Social Studies Help Center
Social Studies help for American History, Economics and AP Government. There are class notes, numerous Supreme Court case summaries and information on how to write a research paper inside.

How did America respond to the cries of the Progressives?

The muckrakers and activists we discussed yesterday were successful in creating great change in America, Today we will discuss those changes.

I. Progressive Changes

A. Election of new reform mayors:

-Hazen Pingree of Detroit

-Samuel Jones of Toledo

-18 Socialist Mayors.

B. Changes in city government and administration - Good Government movement - In the 1880s clubs were organized in several American cities in an effort to streamline government, to clean up corruption, and to turn city government into a model corporation. The National Conference for Good City Government took place in Philadelphia in 1894. This was the starting point for many reformers who identified themselves with the Progressive movement. The keynote speaker was future U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, who at the time was Chief of Police for New York City. In his speech, Roosevelt preached morality and efficiency in city government. The founding of the National Municipal League was one important result of the National Conference for Good City Government. The League was a training ground for Progressives. It became an exchange network for various reform movements and still exists today.

1. Threw out private ownership of crooked gas and water monopolies.

2. Commission form of government - experts appointed to head commission's.

3. Council / Manager form of government - elected council that sets laws. Appointed manager to run city departments.

C. Election of Progressive Governors

-Robert La Follette, Wisconsin - Robert M. "Fightin' Bob" LaFollette (1855-1925)--Progressive Era political leader who served as US Congressman 1885-1891, governor of Wisconsin from 1900-1905 and U.S. Senator 1905-1925. In 1924 he ran as an independent Progressive candidate for President, polling nearly 6 million votes out of some 30 million cast, but won only Wisconsin's electoral votes.

Robert LaFollette


-Charles Ayacock, North Carolina

-John A. Johnson, Missouri

D. State Reforms

1. Oregon System (Efforts of private citizen William S. U'Ren)

  • Secret Ballot
  • Initiative - The idea that a citizen could introduce legislation.
  • Recall - The ability of citizens to recall an elected official.
  • Referendum - A Yes/No on critical issues held by citizens.

2. Direct Primary first in Wisconsin in 1903. (As opposed to choice by machine)

3. Led to direct election of Senators in the 17th Amendment - 1913 (As opposed to choice by legislature.)

E. Progressive Legislation

1. Child labor law

2. Pure Food and Drug act, 1906

3. Meat Inspection Act (1906)

4. Other laws we will discuss in conjunction with TR and Woodrow Wilson.

 Back To Syllabus






Sites for Teachers

American History Topics   |   American History Lessons   |   Economics, Government & More   |   Helpful Links

Site maintained by "Mr. Bill" - Bill Jackson
Education Software - Educational Games - Music Quiz - Arts and Crafts for Kids - Helpful Links
© 2001-