Ch_21_Lecture - Key Questions What was the nature of...

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Key Questions: What was the nature of progressivism? What was the connection between women and progressivism? What were the antidemocratic aspects of progressivism? How was the executive strengthened under Roosevelt? What characterized the climax of progressivism under Woodrow Wilson?
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The Ferment of Reform The context of reform: industrial and urban tensions The origins of progressivism lay in the crisis of the new urban-industrial order as America began questioning the responsibilities of government and themselves for social order and betterment. By 1900, prosperity was returning and easing the threat of social violence. Underlying problems included the trend to ever-larger corporations, working conditions, and social problems connected to immigration.
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The Ferment of Reform, cont’d. Church and campus Reform-minded ministers launched the Social Gospel movement that wanted to introduce religious ethics into industrial relations and appealed to churches to meet social obligations. Muckrakers Journalists developed a new form of investigative reporting known as muckraking that published exposes of societal ills. The gospel of efficiency Business leaders supported order, organization, and efficiency, especially the scientific management ideas of Frederick Taylor.
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The Ferment of Reform, cont’d. Labor’s demand for rights Workers formed unions to pursue social and economic reforms that spanned a large spectrum from conservative wage increases to radicalism. Extending the woman’s sphere The growing importance of women in the workforce, the growth of women’s clubs, and the creation of other organizations showed the growing activism of women for reform and equal rights. Transatlantic influences European ideas and practices were a major source of America’s progressive movement.
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The Ferment of Reform, cont’d. Socialism The growing influence of socialism promoted progressivism. Reformers increasingly examined socialist criticism of industrial society. Eugene Debs founded the Socialist Party of America in 1901. Most progressives believed socialist ideas were too drastic. Opponents of reform Protestant fundamentalists stressed personal salvation over social reform. Business interests attacked muckrakers and labor unions while government often resisted progressive reforms.
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Reforming Society Settlement houses and urban reform Settlement houses were spearheads for social reform. Largely modeled after Hull House in Chicago, reformers created 400 settlement houses that were mostly led and staffed by young, middle-class women.
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