Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, passed a series of laws to reform the nation. He increased the tax on rich people in order to restore the economy. Also, he passed laws to improve employee working condition, such as the Keating Owen Act and Adamson Act. These two acts prohibit child labor and started a limited working hours on railroad workers. In addition, he created two federal systems, The Federal Reverse System and Federal Trade Commission, which expanded government power to interfere in the economy. The first one is to issue currency and aid bank. The other one is an antitrust instruction to prohibit unfair business activities.
Theodore Roosevelt is a very important person during the progressive era. being Elected twice as president, he has different approach towards the economy. He was known as the “trustbuster” because he enforced the government to take more regulation in the ecomony rather than no control at all. He pushed for many legislative laws to pass such as the Hepburn Act that give the ICC power to examine railroads’ records. That enabled less monopolistic domination to exist. He not only helped in economy but also established the Pure Food and Drug Act to ensure federal food inspection. He was also a conservationalist because he pushed for protection of the environment. He was a very typical progressive because he is the man stands for change.
Ida Tarbell’s famous piece in 1904, History of the Standard Oil Company, was a clever reproach towards John D. Rockefeller’s standard oil company. The published book helped bring to light the control of corrupted politics big corporations had and exposed the exploitation of factory workers. Ida Tarbell’s writing otherwise known as muckraking brought out the truth behind big corporations trying to form monopolies. Muckrakers such as Ida Tarbell ultimately helped pave the way for future reforms. For instances politics eventually passed laws and regulations restricting certain factory conditions. Later of the government began to regulate big businesses to prevent the formation of monopolies.
The feminist alliance that was established during the progressive era was a major impact on American society. The alliance constructed apartment houses with communal kitchens, cafeterias, and daycare centers to help free women from the burdens of their home life. These women were trying to redefine women’s freedom and succeeded in doing so. They defined women as being a human being and a sex-being. Therefore, their attack on traditional roles of sexual behavior if women were redefined and added a new dimension to the discussion of personal freedom in society.
April 20, 1914 dates the horrific incident of the deaths of innocent men, women, and children at Ludlow, Colorado. The coal strike against Rockefeller Colorado Fuel and Iron Company began when workers united together to demand recognition of the United Mine Workers of America (UMCA), wages increases, and an eight hour workday. When their demands were not met, miners and their families moved out of the houses provided by the Coal Company, and moved into tents. In response to the strike Rockefeller sent armed militia units to attack and raid the tents.
Jane Addams was born in 1860, the daughter of an Illinois businessman. In the 1889, she founded Hull House in Chicago, a “settlement house” provided service to the urban poor, such as classes to teach English to immigrants, child care, nursing of the sick, and help in obtaining naturalization. By the 1910, over 400 settlement houses had been established in cities throughout the country.
This is a picture of Henry Ford between 1863- 1947. Ford developed the techniques of production and marketing that brought in the reach of ordinary Americans. He established the Ford Motor Company in 1905. The Model T and assembly line innovations revolutionized American society and molded the world we live in today. Henry Ford used the assembly techniques to produce cars so that everyone can afford it.
In the spring of 1911, a small fire broke out in the workshops of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood in New York City. Because of the highly flammable fabrics in the workshops, the fire quickly spread and soon engulfed the upper floors of the Factory. Triangle’s mostly immigrant employees soon found that the doors leading out of the upper floors were locked, and that other safety precautions in the building were faulty or nonexistent. To escape the smoke and flames, many of the Factory’s workers (most of them women) jumped from the 8th and 9th floor windows to the sidewalks below. 146 people died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which made people realize that the government needed to regulate industry, and led to the passage of new factory inspection laws and fire safety codes.
Theodore Roosevelt changed the way Americans lived during the Progressive Era. He created more government regulation, and looked out for the good of the common person. Under him, Congress passes the Hepburn Act, which allowed the ICC to inspect railroad rates and regulate prices. In addition the Pure Food and Drug Act, as well as the Meat Inspection Act, were both passed that year. These laws helped check the quality and labeling of food and drugs. The Meat Inspection Act was passed because of unsanitary slaughterhouses, and the selling of spoiled meat. The idea of such government regulation was a new idea in America. Roosevelt helped the average citizen by making sure there was some level of fairness in business, but he did charge a high tax, which did not sit well with most Americans.
The Birth-Control Movement is one of the heated reforms in the 1900s. Since women were gaining power as they participate in the labor force, they were demanding more rights as a human being and as a citizen of the United States. This movement was changing the role of the government because it demanded the government to further interfere with the sexual behaviors of its citizens. It would demand the government to allow people to use contraceptive devices, which were banned during the Progressive Era. Margaret Sanger, one of the birth-control reformers, was arrested and sentenced to prison for distributing contraceptive devices. The issue of birth control was also religious, since having intercourse for the sake of pleasure was considered as a sin by Christians. By allowing the usage of birth control devices, the government would get many hassles from religious organizations.