US History Final, Chapter 23, Progressive Era
Terms in this set (23)
1890's-1920 Period of idealism, optimism and dramatic political reform & social activism. A time of sweeping social, political, & economic changes.
Middle class idealists, reformers from both political parties who lived in urban settings & sought reform & regulation in order to ensure social justice. Men, women blacks & whites; religious folks; educated middle class white women from the Settlement Houses. Included: populists, republicans, democrats, socialists, neighborhood churches, organized labor, local political life, social service organizations, higher education, & the professions. They were reformers not radicals. They were diverse in their backgrounds & causes.
Belief that government, industrialization & urbanization were negatively affecting American life. Goal to curb the powers of local political machines & establish honest & efficient government. Called for an end to child labor. Wanted: laws promoting safety in the workplace; a ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages; legislation curbing trusts; & women's suffrage. Progressives attacked corruption & inefficiency.
They respond to the urgent problems created by:
unregulated industrialization, unplanned urbanization, unrelenting immigration, & unequal distribution of wealth and power.
end corruption & inefficiency in gov't
greater democracy - honest efficient gov't
graduated or "progressive" income tax
regulate businesses & workplace safety & inspections
end child labor
women's suffrage - voting rights for women
prohibition of alcoholic beverages
conserve national resources & environmental issues
What impact did Progressives have on US society?
list of accomplishments: women's right to vote, promoted democracy with voter initiative and referendum procedures & recalls, anti-trust legislation, cleaned up the meat & drug industries, helped the economy (Federal Reserve Act), Social Justice
list of flaws: racial and immigrant bias, movements led by elites & middle class not representative segments of the population;
disenfranchisement of Blacks; racial prejudice
One goal of Progressives was greater democracy, and honest and efficient Gov't. They pushed for direct primaries; adoption of initiative and referendum procedures that allowed voters to enact laws directly. advocated "the recall" whereby corrupt or incompetent public officials could be removed by public petition or vote. 1912, the 17th amendment authorizing the popular election of senators. They wanted to expand the scope of gov't involvement in society. They wanted to use the gov't as an agency of human welfare. They wanted to clean up gov't.
What were the sources for Progressivism?
growing tensions between labor & management;
chronic corruption in political life;
abusive power of big business, the hazards of the industrial workplace (especially for women & children);
social miseries brought about by depression of the 1890's like poverty & poor sanitation, city slums, etc.;
Populism was one of the primary catalysts of progressivism. Their 1892 platform outlined many of the Progressives reforms.
Progressive Initiatives - Efforts
1. Social Gospel Movement - YMCA, Salvation Army
2. Mugwomps - those who desired to reform the gov't spoils system.
3. Women's Suffrage - passed 1919,1920 (started with the 1848 Seneca Falls Conference)
4. Settlement Houses - Community centers in immigrant neighborhoods
5. Muckrakers - journalists who brought issues to the forefront like Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1909), and Jacob Riis
Features of Progressivism
1. Democracy - Initiative - Referendums
3. Anti-trust legislation
4. Social Justice
Limits (downfall) of Progressivism
1. Anti-immigration bias increased during 1900's (led to the 1921 and 1924 Immigration Acts)
2. Most gov't reforms were led by elites or middle class - not the working classes
3. It was the era of disenfranchisement of Blacks
4. Progressivism had a blind spot when it came to racial equality. Many progressives held racial prejudices that were common between 1890's -1920's
Gospel of efficiency was a major theme of progressivism. Application of scientific management to government, society, and industry. One of the gospels of Progressivism, perfected by Frederick Taylor. It preached to be the most efficient possible method in order to accomplish the most in the least time and not waste any time. In government - the reorganization of agencies to eliminate waste, establish lines of authority & assign accountability and responsibility. Many believed that gov't should be administered by experts.
Progressives called for the regulation of giant corporations- the problem of concentrated economic power and its abuse. Solutions on the two extremes: laissez-faire and socialist program mandating gov't ownership of big businesses.
Progressives promoted greater social justice thru the creation of nonprofit charitable service organizations. Goals to clean up the cities, regulate child labor laws, and the consumption of alcohol. Grassroots social justice = middle-class, white,women were the driving force
Preached by liberal Protestant clergymen in the late 19th century & early 20th century; advocated the application of Christian principles to social problems generated by industrialization. Religion was a crucial source of energy for the progressive movement. Christian & Jews expressed their faith thru aid to the less fortunate. They worked to pass minimum wage levels and shorter work days. They rejected social Darwinism. Frances Willard pushed for the Protestant Churches to allow women to become ministers.
YMCA & Salvation Army
They stressed direct assistance to the laboring poor in their neighborhoods. a younger generation of Christian leaders began devoting their resources to community & care of the poor. The YMCA came to the US from England in the 1850's. The Salvation Army, also founded in England came to the US in 1879.
In the mid-1800s, a young man named George Williams and a few friends started what they called the Young Men's Christian Association to provide a refuge of faith among the vices of London's slums. The organization spread quickly and soon took root in the U. S. Under the influence of the Social Gospel movement, the YMCA was somewhat revolutionary in its openness to people of every economic and racial group. the YMCA met the distinct needs of each community in the name of Christian charity, providing everything from hotel-style housing to medical care, English classes, vocational education. The story of the Salvation Army is similar. A London minister named William Booth thought that Christians should take the message of the Bible out of the church and into the streets where it was most needed. He never intended to start an organization; he just wanted to bring hope to the desperately poor citizens of industrial London that traditional churches ignored.
Settlement House Movement
Product of late 19th century movement to offer a broad array of social services in urban immigrant neighb'hoods They attacked the problems of the slums from residential community centers. They were designed to bring together the prosperous with the working poor, immigrants. They were in tenement neighborhoods & were segregated by gender. They created the opportunity for women to improve living and working conditions for the poor. Chicago's Hull House was one of 100's of settlement houses that operated by the early 20th century.
Jane Addams (1860-1935)
Founder of Hull House settlement house & the settlement house movement. She focused on solving the practical problems of the poor & tired to avoid the assumption that she and other social workers knew what was best for poor immigrants. She established child care for working mothers, health clinics, job training & other social programs. She was also active in the peace movement & was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1931 for her work in that area.
Woman's Suffrage - 19th Amendment
Suffragists included: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, & Julia Ward argued since black men were granted the right to vote, women should have the right to vote too. The movement started in 1848 with Seneca Falls. In 1920, the 19th amendment was signed, granting the right to vote to American women.
writers who exposed corruption and abuses in politics, business, meat-packing, child labor, etc. in the early 1900's; their popular books & magazine articles spurred public interest in progressive reform. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1909) about meat packing industry and Jacob Riis
muckraker who shocked the nation when he published The Jungle, a novel that revealed gruesome details about the meat packing industry in Chicago. The book was fiction but based on the things Sinclair had seen.
Muckraker: A Danish immigrant, he became a reporter who pointed out the terrible conditions of the tenement houses of the big cities where immigrants lived during the late 1800s.
The Name Pres. Roosevelt gave to journalists whose works exposed social ills. New inexpensive popular magazines published articles about municipal corruption, horrible conditions in meat-packing plants, urban slums, etc. By raising public awareness of these issues, muckrakers contributed to major changes in the workplace and in governance.
Flaws (limits) of Progressivism
1. Despite talk of greater democracy , "P" had a blind spot when it came to racial equality.
2. It was an age of disenfranchisement when it came to Southern Blacks.
3. Anti-immigration prejudice increased during the 1900's which led to the Immigration Acts of 1921 and 1924.
4. The Democratic reforms of the initiative & the referendum were subject to manipulation by corporations & political machines with a lot of money.
5. Voter Participation (voting in elections) declined.
6. Public Policy was formulated by elites rather than by representative segments of the population.
7. With the emphasis of efficiency more public policy decisions were made by unelected bureaucrats.
8. "P" was a middle class movement in which the destitute poor & unorganized had very little influence.
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