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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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- Fall '10