Progressivism: What we’re still stuck in


S illy                             Socialism (anti)

P urple                        Political machines (anti)

T urkeys                    Trusts (anti)

Can’t                             Child Labor (anti)

C hase                           Conservation

V ery                            Voting reform

W hite                           Working/living conditions

C hickens                    Consumer protection

W hile                           Women’s suffrage

Fighting                       Federal Reserve System

P ink                              Prohibition of Alcohol

I guanas                      Income Tax (progressive/graduated)

    • “Antimonopoly”
    • Faith in knowledge
    • Social cohesion
  • Similarities and differences compared to Populists
    • Populists are rural (often poor); Progressives are middle to upper-middle class
    • Populists desire gov’t ownership of railroads and banks; Progressives see this as “socialist”
    • Populists desire inflationary money policies; Progressives see this as irresponsible
  • Progressives are predominantly middle class to lower-upper-class WASPs
  • Progressives sought to restore America to earlier period of less monopoly, increase efficiency of gov’t, and stem the tide of socialism
  • Progressive social activists sought eliminate child labor, improve working conditions for women and men, gain female suffrage
    • Jane Addams and Lillian Wald: Settlement House Movement
    • Florence Kelley: campaigned against child labor, female exploitation, and consumer protection
  • Progressive analysts in universities believed society can be improved scientifically: Lester Ward, Richard Ely, Charles Beard, John Dewey
  • Socialists were reformers but not progressives
    • Eugene Debs led Socialist party; gained 6% of popular vote in 1912
    • Some labor unions representing unskilled workers looked for socialist solutions: gov’t control of railroads and banks
    • Radical socialists like IWW (“Wobblies”) used violence and sabotage; eventually targeted by gov’t during WWI under Espionage Act; many arrested, some deported;
      • Compromised integrity of more moderate socialist movement
  • Palmer Raids in 1919-20 cracked down on communists, socialists and anarchists
  • Muckrakers after 1900
  • Magazines: McClure’s, Cosmopolitan, Collier’s, Everybody’s
    • Lincoln Steffens — Shame of the Cities (1902): detailed corrupt alliance between big business and municipal gov’t
    • Ida M. Tarbell — published devastating expose on Standard Oil Co.
      • Detailed Rockefeller’s ruthless tactics to crush competition (including her own father)
      • Standard Oil trust was broken up as result in 1911
    • Upton Sinclair — The Jungle (1906): graphic depictions of the unsanitary conditions in the packing plant sparked a reaction to the meat industry and led to eventual regulation under TR.
    • David G. Phillips — “The Treason of the State”,: Charged that 75 of 90 senators did not represent the people but rather the trusts and the railroads. Caused TR to label him and others “muckrakers”
    • John Spargo — The Bitter Cry of the Children (1906): Exposed the abuses of child labor
    • Ray Stannard Baker — Following the Color Line (1908): Attacked the subjugation of America’s 9 million blacks, & their illiteracy
    • Frank Norris — The Octopus (1901) and The Pit (1903): Saga of the stranglehold of the railroad and corrupt politicians on California wheat ranchers.
    • Theodore Dreisler: The Financier (1912) and The Titan (1914): Pessimistic novels focused on the economic hardships faced by the poorest and most exploited Americans.

·        Many Populist programs do carry forward and ultimately embraced by Progressives: railroad legislation (1903 % 1906), income-tax (1912), expanded currency and credit structure (1913 &  1916), direct election of Senators (1913), initiative, referendum and recall, postal savings banks (1916), subtreasury plan (1916)

****Progressive Movement: predominantly middle to lower-upper-class WASPs

Progressive analysts believe society can be improved scientifically: Lester Ward, Richard Ely,

Charles Beard. John Dewey

anti-Political machines:

Galveston, TX—commission system & city manager system; Australian ballot; LaFollette’s “Wisconsin Experiment”: initiative, referendum, recall direct election of senators (17th Amendment); direct primary

anti-Trusts: Anthracite Coal Strike, 1902; Bureau of Labor and Commerce, Northern

Securities case, 1902; Standard Oil case, Hepburn Act (1906); Clayton Anti-Trust Act (1914); Underwood Tariff Bill (1913), Federal Trade Commission (1914)

Living conditions: Settlement Houses (Jane Addams, Lillian Wald);

Women’s suffrage: 19th Amendment; Carrie Chapman Catt, Alice Paul; Jeannette Rankin

Prohibition of Alcohol: Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Francis Willard; Anti-Saloon

League; WWI; 18th Amendment; Volstead Act (1920)

Labor reform: Muller v. Oregon, 1908; child labor laws in states were Progressive’s greatest triumph; Workingmen’s Compensation Act (1916); Adamson Act (1916)

Consumer protection: Meat Inspection Act, 1906; Pure Food and Drug Act, 1906

Conservation: Newlands Reclamation Act, 1902; national parks; Bureau of Mines

Economic Reform: Federal Reserve Act (1913); Federal Highway Act (1916)

Education: John Dewey, “Learning by doing”

Health: Rockefeller Foundation eradicates ringworm

Robert La Follette’s “Wisconsin Experiment”    — “DIG CID”

            Direct election of Senators; Initiative, referendum, recall; Gov’t regulation of public utilities;

Civil service reform; Income tax; Direct primary

(“New Nationalism”) Theodore Roosevelt: 3 “Cs” –

Control of Corporations: Anthracite Coal Strike (1902), Northern Securities Co. (1902) Dept. of Commerce and Labor; Bureau of Corporations

Consumer Protection: Meat Inspection Act, 1906; Pure Food and Drug Act, 1906

Conservation: Newlands Reclamation Act, 1902; national parks

(“New Freedom”) Woodrow Wilson: 3 “Ts” – anti Tariffs, Tbank monopoly, and Trusts

CUFF”: Clayton Antitrust Act, Underwood Tariff, Federal Reserve Act, Federal Trade Commission

[Move onto Imperialist America ==>]


2 responses to “Progressivism: What we’re still stuck in

  1. Pingback: Map of the US History Guide | Surviving High School: A Hypocrat in a Perpetual State of Procrastination·

  2. Pingback: The Populists | Surviving High School: A Hypocrat in a Perpetual State of Procrastination·

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