PROGRESSIVISM AND THE REPUBLICAN ROOSEVELT Chapter 28 PROGRESSIVE ROOTS By 1900 America was faced with social problems that had been mounting for 30 years but had not been affectively addressed. The nation was gripped by a reform movement called Progressivism. Biggest period of reform since the 1840s. It waged war on many social evils including monopolies, corruption in government, inefficiency, social injustice and irresponsible corporations. Progressivism The heart of progressive movement: Belief that government should be strengthened so that it could act aggressively to tackle social ills. Government could be an instrument of positive good prescription: use government as an agency of human welfare. At heart, a rejection of Laissez Faire Basic Roots of Progressivism Pressure came from a number of different groups: Socialists from Europe—start to gain strength in US Christians preaching Social Gospel—focused on the needs of the poor and the workers at the mercy of corporations. Feminists—suffrage movement included social justice in their call for reform because women were often those who suffered the most. Urban pioneers exposing corruption of cities and working conditions of children and women. Muckrakers Magazines and Newspapers began to compete with each other to expose evil and corruption Purpose? TR dubs Muckrakers. Why? Lincoln Steffens—Shame in the Cities Ida Tarbell—expose of Standard Oil David Phillips—The Treason of the Muckraking Targets Malpractice of life insurance company tariff lobbies beef trust money trust railroad barons White slave traffic in women Slums High rate of industrial accidents Child labor Plight of blacks in the south Adulterated Patent Medicine Goals of Muckrakers Was out-pouring of national criticism and exposure of ways in which the system was broken. Articles had a profound impact on the nation Like progressives in general, these articles were long on complaint but short on solutions. They sought not to overthrow capitalism, but to cleanse it to cure the ills of American democracy. Progressives in the Middle Were mainly middle-class What pressures did middle class feel. Curbing capitalism; insulation against socialism. Progressives crossed party boundaries, existed in all regions and at all levels of government. Is reform from those in the middle Goals of Progressives Regain the power that had slipped from the hands of the people into the hands of the special interest. Thus, pushed for: primary elections. initiatives referendum recalls, allowing voters to remove candidates who were screwing up. corrupt practices acts. secret ballot direct election of US senators. • This eventually passes as the 17th Amendment. Another objective was rooting out corruption. Woman’s suffrage. Progressivism In The Cities And States Progressives scored their biggest victories at the State and City level. City commission form of government --Galveston Texas. Urban reformers Wisconsin a test lab for progressive proposals. Gov. Robert La Follette. Oregon. Hiram Johnson in California Charles Evans Hughes in New York. Progressive Women Settlement House movement Social Clubs. “Women’s issues” Sweat shops. Triangle Shirt Waste Fire Muller v. Oregon Lochner v. New York Temperance Movement Temperance movement Woman’s Christian Temperance Union :Frances Willard. one million members. Some states and counties passed laws controlling, restricting or banning liquor. The big cities generally stay wet. Why? TR’s Square Deal For Labor Roosevelt a progressive. Demanded a “Square Deal” for capital, labor and the public. Believed the government should uphold the public interest. He pushed control of three Cs: corporations, consumer protection conservation of natural resources. Significance Intervened in the coal strike of 1902. Department of Commerce and Labor 1903. Bureau of Corporations TR Corrals The Corporations RR monster still largely untouched. Interstate Commerce Commission was largely ineffective. Elkins Act of 1903 Hepburn Act of 1906 Interstate Commerce Commission given new teeth. jurisdiction expanded; allowed to set maximum rates and nullify existing rates. TR Trust Busting Northern Securities Co. case. Under TR the Justice Department initiated over 40 anti-trust suits. Targets Roosevelt’s exaggerated rep as a trust-buster Roosevelt’s goal and philosophy in busting trusts? Caring For The Consumer TR backed legislation protecting against adulterated and mislabeled food. 1906 Upton Sinclair The Jungle Meat Inspection Act of 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 Roosevelt and Conservation Earth Control Americans using up natural resources Corporations hungry to exploit resources. Conservation and naturalist movement started before TR president. Desert Land Act of 1877. Forest Reserve Act of 1891 TR gave the movement a huge kick in the pants Newlands Act of 1902 Roosevelt set aside vast tracts of forests to prevent logging on it. Roosevelt Emboldens Enemies Roosevelt is easily elected in his own right in 1904. TR’s big mistake: announces that he will not run for a “Third” term. Makes him a Lame Duck Emboldens the conservative wing. Roosevelt Panic Of 1907 but short-lived panic on Wall Street in 1907. Why do conservatives blame TR?. TR lashes back hard. What does he say? Causes of panic Aldrich-Vreelant Act Sets the stage for Federal Reserve Act of 1913. Sharp The Rough Rider Thunders Out Roosevelt used his political clout to engineer nomination of Taft in 1908 Taft platform. Dems nominate Bryan. His theme? Taft wins easily. Socialists manage nearly a half-million votes Contributions of TR Enlarged the power and prestige of the presidency Began the process of taming capitalism ensuring that it would survive rather than being replaced. Developed technique of using publicity as a political weapon Helped shape the progressive movement and to lay the groundwork for later liberal reforms Opened Americans, eyes to world affairs and America’s role and potential influence on world events. Taft: A Round Peg In A Square Hole Taft was initially very popular. He was quite qualified. Taft has Van Buren problem: Taft Taft was passive, comfortable with the status quo and not a strong leader. Poor judge of public opinion; Foot-in-mouth disease. Passive toward Congress Dollar Diplomacy What is dollar diplomacy? What is the goal? Leads to much investment in Caribbean, Causes US entanglement in these countries US Marines land in Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic to restore order and to protect US investments. Continues the distrust of Caribbean and Central American countries toward US. The United States in the Caribbean Taft The Trustbuster brought antitrust suits at nearly four times the rate of TR. 90 in his 4-year term. Sup. Ct. decision in Standard Oil case, Taft rule of reason Only “unreasonable” restraints of trade were illegal. Created a huge hole in fed’s anti-trust net. Taft also went after US Steel, Angered TR. TR Busts Taft TR increasingly annoyed with Taft TR expected and wanted Taft to be progressive in his mold. TR was not ready to leave the stage. moving from Taft’s mentor to his antagonist. The progressive wing longed for the return of TR. TR Taft Splits The Republican Party tariff one of the primary progressive aims; viewed as the mother of all Trusts. Payne-Aldrich Bill. Lower Taft: the “best bill ever passed by the party.” Reactions of progressive wing. Gifford Pinchot. Republican Split By 1910 the progressive wing of Republican party moving into open revolt Taft being pushed into the camp of the conservatives. Osawatomie, Kansas, speech Doctrine of “New Nationalism” Mid-term elections. The Taft-Roosevelt Rupture National Progressive Republican League; LaFollette at the head. TR lets it be known that he will accept a third term if nominated by Republicans. He seizes the progressive banner. Wins a number of the new primaries TR is more popular with voters, but doesn’t win the nomination. Why? Roosevelt outraged. What does he do in response?