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PROGRESSIVISM AND THE REPUBLICAN ROOSEVELT Chapter 28
1. Why did the progressives believe that strong government action was the only way to tackle the social and economic problems of industrialization? How did this approach differ from traditional American emphasis on voluntary solutions to social problems? 2. Why were women so critical to the successes of the progressive movement? Were there any weaknesses in their ideas and approaches to social reform? 3. Why was Roosevelt such a popular progressive leader? In what ways did he sound like a more ardent reformer than he really was? 4. To what extent was progressivism really a “middle class” reform effort that did not really reflect the interests or concerns of the poor and working classes it claimed to benefit? How did some of the progressive concern for conservation and environment reflect the perspectives of more affluent Americans? 5. Did the progressive movement make any long lasting contributions to American society? 6. Explain how TWO of the following individuals responded to the economic and social problems created by industrialization during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Jane Addams Andrew Carnegie Samuel Gompers Upton Sinclair
PROGRESSIVE ROOTS By 1900 America was faced with social problems that had been mounting for 30 years but had not been affectively addressed. The nation was gripped by a reform movement called Progressivism. Biggest period of reform since the 1840 s. It waged war on many social evils including monopolies, corruption in government, inefficiency, social injustice and irresponsible corporations.
Progressivism The heart of progressive movement: Belief that government should be strengthened so that it could act aggressively to tackle social ills. Government could be an instrument of positive good Basic prescription: use government as an agency of human welfare. At heart, a rejection of Laissez Faire
Roots of Progressivism Pressure came from a number of different groups: Socialists from Europe—start to gain strength in US Christians preaching Social Gospel—focused on the needs of the poor and the workers at the mercy of corporations. Feminists—suffrage movement included social justice in their call for reform because women were often those who suffered the most. Urban pioneers exposing corruption of cities and working conditions of children and women.
Muckrakers Magazines and Newspapers began to compete with each other to expose evil and corruption Purpose? TR dubs Muckrakers. Why? Lincoln Steffens—Shame of the Cities- Exposed city gov. corruption Ida Tarbell—expose of Standard Oil
Muckraking Targets Malpractice of life insurance company tariff lobbies beef trust money trust railroad barons White slave traffic in women Slums High rate of industrial accidents Child labor Plight of blacks in the south Adulterated Patent Medicine
Goals of Muckrakers Was out-pouring of national criticism and exposure of ways in which the system was broken. Articles had a profound impact on the nation Like progressives in general, these articles were long on complaint but short on solutions. They sought not to overthrow capitalism, but to cleanse it to cure the ills of American democracy.
Progressives in the Middle Were mainly middle-class Curbing capitalism; insulation against socialism. Progressives crossed party boundaries, existed in all regions and at all levels of government.
Goals of Progressives Regain the power that had slipped from the hands of the people into the hands of the special interest. Thus, pushed for: primary elections. initiatives referendum recalls, allowing voters to remove candidates who were screwing up. Another objective was rooting out corruption. corrupt practices acts. secret ballot direct election of US senators. This eventually passes as the 17 th Amendment. Woman’s suffrage.
Progressivism In The Cities And States Progressives scored their biggest victories at the State and City level. City commission form of government -Galveston Texas. Urban reformers Wisconsin a test lab for progressive proposals. Gov. Robert La Follette. - Wisc. Idea= direct prim elec; tax reform; state reg. comm. To monitor rr Oregon. Hiram Johnson in California vs So. Pac. RR Charles Evans Hughes in New York. Vs Fraud. Insurance co.
Progressive Women Settlement House movement Social Clubs. “Women’s issues” Sweat shops. Triangle Shirt Waste Fire Muller v. Oregon Lochner v. New York
Temperance Movement Temperance movement Woman’s Christian Temperance Union : Frances Willard. one million members. Some states and counties passed laws controlling, restricting or banning liquor. The big cities generally stay wet. Why?
TR’s Square Deal For Labor Roosevelt a progressive. Demanded a “Square Deal” for capital, labor and the public. Believed the government should uphold the public interest. He pushed control of three Cs: corporations, consumer protection conservation of natural resources. Intervened in the coal strike of 1902. Significance Department of Commerce and Labor 1903. Bureau of Corporations
TR Corrals The Corporations RR monster still largely untouched. Interstate Commerce Commission was largely ineffective. Elkins Act of 1903 Hepburn Act of 1906 Interstate Commerce Commission given new teeth. jurisdiction expanded; allowed to set maximum rates and nullify existing rates.
TR Trust Busting Northern Securities Co. case. Under TR the Justice Department initiated over 40 anti-trust suits. Targets Roosevelt’s exaggerated rep as a trust-buster Roosevelt’s goal and philosophy in busting trusts?
Caring For The Consumer TR backed legislation protecting against adulterated and mislabeled food. 1906 Upton Sinclair The Jungle Meat Inspection Act of 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906
Roosevelt and Conservation
Earth Control Americans using up natural resources Corporations hungry to exploit resources. Conservation and naturalist movement started before TR president. Desert Land Act of 1877. Forest Reserve Act of 1891 TR gave the movement a huge kick in the pants Newlands Act of 1902 Roosevelt set aside vast tracts of forests to prevent logging on it.
Roosevelt Emboldens Enemies Roosevelt is easily elected in his own right in 1904. TR’s big mistake: announces that he will not run for a “Third” term. Makes him a Lame Duck Emboldens the conservative wing.
Roosevelt Panic Of 1907 Sharp but short-lived panic on Wall Street in 1907. Why do conservatives blame TR? . TR lashes back hard. What does he say? Causes of panic Aldrich-Vreelant Act Sets the stage for Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
The Rough Rider Thunders Out Roosevelt used his political clout to engineer nomination of Taft in 1908 Taft platform. Dems nominate Bryan. His theme? Taft wins easily. Socialists manage nearly a half-million votes
Contributions of TR Enlarged the power and prestige of the presidency Began the process of taming capitalism ensuring that it would survive rather than being replaced. Developed technique of using publicity as a political weapon Helped shape the progressive movement and to lay the ground-work for later liberal reforms Opened Americans, eyes to world affairs and America’s role and potential influence on world events.
Taft: A Round Peg In A Square Hole Taft was initially very popular. He was quite qualified. Taft has Van Buren problem:
Taft was passive, comfortable with the status quo and not a strong leader. Poor judge of public opinion; Foot-in-mouth disease. Passive toward Congress
Dollar Diplomacy What is dollar diplomacy? What is the goal? Leads to much investment in Caribbean, Causes US entanglement in these countries US Marines land in Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic to restore order and to protect US investments. Continues the distrust of Caribbean and Central American countries toward US.
The United States in the Caribbean
Taft The Trustbuster Taft brought antitrust suits at nearly four times the rate of TR. 90 in his 4 -year term. Sup. Ct. decision in Standard Oil case, rule of reason Only “unreasonable” restraints of trade were illegal. Created a huge hole in fed’s anti-trust net. Taft also went after US Steel, Angered TR.
TR Busts Taft TR increasingly annoyed with Taft TR expected and wanted Taft to be progressive in his mold. TR was not ready to leave the stage. TR moving from Taft’s mentor to his antagonist. The progressive wing longed for the return of TR.
Taft Splits The Republican Party Lower tariff one of the primary progressive aims; viewed as the mother of all Trusts. Payne-Aldrich Bill. Taft: the “best bill ever passed by the party. ” Reactions of progressive wing. Gifford Pinchot.
Republican Split By 1910 the progressive wing of Republican party moving into open revolt Taft being pushed into the camp of the conservatives. Osawatomie, Kansas, speech Doctrine of “New Nationalism” Mid-term elections.
The Taft-Roosevelt Rupture National Progressive Republican League; La. Follette at the head. TR lets it be known that he will accept a third term if nominated by Republicans. He seizes the progressive banner. Wins a number of the new primaries TR is more popular with voters, but doesn’t win the nomination. Why? Roosevelt outraged. What does he do in response?