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Progressive Reforms

Page history last edited by Cher McDonald 3 months, 1 week ago


Some of the topics are tough to find, especially on Taft, so I have arranged some links and information below.  I haven't answer the questions, just given you guidance to respond.



Trust-busting--      Northern Securities, etc, you should have no problem here.

Public health--      Pure Food and Drug, Meat Inspection, etc.

Labor--          1902 Coal Strike

Tariff--           Ignored by Roosevelt

Banking Legislation--      In reaction to the Panic of 1907 the Aldrich–Vreeland Act was passed. 

Railroads Legislation--      The Elkins Act of 1903, ended the practice of railroad companies granting shipping rebates to certain companies, but had little ability to be enforced.   Recognizing that the Elkins Act was not effective, Roosevelt pursued further railroad regulation. The legislation, which became known as the Hepburn Act, proposed enhancing the powers of the Interstate Commerce Commission to include the ability to regulate shipping rates on railroads. 

Conservation--      Roosevelt wanted the United States to change from exploiting natural resources to carefully managing them. He worked with Gifford Pinchot, head of the Forestry Bureau, and Frederick Newell, head of the Reclamation Service, to revolutionize this area of the U.S. government. In 1902, Roosevelt signed the Newlands Reclamation Bill, which used money from federal land sales to build reservoirs and irrigation works to promote agriculture in the arid West.  Roosevelt used his presidential authority to issue executive orders to create 150 new national forests, increasing the amount of protected land from 42 million acres to 172 million acres. The President also created five national parks, eighteen national monuments, and 51 wildlife refuges.



Trust-busting-- During the Taft administration, more than twice the number of antitrust suits were instigated than under Roosevelt. Major victories were won against Standard Oil of New Jersey and the American Tobacco Company (both initiated under TR), the Sugar Trust and U.S. Steel. Roosevelt was generally supportive of these Taft actions, but not the move against Morgan and U.S. Steel; the former president criticized his successor by proclaiming that Taft was unable to distinguish between a good trust and a bad one. By 1911, Taft began to back away from his efforts to tame the trusts. He was influenced in part by his conservative advisors, who wanted the government to give free rein to the giant businesses. Taft also feared that trust-busting was beginning to have a negative impact on the overall economy.     http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h992.html

Tariff--     PAYNE-ALDRICH TARIFF: Progressives hated the measure, which raised rates, and conservatives lauded it. Taft signed the bill, and his progressive supporters were furious.

Conservation--     The Ballinger-Pinchot Controversy: The removal of Teddy's appointee Garfield and the nomination of Ballinger was a surprising move for Taft.

Railroads Legislation--      The  Mann-Elkins Act of 1910, empowered the Interstate Commerce Commission to suspend railroad rate hikes and to set rates.

Public Health--      In 1912 President Taft created the Children's Bureau to "investigate and report upon all matters pertaining to the welfare of children and child life among all classes of our people."

Labor--      None

Banking Legislation--     None



Trust-busting--    Different attitudes, but finally passed the Federal Trade Commission Act and the 1914 Clayton Anti-Trust Act.

Public health--      Keating-Owen Act of l916 - This measure made it illegal to ship across state lines any product manufactured by child labor (a child being defined as under 14 years of age), although later overturned.

Labor--          Workingmen's Compensation Act of l916 - and the Adamson Act of 1916

Tariff--          The Underwood Tariff of 1913 

Banking Legislation--     Federal Reserve Act of l913 

Railroads Legislation--      Congress pass the Adamson Act of 1916 to avoid strike by imposing an 8-hour work day in the railroad industry (at the same pay as before)

Conservation--      Largely ignored by Wilson




Progressive Era Federal Legislation

Newlands Reclamation Act
Encouraged conservation by allowing the building of dams and irrigations systems using money from the sale of public lands.
Elkins Act
Outlawed the use of rebates by railroad officials or shippers.
Pure Food and Drug Act
Required that companies accurately label the ingredients contained in processed food items.
Meat Inspection Act
In direct response to Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, this law required that meat processing plants be inspected to ensure the use of good meat and health-minded procedures.
Hepburn Act
Strengthened the Interstate Commerce Commission, allowing it to set maximum railroad rates.
Federal Reserve Act
Created 12 district  Federal Reserve Banks, each able to issue new currency and loan member banks funds at the prime interest rate, as established by the Federal Reserve Board.
Clayton Antitrust Act
Strengthened the Sherman Antitrust Act by outlawing the creation of a monopoly through any means, and stated that unions were not subject to antitrust legislation.
Federal Trade Act
Established the Federal Trade Commission, charged with investigating unfair business practices including monopolistic activity and inaccurate product labeling.



Muckraker Work Subject Results
Thomas Nast Political
Political corruption by NYC's political machine, Tammany Hall, led by Boss Tweed. Tweed was convicted of embezzlement and died in prison.
Jacob Riis How the Other Half Lives
Living conditions of the urban poor; focused on tenements. NYC passed building codes to promote safety and health.
Ida B. Wells A Red Record(1895) Provided statistics on the lynching of African-Americans. NAACP joined the fight for Federal anti-lynching legislation.
Frank Norris The Octopus(1901) This fictional book exposed monopolistic railroad practices in California. In Northern Securities v. U.S.(1904), the holding company controlling railroads in the Northwest was broken up.
Ida Tarbell "History of Standard Oil Company" inMcClure's Magazine
Exposed the ruthless tactics of the Standard Oil Company through a series of articles published inMcClure's Magazine. In Standard Oil v. U.S. (1911), the company was declared a monopoly and broken up.
Lincoln Steffans The Shame of the Cities
Examined political corruption in cities across the United States. Cities began to use city commissions and city managers.
Upton Sinclair The Jungle
Investigated dangerous working conditions and unsanitary procedures in the meat-packing industry. In 1906 the Meat Inspection Act and Pure Food and Drug Act were passed.



Charts from: http://regentsprep.org/regents/ushisgov/themes/reform/progressive.htm


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