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HST210 – Progressive Movement II.docx

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Ryerson University
HST 210
Jenny Carson

HST210 – US History 1877 to Present Lecture # 7 – Progressive Movement II - Emerges to tackle the problems of the Gilded Age. - “Broad, loosely defined political movement of individuals and groups who hoped to bring about significant change in American social and political life.” - A general spirit of reform embraced by Americans with diverse backgrounds to humanize industrial capitalism - Investigative journalists born during the progressive era Municipal Reform - City politics dominated by political machines - Municipal reformers sought to eliminate the corrupting influence of political machines like New York City’s Tammany Hall. o Tammany hall engages immigrants, gets people involved - National Municipal League (1894) or “goo-goos” sought to professionalize city government through civil service reform (jobs awarded based on education and experience not political connections) o To try and clean up the political machines - City governments begin to become more efficient/professional - Making city governments more accountable The Assassination of McKinley - 1901, Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist, assassinates Pres. McKinley. o First president to be associated with? o Blamed government for his impoverishment, for economic inequalities - Czolgosz blamed the government for the growing inequalities in American society Teddy Roosevelt and Progressivism - Rough Riders, governor of New York. - TR was a progressive who expanded the influence and power of the executive branch. - Believed that government had an obligation to regulate big business to protect the welfare of society - First modern president - Expanded influence/power of executive branch - Congress considered seat of political power o Not active but founding fathers considered it the more robust power o Congress would be the dominant party - Executive branch becomes more robust - Teddy Roosevelt issues more executive orders than anyone before him o From Lincoln to McKinley: 158 executive orders by presidents o Roosevelt issues: 1007 Teddy Roosevelt and Big Business - Wasn’t opposed to corporations - Understood that centralization was a fact f life, but he distinguished between good/bad corporations > ethical/monopolistic actions - Directed the Justice Department to initiate prosecutions under the Sherman Antitrust Act. o First president to enforce Sherman Antitrust - In 1904, the Supreme Court ordered that the Northern Securities Company (JP Morgan) be dismantled for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act o Northern securities: railroad corporation o Northern securities had monopoly of all the lines between Chicago and the northwest o Northern securities forced to dismantle - Revived the Interstate Commerce Commission (Elkins and Hepburn Acts) to go after railways - Laissez-faire approach to big business is replaced with greater governmental regulation to protect the general public - Signals that government is going to get more involved in regulating big business Teddy Roosevelt and the Square Deal - Runs for election on the platform that government should act as a mediator between competing interests (i.e. labor v. management; consumers v. big business). - Enormously popular, incredibly charismatic - Roosevelt first one to use media to get support o Went directly to the public - Continues to advocate the regulation of big business and wins the 1904 election (promises not to run
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