⒈ What Was Progressive America

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What Was Progressive America



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Progressive Presidents: Crash Course US History #29

By the start of the 20th century, a middle class had developed that was weary of both the business elite and the radical political movements of farmers and laborers in the Midwest and West. The Progressives argued the need for government regulation of business practices to ensure competition and free enterprise. Congress enacted a law regulating railroads in the Interstate Commerce Act , and one preventing large firms from controlling a single industry in the Sherman Antitrust Act.

These laws were not rigorously enforced, however, until the years between and , when Republican President Theodore Roosevelt — , Democratic President Woodrow Wilson — , and others sympathetic to the views of the Progressives came to power. Many of today's U. Muckrakers were journalists who encouraged readers to demand more regulation of business. Upton Sinclair 's The Jungle was influential and persuaded America about the supposed horrors of the Chicago Union Stock Yards , a giant complex of meat processing plants that developed in the s.

The federal government responded to Sinclair's book and the Neill—Reynolds Report with the new regulatory Food and Drug Administration. Ida M. Tarbell wrote a series of articles against Standard Oil , which was perceived to be a monopoly. This affected both the government and the public reformers. Attacks by Tarbell and others helped pave the way for public acceptance of the breakup of the company by the Supreme Court in When Democrat Woodrow Wilson was elected president with a Democratic Congress in he implemented a series of Progressive policies in economics. In , the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified, and a small income tax was imposed on higher incomes.

The Democrats lowered tariffs with the Underwood Tariff in , though its effects were overwhelmed by the changes in trade caused by the World War that broke out in Wilson proved especially effective in mobilizing public opinion behind tariff changes by denouncing corporate lobbyists, addressing Congress in person in highly dramatic fashion, and staging an elaborate ceremony when he signed the bill into law. He managed to convince lawmakers on the issues of money and banking by the creation in of the Federal Reserve System , a complex business-government partnership that to this day dominates the financial world.

In , Henry Ford dramatically increased the efficiency of his factories by large-scale use of the moving assembly line, with each worker doing one simple task in the production of automobiles. Emphasizing efficiency, Ford more than doubled wages and cut hours from 9 a day to 8 , attracting the best workers and sharply reducing labor turnover and absenteeism. His employees could and did buy his cars, and by cutting prices over and over he made the Model T cheap enough for millions of people to buy in the U.

Ford's profits soared and his company dominated the world's automobile industry. Henry Ford became the world-famous prophet of high wages and high profits. They published a book titled "Middletown [] " in In this study they found how the automobile impacted American families. Budgets changed dramatically and the automobile has revolutionized how people spent their free time. The influx of immigration grew steadily after , with most new arrivals being unskilled workers from southern and eastern Europe. These immigrants were able to find work in the steel mills, slaughterhouses, fishing industry, and construction crews of the emergent mill towns and industrial cities mostly in the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast.

The outbreak of World War I in halted most transcontinental immigration, only after did the flow of immigrants resume. Starting in the s, the labor unions aggressively promoted restrictions on immigration, especially restrictions on Chinese, Japanese and Korean immigrants. As a result, many large corporations were opposed to immigration restrictions. By the early s, a consensus had been reached that the total influx of immigration had to be restricted, and a series of laws in the s accomplished that purpose.

During World War I, the Progressives strongly promoted Americanization programs, designed to modernize the recent immigrants and turn them into model American citizens, while diminishing loyalties to the old country. Progressives looked to legal arbitration as an alternative to warfare. The two leading proponents were Taft, a constitutional lawyer who later became Chief Justice, and Democratic leaders William Jennings Bryan.

Taft's political base was the conservative business community which largely supported peace movements before The businessmen believed that economic rivalries were cause of war, and that extensive trade led to an interdependent world that would make war a very expensive and useless anachronism. One early success came in the Newfoundland fisheries dispute between the United States and Britain in In Taft's diplomats signed wide-ranging arbitration treaties with France and Britain. They were dueling for control of the Republican Party and Roosevelt encouraged the Senate to impose amendments that significantly weakened the treaties.

On the one hand, Roosevelt was acting to sabotage Taft's campaign promises. The Roosevelt in approach incorporated a near-mystical faith of the ennobling nature of war. It endorsed jingoistic nationalism as opposed to the businessmen's calculation of profit and national interest. Foreign policy in the progressive era was often marked by a tone of moral supremacy. Woodrow Wilson and William Jennings Bryan both saw themselves as 'Missionaries of Democracy', with the deliberate religious overtone. Historian Arthur S. Link says they felt they were, "Inspired by the confidence that they knew better how to promote the peace and well-being of other countries than did the leaders of those countries themselves.

Using this moralistic approach, Roosevelt argued for intervention with Cuba to help it to become a "just and stable civilization", by way of the Platt amendment. Wilson used a similar moralistic tone when dealing with Mexico. In , while revolutionaries took control of the government, Wilson judged them to be immoral, and refused to acknowledge the in-place government on that reason alone. The Philippines were acquired by the United States in , after victory over Spanish forces at the Battle of Manila Bay and a long series of controversial political debates between the senate and President McKinley and was considered the largest colonial acquisition by the United States at this time.

While anti-imperialist sentiments had been prevalent in the United States during this time, the acquisition of the Philippines sparked the relatively minor population into action. Voicing their opinions in public, they sought to deter American leaders from keeping the Asian-Pacific nation and to avoid the temptations of expansionist tendencies that were widely viewed as "un-American" at that time. Philippines was a major target for the progressive reformers. A report to Secretary of War Taft provided a summary of what the American civil administration had achieved. It included, in addition to the rapid building of a public school system based on English teaching, and boasted about such modernizing achievements as:.

In the American reformers in the Philippines passed two major land acts designed to turn landless peasants into owners of their farms. By the law was clearly a failure. Reformers such as Taft believed landownership would turn unruly agrarians into loyal subjects. The social structure in rural Philippines was highly traditional and highly unequal. Drastic changes in land ownership posed a major challenge to local elites, who would not accept it, nor would their peasant clients. The American reformers blamed peasant resistance to landownership for the law's failure and argued that large plantations and sharecropping was the Philippines' best path to development. Elite Filipina women played a major role in the reform movement, especially on health issues.

They specialized on such urgent needs as infant care and maternal and child health, the distribution of pure milk and teaching new mothers about children's health. Some Progressives sponsored eugenics as a solution to excessively large or underperforming families, hoping that birth control would enable parents to focus their resources on fewer, better children. Prohibition was the outlawing of the manufacture, sale and transport of alcohol.

Drinking itself was never prohibited. Throughout the Progressive Era, it remained one of the prominent causes associated with Progressivism at the local, state and national level, though support across the full breadth of Progressives was mixed. It pitted the minority urban Catholic population against the larger rural Protestant element, and Progressivism's rise in the rural communities was aided in part by the general increase in public consciousness of social issues of the temperance movement , which achieved national success with the passage of the 18th Amendment by Congress in late , and the ratification by three-fourths of the states in Prohibition was backed by the Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists, Scandinavian Lutherans and other evangelical churches.

Activists were mobilized by the highly effective Anti-Saloon League. Agitation for prohibition began during the Second Great Awakening in the s when crusades against drinking originated from evangelical Protestants. During the s, referendums were held at the state level to enact prohibition amendments. Two important groups were formed during this period. Rather than condemn all drinking, the group focused attention on the saloon which was considered the ultimate symbol of public vice.

The league also concentrated on campaigns for the right of individual communities to choose whether to close their saloons. In , Congress passed the Webb-Kenyon Act , which forbade the transport of liquor into dry states. By , two-thirds of the states had some form of prohibition laws and roughly three-quarters of the population lived in dry areas. In , 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. The War Prohibition Act, November, , forbade the manufacture and sale of intoxicating beverages more than 2. The drys worked energetically to secure two-thirds majority of both houses of Congress and the support of three-quarters of the states needed for an amendment to the federal constitution.

Thirty-six states were needed, and organizations were set up at all 48 states to seek ratification. In late , Congress passed the Eighteenth Amendment; it was ratified in and took effect in January It prohibited the manufacturing, sale or transport of intoxicating beverages within the United States, as well as import and export. The Volstead Act , , defined intoxicating as having alcohol content greater than 0. The states were at liberty to enforce prohibition or not, and most did not try.

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. The Eighteenth Amendment was repealed in , 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.

Prohibition , which also brought a rise to organized crime, who was able to profit off the sales of illegal alcohol. Al Capone was one of the most well-known criminals to partake in illegal alcohol sales. There was a huge demand for alcohol, but most business owners were unwilling to risk getting involved in the transportation of alcohol. The business owners did however have little issue with selling the alcohol that the criminals like Capone provided. Organized Crime was able to be successful due to their willingness to use intimidation and violence to carry out their illicit enterprises.

During prohibition, the mafia was able to grow their stronghold on illegal activities throughout the United States. This illegal behavior began almost in conjunction with prohibition being voted into law. Within the first hours of prohibition, the police in Chicago reported the theft of medicinal liquor. The reform of schools and other educational institutions was one of the prime concerns of the middle class during this time period. The number of schools in the nation increased dramatically, as did the need for a better more-rounded education system. The face of the Progressive Education Movement in America was John Dewey, a professor at the University of Chicago — who advocated for schools to incorporate everyday skills instead of only teaching academic content.

Dewey felt the younger generation was losing the opportunity to learn the art of democratic participation and in turn wrote many novels such as The Child and the Curriculum and Schools of tomorrow. A higher level of education also gained popularity. By , A new field of study, the art and science of homemaking, emerged in the Progressive Era in an effort to feminize women's education in the United States. Home economics emerged at the end of the nineteenth century in response to the many changes occurring both at the level of material culture and practices and in the more abstract realm of gender ideology and thinking about the home. As the industrial revolution took hold of the American economy and as mass production, alienation, and urbanization appeared to be unstoppable trends, Americans looked for solutions that could soften the effects of change without slowing down the engines of progress.

Advocates of home economics argued that homemaking, as a profession, required education and training for the development of an efficient and systematic domestic practice. The curriculum aimed to cover a variety of topics, including teaching a standardized ways of gardening, child-rearing, cooking, cleaning, performing household maintenance, and doctoring. Such scientific management applied to the domestic sphere was presented as a solution to the dilemma and the black middle-class women faced in terms of searching for meaning and fulfillment in their role of housekeeping. The feminist perspective, by pushing for this type of education, intended to explain that women had separate but equally important responsibilities in life with men that required proper training.

There was a concern towards working-class children being taken out of school to be put straight to work. Progressives around the country put up campaigns to push for an improvement in public education and to make education mandatory. It was further pushed in the South, where education was very much behind compared to the rest of the country. The Southern Education Board came together to publicize the importance of reform. However, many rejected the reform. Farmers and workers relied heavily on their eldest children, their first born, to work and help the family's income.

Immigrants were not for reform either, fearing that such a thing would Americanize their children. Despite those fighting against reform, there was a positive outcome to the fight for reform. Enrollment for children age 5 to 19 in school rose from Enrollment in public secondary school went from , to , School funds and the term of public schools also grew. The Flexner Report of , sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation , professionalized American medicine by discarding the scores of local small medical schools and focusing national funds, resources, and prestige on larger, professionalized medical schools associated with universities.

It established national standards for law schools, which led to the replacement of the old system of young men studying law privately with established lawyers by the new system of accredited law schools associated with universities. Progressive scholars, based at the emerging research universities such as Harvard , Columbia , Johns Hopkins , Chicago , Michigan , Wisconsin and California , worked to modernize their disciplines.

The heyday of the amateur expert gave way to the research professor who published in the new scholarly journals and presses. Their explicit goal was to professionalize and make "scientific" the social sciences, especially history , [5] economics , [6] and political science. In the s typically historians saw the Progressive Era as a prelude to the New Deal and dated it from when Roosevelt became president to the start of World War I in or Much less settled is the question of when the era ended.

Some historians who emphasize civil liberties decry their suppression during World War I and do not consider the war as rooted in Progressive policy. The Senate voted 82—6 in favor; the House agreed, — Some historians see the so-called "war to end all wars" as a globalized expression of the American Progressive movement, with Wilson's support for a League of Nations as its climax. The politics of the s was unfriendly toward the labor unions and liberal crusaders against business, so many if not most historians who emphasize those themes write off the decade. Urban cosmopolitan scholars recoiled at the moralism of prohibition, the intolerance of the nativists and the KKK, and on those grounds denounced the era. Richard Hofstadter , for example, in wrote that prohibition, "was a pseudo-reform, a pinched, parochial substitute for reform" that "was carried about America by the rural-evangelical virus".

Link emphasized, the Progressives did not simply roll over and play dead. Palmer, pointing to leaders like George Norris , says, "It is worth noting that progressivism, whilst temporarily losing the political initiative, remained popular in many western states and made its presence felt in Washington during both the Harding and Coolidge presidencies. While some Progressive leaders became reactionaries, that usually happened in the s, not in the s, as exemplified by William Randolph Hearst , [] Herbert Hoover , Al Smith and Henry Ford. The October Revolution shortly followed, which empowered the Bolsheviks to seize control of much of Russia. The ensuing Red Terror generated fear among Americans, who had come out of the First World War with several new security laws such as the Espionage Act in , the Sedition Act of , and the Immigration Act of This legislation enabled the American government to investigate and prosecute anarchists in response to terrorist attacks.

Bombings by Galleanist anarchists in the spring of contributed to a public hysteria about the communist threat, now called the First Red Scare. The five-day strike was short-lived due to a crackdown by Mayor Ole Hanson , who attained fame from ending the strike and raising awareness of what he considered to be the dangers of Bolshevism. In the latter half of the year, the Boston Police Strike , Steel Strike of , and Coal Strike of created numerous battles between the government and organized labor.

Mitchell Palmer. Thousands of suspected leftists were arrested, particularly those with communist or anarchist ties, and many were deported. The bulk of those charged were Italians , Eastern Europeans, and Jews. Post , a newly-appointed Assistant Secretary of Labor and Georgist , cancelled the majority of the charges in his temporary capacity as Acting Secretary. The action was passed by a legislative supermajority, but was widely denounced by both parties, including by progressive Democratic governor Al Smith and the progressive Republican Charles Evan Hughes , the party's candidate and New York's former governor.

Edgar Hoover 's General Intelligence Division, warned the public of an imminent plot to overthrow the American government on May Day , including bombings, assassinations, and uprisings. This scare contributed to the quick decline of anti-Bolshevik hysteria in the United States thereafter. Although the Red Scare wound down towards the end of , the Wall Street bombing kept the threat of anarchist violence in the public consciousness, despite investigations never determining the motive or perpetrators of the attack. What historians have identified as "business progressivism", with its emphasis on efficiency and typified by Henry Ford and Herbert Hoover [] reached an apogee in the s.

Wik, for example, argues that Ford's "views on technology and the mechanization of rural America were generally enlightened, progressive, and often far ahead of his times. Tindall stresses the continuing importance of the Progressive movement in the South in the s involving increased democracy, efficient government, corporate regulation, social justice, and governmental public service. Historians of women and of youth emphasize the strength of the Progressive impulse in the s. Paul Fass, speaking of youth, says "Progressivism as an angle of vision, as an optimistic approach to social problems, was very much alive.

By a block of progressive Republicans in the Senate were urging Hoover to take more vigorous action to fight the depression. Norris of Nebraska, Robert M. La Follette Jr. Cutting of New Mexico. While these western Republicans could stir up issues, they could rarely forge a majority, since they were too individualistic and did not form a unified caucus. They remained staunch isolationists deeply opposed to any involvement in Europe. Outside the Senate, however, a strong majority of the surviving Progressives from the s had become conservative opponents of New Deal economic planning.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Era of United States history between and For other uses, see Progressive Era disambiguation. On an average day in the United States, more than people are killed by guns. Whenever the fact of this ambient crisis rises back to the surface of national consciousness, as it has this past week, it tends to inspire a certain mystified resignation. Politicians and commentators, acting in good faith and bad, probe the problem with the same stock of questions: Was mental illness to blame? White male supremacy or Islamic extremism? Video games? Eventually, after a day or two of asking, the questions stop.

The same can be said for gun deaths in general , of which mass shootings account for only a tiny fraction. Here are some of the most popular and persuasive explanations. In this view, mass death is simply the cost gun owners are willing to inflict on the country for the right to bear arms. But many Americans do not see gun violence in such black-and-white terms, because they do not see gun violence as having to do with guns at all. Gun owners, on the other hand, are more likely to blame other factors, such as popular culture or parenting. The different stories Americans tell themselves about the roots of gun violence preclude shared understanding: As long as they disagree about the cause of the problem, they will disagree about how to fix it.

The bill never came up for a vote. Other proposals, including one that would give citizens access to police personnel records and another to curtail the use of tear gas and rubber bullets to control crowds, also perished without a vote. It is the bare minimum we could do. It is tragic. A proposal that permanently bans police officers from serving requires more scrutiny from the law enforcement community, several unions said. Rendon said while he personally supported SB , it did not have enough votes in the Assembly to pass this year. Alicia Victoria Lozano is a California-based reporter for NBC News focusing on climate change, wildfires and the changing politics of drug laws. IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Share this —. Follow NBC News. Every couple of months, a conservative writer warns America about California. Tyler Kingkade. Alicia Victoria Lozano.

But many Americans do What Was Progressive America see gun violence in such black-and-white terms, because they do not see gun violence What Was Progressive America having to What Was Progressive America with guns at What Was Progressive America. White male supremacy what is hercules the god of What Was Progressive America extremism? Boundless US History.

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