The Progressive Presidents

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The Progressive Presidents

The process of nationalization was occurring throughout American life. Although there was a lot of changes at both the state and local level, the national level is where it was really at. Progressives thought only an energetic national government could create the social conditions of freedom. Poverty, economic insecurity and lack of industrial democracy were national problems that the progressives thought needed national solutions. The Progressive presidents were

I. Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt came to the Presidency when McKinley was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz. He was the youngest to hold office. He became a model for the modern president. He was actively and consistently involved in domestic an foreign affairs.

A. View of Government

Roosevelt regarded the president as “the steward of the public welfare.”

He set his political agenda quickly with the focus on making life better.

B. Square Deal

The Square Deal attempted to confront the problems caused by economic consolidation by distinguishing between “good” and “bad” corporations.

Good trusts were those that served the public interest. Bad were those that were run by greedy financiers interested only in profit and as a result had no right to exist.

II. Roosevelt and Economic Regulation

A. The "Trust Buster"

Roosevelt used the Sherman Antitrust Act to dissolve Northern Securities Company.

This was the first example of him going after the trusts. This company was owned by J.P. Morgan and held stock and directed the affairs of three major western railroads. It basically monopolized transportation between the Great Lakes and the Pacific. In 1904 the Supreme Court ordered it dissolved.

B. 1902 coal strike.

Thought the president should be an "honest broker" in labor disputes rather than simply siding with the employer. He threatened taking over the minds if the two sides wouldn't come to terms. He appointed a commission to mediate and the employees came out with most of their demands.

C. Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)

Part of his platform for reelection in 1904. The ICC at this time was nothing more than a data collector.

1. Hepburn Act

gave the ICC power to examine railroad business records and to set reasonable rates,.

D. regulated the food and drug industry.

1906 also got two laws passed to clean up the industry. the first was the Meat Inspection Act - which was a result of him reading the Jungle, and the second was the Pure Food and drug Act that called for truth in labeling.

III. The Conservation Movement

A. Roosevelt and the Environment

Roosevelt also moved to preserve parts of the natural environment from economic exploitation.

1. John Muir and the Sierra Club

The first national park - Yellowstone had already been created, but in the 1890s Muir created the Sierra Club in the hopes of preserving forests from the logging industry. As a result, Congress authorized the president to withdraw "forest reserves": form economic development.

2. Conservation

also reflected the Progressive thrust toward efficiency and control.

Relied on Gifford Pinchot who he appointed the Head of the U.S. forest dept. he encouraged new national parks to be created and more land set aside as wildlife preserves. part of the problem was that Natives who hunted and fished in those areas had to be removed and some species had to be reintroduced.

a. typical progressive reform

showed how the government could stand above political and economic battles while serving the public good and preventing special interests from causing damage to the environment. Most of the plan was to develop responsible scientific plans for their use versus ending the economic utilization of natural resources.

b. Conservation

Pinchot stopped the abuse by logging companies, but believed that development and conservation go hand in hand, it just needed to be regulated. This was the opposite of Muir who thought everything needed to be preserved.

B. Water

Western governments at all levels had to regulate the scarce resource of water.

This was a big issue in the West. This was not just a national issue, but state and local issue as well. Perfect example is the creation of the California aqueduct that diverted water from Owen's Valley into the city. The valley that was once a thriving farming place could no longer operate.

IV. Taft in Office

Taft was hand picked by Roosevelt to replace him. He was a federal judge and had served as governor of the Philippines. He summed up the Progressive view in his inaugural speech - "The scope of a modern government has been widened far beyond the principles laid down by the old 'laissez faire school of political writers"

A. The real trustbuster

Taft pursued antitrust policy even more aggressively than Roosevelt.

He broke up Standard Oil (something Roosevelt thought was a good trust) Also against American tobacco that ended pricing policies that drove smaller firms out of business.

B. Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

This was the creation of a graduated income tax (think Populists) Although something similar had been enacted in 1894, it was found unconstitutional. This new amendment united both southern and western farmers who wanted to reduce government dependence on the tariff which they thought discriminated against non industrial states.

C. More conservative

Signed the Payne Aldrich tariff what reduced rates on imported goods but not as much as reformers wanted.

D. Republican Party Split

Progressive Republicans broke from Taft after the Ballinger- Pinchot affair.

Ballinger was the new secretary of the interior who said that Roosevelt had overstepped his boundaries when he placed land in forest reserves. So returned it to public domain where private mining and lumber companies would have access. Pinchot accused him of working with big business so Taft fired him.

E. The Election of 1912

1. Creation of the Bull Moose Party

Roosevelt was upset at Taft's policy and competed with him for the Republican nomination but lost. So he created an independent Campaign as the head of the new Progressive or Bull Moose Party.

2. Four Way contest

The election was a four-way contest between Taft, Roosevelt, the Democrat Woodrow Wilson, and the Socialist Eugene V. Debs.

3. Focus

It became a national debate on the relationship between political and economic freedom in the age of big business.

a. Taft

thought economic individualism could remain the foundation of the social order as long as government and private entrepreneurs cooperated in addressing social ills

b. Debs

Socialist party, wanted to abolish the capitalistic system altogether, but some other demands were public ownership of the railroads, and banking system, government aid to the unemployed and laws establishing shorter working hours and a minimum wage.

4. New Freedom and New Nationalism

the battle though was really between Roosevelt and Wilson who were on competing aspects of Progressivism.

both believed the government was responsible for preserving individual freedom, but differed on the dangers of increased government power.

a. Wilson

insisted that democracy must be reinvigorated by restoring market competition and freeing government from domination by big business.

he feared a powerful national government, just like he feared big business. He wanted to strengthen anti trust laws, protect the right of workers to unionize, and actively encourage small business. Hoping this would strengthen the economy without increasing government regulation.

(1) opposition

Some thought he was going backwards not forwards. He served the needs of small businessmen but ignored that economic concentration and the interest of professional consumers and labor.

b. Roosevelt

called for heavy taxes on personal and corporate fortunes and federal regulation of industries including railroads, mining, and oil.

Thought he could revive the liberty of the oppressed. Thought we needed to accept big business, but it needed to be regulated by the government.

c. The Progressive Party platform

offered numerous proposals to promote social justice.

women's suffrage, federal supervision of corporate enterprise, national labor and health legislation for women and children and eight hour work day and living wage, a national system of social insurance covering unemployment, medical care, and old age.

F. The winner

As a result of the Republican split, Wilson one with a sweeping victory.

G. Wilson’s First Term

1. strong executive leader.

had an office at the Capitol so that he could confer with members of Congress. He held regular press conferences, the first president to do this, so he could influence public opinion. And spoke directly to congress versus sending letters like his predecessors.


2. With Democrats in control of Congress

Wilson moved aggressively to implement his version of Progressivism.

a. Underwood Tariff

reduced tariffs and to make up for lost revenue imposed a graduated income tax ont eh richest 5 percent of America.

b. Clayton Act

exempted labor unions from antitrust laws and barred courts from issuing injunctions curtailing the right to strike.

c. Other Acts

included the Keating-Owen act which outlawed child labor in the manufacturing of goods sold in interstate commerce, the Adamson act that established an eight hour work day for RR. and the Warehouse Act that extended credit to farmers when they stored their crops in federally licensed warehouses.

3. Expanding Role of the Government

Wilson abandoned the idea of aggressive trust-busting in favor of greater government supervision of the economy.

a. Federal Reserve system

divided the nation into 12 districts. Each with its own bank. they were overseen by a central board and were allowed to issue currency, aid banks in danger of ailing, and influence interest rates to promote economic growth.

(1) Panic of 1907

The Federal Reserve was a reaction to the Panic of 1907 where financier J.P. Morgan put up his own money to protect the banks from failing. Showed that with the absence of government over site, the power over financing rested in private hands.

b. Federal Trade Commission

1914 they investigated unfair business activities such as price fixing and monopolistic practices.

c. Reaction

Both were liked by business because it restored order to the economic marketplace and stopped more radical ideas to curb big business.

The Politics of Progressivism

I. Effective Freedom

Progressivism was an international movement as cities throughout the world experienced similar social strains from rapid industrialization and urban growth.

A. Change in view point

Progressives assumed that the modern era required a fundamental rethinking of the functions of political authority.

1. New focus

Drawing on the reform programs of the Gilded Age and the example of European legislation, Progressives sought to reinvigorate the idea of an activist, socially conscious government. Progressives could reject the traditional assumption that powerful government posed a threat to freedom because their understanding of freedom was itself in flux.

a. John Dewey

said that freedom was a positive not a negative concept - "the power to do specific things" So it relied on "the distribution of powers that exist at a given time" So freedom was a political question. One of his followers wrote "freedom the means a democratic cooperation in determining the ideals and purposes and industrial and social institutions of a country" by Randolph Bourne.


II. State and Local Reforms

State and local governments enacted most of the era’s reform measures. They worked to end the power of the political bosses, establish public control of natural monopolies like gas and water works and improve public transportation. Raised property taxes so they could spend more money on schools, parks, and other public facilities.

A. Hazen Pingree

Mayor of Detroit from 1889 to 1897. he forced gas and telephone companies to lower their rates and established muncipal power. Later became governor of michigan and continued to battle against the railroads

B. Samuel “Golden Rule” Jones

8 hour work day and paid vacations in his own company. Became mayor of Toledo in 1897-1905 and founded night schools and free kindergarten, built new parks, and supported the right of workers to unionize.

C. the state level

1. Hiram Johnson

Governor of California in 1910 got rid of the southern pacific out of politics. passed the Public Utilities Act(most powerful act regulating railroads) and laws banning child labor and limiting the work hours of women.

2. Robert M. La Follette,

who made Wisconsin a“laboratory for democracy.” The Wisconsin Idea that included nominations of candidates for office through primary elections rather than political bosses, the taxation of corporate wealth, and state regulation of railroads and public utilities.

III. Progressive Democracy

Progressives hoped to reinvigorate democracy by restoring political power to the citizenry and civic harmony to a divided society. Thought that political reform would create a unified people devoted to greater democracy and social reconciliation. But they needed to determine who was entitled to political participation and who was not.

A. New Changes

17th Amendment allowed for direct election of senators, election of judges, and use of primary elections among party members to select candidates for office.

Some states saw the introduction of the initiative and referendum as well as the recall. 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote

B. Restriction on democratic participation

1. New forms of local governments

Commissions and city mangers replaced elected officials. It was supposed to stop the machine domination, but in reality it also lessened popular control

2. Voting was seen more as a privilege for a few.

reforms were instituted as a way to get rid of fraud, but it really was just about disfranchising African Americans.

3. Views of Progressives

Most thought the fitness of voters was more important then the numbers and that is what defined a functioning democracy.

IV. Government by Expert

Many progressives did not like the real world of politics that was focused on class, ethnic, and regional interests. La Follette's dependence on college professors as advisors reflected a Progressive trend who had faith in expertise.

A. Order, efficiency, and centralized management were important themes of Progressive reform.

They thought the best way of controlling society was by having a democracy run by impartial experts who were in many respects unaccountable to the citizenry. The new generation of educated professionals could be trusted more than the ordinary citizen.

V. Women

Still not able to vote, women became more important and vocal. Organized women reformers spoke for the more democratic side of Progressivism. They formed their own grassroots organization and in doing so, they placed on the political agenda new understandings of female freedom

A. Jane Addams and Hull House

Jane Addams founded Hull House in Chicago. It was dedicated to improving the lives of the immigrant poor. Settlement Houses were in the neighborhoods and their workers lived their as well. (unlike others that guided from a distance) They created kindergartens and play grounds for children. They had employment bureaus and health clinics, and showed female victims of domestic abuse how to gain legal protection.

B. Spearheads for Reform

1. The new woman was college educated, middle class, and devoted to providing social services.

2. Settlement houses produced many female reformers. But they still realized that "well organized social work was not enough to alleviate the problems they were combating.

1. Government action

helped create stronger building and sanitation codes, shorter working hours and safer labor conditions, and the right to organize. helped end child labor (used as an argument that these children were being deprived of an education, and they would need white educated adults.)

2. New leaders

Several female leaders were created. Julia Lathrop was the first women to head a federal agency - the Children's Bureau created to advocate for mothers and their children, Florence Kelly mobilized women's power as consumers as a force for social change, Helen Campbell, a writer exposed the contradiction of a market economy in which fashionable women wore clothing produced by poor women in sweat shops.

C. The Campaign for Suffrage

The campaign for women’s suffrage became a mass movement.

D. Some Success

By 1900, over half the states allowed women to vote in local elections dealing with school issues.

Wyoming (attract more women to a male dominated state) , Colorado (result of populists), Idaho (results of populists), and Utah (get rid of the practice of polygamy that although illegal was still practiced) had adopted full suffrage. In 1913, Illinois was the first state to allow women to vote for President. remember states set requirements for national elections, easier to get a few men to change their mind, then the popular vote which is what would happen for a national amendment.

VI. Maternalist Reform

Ironically, the desire to exalt women’s role within the home did much to inspire the reinvigoration of the suffrage movement. They rested on the belief that the government should encourage women's capacity for bearing and raising children and enable them to be economically independent at the same time.

A. Direct government intervention

a mass movement was created to make the lives of women better.. Examples - laws that provided for mothers pensions (support women with children without male support) began to spread. But they were not very generous and the local eligibility requirements left a lot of room for inequality.

B. Muller v. Oregon

Some Progressives recognized that women worked outside of the home, but determined they were dependent and needed the protection of the state in ways that men did not. This upheld the constitutionality of an Oregon law setting maximum working hours for women.

1. Louis Brandeis

used scientific and sociological studies to demonstrate that because they had less strength and endurance than men, long hours of labor were dangerous for women, while their unique ability to bare children gave the government a legitimate interest in their working conditions.

2. A breach in “liberty of contract” doctrine

This was created in 1903 by the Lochner v. New York that invalidated limiting male bakers hours. At the time that women were becoming more independent, the court identified them as in need of protection. By 1917, thirty states had passed similar laws. Some said it was great, while others thought it an infringement on their freedom.


VII. The Idea of Economic Citizenship

Brandeis wanted a a welfare state on universal economic entitlements - the right to a decent income, and protection against unemployment and work related accidents. He argued that the right to government assistance derived from citizenship itself not some special service to the nation - such as a mother's ability to give birth, or upstanding character. Many other progressives felt the same way. Laws such as workman's comp for both men and women began to pop up. This was the first wedge that brought about larger programs of social insurance. Funds from workers wages funded these programs which made them different than charity. But state minimum wages and most laws regulating hours only applied to women.

VIII. An Urban Age and a Consumer Society

IX. Farms and Cities

A. Farms and cities grew together.

What I mean is that agriculture was in its golden age and cities as they continued to expand depended on farms to produce more food.

B. Cities were the focus

It was the city that became the focus of Progressive politics and of a new mass consumer society. Throughout the world the number of cities continued to grow.

C. Inequality

Inequality between the classes was never more prominent than in the cities. At one point you would have tenements with no indoor plumbing and three blocks away, multimillion dollar mansions.

D. Artists, writers, and reformers.

Nature used to be the focal point of the Hudson River School, but now the cities became the preoccupation. The cities seemed to be an expression of modernity themselves with the electric lights, crowded bars and urban landscapes.

X. The Muckrakers

Not everyone saw the city as such a wonderful place. Some saw it as a place that undermined traditional American values.

A. Who are they?

A new generation of journalists writing for mass-circulation national magazines exposed the ills of industrial and urban life.

1. Lincoln Steffens

wrote tehe Shame of the Cities showed how party bosses and business leaders profited from political corruption.

2. Ida Tarbell

History of the Standard Oil Company exposed economic machinations and arrogance of J.D. Rockefeller.

B. Major novelists

of the era took a similar unsparing approach to social ills.

1. . Theodore Dreiser

wrote Sister Carrie and told the tale of a young women's descent into prostitution

2. Upton Sinclair

wrote the Jungle who described the unsanitary slaughterhouses and the sale of rotten meat.

XI. Immigration as a Global Process

one thing that characterized the 20th century cities was the immigrant character.

A. How many came?

Between 1901 and 1914, 13 million immigrants came to the United States, many through Ellis Island. Very few were sent back due to medical reasons or who were judged to be anarchists, prostitutes or other ways were undesirable. It was roughly 2%. Although they had been coming for several years, they reached their peak during the Progressive era. By 1910, 3/5s of the workers in the 20 leading manufacturing adn mining industries were foreign born. 1/7 of the American population was foreign born.

B. Worldwide migration

Industrial expansion and the decline of traditional agriculture set in motion a larger process of worldwide migration. they were not only coming to the United States, but they were going to various parts of Europe and South America. Roughly 40 million emigrated to the U.S. and another 20 million to other parts of the Western Hemisphere. A large part of this migration shift occurred in Asia.

C. Asian and Mexican immigrants entered the United States in fewer numbers.

not all of them were free laborers though. Many came under long term labor contracts - referred to as debt peonage. But all the areas attracting jobs had to do with frontiers of one kind or the other - agricultural, mining, or industrial.

1. Asians entered through Angel Island.

This was in San Francisco Bay. Most of them were of Japanese descent and came to work as agricultural laborers. Many came after living in Hawaii

2. Mexicans entered through El Paso, Texas.

roughly 1 million came. This was 10 % of their population. Many ended up in the San Gabriel Valley of California where citrus growers were looking for cheap labor.

XII. The Immigrant Quest for Freedom

A. Land of the free.

Like their nineteenth-century predecessors, the new immigrants arrived imagining the United States as a land of freedom. Everyone enjoyed the equality before the law, could worship as they please, enjoyed economic opportunity, and were away from the oppressiveness of their home land. there were a variety of reasons as to why they moved. poverty and illiteracy, high taxation and declining economies.

1. Why'd they come?

Americans even sent Agents to Europe to find out why so many were coming. They found that it was desire for "freedom and prosperity" Freedom was an economic ambition. Life here even though bad, was still better than where they came from.

2. Birds of Passage

Although some thought they were permanent emigrates, many thought they would eventually returning to their homeland and purchase land. Italians and Mexicans were the main groups that left and went back home.

B. Salad Bowl

The new immigrants clustered in close-knit ethnic neighborhoods. they continued to speak their languages and practice their traditions.

a. Churches were pillars of these immigrant communities.

XIII. Consumer Freedom

A. Mass Consumption

Cities were also the birth place of mass consumption. The advent of large department stores in central cities, chain stores in urban neighborhoods, and retail mail-order houses for farmers and small-town residents made available to consumers throughout the country the vast array of goods now pouring from the nation’s factories. By 1910, rural Americans could purchase for the first time things such as sewing machines and washing machines.

Although some areas could not benefit, such as the South, this mass consumption once again changed the meaning of freedom - access to goods produced by capitalism.

B. Leisure activities

also took on the characteristics of mass consumption. As life got better, leisure activities sprung up. They included amusement parks, spectator sports, and dance halls. One new form of entertainment was Vaudeville. This was live musical entertainment. Silent pictures began to be introduced to Vaudeville. As they became longer and more sophisticated, separate theaters opened up. Many people were visiting Nickelodeons - 5 cent price much cheaper than the Vaudeville ticket prices.

XIV. The Working Woman

A. Changing Roles

Traditional gender roles were changing dramatically as more and more women were working for wages.

1. More working

Married women were working more. Blacks were still domestic or in southern cotton fields. Immigrant women worked to low paying factory jobs. Native born white women had many more opportunities. By 1920 25% were office workers or telephone operators and only 15 were domestic service.

2. Who's working

It was no longer limited to unmarried young women. Roughly 1/4 were married and living with their husbands.

B. Symbol of female emancipation

but they faced special limitations - low wages and exclusion from many jobs. but despite that, women grew a personality which had not existed prior to them going out to work.

C. Charlotte Perkins Gilman

wrote a book entitled Women and Economics 1898 claimed that the road to woman’s freedom lay through the workplace. In the home, women experienced oppression not fulfillment and the housewife was an unproductive parasite who was little more than a servant to her children and husband.

D. Crossed all nationalities

Battles emerged within immigrant families of all nationalities between parents and their self-consciously “free” children, especially daughters. Daughters wanted to spend their money on "frivolous things" such as makeup and entertainment. Immigrant parents had a hard time adjusting and accepting this new found freedom of American girls.

XV. The Rise of Fordism

Although Ford is created with making the first auto, he didn't. He just was really good at developing the technique of production and marketing that brought it within the reach of ordinary Americans. He wasn't the first car company, but he was the first that produced toward the masses. To achieve this he did the following.

1. Henry Ford concentrated on standardizing output and lowering the price of automobiles. Fordism is the economic system based on mass production and mass consumption.

A. assembly line

Ford revolutionized manufacturing with the moving assembly line. This helped reduce the time it took to produce each care.

B. 5 dollar day

Ford paid his employees five dollars a day so that they could afford to buy his car. But you definitely earned it as it was a 8 hr day of monotonous work. He even used spies and armed detectives to prevent unionization.

XVI. The Promise of Abundance

economic production shifted from capital goods - steel, railroad equip,to consumer goods.

A. Advertising

perfected new ways of increasing sales by linking it to freedom. Many things were called liberty, or were advertised with a statue of liberty in the background.

B. Consumerism = School of freedom

consumers made individual choices on what they were going to purchase of not. Economic abundance would eventually come to define the American way of life, in which personal fulfillment was to be found through acquiring material goods.

C. Shifting the quest for freedom

The promise of abundance changed the focus of many seeking freedom to the private world and to political activism. Many thought that the exclusion from mass consumption would be comparable to the denial of rights of citizenship as being barred from voting. As a result, The desire for consumer goods led many workers to join unions and fight for higher wages.

D. Consumers' consciousness

more and more people became aware of the power and control that monopolies had. They argued that monopolistic corporations artificially raised prices at the expense of consumers.

XVII. An American Standard of Living

grew out of the consumer economy.

A. New criticism

this was a new way to criticize the inequalities of wealth and power in the time period.

B. Right of Citizenship

1. Father John A. Ryan

wrote a book entitled A Living Wage. described as a descent standard of living. Earning a living wage came to be viewed as a natural and absolute right of citizenship. Insisted that economic relationships shoudl be governed by moral standards.

2. Rerum Novarum

This was a concept by Pope Leo X that criticized the divorce of economic life from ethical considerations., endorsed the right of workers to organize unions, and repudiated competitive individualism in favor of a m ore cooperative vision of the good society.

C. Mass consumption

came to occupy a central place in descriptions of American society and its future.

XVIII. Varieties of Progressivism

One of the goals was to humanize industrial capitalism and find common ground in a society still dealing with inequality, labor conflict, and large influxes of immigrants. Varying degrees of what Progressives wanted to do in terms of the economy. Some wanted to go back to a competitive marketplace with small producers. Others accepted the large industries but just wanted them to be regulated by the government.

A. Industrial Freedom

loss of freedom was a complaint by all social classes making a wage. Industries, large and small, wanted to greater control over the work process.

1. Frederick W. Taylor

pioneered scientific management - this wanted to streamline production and boost profits by controlling costs and work practices. The belief was that if you used scientific study you could find the one best way of doing things.

a. skilled workers

many thought their freedoms were being taken

b. White-collar

workers also felt a loss of freedom. No longer felt like they had any autonomy. Most of these people would have been managing their own business versus working for someone else.

2. Industrial freedom

a new term that was believed to be the root of the labor problem. There was a change from producers to workers. This bothered many. Progressives thought that if the workers had a greater say in the economic decision making they would be happier.

a. Unions

Many believed that unions embodied an essential principle of freedom—the right of people to govern themselves.

XIX. The Socialist Presence

Some believed that the root of the problem lay with capitalism.

A. Socialist Party

First founded in 1901, it struggled to stay afloat but survived by bringing together surviving late-nineteenth- century radicals.

1. Platform

They wanted free college education, legislation to improve the condition of laborers, and democratic control over the economy through public ownership of railroads and factories.

2. Growth

Socialism flourished in diverse communities throughout the country. There was support through the AFL.

a. New York

came out of the exploitation of immigrants and Judaism's tradition of social reform - even able to elect a Socialist to Congress

b. Milwaukee

able to elect a mayor that aided the unemployed, forced the police to recognize the rights of strikers and won the respect of the middle class residents.

B. The Gospel of Debs

Most important leader and speaker of the Socialist movement was Eugene V. Debs. For years he had been uniting a diverse group of followers.

1. Popularity

Eugene Debs was socialism’s loudest voice. He ran for president in 1912 on the Socialist ticket and took 6 percent of the total votes - more than the incumbent Taft. Appeal to Reason had the largest circulation, and Max Hayes took 1/3 of the vote when he tried to become the AFL president versus Samuel Gompers. Socialism was continuing to grow outside of the United States as well. Countries like France, Germany and Scandinavia were seeing a large Socialist uptick.


Union membership began to rise as a result of the discontent in the Progressive Era as well.

A. Changes in the AFL

after the depression of the 1890s, membership rose and they changed their focus. The AFL sought to forge closer ties with forward-looking corporate leaders who were willing to deal with unions as a way to stabilize employee relations.

1. National Civic Federation

Gompers worked with Geroge Perkins of the J.P. Morgan financial institute and Mark Hanna, who was McKinley's campaign manager in the National Civic Federation which accepted collective bargaining. They worked to improve working conditions and settle many labor disputes. Did not completely change the view of labor or unions though - many still saw them as something that interfered with their authority.


The AFL predominately dealt with skilled workers - who were mostly white, male, and native born. A group of unionists who rejected the AFL ’ s exclusionary policies formed the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).They were part trade union and part revolutionary group. Their goal was to seize the means of production and abolish the state. They included every wage worker "no matter the religion, fatherland or trade" They included all groups, blacks, women, Chinese, immigrant labor force, migrant agriculturally and timber workers.

1. William “Big Bill” Haywood

He was a man to be reckoned with. His popularity rose when he was kidnapped and put on trial in Idaho for instigating the murder of an anti-union governor. He was found not guilty.

XXI. The New Immigrants on Strike

Many immigrant workers started to strike to with the right to bargain collectively at the forefront.

A. Unity

Although immigrants were often separated and didn't like each other these Immigrant strikes demonstrated that while ethnic divisions among workers impeded labor solidarity, ethnic cohesiveness

could also be a basis of unity. The IWW was often not the organizer of these strikes, but was often brought into solidify them. They would print up fliers in multiple languages to help coordinate walkouts. They drew on the sense of solidarity within the immigrant community to get the backing of religious leaders, shopkeepers, and officeholders to support the strikes.

B. Lawrence, Mass

Roughly 32,000 men, women and children of 25 nationalities were employed. They worked 6 days a week for 16 cents an hour. When the state passed a law limiting the working hours to 54 a week, the mills reduced the wages of those working more than that. Workers went on strike and called the IWW for help. One of the tactics used was to send the children of the striking families out of the city and to New York where they were housed by a Socialist families. The site of the children marching out of the train station looking half starved caused a lot of sympathy for the workers. The officials in Lawrence said no more children could leave. When a group gathered to leave they were met with club-wielding police which outraged the public even more. Soon the government stepped in and stopped the strike on the workers terms. The new slogan was "We want bread and roses, too" The Lawrence strike demonstrated that workers sought not only higher wages but the opportunity to enjoy the finer things in life.

C. New Orleans

10,000 black and white dockworkers stopped the employers from getting rid of the unions and reduce their wages. The New Orleans dockworker strike showed interracial solidarity at a time when segregation was the norm

D. Unsuccessful Strikes

Not all were successful. One in New Jersey failed even after putting on a pageant that reenacted the highlights of their struggles before a sympathetic audience in Madison Square Garden. Another against the Rockefeller owned Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. The workers, mostly immigrants, wanted recognition by the United Mine Workers of America, wage increases, an 8 hour work day and the right to shop and live in places not owned by the company. When the strike began, 11000 strikers and their families were evicted from company towns. They created tent cities which were soon surrounded by armed militia. The largest was at Ludlow. On April 20, 1914, the city was burned to the ground killing roughly 20-30 men women and children. Seven months later the strike ended

XXII. Labor and Civil Liberties

There was more at stake than just wages and working conditions. Other civil liberties were being attacked as well

A. The courts

rejected the claims of labor and the right to strike and the right to freedom of speech. Often times courts would issue injunctions regarding the right of speaking, picketing, or distributing literature during labor disputes. This was not a new tactic. This had occurred with abolitionists before.

B. Commission on Industrial relations

investigated and found out that there was very little free speech in many factory communities. Often at the threat of violence by either private police or local authorities.

C. New methods

The immigrants were not as organized as the AFL and so the IWW had other methods of getting the message out. They used songs, street theater, impromptu organizing meetings, and street corner gatherings to spread their message. As a result, many cities limited or prohibited outdoor meetings. The IWW supported civil disobedience and jail cells would fill with people who deliberately break the law. Sometimes they were brutally treated - Spokane, three died and hundreds were hospitalized after being jailed for violating a local law requiring prior approval of the content of public speeches. Although not everyone agreed with the IWW, many owe them a debt of gratitude for "keeping alight the fires of freedom"

XXIII. The New Feminism

the word first appeared at this time.

A. What is a feminist?

Some thought it was emancipation a"both as a human being and a sex being. Feminists’ forthright attack on traditional rules of sexual behavior added a new dimension to the discussion of personal freedom.

B. Heterodoxy

a woman's group out of Greenwich village was part of a new radical bohemia. (a social circle of artists, writers, and others who reject conventional rules and practice) they merged together several issues including suffrage, economic opportunities and and sexuality.

C. The lyrical left

made freedom the key to its vision of society. they participated in discussion clubs, experimental theaters, and published magazines. Freedom was more than just the right to vote, it was emotional and sexual self-determination.

1. Isadora Duncan

She created an expressive dance based on free movement .

2. Armory Show

this exposed New York to cubist paintings - like Pablo Picasso.

XXIV. The Rise of Personal Freedom

A. "Sex o'clock"

Issues of intimate personal relations previously confined to private discussion blazed forth in popular magazines and public debates. They wanted greater liberty, free sexual expression and reproductive choices

1. Sigmund Freud

the founder of psychoanalysis and wrote about infantile sexuality, repression and the irrational sources of human behavior were well known in the U.S.

B. Homosexuality

Greenwich village was a new center for sexual experimentation. Many homosexuals were attracted to the area because of their tolerance. Gay rights did not come around for a very long time, but the gay community was very much a part of the Village's lifestyle.

XXV. The Birth-Control Movement

new attitudes about sex went far beyond the Bohemia. They were also the focus of many young unmarried, self supporting women who sexual freedom was part of their personal independence. Since more and more women were in the work force, the demands for birth control began to increase. At one point the right "to control one's body" meant that you could refuse sexual advances including those of a woman's husband." But now it seemed as people wanted to have an active sex life without the burden of bearing children.

A. Emma Goldman

lectured on sexual freedom and access to birth control;.as well as many other topics. Often times she would have pamphlets with descriptions of varying types of contraceptives.

B. Margaret Sanger

placed the issue of birth control at the heart of the new feminism. She openly challenged the laws that banned contraceptive information and devices. In 1911 she wrote a sex education column in a New York Socialist Newspaper. by 1914 she was advertising birth control devices in her own journal, the Woman Rebel and by 1916 she opened her own clinic in Brooklyn giving contraceptives to poor Jewish and Italian women. Few Progressives came to her aid, however it was the one time where labor radicals, cultural modernists and feminists crossed paths. the IWW and the Socialist party distributed her writings.

XXVI. Native Americans and Progressivism

A. The Society of American Indians

was founded in 1911 as a reform organization independent of white control. It brought together Indian intellectuals to talk about the plight of the Native Americans with the hope that if the public knew what was going on then something might change. It united many tribes and created a pan-Indian public space independent of white control.

B. Carlos Montezuma

became an outspoken critic of the federal Indian policies, demanding that all Indians be granted full citizenship. In 1916 he created a newsletter the Wassaja (signaling) that called for the end of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He said outsiders controlled too much of the life on the reservations and he wanted self determination.

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