Chapter 20: The Progressive Era
1.) Define the Progressive movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries:
The Progressive movement was a social and political reform that strived to introduce order and justice on a society that seemed to be out of control due to rapid industrialization and urbanization. The “age of reform” was also known as “social democracy”. Social democrats/reformers favored improving the social condition of all people through reforms of the economy and government programs. They believed that these goals could be achieved through peaceful political change. Social democracy, sometimes called social justice or the social gospel, was responsible for many public programs. Social democrats/reformers strengthened protection for employees (and customers), resisted fear of immigrants, reduced and/or eliminated business and political corruption. The “politics” of social democrats/reformers was to shift power to the “ordinary citizens” so they could have the privilege of helping to improve their conditions for a better life.
2.) Progressive Reformers worked to address the negative effects of rapid industrialization and urbanization. Their efforts often resulted in some new type of government regulation/legislation. Complete the following chart to illustrate the contributions of these reformers.
Name of Reformer Goal/social issue(s) addressed Method Outcome
Upton Sinclair Poor working conditions; consumer protection He disguised himself as a worker in a Chicago meat packing plant. Wrote a book called The Jungle which illustrated his observations in the plant- rats and rat “droppings” near the product, men losing fingers in the machines, men falling into the vats and becoming a part of Durham’s Pure Lard, which was sold in stores. Pure Food and Drug Act; Meat Inspection Act
Jacob Riis Poor living conditions A Danish-born newspaper reporter, social reformer, and photographer. In 1873, he was a police reporter assigned to New York’s lower east side where he personally witnessed the tenements/slum conditions in New York City; In the 1880’s, he took photos inside ; outside of New York City’s tenements/slums with flashbulb photography; used the graphic photos and described the horrible conditions of tenements/slums of New York City in his 1890 bestseller, “How the Other Half Lives”, that won him international recognition; it served as a basis for “muckraking” journalism by exposing the tenements/slums to the upper & middle class in New York City. Theodore Roosevelt stated Riis was “the most useful citizen in New York City”. State level reforms in New York (garbage collection, public works)
Margaret Sanger Sex education; legalize birth control and/or
contraceptives; abolish the Comstock Law (prohibited the distribution of obscene materials through the mail such as birth control information) American writer, sex educator, nurse, women’s rights activist, and social reformer; created the term “birth control”; due to the death of her Mother at a young age that resulted from 11 pregnancies, childhood poverty, and damaged health of immigrants by too many pregnancies, miscarriages, butchered abortions, etc. she believed the ability to reduce the size of families would help eliminate many of those hardships so her mission was to provide sex education and birth control; responsible for the efforts that resulted in the birth control pill (1960); launched her own feminist publication advocating for birth control, “The Woman Rebel” (1914) ; she opened the first birth control clinic, she was arrested, appealed and lost, but courts ruled that physicians could prescribe contraceptives to women for medical reasons, a loophole that allowed her to open a clinic which would later become Planned Parenthood Federation of America (1923); “Birth Control Review” (1917); founded American Birth Control League (1921); formed National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control (1929 ); courts made it legal for doctors to prescribe birth control (1936) American Birth Control League; Planned Parenthood Federation of America; National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control; the “pill” was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1960; in 1971 Comstock laws finally ended
Carrie Catt ; Alice Paul Both were activist for the Women’s Suffrage movement (women’s right to vote) Alice Paul’s Mother introduced Paul to the fight for women’s suffrage/equality; Paul joined in radical actions (e.g., window mashing, rock throwing) of protest while in England with the Pankhurst women, who believed in “direct and visible measures”, in the Women’s Suffrage Movement; she began to use these types of radical actions along with pressuring political accountability in the U.S.; Carrie Chapman Catt was president of the NAWSA (National American Women’s Suffrage Association) and believed in a calmer, more relaxed version of political actions to empower women by focusing more on a state level – her views clashed with Paul who focused more on the federal level; Catt published “Woman Suffrage and Politics: The Inner Story of the Suffrage Movement” (1923) ; Paul rejected the methods by Catt and left the NAWSA and formed the National Women’s Party, a group that staged the first-ever picketing at the White House, arrested, she led an in-prison hunger strike; Paul’s radical method was key in pressuring Congress and the states to pass and ratify the 19th Amendment; Paul also introduced the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment); it was introduced to every session of Congress from 1923 until 1970; although it was eventually passed by Congress, it was never ratified by three-quarters of the states.
19th Amendment- granted women the right to vote
Carrie Nation Prohibition/ pushed to make the sale, manufacture, and consumption of alcohol illegal in America. Born in Gerrard County, Kentucky; later changed her name to “Carry” A. Nation; temperance movement (urged self-control and self-denial in drinking liquor) advocate; she mainly dressed in black-and-white clothes, went into a saloon/bar and started singing, praying, throwing biblical condemnations, and shattering the bar furniture and liquor with a hatchet; published a few newsletters “The Smasher’s Mail”, “The Hatchet”, “Home Defender”—and her autobiography, “The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation”; she was also an advocate of women’s suffrage; organized the chapter of WCTU (Woman’s Christian Temperance Union) that helped pass a Kansas law against selling liquor; paved the way for the 18th Amendment on prohibition; the Carrie Nation House in Medicine Lodge, Kansas was acknowledged as a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1976 and a spring just across the street from it is named after her. 18th Amendment on Prohibition; also accelerated efforts for 19th Amendment (women’s right to vote)
WEB Dubois Demanded racial equality for African Americans as granted by the 14th Amendment; advocate of Pan-Africanism (worldwide movement that aimed to encourage & strengthen bonds of unity for all African people) Civil rights activist, sociologist, historian, educator, journalist; one of the first African Americans to earn a PhD from Harvard University (1895) ; awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Humboldt, Germany (1958); published the first case study in an African American community, “The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study” (1899) in which he created the phrase, “the talented tenth”, used to describe the odds of 1 in 10 black men becoming leaders of their race; published, “The Souls of Black Folk” (1903) and encouraged blacks to accept nothing less than a full university education and pursue a profession; started the Niagara Movement; founder of “The Crisis” (1910), the magazine of the NAACP; died one day before Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington (8/28/1963). Co-founder of N.A.A.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) in 1909; helped organize the first Pan-African Congress to free African colonies from European rule
Booker T. Washington Demand racial equality for African Americans American educator, author, speaker, and advisor to the Presidents of the U.S., Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft; his message was a little different from W.E.B. DuBois in that he thought that African Americans should attend school, learn skills, and obtain a solid foundation in agriculture and trade skills, industrial education should be their goal and they should mimic the standards of the white middle class to be fully accepted as citizens & to be “recognized” in all aspects of society; delivered the Atlanta Compromise Address from the Cotton States Exposition (1895); founded Tuskegee University – devoted to industrial, moral education, and training public school teachers; encouraged African Americans to rely on self for monetary prosperity ; autobiography, “Up From Slavery” (1901); first African American to be on a U.S. postal stamp (1940) and coin – memorial half dollar (minted 1946-1951); recipient of an honorary Master of Arts degree from Harvard (1896); recipient of honorary doctorate degree from Dartmouth (1901); monument in his honor called, “Lifting the Veil” at Tuskegee University.
Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (now Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama); founded National Negro Business League
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation of natural resources; consumer protection; foreign policies; economic and social reform for immigration and urban poverty; domestic policies; control of corporations – to regulate big business and labor; “square deal” “Big Stick” diplomacy; at age 42, he was the youngest man to be President of the U.S.; he named the “mansion” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., the “White House”; “square deal”- three C’s; awarded Nobel Peace Prize (1906) for helping in negotiations to end the Russo-Japanese War; raised public awareness regarding world politics and the desperate need to regulate railroads, businesses/economy, and expose political corruption; first president to have an African American guest (Booker T. Washington) at the White House; National Monuments Act (1906); formed the Progressive Party, aka as the Bull Moose Party; first president to receive the Medal of Honor (2001) (100 years later) for the Battle of Santiago of the Spanish-American War; built up a stronger navy ; army; increased American forces in Latin America through the “Roosevelt Corollary” rather than the Monroe Doctrine; secured route and began construction of the Panama Canal; “square deal” – three C’s – control of corporations, conservation of natural resources, and consumer protection; supported the Meat Inspection Act & Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906; earned reputation of “trust-buster” by bringing lawsuits against unfair business practices/corporate corruption-he saw it a fair deal for both the business and citizens -Northern Securities Company; 40 books and 100’s of articles published; Bureau of Corporations (1903) Elkins Act-named for Senator B. Elkins of West Virginia; backed by the Pennsylvania Railroad to end the practice of rebates, which were refunds to businesses who shipped large quantities on the railroads; many railroad companies hated it because shippers could demand rebates ; threaten to take their business somewhere else if railroads didn’t comply; it gave federal courts the power to end rate discrimination and to uphold rates published by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC); outlawed rebates and made the railroad company liable for receiving refunds; railroad directors contacted President Theodore Roosevelt of their desire to stop the practice of rebates and he supported the bill.
Hepburn Act-named for Rep. William Hepburn of Iowa; magnified the powers of The Elkins Act of 1903; gave the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) authority to enforce the law (whereas before only the courts could enforce the regulations) and allowed the ICC to set fair and reasonable rates; also stopped giving free passes except to railroad workers and created bookkeeping methods
for them to be held accountable; were required to submit annual reports to the ICC; President Theodore Roosevelt said it improved government regulation of the industry and was a way to stop them from forming monopolies, which in turn, gave government ownership of the railroads.
Department of Commerce and Labor- President Theodore Roosevelt established this in 1903, with the support of Republicans in Congress (and well-known businessmen); was to investigate business practices, verify fair trade, focus on labor issues, and assist commerce; in 1913 President William Howard Taft signed legislature that split the Commerce & Labor into two separate departments.