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Chapter 21

Progressivism

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Progressivism and the Protestant
Spirit
• Progressivism strongest among middle class
Protestants
• William Jennings Bryan
• Billy Sunday
• Walter Rauschenbusch
– Social Gospel
• “Muckrakers”
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Muckrakers, Magazines, and the
Turn Toward “Realism”
• “Muckrakers"
• Ida Tarbell
• Lincoln Steffans
• George Kibbe Turner
• Muckraking reflected
– Expanded newspaper circulation
– Increased interest in “realism”

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Increased Newspaper and
Magazine Circulation

• Newspaper readership increased 8 fold 1870-1909


• McClure's Magazine
– Sam McClure
• Ladies Home Journal
• Harper’s
• The Atlantic Monthly
• More talented people attracted as more wealth is
in journalism industry
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Circulation of Daily Newspapers and Magazines, 1880-1919
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The Turn Toward “Realism”
• A way of thinking that valued detachment,
objectivity, and skepticism
– Muckrakers
• Attempts at creating truer, realistic ways to
represent and analyze American society
• Increasing interest in social, political and
economic reforms
• Progressivism centered on abuses exposed by
Muckrakers

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Settlement Houses and Women’s
Activism
• Settlement Houses:
– Established to assist poor (immigrants) with
city life
– A movement inspired mainly by young, middle
class, educated, Protestant women
– Sensitivity to social injustices
– Rebelled against relegated solely to roles of
wife and mother

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Hull House
• Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr
• Nurseries and other help to working
mothers
• Provided cultural events
• Florence Kelley
• University of Chicago Department of Social
Research: 1st school of Social Work
• Hull House widely copied, over 400
settlement houses nationwide
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The Cultural Conservatism of
Progressive Reformers
• Settlement house workers generally more
sympathetic to immigrants than others
• Uncomfortable with emerging sexual
revolution
– Mann Act
• Women's Christian Temperance Union
• Anti-Saloon League
• Ignored community role of saloons
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A Nation of Clubwomen

• Growth of local women’s clubs


• Assumed tasks of social reform
• Made traditional female concerns matters of
public policy
• Black clubwomen
• Perspectives on alcoholism and sexuality

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Socialism and Progressivism
• Socialism government operation of
economic institutions keeps wealthy elite
from controlling society
• Socialist Party of America
– Eugene V. Debs
• Appeal to Reason
• Upton Sinclair
– The Jungle (1906)

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The Many Faces of Socialism

• Diversity of Socialists
– Immigrants
– Native-born farmers and miners in the west
• IWW most radical Socialist group
• Eugene V. Debs and mainstream Socialists
• Victor Berger and Evolutionary Socialists

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Socialists and Progressives
• Progressives and Socialists both assume the state
can solve economic abuses
• Great deal of cooperation
– Progressive lawyer Clarencve Darrow defended
Socialist Big Bill Haywood
– John Dewey, Thorstein Veblen, Helen Keller dabbled
in Socialism
• Progressives frightened by Socialist talk of
revolution

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Municipal Reform

• Progressives wanted public ownership of


private monopolies providing city services
• Hazen S. Pingree
• Carter Harrison, Jr.
• Tom Johnson
• City Commission and City manager
government

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The City Commission Plan

• Galveston, Texas (1900)


• Shifted municipal power from the mayor to
5 city commissioners
• Each commissioner was responsible for a
different department of city government

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The City Manager Plan

• Sumter, South Carolina (1911)


• City Manager Plan constructed to overcome
failures or corruption of the commissioners
• Commissioners continued to set policy
• City Manager was appointed to curtail
special agendas

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The Costs of Reform

• Dissatisfaction with some municipal reforms


– Poor and minority voters felt their influence in
local affairs was weakened by the shift to city
commissioners and managers
– Citywide election diluted immigrant and working
class vote

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Political Reform in the States
• Reform in the cities spread quickly to
reform at the state level
– State government officials also experienced
corruption and incompetence
– Power of lobbyists

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Restoring Sovereignty to “The
People”
• Direct primary
• Seventeenth Amendment (1913)
– Mandated direct election of Senators
• Initiative
• Referendum
• Recall
• Campaign contribution limits

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Creating a Virtuous Electorate
• Progressive reformers worked to create
responsible electorate who
– Understood the importance of the vote
– Resisted manipulation of the electorate
• They also sought to keep the vote from citizens
considered corruptible and irresponsible
• Paradox: electorate enlarged to include women,
but harder for minorities and poor to vote

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The Australian Ballot
• Up until 1890, public voting existed
– Vulnerable to corruption, bribery, forces of
persuasion at the ballots
– One-party ballots
• 1890: Australian ballot provided for private
voting, with choices among the parties

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Personal Registration Laws
• 1890-1920: almost every state passed
these laws
• Called for voters to register and provide
proper identification
• Issues with registration
– Made it harder for poor to vote

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Disfranchisement
• Immigrants must become citizens to vote
• Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization
• literacy test
• property qualifications
• poll tax
• National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People (NAACP)
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Voter Participation in 13 Southern States, 1876, 1892, 1900, 1912

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Disillusionment with the
Electorate
• Walter Lippmann
– Drift and Mastery (1914)
• Voter participation rates fall from 79% in
1896 to 49% in 1920

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Voter Participation in Presidential Elections, 1876-1920
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Woman Suffrage
• National American Woman Suffrage Association
(NAWSA)
– Elizabeth Cady Stanton
– Susan B. Anthony
– Carrie Chapman Catt
• Western states 1st to grant women right to vote
– Women’s gentler nature to tame wild male electorate
• Progressive women suffragists little troubled by
racial discrimination
• National Women's Party
– Alice Paul
• Nineteenth Amendment (1920)
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Economic and Social Reform in
the States

• Extension of Progressive Reforms


– Limit corporate power
– Strengthen organized labor
– Offer social welfare protection

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Robert LaFollette and Wisconsin
Progressivism

• Progressivism strong in Wisconsin


• Starts as mobilization against corrupt Republicans
• Robert LaFollete
• Wisconsin Industrial Commission
– John R. Commons
• "Wisconsin idea"

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Progressive Reform in New York
• Charles Evans Hughes
• New York Factory Investigating Committee
• Middle class reformers: Lillian Ward and
Louis Brandeis
• Democrats Alfred E. Smith and Robert F.
Wagner

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A Renewed Campaign for Civil
Rights

• New generation of African American


activists called for racial equality

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The Failure of
Accommodationism

• Booker T. Washington
– “Accommodation“
• Springfield, Illinois riot (1908)
• W.E.B. DuBois

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From the Niagara Movement to
the NAACP
• W.E.B. Du Bois
– Niagara Movement
• National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People (NAACP)
– Beginning of modern Civil Rights Movement
– The Crisis
– Legal Redress Committee
• National Urban League (1911)

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National Reform
• Progressives sought to increase their influence in
national politics
• Some problems needed national solution
• Establishment of both parties leery of reformers
• National Progressive leadership emerged from the
executive branch:
– Republican Theodore Roosevelt
– Democrat Woodrow Wilson

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The Roosevelt Presidency

• Roosevelt made Vice-President to get him


out of New York state politics
• William McKinley (1897-1901)
• Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)

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Regulating the Trusts
• Trust-busting
• Northern Securities Company
– J.P. Morgan
• “New Nationalism”

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Toward a “Square Deal”
• Anthracite Coal Strike (1902)
– United Mine Workers (UMW)
– John Mitchell
– George F. Baer
– Arbitration
• Election of 1904
– "Square Deal"
– Alton B. Parker
– Roosevelt aligns Republican Party with reform

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Expanding Government Power:
The Economy
• Interstate Commerce Commission
• Hepburn Act (1906)
• Pure Food and Drug Act (1906)
• Meat Inspection Act (1906)

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Expanding Government Power:
The Environment
• Conservation
– Preservationists: John Muir and the Sierra Club
– Roosevelt: wilderness is a place to test oneself against
natural elements
– Conservationists
• Public Lands Commission (1903)
• Gifford Pinchot
– National Forest Service
• Roosevelt vs. Old Guard Republicans on
government land reserves
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Progressivism: A Movement for
the People?

• Did Roosevelt alter balance between people


and the “interests”?
• Many small competitors of big business
driven out by cost of complying with new
regulations

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The Republicans: A Divided
Party
• Panic of 1907 divided Roosevelt reformers
and Old Guard conservatives
• Roosevelt committed to overhauling the
banking system and the stock market
• Conservative Republicans felt Roosevelt
was “radical”
• Roosevelt did not seek re-election

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The Taft Presidency
• Roosevelt thought Taft an ideal successor
• Taft
– Not adept at politics
– More conservative than Roosevelt
• Election of 1908
– William Howard Taft
– William Jennings Bryan

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Taft’s Battles with Congress

• Payne-Aldrich Tariff (1909)


• “Uncle Joe” Cannon

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The Ballinger-Pinchot
Controversy

• Richard Ballinger
• Gifford Pinchot
• Ballinger questionably sold Alaskan coal
deposits
• Taft sides with Ballinger, Roosevelt sides
with Pinchot

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Roosevelt’s Return
• Roosevelt returns to politics
• "New Nationalism“ campaign, 1910
– Strong federal government:
• Stabilize the economy
• Protect the weak
• Restore social harmony
– 1910 election results show plan is popular
• Roosevelt challenges Taft for Republican
nomination
– Denied nomination by Old Guard Republicans
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The Bull Moose Campaign
• Progressive Party
– “Bull Moosers”
• Hiram W. Johnson

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The Rise of Woodrow Wilson
• Academic career
• Congressional Government (1885)
• President of Princeton (1902)
• Governor of New Jersey (1910)
• Anti-Bryan wing of Democratic party
• Social consequences of unregulated
Capitalism were repugnant to Christainity
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The Election of 1912

• Champ Clark vs. Woodrow Wilson


• 3 Reform candidates vs. Taft
– Roosevelt, Wilson, and Eugene Debs
• “New Freedom”
• 3 Reform candidates win 75% of vote

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The Wilson Presidency
• Surrounded by talented cabinet officers
• His “image”:
– Firmly in charge of his party
– Faithful to the people

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Tariff Reform and a Progressive
Income Tax

• Underwood-Simmons Tariff (1913)


• Sixteenth Amendment (1913)
– Right of government to impose income tax

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The Federal Reserve Act
• Politicians agreed on need to overhaul the nation’s
financial system, disagreed over how
• Federal Reserve Act
– Established 12 regional banks, controlled by private
banks in the region
– All private banks required to deposit average 6% of
assets in the regional Federal Reserve bank
– Reserve was used to make loans to member banks and
issue paper currency
– Shore up member banks in distress
• Federal Reserve Board

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From the New Freedom to the
New Nationalism
• Federal Trade Commission Act (1914)
– Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
• Clayton Anti-trust Act
• Allows discrimination in some federal offices
• Kern-McGillicuddy Act (1916)
• Keating-Owen Act (1916)
• Adamson Act (1916)
• Wilson transforms nation’s reform impulse and
agenda to Democrats

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Conclusion

• Progressives’ accomplishments
– American concerns with liberty and democracy
could be adapted to an industrialized age
• Suffragism
• Environmental protection
• Transformation of the Presidency
• Accompanying Dangers: bureaucratic elite

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