Progressive Reforms

 

president Theodore Roosevelt

Definition and Summary of Progressive Reforms
Summary and Definition:
The Progressive Reforms encompassed political and social improvements and changes during the Progressive Era in the United States from 1900-1920 during the presidencies of President Teddy Roosevelt, President William Taft and President Woodrow Wilson. Progressive Reforms were prompted by the political philosophy of Progressivism and the influence and work of reformists called Progressives who included activists, analysts and social commentators.

Progressive Reforms: Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson
Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th American President who served in office from September 14, 1901 to March 4, 1909. One of the important features during his presidency was the Progressive Movement which led to Progressive Reforms which continued under the presidencies of President Taft and President Wilson.
This article provides facts and information about political and social reforms and a Timeline List of Progressive Reforms enacted by Federal Legislation.

Progressive Reforms for kids: Progressivism
The Progressive Reforms were sparked by the political philosophy of Progressivism which was based on the idea of progress and the establishment of better conditions in the United States and the prevention of unfair business practices. The Progressive reforms encompassed:

  • Social Reforms

  • Political Reforms

  • City Reforms

  • State Reforms

  • Federal Reforms

Progressive Reforms for kids: The Progressive Movement
Progressive Reforms were due to the
different ideas and activities of reformist pressure groups of the Progressive Movement who believed that the government should take a more active role in solving the social and political problems caused by Industrialization in America and the Effects of Urbanization The Progressive Movement were led by 'Progressives' who placed pressure on the government to by restore order and protect the welfare of Americans.

Progressive Reforms for kids: The Progressives Agenda
The Progressive Reforms were prompted by the Progressives who included men and women who fought against ruthless Big Business and Corporations, trusts and political machines and called for reforms to combat the evils of Child Labor, poor working conditions, health and safety, squalid living conditions, the rights of women and minority groups, unfair business practices and consumer protection. The agenda for Progressive Reforms also included the damaging effects on society caused by alcohol abuse, the decline in religious beliefs and ethics and the views of the supporters of Social Darwinism. The Progressives include investigative journalists, photographers and writers who were referred to as Muckrakers.

Progressive Reforms for kids: City Reforms - Commission System
Progressive reforms began at the local town and city level.  Following the horrendous disaster of the Galveston Hurricane the city of Galveston in Texas introduced the commission system of government replacing the mayor and city council which was a major step in the Progressive Movement and City  Reforms. The city placed power into the hands of 5 commissioners, 2 of whom were elected by the people and 3 experts were appointed. A professional, full-time city manager was also hired to run each department of the city and report directly to the city council. Cities hired experts in different fields to run all aspects of city government. Within 20 years, four hundred cities adopted the Commission System of city government that reduced the levels of bribery and corruption from political machines.

Progressive Reforms for kids: State Reforms
State Reforms were established in order to make state governments more responsive to the needs of the people. The Progressive Reforms at state level were driven by progressives like Theodore Roosevelt of New York, Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey and the pioneering reformist Robert M. LaFollette of Wisconsin who led state reforms with the Wisconsin Experiment.

Progressive Reforms for kids: The Wisconsin Experiment
The 'Wisconsin Experiment', led by Robert LaFollette (1855 – 1925) aka "Fighting Bob" was the governor of Wisconsin in 1901. His state reform initiatives helped to destroy the political machine, take control away from lumber & railroad corporations and trusts, and establish a progressive government. The Wisconsin Experiment and the determination of Robert LaFollette led to the following progressive state reforms:

  • Public Utilities Commissions created legislation for the safety of workers and the regulation of railroads and public utilities

  • The corruption of the Spoils System was replaced by with a state civil service

  • Initiative: The State Reforms Initiative allowed voters to petition state legislatures in order to consider new bills initiated by citizens

  • Referendum: A referendum procedure in which voters cast ballots for, or against, proposed laws

  • Recall: Recall gave citizens the right to remove elected officials from office

  • The Direct election of Senators by the voters that countered Senate corruption and control by trusts

  • Wisconsin also became the first state to adopted a state income tax

  • Australian Ballot (secret ballot). The Australian Ballot (secret ballot) was introduced to reduce the instances of bribery

Progressive Reforms for kids: Federal Reforms
The Progressive Era also saw the introduction of a whole range of Federal Reforms in relation to conservation, economic regulations, health and safety measures, consumer protection and to reduce the power held by Big Business and corporations. These Federal Progressive Reforms are detailed in the timeline list below.

 

Presidential Seal

 

Progressive Reforms for kids: Progressive Reforms List - Federal Legislation and Action
The following chart provides a Progressive Reforms List
during the Progressive Era of United States history. Interesting facts and a information about Progressive Reforms made during this period. The information on Progressive Reforms is provided in a factual, date sequence consisting of a list of short facts providing a simple method of relating the history and events relating to Progressive Reforms.

Progressive Reforms List: Federal Legislation and Action

 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 1:The 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act was the first measure passed by the U.S. Congress to prohibit monopolies.
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 2:The 1898 Erdman Act prohibited discrimination against railroad workers because of union membership and provided for mediation of railway labor disputes .
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 3:Theodore Roosevelt First Presidential term (1901-1905).  Conservation was a cornerstone of his domestic policy
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 4:Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902 encouraged conservation using money from the sale of public lands to build dams and irrigations systems.
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 5:The 1902 Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902 saw President Roosevelt, as leader of the federal government, act as a mediator.
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 6:In 1902 President Roosevelt takes action against J.P. Morgan’s Northern Securities Company for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act in his “trust-busting” efforts to break up monopolies.
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 7:The Department of Commerce and Labor is established in 1903 to conciliate between management and labor.
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 8:The 1903 Elkins Act banned the use of rebates by railroad companies.
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 9:President Roosevelt announces his Square Deal Policy in 1904 and his support of progressive and political reforms, including the regulation of business and corporations.
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 10:Theodore Roosevelt Second Presidential term (1905-1909)
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 11:1906 Pure Food and Drug Act was passed requiring companies to accurately label the ingredients contained in processed food and medicines and ensure the contents were safe and hygienic.
  
Progressive Reforms List Fact 12:The 1906 Meat Inspection Act was passed as a direct result of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. The law required the inspection of meat processing plants to protect the public’s health and welfare.
  
Progressive Reforms List Fact 13:The Hepburn Act was passed in 1906 challenging the economic power of the railroad industry. It also expands the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)
  
Progressive Reforms List Fact 14:The National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) of 1907 was chartered by an Act of Congress
  
Progressive Reforms List Fact 15:William Taft Presidency (1909-1913) saw the introduction of Taft's Dollar Diplomacy
  
Progressive Reforms List Fact 16:The 1910 Mann-Elkins Act was passed to strengthen the Hepburn Act and gave the Interstate Commerce Commission authority to regulate telephone, telegraph, radio and cable companies.
  
Progressive Reforms List Fact 17:Woodrow Wilson Presidency (1913-1917) & (1917-1921) introduced his New Freedom polices and laws for progressive reforms in which he attacked the Triple Wall of Privilege
  
Progressive Reforms List Fact 18:The 17th amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1913 to counter Senate corruption by the direct election of senators
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 19:The 1913 Federal Reserve Act was passed creating 12 district Federal Reserve Banks, each able to issue new currency and loan member banks funds at the prime interest rate
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 20:The 1913 Underwood Tariff reduced the average tariff on imported goods
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 21:The 1914 Federal Trade Commission Act established the Federal Trade Commission was established to regulate fair competition among Big business and industry and regulated product labeling..
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 22:The 1914 Clayton Antitrust Act revised the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act and banned monopolistic practices by business and affirms the right to go on strike.
  
Progressive Reforms List Fact 23:The 1916 Keating-Owen Child Labor Act limited how many hours children are allowed to work
 
Progressive Reforms List Fact 24:The Federal Farm Loan Act provide small farmers with long-term loans at low interest rates.
  
Progressive Reforms List Fact 25:The Adamson Act of 1916 established an eight-hour workday for railroad workers
  
Progressive Reforms List Fact 26:1919 introduced Prohibition led by the Temperance Movement - The 18th Amendment is passed prohibiting the sale and manufacture of alcohol
  
Progressive Reforms List Fact 27:The 19th Amendment is passed in 1919 giving women the right to vote (suffrage)
 

Progressive Reforms List: Federal Legislation and Action

For additional facts refer to the articles detailing the Progressive Era Timeline and the Progressive Movement.

Progressive Reforms - President Theodore Roosevelt Video
The article on the Progressive Reforms provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 26th American President whose presidency spanned from September 14, 1901 to March 4, 1909.

 

 

 

Progressive Reforms
 
Facts about the Progressive Reforms for kids and schools
Summary of the Progressive Reforms in US history
The Progressive Reforms, a major event in US history
Theodore Roosevelt from September 14, 1901 to March 4, 1909
Fast, fun facts about the Progressive Reforms
Foreign & Domestic policies of President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt Presidency and Progressive Reforms for schools, homework, kids and children

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