In the Progressive era, there were a group of writers known commonly known as the muckrakers. This group wrote public articles adressing the problems in American society. They were very succesful at hat they did, as many rules and prohibitions changed because Americans realized how wrong American society was and that we needed a change. The picture above depicts Joseph Pultzier, who was a Hungarian Immigrant and took over “The New York World” and transformed it into a place to bash the problems in American society
The Federal Trade Commission was established by the U.S. Congress. Five members are joined together for a seven year term to police businesses. The main goal of this board is to promote and protect the rights of consumers. This includes identity theft, false advertising, monopolies, any kind of unfair business competition and price-fixing. Finally citizens were protected from market abuse and enjoyed ‘industrial freedom.’
- Woodrow Wilson; 28th President of the United States of America
Republican candidate Woodrow Wilson was elected as the new President in 1913. The former governor of New Jersey won a staggering 42 percent of the popular vote, beating out Teddy Roosevelt and Howard Taft in rankings, who had 27% and 23% respectively. Wilson set up regular press conferences to inform the public on issues of legislation and to try to raise the publics’ opinion of him. He also personally delivered messages to congress believing that it was more noble that writing them on a piece of paper. He passed the Underwood tariff which vastly reduced tariffs on imported goods, and also implemented an income tax of the richest 5% of Americans. He also passed the Clayton act of 1914 which “exempted labor unions from antitrust laws”. To help out the lower and middle classes, Wilson also passed the Keating-Owen Act which outlawed child labor; the Adamson Act which created an 8 hour work day on all American railroads, and the Warehouse Act which gave credit to farmers who stored their crops in federally licensed warehouses.
John Muir was a naturalist whose love of nature, led to the conservation of national resources. His organization of the Sierra Club, was formed to help preseve forest. His camping trip with Theodore Roosevelt was an important for the Progressive Era. He convinced the president to preserve Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Sequoia, and Mt. Rainier as National Parks.
William Howard Taft won the presidential election in 1908 quite easily with the backing from the preceding president Theodore Roosevelt. He practiced what he preached of his progressive view by going after monopolistic industries (using anti-trust act) and even got the Supreme court to declare Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Co. in violation of Sherman Anti-trust Act. He exemplified the progressive era by ratifying the 16th amendment, which allowed the federal government to impose a marginal tax rate (higher tax rate for higher income individuals). Income taxation has been and continues to be a major political factor and has tremendous effects on the economic behavior of both the government and it’s citizens.
Child labor existed prior to the Progressive Era. After industrialization, many poor families sent their children to factories to work. Many children died from poor working conditions and hazardous equipments. The average age of child labor was four to sixteen years old. Many of these children did not go to school at all. During the progressive era four constitutional amendments were passed. One of these amendments outlawed child labor. The Progressive movement did succeed in creating safer work standards for all, and enacting age limits and work hour limits.
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.
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.