How the Gilded Age Led to the Progressive Era

How the Gilded Age Led to the Progressive Era


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Propelled by a Second Industrial Revolution, the United States arose from the ashes of the Civil War to become one of the world’s leading economic powers by the turn of the 20th century. Corporate titans such as Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan amassed spectacular fortunes and engaged in the most conspicuous of consumptions. Beneath this golden veneer, however, American society was tarnished by poverty and corruption, which caused this period of American history to be called the “Gilded Age,” derived from the title of an 1873 novel co-authored by Mark Twain.

Protected from foreign competition by high tariffs, American industrialists colluded to drive competitors out of business by creating monopolies and trusts in which groups of companies were controlled by single corporate boards. Political corruption ran amok during the Gilded Age as corporations bribed politicians to ensure government policies favored big businesses over workers. Graft fueled urban political machines, such as New York’s Tammany Hall, and the Whiskey Ring and Crédit Mobilier scandals revealed collusion by public officials and business leaders to defraud the federal government.

As the rich grew richer during the Gilded Age, the poor grew poorer. The great wealth accumulated by the “robber barons” came at the expense of the masses. By 1890, the wealthiest 1 percent of American families owned 51 percent of the country’s real and personal property, while the 44 percent at the bottom owned only 1.2 percent.

READ MORE: How the Gilded Age's Top 1 Percent Thrived on Corruption

The Populist Party Pushes for Reforms

Many Gilded Age workers toiled in dangerous jobs for low pay. Approximately 40 percent of industrial laborers in the 1880s earned below the poverty line of $500 a year. With such a yawning chasm between “haves” and “have-nots,” workers fought back against the inequality by forming labor unions. Industrial strikes occurred with greater frequency—and greater violence—following the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. During the 1880s alone, there were nearly 10,000 labor strikes and lockouts.

The belief that big businesses had too much power in the United States led to a backlash. The passage of the Tariff Act of 1890, which hiked import duties to nearly 50 percent and raised consumer prices, sparked an agrarian political rebellion that gave rise to the People’s Party, known as the “Populists.” The party advocated for government ownership of railroad and telephone companies, a graduated income tax, shorter workdays and the direct election of senators. In the 1892 presidential election, Populist candidate James Weaver won 22 electoral votes.

When the Panic of 1893 launched what was at the time the worst economic downturn in American history, President Grover Cleveland was forced to borrow $65 million in gold from financiers including Morgan to keep the federal government afloat, further highlighting corporate power in American society.

“It is no longer a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” proclaimed Populist leader Mary Elizabeth Lease, “but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street and for Wall Street.” The victory of Tariff Act of 1890 sponsor William McKinley in the 1896 presidential election marked the effective end of the People’s Party, but it foreshadowed the Progressive Era to come.

READ MORE: The Contentious 1896 Election That Started the Rural-Urban Voter Divide

Theodore Roosevelt Ushers in the Progressive Era

Some historians point to the 1890s as the start of the Progressive Era, but the ascent of Theodore Roosevelt to the presidency after McKinley’s assassination marked its definitive arrival. Like the Populists, Progressives advocated democratic reforms and greater governmental regulation of the economy to temper the capitalistic excesses of the Gilded Age. Historian Richard Hofstadter wrote that the Progressive movement sought to “restore a type of economic individualism and political democracy that was widely believed to have existed earlier in America and to have been destroyed by the great corporation and the corrupt political machine.”

Unlike previous presidents, Roosevelt vigorously enforced the Sherman Antitrust Act to break up industrial behemoths. The “trust buster” was also the first president to threaten to use the army on behalf of labor in a 1902 coal miners’ strike. Roosevelt easily won re-election in 1904 campaigning on a “Square Deal” platform to control corporations, conserve natural resources and protect consumers.

Investigative journalists, writers and photographers spurred Progressive reforms by exposing corporate malfeasance and social injustice. These “muckrakers” included Ida Tarbell, whose investigation of Rockefeller led to the breakup of the Standard Oil Company monopoly. Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel The Jungle about working conditions in the meatpacking industry sparked the passage of the Meat Inspection Act and Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906.

READ MORE: How Presidential Assassinations Changed US Politics

Progressive Political Reforms Expand Voting Rights

WATCH: The 19th Amendment

In states across the country, Progressives pushed for greater democratization of government and the expansion of voting rights in order to reduce the power of political machines.

In 1903, Wisconsin became the first state to implement direct primary elections, and the state’s governor, Robert La Follette, was among Progressives championing the enactment of initiatives and referendums, which allowed citizens to propose and vote directly on legislation.

Progressive reforms continued under Roosevelt’s successor, William Howard Taft, who combined tariff reduction legislation with support for the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which established a federal income tax. Even though Democrat Woodrow Wilson defeated both Taft and Roosevelt in the 1912 presidential election, he enacted a Progressive agenda that included the creation of the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Trade Commission as well as the passage of the Clayton Antitrust Act, which further limited the ability of companies to form monopolies.

Additional democratic reforms came into force with the 17th Amendment, which required the direct election of senators, and the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. Many Progressives also supported the temperance movement and pushed for the enactment of Prohibition, which came into effect with the 18th Amendment. World War I marked the decline of the Progressive Era, which came to an end with the start of the Roaring Twenties.

PHOTOS: See All the Ways Americans Hid Alcohol During Prohibition


The Gilded Age to Progressive Era

The Gilded Age was a time of great amounts of political corruption and lasted from the 1870s until the 1890s. At the head of this political corruption were political bosses such as William Tweed. Political Bosses would cheat cities out of money and donate to the poor in exchange for their support in recent elections. Big businesses and corporations were also involved with corruption by bribing elected officials and those in office to do things that helped their businesses and corporations. The amount of corruption and political injustice that took place in the Gilded Age lead to the Progressive Era when all of this corruption and social injustice would be fixed.

There was a lot of corruption during the Gilded Age and a lot of that came from political bosses such as William Tweed. Boss Tweed would cheat the city out of millions of dollars by delaying work or doing work incorrectly and then redoing it for more money. Political Bosses like William Tweed were extremely popular among the poor in their city. Political bosses would give out food and clothing to the poor in exchange William Tweed gained their political support and their vote. Political Bosses also controlled all the work done locally and they demanded that they be given payoffs from businesses.

Many owners of big business were corrupt, a prime example of this is when Collis Huntington attempted to bribe certain members of Congress to remove a bill on railroads that would negatively affect his business. This made it known to the public that big businesses and corporations were very corrupt and had a lot of power. They took over industries and destroys competition among different businesses. Monopolies would take over certain industries and take away opportunities for other small businesses and companies. These corporations and trusts had a lot of power and they were also corrupt. This is why many wanted them to be regulated by the government.

There were also many problems on the topic of social injustice and inequalities. One example of this is income inequalities. During the Gilded Age, industrialists were very rich and wealthy while those in the working labor class were not. This soon became obvious to everyone and it influenced the rise of labor unions. They fought to try to improve their working and living conditions. There were also many strikes like the Baltimore and Ohio company railroad strike where they lowered their workers pay by ten percent. This was the second time that this had happened in an eight month period of time. The workers retaliated by preventing all of the trains from leaving Martinsburg West Virginia until their pay was restored in full. Because of the social injustice inflicted on the railroad workers they were forced to retaliate. Reforms to improve and fix injustices like these happened later on in the Progressive Era.

Women not being allowed the right to vote is another example of a social injustice. They were only seen as trophy wives and people did not think that they did anything to or for society. This was not true because there were many women who made immense contributions to society. One example of this was Jane Addams who founded the Hull House that was a place for immigrant girls to live and get an education. Louise Whitfield Carnegie founded the Young Women’s Christian Association. There were plenty of women who helped society and there were many people who helped to get women the right to vote. It was a social injustice to deny women the right to vote because they are women. Carrie Nation was a temperance leader who gained a lot of spotlight in the women’s suffrage movement and sobriety. These are major factors that will lead to reform in the Progressive Era.

A large factor that led to all of the reforms during the Progressive Era was all of the corruption and social injustice that was exposed by muckrakers. They used the press to expose the corruption and injustice and change public opinion about what they were writing about. Some muckrakers wrote to expose big businesses and trusts like Ida Tarbell, she used the press to expose the corruption and unjust acts of taking away opportunities of other small businesses. She targeted some of the unjust practices of big businesses that led to people wanting reforms on businesses.

During the Gilded Age there was a lot of corruption, with political bosses such as William Tweed cheating cities out of millions of dollars and bribing the poor for their political support and their vote. Large businesses such as corporations and monopolies were corrupt and tried to bribe elected officials and congress to support and not support bills that would benefit their businesses. There were also many social injustices during the Gilded Age. Women were denied the right to vote because many people thought they did not do anything that benefit society. Labor workers were unjustly treated and underpaid where the high up in businesses sat back and gained money. The amount of corruption and political injustice that took place in the Gilded Age lead to the Progressive Era when all of this corruption and social injustice would be fixed. All of the corruption and injustices listed in this essay are a large part of how the Progressive Era came about, because all of the reforms were working to fix and improve upon these problems.


The Gilded Age and the Progressive Era: A Digital Primary Source Guide

Fifth Avenue and the Vanderbilt Mansions seen from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York 1890

Far too often, United States history curricula race through the fifty years between the Civil War and Reconstruction on the one end, and the Great Depression and World War II on the other—but the tumultuous, crisis-filled, frequently violent, and wholly transformative Gilded Age (1870s-1890s) and Progressive Era (1890s-1920s) deserve our focused consideration. As the country closed out the nineteenth century and moved into the twentieth, its economy, governance, polity, culture, and position on the international stage were forever altered. Explore this digital primary source guide to learn more—and begin making your own contribution to this developing historical literature.

The Gilded Age entered the lexicon and the annals of American history through Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner’s satirical 1873 novel of the same name, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today. The tale’s “moral was the danger of privileging speculation over honest labor” the plot’s machinations “exposed the rot beneath the gilded surface.” 1 To contemporary observers and historians alike, there was no better metaphor for the corruption and inequality that then suffused American politics and industry.

Beginning in the 1870s, thanks to a “modern corporate form of ownership,” a new “merger movement,” and a dominant form of “competitive, proprietary capitalism,” industrialists like John D. Rockefeller, James Pierpont Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and Cornelius Vanderbilt—known as “captains of industry” or, more derogatively, as “robber barons”—rose to unprecedented heights of prosperity and power. 2 More and more, wealth was concentrated in the hands of the few—but many ordinary citizens flourished, too, and per capita wealth generally increased throughout the age. 3 Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse began bringing electricity to the public, while innumerable less famous, perhaps even more diligent “tinkerers” invented new devices and procedures that drastically reordered American society and culture. 4 The Gilded Age was a period of mass immigration and urbanization, and new city-dwellers—anxiously but rapidly—integrated “streetcars and elevators…packaged processed foods and machine-made clothing” into their daily lives. 5

Not all of the changes were positive. During the Gilded Age, America—and the world—experienced a series of periodic economic crises, including a devastating Wall Street crash that inaugurated the Panic of 1873. “Recurrent cycles of boom and collapse” wrought dramatically different consequences for those at the top and bottom rungs of the economy. 6 As industrial workers faced wage cuts and untenable living conditions, labor unrest spread across the nation, including the 1886 Haymarket Affair and the 1894 Pullman Strike. These persistent conflicts gave strength to myriad labor unions, an insurgent Populist Party, and even radical revolutionaries and anarchists, “dedicated not to the reform of capitalism but to its abolition,” who wielded bombs and sticks of dynamite alongside their “fierce editorials…and soapbox oratory.” 7 At the turn of the century, political violence was unsettlingly common. President James A. Garfield was assassinated in 1881, and President William McKinley in 1901 eleven years later, former President Theodore Roosevelt survived a shot to the chest.

Less gruesome, if no less contentious, the social reforms and protective legislation that typified the Progressive Era also constituted concerted attempts to “limit the social costs of aggressive, market capitalism.” 8 Increasingly, crusaders of all stripes lobbied local, state, and federal government officials to step in and address their concerns, from temperance, to agricultural subsidies, to monetary policy. 9 In concert with their counterparts across the North Atlantic world, American civil servants and policymakers worked to ameliorate “the problems and miseries of ‘great city’ life, the insecurities of wage work, the social backwardness of the countryside, [and] the instabilities of the market itself.” 10 Though they could not yet vote in most of the country, middle-class women directed settlement houses, women’s clubs, and social movements “for compulsory public education, regulation of sweatshop labor, public sanitation, and the arbitration of strikes.” 11 Throughout this “veritable ‘golden age’ of women’s politics,” maternal social reformers helped “recas[t] the welfare of mothers and children as an issue for public policy” while also creating new, viable spaces for women to operate outside the home. 12 That women could effect positive social change was a guiding premise of the movement for women’s suffrage—and in 1920, the states ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. 13

Scholars continue to debate whether the mantle of progressivism can and should apply to the American South. Beginning in the 1890s, southern legislatures passed “Jim Crow” laws that mandated racial segregation, creating whites-only restaurants, schools, bathrooms, and other public spaces. Across the South, states instituted poll taxes, literacy tests, and discriminatory grandfather clauses that systematically stripped black men of their right to vote. It was precisely at this moment, historian Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore explains, that middle-class black women “became the black community’s diplomats to the white community” and “built social service and civic structures that wrested some recognition and meager services from the expanding welfare state,” enacting their own version of progressive politics. 14 If not as voters then as “clients” of the welfare state, black women led various successful education and public health and safety campaigns. 15

These fifty years witnessed a dramatic expansion of American empire. After four hundred years of strife, the United States devastated its Native American population and in 1887, the Dawes Act bestowed the president with the power to break up Indian reservations among individuals. 16 In 1898, the nation annexed Hawaii that same year, it waged the Spanish-American War, bringing Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam, and the Philippines under American control and between 1903 and 1914, it constructed the Panama Canal, linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In 1917, after three years of bloody war in Europe, the U.S. military entered the Great War, helping to ensure Allied victory over the Central Powers and rocketing the United States to a new status as a global superpower.

As Americans encountered the Roaring Twenties and—unbeknownst to them—stood on the precipice of the Great Depression, they inhabited an utterly transformed nation. How they got there—the stuff of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era—demands deep, critical analysis. Find more resources below:

Everyday Life and Leisure in the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era

  • via Library of Congress, America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion Pictures from 1894 to 1915
  • via Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection, including 25,000+ images, mostly from the 1890s-1920s
  • via Library of Congress, George Grantham Bain Collection, including 41,000+ images, mostly from the 1900s-1920s
  • via Library of Congress’ Flickr, News in the 1910s
  • via Harvard University, Women Working, 1800-1930
  • via Library of Congress’ Flickr, Women Striving Forward, 1910-1940
  • via Michigan State University, Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project
    • the digitized cookbooks, arranged by date

    National Politics

    • via Library of Congress, Presidential Elections, 1789 to 1920: Resource Guides
    • via Our Documents, Pendleton Act (1883)
    • via Library of Congress, Last Days of a President: Films of McKinley and the Pan-American Exposition, 1901
    • via Library of Congress, Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film
    • via The American Presidency Project, Papers of Woodrow Wilson
    • via Library of Congress, American Leaders Speak: Recordings From World War I and the 1920 Election
    • Populism
      • via Missouri State professor Worth Robert Miller, Documents on the Populist Party
      • via Digital Public Library of America, Patronage and Populism: The Politics of the Gilded Age
      • via Digital Public Library of America, primary sources for The Populist Movement

      American Inventors and Technological Change

      • via Digital Public Library of America, primary sources for Electrifying America
      • via Our Documents, Thomas Edison’s Patent Application for the Light Bulb (1880)
      • via Library of Congress, Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies
      • via Library of Congress, Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904
      • via Library of Congress, Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers

      Industrialists and Industry

      • via Our Documents, Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)
      • via Furman University, Andrew Carnegie’s “Wealth”
      • via archive.org, digitized publications of Andrew Carnegie
      • via archive.org, Cornelius Vanderbilt’s “Electricity as a Motive Power on Trunk Lines” of the Morgan Library & Museum, including the Morgan Archives

      Labor History

      • via New York University, interactive New York City Labor History Map
      • via Georgia State University, 19 th and 20 th Century Labor Prints
      • via Cornell University, digitized documents from The 1911 Triangle Factory Fire
      • via archive.org, digitized publications of the Knights of Labor
      • via University of California, Berkeley, The Emma Goldman Papers
      • Eugene V. Debs
        • via Industrial Workers of the World, Documents by Eugene V. Debs
        • via Indiana State University, Eugene V. Debs Correspondence Collection
        • via Indiana State University, Debs Collection: Pamphlets, including many digitized pamphlets

        Social Reform

        • via Library of Congress, an online exhibition on Jacob Riis: Revealing “How the Other Half Lives”
        • via International Center of Photography, digitized photographs of Jacob Riis
        • via Columbia University, interviews with
        • via University System of Georgia, digitized organizational records at For Our Mutual Benefit: The Athens [Georgia] Woman’s Club and Social Reform, 1899-1920
        • Jane Addams, Hull House, and the Settlement House Movement
          • via Digital Public Library of America, primary sources for Settlement Houses in the Progressive Era
          • via University of Illinois at Chicago, Urban Experience in Chicago: Hull-House and Its Neighborhoods, 1889-1963
          • via University of Illinois at Chicago, Seven Settlement Houses-Database of Photos
          • via Digital Public Library of America, an online exhibition on Children in Progressive-Era America
          • via Library of Congress’ Flickr, Child Labor & Lewis Hine
          • via Our Documents, Keating-Owen Child Labor Act of 1916
          • via University of Iowa, digitized proceedings of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union
          • via HistoryIT, Frances Willard Digital Journals
          • via Westerville Public Library, Anti-Saloon League Museum Collection
          • via Westerville Public Library, Anti-Saloon League Museum Cartoons and Fliers
          • via Brown University, Alcohol, Temperance & Prohibition Collection
          • via Digital Public Library of America, an online exhibition on Indomitable Spirits: Prohibition in the United States

          The American West, the Frontier, and Native American History


          Women's suffrage

          In the Progressive era, 1870-1920, Womens suffrage became a huge priority for women during this time especially for the right to vote . Women of middle and upper classes created three groups that were most important to the women&rsquos suffrage movement: the NAWSA, NWSA, AWSA and NWP .

          The letter shown on the left was written by Emma Smith DeVoe, president of the Washington Equals Suffrage Association, to Homer H. Hill regarding the suffrage movement in 1909. This letter is an example of how the movement evolved from housewives to women demanding to have a voice when it comes to voting.

          The main women in charge of the suffrage movement were Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Carrie Chapman Catt. Anthony and Stanton created the women's suffrage group NWSA (National Women's Suffrage Association). This particular group urged for the women&rsquos right to vote and they even urged for non-discrimination against women regarding pay and employment and even towards easier divorces. This group is based in New York and relied on a statewide network and drew in recruits.

          The AWSA ( American Womens Suffrage Association) was a group founded by Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe in the Boston area. The group wanted to focus on changing laws state by state instead of changing the Constitiution. However, this group wasn't as popular as the NWSA. by the 1880s the group didn't get much support from women and male politicians. The leaders of the two groups thought that if they both combined, they would be able to make a better impact.

          So, they created the group NAWSA (National American Woman Suffrage Association). This became the largest womens suffrage group in the Nation. Wyoming, Utah and Colorado were the first three states that adopted womens suffrage in 1893 and 1896. These states also recognized womens vote including Idaho. After these recognitions, the women started to look at different ways to catch attention.

          The group decided that they were going to start doing public rallies. Some of the women even started taking their cause through the streets to spread the word and demand to vote. In 1908, the president of the group, Ann Howard Shaw, even led a parade down the street at Boone, Iowa with the Iowa Equal American Suffrage Association group . The NAWSA continued to rally and lobby for rights when things started to look up for the suffrage movement

          The women continued to spread NWSA supporters across 5 different states: Oregon, Arizona, California, Kansas and Washington. The group had good luck in Illinois and later in Montana. These women showed that they could make great strides towards women's rights but t here was still some work that needed to be done until women could have full-on voting rights in all the states. A women named Alice Paul, a Quaker activist, formed a new party called the National Woman&rsquos Party. With this group she was determined to win an amendment to the U.S Constitution that would grant suffrage rights women without the need for struggling state-by-state.

          The group wanted to stand out even more, so they started to picket in front of the White House. After several arrests of women and their non-stop push for womens rights Woodrow Wilson finally gave in and he endorsed women&rsquos suffrage in September 1918 and Congress adopted the nineteenth amendment that was ratified in 1920. This was the final victory for women to vote.

          McGerr, Michael E. A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920. New York: Free Press, 2003.

          "The Women's Rights Movement, 1848&ndash1920 | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives." The Women's Rights Movement, 1848-1920. Accessed March 27, 2016. http://history.house.gov/Exhibitions-and-Publications/WIC/Historical-Essays/No-Lady/Womens-Rights/

          H, J. "A DIVIDED MOVEMENT." Cobblestone 30, no. 3 (March 2009): 29. Accessed March 27, 2016. EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete .


          The Changes Offered by The Gilded Age and Progressive Era

          The years following reconstruction, both the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era provided growth and development to our nation. Not only did we expand in the industrial and technological field, but the moral concept of the land finally began to develop into something concrete and lawful. Of course, this joyous resolution of the Progressive Era only became possible after the hardships faced in the Gilded Age. Both sources provide a clear and rational explanation of the importance of both periods. Expanding from 1870 to the 1900’s, the Gilded Age paved the road for the Progressive Era in the 1890’s to 1920’s.

          The Gilded Age was that of tainted dreams. New concepts of wealth, communication, and trade lead to greed, vulgarity, and scandalous business practices. It can be understood from reading the source that this time period was responsible for the formation of modern America. No longer were we driven solely based on our religious beliefs. We had conquered lands unknown and followed our own morality (or lack thereof). As a nation, we grew from minimal production to flourishing societies and industrial creations for the first time, the industrial economy ruled the land. To compensate for the vast placement of laborers, public transportation, and communication systems were created. Phone booths and trolleys had allowed for those living in the urban country to travel to factories in the city. The introduction of a management-worker relationship provided smoother business operations. Still, discrimination ripped through urban life.

          It was obvious that those of greater wealth had advantages over the government. Not only did money run the government, but finance capitalism and bossism provided protection to persons aware of these “loopholes”. These people included: Jay Gould, Cornelius Vanderbelt, Andrew Carnegie, and arguably the most relevant, John D. Rockefeller. Milked like cattle, the Presidency was forced to deter these industrial giants. The Civil Service Act, Interstate Commerce Act, Sherman Antitrust Act, amongst other reforms, were created to control government corruption. No longer were individuals able to be referred or internally elected, applicants were required to participate in polls and competitive examination. On the other end of the social spectrum, the citizens were going through turbulence as well. Social Darwinism was a growing trend amongst citizens, with its laissez-faire ideals and superiority outline policies affecting immigration, imperialism, and public health incorporated it’s way into the toxic slew of pre-existing tension. Worker revolts, racial aggression, and a general discontent swept the population. While steel finance was booming, competition amongst farmers became political with the increase of Populist Party members. The goals of such organizations reflected the average worker: wanting higher pay, tariff reduction, and more money in circulation. The Gilded Age saw massive and rapid growth in many aspects. The document introduces the readers to new developments in science and technology, and the importance of social/economic wealth. The mass execution of corruption led way to years captivated by forward-looking movements that proceeded to flower from the dirt and grime of the recent past.

          The Progressive Era lead to social growth and personal welfare. Our first Progressive President, Theodore Roosevelt, created a vast amount of movements. His support of equality led to many job opportunities and freedoms for the individual. In this period of time, a sort of “buffer zone” between work and leisure becomes apparent. The unjust conditions workers endured during the Gilded Age led to the introduction of worker rights (e.g. increased wages, shift hour limits, discrimination) led to many jobs releasing its workers around dusk though a minority of those, especially those involved in professions such as garbage collecting, baking, bartending, becoming “nightmen”. Transportation companies even had special night-time services for these workers. The concept of having labored production around the clock grew as electric power became further understood. Electrical use illuminated once dull, disgust-riddled cities. It created a sense of security and life advertisements, theaters, and stores drew awe from those who passed the arc of lights.Time Square and many other places that had once been mundane morphed into different aspects of themselves as stars grew visible. Culture as a whole was changing.

          With corruption practically removed from the mainstream culture, forms of entertainment, which had prior been disregarded, were becoming more acceptable. Alas, gender barriers allowed for men to be the greater percentage of this “night culture”. Bars, burlesque shows, brothels, and gambling saloons became a hotspot for the general male young adult. Restaurants, fancy hotels, cinemas, and opera-houses grew in popularity one’s social ranking could be defined by the type of entertainment they attended. The physical placement of furniture in such places encouraged open socialization a concept that once was discouraged due to poverty and other factors in the Gilded Age. While there was still racial segregation, there was still an extent of involvement, given that many ethnic groups could obtain catering. Along with this concept came the faltering of male homosociality. Movements involving the rights of women, which arose in the Gilded Age, were pursued into the Progressive Era. Thus, the introduction to the modern American economy.

          Both the Gilded Age and Progressive Era provided technological innovation, mass immigration, and intense political partisanship. While the Gilded Age document expressed the ugly part of reform, the Progressive Era document dwelled on those reforms and applied them to the innovations of that era. From one period to the next, businesses grew in size and scale, horizontal and vertical. Banking, manufacturing, meatpacking, oil refining, railroads, and steel companies alike obtained a common law of morality, and were no longer controlled by certain companies. Urban inflation formed into urban expression. Immigrants, blacks, and women were becoming more and more of an equal to the white male. It can be concluded after reading both documents that, although the Gilded Age and Progressive Era developed the nation in two different ways, both offered social, political, economic, and constitutional implications.


          Major League Baseball Player Union

          Throughout the history of baseball many attempts were created to form a Unions for Professional Baseball players. In 1953 the first MLB Players Union was formed called Major League Baseball Players Association and in 1968 the Players Union was able to negotiate it first collective bargaining agreement between players and owners. The purpose of this is that players are able to get their voice heard without hurting the team name. They are in charge of any grievance case filed to the player and in charge of representing player&rsquos contracts. They are also in charge of players suspensions for example if a player uses steroids. The players association once supported the right of the player to use steroids, but after the public expressed displeasure with steroid problems, they changed the rules that no player shall do steroids or they will receive a suspension of 50 game, then 100 games, or life suspension.


          How the Gilded Age Led to the Progressive Era - HISTORY

          The Progressive Era was a period of social activism and political reform in the United States that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s.

          Learning Objectives

          List the primary causes championed by the Progressive movement, and some of the movement’s major outcomes

          Key Takeaways

          Key Points

          • Characteristics of the Progressive Era include purification of the government, modernization, a focus on family and education, prohibition, and women’s suffrage.
          • Many Progressives sought to rid the government of corruption, and muckraking became a particular type of journalism that exposed waste, corruption, and scandal on a national level.
          • Two of the most important outcomes of the Progressive Era were the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Amendments, the first of which outlawed the manufacturing, sale, or transport of alcohol, and the second of which enfranchised women with the right to vote.
          • The national political leaders of the Progressive Era included Theodore Roosevelt, Robert M. La Follette Sr., Charles Evans Hughes, and Herbert Hoover on the Republican side, and William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson, and Al Smith on the Democratic side.
          • Theodore Roosevelt is often cited as the first Progressive president, known for his trust -busting activities.
          • Progressives did little for civil rights or the plight of African Americans in the aftermath of Reconstruction, as the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of many racist southern laws.

          Key Terms

          • muckraker: A reform-oriented investigative journalist during the Progressive Era. The muckrakers’ work called attention to the problems of the time, including poor industrial working conditions, poor urban living conditions, and unscrupulous business practices. Prominent muckrakers included novelist Upton Sinclair, photographer Jacob Riis, and journalists Ida M. Tarbell and Lincoln Steffens.
          • progressivism: The political ideology that favors rational governmental action to improve society. It arose in response to industrialism and dominated American politics for the first two decades of the twentieth century.
          • Eighteenth Amendment: This constitutional amendment established prohibition of alcohol in 1920.
          • Nineteenth Amendment: This constitutional amendment, ratified in 1920, granted women the right to vote and forbade any suffrage restrictions based on gender.

          The Progressive Era was a period of widespread social activism and political reform across the United States, from the 1890s to 1920s. The main objective of the Progressive movement was eliminating corruption in government. The movement primarily targeted political machines and their bosses. By taking down these corrupt representatives in office, a further means of direct democracy would be established. They also sought regulation of monopolies (“trust-busting”) and corporations through antitrust laws. These antitrust laws were seen as a way to promote equal competition for the advantage of legitimate competitors. The main statutes are the Sherman Act of 1890, the Clayton Act of 1914, and the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914.

          Many Progressives supported prohibition in the United States in order to destroy the political power of local bosses based in saloons. At the same time, women’s suffrage was promoted to bring a “purer” female vote into the arena. These two issues in the movement brought about constitutional change. The Eighteenth Amendment, passed in late 1917, banned the manufacturing, sale, and transport of alcohol, while the Nineteenth Amendment, passed in 1919, gave women the right to vote.

          Another theme was building an Efficiency movement in every sector that could identify old ways that needed modernizing, and that could bring to bear scientific, medical, and engineering solutions. A key part of the Efficiency movement was scientific management, or “Taylorism.” Although scientific management as a distinct theory or school of thought was obsolete by the 1930s, most of its themes are still important parts of industrial engineering and management today. These include analysis, synthesis, logic, rationality, empiricism, work ethic, efficiency and elimination of waste, and standardization of best practices.

          Many activists joined efforts to reform local government, public education, medicine, finance, insurance, industry, railroads, churches, and many other areas. Progressives transformed, professionalized, and made “scientific” the social sciences, especially history, economics, and political science. In academic fields, the day of the amateur author gave way to the research professor who published in the new scholarly journals and presses.

          Initially the movement operated chiefly at local levels later, it expanded to state and national levels. Progressives drew support from the middle class, and supporters included many lawyers, teachers, physicians, ministers, and business people. Some Progressives strongly supported scientific methods as applied to economics, government, industry, finance, medicine, schooling, theology, education, and even the family. They closely followed advances underway at the time in western Europe and adopted numerous policies, such as a major transformation of the banking system through the creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913. Reformers felt that old-fashioned ways meant waste and inefficiency, and they eagerly sought out the “one best system.”

          Leaders in the Progressive Era

          National Progressive political leaders included Theodore Roosevelt, Robert M. La Follette Sr., and Charles Evans Hughes on the Republican side, and William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson, and Al Smith on the Democratic side. Many others, from politicians to social activists, business owners to philosophers, and preachers to reporters, contributed to the Progressive movement. The following are examples of a few major figures:

          Theodore Roosevelt: A portrait of President Theodore Roosevelt.

          Following the assassination of President McKinley in September 1901, Theodore Roosevelt, at age 42, succeeded to the office, becoming the youngest U.S. president in history. Leading his party and country into the Progressive Era, he championed his “Square Deal” domestic policies, promising the average citizen fairness, broken trusts, railroads regulations, and pure food and drugs. Making conservation a top priority, he established a myriad of new national parks, forests, and monuments intended to preserve the nation’s natural resources. In foreign policy, he focused on Central America, where he began construction of the Panama Canal. His successful efforts to end the Russo-Japanese War won him the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize.

          Susan B. Anthony (February 15, 1820–March 13, 1906) was an American social reformer and feminist who played a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement. In 1851, she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who became her lifelong friend and coworker in social-reform activities, primarily in the field of women’s rights. In 1852, they founded the New York Women’s State Temperance Society after Anthony was prevented from speaking at a temperance conference because she was a woman. In 1878, Anthony and Stanton arranged for Congress to be presented with an amendment giving women the right to vote. Popularly known as the “Anthony Amendment” and introduced by Senator Aaron A. Sargent (R-CA), it became the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920.

          Upton Sinclair (September 20, 1878–November 25, 1968) was an American author who wrote nearly 100 books and other works across a number of genres. In 1906, Sinclair acquired particular fame for his classic muckraking novel, The Jungle , which exposed conditions in the U.S. meat-packing industry and caused a public uproar that contributed, in part, to the passage a few months later of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. In 1919, he published The Brass Check, a muckraking exposé of American journalism that publicized the issue of yellow journalism and the limitations of the “free press” in the United States. Four years after the publication of The Brass Check, the first code of ethics for journalists was created. Writing during the Progressive Era, Sinclair describes the world of industrialized American from both the working man’s point of view and the industrialist’s. Novels such as King Coal (1917), The Coal War (published posthumously), Oil! (1927), and The Flivver King (1937) describe the working conditions of the coal, oil, and auto industries at the time.


          Substance Abuse: Coping Mechanisms of the Gilded Age

          A man walks home from his job in a factory after working fifteen hours for minimal pay. Waiting for him at home is a different struggle from what he faces at the factory. Here he has children and a family that he needs to provide for, but he can&rsquot because he is crippled by the mental and physical pain of living in such a time in history. On his way home, he stops at the local brothel only to finally leave when his &ldquoneeds&rdquo as a man have been met. The Brothel is a place where he can escape reality and drown his suffering in sex and booze. As he leaves the building, drunk and belligerent, he goes to his home only to neglect his wife and his children.

          A lady walks into a doctor&rsquos office with a headache from the difficult duties of being a stay at home wife. The doctor prescribes her the &ldquowonder drug of the early 1880s,&rdquo[1] &ndash cocaine. The women gets to her home and injects 1 grain of the byproduct of the cocoa plant and immediately feels the reasons as to why this drug has gained the reputation it has. &ldquoAt first, I injected one grain and experienced an exhilaration of spirits similar to that produced by two or three glasses of champagne&hellip.&rdquo[2] While this may seem Ludacris to us, this came at a time where doctors were offering free trials for other narcotics such as laudanum, morphine, and opium.

          Imagine walking down the street in the late nineteenth century Virginia and knowing that most of the people you are seeing are &ldquojunk users&rdquo &ndash people who use the drug opium. It is 1878 and a local journalist in the town of Staunton, VA is describing his recent conversation with a Mr. Allen, a local druggist for the town. &ldquo&hellip the asylums here&hellip consume a great deal of morphine in a legitimate way, but what they use is only a drop in the bucket.&rdquo At the time, nearly one hundred pounds of opium a week was being consumed in the town of Staunton, which only had around 8,000-10,000 people living in it. Men, Women and Children are using opioids for treatment of everyday problems. These are the conditions that the working and middle class during the progressive era had to face on a daily basis.


          Unit Outline

          Framework Aligned Unit Assessment Bank developed in partnership with CUNY Debating US History See 5 items Hide 5 items

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          • Part 3 Civic Literacy Essay Tasks (Coming in December 2019)

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          Gilded Age and Progressive Era

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          You will need to provide your official school email address AND a Google email address. In some cases, these will be the same email account. You will only need to fill the form out once to gain access to all of the assessments and teacher materials in the curriculum.

          After you fill out the form, you will receive notification that you have been added to a Google Group called "New Visions Social Studies Assessments Access." Once you receive that notification, you can access all of the assessments through the New Visions Social Studies Curriculum website, but you must be logged into the Google account you provided in the form to view the assessments.

          We will try to respond to all access requests within 72 hours. We are sorry if this delay causes any inconvenience.

          Please comment below with questions, feedback, suggestions, or descriptions of your experience using this resource with students.

          If you found an error in the resource, please let us know so we can correct it by filling out this form.

          Gilded Age and Progressive Era

          We have restricted access to assessments to EDUCATORS ONLY.

          If you click on the "Open in Google Docs" button below and can view the document, then you already have access.

          If you do not have access to the assessments, please fill out the form linked here.

          You will need to provide your official school email address AND a Google email address. In some cases, these will be the same email account. You will only need to fill the form out once to gain access to all of the assessments and teacher materials in the curriculum.

          After you fill out the form, you will receive notification that you have been added to a Google Group called "New Visions Social Studies Assessments Access." Once you receive that notification, you can access all of the assessments through the New Visions Social Studies Curriculum website, but you must be logged into the Google account you provided in the form to view the assessments.

          We will try to respond to all access requests within 72 hours. We are sorry if this delay causes any inconvenience.

          Please comment below with questions, feedback, suggestions, or descriptions of your experience using this resource with students.

          If you found an error in the resource, please let us know so we can correct it by filling out this form.

          Gilded Age and Progressive Era

          We have restricted access to assessments to EDUCATORS ONLY.

          If you click on the "Open in Google Docs" button below and can view the document, then you already have access.

          If you do not have access to the assessments, please fill out the form linked here.

          You will need to provide your official school email address AND a Google email address. In some cases, these will be the same email account. You will only need to fill the form out once to gain access to all of the assessments and teacher materials in the curriculum.

          After you fill out the form, you will receive notification that you have been added to a Google Group called "New Visions Social Studies Assessments Access." Once you receive that notification, you can access all of the assessments through the New Visions Social Studies Curriculum website, but you must be logged into the Google account you provided in the form to view the assessments.

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          Gilded Age and Progressive Era

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          Gilded Age and Progressive Era

          End of Unit Assessments See 4 items Hide 4 items

          Our units are developed through a backwards design process in which we start with the summative assessments and then create resources and formative assessments based on the content and skills students will need to be successful (See Understanding by Designby Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe). We encourage teachers to start their planning by looking first at the end of unit assessments and then at specific resources.

          Students will recall content learned in unit 5 and organize and align content according to the three unit themes (economic systems, reform movements, equality). Students will then use this content as evidence to answer the unit 5 essential questions.

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          A 30 question multiple choice exam to test concepts taught in Unit 5.

          Assessment Security and Access

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          You will need to provide your official school email address AND a Google email address. In some cases, these will be the same email account. You will only need to fill the form out once to gain access to all of the assessments and teacher materials in the curriculum.

          After you fill out the form, you will receive notification that you have been added to a Google Group called "New Visions Social Studies Assessments Access." Once you receive that notification, you can access all of the assessments through the New Visions Social Studies Curriculum website, but you must be logged into the Google account you provided in the form to view the assessments.

          We will try to respond to all access requests within 72 hours. We are sorry if this delay causes any inconvenience.


          Introduction

          History 417, the Rise of Modern America, is a course that explores the enormous changes that occurred during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. During the course of the semester students have presented on topics that range from segregation and racism to science and religion in America. Each of the students chose a topic to research this semester and the digital exhibits that follow are short presentations of their research.

          The period of following the Civil War up to the end of World War I witnessed some of the most spectacular and broad changes in American life. The rise of industrial capitalism, the growth of cities, changing gender and sexual roles, and new ways of looking at the world through science and faith profoundly shaped how Americans experienced the twentieth century. The digital student research projects are small windows into this period and represent the synthesis of research and discussion from this semester.


          Watch the video: The Gilded Age and Progressive Reform