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History lecture 8

by: Ashley Albers

History lecture 8 Hist 1200

Ashley Albers
GPA 3.3

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lecture 8 of history 1200
Survey of American History Since 1865
Steven Watts
Class Notes
History 1200 Mizzou
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashley Albers on Thursday February 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Hist 1200 at University of Missouri - Columbia taught by Steven Watts in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Survey of American History Since 1865 in History at University of Missouri - Columbia.


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Date Created: 02/18/16
Regenerating the Dominant Culture II: Progressivism Progressivism is a topic that historians have always been fighting about (what its about, where it was going and so on) I. Politics of Reform a. Several sources, several issues, during the reform b. Business Corruption of Politics i. Noted that rise of big corporations, influential business entities had a great impact on politics because big business tried to get political influence (favor expansion and the market) ii. In 1870s -90s business money/ corporate money starts flowing into the political system, in the vein of corruption, and buying influence 1. Scandals erupt like the Credit Mobilier Trust Scandal – (1870s) railroad companies who were very keen to get land and subsidies so they paid off senators to past legislation in their interest 2. Became a running joke in the senate that senators would be referred to as gentlemen from the steel companies, the railroad, etc. iii. The Trust is a business term for a big corporation or big holding company and the trust becomes a slang term for big businesses corruption (fixing prices, buying off politicians, manipulation market) c. “Bossism” i. Is referring to urban politics, the politics in the big cities ii. Immigrants are pouring in and cities are growing enormously so urban machines were popping up which were run by political bosses 1. Gigantic organizations where you had political groups trying to appeal to immigrants 2. Urban bosses reach out to immigrants and say they will provide jobs and help them if the immigrants will vote for their candidate 3. By the turn of the century the Urban Machines were running politics, Tammany Hall was most dominant at turn of the century 4. George Washington Plunkitt was a mid level operator in Tammany Hall but as he got older some journalist convinced him to write a book called Plunkitt of Tammany Hall, which talked about the boss structure in NYC a. “Politics is as much a regular business as the grocery, I see my opportunities and I took ‘em… that’s what I call honest craft” (selling votes) iii. Rise of Muckrakers towards the end of the 19 th century 1. Named after Teddy Roosevelt, they began to go out into American politics and investigate and expose the corporate corruption 2. Ida Tarbell was the first big woman journalist and gained a big reputation for writing the history of standard oil (originally series of magazine articles) a muckraking expose of Rockefeller and his domination of the oil industry and she really stressed his activities of running his opponents out of business and so on 3. Lincoln Steffens focused of boss politics wrote Shame of the Cities and exposed the corrupt machine politics in each of those cities 4. Very influential in raising public opinion with disgust in the current state of American politics d. Fear of Radicalism (political radicalism) i. Great fear of social revolution, radical populism and this translates into an impulse to reform the system before the system is turned over e. A very large growing number of prosperous and educated people at the turn of the century who are very concerned with political structure and political life of America so they begin to look for solutions or political reforms f. Also a kind of reform movement that will reestablish their own authority in American life II. Progressive Platforms a. Progressivism was not an organized movement that everyone signed up for instead it was more a coalition loose movement b. The social makeup of the progressive movement i. The more prosperous people in American life, like professional people and middle class (doctors, prosperous farmers, teachers, not big business men) c. Two Big Roots or two big wings of movement i. Local Progressives 1. A strain of this political movement was essentially the product of small town America out in the countryside but its not urban and its small town America that is deeply suspicious of urban America and the immigrants and the big markets/corporations 2. Saw them as immoral and people who needed reform 3. Wanted to revitalize some old American values like self-control, hard work, Protestantism so basically Victorians 4. Initiative and Referendum – comes out of small town progressivism and was to get process of legislation out of the bodies of government and put it in the hands of voters (referendum items on ballot is a direct result) 5. Anti trust movement – a small town movement to break up the big trusts in American life, break them up into smaller units that would be forced to compete in the marketplace rather than dominate the marketplace 6. Robert LaFollette – “fighting Bob” was from Wisconsin, governor and senator of Wisconsin and ran for president a few times but was a kind of national symbol of local progressivism and went on in great length about breaking up trusts ii. National Progressives 1. Make up of national progressives a. Came out of urban areas, tended to be urban middle class types of people, educated, prosperous business men (lawyers, doctors, teachers) come at it from a different way from the local progressives 2. Sort of except big cities and big companies and don’t want to bust them up of break them down but want them to work more fairly, put together a platform a. Talk about at a local level about city manager style of government, and are urging a city government who hires professional managers who are trained in urban policy and are hired to make government run more smoothly b. Civil service reform – simply the notion that city jobs should not be handed out to people who vote for you but should be product of a civil service and to those of people qualified c. Corporate taxation and put forward proposals to tax corporations in the interest of making them behave and you bring in money for the government d. Pushed for regulating the trusts and that the government needs to give more power to itself to set up standards of conduct and would prohibit corporations from doing certain bad things 3. Representative Figure would be Theodore Roosevelt, became president and proposed the “square deal” a. Pushed forward the national progressive agenda and talked a lot about efficiency, corporate taxation, and foundation of elaborate system of big government regulating big business iii. Regeneration holds them together, the attempt to re- gather American politics out of fear III. Classical to Corporate Liberalism a. In the early 19 century you had classical liberalism and a politics of individualism and the idea the voters go into the voting booth and you vote your own individual self interest b. New ideology called corporate liberalism and it is still liberal and that it emphasizes politics of participation and voting in a democratic way but the structure changes as in voting not as an individual but as an interest group you’re allied with c. American public life comes out of the negotiation and relationship between big business, big government, and big labor and after the progressives the American good isn’t out of all the little things but the negotiation between the three bigs in society i. National Civic Federation – around 1900 and is a national organization devoted to American life and was made up of people who represented business, government, and labor (Carnegie, Gompers, and many numbers of others) ii. “New Nationalism” – Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 where he decided to run again and talks about the need of big government, big business, and big labor that will put forward public good and put the country forward with progressivism is another form of regeneration but is very revealing Terms Credit Mobilier Trust “Bossism” Tammany Hall George Washington Plunkitt Muckrakers Ida Tarbell Lincoln Steffens Initiative and Referendum Robert LaFollette “Square Deal” National Civic Federation “New Nationalism”


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