“Progressive”: Progressive is an umbrella term that includes people that favor social reform or new liberal ideas. It also refers to grassroots movement that grows into a political ideology. This term is important because it refers to “The Progressive era”, which was during the 1900s-1916.
During this era, there was a popular surge in social activism and political reform all over the U.S. These Progressive movements eliminated problems that were left by the Gilded age: Industrialization, Urbanization, and ImmigrationMuckrakers: Muckrakers were journalists who exposed corruption and abuses of huge corporations, politicians, and more. This term is significant because these journalists attracted a lot of public attention in their books and magazine articles. They were big factors in spurring the public’s interest in social and political reform.
These Muckrakers were mostly popular in the 20th century.Child Labor: Child labor is when a industry or company hires children to work for them. They usually work under poor working conditions and work for low wages. Lewis Hine, a Muckraker from the Progressive era, photographed child laborers at a southern cotton factory, which helped americans become aware. When child labor was made known to the majority of the population it gave people a reason to push for social reform.
Ellis Island vs. Angel Island: Ellis island was a reception center in New York Harbor where most European immigrants were processed from 1892 to 1954. Immigrants that failed the medical examination or were deemed unfit for society were sent back. Angel Island was a immigration station that is located in San Francisco Bay and it operated between 1910 to 1940. Angel island was a facility that was created after the Chinese Exclusion act. The facility was built to process, detain, and interrogate Asian immigrants that were coming in to San Francisco.
Angel Island was established to specifically regulate Asian immigration. These Islands are important because they are reminders of hardships that immigrants endured to come to America.Mexican Immigration: The Mexican Immigration occurred during 1900 and 1930.
Many Mexicans entered through El Paso and Texas. Majority of the population ended up become citrus growers and other cheap labor jobs. The Mexican immigration allowed new cultures and traditions to be brought to America further diversifying its population.Fordism: Fordism is a early twentieth-century term which describes the economic system that was cultivated by Ford Motor Company creating high wages and mass consumption. Henry Ford was the person who established the company. He developed techniques to mass produce automobiles which brought it into the grasp of regular Americans.
Ford’s Factories created new jobs that paid considerably high which led to the economic system that is based on mass production and mass consumption, which is Fordism.”Working woman”: Many Women in the Progressive era began to work and get out of the house, breaking the traditional gender roles where women were stay at home moms. Women fought for labor rights and better working conditions. Due to poor work conditions, many women died in the Triangle shirtwaist fire creating a spark for reforming work conditions. Women beginning to work was huge advancement for Women’s role in society. The working women became a symbol of female independence.”American Standard of Living”: The advancement of the consumer economy gave birth to new concepts of a ‘living wage”.
A decent standard of living where a person was able to participate in the consumer. The idea is reflected on the emergence of a mass-consumption society which was produced from the Progressive era. This is significant because this was a first in U.S. history where mass-consumption was the centerpiece in American society.D.W.
Griffith’s film Birth of a Nation: The Birth of a Nation is a 1915 silent drama film that featured a fictional story of two families that were from the North and South in the 1860s. Throughout the film, African americans are showed as brutish, lazy, morally degenerate, and dangerous. Eventually the Ku Klux Klan emerges to save the South from the African Americans. The film’s release caused many riots in several cities and some cities ended up banning the film. Griffith’s film was a huge blow to the way African Americans were portrayed and treated because even though many protested it, there were millions who paid to see the film.
Jim Crow Segregation: JIm Crows segregation laws were established in 1896 after a case where a black man in New Orleans attempted to sit in a whites-only railway car. The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in mainly the Southern United States. Blacks were treated differently from whites yet equal because they had their own public facilities that were made specifically for blacks.
Black kids would have to go to a “color” school instead of a whites only school. Usually white only facilities were much nicer. The segregation laws had a big impact on american history because they kept the power in the hands of white people. The laws were supported until 1965 so living in the south for blacks was a huge struggle. Plessy V. Ferguson: Was a decision made by Supreme court in 1896. It reinforced segregation laws, such as the Jim Crow laws.
On June 7, 1892 Homer A. Plessy purchased a train ticket and boarded a white only car. Plessy was asked to leave this seat and to go to the blacks only car. Plessy refused and was arrested. This eventually led to court and Plessy’s lawyer claimed that his rights were being violated, but John H. Ferguson ruled that the state had the right to regulate the railroad. Eventually the Supreme Court upheld Judge Fergusons ruling. The Supreme court’s decision opened a new path to Segregation laws to separate and oppress blacks.
Socialist Party: The socialist party was a democratic socialist and social democratic political party that was formed in 1901. The party was merged between the Social Democratic Party of America and the Socialist Labor Party. The Socialist party stands for the elimination of any form of domination and exploitation, that is based on social class, gender, ethnicity/race, education, age, and other characteristics. The Socialist party was a driving factor in the Progressive era because they strived for change. In fact the Socialist party wanted to become a major component of the American Political system so they had Eugene Debs run for President in 1908, 1912, and 1920.American Federation of Labor(AFL): The American Federation of Labor was founded in 1881 as an association of trade unions made up of mostly white workers.
Samuel Gompers served as the president from 1886-1895 and 1896-1924. He provided conservative leadership and instead of trying to change the fundamental foundation of American life, the AFL sought to secure high wages for its members, better working conditions, and shorter work time. The Federation instead of supporting the other radical unions at the time wanted to preserve the power for whites or native-born workers.Industrial Workers of the World(IWW): IWW was a union with radical ideas that was organized in Chicago in 1905, and they were nicknamed the Wobblies; They opposed World War 1 so the federal government targeted the union as well as other groups such as the American Protective League. The leader of the IWW, Frank Little, was lynched and federal agents raided IWW offices throughout the country. The IWW’s goal was to give individual workers more power over there employers. This group gave unskilled workers to put their foot at the door of these big industries.
“New Feminism”: In the Progressive era, Feminism gained a lot of attention in politics. In 1914, a big meeting at New York’s Cooper Union had a debate over the meaning of Feminism. New Feminism is a philosophy which believes that men and women are equal, instead of men being superior over women and vice versa. One organization named the Feminist Alliance, build apartments with kitchens, cafeterias, and daycare centers, to help women break the constraints of home. The New Feminism drastically changed the gender roles of women in society.BIrth Control Movement: The Birth Control Movement was created by the expanding presence of women in the workforce. Women wanted to enjoy an active sexual life without having to bear children.
Emma Goldman, a girl who immigrated to the United States from Lithuania, travelled around the country and often talked about “freedom for both sexes.”. Goldman’s persistence on lecturing was a big part of the Progressive eras campaign towards social and political reform. Women having the ability to refuse birth was a huge impact on closing the gap in gender roles.