1890 - 1916 Progressivism and Society

1890 - 1916 Progressivism and Society - Society looks for...

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Society looks for new ideas to deal with the depression – government intervention, local institutions Guardian of the common man is the government – regulating big business Muckrakers = practice of exposing the corruption of public and prominent figures Coined by Teddy Roosevelt in 1906 Investigations of all aspects of American life Exposes create change through public awareness political action The Jungle by Upton Sinclair; The Shame of the Cities by Steffens Flourishes from 1903 - 1909 Progressivism = movement reflecting worries about the state of society, the effects of industry and urbanization, social disorder, political corruption, etc. Crisis and urgency rooted in hopefulness and confidence in progress Keys = high prosperity, a new century, “mass” production Efforts to improve conditions, make a living, and aid societies is hallmark Touches all aspects of society – reforms politically, intellectually, culturally No single issue or concern unites everyone Depends on knowledge – individual morality and collective action 6 Characteristics: 1. Concern over effects of industrialization 2. Fundamental optimism about human nature and capacity to investigate, educate, and legislate 3. Willingness to intervene in people’s lives 4. Turn to authority of government at all levels to reform 5. Protestantism (desire/duty) and Natural/Social Sciences (control) – if we could change the environment, we could change the individual 6. Touched the whole nation Mass production through the assembly line “speed demon” set 90 mph record 1907 lowers prices = increased sales/revenue = small unit profit on large number of sales means $$$ 1908 Model T introduced – 4 cylinder, 20 hp, “Tin Lizzie” for $850 – “democratize the automobile” 1916 Fed. Aid Roads Act sets framework for road building by requiring states wanting federal funds to build highways department Trusts Formed in response to prosperity “Oligopy” = control of a commodity or service by a small number of large, powerful companies Debate over trusts shapes the era Mass Production Leads to: - industrial research labs (GE) as source of new ideas and technologies - business is large-scale, mechanized, and managed; workers lose control
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March 1911 – Triangle Shirtwaist Co. fire (in New York) Locked inside, 146 dead – stampedes in narrow stairways for the single exit Rose Schneiderman from WTUL – “they had not cared” (referring to authorities) Leads to an outcry St. Factory Inv. Comm. shorter hours, safety regulations Social-Justice Movement = focused national attention on need for tenement house laws, more stringent child labor legislation, and better working conditions for women
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1890 - 1916 Progressivism and Society - Society looks for...

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