An age of reform introduction

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It’s the turn of the century, and the spirit of reform is in the air. The growth of the nation over the last few decades has produced many problems in society, and the people of your state are looking to make some changes. The biggest cities of your state are facing problems with overcrowding, disease, and crime, and political machines are running the show in the cities. Politics in general is becoming more influenced by special interest groups instead of the average American, and corruption and fraud are common in all levels of government. As industry grew, so did the problems of the working class, with workers suffering from long hours, low wages, and horrible conditions. Consumers are suffering as well since there are no laws regulating industry, especially in food processing. Big businesses and monopolies are still controlling industries, fixing prices, and exerting their power over the average American. Small farmers continue to lose money due to overproduction and the huge charges of railroad companies. There is a huge gap between the rich and the rest of the population in terms of power and wealth. Women are still considered second-class citizens and are consistently denied equal rights, as are African Americans and other minority groups in society. The environment is also being adversely affected by the growth of industry, as resources are being used up and pollution is spreading at an alarming rate. What should be done about these problems … and who should do it? Enter … the PROGRESSIVES!!

Sit back, relax, and watch America in the 20th Century – The Progressive Era from Discovery Education. As you watch, look fore each of the topics, ideas, and terms listed below. (Yup - they go in order.- but don’t think you need to memorize these.)

  • The problems of the Gilded Age

  • Federal Civil Service

  • Populists and their ideas

  • Socialists and their ideas

  • Muckrakers

  • Sinclair, Tarbell, Riis, Steffens

  • “Fighting Bob” LaFollette

  • New city governments

  • Election reforms – secret ballot, initiative, recall, direct primary

  • 17th Amendment

  • New labor laws

  • Minimum wage

  • Triangle Fire

  • Prohibition – 18th Amendment

  • Settlement Houses

  • The Push for Women’s Suffrage

  • Suffrage – 19th Amendment

  • National Progressives

  • Theodore Roosevelt

  • The Square Deal

  • TR the Trustbuster

  • Hepburn Act

  • Federal Interstate Commerce Commission

  • The Jungle

  • Meat Inspection Act

  • Pure Food and Drug Act

  • Conservation

  • National Parks and Monuments

  • William Howard Taft

  • Income Tax – 16th Amendment

  • Election of 1912

  • Woodrow Wilson

  • Reducing Tariffs

  • Federal Reserve

  • Federal Trade Commission

  • Lack of Civil Rights


So … do you understand how this was a time of reform? Got any questions?

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