to work long hours in industrial settings
Led to maximum working hours for women, but many women did not exactly view this as a victory...
The variety of responses to the economic and social problems rapid industrialization introduced to America.
"Poverty, economic insecurity, and lack of industrial democracy were national problems that demanded national solutions."
Rise of a "National State"
But, how does a national government increase its power and role
while also supporting individual freedom and democracy?
Progressive Era gave birth to a "new American state"
Rules for labor relations
Rules for business behavior
New financial policies
Protection from market abuses
Intervention in conflicts
"Consumer Freedom"
Large department stores, chain stores, and retail mail order made it possible to purchase goods such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners
"Mass consumption"
While "Fordism" and "Scientific Management" increased production and lowered prices, what were the negative consequences associated with these processes?
Shift in Ideology:
Limits on freedom and liberty were now caused more by economic factors and not politics.
Free college education
Legislation for improved working conditions
Public ownership of railroads and factories
The Politics of Progressivism
Social Legislation-government action to address urban and working class problems
Is the aim of "political authority" to:
Fight giant corporations?
Protect consumers?
Protect the marketplace?
Guarantee industrial freedom for workers?
Read the overview of your Progressive President and summarize his actions while in office. Based on what you have read, do you believe your President was truly "Progressive?"
Rise of a new "National State"
Challenge of balancing democratic self-determination and individual freedom with the need for government intervention in the economy
Jefferson vs. Hamilton all over again!
Women in the Progressive Era
Topic of "feminism" discussed at the national level
1) Political Reform
2) Economic Reform
3) Social Reform
4) Environmental Reform
Discuss the background of the issue
Identify and describe 2-3 specific reforms
Identify and describe 2-3 specific people
Explain the lasting impact (positive and/or negative)
Progressive Era Research:
For the first 20 minutes of class, accomplish the following:
1) Meet with your group and make ONE sheet summarizing the information about your particular reform. Follow the same format as on your individual sheet (quadrants with headings).
A) Political
B) Economic
C) Social
E) Environmental
***This should take about 10 minutes!
2) Take out your TR video guide and HW. Walk around the room and add information to the posters under the correct headings. Write information on at least FOUR posters.

What particular aspects of America did this statue symbolize:
How the Other Half Lives
Jacob Riis (1890)
Revealed the difficult living and working conditions in the worst slums in New York City
One of the first examples of the power of photojournalism
“The countless evils which lurk in the dark corners of our civic institutions, which stalk abroad in the slums, and have their permanent abode in the crowded tenement houses, have met in Mr. Riis the most formidable opponent every encountered by them in New York City.”

Theodore Roosevelt
Economy up 85%
More demand for farm products="golden age of agriculture"
Growth of cities and "ethnic" neighborhoods
Over 1/3 of mining/manufacturing workers lived in "actual poverty"
Rise of department stores and chain stores

Consumer freedom as a new type of freedom
Consumer freedom
Government needed to increase in size AND scope
Companies wanted more control over workers to increase production (and profits)
Workers (esp. skilled) felt devalued
Became the rallying cry of workers
=Unionization to gain more of a voice in the workplace
Workers, unions felt their free speech rights were being violated
Mary "Mother" Jones was a union leader at the age of 83!
"Freedom of expression" expanded to include the freedom to
for rights and freedoms
IWW members sent to jail for going against local laws against speaking in public
Demanded right to
collective bargaining
Process of negotiation between employers and a group of employees aimed at reaching agreements to regulate working conditions.
1912-Lawrence Massachusetts
32,000 men, women, and children in the wool mills
In your groups:
1) Discuss your President (Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson) with your group. Explain WHY the president was considered to be Progressive and if you think that label is deserved.
2) As a group, determine the President who you believe to be the MOST progressive and explain why.
According to President Wilson...
The problem and threat of factions would not be solved by permanently limited government, as it had been for the Founders, but by history itself.
Full transcript