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Reformers and Progressives

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									Reformers and
        American History
Unit II – Becoming a World Power
Chapter 6 Section 1- Progressivism
                         The Main Idea
Progressives focused on three areas of reform: easing the suffering of
  the urban poor, improving unfair and dangerous working conditions,
  and reforming government at the national, state, and local levels.

                         Reading Focus
• What issues did Progressives focus on, and what helped energize
  their causes?
• How did Progressives try to reform society?
• How did Progressives fight to reform the workplace?
• How did Progressives reform government at the national, state, and
  local levels?
      Name applied to American journalists, novelists, and
critics who in the first decade of the 20th cent. attempted
to expose the abuses of business and the corruption in
    The term derives from the word muckrake used by
President Theodore Roosevelt in a speech in 1906, in
which he agreed with many of the charges of the
muckrakers but asserted that some of their methods were
sensational and irresponsible.
     The muckraking movement lost support in about
1912. Historians agree that if it had not been for the
revelations of the muckrakers the Progressive movement
would not have received the popular support needed for
effective reform.
Who were the reformers?
What did they want?

Mostly middle class people (Roosevelt called
 them Muckrakers) concerned with social
 issues of the times. Issues such as;
     immigrants - oldcomers and newcomers
     city life- poor and needy, and prohibition
     crime and corruption
     strikes, Workman’s compensation, minimum wage
     Political bosses
     city/state governments- direct democracy, tax laws
     Giant business corporations
     Women’s Suffrage
     Child Labor
Progressivism and Its Champions
• Industrialization helped many but also created dangerous working
  environments and unhealthy living conditions for the urban poor.
• Progressivism, a wide-ranging reform movement targeting these
  problems, began in the late 19th century.
• Journalists called muckrakers and urban photographers exposed
  people to the plight of the unfortunate in hopes of sparking reform.

      Jacob Riis               Ida Tarbell           Lincoln Steffens
                           • Exposed the            • Shame of the
• Danish immigrant
  who faced New York         corrupt Standard         Cities (1904)
  poverty                    Oil Company and          exposed corrupt
                             its owner, John D.       city governments
• Exposed the slums
  through magazines,
                           • Appealed to               Frank Norris
  photographs, and a
  best-selling book          middle class           • Exposed railroad
                             scared by large          monopolies in a
• His fame helped                                     1901 novel
                             business power
  spark city reforms.
                                   •   Miss Ida Tarbell had been at work for years on
                                       her history of the Standard Oil Company, and it
                                       began to run in McClure's in November 1902.
                                   •   Lincoln Steffen's first novel on municipal
                                       corruption, "Tweed Days in St. Louis" appeared in
                                       McClure's Oct 1902.
                 Lincoln Steffen
Ida Tarbell                        •   Henry Demerest Lloyd's Wealth Against
                                       Commonwealth, published in 1894, attacked the
                                       Standard Oil Company.
                                   •   How the Other Half Lives, published in 1890 by
                                       Jacob Riis, exposed life in New York's slums.
                                   •   John Spargo, an Englishman, published The Bitter
                                       Cry of the Children, an account of young kids at
                                       work in sweatshops.
Upton Sinclair
                                   •   Perhaps the most famous Muckraking novel, The
                                       Jungle by Upton Sinclair, exposed the horrors of
                                       the Chicago meat-packing plants and the
                 Jacob Riis
                                       immigrants who were worked to death in them.
Reforming Society
• Growing cities couldn’t provide people necessary services
  like garbage collection, safe housing, and police and fire
• Reformers, many of whom were women like activist Lillian
  Wald, saw this as an opportunity to expand public health
• Progressives scored an early victory in New York State with
  the passage of the Tenement Act of 1901, which forced
  landlords to install lighting in public hallways and to provide
  at least one toilet for every two families, which helped
  outhouses become obsolete in New York slums.
• These simple steps helped impoverished New Yorkers, and
  within 15 years the death rate in New York dropped
• Reformers in other states used New York law as a model for
  their own proposals.
Fighting for Civil Rights
Progressives fought prejudice in society by forming
various reform groups.

                 NAACP                                       ADL
 • National Association for the              • Anti-Defamation League
   Advancement of Colored People
                                             • Formed by Sigmund Livingston, a
 • Formed in 1909 by a multiracial group       Jewish man in Chicago, in 1913
   of activists to fight for the rights of
   African Americans                         • Fought anti-Semitism, or prejudice
                                               against Jews, which was common
 • 1913: Protested the official                in America
   introduction of segregation in federal
   government                                • Fought to stop negative
                                               stereotypes of Jews in media
 • 1915: Protested the D. W. Griffith film
   Birth of a Nation because of hostile      • The publisher of the New York
   African American stereotypes, which         Times was a member and helped
   led to the film’s banning in eight          stop negative references to Jews
Reforming the Workplace
• By the late 19th century, labor unions fought for adult male
  workers but didn’t advocate enough for women and children.
• In 1893, Florence Kelley helped push the Illinois legislature to
  prohibit child labor and to limit women’s working hours.
• In 1904, Kelley helped organize the National Child Labor
  Committee, which wanted state legislatures to ban child labor.
• By 1912, nearly 40 states passed child-labor laws, but states didn’t
  strictly enforce the laws and many children still worked.
• Progressives, mounting state campaigns to limit workdays for
  women, were successful in states including Oregon and Utah.
• But since most workers were still underpaid and living in poverty,
  an alliance of labor unions and progressives fought for a minimum
  wage, which Congress didn’t adopt until 1938.
• Businesses fought labor laws in the Supreme Court, which ruled on
  several cases in the early 1900s concerning workday length.
    Labor Law in the Supreme Court
Lochner v. New York          Muller v. Oregon       Bunting v. Oregon
•   1905: The Court          • The Court upheld a   • Brandeis’ case, or
    refused to uphold a        state law              the Brandeis brief,
    law limiting bakers to     establishing a 10-     as his defense was
                                                      called, became a
    a 10-hour workday.         hour workday for
                                                      model for similar
                               women in laundries     cases.
•   The Court said it
                               and factories.
    denied workers the                              • Using the tactics of
    right to make            • Louis D. Brandeis      its case for
    contracts with their       was the attorney       women, in Bunting
    employers.                 for the state of       v. Oregon the state
                               Oregon and a           led the Court to
•   This was a blow to                                uphold a law that
                               future Supreme
    progressives, as the                              extended the
                               Court Justice.
    Court sided with                                  protection of a 10-
    business owners.         • He argued that         hour workday to
                               evidence proved        men working in
                               long hours harmed      mills and factories.
                               women’s health.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Company
  In 1911, a gruesome disaster in New York inspired progressives to
  fight for safety in the workplace.
• About 500 women worked for the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, a
  high-rise building sweatshop that made women’s blouses.
• Just as they were ending their six-day workweek, a small fire broke
  out, which quickly spread to three floors.
• Escape was nearly impossible, as doors were locked to prevent
  theft, the flimsy fire escape broke under pressure, and the fire was
  too high for fire truck ladders to reach.
• More than 140 women and men died in the fire, marking a turning
  point for labor and reform movements.
• With the efforts of Union organizer Rose Schneiderman and others,
  New York State passed the toughest fire-safety laws in the nation,
  as well as factory inspection and sanitation laws.
• New York laws became a model for workplace safety nationwide.
 The Unions
• In 1900, the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union organized
  unskilled workers.
• In 1909, the ILGWU called a general strike known as the Uprising of
• Strikers won a shorter workweek and higher wages and attracted
  thousands of workers to the union.

• In 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World formed to oppose
  capitalism, organizing unskilled workers that the American
  Federation of Labor ignored.
• Under William “Big Bill” Haywood, the IWW, known as Wobblies,
  used traditional tactics like strikes and boycotts but also engaged in
  radical tactics like industrial sabotage.
• By 1912, the IWW led 23,000 textile workers to strike in
  Massachusetts to protest pay cuts, which ended successfully after
  six weeks.
• However, several IWW strikes were failures, and, fearing the IWW’s
  revolutionary goals, the government cracked down on the
  organization, causing dispute among its leaders and leading to its
  decline a few years later.
Reforming Government
          City Government                           State Government
• Reforming government meant winning      • Progressive governor Robert La
  control of it:                            Follette created the Wisconsin Ideas,
    – Tom Johnson of Cleveland was a        which wanted:
      successful reform mayor who set          – Direct primary elections; limited
      new rules for police, released
      debtors from prison, and                   campaign spending
      supported a fairer tax system.           – Commissions to regulate
• Progressives promoted new government           railroads and oversee
  structures:                                    transportation, civil service, and
    – Texas set up a five-member                 taxation
      committee to govern Galveston       • Other governors pushed for reform,
      after a hurricane, and by 1918,       but some were corrupt:
      500 cities adopted this plan.
    – The city manager model had a             – New York’s Charles Evan Hughes
      professional administrator, not a          regulated insurance companies.
      politician, manage the                   – Mississippi’s James Vardaman
      government.                                exploited prejudice to gain
Election Reforms
• Progressives wanted fairer elections and to make politicians more
  accountable to voters.
    – Proposed a direct primary, or an election in which voters
      choose candidates to run in a general election, which most
      states adopted.
    – Backed the Seventeenth Amendment, which gave voters, not
      state legislatures, the power to elect their U.S. senators.
• Some measures Progressives fought for include

 Direct primary: voters        17th Amendment: voters     secret ballot: people
 select a party’s              elect their senators       vote privately without
 candidate for public          directly                   fear of coercion

 initiative: allows citizens   referendum: allows         recall: allows voters to
 to propose new laws           citizens to vote on a      remove an elected
                               proposed or existing law   official from office
Reforming Government
• City Government reforms
   – New rules for police, releasing debtors from prison and
     a fairer tax system.
   – 5 member commission system
   – Council-manager model

• State government reforms
• Election reforms
   – Seventeenth Amendment
   – Initiative, referendum and recall.
  National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People
                 On February 12th The National Association
           for the Advancement of Colored People was
           founded by a multiracial group of activists, who
           answered "The Call." They initially called
           themselves the National Negro Committee.
           Organized to end discrimination and to prevent
           violence against blacks, especially lynching.

                 Ida Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. DuBois, Henry
           Moscowitz, Mary White Ovington, Oswald
           Garrison Villiard, William English Walling and led
           the "Call" to renew the struggle for civil and
           political liberty.
     •   The NAACP started its own
         magazine, Crisis in
         November, 1910
     •   NAACP campaigned,
         especially in the Supreme
         Court against lynching,
         segregation and racial
         discrimination in housing,
         education, employment,
         voting and transportation.
     •   NAACP also fought for
         Women’s Suffrage.
    City Government
               Commission Plan
 Replaced the mayor and council with a
 small board of commissioners, each
 elected at large and each responsible for
 a single area of municipal administration.
Under the new plan voters could easily
 identify and punish those responsible for
 shortcomings in city services.
     City Government
                 City Manager scheme
 Under this plan an elected city council determined
  basic policy and appointed a professional,
  nonpartisan city manager who was in charge of the
  day-to-day operation of the municipality. Worked
  well in small cities.
 Critics of corruption urged adoption of nonpartisan
  elections, new methods of municipal accounting, a
  civil service system for city employees, and state
  constitutional amendments to halt state legislative
  interference in municipal affairs.
                    Child Labor
                          The rise of child labor in the
                           United States began in the late
                           seventeen and early eighteen
                           hundreds. Industrialization
                           was a strong force in
                           increasing the number of
                           working children.
                          By nineteen hundred more
                           than two million U.S. children
                           worked. Children worked in
                           factories, mines, fields and in
                           the streets. They picked
                           cotton, shined shoes, sold
                           newspapers, canned fish, made
Sadie Pfeifer, 48          clothes and wove fabric.
inches high. Has
worked half a
                           Children were forced into this
year.                      situation in order to help
                           support their families.
                             Child Labor
                                                       Working conditions were often
                                                        horrendous. Children would
                                                        work twelve hours a day, six
                                                        days a week throughout the
                                                       The hours were long, the pay
                                                        was low and the children were
                                                        exhausted and hungry.
                                                       Factory children were kept
Breaker Boys" were used in the anthracite coal
mines to separate slate rock from the coal after it     inside all day long, children
had been brought out of the shaft. They often           who worked the fields spent
worked 14 to 16 hours a day.
                                                        long, hot days in the sun or
                                                        went barefoot in mud and
                                                       These young workers could
                                                        not attend school and rarely
                                                        knew how to read or write
Child Labor
       Children in the United States
        continued to work under deplorable
        conditions until well into the mid-
        twentieth century.
       In the early nineteen hundreds,
        reformers began working to raise
        awareness about the dangers of child
        labor and tried to establish laws
        regulating the practice.
       In 1904, the National Child Labor
        Committee was formed. Throughout
        the nineteen hundreds, Congress and
        the Supreme Court were at odds
        over child labor regulation.
       1938- the Fair Labor Standards Act
        was passed and children were freed
        from the bondage of dangerous work
Lewis Hines
             In 1908 the National Child
       Labor Committee employed
       Lewis Hine as their staff
       investigator and photographer.
       Hine traveled the country taking
       pictures of children working in
       factories. Hine also lectured on
       the subject and once told one
       audience: "Perhaps you are
       weary of child labor pictures.
       Well, so are the rest of us, but we
       propose to make you and the
       whole country so sick and tired
       of the whole business that when
       the time for action comes, child
       labor pictures will be records of
       the past."
 Congress Attempts to Control
         Child Labor
In 1916 Congress made its first effort to control child labor by passing
    the Keating-Owen Act. The legislation forbade the transportation
    among states of products of factories, shops or canneries employing
    children under 14 years of age, of mines employing children under 16
    years of age, and the products of any of these employing children
    under 16 who worked at night or more than eight hours a day. In
    1918 the Supreme Court ruled that the Keating-Owen Act was
After the Supreme Court ruled that the Keating-Owen Act was
   unconstitutional, Congress passed a Second Child Labor Law. This
   levied a tax of ten per cent on the net profits of factories employing
   children under the age of 14, and of mines and quarries employing
   children under the age of 16. This legislation was declared
   unconstitutional as a result of the Drexel Furniture Company case in
Fair Labor Standards Act

        June, 1938, that Congress passed the Fair Labor
           Standards Act.

           The main objective of the act was to eliminate
           "labor conditions detrimental to the
           maintenance of the minimum standards of
           living necessary for health, efficiency and
           well-being of workers". This included the
           prohibition of child labor in all industries
           engaged in producing goods in inter-state
           commerce. It set the minimum age at 14 for
           employment outside of school hours in non-
           manufacturing jobs, at 16 for employment
           during school hours, and 18 for hazardous
Direct Democracy
    Secret Ballot
    Direct Primary- People select the candidates
    INITIATIVE: The people may initiate(propose) by 5-8%
      petition of voters a bill to a legislature.
    REFERENDUM: The people may use referendum
      (popular ballot) to enact, approve or reject acts of the
    RECALL: All elected public officials in the State, except
      judicial officers, are subject to recall (by petition) by the
      voters of the State and forced to stand for re-election at any
    17th Amendment: Direct Election of Senators. The
      Senate of the United States shall be composed of two
      Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for
      six years; and each Senator shall have one vote
    Progressive Movement
•   The Progressive Movement was an effort to cure many of the ills of American society that had
    developed during the great spurt of industrial growth in the last quarter of the 19th century. The
    frontier had been tamed, great cities and businesses developed and an overseas empire established, but
    not all citizens shared in the new wealth, prestige and optimism.
•   Progressivism was rooted in the belief that man was capable of improving the lot of all within society.
    Progressivism also was full of strong political overtones and rejected the church as the driving force
    for change. Supporters of the movement were found in both major political parties, Democrat and


• Specific goals included:
     –   Remove corruption and undue influence from government
     –   Conservation
     –   Include more people more directly in the political process.
     –   Government must play a role to solve social problems and establish fairness in economic matters.
     –   Race- Blacks and Native Americans
     –   Child Labor, Workers- young and old, workers compensation,
     –   Political Reform- Direct Election, political reform,
     –   Anti- monopoly reform.
Progressive Movement
  • The efforts and successes:
       –   Interstate Commerce Act (1887) and the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890).

       –   A minority supported socialism with government ownership of the means of

       –   conservation movement

       –   railroad legislation

       –   food and drug laws.

       –   elect senators

       –   prohibition

       –   suffrage to women.

       –   Workers compensation, civil service, and minimum wage

       –   efforts to place limitations on child labor were routinely thwarted by the courts.

       –   The needs of blacks and Native Americans were poorly served by the

       –   Secret Ballot, Direct Election, direct primary and initiative, referendum and

  •   Robert LaFollette- Leader in reform measures and the candidate of
      the reform element of his party for the nomination for governor in
      1896 and 1898: in 1900 unanimously nominated for Governor of
      Wisconsin and elected by the largest plurality ever given a candidate

      for that office.

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