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The progressive era in the political practice of the united states

Progressive Era Historians debate the exact contours, but generally date the " Progressive Era " from the 1890s to either World War I or the onset of the Great Depressionin response to the perceived excesses of the Gilded Age. Purification to eliminate waste and corruption was a powerful element, [4] as well as the Progressives' support of worker compensation, improved child labor laws, minimum wage legislation, a support for a maximum hours that workers could work for, graduated income tax and allowed women the right to vote.

Progressive Era

The Progressives believed in the Hamiltonian concept of positive government, of a national government directing the destinies of the nation at home and abroad.

They had little but contempt for the strict construction of the Constitution by conservative judges, who would restrict the power of the national government to act against social evils and to extend the blessings of democracy to less favored lands.

The real enemy was particularism, state rights, limited government. They especially identified big-city bosses, working with saloon keepers and precinct workers, as the culprits in stuffing the ballot box.

The solution to purifying the vote included prohibition designed to close down the saloonsvoter registration requirements designed to end multiple votingand literacy tests designed to minimize the number of ignorant voters. Forbes, president of Rochester's Board of Education, hoped to make government in the U. But in our enthusiasm we do not seem to be aware that these tools will be worthless unless they are used by those who are aflame with the sense of brotherhood.

Ethington seconds this high view of direct democracy saying: Historian Michael Perman says that in both Texas and Georgia, "disfranchisement was the weapon as well as the rallying cry in the fight for reform"; and in Virginia, "the drive for disfranchisement had been initiated by men who saw themselves as reformers, even progressives. What were the central themes that emerged from the cacophony [of progressivism]?

Social justice or social control? Small entrepreneurship or concentrated capitalism?

  1. A New York Times editorial of July 3, 1911, complained that "Respectable and well-meaning men all over the State and especially in this city, are going about saying.
  2. Roosevelt moved much more aggressively after his 1904 election.
  3. While in Switzerland, King interviewed several government leaders asking them what they thought about the referendum and initiative. What do you think was the single most important reform promoted by the progressives?
  4. The platform was an agenda for needed legislation in the new century.

And what was the impact of American foreign policy? Were the progressives isolationists or interventionists?

The Progressive Era and Economics

Imperialists or advocates of national self-determination? And whatever they were, what was their motivation? Not surprisingly many battered scholars began to shout 'no mas! These changes led to a more structured system, power that had been centralized within the legislature would now be more locally the progressive era in the political practice of the united states. The changes were made to the system to effectively make legal processes, market transactions, bureaucratic administration, and democracy easier to manage, thus putting them under the classification of "Municipal Administration".

There was also a change in authority for this system; it was believed that the authority that was not properly organized had now given authority to professionals, experts, and bureaucrats for these services.

These changes led to a more solid type of municipal administration compared to the old system that was underdeveloped and poorly constructed. Many Protestants focused on the saloon as the power base for corruption, as well as violence and family disruption, so they tried to get rid of the entire saloon system through prohibition.

Pingree mayor of Detroit in the 1890s [23] and Tom L. Johnson in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1901, Johnson won election as mayor of Cleveland on a platform of just taxation, home rule for Ohio cities, and a 3-cent streetcar fare.

Rather than making legal arguments against ten-hour workdays for women, he used "scientific principles" and data produced by social scientists documenting the high costs of long working hours for both individuals and society. Taking power out of the hands of elected officials and placing that power in the hands of professional administrators reduced the voice of the politicians and in turn reduced the voice of the people. Centralized decision-making by trained experts and reduced power for local wards made government less corrupt but more distant and isolated from the people it served.

Progressives who emphasized the need for efficiency typically argued that trained independent experts could make better decisions than the local politicians. Thus Walter Lippmann in his influential Drift and Mastery 1914stressing the "scientific spirit" and "discipline of democracy," called for a strong central government guided by experts rather than public opinion.

Many cities created municipal "reference bureaus" which did expert surveys of government departments looking for waste and inefficiency.

After in-depth surveys, local and even state governments were reorganized to reduce the number of officials and to eliminate overlapping areas of authority between departments. City governments were reorganized to reduce the power of local ward bosses and to increase the powers of the city council. Governments at every level began developing budgets to help them plan their expenditures rather than spending money haphazardly as needs arose and revenue became available. Governor Frank Lowden of Illinois showed a "passion for efficiency" as he streamlined state government.

In Wisconsin, La Follette pushed through an open primary system that stripped party bosses of the power to pick party candidates.

Its high point was in 1912, after which they detoured into a disastrous third party status. Modernization of society, they believed, necessitated the compulsory education of all children, even if the parents objected. Progressives turned to educational researchers to evaluate the reform agenda by measuring numerous aspects of education, later leading to standardized testing.

Many educational reforms and innovations generated during this period continued to influence debates and initiatives in American education for the remainder of the 20th century. One of the most apparent legacies of the Progressive Era left to American education was the perennial drive to reform schools and curricula, often as the product of energetic grass-roots movements in the city.

Such enduring legacies of the Progressive Era continue to interest historians. Progressive Era reformers stressed 'object teaching,' meeting the needs of particular constituencies within the school district, equal educational opportunity for boys and girls, and avoiding corporal punishment.

Historians of educational reform during the Progressive Era tend to highlight the fact that many progressive policies and reforms were very different and, at times, even contradictory.

At the school district level, contradictory reform policies were often especially apparent, though there is little evidence of confusion among progressive school leaders in Seattle, Oakland, and Denver. District leaders in these cities, including Frank B. Cooper in Seattle and Fred M. Hunter in Oakland, often employed a seemingly contradictory set of reforms: The old system whereby ward politicians selected school employees was dropped in the case of teachers and replaced by a merit system requiring a college-level education in a normal school teacher's college.

By 1900 in Providence, Rhode Islandmost women remained as teachers for at least 17. Yet the progressive movement was split over which of the following solutions should be used to regulate corporations.

Progressivism in the United States

Trust busting[ edit ] Pro- labor progressives such as Samuel Gompers argued that industrial monopolies were unnatural economic institutions which suppressed the competition which was necessary for progress and improvement. Yet, these large corporations might abuse their great power. The federal government should allow these companies to exist but regulate them for the public interest. President Theodore Roosevelt generally supported this idea and was later to incorporate it as part of his " New Nationalism ".

Social work[ edit ] Progressives set up training programs to ensure that welfare and charity work would be undertaken by trained professionals rather than warm-hearted amateurs. The purpose of the settlement houses was to raise the standard of living of urbanites by providing adult education and cultural enrichment programs.

Child labor laws in the United States Child labor laws were designed to prevent the overuse of children in the newly emerging industries. The goal of these laws was to give working class children the opportunity to go to school and to mature more institutionally, thereby liberating the potential of humanity and encouraging the advancement of humanity. Factory owners generally did not want this progression because of lost workers.

They used Charles Dickens as a symbol that the working conditions spark imagination. This initiative failed, with child labor laws being enacted anyway.

  • A pure food law was voted in;
  • He usually worked well with his secretaries of state, Bryan and Robert Lansing , and often relied for advice upon his confidential counselor , Col;
  • In 1919 a wave of major strikes alienated the middle class; the strikes were lost, which alienated the workers;
  • McGee , [53] the largest government-funded conservation-related projects in U.

In 1919 a wave of major strikes alienated the middle class; the strikes were lost, which alienated the workers. In the 1920s the unions were in the doldrums; in 1924 they supported La Follette's Progressive party, but he only carried his base in Wisconsin.

  • U'Ren managed to put together a group of lawmakers who for one reason or another opposed the political leaders of the legislature;
  • It prohibited the manufacturing, sale or transport of intoxicating beverages within the United States, as well as import and export;
  • Wilson at first appealed to the Germans on broad grounds of humanity to abandon submarine warfare, but in the subsequent negotiations he narrowed the issue to one of safety for unarmed passenger liners against violent underseas attack.

The American Federation of Labor under Samuel Gompers after 1907 began supporting the Democrats, who promised more favorable judges.

The Republicans appointed pro-business judges. Theodore Roosevelt and his third party also supported such goals as the eight-hour work dayimproved safety and health conditions in factories, workers' compensation laws, and minimum wage laws for women. They believed the consumption of alcohol limited mankind's potential for advancement. The golden day did not dawn; enforcement was lax, especially in the cities where the law had very limited popular support and where notorious criminal gangs, such as the Chicago gang of Al Capone made a crime spree based on illegal sales of liquor in speakeasies.

The "experiment" as President Hoover called it also cost the treasury large sums of taxes and the 18th amendment was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment to the U. McGee[53] the largest government-funded conservation-related projects in U.

National parks and wildlife refuges[ edit ] Further information: Reclamation[ edit ] In addition, Roosevelt approved the Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902, which gave subsidies for irrigation in 13 eventually 20 western states. Another conservation-oriented bill was the Antiquities Act of 1906 that protected large areas of land by allowing the President to declare areas meriting protection to be National Monuments.

The Inland Waterways Commission was appointed by Roosevelt on March 14, 1907 to study the river systems of the United States, including the development of water power, flood control, and land reclamation.

Chief among these aims was the pursuit of trust busting, the breaking up very large monopolies, and support for labor unions, public health programs, decreased corruption in politics, and environmental conservation. At the time, the great majority of other major leaders had been opposed to Populism. When Roosevelt left the Republican Party in 1912, he took with him many of the intellectual leaders of progressivism, but very few political leaders. These journalists publicized, to middle class readers, economic privilege, political corruption, and social injustice.

Their articles appeared in McClure's Magazine and other reform periodicals. Some muckrakers focused on corporate abuses. Ida Tarbellfor instance, exposed the activities of the Standard Oil Company. Other muckrakers assailed the Senaterailroad companies, insurance companies, and fraud in patent medicine. Theodore Dreiser drew harsh portraits of a type of ruthless businessman in The Financier 1912 and The Titan 1914.

The Republican insurgents

In The Jungle 1906Socialist Upton Sinclair repelled readers with descriptions of Chicago's meatpacking plants, and his work led to support for remedial food safety legislation. Leading intellectuals also shaped the progressive mentality. In Dynamic Sociology 1883 Lester Frank Ward laid out the philosophical foundations of the Progressive movement and attacked the laissez-faire policies advocated by Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner.