THE PROGRESSIVE ERA

The Progressive Era, an era of reform, covers the period in American History from 1900, signifying the turn of the century and the end of the Gilded Age, through 1917, upon the entry of the United States into World War I. The name suggests that the Gilded Age was such a dynamic period of growth that the nation needed to take time to reform its politics, its cities, the workplace, and its foreign policy. The nation=s rapid growth and progress left many citizens in its wake, and reform was necessary to protect those who were suffering. The Progressive Era includes the presidencies of Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson.

Among the accomplishments of the three progressive presidents are
-conservation of natural resources
-trust-busting
-Federal Reserve System

Other reformers at other levels (state and local governments, private sector) attempted to reform the workplace, female and child labor, worked with private charities, and supported the temperance movement (alcohol abuse).

The permanent record of the Progressive Era exists in the amendments to the U.S. Constitution
-16th Amendment - progressive income tax
-17th Amendment - direct election of U.S. senators
-18th Amendment - prohibition of the manufacture of alcoholic beverages
-19th Amendment - women's right to vote

The election of 1912 represents a good example of how political parties turn winning combinations into losing ones. The GOP had owned the presidency since 1860, with the exception of Grover Cleveland=s victories in 1884 and 1892. But when Teddy Roosevelt decided to challenge his own hand picked successor, William Howard Taft, for the Republican nomination in 1912, he won 11 out of 13 primary races against the incumbent Taft, including Taft=s own home state of Ohio. When Taft still managed to win the nomination, Roosevelt decided to run as a third party candidate, under the Progressive Party (ABull Moose@) banner. With Taft and Roosevelt dividing the Republican vote in every state, Woodrow Wilson was able to win an easy victory in the Electoral College. Taft and Roosevelt split 7.5 million popular votes, against Wilson=s 6.3 million total vote.

When the United States entered into World War I, the push for reform was lost as the nation turned its eyes to events in Europe. The nation=s desire to reform waned, for upon the end of the war, the nation endorsed Harding=s presidential campaign slogan of Areturn to normalcy@ and overwhelmingly supported his election. The ARoaring Twenties@ became the new rage.

Progressive Foreign Policy

Roosevelt - Big Stick Diplomacy
******Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine
*****Treaty of Portsmouth
*****Panama Canal
*****Great White Fleet

Taft - Dollar Diplomacy

Wilson - Missionary Diplomacy

REQUIRED READING

Tindall, chapter 24 and Riordan, Plunkitt of Tammany Hall

TERMS TO KNOW

Women=s suffrage    Progressive Income Tax  Direct election of U.S. Senators Prohibition/Volstead Act    AFighting Bob@ LaFollette   trust busting   conservation of natural resources  The Great White Fleet    Treaty of Portsmouth     Panama Canal   Big Stick Diplomacy   Dollar Diplomacy   Missionary Diplomacy    reform politician  machine politics   Tammany Hall    Election of 1912 and the Bull Moose Party    primary  political initiative  recall election    referendum   secret ballot   minimum wage   child/female labor   NAACP     Swift v. U.S.    Square Deal    Roosevelt Corollary   Russo-Japanese War    Plessy v. Ferguson   Muckrakers    Socialist Party   Federal Reserve System

SAMPLE TEST QUESTIONS

His foreign policy was known as ABig Stick@ diplomacy A)Taft B)Wilson C)Bryan D)Roosevelt E)McKinley

Who was the Bull Moose candidate?

From where did George Washington Plunkitt conduct his daily business?

What is honest graft?

What were the progressive amendments passed to the U.S. Constitution?

What is meant by the idea of "separate but equal"?

RECOMMENDED READINGS