Introduction to American Studies Progressivism Progressive Movement • Social, political and cultural reform movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries • Social reform led by figures such as Jane Addams – Included issues such as Temperance • 18th (1919) and 21st (1933) amendments • Muckraking journalists and authors – Bring about change through writing in newspapers and mass circulation magazines such as: – The Arena, Colliers, Cosmopolitan, Everybody’s, The Independent, and McClures – Important authors include Lincoln Steffens, Ida Tarbell, David Graham Phillips, Ray Stannard Baker, T.W. Lawson, Mark Sullivan, and Samuel Hopkins Adams • Political Reform – The closer politics are directly to the people, the better • Urban renewal and the environment – The City Beautiful Movement Jane Addams • Founded and managed the settlement house called Hull House. • Hull House was founded in 1889 in the slums of Chicago. • A settlement house was a means to mitigate the harsh conditions of poverty found in the cities. – The house would be staffed by trained social workers who also lived in the house. – These workers would do whatever they could to help their neighbors. – They would educate them through lectures and providing books, they would care for the children, they would honor and care for the elderly. – They pushed for legislative reforms like child labor laws and clean streets. – They did what they could to facilitate the integration of immigrants into the United States. – And above all they provided a place for people to get together just to socialize. • No direct financial support Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) • The Jungle (1906) had spurred reform of U.S. meat inspection laws and promoted passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act. • The Jungle was only the first of several “muckraking” novels written by Sinclair. – Theodore Roosevelt is credited with first applying the word “muckraker” to social reformers like Sinclair. • Other Sinclair works in the genre are: – – – – – Oil! King Coal Boston (dealing with the Sacco-Vanzetti trial) The Brass Check (dealing with “the prostitution of the press”) The Profits of Religion, a non-fiction work, attacked aspects of organized religion. Political Reform Women’s suffrage • Rose out of the abolition movement • Lead by figures such as: – Sojourner Truth (c. 1797-1883) • Born a slave Isabella Baumfree in about 1797 in New York • “Ain’t I a woman” speech delivered at a women’s rights convention in Ohio in 1851 – Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) • Arrested in 1872 for trying to vote in Albany, New York – Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) – Carrie Chapman Catt (1859-1947) • • 1869: Wyoming territory is organized with a provision for women’s suffrage. Wyoming becomes a state in 1890. 1878: Woman’s suffrage amendment is introduced in Congress – Identical in wording to amendment that would finally pass in 1919 • • • 1893: Colorado becomes first state to adopt an amendment enfranchising women By 1918 a number of states, primarily in the West had approved some form of women’s suffrage 1919: The 19th Amendment passes Congress and in 1920 is ratified by the states. Ain’t I a woman (a contemporary account) Several ministers attended the second day of the Woman's Rights Convention, and were not shy in voicing their opinion of man’s superiority over women. One claimed "superior intellect", one spoke of the "manhood of Christ," and still another referred to the “sin of our first mother. "Suddenly, Sojourner Truth rose from her seat in the corner of the church. "For God's sake, Mrs. Gage, don't let her speak!" half a dozen women whispered loudly, fearing that their cause would be mixed up with Abolition. Sojourner walked to the podium and slowly took off her sunbonnet. Her six-foot frame towered over the audience. She began to speak in her deep, resonant voice: "Well, children, where there is so much racket, there must be something out of kilter, I think between the Negroes of the South and the women of the North - all talking about rights - the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this talking about?" Sojourner pointed to one of the ministers. "That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody helps me any best place. And ain't I a woman?" Sojourner raised herself to her full height. "Look at me! Look at my arm." She bared her right arm and flexed her powerful muscles. "I have plowed, I have planted and I have gathered into barns. And no man could head me. And ain't I a woman?" "I could work as much, and eat as much as man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne children and seen most of them sold into slavery, and when I cried out with a mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me. And ain't I a woman?" The women in the audience began to cheer wildly. She pointed to another minister. "He talks about this thing in the head. What's that they call it?" "Intellect," whispered a woman nearby. "That's it, honey. What's intellect got to do with women's rights or black folks' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little halfmeasure full?" "That little man in black there! He says women can't have as much rights as men. ‘Cause Christ wasn't a woman. She stood with outstretched arms and eyes of fire. "Where did your Christ come from?“ "Where did your Christ come from?", she thundered again. "From God and a Woman! Man had nothing to do with him!“ The entire church now roared with deafening applause. "If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right-side up again. And now that they are asking to do it the men better let them." Other political reform • Direct election of senators (the 17th amendment) passed in 1913 • Non-partisan local elections • Referendums, propositions, recall elections – Designed to give more power directly to the people – Collect enough signatures and the proposition must be voted on. • Professional city managers The Environment • Establishment of National Parks – Yellowstone N.P. 1872 – Yosemite N.P. 1890 • John Muir (1838-1914) – Wrote on preserving nature, in particular the Sierra Nevada Mountains. His writings led to the establishment of Yosemite N.P. • Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946) – Served under Theodore Roosevelt as director of the U.S. Forest Service (1905) which was given responsibility for the National Forests – With Roosevelt developed the term “conservation” • http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/collections/conse rv/file.html THE success of the conservation movement in the United States depends in the end on the understanding the women have of it. No forward step in this whole campaign has been more deeply appreciated or more welcomed than that which the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and other organizations of women have taken in appointing conservation committees. Patriotism is the key to the success of any nation, and patriotism first strikes its roots in the mind of the child. Patriotism which does not begin in early years may, enough it does not always, fail under the severest trials. I say "not always," for many men and women have proved their patriotic devotion to this country although they were born elsewhere. Yet, as a rule, it must begin with the children. And almost without exception it is the mother who plants patriotism in the mind of the child. It is her duty. The growth of patriotism is first of all in the hands of the women of any nation. In the last analysis it is the mothers of a nation who direct that nation's destiny. . . . Women should recognize, if this task is to be carried out, one great truth above all others. That this Nation exists for its people, we all admit; but that the natural resources of the Nation exist not for any small group, not for any individual, but for all the people-in other words, that the natural resources of the Nation belong to all the people-that is a truth the whole meaning of which is just beginning to dawn on us. There is no form of monopoly which exists or ever has existed on any large scale which was not based more or less directly upon the control of natural resources. There is no form of monopoly that has ever existed or can exist which can do harm if the people understand that the natural resources belong to the people of the Nation, and exercise that understanding, as they have the power to do. . . . Time and again, then, the women have made it perfectly clear what they can do in this work. Obviously the first point of attack is the stopping of waste. Women alone can bring to the school children the idea of the wickedness of national waste and the value of public saving. The issue is moral one; and women are the first teachers of right and wrong. It is a question of seeing what loyalty to the public welfare demands of us, and then of caring enough for the public welfare not to set personal advantage first. It is a question of inspiring our future citizens while they are boys and girls with the spirit of true patriotism as against the spirit of rank selfishness, the anti-social spirit of the man who declines to take into account any other interest than his own; those one aim and ideal is personal success. Women both in public and at home, by putting the men know what they think, and by putting it before the children, can make familiar the idea of conservation, and support us with a convincingness that nobody else can approach.