The Progressive Era - Jeff Gus APUSH NOTES Free to...

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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 Progressives . 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: 1 The 1890s – 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. 2 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. 3 Screwed-Up Cities – Disease, poverty and crime were often rampant. 4 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: 1 End Abuses of Power – Trust-busting, consumers’ rights, good government. 2 Build New Institutions – Schools, hospitals, all that crap. 3 Be Efficient – “Wow! Let’s make our political and social institutions just like factories!” Well, that might explain the way school is, but anyway… 4 Achieve Perfection – Yeah, they really thought it could happen. Geez. *Politics in the Progressive Era* - During the PE, party loyalty and voter turnout declined as 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 urban orientation , 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 Muckraking Journalism – i.e. journalists who combined the public’s love of scandal w/exposes of social/political injustices. Names to know: Steffen’s The Shame of the Cities (1904), Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906), Ida Tarbell [Standard Oil]. -
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This note was uploaded on 08/31/2010 for the course AMER HIST 45213 taught by Professor Platt during the Spring '10 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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The Progressive Era - Jeff Gus APUSH NOTES Free to...

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