Sept 8 - Document Discussion - Archives 15

Sept 8 - Document Discussion - Archives 15 - ->ARCH1VE 1...

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->ARCH1VE 15+ Confronting the Problems of Urban, Industrial America Archive Overview ALTHOUGH newspapers and television news programs re- mind us that American cities are in trouble, many of us can al- most ignore urban problems because we spend so little time in the nation's central cities. And even though there are occa- sional scares about contaminated food or medicine, most of us expect our foods and drugs to be safe. In a similar way, we expect to work in safe, clean, and sometimes even comfortable, places. Americans were not always able to avoid urban problems or to take for granted matters of personal safety. During the late 19th century and the first decades ofthe 20th century, Americans began to see some consequences of becoming an industrial, urban nation. Those who believed that conditions must change became reformers, known as progressives; the reform movement with which they were associated is known as progressivism. De- spite the label, historians have disagreed about what progres- sivism is. Most historians mention an optimism about reform ./ and a faith in science, efficiency, and experts, but some historians find such a definition too broad to be useful. It could describe both big businessmen and trust-busters; those who favored what would later be called "big government" and those who concentrated on the "private sector." Furthermore, it fails to illu- minate the subtle power and self-interest involved in reformism. Your main task in this archive is to explore some ofthe issues which concerned the progressives. What social and political prob- lems do the sources reveal, and why did reformers find them so worrisome? Then, by examining documents drawn mostly from Hiram House, a social settlement in Cleveland, you should de- tettnine some ofthe strategies reformers adoptedand evaluatetheir impact both on the reformers' working-class and immigrant clients and on the reformers themselves. What were reformers trying to accomplish, and how successful were their strategies? Your secondary task is to consider how the sources collected here relate to the historical debate about the nature ofprogressivism. What definitions ofprogressivism do these sources support? What sacrifices did reformers make in order to change their world? What signs ofself-interest and a desire for power do you see? Placing the Sources in Context DURING the progressive era, between 1890 and the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Americans sought to improve their own and others' lives as the nation struggled with the consequences 1880S-191OS 1890-1910 1890S-1920S 1887 1889 1892 1893-1897 1896 1897 18 99 1901 1906 1907-1908 1910 1912-1916 T1MEL1NE New immigration from southern and eastern Europe Southern state constitutions rewritten Migration ofAfrican-Americans from the South to northern cities College Settlement House Association founded Vida Scudder starts Denison House in Boston; Jane Addams founds Hull House in Chicago Jacob Riis's study How the Other Half Lives appears Depression in the United States Plessy v. ferguson: "separate but equal" facilities are constitutional; Hiram College
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Sept 8 - Document Discussion - Archives 15 - ->ARCH1VE 1...

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