Progressive Era

Progressive Era
Age of Reform
The Gilded Age: Boom and Bust, 1870-1910”
 Boom and Bust: The
unregulated, “laissez-faire”
economy led to distortions in
distribution of wealth
 Eventually, the economic
rollercoaster ride caused
business, banking, labor, and
government to create
agencies to regulate industry,
reform monetary policy, and
generally rationalize the
Labor Movement
 As mass production
increased and industry
raised America’s standard
of living in late 1800’s, it
also created
Workers worked 10-12 hour days, 6
days a week.
Many lost jobs if business was slow or
were replaced by immigrants who
worked for less pay.
Factories and mines were noisy,
unhealthy, and unsafe. (sweatshops)
Women made half of what men
earned (no law regulating salaries)
Child Labor – employers ignored child
labor laws – but said children had to
be at least 12 and could not work
longer than 10 hour days.
Workers Organize
 Labor Unions
 Groups of dissatisfied workers
who demand better pay and
safer working conditions.
 Used Strikes – work stoppages
 Most were failures and could
result in violence or death.
 Most were failures and could
result in violence or death.
 Scabs were especially targeted
 Police, militia, or Federal troops
sent in to stop riots and strikes.
 Haymarket Strike
 Chicago (8 hour workday)
 Dynamite bomb went off and
ensuing gunfire killed 11
 Homestead Strike
 Pennsylvania (Steel) (wages)
 Pinkerton’s sent in
 Pullman Railway Car Plant
 Chicago (wages)
 Led to Labor Day becoming a
National Holiday
Women Organize as well
 Women formed own unions
because not allowed in men’s.
 ILGWU – International Ladies’
Garment Workers Union:
 Result of Triangle ShirtWaist
Fire where 150 workers died in
 Why?
 Because doors where locked
by owners so workers could
not leave early.
Farmers Organize
 Farmer Alliance
 Supply of crops grew
faster than demand for
 Expenses for
manufactured goods
remained high.
 Blamed RR, eastern
manufactures, and banks
• New inventions and more efficient
techniques are introduced
• A lack of competition exists among
• Money is in short supply
Prices of farm products decline
Farmers earnings decrease
Farmers are unable to pay back loans
Banks lend money to fewer farmers
Farmers head to cities to find jobs.
 Political movement uniting
Farmers and Labor.
 Supported the common people
 They called for legal protection
for industrial workers.
 Nationalization of railroads.
 Direct election of U.S.
 Government control of
telephone and telegraph
 Populists in Congress passed the
Interstate Commerce Act, which
created an agency to regulate
interstate trade (railroads.)
 The Sherman Anti-Trust Act, banning
 Fusion Alliance in NC:
 Populists unable to break Democrats
hold on the state.
 Combined or “fused” efforts with
Republicans and swept the elections.
 provided money for charity and
prison, regulated interest rates,
increased spending on education, and
returned African Americans to full
political participation
 The Progressive Era marked the
coming together of various
reform movements designed to:
 Increase democratic
 To clean up government
 To increase the standard of living
of the poor
 To improve industrial output and
working conditions
 To make the U.S. a more moral
and healthful nation.
 Wilmington Race Riot shapes NC’s
Democrats regain control of the State
and promise return of “White
 Group of 400 whites burn down the
office of Alexander Manly, an editor for
an AA newspaper.
A riot broke out and 11 AA were killed
and dozens were wounded.
Over next 2 days many AA fled city and
whites took over city official jobs.
 Because of this event NC felt there could
be no reform without the separation of
the races and the removal of AA from the
political process.
AA lost ground in the fight for equality.
Progressive President
 Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt
 Famous “Rough Rider” from Battle of San Juan Hill (Cuba)
during Spanish-American War in 1898
 POTUS after McKinley is assassinated.
 Known as the “trustbuster” because broke apart 25 trusts
and fought for increased regulation of businesses.
 “Square Deal” – equal treatment for all was domestic
 “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick” – foreign policy in
Fighting Corruption
 In the late 1800s, many people called
for reform because they felt that
government and big business were
not serving the best interests of the
American people.
 Powerful organizations linked to
political parties, called political
machines, controlled local
government in many cities.
 The machines were controlled by
political bosses who gained power
by doing favors for people in return
for votes for their political party.
Fighting Corruption
 William M. Tweed of New York City,
called “Boss Tweed,” was one of the
most corrupt politicians.
 Tweed’s ring of corruption
controlled the police, the courts, and
many newspapers.
 The ring collected millions of dollars
in illegal payments.
 Cartoonist Thomas Nast exposed
the corruption of the Tweed ring in
his political cartoons.
 Tweed was convicted and sentenced
to prison.
Progressive Reforms
 Journalists called muckrakers
exposed corruption and
 Jacob Riss exposed urban
poverty and health issues
with “How the Other Half
 Upton Sinclair described the
horrible conditions in the
meatpacking industry in his
book “The Jungle”
 Led to Meat Inspection Act
and Pure Food and Drug Act
Women’s Suffrage
 The women’s fight for the suffrage began
at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.
Organized by Lucretia Mott and
Elizabeth Candy Stanton.
Susan B Anthony also played an
important role in women’s suffrage
 Wyoming became the first state to grant
women the vote, in 1869.
 After the U.S. entered the World War I in
1917, the fact that more women were
now working in war industries finally
tipped the balance.
In 1918, Congress passed the 19th
Amendment and in 1920 women finally
got the vote nationwide
Temperance Movement
 Prohibition
 Contributed to rise of
organized crime.
 Gangsters realized they
could make a great deal of
money selling alcohol
 Used the millions they made
to influence Gov., business,
and labor unions.
 Campaign against alcohol use.
 Succeeded in 1919 with the 18th
 Successful in South and Midwest
but little support in cities.
 Speakeasy – illegal bar
 Banned transportation,
manufacture, and sale of
 Viewed as a failure – 21st
Amendment repealed 18th
Amendment in 1933