Chapter 24: The Progressive Era

Chapter Outline

  1. Progressivism
    1. General features
      1. Aimed against the abuses of the Gilded-Age bosses
      2. More businesslike and efficient than populism
      3. Paradox of regulation of business by business leaders
      4. Not an organized group or party
    2. Antecedents
      1. Populism
      2. Mugwumps
      3. Socialist critiques
      4. Muckrakers
        1. Henry Demarest Lloyd and Jacob Riis
        2. Golden Age of Muckraking
        3. Popular support for reform
        4. Diagnosis more than remedy
    3. Themes of progressivism
      1. Democratizing government
        1. Direct primaries
        2. Initiative, referendum, recall, and other local actions
        3. Direct election of senators
      2. Efficiency and good government
        1. Frederick W. Taylor and scientific management
        2. Shorter ballots
        3. Tax assessments and budgets
        4. Commission and city-manager forms of city government
        5. Use of specialists
      3. Regulation of giant corporations
        1. Complete laissez-faire
        2. Public ownership
        3. Trust-busting
        4. Regulation of big business
        5. Problem of regulating the regulators
      4. Social justice
        1. Private charities and state power
        2. Child labor
        3. Night work and dangerous occupations
        4. Erratic Supreme Court
        5. Stricter building codes and factory inspection acts
        6. Workmen's compensation
        7. Pressure for prohibition
  2. Roosevelt's progressivism
    1. Activism and the art of the possible
    2. Trust regulation
      1. Opposition to trustbusting
      2. Northern Securities case, 1904
    3. Coal strike of 1902
      1. Cause of strike
      2. Roosevelt and arbitration
      3. Effects of strike and settlement
    4. Further regulation of business
      1. More antitrust suits
      2. Expedition and Elkins Acts
      3. Bureau of Corporations
      4. Anti-trust suits
        1. Standard Oil
        2. American Tobacco
    5. Election of 1904
      1. Republican nomination
      2. Democratic candidate and positions
      3. Campaign and result
    6. Reforms in second term
      1. Hepburn Act
      2. Regulation of food and drugs
        1. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle
        2. Meat Inspection Act
        3. Pure Food and Drug Act
      3. Conservation
        1. background
          1. Reckless environmental abuse
          2. Advocates of resource conservation
          3. Early federal actions
        2. Gifford Pinchot
          1. Friend of Roosevelt
          2. Scientific management
        3. Hetch Hetchy controversy
          1. Roosevelt's choice
          2. Protests
          3. Wilson's approval
        4. Newlands Act
        5. Consequences
  3. Taft's administration
    1. Successor to Theodore Roosevelt in 1908
      1. William Howard Taft
      2. Democrats and Bryan
      3. Election outcome
    2. Taft's background and character
    3. Tariff reform
      1. Preference for lower rates
      2. Problems in Senate
      3. Reactions to compromise
    4. Ballinger-Pinchot controversy
      1. Ballinger's actions to undo Roosevelt policies
      2. Roles of Pinchot and Glavis
      3. Impact of the affair
    5. Taft's role in the rebellion against Speaker Cannon
    6. Elections of 1910
    7. Roosevelt's response on his return to the United States
      1. Development of the New Nationalism
      2. Clash over the U.S. Steel suit
      3. TR enters the race
    8. Taft's achievements
      1. In conservation
      2. Mann-Elkins Act
      3. Other laws
      4. Constitutional amendments
    9. The election of 1912
      1. The Republican nomination of 1912
        1. Roosevelt's primary victories
        2. Taft's nomination
      2. Creation of the Progressive party
  4. Wilson's progressivism
    1. Wilson's rise to power
      1. His background
      2. Student of politics
      3. President of Princeton
      4. Governor of New Jersey
      5. His nomination
    2. Election of 1912
      1. New Nationalism versus New Freedom
      2. Wilson's election
      3. Significance of the election
        1. High mark for progressivism
          1. First presidential primaries
          2. Focus on alternatives
        2. Democrats back into office
        3. Southerners into control
        4. Republican party and conservatism
    3. Wilsonian reform
      1. Wilson's style
      2. Courting public support
      3. Tariff reform
        1. Wilson's position
        2. Efforts for Senate support
        3. Tariff changes in the Underwood-Simmons Act
        4. Income tax provisions
      4. Federal Reserve System
      5. Efforts for new anti-trust laws
        1. New Freedom approach
        2. Federal Trade Commission Act
        3. Clayton Anti-Trust Act
          1. Practices outlawed
          2. Labor and farm groups
        4. Disappointments with administration of the new laws
      6. The limits of Wilson's progressivism
        1. Social justice
        2. African Americans
      7. Wilson's return to reform
        1. Plight of the Progressive party
        2. Appointment of Brandeis
        3. Support for land banks and long-term farm loans
        4. Efforts for cheap rural credit
        5. Farm demonstration agents and agricultural education
        6. Federal Highways Act
        7. Labor reform legislation
  5. The limits of progressivism
    1. Acceptance of the public-service concept of the state
    2. Elements of paradox
      1. Disfranchisement of southern African Americans
      2. Manipulation of democratic reforms
      3. Decisions by faceless bureaucratic experts
      4. Decline of voter participation
      5. From optimism to war
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