Chapter 29: Progressivism and the Republican Roosevelt 1901-1912

  • Progressive movement: "to use the government as an agency of human welfare"

Progressive Roots:

  • Mounting unrest at more and more power in fewer and fewer hands - laissez-faire wasn't working anymore
  • Read handout with all the authors and muckrakers. Know that Theodore Roosevelt didn't dislike muckrakers, just got mad at their zeal and exaggeration

Political Progressivism:

  • Progressivists = middle class - wanted to use state poiwer to curb trusts and restrain socialist threat by improving quality of life for the common man - both Democrats and Republicans, men and women, all regions
  • Fought for initiative and referendum with state legislatures, limiting campaign budgests, secret "Australian" ballot, direct election of US senators (17th amendment - 1913), woman suffrage

Progressivism in the Cities and States

  • Cities => expert-staffed commissions, city-manager system: effieciency over democracy
  • Governer of Wisconisn "Fight Bob" La Follete - militant progressive Republican leader - gave power to poeple, scheme for regulating public utilities.

Progressive Women:

  • Settlement houses and womens club = civic entryway for middle class women => maternal issues (keeping kids outta sweatshiops, safe food, winning pensions, fighting TB)
  • Florence Kelley - first chief factory inspector - National Consumers League
  • Muller vs. Oregon (1908) - Louis D. Brandeis persuaded Supreme Court to accept constitutionality of laws protecting women workers (because they had weaker bodies)
  • Lochner vs. New York - invalidated 10-hr workday for bakers (overturned in 1917)
  • 1911 Triangle Shirtwais Co. fire NYC => stronger laws regulating hours and condidtions of sweatshop toil, by 1917 insurance for workers injured in industrial accidents.
  • Antiliquor movements (Woman's Christian Temperence Union) => many states became "dry" => 18th amendemnt 1919

TR's Square Deal for Labor

  • "Square deal" - control of corporations, consumer protection, and conservvation of natural resources.
  • 1902 miners; strike in PA -demanded 20% pay incrase and 9-hr workdays => copal supplies dwindled
  • TR brought striking reps and mine owners to White House - TR threated to seize mines and operate them with federal troops - compromise: 10% pay increase, 9-hr workday
  • 1903 - Department of Commerce and Labor created by TR and Congress. Bureau of Corporations probed about interstate commerce - helped break monopolies "trust-busting"

TR Corrals the Corporations:

  • Elkins Act of 1903 - heavy fines could be imposed on railroads that gave rebates and shippers who accepted them
  • Hepburn Act of 1906 - free passess restricted
  • Insterstate Commerce Ccommission expanded and stregnthened
  • Determined to break up trusts, but only bad trusts. REGULATION. 1902 went after Northern Securities Company (railroad monopoly) - dissolved by Supreme Court -over 40 legal proceedings followed to crush other monopolies.
  • TR's purpose was just to prove that government, not big business, ruled the country

Caring for the Consumer:

  • Unsanitary meat - Upton Sinclair's The Jungle - grossed people out
  • 1906 Congress passed Meat Inspection Act -meat shipped over state lines was subject to inspection, pure Food and Drug Act to prevent bastardization and mislabeling of food and medicines.

Earth Control:

  • Desert Land Act of 1877 - sold cheap land if purchaser irrigated within 3 years
  • Forest Reserve Act 1891- allowed President to set aside forests as national parks
  • Carey Act of 1894 - distributed federal land to the states if they could be irrigated and settled
  • TR - Newlands Act of 1902 - Washington could collect money from the sale of public lands in West and fund irrigation projects
  • TR = conservation movement - nature should be efficiently utilized (Gifford Pinchot)

The "Roodsevelt Panic" of 1907

  • TR reelected in 1904 - said he wouldn't run a 3rd term "power of the king wanes when they know he'll be dead in 4 years"
  • 1907 panic on Wall Street - blamed TR => fiscal reforms, shortage of currency so Congress passed Aldrich-Vreeland Act of 1908 - authorized national banks to issue emergency currency back by collateral (=>Federal Reserve Act 1913)

The Rough Rider Thunders Out:

  • TR chose William Howard Taft (Secretary of War) - nominated by Republicans
  • Democrats nominated twice-beaten Bryan
  • Taft won. 3rd party socialists got 400,000 votes for Eugene V. Debs (Pullman strike)
  • TR had tamed capitalism, keeping it alive and strengthening it for the future. Conservation crusade was his most lasting achievment.

Taft: A Round Peg in a Square Hole

  • Yale grad, lawyer, judge
  • Mild progressive, but loved status quo

The Dollar Goes Abroad as a Diplomat:

  • Taft boosted "dollar diplomacy": Wall Street bankers give surplus money into foreign areas liike far EAst and Panama Canal area - it would strengthen American defense and foreign policiy and bring further prospoerity
  • China's Manchuria was main object of Taft's effort. Japan and Russia controlled railroads there and were possible strangling Chinese ecnonomy - slamming Open Door.
  • 1909 Secretary of State Philander C. Knox proposed American and foreign bankers buy Manchurian railroads and then turn them over to China. Japan and Russia "hell no"
  • Also pumped dollars into "Yankee Lake" Caribbean - got militarily involved with Cuba, Honduras, Dom. Rep, and Nicaragua.

Taft the Trustbuster:

  • Trust smasher. 90 suits against monopolies in 4 years.
  • 1911 broke up Standard Oil Company. Filed suit against US Steel Corp. - pissed Roosevelt off.

Taft Splits the Republican Party:

  • Progressive Republicans wanted tariff lowered
  • 1909 House passed moderately reductive bill, but Senatorial reactionaries (Senator Nelson Alrich) added upward tariff revisions
  • Taft signed Payne-Aldrich Bill - betraying his campaign promises and outraging progressives
  • Established Bureau of mines to control mineral resources
  • 1910 Ballinger-Pinchot quarrel - Secretary of Interior Richard Ballinger opened lands in Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska to corporate development. Chief of Division of Forestry Pinchot criticized this. Taft dismissed him. TR lovers mad.
  • TR returned 1910 - made speech in Kansas for government to increase power to remedy East and South issues
  • Democrats took over Senate because of Repubican divisions

The Taft-Roosevelt Rupture:

  • 1911 National Progressive Republican League formed - La Follette leading candidate for Republican nomination, but TR wanted to run a 3rd term so he took over the Progressive banner
  • Taft won (because TRites refused to vote) at Republican convention -> TR on fire to lead 3rd party crusade