DBQ #6 Hints
You WILL get one of three possible DBQ topix…be prepared to:
Know everything you can about the Progressive Era 1900-1920 – be able to distinguish between state
and national level reforms – be able to assess how successful the reforms were – understand the
successes and failures of each of the 3 progressive presidents.
Progressives sought to restore economic competition, make government more efficient, and stem the tide of socialism.
To what extent were progressives successful in achieving these goals?
In writing your answer, use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1900-1920.
Source: George Washington Plunkett in an interview with a newspaper reporter, 1905.
Everybody is talkin’ these days about Tammany men growin’ rich on graft, but nobody thinks of drawin’ the distinction between
honest graft and dishonest graft. There’s all the difference in the world between the two. Yes, many of our men have grown rich in
politics. I have myself. I’ve made a big fortune out of the game, and I’m getting’ richer every day, but I’ve not gone in for dishonest
graft—blackmailin’ gamblers, saloon-keepers, disorderly people, etc.—and neither has any of the men who have made big fortunes in
There’s an honest graft, and I’m an example of how it works. I might sum up the whole thing by sayin’: I seen my opportunities and I
Just let me explain by examples. My party’s in power in the city, and it’s goin’ to undertake a lot of public improvements. Well, I’m
tipped off, say, that they’re goin’ to lay out a new park at a certain place… I go to that place and I buy up all the land I can in the
neighborhood. Then the board of this or that makes its plan public, and there’s a rush to get my land, which nobody cared particular
Ain’t it perfectly honest to charge a good price and make a profit on my investment and foresight?" Of course it is. Well, that’s honest
Source: Louis Brandeis, Other People’s Money (1914).
The practice of interlocking directorates is the root of many evils. It offends laws human and divine. Applied to rival corporations, it
tends to the suppression of competition and to violation of the Sherman [antitrust] law. Applied to corporations which deal with each
other, it tends to disloyalty and to violation of the fundamental law that no man can serve two masters. In either event it tends to
inefficiency; for it removes incentive and destroys soundness of judgment. It is undemocratic, for it rejects the platform: "A fair field
and no favors," substituting the pull of privilege for the push of manhood. It is the most potent instrument of the money Trust. Break
the control so exercised by the investment bankers over railroads, public-service and industrial corporations, over banks, life-insurance
and trust companies, and a long step will have been taken toward attainment of the New Freedom.