Theodore Roosevelt

.       Progressive Republican President of the United States, 1901-1909

.       Most popular political leader of early 20th century

.       Promised to regulate big business and bust trusts

.       Stepped down voluntarily in 1909, then ran again for presidency in 1912 on Progressive Party ticket but lost to Woodrow Wilson


William Howard Taft

.       Republican President of the United States, 1909-1913

.       Administration had both Progressive and conservative tendencies

.       Roosevelt's hand-picked successor, but not as charismatic or effective

.       Won Republication nomination for re-election in 1912 but finished behind both Democrat Woodrow Wilson and Roosevelt (running on Progressive Party ticket) in general election


Woodrow Wilson

.       Progressive Democratic President of the United States, 1913-1921

.       Defeated Taft and Roosevelt to win presidency; first Democrat to win White House in 20th century

.       Pursued idealistic foreign policy; led U.S. into WWI in the name of Progressive principles


Upton Sinclair

.       Muckraking novelist, author of The Jungle, 1906

.       Intended book to spread socialist message about mistreatment of workers in Chicago' meatpacking industry

.       Readers instead horrified by mistreatment of meat


J.P. Morgan

.       Major American financier

.       Arranged several major mergers; financed US Steel; controlled railroads across nation


Andrew Carnegie

.       Scottish-born American industrialist; imported European steel techniques to dominate American steel industry

.       Attempted to reorganize entire steel industry under own company

.       Became one of world's richest men and one of world's most generous philanthropists

.       Proponent of "Gospel of Wealth"





1887 Interstate Commerce Act

.       Created Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate railroads

.       Early example of Progressive legislation designed to use the government to regulate business practices

.       Enforcement powers neutered by Supreme Court until a series of reinforcing acts passed in 1910s


1890 Sherman Antitrust Act

.       New law designed to restore competition to markets by splitting apart monopolies

.       Thought designed to target big business, the law was only used against unions and agricultural co-ops until Roosevelt's presidency


1901 McKinley Assassination

.       President William McKinley murdered by crazed anarchist Leon Czolgosz

.       Charismatic young Vice President Teddy Roosevelt became president


1907 Financial Panic

.       Stock-market panic threatened to throw economy into severe recession

.       Economy stabilized by private actions of J.P. Morgan and other financiers


1908 Muller v. Oregon

.       Supreme Court ruled that Oregon law limiting women's workday was constitutional

.       Crucial case in establishing the right of government regulation of economy


1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

.       Fire spread rapidly through New York garment sweatshop

.       Workers had been locked inside the factory by owners to prevent theft

.       Only one small fire escape was not big enough to allow many to escape

.       146 workers jumped to their deaths or burned alive; most were young girls

.       Unions used disaster to argue that working conditions in factories should be improved


1912 Presidential Election

.       Democrat Woodrow Wilson defeated Republican incumbent W.H. Taft, popular ex-president Theodore Roosevelt, and Socialist Eugene Debs

.       Division of Republican votes between Taft and Roosevelt allowed Democrats to elect first president in more than two decades


1913 Sixteenth Amendment

.       Authorized Congress to levy income taxes


1913 Seventeenth Amendment

.       Allowed for U.S. Senators to be elected directly by popular vote


1917 Hammer v. Dagenhart

.       Supreme Court ruled that child labor laws were unconstitutional

.       But court later overturned ruling on minimum wage (for women and children) in 1923 with Adkins v. Children's Hospital


1918 Sedition Act

.       Criminalized production of antiwar materials and the delivery of any speech deemed unpatriotic or detrimental to the war effort

.       Imposed fine and imprisonment on anyone who discouraged military recruiting or criticized the government, the flag, or the military uniform






.       Slippery term, difficult to define

.       Generally middle class reformers

.       Promoted active change in society, often using tools of government

.       Incorporated members of both political parties


Progressive Party

(a.k.a.  Bull Moose Party)

.       Third party headed by Theodore Roosevelt in 1912

.       Attempted to make Progressivism into independent political force

.       Essentially organized around Roosevelt's personality; when he lost in 1912, party fell apart

.       All members of Progressive Party were Progressives, but not all Progressives were in Progressive Party






.       Investigative journalists

.       Term coined by Teddy Roosevelt

.       Attempted to bring foul conditions of American industrial society to light

.       Tended toward sensationalistic exposés; rarely promoted specific solutions


Economies of Scale

.       Gains in production or savings of cost produced by integration of large scale processes

.       In plain English, the money you save when you do something on a larger scale and become more efficient.


Vertical Integration

.       When a company takes over all stages of production in the making of its product

.       Allows economies of scale and higher profitability


Horizontal Integration

.       When a company forces out or takes over its competitors, building a monopoly over an entire industry

.       Many companies endured temporary cuts in prices to drive competitors out of business, creating monopoly conditions and generating high profits



.       Environmental movement driven forward by Thoreau, Roosevelt and John Muir

.       Attempted to protect beauty and majesty of America's natural landscapes

.       Angered industrialists and others who wanted to use natural resources for economic development rather than preserving them





Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, New York City

.       Overcrowded garment sweatshop

.       Site of tragic 1911 fire that killed many workers, mostly young girls