Chapter 21 Notes - Ramsey School District

Chapter 21
The Progressive Spirit of Reform
1868 - 1920
Essential Question
• How did
benefit from
I. The Gilded Age and the Progressive
• Late 1800’s – highlights
inequality in politics and
• Political Machines:
powerful organizations that
used both legal and illegal
methods to get their
candidates to public office
Stuffed ballot boxes
Bribed vote counters
Controlled local governments
Run by a “boss”
• Tammany Hall: New York
City’s political machine run
by William Tweed
Cleaning Up Corruption
• Because of scandal in
• July 2, 1881, President
Grant’s Administration,
James Garfield shot by
public calls for changes
insane job seeker
in civil service Charles Guiteau
government job system
and ending the spoils
system – rewards
political supporters with
government jobs
The Push for Reforms
• After Garfield’s death,
President Chester Arthur
passed the Pendleton
Civil Service Act: required
job applicants to pass a
test before being hired
• If New York time is three
hours ahead of San
Francisco time, what
time would it be in New
York if a San Francisco
clock one hour behind
the time shows 4
1 o'clock
6 o'clock
7 o'clock
8 o'clock
• Farm prices begin to fall because farmers grew
more than Americans demanded
• Farmers wanted:
– Lower tariffs (taxes on imports/exports) to
increase foreign demand for farm products
– Republicans blocked lowering tariffs to protect
American businesses
• Populist Party: “people’s party” – wanted
– Government ownership of railroads
– Graduated income tax
– 8-hour work day
– Senators elected directly by the people
– Recall
– Referendum
– Initiative
• Populist Party gets 1 million popular votes in
the 1892 Presidential Election – about 20% of
the total number
• Panic of 1893:
– Economic depression – farmers hit hard
– Reform the money system
• Backed by GOLD – dollar has more value – prices down
• Backed by SILVER – more dollars available – prices up
• Republican: William McKinley
– Backed business and gold standard
– Wizard of Oz?
• Democrat: William Jennings Bryan
– Backed farmers and silver standard
– 36 years old
– Cross of Gold Speech – “you shall not crucify
mankind upon a cross of gold!”
• William McKinley
• William Jennings Bryan
Progressives and Muckrakers
• Progressives: reformers
working to improve society
in late 1800’s
• Muckrakers: journalists
who exposed the filth of
– Lincoln Steffens –
exposed corruption in St.
Louis government
– Ida Tarbell - criticized
unfair business practices
of Standard Oil
• “There would be meat stored in
great piles in rooms; and the
water from leaky roofs would drip
over it, and thousands of rats
would race about on it. It was too
dark in these storage places to
see well, but a man could run his
hand over these piles of meat
and sweep off handfuls of the
dried dung of rats. These rats
were nuisances, and the packers
would put poisoned bread out for
them; they would die, and then
rats, bread, and meat would go
into the hoppers together.”
– Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, 1906
• Progressive Reforms:
– Correct injustices in society
– End government corruption
– End monopoly power of big business
– Improve factory conditions/end child labor
– End alcoholism
– Grant women’s suffrage (right to vote)
Reform Successes
• Urban reform with city planners, civil
engineers, and sanitation engineers
• States passed laws requiring children to attend
– John Dewey: children should learn problem
solving skills
• American Medical Association (AMA)
improved education of medical professionals
and supported laws to protect public health
Expansion of Voting Power
• Progressives wanted to reduce the power of
political machines
• 17th Amendment: direct election of senators
• Recall: a vote to remove an official before the
end of the term
• Initiative: allowed voters to propose a new law
by collecting signatures on a petition
• Referendum: permitted voters to approve or
reject laws proposed or passed by a government
Robert La Follette
• Wisconsin governor
• Hired experts to help
write new laws and
work in state agencies
• Made information
available to public on
how politicians voted
II. Reforming the Workplace
• In 1900, 1.75 million
children age 15 and under
worked in factories,
mines, and mills
• 1916 and 1919 federal
child labor laws passed,
but struck down as
• Parents ignored laws or
told children to lie about
their ages to work
Safety and Working Conditions
• Workplace accidents were
common (35,000 killed in
• Triangle Shirtwaist Fire:
New York City, 1911 - 146
women killed because
doors were locked by
• Workers’ Compensation
Laws: guaranteed portion of
lost wages to workers
injured on job
• Working conditions still
remained poor however
The Courts and Labor
• Business leaders believed
the economy should
operate without
government interference
• 1905 - Lochner v. New
York: Court rules that
states cannot restrict the
right of workers and
employers to enter into
any type of labor
• 1908 – Muller v. Oregon:
Court upheld laws
restricting women’s work
hours because the laws
protected women’s
Labor Organizations
• Unions led to improved
working conditions
• AFL and Gompers
supported capitalism:
private businesses run
most industries and
competition determines
price of goods
• International Workers
of the World (IWW) led
by “Big Bill” Haywood
supported socialism:
government owns and
operates a country’s
means of production
III. The Rights of Women and
• Many women began
attending college and
putting their education
into reform movements
– Temperance: avoiding
alcohol, blamed many
social problems on
– 18th Amendment:
banned production, sale,
and transportation of
alcohol in the U.S.
– Women’s Suffrage
• National American
Woman Suffrage
Association: founded by
Carrie Catt
• National Women’s Party:
founded by Alice Paul
• 19th Amendment
African Americans Challenge
• Discrimination and
segregation still going on
• Booker T. Washington:
former slave who
encouraged African
Americans to improve
education and economic
well-being to end
• Ida B. Wells: spoke out
against lynching
(murdered by mobs)
• W.E.B. Du Bois: believed
African Americans should
demand equal rights and
stand up to unjust
treatment – founded the
N.A.A.C.P: National
Association for the
Advancement of Colored
IV. Progressive Presidents
• In 1901, President
William McKinley was
killed by an anarchist
named Leon Czolgosz
• Vice President
Theodore Roosevelt
becomes the youngest
president in American
history (42 years old)
Theodore Roosevelt
• Square Deal
– Interest of all people
should be balanced for
public good
– 1902 coal strike
• Regulating Big Business
– Meat Inspection Act
– Pure Food and Drug Act
– Used Sherman Anti-Trust
Act to break monopolies
• Conservation
– Protect nature and
William Howard Taft
• Moved more cautiously
toward reform than
Roosevelt, which
angered many
• Payne-Aldrich Tariff:
reduced the rates on
imported goods
Woodrow Wilson
• A split in the Republican
Party allowed Wilson to
win in 1912
• 16th Amendment: allows
federal government to
impose income taxes
• Federal Reserve Act:
created the Federal
Reserve banking system
• Federal Trade
Commission: power to
investigate and punish
unfair trade practices

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