Progressive Era Notes

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CHAPTER 28 THE
PROGRESSIVE ERA
AMERICA SEEKS
REFORMS IN THE
EARLY 20TH
CENTURY
1890-1920
ORIGINS OF PROGRESSIVISM
The Progressives had their roots in the
Greenback Labor Party of the 1870s
and 1880s, the Populist Party of the
1890s and the Social Gospel.
Though the Populists failed at supplanting
one of the major political parties, their
legacy lived on in the growth of the
Progressives
PURPOSE OF
PROGRESSIVISM
The strong progressive
movement demanded that
the powers of government be
applied to solving the
political, economic and social
problems of industrialization.
FOUR GOALS OF REFORMERS
• 1) Protect Social
Welfare
• 2) Promote Moral
Improvement
• 3) Create Economic
Reform/Foster
Efficiency
• 4) Reform
Government
1.PROTECT SOCIAL & MORAL
WELFARE
• Saloons became
seen as a vice
instead of a social
place
• Carrie Nation was
a leader of the
Temperance
Movement
• Some reformers felt
that the answer to
societies problems
was personal
behavior
• They proposed such
reforms as prohibition
• Groups wishing to
ban alcohol included
the Woman’s
Christian Temperance
Union (WCTU)
3. CREATE ECONOMIC REFORM
Fear of the Power of Monopolies
• The Panic of 1893 prompted
some Americans to question
the capitalist economic
system
• As a result some workers
embraced socialism
(Communal ownership of
universal goods and
services)
• Eugene Debs organized the
American Socialist Party in
1901
Debs encouraged workers to reject
American Capitalism
MUCKRAKERS CRITICIZE BIG
BUSINESS
Ida
Tarbell
Some view
Michael
Moore as a
modern
muckraker
• Though most progressives
did not embrace socialism,
many writers saw the truth in
Debs’ criticism
• Journalists known as
“Muckrakers” exposed
corruption in business
• make society efficient, not
reject capitalism
• Ida Tarbell exposed
Standard Oil Company’s
cut-throat methods of
eliminating competition
FOSTERING EFFICIENCY
• Many Progressive
leaders put their faith in
scientific principles to
make society better
• In Industry, Frederick
Taylor began using time
& motion studies to
improve factory
efficiency
• Taylorism became an
Industry fad as factories
sought to complete each
task quickly
REGULATING BIG BUSINESS
• Under the
progressive
Republican
leadership of
Robert La Follette,
Wisconsin led the
way in regulating
big business
• Direct Taxes
on
Corporations
• Regulated
railroads
PROTECTING
WORKING
CHILDREN
• Keating-Owen Act - As the
number of child workers
rose, reformers worked to
end child labor
• Children were more prone to
accidents caused by fatigue
• Nearly every state limited or
banned child labor by 1918
EFFORTS TO LIMIT HOURS
• Progressives succeeded
in winning worker’s
compensation to aid
families of injured
workers
• The Supreme Court
and the states
enacted or
strengthened laws
reducing women’s
hours of work
4. CLEANING UP LOCAL
GOVERNMENT
• Efforts at reforming
local government
stemmed from the desire
to make government
more efficient and
responsive to citizens
• Some believe it also was
meant to limit immigrants
influence in local
governments
Progressivism first gained
strength at the city and state level
• Urban issues
become center of
reform
• City is perceived
as a social
menace full of
disorder
• Overcrowded,
pollution, illness,
poor sanitation
• Immigrants settle
in core of city
while the rich
move out to the
suburbs
Pendleton Civil Service Act
An early Progressive
action passed in
order to take
corruption from
patronage out of
government and
promote efficiency
Honest Graft and Dishonest Graft:
Problems in the City
• Cities are not organized
well to handle the new
issues facing the
modern cities
• Early solution was the
Boss system (Boss
Tweed, Plunkett, etc.)
that had begun in
establishing political
machines in response
to the earlier influx of
immigration of the
1840s
• Early public welfare
system - If you lose
your job and place to
live, you go to the Boss
for help – in return you
vote for whomever the
Boss tells you to vote
• Widespread fraud and
inefficiency
• Someone can rise from
humble origins to
powerful positions, but
often through graft and
bribery
Strengthening the government because
they can do it more efficiently
• Detroit – Mayor Pingrey
changes the way
contracts are awarded
• Instead of bribe and
patronage established a
bid system
• Puts them in a place
where they will be
decided for the common
good
• Takes it out of politics
•
•
•
•
•
Ex. Utility rates, studies and
discovers Detroit pays more
compared to other cities
Bargains with utility companies
(monopoly) for lower rates
When they won’t he starts a
public utility to fund at lower
rates
Ex. Does this with streetcars as
well, as advocate for the people
of the city, he wants a $.03 cent
rate – takes over street cars
Eventually, Street Car
companies gave in
Appointing of city managers begins or commissioners to run different aspects, takes
away power from the concentration in a boss.
Tenement Housing
Jacob Riis, a
photographer
Documented life
of the lower class
in the cities in his
book How the
Other Half Lives
Don’t stop & restrict immigration …
• Employers felt little
responsibility toward their
workers, especially
immigrants
• As a result Settlement
homes, like Jane Addams’
Hull House, and churches
served the community
• Also the YMCA and
Salvation Army took on
service roles
Instead find a better way to assimilate
immigrants into our society.
Election
Reform
• Citizens fought for,
and won, such
measures as secret
ballots, referendum
votes (legislative acts
could be approved by
people), and the recall
(removal of a public
official, often deemed
corrupt,from office by
a vote of the people )
• Citizens could petition
and get initiatives on
the ballot
“Fighting”
Robert La
Follette
• Direct Primary –
voters vote directly on
candidate for the
political party
• Makes government
power more
responsive to the
people
Accidents Prompt
Reform:
The Triangle Shirtwaist
Factory Fire
Prompts NY
to pass labor
law reforms:
safety
standards,
inspectors
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