APUSH Unit 7: The Progressive Movement

General Timeline
General Map

Map # 1: The US

APUSH Unit 7_ Progressive Map #1.png
Course Content

The Progressive Movement:


Societal Progressive Movements


  • Muckrakers were a group of journalists who wrote about societal problems

  • Lincoln Steffens published an article exposing political machines

    • His book was The Shame of Cities

    • Led to public outcry & reform of city governments

  • Ida Tarbell wrote about the bad and dangerous business practices of Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company & Trust

  • Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle, exposing the dangerous working conditions in Chicago's meatpacking industry

    • His actions led to Pure Food and Drug Act & Meat Inspection Act (1906)


The Social Gospel

  • A movement within Christianity to bring social reform

    • Mostly within Protestantism, partially within Catholics & Jews as well​

    • Used religious revival to bring social reform​

    • Provided material aid & spiritual aid to the urban poor

  • Salvation Army was a famous example of this

  • Catholic priest John Ryan was a famous social reformer who used Catholicism for reform


The Settlement Houses

  • A group of houses to provide shelter & food to the urban poor

  • Jane Addams opened the Hull House in 1889, one of the 1st settlement houses in US

    • Led to the creation of hundreds of settlement houses nationwide​

    • Many unmarried college women worked here

  • Led to the creation of the profession of social workers

    • Many universities now had classes for sociology



  • The rise of cities led to a need for more services in the cities (medical, legal, managerial, etc. services)

    • This led to the rise of a new middle class

  • This rise in the middle class professions led to the idea of professionalism

    • Before, anyone could pursue any job without any training

    • Now, governments and private groups made professional standards & licenses for jobs

  • In 1901, professional doctors created American Medical Association

    • Had strict educational requirements to obtain a license

    • Some states passed laws requiring licensing of all physicians

  • National Association of Manufacturers (est. 1895) was a professional group of manufacturing businessmen

  • US Chamber of Commerce (Est. 1912) was a group of professional businessmen

  • American Farm Bureau Federation (est. 1920) promoted rights for farmers & improved education on farming methods

Working Condition Reforms

  • Labor unions and the American Federation of Labor pressured states to pass labor laws

    • Some states passed child labor laws, workers' compensation, & limitation of women's working hours

  • In 1911, a fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in NYC killed 146 workers

    • Led to a movement for better working conditions​

    • Many city governments like Tammany Hall led working condition reforms


African-Americans & Reform

  • Booker T Washington sought to uplift the Black community by encouraging them to get an education

    • In his speech, the Atlanta Compromise (1895), he reasserted th​ese views

  • W. E. B. DuBois disagreed w/ Washington. He believed Blacks should work on getting civil rights

    • He met w/ other Blacks in the Niagara Movement (1905) to work on getting civil rights​

  • DuBois founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909

    • An organization to campaign for civil rights for Blacks​

    • NAACP won many court cases to give some civil rights to Blacks

  • Many people also opposed lunching

    • Ida B Wells was a prominent anti-lynching activist



  • Temperance was the anti-alcohol movement

    • Many women were active as they sought to limit the drunkenness of their husbands​

      • Also wanted to limit the expenses their husbands spend on alcohol​

  • Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) (est. 1873) used Christianity to promote temperance

    • Frances Willard was the president after 1879​

  • Many states started to prohibit alcohol

  • After WW1, alcohol became a moral issue → 18th amendment (1919) banned alcohol consumption

Immigration Restriction & Eugenics

  • Many believed immigration was causing social problems, but they disagreed on how to solve this​​

    • Some wanted to assimilate immigrants into American society

    • Others wanted to slow immigration

  • This led to the eugenic movement

    • Forced the sterilization of the "racially inferior" and those w/ bad genetic qualities

    • Madison Grant wrote The Passing of the Great Race (1916) & was a famous eugenicist

    • Sen. William P Dillingham (R-VT) was the head of a committee that studied immigration

      • Concluded that these immigrants are less assimilable than the German/Irish immigrants from the early 1800s

  • Many factory owners liked immigration as it brings cheap labor

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Women's Reform Movements

Women in Professions & New Image of Women

  • Many women went to colleges and entered into high-ranking professions themselves

    • Some were physicians, lawyers, managers, etc.​

    • Women dominated the nursing industry

  • Many women had professions involving helping others (social workers, teachers, etc.)

    • Some Black women taught in Black schools​

  • Husbands worked outside the home, children went to school, and domestic appliances could help w/ domestic chores, so women had more free time

    • Women could spend more time on their education & their job

  • Some women remained single & lived w/ other women to have time to pursue their education

    • Known as "Boston Marriages"​



  • Many women's clubs were arising for women to show their intellect & high social status

    • General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC) (est. 1892) had 1 million members by 1917​

  • In early 1900s, clubs focused more on gaining women's rights

  • Black women joined separate Black women's clubs

    • Discussed racial issues like segregation & lynching

  • These clubs led to the passage of many laws to protect women's rights

    • Compensation for widows, food/drug regulations, workplace safety regulations, etc.

  • Women's Trade Union League (est. 1903) sought to campaign for women's rights in workplaces

    • Organized strikes & marches for women​

Women's Suffrage

  • National American Women Suffrage Association (Est. 1890) sought to campaign for women's suffrage

    • Led by Anna Howard Shaw & Carrie Chapman Catt, Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone​

  • Promoted the idea that women are the moral voice in society

    • Since women occupy a separate domestic sphere, they have a different perspective

    • Believed women could curb belligerence by men

      • Gained support after many soldiers returned home from WW1​

  • In 1910s, many states gave women's suffrage

  • 19th amendment to give women's suffrage was ratified in 1920


Governmental Reform

City & State-Level Governmental Reform

  • The first step to reforming political machines was decreasing the power of political parties

    • Before, parties gave their own ballots to their supporters

    • Now, election officials created their own general ballot, causing party loyalty to decline

      • Many illiterate people couldn't read the new ballots

      • This caused voter turnout to decline​

  • There were also new forms of city governance

    • Commission Plan: City is led by a nonpartisan city council (about 400 cities adopted this)

    • Council-Manager Plan: Businessman from outside the city would run the city government

      • This person would be uninfluenced by political corruption in the city​

  • Many state governments also had reforms

    • Initiative: The idea where people would submit legislation directly to the voters in the election

    • Referendum: The idea where a legislative policy could be returned to the voters in the election

    • Some states instituted a primary election

  • Robert La Follette was the Wisconsin governor & Senator who led many reforms in Wisconsin


The Rise of Socialism

  • Impoverished farmers led the socialist movement as they hated capitalism

    • Eugene V Debs was the leader of socialism & the socialist presidential candidate in 1912

      • Won over 1 million votes

  • Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) (known as "Wobblies") was a worldwide organization to promote socialism

    • Wanted one large union instead of multiple smaller unions

    • William "Big Bill" Haywood was one of the founders & leaders of the IWW

      • One of the leaders of the Socialist Party

  • IWW appealed especially to many miners and temporary workers in the West

  • IWW membership declined after 1917 when the gov outlawed the IWW due to an IWW-led strike


Theodore Roosevelt's Actions

Roosevelt's "Square Deal"

  • Theodore Roosevelt was William McKinley's VP & took over when McKinley was assassinated in 1901

    • Roosevelt was very young & was interested in lots of progressive reforms​

  • Roosevelt's reform program was known as the "Square Deal"

    • Had 3 parts: Regulation of corporations, consumer protection, conservation of nature​

  • To regulate corporations, Roosevelt filed many anti-trust cases against large corporations

    • Established Dept. of Commerce and Labor (est. 1903) to help with anti-trust cases

    • Filed a lawsuit against Northern Securities Company (1904), which was successful

    • Passed Hepburn Act (1906) to regulate railroads & strengthen Interstate Commerce Commission

  • For consumer protection, Roosevelt passed laws to regulate the food industry

    • Pure Food & Drug Act (1906) and Meat Inspection Act (1906) promoted safe food products

  • For conservation of nature, he passed laws to conserve forests & natural areas

    • Established National Forest Service (1905)​

      • Gifford Pinchot was its first director​

    • National Reclamation Act (1902) funded irrigation project in the West

    • Created 5 national parks & 18 nat'l monuments

      • John Muir, a prominent conservationist, encouraged him to do this

    • In Hetch Hetchy Controversy, residents of SF wanted to build a dam in Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite to provide them water

      • John Muir opposed the project, but SF residents & Roosevelt promoted it

      • In 1913, the bill for the dam was signed​


Panic of 1907

2 people borrowed lots of money to buy stocks in the US Copper Co., attempting to curb the stock price

These 2 people failed, which caused all the banks that lent them money to decline

This caused the Knickerbocker Trust, one of the largest banks to decline. This caused a huge financial crisis

Roosevelt allowed JP Morgan's US Steel Corp. to buy TC&I. This move was controversial as it allowed US Steel to somewhat monopolize the steel industry

There was still one more problem: Many people had who got loans used the Tennessee Coal, Iron, & Railroad Company's Stock (TC&I) as collateral, causing the TC&I's stock to fall

JP Morgan gave some of his funds & encouraged other NY Banks to give their funds to help restore the banking crisis. This allowed some banks to recover

William Howard Taft's Actions

Taft's Failed Actions & Ballinger-Pinchot Affair

  • Taft was also progressive but less progressive than Roosevelt, which made him controversial

  • Taft wanted to lower tariffs, so Congress passed the Payne-Aldrich Tariff (1909)

    • This was bad as it lowered some tariffs only slightly & put other taxes on certain goods

    • The failure of this bill caused many Progressives to hate him

  • Taft created the US Children's Bureau (est. 1912) to promote welfare for children

    • Meant to prevent child abuse & orphans

  • In the Ballinger-Pinchot Affair, Taft lost popularity

    • Taft put Richard Ballinger as Sec of Interior​

    • Ballinger wanted to invalidate Roosevelt's order to protect a million acres of land

      • Louis Glavis (employee of dept. of interior) wanted to investigate into this issue​

    • Glavis found that Ballinger wanted to use coal deposits in AK for profit

      • Glavis & Gifford Pinchot reported this to Taft​

    • Taft fired Glavis and acquitted Ballinger

      • This was controversial as public opinion supported Pinchot & Glavis


The Return of Theodore Roosevelt

  • Roosevelt sought to reunite the Republican party after Taft's controversial actions

    • In a speech at Osawatomie, KS, (1910) he promoted the idea of "New Nationalism"​

      • Promoted that the national gov should focus more on the welfare of its citizens

  • Democrats gained control of the House in 1910, so Roosevelt told Taft to become more progressive

  • In 1911, court ruled that US Steel Corp's acquisition of TC&I was illegal, so Roosevelt lost support

  • Roosevelt announced his candidacy for Republican nomination for presidency in Feb 1912

  • At the Republican Nat'l Convention (1912), there were disputed delegates, causing Taft to win

    • Roosevelt got mad, so he started his own party, the Progressive Party ("Bull Moose Party")

      • Wanted additional regulation of industries, social welfare, women suffrage, etc.​

      • He didn't have as much support since many Republicans still supported Taft

  • In the 1912 election, Woodrow Wilson (D) won


Woodrow Wilson's Actions

  • Wilson was a political science professor at Princeton, then governor of NJ, then president in 1912

  • Wilson believed in "New Freedom"

    • Believed in destroying monopolies & large enterprises

    • Wanted small enterprises w/ individual opportunity

  • In contrast to "New Freedom," Roosevelt's "New Nationalism" wanted to regulate large enterprises, not destroy them

  • In Revenue Act (1913) (Underwood-Simmons Tariff), Wilson significantly lowered tariffs

    • Gave big businesses real foreign competition, preventing them from being super powerful​

  • Federal Reserve Act (1913) created 12 regional banks

    • Each regional bank would control private banks in their region​

    • Regional banks would control assets of private banks & give them low-interest loans

    • Implemented Federal Reserve Notes, which were not backed by gold & backed by the gov

      • Could quickly supply funds where necessary

  • Federal Trade Commission Act (1914) established Federal Trade Commission

    • This would identify if businesses are becoming monopolies or have unfair labor practices​

  • Clayton Antitrust Act (1914) regulated monopolies

  • Smith-Lever Act (1914) created programs for land-grant universities to educate rural people about agricultural technologies

  • Democrats lost seats in 1914 Congressional elections, so Wilson became more progressive

    • Wanted to win 1916 election

    • Appointed Louis Brandeis to Supreme Court, the 1st progressive to serve there

    • Gave compensation to federal employees

    • Passed Keating-Owen Act (1916) to regulate the sale of goods produced by children

      • Declared unconstitutional later

Important Terms & People