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The Gilded Age and Progressivism

Essential Learning Targets:

1. Evaluate the economic, social and political change caused by
2. Assess the impact of industrialization and immigration on urbanization.
3. Analyze how the changes of the Gilded Age led to the Progressive Era.
4. Evaluate the effectiveness of Progressive Era reforms.

The Election of 1900 and the Succession of Theodore Roosevelt.

Election of 1900:
McKinley, and Vice Presidential candidate Theodore
Roosevelt, easily defeated William J. Bryan.
New York political bosses have Roosevelt
nominated for VP.
Felt it was a powerless position.
Assassination of President McKinley:
Sept. 6, 1901 William McKinley shot at an exposition in Buffalo, NY.
The Progressives and their objectives:
W.E.B DuBois Black leader in the early 1900s who fought for civil rights.
Founder of the Niagra Movement Demanded for blacks all their
human rights at once.
Niagra Movement helped create NAACP in 1909.
NAACP National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People Fought for Af.-Am. political rights.
Booker T. Washington
Founder of the Tuskegee Institute
Trained thousands of blacks to be better farmers and mechanics.

Felt they should train quickly for jobs they could do with their hands.
Self-respect, self-education, and self-help would bring blacks the
opportunities they desired.
Washington vs. DuBois
1. Read
2. Choose: Who had the better vision for improving the conditions of AfricanAmericans in the early 1900s. Booker T. Washington or W.E.B DuBois?
3. Complete Questions to Ponder.
Journalists and novelists who investigated and exposed corruption and other
illegal activities.
Upton Sinclair
Wrote The Jungle Described the miseries of workers in the
stockyard, and rotten meat packed for sale.
Meat Inspection Act, and Pure Food & Drug Act were passed
in 1906.
Pure Food legislation was passed because of his writings.
Consumer Protection
Meat Inspection Act, 1906:
Federal officials could inspect all meat shipped in interstate
Checked to see if meat came from healthy animals and was packed
under sanitary conditions.
Upton Sinclairs The Jungle helped pass this act.
Pure Food and Drug Act, 1906
The manufacture and sale of impure food, drugs, and liquors was forbidden.
Labels on patent medicines had to list the contents.

Ida Tarbell
Published attacks on the Standard Oil Company.
Writings appeared in the popular McClures Magazine.
Lincoln Steffens
A pioneer investigating reporter.
Wrote articles on the misgovernment of cities.
A new force - media power - had now entered politics.
Political and Social Reform
16 Amendment Made the Federal Income tax legal.
17 Amendment Allowed for the direct election of Senators by
In the past Senators had been elected by state
Voting Changes
Womens Suffrage
Progressives were fighting for a womans right to vote suffrage First
state: Wyoming.
The west led the way with womens suffrage.
Political Reform
Roosevelt favored more reforms: income and inheritance taxes, federal
rules for the stock market, and more effective control of business.
The trend was for govt. to become more involved.
Municipal Reform
City Manager A trained manager hired to run the city.

The manager was not a politician. Could be fired.

Replaced a mayor; worked well with small cities.
State Reform
Robert Battling Bob LaFollette Elected gov. of Wisconsin 1900.
Enacted Progressive measures: Direct Primary, Railroad Commission,
Civil Service, restrictions on lobbying.
Roosevelt called Wisconsin a laboratory for democracy.
Roosevelts domestic program:
Square Deal
Anthracite Coal Strike, 1902:
Workers did not receive a pay raise in 20 yrs.
Roosevelt brought the striking workers and the owners together.
Roosevelt showed how the federal govt. could help.
Govt. action was considered to be fair to both labor and management.
Coal Miners 9 hr. day & 10% raise
Trust Busting
Northern Securities Case

A holding company that dominated the railroads of the Northwest.

Roosevelt sued under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
The Supreme Court ordered the company dissolved.
This is the beginning of the Trust Busting era.
Roosevelts (Trust Busting) Philosophy

Moved against other unpopular trusts: beef, oil, tobacco.

Felt the govt. should break up large corporations only when they hurt the
Roosevelt Helped set aside 230 million acres of public land most were
national forests (almost 150 million acres.)

Created US Forest Service; headed by Gifford Pinchot

Pinchot planned reforesting: The planting of trees along with the cutting of
Taft Administration at Home
Election of 1908:
William Howard Taft, the Secretary of War, was Roosevelts hand-picked
Taft easily defeated William J. Bryan.
Taft as a progressive
Most thought Taft would follow Roosevelt in fighting for reform.
Many progressives felt he did not fight for reform and were disappointed.
Taft and Trust Busting
Did not make the distinction between good and bad trusts like Roosevelt.
Taft Indict (bring criminal charges against) all trusts, and allow courts to
decide which trusts were good or bad.
Payne-Aldrich Tariff

High tariffs were becoming a problem.

Consumer prices were rising; Taft promised to lower tariffs.
The Payne-Aldrich Tariff actually raised the tariff on many items.
This upset progressives

Mann-Elkins Act (1910)

Govt has control over telegraph and telephone rates
DID NOT adopt Roosevelts policy of good and bad trusts
Brought twice as many lawsuits against companies as Roosevelt
Broke up Standard Oil

Election of 1912
The Primaries:
The Republican party was badly split.
The issue of conservation of natural resources caused a split between
Roosevelt and Taft.
Democratic Nominee: Woodrow Wilson Gov. of New Jersey.
Republican Nominee: William Howard Taft
Progressive Republicans were very upset Taft won the nomination.
Progressive Republicans persuaded Roosevelt to run on a third party ticket Bull Moose party.
The Results:
Wilson won fairly easily.
Taft and Roosevelt split the Republican vote, giving Wilson the victory.
Wilsons Domestic Program: New Freedom
Underwood Tariff:
The Underwood-Simmons tariff reduced taxes about 11% from the PayneAldrich Tariff.
The public supported the cut in tariffs.
Federal Reserve Act
12 Districts
Created a more flexible currency Federal Reserve Note
Also, helped prevent a run on the banks.
Clayton Anti-Trust Act
Gave unions the right to exist.
Manufacturers could not charge different customers different prices.
Federal Trade Commission
Created to monitor business
Could issue cease and desist orders against companies engaged in
unfair trade practices.