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a. The Progressive Era was a period of dramatic political reform and social
b. The progressive ear was when the passage of a federal income tax, the
creation of a new banking system, and the first governmental attempts
to conserve natural resources and environmental treasures came
c. Progressivism was a wide ranging impulse rather than a single
organized movement.
2. Elements of Reform
a. Goals of progressivism included greater democracy, honest and
efficient government, more effective regulation of business, and
greater social justice for working people.
b. They wanted to accomplish these goals by expanding the government.
c. Direct public services progressives asked for included public schools,
good roads, environmental conservation and preservation, workplace
regulations, limitations on the use of child labor, public health and
welfare, care of the disabled, and farm loans.
d. The main catalyst for the progressive movement was growing tensions
between big business and workers (populism).
e. The Social Gospel
i. Church had become more of an upper class activity until the
next generation of protestant and catholic leaders decided that
it was their duty to help the poor, not turn their backs on them.
f. The largest and most influential womens organization was the
Womens Christian Temperance Union.
g. Muckrakers helped achieve widespread popular support for the
progressive movement.
3. Features of Progressivism
a. Democracy
i. Initiative-the power of right to introduce a new legislative
ii. Referendum-the submission of a proposed public measure or
actual statue to a direct popular vote.
iii. Recall-the procedure by which an elected official may be
removed from office by popular vote.
b. Efficiency
i. Of government
ii. In the workplace
c. Anti-trust regulation, the regulation of giant corporations.
d. Social Justice
i. Middle class women were the driving force behind the grassroots
social justice movement.
ii. The Womens Christian Temperance Union was the largest
womens group in the nation, they believed all social problems
were connected and many stemmed from the abuse of alcohol.
iii. Labor regulation was the most significant reform to emerge from
the drive for progressive social justice.





iv. The fire at Triangle Shirtwaist factory (sweatshop that killed

workers from being locked in during the fire) was a catalyst to
progressive labor reforms.
e. Religion was a crucial source of energy for progressive reformers.
Roosevelts Progressivism
a. Roosevelt was a political reformer, environmentalist, obsessive hunter,
racist, and a militaristic liberal.
b. Roosevelt was the first president to use his authority to arbitrate a
dispute between management and labor.
c. The Roosevelt administration broke up twenty five trusts.
Roosevelts Second Term
a. The Hepburn Act gave the ICC the power to set maximum freight rates
for the railroad industry.
b. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair was intended to promote socialism but
exposed the filthy conditions in Chicagos meatpacking industry and
therefore got Roosevelt to push for the pure food and drug act as well
as the Meat Inspection Act.
c. Roosevelt created fifty federal wildlife refuges, approved five new
national parks, fifty one federal bird sanctuaries, and designated
eighteen national monuments.
From Roosevelt to Taft
a. A lower tariff was Tafts first major issue once he was president.
b. Taft ended up going to the Republican Old Guard ways rather than
being progressive.
c. New Nationalism greatly resembled the populist progressivism of
William Jennings Bryan.
d. Mann Elkins Act empowered the ICC to initiate changes in railroad
freight rates.
e. 16th amendment called for a federal income tax.
f. 17th amendment called for popular election of senators.
Woodrow Wilsons Progressivism
a. Woodrow Wilson won the election of 1912. This election was significant
i. All candidates were progressives in one way or another.
ii. First to feature party primaries.
iii. Eugene V. Debs, a socialist party candidate, got 900k votes
iv. The democrats had national power for the first time since the
Civil War
v. Altered the character of the Republican Party.
b. Wilsons Reform
i. Nationally regulated banking system, The Federal Reserve Act of
1913 created regional reserve banks supervised by a central
board of directors. (Most significant domestic initiative of
Wilsons presidency.)
ii. Lower tariff but to make up for it the 16th amendment of income
iii. Was great at pushing bills, more than any previous president in
his first two years.
iv. Trust buster as well.

v. Reform that helped farmers with loans.

vi. Also made reforms for 8 hour workdays and child labor.
c. The 19th amendment granted womens suffrage.