The Progressive Era • Late 1800’s: Rapid industrialization, immigration, and urbanization led to national growth and prosperity. • Also caused poverty, unemployment, poor working conditions and political corruption. • Progressives believed that political action and reform were the methods to bring about progress in society.
Theodore Roosevelt's Presidency (1901 - 1909) • The Square Deal- believed progressive reforms were needed to balance the needs of all groups • Conservation- 1902 New lands Reclamation Act…used federal $ to set aside millions of acres of wildlife preserves • i.e. Yellowstone National Park
The Progressives: Their Goals and Beliefs • Government should: • be more accountable to its citizens. • curb the power and influence of wealthy interests. • be given expanded powers so that it could become more active in improving the lives of its citizens. • become more efficient and less corrupt so that they could competently handle an expanded role.
Igniting Reform: Writers and Their New Ideas • Writers and journalists influenced public opinion about how to reform society. • Investigated and publicized conditions in certain industries, slums, tenement houses, and sweat shops. • Theodore Roosevelt called the journalists “muckrakers.” • Upton Sinclair, Jacob Riis
Social Awareness • Jacob Riis- Photo essays… • How The Other Half Lives -showed slums • Upton Sinclair- • The Jungle -Showed deplorable conditions in meat packing plants
Sinclair, The Jungle …There was never the least attention paid to what was cut up for sausage; there would come all the way back from Europe old sausage that had been rejected, and that was moldy and white – it would be dosed with borax and glycerine, and dumped into the hoppers, and made over again for home consumption. There would be meat that had tumbled out on the floor, in the dirt and sawdust, where the workers had tramped and spit uncounted billions of consumption germs.
Sinclair, The Jungle …There would be meat stored in great piles in rooms; and the water from leaky roofs would drip over it, and thousands of rats would race about on it. It was too dark in these storage places to see well, but a man could run his hand over these piles of meat and sweep off handfuls of the dried dung of rats.
These rats were nuisances, and the packers would put poisoned bread out for them; they would die, and then rats, bread, and meat would go into the hoppers together. This is no fairy story and no joke; the meat would be shoveled into carts, and the man who did the shoveling would not trouble to lift out a rat even when he saw one – Sinclair, The Jungle
…for the odor of a fertilizer-man would scare any ordinary visitor at a hundred yards, and as for the other men, who worked in tank-rooms full of steam, and in some of which there were open vats near the level of the floor, their peculiar trouble was that they fell into the vats; and when they were fished out, there was never enough of them left to be worth exhibiting,—sometimes they would be overlooked for days, till all but the bones of them had gone out to the world as Durham’s Pure Leaf Lard! Sinclair, The Jungle
An Expanded Role for Government • Progressives sought more social welfare programs to help ensure a minimum standard of living. • Public baths • Parks • Work-relief programs • Playgrounds • Kindergartens • Homeless Shelters.
Social Welfare • 1900- The National Child Labor Committee ends child labor • Temperance Movements- Initial call for reducing alcohol consumption • Later they call for Prohibition (complete ban) • Alcohol is blamed for many of society’s problems • 1909- The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was formed to bring and end to racial discrimination
Three big changes in Gov’t • Voter initiative- citizens are allowed to introduce legislation and the legislature is required to vote on it • Referendum- allowed proposed legislation to be approved by the voters • Recall- allowed voters to demand special elections to remove elected officials
Turmoil in the Republican Party • Roosevelt called for: • business regulation • welfare laws • workplace protection for women and children • income taxes • voting reform • Progressive Republicans left the Republican Party and formed the Progressive Party, nicknamed the Bull Moose Party.
William Howard Taft Fought to keep the Presidency for the Republican Party Theodore Roosevelt Represented the Progressive Bull Moose Party Eugene V. Debs Made his third of five presidential runs for the Socialist Party Woodrow Wilson Headed the Democratic ticket; with the Republican Party split between Taft and Roosevelt, Wilson won the election. The Election of 1912 A Four-Way Election
Wilson’s Policies as President • Attacked monopolies and trusts • Wilson and Congress created the Federal Trade Commission to enforce Antitrust Acts • 1913: Congress created the Federal Reserve System to overhaul the American banking system.
Preparing the Way for Suffrage • 1848: Seneca Falls Convention in New York: • Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton emerge as leaders • Will die before seeing the victory • The movement split into two groups: • The National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) fought for a constitutional amendment for suffrage. • The American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) worked to win voting rights on the state level. • 1872: Susan B. Anthony arrested for trying to vote.
Suffragist Strategies • Winning suffrage by a constitutional amendment • Winning suffrage state by state • State suffrage seemed more successful than a constitutional amendment. • Combined efforts of men and women and encouraged a greater sense of equality. • Western states were more likely to allow women the right to vote.
Victory for Suffrage • In 1918, Congress formally proposed the suffrage amendment. • After the amendment was proposed the ratification battle began. • The Nineteenth Amendment, granting women the right to vote, was the last major reform of the Progressive Era.
The Limits of Progressivism • Reforms did not improve life for everyone. • Jim Crow laws (legalized discrimination) continued in federal offices. • At the 1912 Progressive Party convention, Roosevelt declined to seat black delegates from the South • By 1916, the reform spirit had nearly died. • Replaced by American concerns about World War I.