LSU HIST 2057 - Progressivism: From the Grassroots to the White House

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HISTORY 2057Progressivism: From the Grassroots to the White House  Early 20th century  Trends from late 19th century still going on - Urbanization, immigration- Power of business, labor unrest- Wealth disparity, poverty Efforts to address problems going on in late 19th century - Driven by concerns about social instability , inequity - Also, concerns about power of business, corruption Concerns activism in the late 19th century grow, strengthen  By early 1900s, coalesce into Progressive movement Time period: 1890s-1920s Variety of responses to social and economic problems - Problems often related to industrialization Began as social reform movement, transformed into political  Initially not limited to one party or another Formed at local level, moved to national Goals of progressives diverse, varied- Limiting , regulating business- Protecting, expanding democracy- Addressing, reducing social ills (poverty, alcoholism) Progressives tended to be :- Urban, middle class, educated - Both men and women- Found in white and black communities Progressives shared faith in activism  Early years, progressives tended to reject social Darwinism - Thought problems were related to society, economy - Didn’t see problems as being related to “inferior” makeup,character Believed good education, government, and efficiency could address problems Disliked corruption and waste in business or government Believed technical expertise was best for society- Relying on trained and educated professionals to offer solutions Advocated “Gospel of Efficiency”- Using science observation and good management to makebusiness and govt run smoothly- Scientific management  Felt govt was well-suited to enact reforms, regulations- Chang in views on govt from gilded age  What influenced Progressives? Growing sense of urgency and social economic turmoil Different groups and ideas influenced movement  Social reformers- Target inequality, injustice- Also element of social control, mistrust of certain groups o Immigrants, poor Christian, especially protestants Saw reform , religious duty  Social gospel movement - Emphasized applying religious ethics to business, dealing with poverty- Walter Rauschenbush , NY- 1907, Christianity and the social crisis- Christians should work for and with poor Transatlantic influences ( Great Britain, Germany) William Stead, British minister- Advocated “civic church”- churches and reformers sailed together - Settlement house movement originated in Great Britain - Germany was seen as a model of how to protect society and work woth business  Women also influenced Progressivism  One quarter of the workforce was made of women workers Joined unions in growing numbers - 1903 Women’s trade union league Tended to emphasize women stole as social housekeepers - Taking care of health and welfare of families, communities Laborers, unions influences  Wanted better working conditions. Higher wages By 1920, AFL had 4 million members Newer unions organized immigrants , women 1905, Industrial workers of the world (IWW) the Wobblies- More radical than AFL - Used strike, sit-ins, rallies, - Very diverse membership Socialism also influenced Progressive Movement- Wanted public ownership of railroads, utilities, communication- Also housing reforms and factory inspections Eugene V. Debs, Indiana labor leaders- Formed Socialist party of America in 1901- Won in Wisconsin, NY Not widely accepted but did force progressives to incorporate more radical reforms Not all Americans supported Progressivism  Protestant fundamentalists - Church should save souls, bot push for reforms Business interests often opposed - Targeted “muckraking” journalismo Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair - Used advertising boycotts to pressure newspapers, magazines - Went after unions , sometimes violently o 1914, Ludlow, COo Colorado fuel and iron company o Went on strike, state militia goes to strike and shoot and kill strikers Two areas Progressives enacted reforms First area: social reforms Pursuit of social justice- a more equitable, fair society for pubic Wanted to make society and economy more balanced  Address problems that affected peopled lives, well being Urban reforms- Improve sewer systems, curtail disease - Improve building codes, safetyo 1901 New York Tenement House Law - Public parks - Established 400 settlement houses to help poor, immigrants - Urban reforms meant to improve public health and safety  Labor reforms Child labor - 1904, National Labor Committee established- Studied, documented problems; led reform- By 1914 every state but one had minimum working age Reforms for women also enacted- Set maximum hours for women- Criticized for being paternalistic - Failed to set women up for economic independence Education - Seen as way to advance and prepare better trained workforce - Also about assimilating, conditioning citizens to be “good”members of society - Between 1880-1920, compulsory laws passed requiring:o Attendance, kindergartenso Training for teacherso School nurses- Regional , racial differences in applicationo South –focused on segregation, limited advances o Native Americans trained in manual labor  Women’s reproductive rights- Margret Sanger , nurse and IWW organizer - Promoted use of birth control - Saw effects of unwanted, multiple pregnancies in NYC- 1914 published Woman Rebel- Argued that women’s bodies should belong only to them- Said that women had to control own reproduction to get true equality  Social reforms not always about fairness, equality  Sometimes about control, imposing morality standards Especially true with immigrants - Strong element of nativism in Progressive movemtn Some wanted to limit immigration- 1917, congress impoased literacty test on new immigrants Others wants to focus on education- Americanizing immigrants- Emphasize patriotism , loyaly to americ Other arrears that had moral component to reform  Prohibition- Nativists, religious elements- Started at local and state levels (early 1900s)- 1920, 18th amendment ratified  Prostitution- Seen as “social evil”- 1910s “vice” districts being shut down by federalgovernment - Storyville – New Orleans  2nd Area of reform  Government and politics- Various aims: expanding democracy, getting rid of democracy Women’s suffrage -


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LSU HIST 2057 - Progressivism: From the Grassroots to the White House

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