Social Progressivism I. What is Progressivism?



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Social Progressivism
I. What is Progressivism?

A. Progressives (1890s to 1920) addressed the rapid economic & social changes of the Gilded Age

B. Progressive reforms had common themes: “investigate, education, & legislate,” Social Gospel, & middle-class experts

II. Reforming America’s Cities

A. Progressivism began in cities in the 1890s due to ineffectiveness of private charity & rise of Social Gospel movement

B. The Female Domain

1. Some of the 1st progressives were middle-class women who wanted more than conventional female roles

2. Reformers like Jane Addams (founder of Hull House in Chicago) created settlement houses to aid the poor

3. Women targeted slums, tenements, wages & hours, child labor, alcohol abuse (18th amendment), & prostitution

C. Mugwumps led the “Good Government” movement to end corruption & reduce the power of urban political machines

D. New Muckraking Journalism

1. Muckrakers drew attention to America’s problems via monthly magazines promoting investigative journalism

2. Groundbreaking muckrakers: Jacob Riis How the Other Half Lives (1890), Henry George’s Progress & Poverty (1879), Lincoln Steffan’s Shame of the Cities (1902), Ida Tarbell’s History of the Standard Oil Company (1904)

3. Muckrakers like Upton Sinclair & Sam H. Adams led to gov’t legislation like the Pure Food & Drug Act (1906)

E. William James attacked Social Darwinism; John Dewey promoted education via “creative intelligence”



III. Working Class Reform

A. 60% of the U.S. labor force was made up of unskilled “new” immigrants from Europe, Latin America, & Asia

B. Poor working conditions, low pay, & long hours in factories led to an increase in union membership & radicalism

1. Women’s Trade Union League (1903) was the 1st union to gain victory in collective bargaining

2. Industrial Workers of the World (1905) rivaled the AFL by opening membership to all & promoted revolution

3. Eugene V. Debs formed the Socialist Party of America (1901) but did not threaten to overthrow U.S. capitalism

4. Case Study: Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911

C. Henry Ford’s “$5-day” & Amoskeag Textile Factory’s employee benefits challenged ruthless corporate practices



IV. The Women’s Movement & the Black Awakening

A. The Women’s Movement

1. The success of female progressives aided the women’s suffrage movement; the 19th amendment passed in 1920

2. Margaret Sanger advocated birth control for lower- & middle-class women

B. African-American Civil Rights

1. Southern progressivism only applied to whites; Black disenfranchisement, segregation, Plessy v Ferguson (1896)

2. Black leaders were divided in their response to civil rights:

a. Booker T Washington called for “black self-improvement” & gradual civil rights in his Atlanta Compromise

b. W.E.B. DuBois led the Niagara Movement (1905) & called for immediate integration & the “Talented 10th

3. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was formed in 1909



V. Conclusions

Black Reformers in Conflict: Booker T. Washington vs. W.E.B. DuBois


  1. Briefly describe the political, economic, & social position of African-Americans in the 1890s.

  1. Political problems:



  1. Economic problems:



  1. Social problems:



  1. What did Booker T. Washington mean when we said, “Cast down your bucket where you are”?



  1. Which civil rights leader, Booker T. Washington or W.E.B. DuBois, do you associate each of the following ideas?

    1. Demand for immediate enforcement of the Reconstruction Amendments

    2. Urged accommodation with whites, not agitation

    3. A gradual approach to civil rights

    4. Emphasized training for manual labor

    5. Found Jim Crow laws totally unacceptable

    6. Counseled blacks to try to solve their problems by leaving the area they knew best

    7. Opposed black membership in labor unions and strikes

    8. Urged blacks to strive for the top in education and jobs

    9. Said blacks must pull themselves up by their own efforts

    10. Urged protest in order to achieve black equality

  2. In your opinion, which leader, Booker T. Washington or W.E.B. DuBois, would have been more successful in achieving civil rights for African-Americans in the early 1900s? Explain.



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