Populism and Progressivism

Chapter 12
 Americans
thought of themselves as living in
a democracy- but the power of business
seemed to call that into question. Who was
in charge- the citizens or the corporations?
Wasn’t it the government’s job to look out
for the people? Then why were so many
leaders siding with the industrialists?
 Industrial
cities often ruled by Political
Machines- men behind the scenes who held
power- but not offices. Have been around for
a century, but reached their zenith in the
late 1800s. Used spoils system to make $$ for
party leaders- generally through corruption
or other illegal means
 Ran
the most infamous “machine” in NYCTammany Hall. Cities had grown, but city
government had not- bosses like Tweed took
advantage of the gap.
 Controls city gov’t by controlling votes of
immigrants, so he “helped” them in return
for their votes, giving away more than $2
million in charity, and funding schools and
hospitals. At the same time- Tweed gained as
much as $200 million for himself/supporters
through spoils, fraud and embezzlement.
 Political
Reporter for NY Times- exposed
Tweed’s actions in a series of Political
Cartoons (Nast is credited with their modern
 Tweed offered him $100,000 to stop, Nast
refused. Samuel Tilden eventually
prosecuted and Jailed Tweed in 1873.
 Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, St Louis, and
Cleveland also known for their political
machines- these were often a main target for
One way Robber Barons got what they wanted
was by “investing” in lawmakers- putting them
on Board of Directors, or giving them stock
within the company.
 Credit Mobilier: Construction Co created by
Union Pacific RR, then hired by RR at ridiculous
prices to build transcontinental with gov’t $$.
Ends up making $75 mil on a $50 mil contract.
Story breaks during the 1872 presidential
campaign, 13 members of congress, and the VP
found to be shareholders in the Co. Congressmen
censured, VP replaced on ticket, but no other
 1875.
A group of mostly Republican
politicians were able to siphon off
millions of dollars in federal taxes on
liquor. Diversion of tax revenues in a
conspiracy among government agents,
politicians, whiskey distillers, and
distributors. Tainted Grant’s
presidency- while there was never any
direct evidence he was involved, some
were his friends, and when scandal was
exposed he kept attorney general from
strong prosecutions.
Divides of war have not faded.
Republicans. Every Republican
president elected from 1868-1900
had served in the union army, and they consistently
hold 16 states in the North and West.
Democrats: have the south, and do well with Catholic
voters, especially the Irish in the cities. Have 14
“solid” states.
That leaves 5 “swing” states- with NY and OH being
the most important, the man who takes those takes
the presidency, and that was typically a republican,
they won all but 2 presidential elections.
String of one term presidents, we have another dry
patch of leadership during from 1876-1900
Abraham Lincoln
Franklin Roosevelt
George Washington
Theodore Roosevelt
Harry Truman
John Kennedy
Thomas Jefferson
Dwight Eisenhower
Woodrow Wilson
Ronald Reagan
Lyndon Johnson
James Polk
Andrew Jackson
James Monroe
Bill Clinton
William McKinley
John Adams
George H.W. Bush
John Quincy Adams
James Madison
Grover Cleveland
Gerald Ford
Ulysses Grant
William Taft
Jimmy Carter
Calvin Coolidge
Richard Nixon
James Garfield
29. Zachary Taylor
30. Benjamin Harrison
31. Martin Van Buren
32. Chester Arthur
33. Rutherford Hayes
34. Herbert Hoover
35. John Tyler
36. George W. Bush
37. Millard Fillmore
38. Warren Harding
39. William Harrison
40. Franklin Pierce
41. Andrew Johnson
42. James Buchanan
Both Democrats and Republicans had internal
issues, both depended on Patronage (Spoils)
to keep supporters happy.
 Stalwarts(Roscoe Conkling) and Halfbreeds
(James Blaine): two factions within the
Republican party arguing about who should
be in control of handing out spoils
 Mugwumps: Reformers within the party who
wanted to limit patronage.
 Democrats also divided between
southern and urban factions
 Presidency
of Rutherford B Hayes was
dominated by patronage- after all, that’s
how he had been elected president. Constant
demands made it difficult for Hayes to
govern effectively- he proposed civil service
reform, got nowhere
 By 1881 the number of federal jobs had
tripled since 1865, from 53,000 to 166,000.
 Elected
president in 1880, he was
a halfbreed, and his VP Chester
Arthur was a Stalwart.
 4 months after election, Garfield
was assassinated by Charles
Guiteau, a disappointed office
seeker and Stalwart.
 The assassination led to a call for
civil service reform- the patronage
system had been discredited.
 1883
Congress created civil service reform.
Pendleton Act designated a variety of federal
jobs (10%) that would be filled via a
competitive exam process rather than
 A 1st step to creating a professional
bureaucracy. Today only about 30%
of federal jobs are filled through
 Industrialists
kept ties to both partiesafter all, you never know who will win….
Republicans favored high tariffs, Democrats
had close ties to banking.
 US withdrew Greenbacks issued in the war in
1879, and returned to the Gold Standard.
 Grover Cleveland won the presidency in
1882: 1st president to openly oppose special
treatment of business, and to advocate
 Wabash
v Illinois has said states could not
regulate RR, b/c RR operate as interstate
commerce. So Congress acted to begin
 Created ICC to regulate RR, saying that all
rates must be “reasonable and just”. Had
power to investigate, but not power to
enforce. Still, a step in the Right direction…
In election of 1888 the main topic was
the tariff. (1st time since civil war econ has been
the main issue between parties) Cleveland won
popular, but Benjamin Harrison (Grandson of
William Henry Harrison) won electoral. Harrison
a very passive president, but public is developing
a strong outcry for trust-busting, and federal
gov’t was taking notice.
 1890 passed Sherman Anti-trust: outlawed
agreements in “restraint of trade”. Still too
vague, and with no provisions for enforcement.
Proposed in 1890 by Republican
representative William McKinleythe highest protective tariff in history
of US, 48% on a variety of goods
 Reaction against tariff led people to
vote for Democrats, and Grover Cleveland
Re-elected in 1892, our only nonconsecutive president. Cleveland was
laissez faire, and lowered tariff to allow
greater trade/invisible hand etc…(though
it didn’t go down that much) Tariffs and
Silver the main econ issues of 1890s
 Worst
financial crisis of 1800s, and the 1st
depression of the new industrial age.
 20% unemployment, 8000 businesses go
 Sparked by a collapse in the stock market,
long term causes were overbuilding of RR and
speculation in stocks.
 Gold reserves dip to dangerous levels, the
federal deficit soars.
 Persuades many to give up laissez faire,
people are looking for gov’t intervention
 Farmers
didn’t need the panic to persuade
them, they had been asking for gov’t help for
some time.
 While farmers had influence in many
agricultural states, those states had smaller
populations, and farmers were losing
national influence.
 In both the south and the west, the cycle of
debt created huge burdens, and more and
more farmers became motivated to seek
political influence by attempting to break
the hold of industry on the government.
The common name for members of the
Patrons of Husbandry, formed in 1867. Actually
created for educational and social purposes, had
meeting with lectures, picnics etc… to reduce
the isolation common to farm families. Most
successful in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and
 1st issue was against RRs- they protested unfair
rates and grain storage charges.
 Had 1.5 million members by 1873. Asked for laws
which regulated RRs and warehouses. Formed
co-ops to store their own grain, and negotiate
for better RR rates.
 Emerged
in the 1870s- protesting the return
to the gold standard, which meant there was
less $$ available in the economy. Would
eventually merge in to the populist party,
which would take up “Hard” vs “Soft” money
as a major political issue
lot like the Grange, with educational and
social goals, but in the South.
 Main complaint was that farmers struggle
with cashflow during much of the year.
 Wanted Federal gov’t to create a subtreasury
which would loan farmers up to 80% of the
value of their crops until harvest, and for the
gov’t to run grain storage,
not RR
 Grange
and Farmer’s Alliance decided they
needed a national party to fight for their
rights. Created Populist party in 1891, and
nominated James B Weaver for President in
 Wanted to expand beyond farmers to all
“producers” saying “Eastern Establishment”
of RR, Banking and Industry were exploitive
 Carried 4 states (very rare for a 3rd party) –
had 9% of popular vote.
 Populist
Platform 1892 asked for:
Unlimited coinage of silver at a ratio of 16:1 to
create inflation
A graduated income tax to redistribute wealth.
Government ownership of RR, telephone and
Initiative, Referendum, and Recall on federal as
well as local ballots
Postal savings banks run by the gov’t.
Direct election of senators
An 8 hours workday.
 During
panic of 1893 populists (and many
others) were vocal in proposing silver as a
solution to econ issues.
 If we base $$ on silver, not gold, we can have
more, which will create inflation, (which is
good for farmers),and those in debt would be
able to get clear b/c $$ would be “cheaper”.
 For populists, silver represented the idea of
a return to power of ordinary people, not the
 Democratic
party had a substantial silver
faction “Silver Democrats”. Absorbed a
number of populist ideas, so many threw
their support behind Democratic nomineeWilliam Jennings Bryan.
Given at Democratic national convention
It is the issue of 1776 over again. Our
ancestors, had the courage to declare their
political independence of every other
nation; shall we, their descendants, declare
that we are less independent than our forefathers?
No, my friends, that will never be the verdict of our
people. Therefore, we care not upon what lines the
battle is fought. Having behind us the producing
masses of this nation and the world, supported by the
commercial interests, the laboring interests, and the
toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for
a gold standard by saying to them: You shall not press
down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns;
you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold
 Business
leaders responded to
populism and free silver by pouring
$$ into the Republican CandidateWilliam McKinley, who won in a
landslide. Bryan SO obsessed with
Silver it turned people off, also
populists were staunchly
protestant, and fearful of
immigrants/catholics etc… which
created dissention in the party.
Written by L Frank Baum in 1896 as a metaphor
for the election.
 Dorothy (who represents the ordinary citizen)
wore “silver shoes” (soft $, no one is sure of
their power) to walk on the “yellow brick road”
(gold standard- the path we all know)
 Scarecrow represents the mid-western farmers,
Tin man urban labor. Cowardly Lion is William
Jennings Bryan, the Wizard is McKinley.
 City of Oz is an industrial capital. Wicked Witch
actually from East (they flipped it later for the
movie) represents industrial owners.
 Economy
began to improve, and populism
began to die out.
 New gold sources in Australia, South Africa
and Alaska increase the amount of $$ in
 Record harvests eased things for farmers
 American Imperialism changed the focus of
the nation…..
 Populism
failed as a 3rd party movement, but
many of it’s ideas will be adopted by the
rising progressive movement.
 Eventually the majority of their ideas will be
RR legislation/Trust busting
Graduated income tax (gee thanks)
Direct election of senators
Initiative, referendum and recall on local ballots
Federal savings banks.
 George
Washington had warned the US to
avoid “entangling alliances”. And with a few
hiccups (War of 1812, Monroe Doctrine) MexAmerican War) we listened.
 Tended towards isolationism- we were
building our own country, and our location
kept us out of the action. But
Industrialization has brought us into the
world economy, and that will bring us into
world politics as well- we want to show we
are one of the “big boys”
 Manifest
Destiny had in fact been fairly
imperialist- we just conquered the land next
door, and our own natives rather than
“tropical dependencies”.
 Once our territory spread “sea to sea” we
began looking in other areas: Alaska
purchased in 1867 to keep Russia out of N
America. We also occupied the Midway
Islands, Hawaiian Islands and Samoa in the
Pacific to facilitate trade and support our
navy (12th in the world- after Chile).
 No
more frontier- and many Americans felt a
continued need for growth (safety valve)
 Panic of 1893 convinced industry they
needed more than domestic markets
 Labor unrest growing- and gov’t thinks we
could use expansion
 Subjugating Indians had made us experts on
exerting control over the “less civilized”
 Instead
of looking for land to settle, or for
treasure, European (and Asian- Japan is
involved) nations are looking for industrial
resources and markets. European countries
are small, and their economies are bigcolonies represent an ideal monopoly
 3 types
Political Imperialism
Economic Imperialism
Social-cultural Imperialism
 As
Frederick Jackson Turner said- Americans
have always been defined by the idea of a
Frontier- exploring new lands and creating
new opportunities. We’ve run out at home….
 Became worried that Europeans would out
play us for foreign trade markets….Senator
Henry Cabot Lodge said “We must not fall
out of the line of March”.
 Big
part of imperialism is that white are not
only the “fittest” (and therefore destined to
rule) but have a “duty” to “civilize” other
races….The “White Man’s Burden”. And we
have experience- after all, look what we
have done for African Americans and Native
 Has
been rising in importance in Europe since
the Napoleonic Wars
 Alfred Thayer Mahan published The
Influence of Sea Power on History in which
he argued that Great Britain had become the
most powerful nation in Europe by
developing a strong Navy. Encouraged US
government to start spending $$ on ships
(which we do beginning in 1896 with 11
battleships) and to build a Canal across
Central America (completed 1911)
1895-96. Border between
British Guiana and Venezuela
had been in dispute for
decades- and became heated
when gold discovered in
disputed territory.
 Pres. Cleveland- citing Monroe
Doctrine- warned Britain not to
“overstep” bounds. Britain
seriously offended – but didn’t
have time to deal, they were in
the middle of the Boer War, so
accepted arbitration.
 Enhanced the prestige of US
 Our
1st foray into international politics as a
powerful nation.
 1895 Cuba (a remnant of the once mighty
Spanish Empire) was attempting to gain
independence. US has significant investments
in Cuba (sugar plantations and mining
interests) and we like the idea of them as
independent- we’ll get better deals.
 Spain is NOT enthusiastic- enact harsh
policies – Reconcentrado – to stamp out
revolution, essentially imprisoning vast
sections of the Cuban population.
 Newspaper
owners (Hearst and
Pulitzer) used the Cuban revolution
to sell papers- publishing stories of
atrocities. (called “yellow” from a
popular cartoon at time of “yellow
 Influenced how Americans felt about
Spain’s policy- and our desire for
war- “Jingoists” (warhawks) called
for US to save Cuba
William McKinley’s presidential
platform in 1896 called for US
intervention (to protect US business
interests) Actually causes Spain to back
down a bit- they don’t want to fight
US- but war becomes unavoidable.
 Le Dome Letter: says McKinley is all
talk, we get offended
 Feb 15th 1897 US battleship Maine
blows up of coast of Havana – 260
Sailors die (84 survive) Cause of
explosion unknown- but to Americans
it seemed like obvious treachery, and
revenge became the order of the day
(“Remember the Maine!”)
 April 25th 1897- US declares war on
 Description
by Sec of State John Hay. It’s
short, (just over a year) fairly painless (only
5000 Americans die, most from disease), and
hugely popular.
 We fight not only in Cuba – where Teddy
Roosevelt resigns as sec of navy and leads
“Rough Riders” into battle. But also in the
Philippines- where US joins forces with
patriot Emilio Aguinaldo promising the
Filipinos we will help them get independence
(lies and fairytales- we give it to them in
 US
promised Cuba
independence as
part of their
justification for
participation in the
war. Wanted
support and to be
seen as a world
 Cuba
does become independent (and
eventuallyREALLY poor- war pretty much
destroys their economy)
 US takes Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico
– Spanish empire is done.
 Philippines created a debate about
imperialism as a whole which interests are
more important- political, economic, or
 War as a whole helps bring US/England
together- making them allies
 1901
Supreme Court asked to determine
whether or not people in newly acquired
territories were American citizens- the
answer is ….sort of
 It’s Congress’s job to determine which are
which. “The Constitution does not follow the
Some rights apply to all American territories
Others will not apply to those “unfamiliar with
American law”
 Since
we are collecting islands in the
 We overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy (which
is funny, b/c Europeans made Hawaii a
monarchy in the 1st place) and annexed the
Islands to protect the rights of pineapple
plantation proprietors
 All
through late 1800s China (once the most
powerful econ in the world, now riding the
struggle bus since they chose not to allow
any new technology around 1500) has been
forced to sign unequal treaties with
European powers, and has been carved into
spheres of influence.
 US feels left out- we are coming
late to the party- so we suggest
Open Door Policy so that all
nations can exploit China equally.
 TR
was a hero of the Sp-Amer war, and our
youngest president (42 when McKinley shot)
known for flamboyance and hugeness of
 Loved America- and wanted the rest of the
world to Admire her as well- firmly convinced
it was our time to take a seat amongst the
world powers. Expansionist- wanted to
expand our influence for the good of
 “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick”- not
afraid to bully others into his opinion
 1904-05
Both claimed territory in Manchuria
and Korea- and fought.
 Japan has spent 40 years modernizing and
industrializing…. Russia, not so much.
 Japan’s new navy spanks Russia- which is
SHOCKING for many Europeans, but they run
short of men and $$.
 TR is worried about US interests in Pacificbrokers the peace (Treaty of Portsmouth) to
end the conflict. TR wins Nobel Peace Prize
 Japan
felt “robbed” of victory over Russia
 Naval race started between US and Japan
 Also-
US doesn’t have a great track record
with rights for Asians – already have Chinese
exclusion, and California passed a law
mandating segregated schools for Asian
children. Japan VERY insulted, emperor
appealed to Roosevelt. In “Gentlemen’s
Agreement”, TR arranges to have California
law repealed- Japan agrees to limit
Part of his vision for US was to use diplomatic
power- as he did in brokering the peace treaty to
end the Russo Japanese War.
 Worried about the growing strength of Japan,
feared it would upset the balance of power and
trade in Asia.
 Sent “Great White Fleet” on a “tour” of Asia
(including Japan) so everyone could see our
strength, and to prevent others from trying to
muscle us out of trade. Inspired Japanese to
increase the size of THEIR fleet to compete
(that’s one of the issues of late 1800s- arms
races and militarism)
 Canal
across Isthmus of Panama had been
begin by the French in the 1870s – they gave
up on it.
 In 1903 US we want to get it going again- the
problem is… the land we want belongs to
Columbia, and they won’t let us build. TR
secretly backs a revolution in Panama- and
presto, we get our territory. Finish in 1914 at
cost of $367 million
 Our treatment of Central/South American
governments is earning us the nickname
“Bully of the North”
 After
Cuban independence, large sections of
econ still controlled by US- so we make sure
things work our way.
 Platt Amendment adopted in 1898 (end of
Sp-American War) said that Cuba could not
make treaties “which would weaken their
independence” (meaning if we don’t like it)
or incur debts (except to US) Basically- we
want to dominate their trade. We also got
the land for a naval base (Guantanamo)
Latin American trade significant to US. They
aren’t industrialized, we can sell them stuff –
and they have boatloads of raw materials. Keeps
US involved in Latin American politics, and we
had made ourselves responsible for all of the
Americas with the Monroe Doctrine way back in
1820- but that was pretty much just “talk”
 TR puts talk into action- saying that the US as a
“civilized” nation had a “duty” to “police” those
who were either “Uncivilized, undeveloped or
both” (White Man’s Burden anyone?)
 We get involved in Venezuela and the
Dominican Republic to “protect” them from
European Domination- by dominating them
TR wanted power and
prestige for the US- his
successor, William H Taft,
wanted to make $$.
 Dollar Diplomacy says US
foreign policy should be
based on whatever will
make the most $$. We
get involved in political
events (like a revolution
in Nicaragua) so we can
control the economic
 The
3rd of the “progressives” he is full of a
sense of righteousness. Now our duty is to
foster the spread of democracy – and
“convert others to the principles of
America”. Lots of interventions as he tries to
get rid of military dictatorships in Latin
America….which is a complete fail, as it is
still the most common form of government
there today
 Biggest
area of intervention. 1913 a military
coup d’etat under General Huerta executed
the president of Mexico and led to civil war
between Huerta and peasant (marxist)
revolutionaries led by Pancho Villa.
 Wilson torn- hates ideas of marxism, but
thinks Huerta is a murderer. US troops get
involved after skirmishes on the US border
kill 17 Americans- nearly led to full out war
with Mexico (which might have kept us out of
 The
period from just before the turn
of the century through WWI became
defined by a movement that
emphasized correcting the social and
economic injustices created by
 Embraced by both political parties (as
well as creating its own) it represents
a new definition of expectations- that
government should protect the public
interest and restore social order.
Populism had tremendous popular appeal- people
wanted business regulation and social justice
 Progressives will fight for
Trustbusting (esp for RR) passed 1903 and 1906
Income Tax- 16th amendment ratified in 1912
Credit/Currency reform- passed 1913, 1916
Direct election of senators- 17th amendment ratified
Federal savings banks- 1910
Farm subsidies and relief- 1916
Progressives will succeed where populists had
failed b/c they didn’t advocate a return to an
agrarian economy- wanted to reform industrial
society without hampering progress.
Felt industry had widened gap between rich and
poor to an unacceptable breach. But instead of
an outcry from the proletariat, Progressives
tended to be from the middle class, who were
genuinely moved by the plight of poor, and
wanted to do something about it- largest reform
movement since 2nd Great Awakening
 Issues (beyond populist)
Killing political machines- voting reform
Improving urban living/working conditions
Consumer protection (clean food/water)
Women’s Suffrage
An uprising of the working classes was a concern
(this is when people really start worrying about
communism)- but more, it was the concept of a
“Christian duty” to help those in need- many
early progressives were religious leaders
 Women also key in reform movements, after all,
they have been seen as guardians of morality
since the revolution. Volunteerism the only
acceptable “career” for a middle class married
woman, and this is the 1st generation with a
large number of female college graduates
 Late 1800s a time with extreme Victorian
morality- and there was concern that
urbanization/industrialization brought
traditional protestant values under attack
Designed to help immigrant/poor
families get on their feet and learn skills
to help them better their lives
 Jane Addams- founded Hull House in Chicago in
1889 to teach immigrants English, offer classes
in health/nutrition, and provide social gatherings
for urban poor.
 Florence Kelley- Henry Street settlement in NY,
fought for legislation to regulate hours and
working conditions for women and children.
 Both women quite controversial b/c of socialist
political views
 American
Red Cross founded in 1881 by Clara
Barton, who had been a nurse in the Civil
War (Red Cross in General Florence
Nightingale, Crimean War)
 Focus on first aid, water safety, and public
health nursing programs in cities
 WWI and the Influenza epidemic
of 1918 create phenomenal
Liquor consumption had been increasing ever since
Civil War- particularly prevalent among urban
workers and immigrant
Saloons were for men only- but the temperance
movement will be led by women
WCTU (founded by Francis Willard) a powerful
lobbying group, put pressure on states to ban alcohol
sales, championed planned parenthood and women’s
Carrie Nation most famous member, went into
Saloons and smashed the bar with an ax- arrested 30
Pretty successful during progressive age, by 1900 25%
of Americans live in communities with restrictions on
alcohol- but their real moment will come in 1919
with the 18th amendment
All states have some form of
mandatory public education by 1870and public high schools spread
significantly in the 1880s and 90s.
(parochial schools also saw big jump as
many Catholics wanted to retain
 Illiteracy dropped from 20% in 1870 to
10% in 1900. By 1900, 25% of college
graduates were women
 Self improvement: Chautauqua
founded 1874, inspires others- lectures
(Mark Twain)
 Journalism
becoming important in forming
public opinion- especially exposing what
people might not have wanted to see in
industrial society. Magazines and Newspapers
becoming big business.
TR coined the term- inspired by the work of Ida
Tarbell (writing about JD
Rockefeller and Standard Oil)
 Lincoln Steffens: The Shame of
the Cities
 Theodore Dreiser: Sister Carrie
 Upton Sinclair: the Jungle
 US
had been following Romantic
movement pre/post Civil War- moved
on to things that more reflected (and
commented on) industrial society
 Mark Twain: Captured Humor and
realism of American life- in authentic
dialect. Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn
 Stephen Crane: Wrote about the
harshness of the new “modern life”.
The Red Badge of Courage (1895) a
story of the civil war, which doesn’t
glorify, but horrifies
Reform work began at the state and local levelswhere populism already had a strong hold.
 Progressives broke up political machines in major
cities like NY, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and
Milwaukee. Simplified ballots (Australian Ballot),
direct primary elections (no more back room
deals. City Managers and professional
 Robert A Follette (WI) well known progressive
governor, instituted a number of progressive
reforms, and their success in his state helped
inspire others to follow along.
 Initiative, referendum, recall in place in most
states by 1920, as well as minimum wages,
maximum hours etc.
 16th
Amendment (Income Tax) design to
reduce the gap between rich and poor
 17th Amendment (Direct election of Senators)
meant to make federal officials more
responsible to the people
 TR
is the 1st “modern” president, the
first to use gov’t to directly help the
public interest- his vision was of an
“umpire” to help make the world more fair.
 New Nationalism: Got federal regulation of
Econ started – trust-busting (most famously
JP Morgan’s in 1904) though he did
differential between “good” trusts and “bad”
trusts. Took regulatory laws that already
existed and gave them teeth- like the
Hepburn Act, so the ICC could enforce policy
 Actually
believed in regulating
more than fragmentingcombination and integration is
efficient, and why should he
punish success?
 often used his activities to gain
popularity. (as opposed to really
creating change)
 President Taft actually broke up
far more trusts- but Teddy is
loud and visible
 President
is visible- he is the “leader” he
should set the tone for policy.
 Most personally dynamic president since
 Sought
a “Square Deal” for Business, Labor,
and the Public
Corporate regulation
Consumer protection
Conservation of natural resources
 Felt
that it is the president’s job to intervene
for the good of the nation. For example,
during a Coal strike in 1902 he threatened to
seize the mines and operate them with
federal troops is owners refused to meet and
negotiate. Created idea of
arbitrators/mediators to settle disputes
 Shocked
by The Jungle- TR creates a
commission to investigate food conditions,
and finds Sinclair hadn’t been exagerating
 Meat Inspection Act - required inspection of
packaged meat, could not be sold w/o seal
of approval
 Pure Food and Drug Act – required
ingredients to be listed, and
prohibited various dangerous
medicines (1st step towards
modern packaging)
TR’s most significant and long lasting
contribution- this is what puts him in 1st Column.
 Outdoorsman and sportsman- concerned by
irresponsible use of resources.
 Heavily influenced by naturalists Guifford
Pinchot and John Muir- TR creates US forest
service to protect federal land from
overdevelopment of timber, farming, and
herding. National Reclamation Act: put federal
gov’t in charge of building dams, reservoirs etc
in west to ensure regulation
 National Park System: had been established with
Yellowstone in 1872, but TR put aside 125 million
acres, more than all previous presidents
 TR
honored 2 term tradition, and “hand
picked” his successor- William Howard Taft.
 Taft did not have TR’s personality, but
actually accomplished more progressive
goals- Doesn’t rock the boat, worked under
the radar, but “busts” twice as many trusts,
and got the 16th and 17th amendments passed
 Mann Elkins Act- finally gave the ICC the
powers it needed to regulate.
Abraham Lincoln
Franklin Roosevelt
George Washington
Theodore Roosevelt
Harry Truman
John Kennedy
Thomas Jefferson
Dwight Eisenhower
Woodrow Wilson
Ronald Reagan
Lyndon Johnson
James Polk
Andrew Jackson
James Monroe
Bill Clinton
William McKinley
John Adams
George H.W. Bush
John Quincy Adams
James Madison
Grover Cleveland
Gerald Ford
Ulysses Grant
William Taft
Jimmy Carter
Calvin Coolidge
Richard Nixon
James Garfield
29. Zachary Taylor
30. Benjamin Harrison
31. Martin Van Buren
32. Chester Arthur
33. Rutherford Hayes
34. Herbert Hoover
35. John Tyler
36. George W. Bush
37. Millard Fillmore
38. Warren Harding
39. William Harrison
40. Franklin Pierce
41. Andrew Johnson
42. James Buchanan
 Stalwarts/halfbreeds
are gone, but there are
still divisions in the party. Conservative
Republicans “Standpatters” don’t like all this
progressivism (whom they call the
 Taft had troubles bridging the two campsmaking no one happy
 Payne Aldrich Tariff: reducing tariff was a
progressive goal- but conservatives hate itand Taft got caught in the middle
 Fired Guifford Pinchot for insubordination,
seemed a betrayal of conservation
 The
person most “offended” by Taft was TRafter all, Teddy assumed Taft stay the
 Progressives talk of supporting Robert la
Follette in 1912- but TR lets it be known he
is willing to run again (tradition is 2
consecutive terms)
 Democrats run Woodrow Wilson- progressive
governor of New Jersey (and southern white
supremacist) who favored states rights for
social issues
When asked by reporters- TR says he
felt “as strong as a Bull Moose” which
became the common term for his
progressive party.
 Platform called for consolidation of
trusts, along with greater federal
regulation, and more efficient
government. Also called for women’s
suffrage, abolition of child labor, and
unemployment benefits.
 Splits the Republican party- Wilson
wins with only 41% of the popular vote
 Got
their highest # of votes for Eugene Debs
in 1912- nearly a million (6% of vote).
Represent the idea that “progressive” is not
enough for some.
 Not Marxist – supported by Industrial Workers
of the World, a radical unionist movement
which wanted to create a union of the
proletariat. (which ultimately hurt them,
seen as scary)
1st president since Zachary Taylor to be from a
southern state (Virginia). Believed president
should play a dynamic role in government- and
that the gov’ts role was to pass “good” laws.
 Lacked TR popularity- moral righteousness made
him uncompromising and off putting (and a
white supremacist to boot)
 Came of office with a clearly defined reform
program- to attack the “triple wall of privilege”
tariff, trusts, and banking. Passed a ton of
legislation, only GW and Lincoln before him pass
more (FDR overall winner). Est 8 hour workday
and forbids child labor for all interstate
businesses. Workman’s Comp
 He’s
a democrat- wants to lower tariffs.
Went straight to Congress to talk (since TJ
tradition has been to send letter) and
appealed to the public to write
congressmen/senators to approve
 Underwood Simmons Tariff- lowers
substantially down to 29% (had been 37%
under Payne Aldrich). Bill also contained the
Income Tax permitted by passage of 16th
amendment- 1% on incomes over $4,000, up
to 7% on incomes over $500,000 (can we have
that one back please) which over time
eliminates need for major tariffs
 Thought
monopolies threatened individual
liberty and a free marketplace- wants
 Clayton Act: designed to strengthen Sherman
Anti-trust by increasing the list of illegal
business practices, and exempted unions
from anti trust regulation(Gompers called it
the “magna carta” of labor)
 Federal Trade Commission: created to
investigate and regulate, with power to issue
“cease and desist” orders”
 Panic
of 1893 etc had shown
weakness of inelastic $$ system.
There was a National Bank in NYC, but that
didn’t help the rest of the nation, and
though we are going to maintain gold
standard, we need more flexibility.
 12 regional banks empowered to manage
currency (issue $$), aid banks in trouble, and
influence interest rates to control inflation
 Most important economic legislation between
civil war and great depression
Suffrage movement going strong in the progressive
age- after all, women were progressives. Also, as
more women were educated, worked, and reformed,
it got harder to say they “couldn’t handle it”.
National American Women’s Suffrage Association
(NAWSA) founded by Carrie Chapman Catt in 1910 had
2 million members by 1912, and women had some
form of suffrage in 19 states. TR’s Progressive party
included women’s suffrage in his 1912 platform
Emphasized female morality, they would be a “force
for good”
Alice Paul and the Congressional Union took a bolder
approach, with pickets of the white house, hunger
strikes, and demands of an Equal Rights amendment
Did not make strong gains, many urban areas
distressed as African Americans left the south
(1890-1920) to get industrial jobs.
 Ideological conflict between leaders like Booker
T Washington and W.E.B DuBois on how to get
enforcement of civil rights.
 Some progress: Illiteracy cut in ½, and land
ownership increased 10%
 Wilson actively campaigned against Civil Rights
legislation, and instituted segregation in the
federal government. His wife’s family were
important Klan leaders, he probably was too.
 Sometimes
criticized for imposing values on
society- specifically WASP values. After all,
their great success with Prohibition is one of
the most disastrous laws ever attempted.
 Nativist: they were not fans of immigrant
culture, or Indians (Dawes Act 1887) or
African Americans. Also a big part of the
“Red Scare” of post WWI- leading to ugly
violations of civil rights.

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