Progressive Era Outline

Essay by specialK255High School, 11th gradeA, February 2005

download word file, 5 pages 3.7

I. Sources of Progressive Reform

A. Industrialization, with all its increase in productivity and the number of consumer goods, created

1) Unemployment and labor unrest

2) Wasteful use of natural resources

3) Abuses of corporate power

B. Growing cities magnified problems of poverty, disease, crime, and corruption

C. Influx of immigrants and rise of new managerial class upset traditional class alignments

D. Massive depression (1893-1897) convinced many that equal opportunity was out of reach for many Americans.

II. Who Were the Progressives?

A. New middle class composed of young professionals

1. Sought to apply principles of professions (medicine, law, business, teaching) to problems of society

2. Strong faith in progress and the ability of educated people to overcome problems

3. Rise in volunteer organizations organized to address issues (American Bar Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Municipal League, eg.)

4. Mainly urban in residence and orientation

B. Muckraking journalists attacked corruption and scandal with a sense of moral outrage

1. Lincoln Steffens exposed city machines in The Shame of the Cities (1904)

2. Ida Tarbell exposed Standard Oil Trust abuses

3. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1906) attacked the meat-packing industry

C. Political reformers (many opposed to traditional party politics)

D. Socialists--frustrated workers who promised to destroy capitalism. Led by Eugene Debs (who polled 900,000 votes for president in 1912), socialists were rejected by most Progressives as too extreme in their goals and methods

II. Teddy Roosevelt & the Square Deal

A. Using the power of the presidency (a "bully pulpit") as no president since Lincoln, T.R. loved to lead and to fight those he felt were not acting in America's best interests.

1. Coal Strike--When coal mine owners refused to deal with the union in a 1902 strike, T.R. summonsed them and...