Progressive Era

Progressive Era

The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of reform which lasted from the 1890s to the 1920s.cite web|last=Muncy|first=Robin|title=Women in the Progressive Era|url=|publisher=National Park Service|accessdate-2008-02-06]

The Progressives sought change in regard to workers' rights and protection of the ordinary citizen in general. Initially the movement was successful at local level, and then it progressed to state and gradually national. [cite web|last=Mintz|first=Steven|title=Learn About the Progressive Era|url=|work=Digital History|publisher=University of Houston|date=2006|accessdate=2008-02-06] Both the reformers and their opponents were predominantly members of the middle class. Most were well educated white Protestants who lived in the cities. Catholics, Jews and blacks had their own versions of the Progressive Movement, led by the likes of George Cardinal Mundelein and Booker T. Washington. Progressives pushed for social justice, general equality and public safety, but there were contradictions within the movement, especially regarding race.

Almost all major politicians declared their adherence to some progressive measure. In politics the most prominent national figures were the Republican politicians Theodore Roosevelt and Robert LaFollette, Sr. and Democratic politicians William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson. [Cite web|title=Progressive Era|url=|work=Eagleton Digital Archive of American Politics|publisher=Eagleton Institute of Politics|date=2004|accessdate=2008-02-06]


Significant changes achieved at the national levels included the income tax with the Sixteenth Amendment, direct election of Senators with the Seventeenth Amendment, Prohibition with the Eighteenth Amendment, and women's suffrage through to the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Muckrakers were journalists who exposed waste, corruption, and scandal in the highly influential new medium of national magazines, such as McClure's. Progressives shared a common belief in the ability of science, technology and disinterested expertise to identify all problems and come up with the one best solution. cite encyclopedia
title = Progressivism
encyclopedia = The Columbia Encyclopedia
volume =
publisher = Columbia University Press
date = 2007
id =
accessdate = 2008-02-06

Progressives moved to enable the citizenry to rule more directly and circumvent political bosses; California, Wisconsin, and Oregon took the lead. [Harvard citation no brackets|Bailey|Kennedy|Cohen|1998|pp=687-688] California governor Hiram Johnson established the initiative, referendum, and recall, viewing them as good influences for citizen participation against the historic influence of large corporations on state assembly. [cite paper
first = J.L.
last = McDowell
author =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Would Hiram Johnson Be Pleased? The Unintended Consequences of Progressive Era Reforms
version =
publisher = Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Midwest Political Science Association, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, Illinois
date = 2004-04-15
url =
format =
accessdate = 2008-02-06
] About 16 states began using primary elections. Many cities set up municipal reference bureaus to study the budgets and administrative structures of local governments. In Illinois, Governor Frank Lowden undertook a major reorganization of state government. [cite encyclopedia|title=Lowden, Frank Orren|url=|encyclopedia=The Columbia Encyclopedia|publisher=Columbia University Press|edition=6th|year=2007|accessdate=2008-02-06] In Wisconsin, the stronghold of Robert LaFollette, the Wisconsin Idea, used the state university as the source of ideas and expertise. [cite web|title=Progressivism and the Wisconsin Idea|url=|publisher=Wisconsin Historical Society|date=2008-02-06] Characteristics of progressivism included a favorable attitude toward urban-industrial society, belief in mankind's ability to improve the environment and conditions of life, belief in obligation to intervene in economic and social affairs, and a belief in the ability of experts and in efficiency of government intervention.

Criticism of Progressive Era achievements

The progressive philosophy and the Progressive Era actions taken by the government had critics as well. The changes during this era that political figures, with the help of industry figures, implemented to bring about "progress" affected most strongly (and some believe negatively) the areas of birthing, family, schooling, law, journalism, and food production and distribution. A few most famous of the critics of these movements include Murray Rothbard, [cite web|title=The Progressive Era and the Family|url=|publisher=Murray Rothbard|date=2008-02-29] Faith Gibson, [cite web|title=The Official Plan to Eliminate the Midwife:1900 -- 1930|url=|publisher=Faith Gibson|date=2008-03-04] John Taylor Gatto, [cite web|title=A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling|url=|publisher=John Gatto|date=2008-02-29] Janice Rogers Brown, [cite web|title=A Whiter Shade of Pale|url=|publisher=Janice Brown|date=2008-02-29] William L. Anderson, [cite web|title= End of Another Progressive-Era Relic|url=|publisher=William L. Anderson|date=2008-02-29] and Gary D. Libecap. [cite web|title=The Determinants of Progressive Era Reform: The Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906|url=
publisher=Gary D. Libecap|date=2008-02-29

Issues at the federal level

*President Theodore Roosevelt (Republican, 1901-1909)
*Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle" (1906)

Notable Progressives

*Jane Addams
*Horatio Alger
*Charles Beard
*William Jennings Bryan
*James Branch Cabell
*Andrew Carnegie
*W.E.B. Du Bois
*Crystal Eastman
*Charles Edison
*Irving Fisher
*Henry Ford
*E. Franklin Frazier
*Charlotte Gilman
*Lewis Hine
*Edward Johnson
*Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
*Walter Lippmann
*Jack London
*John R. Mott
*George Cardinal Mundelein
*Ulrich B. Phillips
*Gifford Pinchot
*Jacob Riis
*John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
*Theodore Roosevelt
*Margaret Sanger
*Upton Sinclair
*Albion Small
*Ellen Gates Starr
*Lincoln Steffens
*Ida Tarbell
*Frederick Winslow Taylor
*Frederick Jackson Turner
*Thorstein Veblen
*Booker T. Washington
*Ida B. Wells
*Woodrow Wilson


Further reading


last = Bailey
first = Thomas A.
author-link = Thomas A. Bailey
last2 = Kennedy
first2 = David M.
author2-link =David M. Kennedy (historian)
publication-date = 1998
author3-link=Lizabeth Cohen
year =1998
title =The American Pageant
edition =11th
publication-place = Boston, Massachusetts
publisher =Houghton Mifflin
isbn =0669397288

* Buenker, John D., John C. Burnham, and Robert M. Crunden. "Progressivism" (1986)
* Buenker, John D. and Joseph Buenker, Eds. "Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era." Sharpe Reference, 2005. xxxii + 1256 pp. in three volumes. ISBN 0-7656-8051-3. 900 articles by 200 scholars
* Buenker, John D. "Dictionary of the Progressive Era" (1980)
*Crunden, Robert M. "Ministers of Reform: The Progressives' Achievement in American Civilization, 1889-1920" (1982)
* Diner, Steven J. "A Very Different Age: Americans of the Progressive Era" (1998)
* Glad, Paul W. "Progressives and the Business Culture of the 1920s," "The Journal of American History," Vol. 53, No. 1. (Jun., 1966), pp. 75-89. [ in JSTOR]
* Gould Lewis L. "America in the Progressive Era, 1890-1914" (2000)
* Gould Lewis L. ed., "The Progressive Era" (1974)
* Hays, Samuel D. "The Response to Help Me, 1885-1914" (1957),
* Hofstadter, Richard, "The Age of Reform" (1954), Pulitzer Prize
* Jensen, Richard. "Democracy, Republicanism and Efficiency: The Values of American Politics, 1885-1930," in Byron Shafer and Anthony Badger, eds, "Contesting Democracy: Substance and Structure in American Political History, 1775-2000" (U of Kansas Press, 2001) pp 149-180; [ online version]
* Kennedy, David M. ed., "Progressivism: The Critical Issues" (1971), readings
* Lasch, Christopher. "The True and Only Heaven: Progress and its Critics" (1991)
* Leuchtenburg, William E. "Progressivism and Imperialism: The Progressive Movement and American Foreign Policy, 1898-1916," "The Mississippi Valley Historical Review," Vol. 39, No. 3. (Dec., 1952), pp. 483-504. [ JSTOR]
* Mann, Arthur. ed., "The Progressive Era" (1975), readings of women's suffrage (1999)
* McGerr, Michael. "A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920" (2003)
* [ Mowry, George. "The Era of Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of Modern America, 1900-1912." (1954) general survey of era; online]
* Noggle, Burl. "The Twenties: A New Historiographical Frontier," "The Journal of American History," Vol. 53, No. 2. (Sep., 1966), pp. 299-314. [ in JSTOR]
* Pease, Otis, ed. "The Progressive Years: The Spirit and Achievement of American Reform" (1962), primary documents
* Thelen, David P. "Social Tensions and the Origins of Progressivism," "Journal of American History" 56 (1969), 323-341 online at JSTOR
* Wiebe, Robert. "The Search For Order, 1877-1920" (1967).

National politics

* Howard K. Beale|Beale Howard K. "Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power." (1956).
*Blum, John Morton. "The Republican Roosevelt." (1954). Series of essays that examine how TR did politics
* Brands, H.W. "Theodore Roosevelt" (2001).
* Clements, Kendrick A. "The Presidency of Woodrow Wilson" (1992).
* Coletta, Paolo. "The Presidency of William Howard Taft" (1990).
* Cooper, John Milton "The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt." (1983).
* Gould, Lewis L. "The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt" (1991).
* Harbaugh, William Henry. "The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt." (1963).
* Harrison, Robert. "Congress, Progressive Reform, and the New American State" (2004).
* Hofstadter, Richard. "The American Political Tradition" (1948), ch. 8-9-10.
* Kolko, Gabriel. "The Triumph of Conservatism" (1963).
* Link, Arthur Stanley. "Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive Era, 1910-1917" (1972).
* Morris, Edmund "Theodore Rex". (2001), biography covers 1901-1909
* Mowry, George E. "Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement". (2001).
* Pestritto, R.J. "Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism." (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005).
* Sanders, Elizabeth. "Roots of Reform: Farmers, Workers and the American State, 1877-1917" (1999).
* Wilson, Joan Hoff. "Herbert Hoover, Forgotten Progressive" (1965).
*Bert,Antwon. "Progressive action" (1998)

tate, local, ethnic, gender, business, labor

* Abell, Aaron I. "American Catholicism and Social Action: A Search for Social Justice, 1865-1950" (1960),
* Bruce, Kyle and Chris Nyland. "Scientific Management, Institutionalism, and Business Stabilization: 1903-1923" "Journal of Economic Issues", Vol. 35, 2001
* Buenker, John D. "Urban Liberalism and Progressive Reform" (1973).
* Buenker, John D. "The Progressive Era, 1893-1914" (1998), in Wisconsin
* Feffer, Andrew. "The Chicago Pragmatists and American Progressivism" (1993).
* Frankel, Noralee and Nancy S. Dye, eds. "Gender, Class, Race, and Reform in the Progressive Era" (1991).
* Hahn, Steven. "A Nation under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration" (2003).
* Huthmacher, J. Joseph. "Urban Liberalism and the Age of Reform" "Mississippi Valley Historical Review" 49 (1962): 231-241, [ in JSTOR] ; emphasized urban, ethnic, working class support for reform
* Link, William A. "The Paradox of Southern Progressivism, 1880-1930" (1997).
* Montgomery, David. "The Fall of the House of Labor: The workplace, the state, and American labor activism, 1865-1925" (1987).
* Muncy, Robyn. "Creating A Feminine Dominion in American Reform, 1890-1935" (1991).
* Lubove, Roy. "The Progressives and the Slums: Tenement House Reform in New York City, 1890-1917" Greenwood Press: 1974.
* Recchiuti, John Louis. "Civic Engagement: Social Science and Progressive-Era Reform in New York City" (2007).
* Rodgers, Daniel T. "Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age" (Harvard University Press; New Ed. 2000). stresses links with Europe
* Rosenzweig, Roy. "Eight Hours For What We Will: Workers & Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870-1920" (1983).
* Stromquist, Shelton. "Reinventing 'The People': The Progressive Movement, the Class Problem, and the Origins of Modern Liberalism," University of Illinois Press, 2006. ISBN 0-252-07269-3.
* Thelen, David. "The New Citizenship, Origins of Progressivism in Wisconsin, 1885-1900" (1972).
* Wesser, Robert F. "Charles Evans Hughes: politics and reform in N.Y. 1905-1910" (1967).
* Wiebe, Robert. "Business Disunity and the Progressive Movement, 1901-1914," "The Mississippi Valley Historical Review," Vol. 44, No. 4. (Mar., 1958), pp. 664-685. [ in JSTOR]

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