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Chapter 20: The Progressive Era

Chapter 20: The Progressive Era



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Published by markbao

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Published by: markbao on Mar 12, 2009
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The Progressive Era
Textbook 573-600 – Mark BaoI.Introduction
A.McKinley administration wanted to ensure business confidenceB.Depression in the 1890s1.industrial disputes created tension in the social tiersC.Richard Olney: “the great Pullman strike had brought the country ‘to the ragged edge of anarchy.’” (573)D.Olney suppressed a strike, but did not want such strikes to happen again, and wanted gov-ernment regulation of labor on the railroads1.Congress passed the Erdman Mediation Act in 1898E.There were a lot of costs to building “the world’s most advanced industrial economy” inthe United States – “a frightening concentration of corporate power, a rebellios workingclass, misery in the cities, and the corruption of machine politics” (574)
II.The Course of Reform
A.progressivism: no single movement, agenda, or organization: it is a post-1900 effort to build a better society
B.The Progressive Mind
1.Progressive thinking: “if the facts could be known, everything else was possible” (574)2.Scientific investigation was becoming popular: various statistics, social research, etc.3.Scientific management was also popular among progressivesa)founder Frederick W. Taylor said scientific analysis is useful in solving many prob-lems in life and the world4.A new institutional school wanted to take apart capitalism and the economy to see howthey worked
Progressives were against laws that were not verified in real life, and this became
legal realism
Liberty of contract was invoked by the Supreme Court in
 Lochner v. New York 
against alaw that limited working hours of bakers, which went against bakers’ own contracts7.Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said “the life of the law has not been logic; it has beenexperience.” (574)
William James denied that there were absolute truths, and started the idea of 
judging ideas by their consequences
9.Sources of Progressive Idealism
a)Progressives are like idealists
Progressive ideas were rooted in literature such as
 Progress and Poverty
Wealthagainst Commonwealth
 Looking Backward 
, all against the idea of corporategreed.(1)Many socialists became progressivistsc)The most important source of progressive idealism was religion.(1)The Protestant Church had a doctrine: the Social Gospel, in response to theurban poor 
10.The Muckrakers
a)New form of journalism in response to progressivism b)“editors discovered that what interested readers was the exposure of mischief inAmerican life” (575)(1)writers investigated corporate greed and poverty
: coined by Theodore Roosevelt, journalists who exposed wrongdoingsand the like in America
C.Women Progressives
1.Women were part of charities and humanitarian efforts in cities2.Josephine Shaw Lowell believed that the betterment of the working people would makecrime go down, and established an organization to improve wages and working condi-tions of female clerks: New York Consumers’ Leaguea)Became a national organization: the National Consumers’ League became a lobbyorganization for issues concerning women and children
Muller v. Oregon
(1908) approved an Oregon law that limited the workday to 10 hoursfor womena)Lawyer Louis D. Brandeis used Consumers’ League data that showed the effect of long hours on women’s health b)After it was upheld, laws like it passed around the nation4.Women’s lobby organizations affected women’s rights laws, child labour laws, amongothers.
5.Settlement Houses
a)Following the Hull House established by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr in1889, more settlement houses appeared as community centers b)Addams believed it would improve conditions in cities and of slum dwellers
6.Revival of the Suffrage Movement
a)Reformers founded the Women’s Trade Union League(1)Organized strikes, appointed leaders(2)At first a state-by-state movement that won 6 states in the West(3)Believed to be too slow–better, a constitutional amendment
7.The Birth of Feminism
was made up of young, self-supporting college-educated women(1)“freedom for full personal development” for women, without the social normsof what women should be b)In suffragism, instead of believing that they deserved suffrage because they wouldimprove politics, they believed they deserved the right to vote simply because theywere equal to menc)Margaret Sanger was a public health nurse in NYC, who believed in birth control,illegal at the time (refer to jigsaw notes)(1)In 1916, she opened the first birth control clinicd)Feminism challenged Addams’ ideas about social reform: in her reform ideology, protection for working women implicated that they were weaker (1)Feminists did not want compensation for being different because they simplydid not believe that they were different(2)progressive Gvoernor Charles J. Bonaparte had opposition against the 1914minimum wage bill for women
(3)some suffragists believed that they did not need “special care, protection and privilege” and laws like this were giving them that, which went against their ideasof equality to men (583)
D.Reforming Politics
1.progressives attacked the party system “boss rule”2.progressives had mixed motives and feelings about political power 
3.La Follette: Political Reformer
a)Robert M. La Follette served in Congress for 3 terms, until a Republican boss triedto bribe him to “fix a judge in a railroad case” (584). b)Because of this, he realized the corruption in the political system and became a political reformer focused on restoring democratic idealsc)became Governor in 1900 with plans to increase taxes for corporations, make regu-lation for utility and railroad stricter, and political reformd)he thought that political reform could be achieved by changing the rules of nomina-tions: the bosses do not choose who represent the candidacy, but rather, popular votedoese)Controlled the Wisconsin Republican system for 25 yearsf)Like other successful progressive politicians, he was interested in political reform
4.Municipal Reform
a)People demanded more efficient government. Taxes increased, but the governmentswere still inefficient b)After a hurricane strike in Galveston, Texas, business owners wanted a nonpartisanfive-member board instead of the mayor and board of aldermen(1)along with this a city manager was elected(2)was managed like a business
5.Urban Liberalism
a)In 1910, Hiram Johnson was running for California governor, and wanted to reform politics in the state as well as the Southern Pacific Railroad, appealing to the middleclass(1)however, his second term became about social and labour legislation, appeal-ing to the working class
move towards reform of working class is called
urban liberalism
 b)Fire in New York factory in 1911 killed many people, trapped(1)In response, the New York Stet Factory Commission developed 56 laws foregeneral safety and wages for factories over 4 years(2)Tammany realized that reform could not just happen on a low scale, only thestate had the power to make wide changes
6.Cultural Pluralism Embattled
a)“Urban liberal leaders championed both the economic needs of city dwellers andtheir cultural and religious freedom” (586)
7.Organized Labour
a)American Federation of Labor (AFL) did not want the state to have a say in labor  b)trade unions did not adopt urban liberalism easily like city machines
trade unions thought workers should not seek government help but instead helpthemselves, called
(1)this idea died down in the progressive era

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