Contradictions of Progressivism

By Jocelyn Malaquias and
Erick Leon
U.S History
Period 2
• The Progressive movement of the early twentieth century was an
effort to form a majority coalition from interest groups
alienated by the economic policy of the governing Republican
• A social movement that includes labor, anti-racism, civil right
and women’s rights.
• The Progressivism era was an inspiration of the Industrial
• Woman didn't have as much
rights as men.
• Woman reformers in club
movements wanted to pass
reform legislation.
• The NAWSA movement was
under the leadership of Carrie
Chapman Catt.
• It undertook campaigns to
enfranchise woman in individual
• The 19th amendment was ratified
and allowed them to vote.
• Muckrakers are journalists and
other writers in the need to
• These muckrakers expose the bad
conditions of Progressivism.
• Lincoln Steffens, wrote a
magazine which uncovers the
social problems.
• He showed how corrupt politicians
won votes by bribing and
threatening the voters.
• Jacob Riis was a photographer
who exposed the conditions of life
in the tenements.
Muckrakers (continued)
• John D. Rockefeller used bad ways to ruin his competitors and
charge higher prices.
• The improvement of schools was highly recommended.
• John Spargo focused attention on the dangerous and difficult
lives of child workers.
• They also made a Naturalist novel which portrayed the misery
of humans and struggles of the people.
Different representations of Progressivism:
• The literature of Upton Sinclair
• The architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright
• The history of Charles Beard
• The educational system of John Dewey
The movement is associated
with political leaders such as
Woodrow Wilson and
Theodore Roosevelt and
thinkers such as Herbert
Two major developments in American
• One, political reforms crafted to break
up the power of privileged interests,
expanded suffrage, direct primaries,
direct election of senators, and the
initiative and referendum process
• Two, economic reforms structured to
balance the excessive power of business
and to fight inequality measures,
graduated income and inheritance taxes,
the right to organize and other labor
protections, unemployment insurance,
worker’s compensation, old age and
disability provisions, food and drug
safety laws
Progressivism throughout the years stressed a range of ideals that
remain important today:
• Freedom
• The common good
• Pragmatism
• Equality
• Social justice
• Democracy
• Cooperation and interdependence
What did the progressive movement
want to reform?
Income tax with the Sixteenth Amendment
Direct election of Senators with the Seventeenth Amendment
Prohibition with the Eighteenth Amendment
Women's suffrage through the Nineteenth Amendment
Lewis L. Gould, The Most Exclusive Club: A History of the Modern United States Senate
(Basic Books, 2005)
Alfred H. Kelly and Winfred A. Harbison, The American Constitution: Its Origins &
Development, fifth edition (W.W. Norton & Company, 1976)
Frank K. Kelly, The Fight For the White House: The Story of 1912 (Thomas Y.
Crowell Company, 1961)
Page Smith, America Enters the War: A People’s History of the Progressive Era and
World War I, Volume Seven (McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1985)
Philip Vandermeer, “Hiram Johnson and the Dilemma of California Progressivism,”
The Human Tradition in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, edited by Ballard C.
Campbell (Scholarly Resources Inc., 2000)
• Halpin, John. "The Progressive Intellectual Tradition in America | Center for American
Progress." Center for American Progress. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2013.

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