Popular in American History Since 1865
Popular in History
This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carina Sauter on Monday February 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2112 at University of Georgia taught by Dr. Rohrer in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 67 views. For similar materials see American History Since 1865 in History at University of Georgia.
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Date Created: 02/15/16
Progressivism I. Progressivism • Reform movement from 1880-1920 that leading intellectuals and social reformers address economic, political, and cultural problems • What middle class tried to improve: o Everyday conditions of working class Americans o Limit power and wealth of robber barons II. Who were the progressives? • Typical progressive characteristics o Rejected social Darwinism § The theory that Charles Darwin suggested that “survival of the fittest” applied to society § Few will be super successful/powerful/influential and huge bottom population who have “not evolved” as much as the few elites § Think this is confining and unfair § 2/3-3/4 of population should have good education and level the playing field o Urban, well-educated, middle-upper class § Government should be helping with social change § Americans with college degree <5% § Like populist and those in labor unions o Allied with Republican party § Not laissez-faire § Republican party is beginning to moderate and move to the left at the turn of the century – open to idea of active federal government o Deeply committed conservative Christians § Angelical Christians § Methodist, Baptist, etc. are expanding • Home missions: establish churches, give support to unchurched and destitute – target poor in rural and urban areas – newly freed African Americans, Native Americans – poor whites o Teaching immigrants English o Provide them with basic information to cooking, sanitation, and raising children in religious setting o Disproportionately female § Previously, women stayed in private home sphere § Want more out of life § First significant movement of women to public sphere § Justifying their movement because they’re taking their traditional gender role in society • Native Americans, African Americans, poor whites, immigrants • Schools established • Christian women going on home missions § Thousands of women step out of home to help thousands of people in society • Muckraker: type of progressive reformer wanting to bring conditions of society to everybody’s attention o Ida M. Tarbell – published history of John Rockefeller’s Standard Oil o Upton Sinclair – “The Jungle” pure food and drug ac, clean meat act o Jacob Riis – “How the Other Half Lives” pictures • Main goal: get federal government on board to limit power of robber barons III. Progressives’ Broader Goals and Agenda • Political Reform o “best government is the least government” à then § want to change belief § expand government and give citizens direct access to government § relatively successful o trust: when a few powerful companies of the same or similar products gather to control prices – disadvantageous to consumer • Scientific Efficiency o Scientific experts should be the ones advising the government to regulate big business and society o Identify problems and fix them o Research universities and schools of business schools o Municipal research agencies o Reform hospitals o Rise of medical schools o Academic disciplines o Thought it will lead to more productive, cleaner, safer, fairer society • Economic Reform o Products of industrialization (upper/middle class) o Still critical of it o Looking out for their best interests o Moderate politically – the concentration of power contradicted democracy, the pursuit of happiness, American ideals, etc. o Thought this would lead to revolution and collapse of the system o Rights and liberties of all citizens should be preserved • Social Justice o Make American society more equitable o Tried to deal with social problems § Anti-lynching – African Americans § Settlement houses – poor/immigrants o Social Gospel Movement § Led by moderate/liberal protestant progressives to deal with rising problems of industrialization and immigration • Laissez-faire capitalism is un-Christian • The laboring man became a disposable machine • Relied on supply and demand to determine wages • Big business has no heart • Supported labor movement wanting an active federal government • Must: compassion > greed, competition and conflict IV. Progressivism in Action • Settlement houses o Large buildings in crowded cities o Disproportionately female o Services for people in neighborhood to remedy poverty o Men and women live cooperatively, sharing knowledge and culture with poor struck neighbors o Unrelated men and women live together o Appealed to young Americans o Committed to houses so they could find the root of poverty o Mostly in urban north east and Midwest cities o By 1900, 400 nationwide o Cater to thousands of working class and poor Americans/immigrants o Many were religious o Some funded by public money o Few speak English § Major priority is language education o Mostly children and mothers § Day care and kindergartens (first kindergartens) § Mother club o Arts and crafts, music and drama o Expanding offerings – gymnasium, auditorium, dining facilities, meeting halls, classroom o Affect millions of immigrants and impoverished urban dwellers o Public houses, waste collection, public kindergartens and schools, public parks, trade and labor unions o Regulate wages, union hours, women’s rights o Local juvenile courts o Ex. Chicago Hull House • 1880’s – first settlement house • many immigrants pass right by it • most famous settlement house • Jane Adams o The Children’s Bureau: abuse, foster care, adoption, emergency room à big progressive network o Downsides: § Fail to eliminate the worst aspects of poverty – temporary band aid § Can’t change society as a whole § Dismiss native cultures • Lose Native American identity – Carlisle Indian School • Progressive Republicanism, Theodore Roosevelt, and the formation of the Progressive Party o Teddy Roosevelt § Poster child politician for progressives § President McKinley’s VP § Expanded power of presidency • Strengthened power and extent of control of federal government • Thought it should regulate economy • Wanted large corporations to depend on the president and government – oversee entire national economy • Not a radical • Progressive =/= radicalism § Has a lot in common with robber barrons § Sympathetic to working class and labor unions on a limited basis § Gains rep as a trust buster • Anti-trust o Manipulative and unethical o Trust: when a bunch of like companies meet to reduce competition and put prices around the same range – backroom deal § Personally goes to labor strikes § Notable strides in conservationism • For runner to environment movement • National parks • Government land – loved outdoors o Yosemite, Grand Canyon, etc. § Becomes more liberal (moves left) • Scare off many members of the republic party o Conservative member can no longer support him § Leaves presidency in 1908 • William Howard Taft (his VP) takes presidency o Moves America back to right o TR is disturbed § Forms own political path • Progressive party • Runs in 1912 under progressive label • Sufficiently influential o Few 3 parties in American History o Loses (4 runners: Debbs (socialist), Taft (republican), Wilson (democrat), TR (progressive) • Conservation Movement o Forerunner to environmental movement o Under umbrella of progressivism o Reaction to industrialization § Natural resources are exploited § Call for federal supervision of resources o National parks V. The Death of Progressivism • Peak in 19-teens • War and entrance into it (1917) takes attention and funding • Enter more conservative time after war o Toward laissez-faire
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