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Learn About the
By the beginning of the twentieth century,
muckraking journalists were calling attention to the exploitation of child
labor, corruption in city governments, the horror of lynching, and the
ruthless business practices employed by businessmen like John D. Rockefeller.
At the local level, many Progressives sought to suppress red-light districts,
expand high schools, construct playgrounds, and replace corrupt urban
political machines with more efficient system of municipal government.
At the state level, Progressives enacted minimum wage laws for women
workers, instituted industrial accident insurance, restricted child
labor, and improved factory regulation.
At the national level, Congress passed laws establishing federal regulation
of the meat-packing, drug, and railroad industries, and strengthened
anti-trust laws. It also lowered the tariff, established federal control
over the banking system, and enacted legislation to improve working
amendments were adopted during the Progressive era, which authorized an income
tax, provided for the direct election of senators, extended the vote to women,
and prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages.
an umbrella label for a wide range of economic, political, social, and moral
reforms. These included efforts to outlaw the sale of alcohol; regulate child
labor and sweatshops; scientifically manage natural resources; insure pure and
wholesome water and milk; Americanize immigrants or restrict immigration altogether;
and bust or regulate trusts. Drawing support from the urban, college-educated
middle class, Progressive reformers sought to eliminate corruption in government,
regulate business practices, address health hazards, improve working conditions,
and give the public more direct control over government through direct primaries
to nominate candidates for public office, direct election of Senators, the initiative,
referendum, and recall, and women's suffrage.
Progressive Party Platform
Handouts and fact sheets:
Urban Political Machines
Problems of Youth
Progressive Reform and the Trusts
World War I
your knowledge about the Progressive Era
Whiteclay Chambers, The Tyranny of Change: America in the Progressive
and up-to-date history of Progressivism.
John Milton Cooper,
The Warrior and the Priest
philosophies, and actions of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.
on the E.L. Doctorow novel, the film weaves into its story many of
the key figures of the era, including characters, among them Harry
Houdini, J.P. Morgan, Booker T. Washington, and Emma Goldman.
View the movie trailer (requires Windows Media Player):
The Story of Teddy Roosevelt