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Progressive Era 1900-1914

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a. Election of 1896
i. William Jennings Bryan (Democrat) losses to McKinley (Republican)
ii. Consequences of loss(1896)
1. Currency was dead as a viable issue
2. Death blow to populist/farmers party
Did McKinley delivered on campaign promises
1. Raised tariffs in 1897
2. Economy improved following depression
Post-McKinley?
ushered in progressive era when Teddy Roosevelt became president following McKinley's death
1. Major political changing of the guard
2. Ushered in an era of change and reform
b. First decade of the 20th century
i. Crucial politically
ii. Very activist oriented
iii. Lots of debate
iv. Politics become complex
c. Was Reform new to politics
i. Huge burst of reform in the north from 1840's to 60's
ii. Reform post-Civil War, as well
iii. Progressive era known for the extent of its reforms
d. 3 major issues involved with reform in 1896
i. Active progressives were a distinct minority
ii. Reform was driven by well educated, middle-class citizens
iii. These reformers differed from populists because reformers were urban and well to do
(Populists were mostly farmers)
Middle Class Discontent that led to reform
a. Threats from business and labor b. Depression of 1890's
II. Middle Class Threats from business and labor ?
(1896)
i. Wanted to know why economic growth lead to poverty
1. In 1890, 45% were below the poverty line
2. 2% of Americans owned 60% of the nation's wealth
ii. Middle class felt threatened by big business
iii. After 1900 the middle class felt threatened by organized labor
1. Organized labor picked up membership and momentum after the depression of the 1890's
a. Very successful with strikes
b. Capable of paralyzing transportation
b. Depression of 1890's
i. Main background to progressive movement
ii. High unemployment during period
iii. Pullman strike
iv. During the depression, many Americans believed the dream of democracy was dead
1. Thought upward mobility was dead
2. How much longer was the working class going to wait before exploding?
Pullman strike
(GC) 1894, , Strike of 1894. Eugene V. Debs organized the American Railway Union (150000 members). Maintained a company town, and when the Depression hit, wages were cut one third, but the rent and living expenses remained the same. Strikers overturned Pullman cars, paralyzed railway traffic from Chicago to Pacific Coast. Eventually, bayonet militia came in from Washington from Cleveland himself. Strikers were imprisoned without jury trials. He was charged since he interfered with mailing service, The beginning of the end of company towns. People who helped keep law and order was Mayor Hopkins and Governor Altgeld
Progressive Agenda
a. Most reforms were done out of moral/humanitarian values
b. Progressives turned to the state not national level
c. Prohibition was a favorite d. Trusts e. Politics f. Social Welfare g. Muckrakers
c. 4 reasons Prohibition was a favorite
i. Get rid of alcohol to help working class families
ii. Reduce violence
iii. Wanted to Americanize immigrant groups
iv. Working class drank heavily so middle class drank heavily saw removing alcohol was a way to control them
6 points about trusts
i. Rate of mergers in 1890's skyrocketed
ii. Number one on the list of most progressive reformers
iii. Lincoln Steffans
1. Sounded the alarm on the city level
iv. The problem was one of abusive power
1. Unchecked by the will of the people
v. The middle class thought trusts were destroying their class
vi. America had grown so big that the average citizen was broken down
Lincoln Steffans
1. Sounded the alarm on the city level
2. Visited 6 cities and founded a version of Tammany Hall machine at each
3. Published a series of articles in 1902 and then a book The Shame of the Cities
4. Exposed corruption
5. Wanted to motivate the upstanding citizen to do something
Politically there were three solutions to trusts
1. Gilded age Lassiez-faire
a. Lower class would explode
2. Didn't want to go too far to the left
a. Wanted property rights
3. Reform and regulation
The Two Views on Trusts
viii. Realist view - trusts were not entirely negative
1. Increased the standard of living
2. Top of the line products as a result
3. Needed to leave the good trusts alone
4. Government should be more of a policeman
ix. Middle Class View
1. Their desired role for government was to break up all large business combinations
2. Felt all trusts were bad
3. Wanted to restore competition
4. Lower prices
5. Increasing opportunity for people to go into business
6. Wanted to turn the clock back to little businesses
Progressive Politics
i. Needed to be separated from business
ii. Women's suffrage was sold to progressive politicians
1. "Include us in the reform and we will help you get other reforms passed"
a. Child labor, prohibition, etc
2. Progressive men were open to this
iii. The direct election of senators would put more pressure on politicians
iv. Initiatives and referendums
what are Initiatives and referendums
1. Tool to democratize the state
2. If you propose a law and get signatures it can be put on the ballot
3. Took power from politicians and gave it to individuals
f. Social Welfare Goals
iii. Interested in alleviating urban suffering among working class
1. Wanted to destroy slums
2. Wanted to create playgrounds for children
3. Championed labor
a. Limited working hours
b. Workers compensation
c. Unemployment insurance
4. New city services
a. Water, street paving, plumbing
5. End to child labor
a. In 1900, there were more children under 16 working in factories than there were members of the AFL
woman social welfare champion?
Jane Adams -Hull House, 1889 1. Began the settlement house movement
2. Addams purchased a large, rundown building in Chicago
3. Hired staff of women to run Hull House
4. Served as an enrichment institution for immigrants
a. Offered English classes
b. Helped with job placements
c. Offered daycare services
d. Free health clinic
e. Offered home-ec classes
f. Taught disease prevention
g. Offered advance classes too
h. Maintained gallery and offered art classes
i. Sponsored a theater
Progressive Muckrakers
i. McClures - Magazine 1. Ran 2 important series of articles
2. Tarbell
a. Exposed some corrupt legal practices of Rockefeller
3. Steffans articles about the cities
4. Circulation was so great that other magazines started hiring their own investigative journalists
ii. By WWI, 2000 exposes had been done on every industry
iii. A new enduring, entertaining journalism trend had been established
Where was the start of Progressivism and by whom?
a. The start of progressivism was in the cities by educated middle class after they abandoned the citys for the suburbs and had a renewed intrest in the cities by the 1890's
what was the middle class' goal in reform?
i. Reduce tax burden
ii. Run into problems with the machines
iii. First progressive reform battle cry was for honest government
2 examples of inner city boss type corruption?
d. 1900 San Francisco
i. Abe Ruef - Republican boss
1. Made himself the lawyer for the company that provided street paving materials
a. Company sold at inflated prices and extra money went into his pocket
2. Street car company had to ask for approval to put up cars
a. Ruef received a $85,000 bribe
3. Gamblers, saloons, drug dens, prostitution all paid Ruef
e. Springfield, IL
i. Problems with privately owned water company
1. Paid high prices
2. Water was still terrible
3. Water came from small narrow muddy river next to the city
a. Paid the government off so they wouldn't face competition
ii. Previous systems of city corruption
1. Aldermanic System - Aldermen ran wards which appointed commissioners for each district 2. Boss system like tammany hall
new progressive City Government structures
1.increased municipal ownership led to demands in citizens for better open spaces and parks 2. open elections of officials 3.centralized leader figure
what lead to state reform in the progressive era?
when the cities owned municipalities they found out about the corruptions and refered to the state for help....inward reform
Progressivism at the state level
1.most reforms came from individual states 2. major figure robert la follette -"wisconsin idea" 3. direct primaries 4.civil service reform
"Wisconsin Idea"
b. Robert La Follette (Wanted to reform Wisconsin state government after elected Governor) 1. Political philosophy developed in the American state of Wisconsin to maximize the use of experts' knowledge created at the state university to reform and modernize the institutions and politics of the state..
2. Follette deferred to academics and professionals to enact policies
(brought about civil service reforms and direct primaries)
Progressive Era social reforms
i. Direct election of senators - 18th Amendment
ii. The extension of suffrage to women - 19th Amendment
iii. Child labor laws
1. States made it illegal for children under the age of 16 (14 for some states) to work
iv. Laws regarding hours and wages for women and children
1. Declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court - "freedom of contract" via 5th Amendment
Progressivism leader on the National Level
a. Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
26th President of the United States, 26th president, known for: conservationism, trust-busting, Hepburn Act, safe food regulations, "Square Deal," Panama Canal, Great White Fleet, Nobel Peace Prize for negotiation of peace in Russo-Japanese War
why did roosevelt sympathize with the weak?
ii. Was a sickly child because of asthma, which he actually outgrew
1. Reacted to this in his teens and 20's becoming a fitness addict espousing manliness
How did roosevelt become president?
v. Roosevelt became McKinley's VP candidate and became president when McKinley was assassinated
Before the presidency how was roosevelt involved in stopping corruption?
iv. As NYPD Commissioner, Roosevelt helped Jacob Riis (Progressive Author if How the Other Half Lives) expose corruption in the city
What was Roosevelt's first shocking act of anti-trustness?
vi. Soon after assuming office, Roosevelt shocked the corporate world by announcing his intention to prosecute under the Sherman Antitrust Act the Northern Securities Company, created by financier J.P. Morgan
1. Northern Securities was a railroad trust
4 main ideas of Square Deal
i. Roosevelt's domestic program formed upon four basic ideas of 1"Conservation", 2 "Regulating Business Monopolies", 3"Enforcing the Anti-Trust Act", 4 "Supporting Progressive Ideas"
Anthracite Coal Strike, 1902
1. The strike threatened to shut down the winter fuel supply to all major cities (homes and apartments were heated with anthracite or "hard" coal because it had higher heat value and less smoke than "soft" or bituminous coal) 2. Roosevelt stepped in to end strike
Hepburn Act
1. (1906) Gave the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) the power to set maximum railroad rates which led to the discontinuation of free passes to loyal shippers
What did Roosevelt do in his second term for Progressivism?
a. Meat Inspection Act, 1906 b. Pure Food and Drug Act, 1906 c. Conservation(40k to 2 mil acres of national forests) d. Roosevelt moved further in an activist direction
What did Roosevelt not get passed during his second term?
1. Child labor laws
2. Factory inspection laws
3. Mine inspection laws
4. Stock market regulation
5. Minimum wage for railroad workers
What was the most socially noticeable aspect of Taft?
a. Taft's fatness
i. Very leisurely pace of work that included golf, naps, horseback rides
300 - 350 lbs
Why wasn't taft suited to be a president?
Taft was said to be more suited as a judge than a president
i. He hated elected politics, the political process, and the limelight
ii. The high point of his life according to him was serving as the chief justice of the Supreme Court
How was Taft similar to Roosevelt?
Taft did, however, follow Roosevelt's history of reform
i. Employed Sherman antitrust act twice as often as Roosevelt
ii. Got mine reform passed
iii. fought against us steel
What was Taft's Largest Political flaw?
Taft seem to disagree with those who had views similar to him
i. Deteriorating relationship with Roosevelt an example
ii. Taft was partly responsible for the split between the conservative and liberal progressive wing of the Republican party
What did Taft's disagreeable nature lead to?
Roosevelt ran as a third party candidate in 1912, splitting the Republican vote and allowing a Democrat to get elected for the first time since the civil war
The Payne-Aldrich Tariff, 1909
1. A Compromise bill, which had the immediate effect of frustrating both proponents and opponents of reducing tariffs 2. bill greatly angered Progressives, who were beginning to stop supporting Taft 3. increased the duty on print paper used by publishers, the publishing industry viciously criticized Taft, further tarnishing his image 4. Taft signed the bill in an attempt to preserve party unity(opposite) 5. debate over the tariff split the Republican Party into Progressives and Old Guards and led the split party to lose the 1910 congressional election (contributed to Roosevelt's campaign in 1912 and the split of the Republican party) 6. Taft was seen as a minion of the Old Guard Republicans and not a true progressive
Pinchot-Ballinger Controversy
1. (1910) Dispute between U.S. Forest Service Chief Gifford Pinchot and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Richard Achilles Ballinger that contributed to the split of the Republican Party 2. Gifford Pinchot became convinced that Ballinger intended to "stop the conservation movement".
-Accused Ballinger of siding with private trusts in his handling of waterpower issues.
-This seemed to many that Taft was trying to kill conservation
Why were the republicans split during election of 1912?
1. Taft, and Old Guards vs. Progressives -Payne-Aldrich Tariff, 1909
-Pinchot-Ballinger Controversy, 1910 -Tafts disagreeability -Roosevelt running as a 3rd party canidate (Taft only received 8 electoral votes and 2 states/The most "decisively defeated president in history") -Wilson won in a landslide -Eugene Debs (AFL, Pullman strike) also ran, but received no electoral votes and almost 1 million in popular vote
Woodrow Wilson
-28th president of the United States -known for World War I leadership -created Federal Reserve -Federal Trade Commission -Clayton Antitrust Act -progressive income tax -lower tariffs -women's suffrage (reluctantly) -Treaty of Versailles -sought 14 points post-war plan -League of Nations (but failed to win U.S. ratification) -won Nobel Peace Prize
What was Wilson's main personal characteristic he was know for?
"aloof, preachy, moralistic"
Brief synopsis of what lead to Wilson's presidential run?
an academic (President of Princeton) who ran for governor of NJ and later president
What was Wilson's main platform?
"the New Freedom"
"The New Freedom"(1901-1919)
- Wilson's proposed changes he made during his presidency in the progressive era -tariff reform (lower tariffs) -implement an income tax (16th amendment) -central banking system (Federal Reserve Act) -continue hindering trusts by strengthening the Sherman Anti-trust act.
Underwood Tariff Act
(1913)An early accomplishment of the Wilson administration, this law reduced the tariff rates of the Payne-Aldrich law of 1909 by about 15 percent(40% to 25%). It also levied a graduated income tax (for rich/didnt affect middles class) to make up for the lost revenue. -one of few "new freedom" acts passed
Federal Reserve Act(1913)
i. Created the Federal Reserve
ii. Established 12 private federal banks which could produce bank notes
1. Only 40% of the money produced had to be matched in gold
2. This allowed currency to be circulated and inflation to occur
Clayton Antitrust Act
An attempt to improve the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, this law outlawed interlocking directorates (companies in which the same people served as directors) -forbade policies that created monopolies, and made corporate officers responsible for antitrust violations. -Benefitting labor, it declared that unions were not conspiracies in restraint of trade and outlawed the use of injunctions in labor disputes unless they were necessary to protect property.
Federal Trade Commission Act(1914)
i. Established the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ii. a bipartisan body of five members appointed by the President of the United States for seven year terms
iii. Outlawed directors serving on the board of two competing companies
What was Wilson reluctant to support during his presidency?
-women's suffrage -child labor law -African American rights (although he did campaign for blacks' votes)
Keys Points of Progressive Era
-1890s-1920s goal to improve American life in the areas of: i. government ii.business iii.society 1. Involved the direct election of senators 2. graduated income tax 3.use of primaries. 4. trust-busting 5. Sherman Anti-trust Act 6. President Theodore Roosevelt 7. Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" 8. Pure Food and Drug Act 9. Meat Inspection Act of 1906.
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