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The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of reform which lasted from the 1890s to the 1920s.[1]

In response to the economic and social conditions of the late 19th century, Progressives advocated a wide range of economic, political, social, and moral reforms.[2]

Removing corruption from politics was a main Progressive goal, with many Progressives trying to expose and undercut political machines and bosses. In particular, they attempted to exclude illiterates, blacks, and others from voting, and to reduce immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe through devices such as a literacy test. Many Progressives supported prohibition in order to destroy the political power based in saloons. At the same time, women's suffrage was promoted to bring a "purer" female vote into the arena.[3][4][5][6]

Initially the movement was successful at local levels; later it progressed to state and national levels. Progressives drew support from the middle class, and included many lawyers, teachers and business people.[7]

Contents

Political reform

Disturbed by the inefficiencies and injustices of the Gilded Age, the progressives were committed to changing and reforming the country. Significant changes enacted at the national levels included the income tax with the Sixteenth Amendment, direct election of Senators with the Seventeenth Amendment, Prohibition with the Eighteenth Amendment, and women's suffrage through the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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Exposing corruption

Muckrakers were journalists who exposed waste, corruption, and scandal in the highly influential new medium of national magazines, such as McClure's. Progressives shared a common belief in the ability of science, technology and disinterested expertise to identify problems and come up with the best solution.[8]

Modernization

The progressives were avid modernizers. They believed in science, technology, expertise—and especially education—as the grand solution to society's weaknesses. Characteristics of progressivism included a favorable attitude toward urban-industrial society, belief in mankind's ability to improve the environment and conditions of life, belief in obligation to intervene in economic and social affairs, and a belief in the ability of experts and in efficiency of government intervention.[9]

Democracy

Progressives moved to enable the citizenry to rule more directly and circumvent political bosses; California, Wisconsin, and Oregon took the lead. California governor Hiram Johnson established the initiative, referendum, and recall, viewing them as good influences for citizen participation against the historic influence of large corporations on state assembly including job reform.[10]

About 16 states began using primary elections to reduce the power of bosses and machines.[11] The Seventeenth Amendment was ratified in 1913, requiring that all senators be elected by the people (instead of the state legislature).

Municipal reform

Many cities set up municipal reference bureaus to study the budgets and administrative structures of local governments. In Illinois, Governor Frank Lowden undertook a major reorganization of state government.[12] In Wisconsin, the stronghold of Robert LaFollette, the Wisconsin Idea, used the state university as the source of ideas and expertise.[13]

Constitutional change

The Progressives tried to permanently fix their reforms into law by constitutional amendments, included Prohibition with the 18th Amendment and women's suffrage by the 19th amendment, both in 1920 as well as the federal income tax with the 16th amendment and direct election of senators with the 17th amendment. After Progressivism collapsed, the 18th amendment was repealed (in 1933).[14]

Social Reform

Prohibition

Prohibition refers to the period during which the manufacture, sale and transport of alcohol was prohibited. Throughout the Progressive Era, it remained one of the main causes at the local, state and national level. It achieved national success with the passage of the 18th Amendment by Congress in late 1917, and the ratification by three-fourths of the states in 1919. Prohibition was essentially a religious movement backed by evangelical churches. Activists were mobilized by the highly effective Anti-Saloon League.[15][16]

Agitation for prohibition, however, originated as early as the start of the nineteenth century when concern for American drinking came from the clergy (especially evangelical Protestants), politicians, business leaders, social reformers, etc. The movement began with a desire for moderation (i.e., temperance). The first wave of prohibition agitation led to number of state prohibition laws; Maine passed the first prohibition law in 1850. In the following decade, twelve other states did likewise, although most were repealed during the Civil War.[17]

Religious interests precipitated the second wave of prohibition legislation during the 1880s, which had as its aim local and state prohibition. During the 1880s, referendums were held at the state level to enact prohibition amendments. Two important groups were formed during this period. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was formed in 1874. The Anti-Saloon League was formed in 1893, uniting activists from different religious groups.[17]

The third wave of prohibition legislation, of which national prohibition was a result, began in 1907, when Georgia passed a state-wide prohibition law. By 1917, two thirds of the states had some form of prohibition laws and roughly three quarters of the population lived in dry areas. In 1913, the Anti-Saloon League first publicly appealed for a prohibition amendment. They preferred a constitutional amendment over a federal statute because although harder to achieve, they felt it would be harder to change. In 1913, Congress passed the Webb-Kenyon Act forbade the transport of liquor into dry states. As the United States entered World War I, the Conscription Act banned the sale of liquor near military bases.[18] In August 1917, the Lever Food and Fuel Control Act banned production of distilled spirits for the duration of the war. The War Prohibition Act, November, 1918, forbade the manufacture and sale of intoxicating beverages (more than 2.75% alcohol content) until the end of demobilization.

An amendment to the federal constitution requires a two-third majority of both houses and the support of three quarters of the states. At the time, this meant thirty-six states. In late 1917, Congress passed the Eighteenth Amendment; it was ratified in 1919 and took effect in January 1920. It prohibited the manufacturing, sale or transport of intoxicating beverages within the United States, as well as import and export. The Volstead Act, 1919, defined intoxicating as having alcohol content greater than 0.5% and established the procedures for enforcement of the Act.[19]

Consumer demand, however, led to a variety of illegal sources for alcohol, especially illegal distilleries and smuggling from Canada and other countries. It is difficult to determine the level of compliance, and although the media at the time portrayed the law as highly ineffective, even if it did not eradicate the use of alcohol, it certainly decreased alcohol consumption during the period.[20]

The Eighteenth Amendment was repealed in 1930, with the passage of the Twenty-First Amendment, thanks to a well organized repeal campaign led by Catholics (who stressed personal liberty) and businessmen (who stressed the lost tax revenue).[20]

Economic policy

President Wilson uses tariff, currency, and anti-trust laws to prime the pump and get the economy working.

The Progressive Era was one of general prosperity after the Panic of 1893-a severe depression—ended in 1897. The Panic of 1907 was short and mostly affected financiers. However, Campbell (2005) stresses the weak points of the economy in 1907-1914, linking them to public demands for more Progressive interventions. The Panic of 1907 was followed by a small decline in real wages and increased unemployment, with both trends continuing until World War I. Campbell emphasizes the resulting stress on public finance and the impact on the Wilson administration's policies. The weakened economy and persistent federal deficits led to changes in fiscal policy, including the imposition of federal income taxes on businesses and individuals and the creation of the Federal Reserve System. Government agencies were also transformed in an effort to improve administrative efficiency.[21]

In the Gilded Age (late 19th century) the parties were reluctant to involve the federal government too heavily in the private sector, except in the area of railroads and tariffs. In general, they accepted the concept of laissez-faire, a doctrine opposing government interference in the economy except to maintain law and order. This attitude started to change during the depression of the 1890s when small business, farm, and labor movements began asking the government to intercede on their behalf.[21]

By the turn of the century, a middle class had developed that was leery of both the business elite and the radical political movements of farmers and laborers in the Midwest and West. Known as Progressives, these people favored government regulation of business practices to ensure competition and free enterprise. Congress enacted a law regulating railroads in 1887 (the Interstate Commerce Act), and one preventing large firms from controlling a single industry in 1890 (the Sherman Antitrust Act). These laws were not rigorously enforced, however, until the years between 1900 and 1920, when Republican President Theodore Roosevelt (1901–1909), Democratic President Woodrow Wilson (1913–1921), and others sympathetic to the views of the Progressives came to power. Many of today's U.S. regulatory agencies were created during these years, including the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. Muckrakers were journalists who encouraged readers to demand more regulation of business. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1906) showed America the horrors of the Chicago Union Stock Yards, a giant complex of meat processing that developed in the 1870s. The federal government responded to Sinclair's book with the new regulatory Food and Drug Administration. Ida M. Tarbell wrote a series of articles against the Standard Oil monopoly. This affected both the government and the public reformers. The series helped pave the way for the breakup of the monopoly.[21]

When Democrat Woodrow Wilson was elected President with a Democratic Congress in 1912 he implemented a series of progressive policies. In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified, and the income tax was instituted in the United States. Wilson resolved the longstanding debates over tariffs and antitrust, and created the Federal Reserve, a complex business-government partnership that to this day dominates the financial world.[22]

In 1913, Henry Ford, adopted the moving assembly line, with each worker doing one simple task in the production of automobiles. Taking his cue from developments during the progressive era, Ford offered a very generous wage—$5 a day—to his (male) workers, arguing that a mass production enterprise could not survive if average workers could not buy the goods.[23]

Notable progressives

References

  1. ^ Muncy, Robin. "Women in the Progressive Era". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/nr//travel/pwwmh/prog.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  2. ^ Mintz, Steven (2006). "Learn About the Progressive Era". Digital History. University of Houston. http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/modules/progressivism/index.cfm. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  3. ^ David W. Southern, The Malignant Heritage: Yankee Progressives and the Negro Question, 1901-1914, 1968; Southern, The Progressive Era And Race: Reaction And Reform 1900-1917 (2005)
  4. ^ Steven Mintz, "Immigration Restriction" in Digital History
  5. ^ Norman H. Clark, Deliver Us from Evil: An Interpretation of American Prohibition (1976)
  6. ^ Aileen Kraditor, The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement: 1890-1920 (1967)
  7. ^ Mowry (1954)
  8. ^ Samuel Haber, Efficiency and Uplift Scientific Management in the Progressive Era 1890-1920 (1964)
  9. ^ John D. Buenker, and Robert M. Crunden. Progressivism (1986); Maureen Flanagan, America Reformed: Progressives and Progressivisms, 1890s-1920s (2007)
  10. ^ John M. Allswang, The initiative and referendum in California, 1898-1998‎, (2000)
  11. ^ Alan Ware, The American direct primary: party institutionalization and transformation (2002)
  12. ^ William Thomas Hutchinson, Lowden of Illinois: the life of Frank O. Lowden‎ (1957)
  13. ^ "Progressivism and the Wisconsin Idea". Wisconsin Historical Society. 2008-02-06. http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/tp-036/?action=more_essay. 
  14. ^ David E. Kyvig, Explicit and authentic acts: amending the U.S. Constitution, 1776-1995‎ (1996)
  15. ^ K. Austin Kerr, Organized for Prohibition: A New History of the Anti-Saloon League (1985).
  16. ^ James H. Timberlake, Prohibition and the progressive movement, 1900-1920‎, (1963)
  17. ^ a b Kerr, Organized for Prohibition (1985)
  18. ^ S.J. Mennell, "Prohibition: A Sociological View." Journal of American Studies 3, no. 2 (1969): 159-175.
  19. ^ Kyvig,David E.. Repealing National Prohibition (2000)
  20. ^ a b Kyvig, Repealing National Prohibition
  21. ^ a b c Harold U. Faulkner, The Decline of Laissez Faire, 1897-1917 (1951)
  22. ^ Arthur S. Link, Woodrow Wilson and the progressive Era, 190-1917 (1954)
  23. ^ American Heritage website retrieved 27 October 2008.

Further reading

Overviews

  • Buenker, John D., John C. Burnham, and Robert M. Crunden. Progressivism (1986)
  • Buenker, John D. and Joseph Buenker, Eds. Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Sharpe Reference, 2005. xxxii + 1256 pp. in three volumes. ISBN 0-7656-8051-3. 900 articles by 200 scholars
  • Buenker, John D., ed. Dictionary of the Progressive Era (1980)
  • Crunden, Robert M. Ministers of Reform: The Progressives' Achievement in American Civilization, 1889-1920 (1982)
  • Diner, Steven J. A Very Different Age: Americans of the Progressive Era (1998)
  • Glad, Paul W. "Progressives and the Business Culture of the 1920s," The Journal of American History, Vol. 53, No. 1. (Jun., 1966), pp. 75–89. in JSTOR
  • Gould Lewis L. America in the Progressive Era, 1890-1914" (2000)
  • Gould Lewis L. ed., The Progressive Era (1974)
  • Hays, Samuel D. The Response to Industrialization, 1885-1914 (1957),
  • Hofstadter, Richard, The Age of Reform (1954), Pulitzer Prize
  • Jensen, Richard. "Democracy, Republicanism and Efficiency: The Values of American Politics, 1885-1930," in Byron Shafer and Anthony Badger, eds, Contesting Democracy: Substance and Structure in American Political History, 1775-2000 (U of Kansas Press, 2001) pp 149–180; online version
  • Kennedy, David M. ed., Progressivism: The Critical Issues (1971), readings
  • Lasch, Christopher. The True and Only Heaven: Progress and its Critics (1991)
  • Leuchtenburg, William E. "Progressivism and Imperialism: The Progressive Movement and American Foreign Policy, 1898-1916," The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 39, No. 3. (Dec., 1952), pp. 483–504. JSTOR
  • Mann, Arthur. ed., The Progressive Era (1975)
  • McGerr, Michael. A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920 (2003)
  • Mowry, George. The Era of Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of Modern America, 1900-1912. (1954) general survey of era
  • Noggle, Burl. "The Twenties: A New Historiographical Frontier," The Journal of American History, Vol. 53, No. 2. (Sep., 1966), pp. 299–314. in JSTOR
  • Pease, Otis, ed. The Progressive Years: The Spirit and Achievement of American Reform (1962), primary documents
  • Thelen, David P. "Social Tensions and the Origins of Progressivism," Journal of American History 56 (1969), 323-341 online at JSTOR
  • Wiebe, Robert. The Search For Order, 1877-1920 (1967).

Presidents and politics

  • Beale Howard K. Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power. (1956).
  • Blum, John Morton. The Republican Roosevelt. (1954). Series of essays that examine how TR did politics
  • Brands, H.W. Theodore Roosevelt (2001).
  • Clements, Kendrick A. The Presidency of Woodrow Wilson (1992).
  • Coletta, Paolo. The Presidency of William Howard Taft (1990).
  • Cooper, John Milton The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. (1983).
  • Cooper, John Milton Woodrow Wilson: A Biography (2009)
  • Gould, Lewis L. The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt (1991).
  • Harbaugh, William Henry. The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. (1963).
  • Harrison, Robert. Congress, Progressive Reform, and the New American State (2004).
  • Hofstadter, Richard. The American Political Tradition (1948), ch. 8-9-10.
  • Kolko, Gabriel. "The Triumph of Conservatism" (1963).
  • Link, Arthur Stanley. Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive Era, 1910-1917 (1972).
  • Morris, Edmund Theodore Rex. (2001), biography of T. Roosevelt covers 1901-1909
  • Mowry, George E. Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement. (2001).
  • Pestritto, R.J. "Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism." (2005).
  • Sanders, Elizabeth. Roots of Reform: Farmers, Workers and the American State, 1877-1917 (1999).
  • Wilson, Joan Hoff. Herbert Hoover, Forgotten Progressive (1965).

State, local, ethnic, gender, business, labor, religion

  • Abell, Aaron I. American Catholicism and Social Action: A Search for Social Justice, 1865-1950 (1960),
  • Bruce, Kyle and Chris Nyland. "Scientific Management, Institutionalism, and Business Stabilization: 1903-1923" Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 35, 2001
  • Buenker, John D. Urban Liberalism and Progressive Reform (1973).
  • Buenker, John D. The Progressive Era, 1893-1914 (1998), in Wisconsin
  • Feffer, Andrew. The Chicago Pragmatists and American Progressivism (1993).
  • Frankel, Noralee and Nancy S. Dye, eds. Gender, Class, Race, and Reform in the Progressive Era (1991).
  • Hahn, Steven. A Nation under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration (2003).
  • Huthmacher, J. Joseph. "Urban Liberalism and the Age of Reform" Mississippi Valley Historical Review 49 (1962): 231-241, in JSTOR; emphasized urban, ethnic, working class support for reform
  • Link, William A. The Paradox of Southern Progressivism, 1880-1930 (1992).
  • Montgomery, David. The Fall of the House of Labor: The workplace, the state, and American labor activism, 1865-1925 (1987).
  • Muncy, Robyn. Creating A Feminine Dominion in American Reform, 1890-1935 (1991).
  • Lubove, Roy. The Progressives and the Slums: Tenement House Reform in New York City, 1890-1917 Greenwood Press: 1974.
  • Recchiuti, John Louis. Civic Engagement: Social Science and Progressive-Era Reform in New York City (2007).
  • Rodgers, Daniel T. Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age (2000). stresses links with Europe
  • Stromquist, Shelton. Reinventing 'The People': The Progressive Movement, the Class Problem, and the Origins of Modern Liberalism, University of Illinois Press, 2006. ISBN 0-252-07269-3.
  • Thelen, David. The New Citizenship, Origins of Progressivism in Wisconsin, 1885-1900 (1972).
  • Wesser, Robert F. Charles Evans Hughes: politics and reform in New York, 1905-1910 (1967).
  • Wiebe, Robert. "Business Disunity and the Progressive Movement, 1901-1914," The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 44, No. 4. (Mar., 1958), pp. 664–685. in JSTOR

See also


The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of reform that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s.[1] Purification of the system to remove corruption was a main goal of the progressive era, with Progressives trying to expose and undercut political machines and bosses. Many (but not all) Progressives supported prohibition in order to destroy the political power based in saloons. At the same time, women's suffrage was promoted to bring a "purer" female vote into the arena.[2]

Many people led efforts to reform education, medicine, business, church policies, etc. The political leaders included Theodore Roosevelt, Robert M. La Follette, Sr., Charles Evans Hughes and Herbert Hoover on the Republican side, and William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson and Al Smith on the Democratic side.

Initially the movement was successful at local levels; later it expanded to state and national levels. Progressives drew support from the middle class, and supporters included many lawyers, teachers, physicians, ministers and business people.[3] The Progressives strongly supported scientific methods as applied to government, industry, finance, medicine, schooling, theology, education, and even the family. They closely followed advances underway at the time in Western Europe, and adopted numerous policies, such as the banking laws which became the Federal Reserve System in 1914. They felt that old-fashioned ways meant waste and inefficiency, and eagerly sought out the "one best system".[4]

Contents

Political reform

Disturbed by the inefficiencies and injustices of the Gilded Age, the progressives were committed to changing and reforming the country. Significant changes enacted at the national levels included the imposition of an income tax with the Sixteenth Amendment, direct election of Senators with the Seventeenth Amendment, Prohibition with the Eighteenth Amendment, and women's suffrage through the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Exposing corruption

Muckrakers were journalists who exposed waste, corruption, and scandal in the highly influential new medium of national magazines, such as McClure's. Progressives shared a common belief in the ability of science, technology and disinterested expertise to identify problems and come up with the best solution.[5]

Modernization

The progressives were avid modernizers. They believed in science, technology, expertise—and especially education—as the grand solution to society's weaknesses. Characteristics of progressivism included a favorable attitude toward urban-industrial society, belief in mankind's ability to improve the environment and conditions of life, belief in obligation to intervene in economic and social affairs, and a belief in the ability of experts and in efficiency of government intervention.[6]

Democracy

Progressives moved to enable the citizenry to rule more directly and circumvent political bosses; California, Wisconsin, and Oregon took the lead. California governor Hiram Johnson established the initiative, referendum, and recall, viewing them as good influences for citizen participation against the historic influence of large corporations on state assembly including job reform.[7]

About 16 states began using primary elections to reduce the power of bosses and machines.[8] The Seventeenth Amendment was ratified in 1913, requiring that all senators be elected by the people (instead of the state legislature).

Municipal reform

Many cities set up municipal reference bureaus to study the budgets and administrative structures of local governments. In Illinois, Governor Frank Lowden undertook a major reorganization of state government.[9] In Wisconsin, the stronghold of Robert LaFollette, the Wisconsin Idea, used the state university as the source of ideas and expertise.[10]

Constitutional change

The Progressives tried to permanently fix their reforms into law by constitutional amendments, included Prohibition with the 18th Amendment and women's suffrage by the 19th amendment, both in 1920 as well as the federal income tax with the 16th amendment and direct election of senators with the 17th amendment. After Progressivism collapsed, the 18th amendment was repealed (in 1933).[11]

Social Reform

Prohibition

Prohibition refers to the period during which the manufacture, sale and transport of alcohol was prohibited. Throughout the Progressive Era, it remained one of the main causes at the local, state and national level. It achieved national success with the passage of the 18th Amendment by Congress in late 1917, and the ratification by three-fourths of the states in 1919. Prohibition was essentially a religious movement backed by evangelical churches. Activists were mobilized by the highly effective Anti-Saloon League.[12][13]

Agitation for prohibition, however, originated as early as the start of the nineteenth century when concern for American drinking came from the clergy (especially evangelical Protestants), politicians, business leaders, social reformers, etc. The movement began with a desire for moderation (i.e., temperance). The first wave of prohibition agitation led to number of state prohibition laws; Maine passed the first prohibition law in 1850. In the following decade, twelve other states did likewise, although most were repealed during the Civil War.[14]

Religious interests precipitated the second wave of prohibition legislation during the 1880s, which had as its aim local and state prohibition. During the 1880s, referendums were held at the state level to enact prohibition amendments. Two important groups were formed during this period. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was formed in 1874. The Anti-Saloon League was formed in 1893, uniting activists from different religious groups.[14]

The third wave of prohibition legislation, of which national prohibition was a result, began in 1907, when Georgia passed a state-wide prohibition law. By 1917, two thirds of the states had some form of prohibition laws and roughly three quarters of the population lived in dry areas. In 1913, the Anti-Saloon League first publicly appealed for a prohibition amendment. They preferred a constitutional amendment over a federal statute because although harder to achieve, they felt it would be harder to change. In 1913, Congress passed the Webb-Kenyon Act forbade the transport of liquor into dry states. As the United States entered World War I, the Conscription Act banned the sale of liquor near military bases.[15] In August 1917, the Lever Food and Fuel Control Act banned production of distilled spirits for the duration of the war. The War Prohibition Act, November, 1918, forbade the manufacture and sale of intoxicating beverages (more than 2.75% alcohol content) until the end of demobilization.

An amendment to the federal constitution requires a two-third majority of both houses and the support of three quarters of the states. At the time, this meant thirty-six states. In late 1917, Congress passed the Eighteenth Amendment; it was ratified in 1919 and took effect in January 1920. It prohibited the manufacturing, sale or transport of intoxicating beverages within the United States, as well as import and export. The Volstead Act, 1919, defined intoxicating as having alcohol content greater than 0.5% and established the procedures for enforcement of the Act.[16]

Consumer demand, however, led to a variety of illegal sources for alcohol, especially illegal distilleries and smuggling from Canada and other countries. It is difficult to determine the level of compliance, and although the media at the time portrayed the law as highly ineffective, even if it did not eradicate the use of alcohol, it certainly decreased alcohol consumption during the period.[17]

The Eighteenth Amendment was repealed in 1930, with the passage of the Twenty-First Amendment, thanks to a well organized repeal campaign led by Catholics (who stressed personal liberty) and businessmen (who stressed the lost tax revenue).[17]

Economic policy

The Progressive Era was one of general prosperity after the Panic of 1893—a severe depression—ended in 1897. The Panic of 1907 was short and mostly affected financiers. However, Campbell (2005) stresses the weak points of the economy in 1907-1914, linking them to public demands for more Progressive interventions. The Panic of 1907 was followed by a small decline in real wages and increased unemployment, with both trends continuing until World War I. Campbell emphasizes the resulting stress on public finance and the impact on the Wilson administration's policies. The weakened economy and persistent federal deficits led to changes in fiscal policy, including the imposition of federal income taxes on businesses and individuals and the creation of the Federal Reserve System. Government agencies were also transformed in an effort to improve administrative efficiency.[18]

In the Gilded Age (late 19th century) the parties were reluctant to involve the federal government too heavily in the private sector, except in the area of railroads and tariffs. In general, they accepted the concept of laissez-faire, a doctrine opposing government interference in the economy except to maintain law and order. This attitude started to change during the depression of the 1890s when small business, farm, and labor movements began asking the government to intercede on their behalf.[18]

By the turn of the century, a middle class had developed that was leery of both the business elite and the radical political movements of farmers and laborers in the Midwest and West. Known as Progressives, these people favored government regulation of business practices to ensure competition and free enterprise. Congress enacted a law regulating railroads in 1887 (the Interstate Commerce Act), and one preventing large firms from controlling a single industry in 1890 (the Sherman Antitrust Act). These laws were not rigorously enforced, however, until the years between 1900 and 1920, when Republican President Theodore Roosevelt (1901–1909), Democratic President Woodrow Wilson (1913–1921), and others sympathetic to the views of the Progressives came to power. Many of today's U.S. regulatory agencies were created during these years, including the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. Muckrakers were journalists who encouraged readers to demand more regulation of business. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1906) showed America the horrors of the Chicago Union Stock Yards, a giant complex of meat processing that developed in the 1870s. The federal government responded to Sinclair's book with the new regulatory Food and Drug Administration. Ida M. Tarbell wrote a series of articles against the Standard Oil monopoly. This affected both the government and the public reformers. The series helped pave the way for the breakup of the monopoly.[18]

When Democrat Woodrow Wilson was elected President with a Democratic Congress in 1912 he implemented a series of progressive policies. In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified, and the income tax was instituted in the United States. Wilson resolved the longstanding debates over tariffs and antitrust, and created the Federal Reserve, a complex business-government partnership that to this day dominates the financial world.[19]

In 1913, Henry Ford, adopted the moving assembly line, with each worker doing one simple task in the production of automobiles. Taking his cue from developments during the progressive era, Ford offered a very generous wage—$5 a day—to his (male) workers, arguing that a mass production enterprise could not survive if average workers could not buy the goods.[20]

Notable leaders of the Progressive Era

References

  1. ^ John D. Buenker, John C. Burnham, and Robert M. Crunden, Progressivism (1986)
  2. ^ On purification, see David W. Southern, The Malignant Heritage: Yankee Progressives and the Negro Question, 1901-1914, (1968); Southern, The Progressive Era And Race: Reaction And Reform 1900-1917 (2005); Steven Mintz, "Immigration Restriction" in Digital History; Norman H. Clark, Deliver Us from Evil: An Interpretation of American Prohibition (1976); and Aileen Kraditor, The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement: 1890-1920 (1967)
  3. ^ Mowry (1954).
  4. ^ Lewis L. Gould , America in the Progressive Era, 1890-1914 (2000)
  5. ^ Samuel Haber, Efficiency and Uplift Scientific Management in the Progressive Era 1890-1920 (1964)656
  6. ^ John D. Buenker, and Robert M. Crunden. Progressivism (1986); Maureen Flanagan, America Reformed: Progressives and Progressivisms, 1890s-1920s (2007)
  7. ^ John M. Allswang, The initiative and referendum in California, 1898-1998‎, (2000)
  8. ^ Alan Ware, The American direct primary: party institutionalization and transformation (2002)
  9. ^ William Thomas Hutchinson, Lowden of Illinois: the life of Frank O. Lowden‎ (1957)
  10. ^ "Progressivism and the Wisconsin Idea". Wisconsin Historical Society. 2008-02-06. http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/tp-036/?action=more_essay. 
  11. ^ David E. Kyvig, Explicit and authentic acts: amending the U.S. Constitution, 1776-1995‎ (1996)
  12. ^ K. Austin Kerr, Organized for Prohibition: A New History of the Anti-Saloon League (1985).
  13. ^ James H. Timberlake, Prohibition and the progressive movement, 1900-1920‎, (1963)
  14. ^ a b Kerr, Organized for Prohibition (1985)
  15. ^ S.J. Mennell, "Prohibition: A Sociological View." Journal of American Studies 3, no. 2 (1969): 159-175.
  16. ^ Kyvig,David E.. Repealing National Prohibition (2000)
  17. ^ a b Kyvig, Repealing National Prohibition
  18. ^ a b c Harold U. Faulkner, The Decline of Laissez Faire, 1897-1917 (1951)
  19. ^ Arthur S. Link, Woodrow Wilson and the progressive Era, 190-1917 (1954)
  20. ^ American Heritage website retrieved 27 October 2008.

Further reading

Overviews

  • Buenker, John D., John C. Burnham, and Robert M. Crunden. Progressivism (1986)
  • Buenker, John D. and Joseph Buenker, Eds. Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Sharpe Reference, 2005. xxxii + 1256 pp. in three volumes. ISBN 0-7656-8051-3. 900 articles by 200 scholars
  • Buenker, John D., ed. Dictionary of the Progressive Era (1980)
  • Crunden, Robert M. Ministers of Reform: The Progressives' Achievement in American Civilization, 1889-1920 (1982)
  • Diner, Steven J. A Very Different Age: Americans of the Progressive Era (1998)
  • Glad, Paul W. "Progressives and the Business Culture of the 1920s," The Journal of American History, Vol. 53, No. 1. (Jun., 1966), pp. 75–89. in JSTOR
  • Gould Lewis L. America in the Progressive Era, 1890-1914" (2000)
  • Gould Lewis L. ed., The Progressive Era (1974)
  • Hays, Samuel D. The Response to Industrialization, 1885-1914 (1957),
  • Hofstadter, Richard, The Age of Reform (1954), Pulitzer Prize
  • Jensen, Richard. "Democracy, Republicanism and Efficiency: The Values of American Politics, 1885-1930," in Byron Shafer and Anthony Badger, eds, Contesting Democracy: Substance and Structure in American Political History, 1775-2000 (U of Kansas Press, 2001) pp 149–180; online version
  • Kennedy, David M. ed., Progressivism: The Critical Issues (1971), readings
  • Lasch, Christopher. The True and Only Heaven: Progress and its Critics (1991)
  • Leuchtenburg, William E. "Progressivism and Imperialism: The Progressive Movement and American Foreign Policy, 1898-1916," The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 39, No. 3. (Dec., 1952), pp. 483–504. JSTOR
  • Mann, Arthur. ed., The Progressive Era (1975)
  • McGerr, Michael. A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920 (2003)
  • Mowry, George. The Era of Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of Modern America, 1900-1912. (1954) general survey of era
  • Noggle, Burl. "The Twenties: A New Historiographical Frontier," The Journal of American History, Vol. 53, No. 2. (Sep., 1966), pp. 299–314. in JSTOR
  • Pease, Otis, ed. The Progressive Years: The Spirit and Achievement of American Reform (1962), primary documents
  • Thelen, David P. "Social Tensions and the Origins of Progressivism," Journal of American History 56 (1969), 323-341 online at JSTOR
  • Wiebe, Robert. The Search For Order, 1877-1920 (1967).

Presidents and politics

  • Beale Howard K. Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power. (1956).
  • Blum, John Morton. The Republican Roosevelt. (1954). Series of essays that examine how TR did politics
  • Brands, H.W. Theodore Roosevelt (2001).
  • Clements, Kendrick A. The Presidency of Woodrow Wilson (1992).
  • Coletta, Paolo. The Presidency of William Howard Taft (1990).
  • Cooper, John Milton The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. (1983).
  • Cooper, John Milton Woodrow Wilson: A Biography (2009)
  • Gould, Lewis L. The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt (1991).
  • Harbaugh, William Henry. The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. (1963).
  • Harrison, Robert. Congress, Progressive Reform, and the New American State (2004).
  • Hofstadter, Richard. The American Political Tradition (1948), ch. 8-9-10.
  • Kolko, Gabriel. "The Triumph of Conservatism" (1963).
  • Link, Arthur Stanley. Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive Era, 1910-1917 (1972).
  • Morris, Edmund Theodore Rex. (2001), biography of T. Roosevelt covers 1901-1909
  • Mowry, George E. Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement. (2001).
  • Pestritto, R.J. "Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism." (2005).
  • Sanders, Elizabeth. Roots of Reform: Farmers, Workers and the American State, 1877-1917 (1999).
  • Wilson, Joan Hoff. Herbert Hoover, Forgotten Progressive (1965).

State, local, ethnic, gender, business, labor, religion

  • Abell, Aaron I. American Catholicism and Social Action: A Search for Social Justice, 1865-1950 (1960).
  • Bruce, Kyle and Chris Nyland. "Scientific Management, Institutionalism, and Business Stabilization: 1903-1923" Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 35, 2001.
  • Buenker, John D. Urban Liberalism and Progressive Reform (1973).
  • Buenker, John D. The History of Wisconsin, Vol. 4: The Progressive Era, 1893-1914 (1998).
  • Feffer, Andrew. The Chicago Pragmatists and American Progressivism (1993).
  • Frankel, Noralee and Nancy S. Dye, eds. Gender, Class, Race, and Reform in the Progressive Era (1991).
  • Hahn, Steven. A Nation under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration (2003).
  • Huthmacher, J. Joseph. "Urban Liberalism and the Age of Reform" Mississippi Valley Historical Review 49 (1962): 231-241, in JSTOR; emphasized urban, ethnic, working class support for reform
  • Link, William A. The Paradox of Southern Progressivism, 1880-1930 (1992).
  • Montgomery, David. The Fall of the House of Labor: The workplace, the state, and American labor activism, 1865-1925 (1987).
  • Muncy, Robyn. Creating A Feminine Dominion in American Reform, 1890-1935 (1991).
  • Lubove, Roy. The Progressives and the Slums: Tenement House Reform in New York City, 1890-1917 Greenwood Press: 1974.
  • Recchiuti, John Louis. Civic Engagement: Social Science and Progressive-Era Reform in New York City (2007).
  • Rodgers, Daniel T. Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age (2000). stresses links with Europe
  • Stromquist, Shelton. Reinventing 'The People': The Progressive Movement, the Class Problem, and the Origins of Modern Liberalism, University of Illinois Press, 2006. ISBN 0-252-07269-3.
  • Thelen, David. The New Citizenship, Origins of Progressivism in Wisconsin, 1885-1900 (1972).
  • Wesser, Robert F. Charles Evans Hughes: politics and reform in New York, 1905-1910 (1967).
  • Wiebe, Robert. "Business Disunity and the Progressive Movement, 1901-1914," The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 44, No. 4. (Mar., 1958), pp. 664–685. in JSTOR

See also


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