Between end of Reconstruction and start of World War I
Middle Class reformers sought to address the problems that arose from industrialization
MAIN GOALS OF PROGRESSIVISM
Protecting social welfare/reducing poverty
Promoting moral improvement
Economic reform/Limiting power of big business
Cleaning up politics/ending corruption
PROTECTING SOCIAL WELFARE
To soften harsh conditions brought about by industrialization.
Social Gospel and settlement house movements of late 1800s
Aimed to help poor through community centers, churches, social services.
Continued during Progressive Era - inspired more reform activities.
YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Opened libraries, classes, pools
Fed poor through soup kitchens
Cared for children
"slum brigades" sent to instruct poor immigrants on middle-class values of hard work/temperance.
Help for women
Helped pass Factory Act of 1893 prohibiting child labor and limiting women's working hours
Appointed chief inspector of factories for Illinois
PROMOTING MORAL IMPROVEMENT
Offshoot from reform movement and Second Great Awakening
Reformers: alcohol, prostitution, gambling, women’s votes
Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)
Founded in Cleveland 1874
Spearheaded crusade by going to saloons
Carrie Nation scolded customers of saloons
Using her hatchet to destroy bottles of liquor
WCTU transformed by Frances Willard in 1879 to a national organization
Had 245,000 members by 1911
Became largest women's group in U.S. history.
Tension between prohibitionists and immigrants
Irish pubs and German beer halls were cultural gathering places
Severe economic panic in 1893
Prompted some progressives to question the capitalist economic system.
Eugene V. Debs
Labor leader who helped organize the American Socialist Party in 1901
Most progressives stayed away from socialism
International Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies)
Founded in Chicago in 1905
Wobblies promoted the concept of one big union
Believed that all workers should be united as a social class to supplant capitalism and wage labor
EFFICIENCY and SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES
Many progressive leaders put faith in experts and scientific principles
To make society and workplace more efficient.
By Lawyer Louis D. Brandeis
Defended Oregon law limiting women factory and laundry workers to a 10-hour day
Focused on data by social scientists documenting high costs of long working hours.
Became model for later reform litigation.
Scientific Management ("Taylorism")
Developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor
Used time and motion studies to improve efficiency
By breaking manufacturing task into simpler parts.
And eliminating all unnecessary motion.
Sped up production.
First used by Henry Ford
To prevent strikes he reduced workday to 8 hours and paid workers $5 a day.
Higher pay than other companies.
Workers paid more because Ford believed they should be able to buy his automobiles.
Incentive attracted many workers.
Because of Carnegie's libraries
More people had access to books, magazines and newspapers.
Became popular in 1880s because of advertising and new printing technology.
Ladies Home Journal sold for as little as 10 cents a copy
Owned New York World -- first newspaper to exceed a million in circulation.
Built sales through sensational investigations and human-interest stories.
In 1889, the New York World sent "Nellie Bly" around the world to break the record of fictional hero of Jules Verne's novel Around the World in Eighty Days.
Topics: crime, disasters, political and economic corruption.
Introduced targeted sections like sports and high society.
William Randolph Hearst
Introduced Sunday color comics featuring the "Yellow Kid"
Derogatory name for mass-market newspapers.
Named after the "Yellow Kid" comics
Hearst and Pulitzer exposed scandals and injustices
Also responsible for whipping up a frenzy that led to the Spanish-American War (1898)
Hearst told his artist, Frederic Remington to stay in Cuba even though it was peaceful.
Hearst told him: "You furnish the pictures. I'll furnish the war"
Magazine that published exposes by a number of authors:
Id Tarbell, Upton Sinclair etc.
Investigative journalists and crusading writers who sought to expose injustice and corruption
Most concerned with urban and consumer issues.
Monthly magazine that published articles from muckrakers
Jacob Riis – How the Other Half Lives (1890)
Photos and text to describe living conditions of urban poor
Influenced Jane Addams (founder of Hull House) and other reformers.
Ida Tarbell – History of Standard Oil Company (1904)
Exposed dubious practices of Rockefeller
Revealed the company's cutthroat methods of eliminating competition
She had a personal grudge because Rockefeller had ruined her father's oil career
Lincoln Steffens, Shame of the Cities (1904)
Exposed municipal corruption
Accelerated movement for municipal reform (initiative, referendum, recall)
Upton Sinclair – Wrote The Jungle (1906)
Described unsanitary condition in meatpacking plants
Led to Meat Inspection Act and Pure Food and Drug Act (FDA) (see below)
PROGRESSIVISM FROM ABOVE
Mayor of Detroit, Michigan 1889-1897
Progressive acts in Detroit
Forced gas and telephone companies to lower their rates
Established a municipal (city) power plant
Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette
Governor of Wisconsin 1901-1906
Republican Congressman 1906-1925
Progressive acts in Wisconsin
Made Wisconsin a "laboratory for democracy"
He was convinced that an alliance of railroad and lumber companies controlled state politics.
Series of measures instituted by La Follette in Wisconsin
Nominations of candidates for offices through primary elections rather than by political bosses
taxation of corporate wealth
State regulation of railroads and public utilities
La Follette drew on faculty members from the University of Wisconsin
As specialist employees in state government
Governor of California 1911-1917
US Senator 1917-1945
T. Roosevelt's running mate in 1912 presidential election (Bull Moose party)
Progressive reforms in California
Johnson responded to rampant corruption by expanding the role of the government
Regulating the economy
giving citizen direct access to the legislative process.
Broke the power of the South Pacific Railroad
By passing the Stetson-Eshelman Act
Increasing state's Railroad Commission's authority to fix passenger and freight rates.
The Public Utilities Act
One of the country's strongest railroad-regulation measures
Gave the RR commissioners authority over railroad as well as all public utilities
Introduced a degree of direct democracy
Through power of initiative, referendum and power of the people to recall state officials
Popular election of US senators (took power away from Calif. State legislature)
See Presidents link
THEODORE ROOSEVELT (1901-1909)
Roosevelt was a sickly child but made up for it by being active.
Was a "Rough Rider" in the Spanish-American War
Was McKinley's VP, became president after McKinley was assassinated
Roosevelt promised to deal fairly ("squarely") with all sides
Unlike predecessors, he negotiated with both owners and workers (see Coal Miners Strike)
Three Cs (see "Cs" below)
Control of corporations
Roosevelt was an outdoor enthusiast
Didn't like reckless use of natural resources.
Wanted to "conserve" nation's resources
For example, by replacing trees that were cut down
Conserving water and other scarce resources through planned use
And "preserve" some resources in a pristine state
So that they would not be bought up by corporations, drained, contaminated or destroyed
In order to accomplish this
He added nearly 200 million acres to government forest reserves
Placed coal and mineral lands, oil reserves, and water power sites in the public domain
Enlarged the national park system
Sent 100s of experts to work
Applying science, education and technology
To environmental problems
Theodore's cousin, future president Franklin D. Roosevelt
Also employed people in conservation projects to lessen effect of Great Depression (Civilian Conservation Corps)
An activist hoping to “preserve” as much of U.S. wildlife as possible
Especially in Yosemite National Park
Hoped it would remain in a state of “forever wild” to benefit future generations
Muir was founder of the Sierra Club in 1892
One of 1st large-scale environmental preservation organizations in world
Currently lobbies politicians to promote green policies.
Suing companies that violate policies
Like the Clean Water Act (Virginian utility plant, discharges arsenic and other toxic substances into groundwater)
The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
Pure Food and Drug Act (1906)
To prevent the sale or transfer
Of adulterated, misbranded or poisonous foods, drugs, medicines and liquors
Led to creation of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Meat Inspection Act 1906
To prevent adulterated or misbranded meat and meat products from being sold as food
And to ensure that meat products are slaughtered and processed under sanitary conditions
CONTROL OF CORPORATIONS
Roosevelt didn’t think it was necessary to stop monopolies from happening (inevitable)
But to regulate companies that had formed monopolies
Distinguished between good and bad trusts
And strengthen the federal power of investigation
Dept. of Commerce could force companies to hand over their records
Brought suit against 44 giant companies
Including the Northern Securities
A mammoth holding company
That virtually monopolized railroads in the Northwest
And had bloated stock with worthless certificates
Perfect example of a “bad trust”
Elkins Act (1903)
Authorized the 1887 Interstate Commerce Commission to impose heavy fines on railroads that offered rebates.
Before Elkins, big oil and livestock paid same rates as others but then demanded rebates on those payments - therefore paying less for rail service than farmers and other small operators
Hepburn Act (1906)
Gave the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) power to set maximum railroad rates
Led to discontinuation of free passes to loyal shippers.
ROOSEVELT PROTECTED LABOR
Coal Miner's Strike (1902)
Miners union wanted higher wages and fewer hours
Roosevelt brought strikers and owners to the bargaining table
When mine owners didn't come to negotiate
Roosevelt threatened that the government would take over the company
Workers got 10% wage hike and 9 hour workdays
In exchange, the mine would not have to recognize the union
And could raise their price
Muller v. Oregon (1908)
Oregon had enacted a law limiting women to 10 hours of work in factories and laundries.
Question: Did that violate women's freedom of contract (as in Lochner v. NY)
Attorney Louis Brandeis presented report by experts on the harmful physical and social effects of long working hours on women
Since women and men were physically different, the court (under Chief Justice David Brewer) ruled that the Oregon law didn't violate the constitution.
"Speak softly but carry a big stick"
Negotiated Treaty of Portsmouth ending the 1904-5 Russo-Japanese War
Roosevelt Corollary to Monroe Doctrine
ROOSEVELT LEFT OFFICE
In 1908 Roosevelt promised he would not run for a 3rd term
Not constitutional limit on terms until 22nd Amendment (1951)
Retired and went to Africa to hunt big game.
Left reigns of presidency to his secretary of state, William Howard Taft
Taft won election 1908
Taft (Republican) won 321 electoral votes
William Jennings Bryan (Democrat) won 162 electoral votes
WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT (1909-1913)
Taft hated politics and left much of the work up to his cabinet members.
Taft Progessive Accomplishments
Protected more land
Pushed congress to
Regulating safety standards for mines and RRs
Creating a federal children’s bureau
Setting 8-hour workday for federal employees
Mann-Elkins Act (1910)
Extended authority of Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate telecommunications (telephone, telegraph)
Initiated 80 antitrust suits
More than twice what Roosevelt targeted in 8 years
But Unlike Roosevelt, he didn’t distinguish between good and bad trusts
Came down on all trusts
Incl. monopolies that Roosevelt supported
Undid some of the projects that Roosevelt had started
He also fired one of Roosevelt’s friends (Gifford Pinchot)
Roosevelt heard all this across the world (he was in Africa)
Decided to come back
Taft didn’t want to be president
But he didn't want to be bullied out of it.
Taft and Roosevelt competed for the Republican nomination for 1912 election
ELECTION OF 1912
Roosevelt insulted Taft (called him a dimwit)
But Republican Party chose Taft to run on Republican ticket, not Roosevelt
Because they liked Taft's conservatism
Roosevelt created "Bull Moose Party"/Progressive Party
Democrats chose Woodrow Wilson
Wilson (Democratic Party) (435 electoral, 41.8% popular)
Taft (Republican Party) (8 electoral, 23.2% popular)
Taft was thrilled to be out of power
Lost weight, became Chief Justice
Roosevelt (Progressive Party/Bull Moose) (48 electoral, 27.4% popular)
Eugene V. Debs (Socialist Party) (0 electoral, 6% popular)
Debs ran 5x for president (1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1920 [from jail])
WOODROW WILSON (1913-1921)
Election of 1912
Wilson knew he only won because Republicans had split the ticket.
If either Taft or Roosevelt had been running alone
Would have beaten Wilson
New Freedom (his Democratic platform)
Wilson believed "bigness" was a sin
Freedom from big government
Believed big govt. would trample on people's rights.
Freedom from big business
Believed big business disrupted free competition
"Triple Wall of Privilege"
Wilson set out to break “triple wall of privilege”
Unfair banking practices
First step -- lowered tariff (creating free trade)
Believed tariffs helped big business by weakening competition
Passed the Underwood-Simmons Tariff
Protected consumers by keeping the price of manufactured goods low
To offset the loss of federal revenue from lower tariffs
He used the power of the 16th Amendment
To have Congress enact a graduated income tax
Applied solely to corporations
And the tiny fraction of Americans who earned more than $4000 a year
Signaled a permanent shift in government revenue
From 19th c. base
Sale of public lands
Alcohol taxes and
In order to curb the power of monopolies
He passed the Clayton Anti-trust Act of 1914
That prohibited certain business activities
That federal government regulators deemed anti-competitive
And requires the federal government
To investigate and pursue trusts
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 1914
Agency that oversaw business activity
To enforce competition
Still exists today.
16th (1913)– Congress has power to impose and collect income taxes
17th – (1913) Senators elected by people rather than state legislatures
18th – (1919) No sale, manufacture or transportation of intoxicating liquors
19th – (1920) Women have the right to vote