Progressive Changes

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

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

C. Election of Progressive Governors

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

  • Recall – The ability of citizens to recall an elected

  • 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