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a study guide reading

a study guide reading - McGerr Preface and Chapter 1...

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McGerr- Preface and Chapter 1 Progressive Era- Age of “fierce content” (Preface) Progressivism created much of our contemporary political predicament, progressives failed to achieve all of their expectations, this is today reflected in our nation not willing to try for broad change Progressives developed broad agenda-embrace the transformations of gender relations, the regeneration of the home, the disciplining of leisure and pleasure, and the establishment of segregation Period of investigating the nature of the individual and the relationship between the individual and society 4 quintessential progressive battles: end class conflict, control big business, change other people and segregate society Chapter 1: Signs of Friction Before Progressive Era, The U.S. was a land divided by region, race and ethnicity Deeply split by class conflict Progressive Era was extraordinary explosion of middle class activism, began as crisis of alienation between extremes of wealth and poverty “Upper ten” was tiny minority of the population, 1 to 2 percent, owned majority of nation’s resources, share fundamental understanding about nature of the individual: the uncompromising belief in the necessity of individual freedom Example: Cornelia Bradley Martin hosting extravagant ball during nation’s worst depression In 1900, half the population made up working class of laborers, faced threats of unemployment, injury, early death Example: Rahel Golub: worked w/ father in tailor shop, no education, all money went to help family Relentless development of the industrial economy, the increasing spread of news in papers and magazines and the unceasing political contests of democracy all made different classes constantly aware of each other and generated the many signs of friction in late 19 th century Signs of change included: churches/certain groups condemning the excessive spending of the wealthy, Carnegie and Rockefeller choosing to give away most of their fortunes for the betterment of the lower classes McGerr chp 2   McGerr Chapter 2 – The Radical Center This chapter is McGerr revolves around three main themes and their relation to the transition between the Victorian era and the progressive era. This chapter concentrates on the class inbetween, the middle class and its rise to prominence in American society and the eeffcts it had on profoundly shaping the progressive movement.
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- Domesticity - The domestic role of women in the Victorian era was restricted to the household. It was their place to create and maintain a proper home for their husband and children. However many women were not satisfied with their lot in life, especially women of the middle class for whom greater prospects, especially in regard to education, were somewhat available. This dissatisfaction became epidemic and eventually came to be called neurasthenia (pg 46). The men during the Victorian era lived in a world divided between their responsibilities at home
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