A.P. U.S. History Notes
Chapter 31: “Progressivism and the
~ 1901 – 1912 ~
In the beginning of the 1900s, America had 76 million people, mostly in good condition, but
before the first decade of the 20
century, the U.S. would be struck by a movement by people
known as the
, who fought against monopoly, corruption, inefficiency, and social
The purpose of the
was to use the government as an agency
of human welfare.
The Progressives had their roots in the
Greenback Labor Party
of the 1870s and 1880s and
of the 1890s.
Henry Demarest Lloyd
exposed the corruption of the monopoly of the
with his book
Wealth Against Commonwealth
criticized the new rich (those who made money from the trusts) in
The Theory of the Leisure
Other exposers of the corruption of trusts, or
Jacob A. Riis
, writer of
How the Other Half Lives
, a book about the New York
slums, and novelist
, who wrote
Socialists and feminists gained strength, and with people like
, women entered the Progressive fight.
Raking Muck with the Muckrakers
Beginning about 1902, a group of aggressive ten- and fifteen-cent popular magazines, such as
began flinging the dirt about the trusts.
Despite criticism, reformer-writers ranged far and wide to lay bare the muck on the back of
launched a series of articles in
Shame of the Cities,” in which he unmasked the corrupt alliance between big business
and the government.
Ida M. Tarbell
launched a devastating exposé against Standard Oil.
These writers exposed the mean trust, the “money trust,” the railroad barons, and the corrupt
amassing of American fortunes, this last part done by
Thomas W. Lawson
David G. Phillips
charged that 75 of the 90 U.S. Senators did not represent the people but
actually the railroads and trusts.
Ray Stannard Baker
Following the Color Line
was about the illiteracy of Blacks.
The Bitter Cry of the Children
exposed child labor.
Harvey W. Wiley
exposed the frauds that sold potent patent medicines by experimenting
The muckrakers sincerely believed that the cure to the ill so of American democracy was more
Progressives were mostly middle-class citizens who felt squeezed by both the big trusts above
and the restless immigrant hordes working for cheap labor that came from below.