Jeff Gu’s APUSH NOTES
Free to distribute.
The Progressive Era (1895 – 1920)
- In 1912, a new party emerged on the political scene, calling themselves the
. The formation of the party was actually the culmination of a
series of reform movements that began in the 1890s.
- Some general CAUSES of Progressivism:
– Yes, the 1890s were a cause of Progressivism, mainly b/c they sucked. In the 1890s, all the tensions built up during
industrialization broke loose in the
Panic of 1893
, labor problems, political issues, and foreign entanglements.
Capitalism OUT OF CONTROL
– Partially b/c of the depression, many people started to realize that capitalism, w/its monopolistic tendencies
and rampant destruction of natural resources, needed just a bit of restraint.
– Disease, poverty and crime were often rampant.
Immigration and the rise of a new socio-economic elite
– This made people nervous.
- The bottom line of Progressivism was basically this: SOCIETY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR INDIVIDUALS AND SHOULD HELP THEM – as opposed to Gilded Age
every-man-for-himself Social Darwinism. This manifested itself through a desire to:
End Abuses of Power
– Trust-busting, consumers’ rights, good government.
Build New Institutions
– Schools, hospitals, all that crap.
– “Wow! Let’s make our political and social institutions just like factories!” Well, that might explain the way school is, but
– Yeah, they really thought it could happen. Geez.
*Politics in the Progressive Era*
During the PE,
party loyalty and voter turnout declined
politics opened to new interest groups
, each of which had their own agendas – i.e. the
Progressive Era witnessed the birth of that delightful phenomenon: the nationwide [charitable] organization that calls your house and asks you for
money eight times a day. These organizations included: professional groups, women’s organizations, issue-oriented groups, civic clubs, and
minority groups. So,
politics became more fragmented and issue-driven
Politics also became more open to foreign models/ideas and reform took on a far more
, as opposed to the Populist movement
that culminated in the 1896 election. This was partially due to the leadership of the new middle class [professionals], who lived in the cities.
Another novelty was
– i.e. journalists who combined the public’s love of scandal w/exposes of social/political injustices.
Names to know:
The Shame of the Cities