Chapter 18: the Progressive Era 1900-1916
I. An urban age and a consumer society: Farms and cities
a. Age of economic boom for both farms and industries
b. In 1910, 21 cities had more than 100,000 people.
c. Class divisions were still present
II. The Muckrakers
a. 2 million children worked for wages. Lewis Hine photographed it
b. Muckraking- use of journalistic skills to expose the underside ofAmerican life
III. Immigration as a global process
a. Between 1901 and 1914, 13 million immigrants came to U.S.
b. Many reasons for massive uprooting
i. Southern Europe and parts ofAsia had poverty and illiteracy, taxation
and declining economies
ii. Came to work.Agricultural, mining, and industrial
c. Most European immigrants came through Ellis Island
i. Had to pass a medical exam or sent home
d. Many Mexicans andAsians came to U.S. at the same time
i. Many to work in the California agriculture
e. By 1910, 1/7 of the U.S population was foreign born
IV. Immigrant quest for freedom
a. Immigrants described U.S as a free country
b. New immigrants clustered within their own communities
i. Had their own shops, etc.
c. Worked long hours with little pay
d. White, native born workers dominated skilled jobs V. Consumer freedom
a. Department stores, chain businesses, etc. starting popping up in downtowns.
b. By 1910, Americans could buy just about anything. Ex. Sewing machines
c. Amusement parks, dance halls and theatres popped up.
VI. The working women
a. Gender roles were changing due to urban public places
b. More and more women working for wages
c. Native born white women were working in offices
d. Younger women were going out more. Ex. Daughters were going to movies
and wearing makeup.
VII. The rise of Fordism
a. Henry Ford, son of an irish immigrant farmer.
b. He did not invent the car but made the car more affordable by mass producing
c. 1905, founded the Ford Motor Company.
d. 1908, introduced the ford model T.
e. 1913, ford’s factory in Highland Park, Michigan started using the assembly
line. Wages were up to 5 dollars to attract skilled workers. Tried to prevent
unions with spies and armed detectives
f. Economic system on mass production and mass consumption is Fordism.
VIII. The promise of Abundance
a. Economic production switched from capital goods (steel, etc.) to consumer
b. Many workers joined unions and fought for higher wages
Varieties of progressivism
Some wanted to go back to small producers and a small way of life. Others liked big corporation
I. Industrial freedom a. Workers in many workplaces were controlled by supervisors
b. Skilled workers complained about a loss of freedom in their work
c. Great increase of white collar workers (office workers, etc.)
d. Managing one’s own business was remote
e. Workers wanted freedom so they looked to form unions
f. Louis Brandeis said unions gave workers their freedom to govern themselves
II. The socialist presence
a. Founded in 1901
b. Included old populists and followers of Edward Bellamy
c. Party wanted free college education, legislation to improve working conditions,
public ownership of railroads and factories
d. 1912, 150,000 dues- paying followers and published many newspapers
III. The gospel of debs
a. Eugene V. Debs, spread socialist gospel
i. Railroad union leader. Had been jailed during Pullman strike
ii. Went around the country spreading the ideas of socialism
iii. Debs got 900,00 votes in 1912.
iv. Before WWI socialism formed in France, Germany and Scandinavia
IV. AFL and WWI
a. TheAmerican Federation of Labor saw membership tripe to 1.6 million in 1900-
b. It settled hundreds of industrial disputes, factory improvements and pensions
c. AFL included white, skilled, native born workers
d. The other workers formed Industrial workers of the World (IWW)
V. The new immigrants on strike a. Lawrence, Mass. Woolen mills had 32,000 employees of all nationalities. Went on
strike after wage cut.
i. Children marched in New York.
ii. Officials went to Mass. To stop children and women from leaving
iii. Fight broke out and went all around the world
b. Astrike at Colorado Fuel and Iron Company 1914
i. Immigrant workers went on strike for shorter hours and higher wages
ii. Unsuccessful. Families moved to tents and military b