E that humans can achieve perfection in the right

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Unformatted text preview: ses of social/political injustices. Names to know: Steffen’s The Shame of the Cities (1904), Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906), Ida Tarbell [Standard Oil]. - Then there was the movement towards more direct participation in gov’t, which, it was hoped, would control corruption. Progressives wanted: the initiative [propose laws], the referendum [vote on laws], and the recall [get rid of offending officials]. - One thing to remember – not everyone in the PE was actually a Progressive. Plenty of people opposed them: Sots from the left, and business leaders and antigov’t interference people from the right. Progressives were basically in the center. *Governmental and Legislative Reform* - With the big economic crises of the late 1800s, American resistance to gov’t interference in daily life began to diminish. Progressives, especially, saw the gov’t as a tool that would ensure social justice and act against inefficiency and exploitation. But first, they felt, they had to eliminate corruption. - Before the Progressive Era, reformers had tried to wipe out boss politics in the cities – this had been only partially successful – but after 1900 it worked out as city manager and commission forms of city gov’t were installed. But the cities were not enough…most Progressives wanted state and nat’l gov’t reform as well. - Naturally, each region had its own pet peeves. One thing that was common, though, was a belief in strong, fair executives, esp. governors like Wisconsin’s Robert 162 “Battling Bob” La Follette, who installed a major reform program w/direct primaries, fairer taxes, RRD regulation, and commissions staffed by experts. - Anyhow, the crusade against corruption worked to some extent throughout the country [e/t in the South, many Progressives were still racists] – by 1916 all but 3 states had the initiative, referendum and recall; and in 1913 the Seventeenth Amendment was passed, which provided for direct election of Senators. Nevertheless, there were still many cases were...
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