The leaders of the Progressive Movement introduced and sold to the American electorate, a new philosophy of government that profoundly changed the nation forever

          Assess the validity of this statement using the documents and your knowledge of U S History.





          . . . . Meat scraps were also found being shoveled into receptacles from dirty floors, where they were left to lie until again shoveled into barrels or into machines for chopping. These floors, it must be noted, were in most cases damp and soggy, in dark, ill-ventilated rooms, and the employees in utter ignorance of cleanliness or danger to health expectorated at will upon them. In a word, we saw meat shoveled from filthy wooden floors, piled on tables rarely washed, pushed from room to room in rotten box carts, in all of which processes it was in the way of gathering dirt, splinters, floor filth, and the expectoration of tuberculous and other diseased workers. . . . Where comment was made to floor superintendents about these matters, it was always the reply that this meat would afterwards be cooked, and that this sterilization would prevent any danger from its use. . . . In one well-known establishment we came upon fresh meat being shoveled into barrels, and a regular proportion being added of stale scraps that had lain on a dirty floor in the corner of a room for some days previous.

SOURCE:  Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, 1902.



          . . . . We are face to face with new conceptions of the relation of property to human welfare, chiefly because certain advocates of the rights of property as against the rights of men have been pushing their claims too far. . . . every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it

SOURCE: Theodore Roosevelt, Kansas, 1910. 




          Philadelphia is, indeed, corrupt; but it is not without significance. Every city and town in the country can learn something from the typical political experience of this great representative city. New York is excused for many of its ills because it is the metropolis; Chicago, because of its forced development; Philadelphia is our "third largest" city and its growth has been gradual and natural. . . . Immigration has been blamed for our municipal conditions. Philadelphia, with 47 percent of its population native-born of native-born parents, is the most American of our greater cities.

          For reform with us is usually revolt, not government, and is soon over. Our people do not seek, they avoid self-rule, and "reforms" are spasmodic efforts to punish bad rulers and get somebody that will give us good government or something that will make it. . . . . The Philadelphia machine isn't the best. It isn't sound, and I doubt if it would stand in New York or Chicago. The enduring strength of the typical American political machine is that it is a natural growth--a sucker, but deep-rooted in the people. The New Yorkers vote for Tammany Hall. The Philadelphians do not vote; they are disfranchised, and their disfranchisement is one anchor of the foundation of the Philadelphia organization.

SOURCE:  Lincoln Steffens, Shame of the Cities, 1904.



          Work in the coal breakers is exceedingly hard and dangerous. Crouched over the chutes, the boys sit hour after hour, picking out the pieces of slate and other refuse from the coal as it rushes past to the washers. From the cramped position they have to assume, most of them become more or less deformed and bent-backed like old men. When a boy has been working for some time and begins to get round-shouldered, his fellows say that "He's got his boy to carry round whenever he goes. . . . The coal is hard, and accidents to the hands, such as cut, broken, or crushed fingers, are common among the boys. Sometimes there is a worse accident: a terrified shriek is heard, and a boy is mangled and torn in the machinery, or disappears in the chute to be picked out later smothered and dead. Clouds of dust fill the breakers and are inhaled by the boys, laying the foundations for asthma and miners' consumption. I once stood in a breaker for half an hour and tried to do the work a twelve-year-old boy was doing day after day, for ten hours at a stretch, for sixty cents a day. The gloom of the breaker appalled me. Outside the sun shone brightly, the air was pellucid, and the birds sang in chorus with the trees and the rivers. Within the breaker there was blackness, clouds of deadly dust enfolded everything, the harsh, grinding roar of the machinery and the ceaseless rushing of coal through the chutes filled the ears.

SOURCE:  The American Pageant, Document Chapter 32.



          Sadie is an intelligent, neat, clean girl, who has worked from the time she got her working papers in embroidery factories. She was a stamper and for several years before she was poisoned, earned $10 a week. In her work she was accustomed to use a white powder (chalk or talcum was usual) which was brushed over the perforated designs and thus transferred to the cloth. The design was easily brushed off when made of chalk or of talcum, if the embroiderers were not careful. Her last employer therefore commenced using white lead powder, mixed with rosin, which cheapened the work as the powder could not be rubbed off and necessitate restamping. . . . None of the girls knew of the change in powder, nor of the danger in its use. The workroom was crowded and hot, the stampers' tables were farthest from the windows and the constant use of the powder caused them to breathe it continually and their hands were always covered with it. . . . Sadie was sick in the hospital for six months--(losing $10 per week). She said her employer bought off several of her witnesses, but before the case came to trial two years later several of them also became ill and consequently decided to testify for her. The employer appealed to the girl's feelings and induced her, on the day of the trial, to accept $150. He said that he had had business reverses and consequently would be unable to pay in case she won.

SOURCE:  Preliminary Report of the New York State Factory Investigating Commission 
(Albany, N.Y.: The Argus Company 1912), vol. 1, pp. 488-489.



          The Northern Securities victory by no means ended the activities of the Government prosecutors against corporations tho no subsequent achievement was of equal importance. To a large extent, the later moves of the Roosevelt Administration had to do with secret discriminations in railway rates. In some of these suits the gravity of the abuse was not clear, and in others the outcome much less gratifying, than in the Northern Securities case. The Standard Oil prosecution, announced by the President in a special message of May 4, 1906, ended in such a way as largely to defeat the Government's own purposes. The exploits of the Standard Oil Company, in the matter of secret concessions from the railways, had been exposed sensationally in the popular magazines, and the Government won a jury verdict, in August, 1907, wholly against the company. The Elkins Law, on which the suit was based, provided that "every person or corporation who shall offer, grant, give or solicit, accept or receive" from a railway any "rebates, concession, or discrimination," should on conviction be punished for each offense by a fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $20,000.

SOURCE:  Alexander D. Noyes, The Northern Securities and Standard Oil Decisions, Great Epochs, Vol.10, Pg.190.



As to the forest reserves, their creation has damaged just one class, that is, the great lumber barons: the managers and owners of those lumber companies which by illegal, fraudulent, or unfair methods have desired to get possession of the valuable timber of the public domain, to skin the land, and to abandon it when impoverished well-nigh to the point of worthlessness.

There are some small men who have wanted to get hold of this lumber land for improper purposes, but they are not powerful or influential, and though they have sometimes been put forward to cause an agitation, the real beneficiaries of the destruction of the forest reserves would be the great lumber companies, which would speedily monopolize them.

If it had not been for the creation of the present system of forest reserves, practically every acre of timberland in the West would now be controlled or be on the point of being controlled by one huge lumber trust. The object of the beneficiaries of this trust would be to exhaust the resources of the country for their own immediate pecuniary benefit, and then when they had rendered it well-nigh worthless to turn it contemptuously over to settlers, who would find too late that those responsible for such conditions had betrayed them and had been false to the public.

SOURCE:  Reprinted by permission of the publishers from The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt, Volume II, edited by 
Elting E. Morison, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, copyright (c) 1951 
by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.



AMENDMENT XIX (Ratified in 1920.)

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

SOURCE:  U. S. Constitution.



AMENDMENT XVIII (Ratified in 1919.)

Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

SOURCE:  U. S. Constitution.



AMENDMENT XVII (Ratified in 1913.)

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

SOURCE:  U. S. Constitution.



          What is needed is . . . . a National Industrial commission . . . . which should have complete power to regulate and control all the great industrial concerns engaged in inter-State business--which practically means all of them in this country. This commission should exercise over these industrial concerns like powers to those exercised over the railways by the Inter-State Commerce Commission. . . . Our proposal is to help honest business activity, however extensive, and to see that it is rewarded with fair returns so that there may be no oppression either of business men or of the common people. We propose to make it worth while for our business men to develop the most efficient business agencies for use in international trade; for it is to the interest of our whole people that we should do well in international business. . . .

          We propose to penalize conduct and not size. But all very big business, even though honestly conducted, is fraught with such potentiality of menace that there should be thoroughgoing Governmental control over it. . . . Wherever it is practicable we propose to preserve competition; but where under modern conditions competition has been eliminated and cannot be successfully restored, then the Government must step in and itself supply the needed control on behalf of the people as a whole. . . . .The people of the United States have but one instrument which they can efficiently use against the colossal combinations of business--and that instrument is the Government of the United States (and of course in the several States the governments of the States where they can be utilized). . . .There once was a time in history when the limitation of governmental power meant increasing liberty for the people. In the present day the limitation of governmental power, of governmental action, means the enslavement of the people by the great corporations who can only be held in check through the extension of governmental power.

SOURCE:  Theodore Roosevelt, Progressive Principles: Selections from Addresses Made During the Presidential Campaign of 1912, Elmer H. Youngman, ed. (New York: Progressive National Service, 1913), pp. 141-152, 216-217.



          I am very glad indeed to have this opportunity to address the two Houses directly and to verify for myself the impression that the President of the United States is a person, not a mere department of the government, hailing Congress from some isolated island of jealous power, sending messages, not speaking naturally and with his own voice--that he is a human being trying to cooperate with other human beings in a common service. After this pleasant experience I shall feel quite normal in all our dealings with one another. . . . We must abolish everything that bears even the semblance of privilege or of any kind of artificial advantage, and put our businessmen and our producers under the stimulation of a constant necessity to be efficient, economical, and enterprising, masters of competitive supremacy, better merchants and better traders than any in the world. The object of duties henceforth must be to promote effective competition. We must accomplish our purpose without reckless haste. We must build up our foreign trade. We more than ever need an outlet for our energies.

SOURCE:  D. F. Houston, Eight Years with Wilson's Cabinet (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page, and Co., 1926), 
vol. 1, pp. 52-55.



          Women compose one-half of the human race. In the last forty years, women in gradually increasing numbers have been compelled to leave the home and enter the factory and workshop. Over seven million women are so employed, and the remainder of the sex are employed largely in domestic services. A full half of the work of the world is done by women. A careful study of the matter has demonstrated the vital fact that these working women receive a smaller wage for equal work than men do, and that the smaller wage and harder conditions imposed on the woman worker are due to the lack of the ballot. Many women have a very hard time, and if the ballot would help them, even a little, I should like to see them have it. . . . Equal pay for equal work is the first great reason justifying this change of governmental policy. There are others reasons which are persuasive: First, women, take it all in all, are the equals of men in intelligence, and no man has the hardihood to assert the contrary. . . . . The woman ballot will not revolutionize the world. . . . it did give women better wages for equal work; second, it led immediately to a number of laws the women wanted, and the first laws they demanded were laws for the protection of the children of the state, making it a misdemeanor to contribute to the delinquency of a child; laws for the improved care of defective children. . . . Both political parties were induced to put up cleaner, better men, for the women would not stand a notoriously corrupt or unclean candidate. . . .

SOURCE:  Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 35, Supplement (May 1910): 6-9, passim.



AMENDMENT XVI (Ratified in 1913.)

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

SOURCE:  U. S. Constitution.





          A VITAL and enduring reform in administrative methods, although it be but a return to the constitutional intention, can be accomplished only by the commanding impulse of public opinion. Permanence is secured by law, not by individual pleasure. But in this country law is only formulated public opinion. Reform of the Civil Service does not contemplate an invasion of the constitutional prerogative of the President and the Senate, nor does it propose to change the Constitution by statute. The whole system of the Civil Service proceeds, as I said, from the President, and the object of the reform movement is to enable him to fulfill the intention of the Constitution by revealing to him the desire of the country through the action of its authorized representatives. When the ground-swell of public opinion lifts Congress from the rocks, the President will gladly float with it into the deep water of wise and patriotic action. . . .

SOURCE:  George William Curtis, Civil Service Reform Demanded, America, Vol.9, Pg.231 - Pg.232.



          Populism, United States agrarian movement of the late 19th century that developed mainly in the area from Texas to the Dakotas and grew into a Farmer-Labor political coalition. The populist movement began during the economic depression of the 1870s, when there was a sharp decline in the income of farmers at a time when their living and operating costs were rising. The farmers began to organize early in the 1870s, and, during the ensuing two decades, large numbers of them joined such bodies as the National Grange and the Farmers' Alliances. . . . By 1891 the movement had gained sufficient strength to warrant a national political party. The alliances joined with the Knights of Labor and other groups to form the People's party, whose members were called Populists.

          The principal objectives of the Populists were the free coinage of silver and the issuance of large amounts of paper currency; such inflationary measures tended to raise farm prices and enable the farmers to pay off their debts, most of which had been contracted during the period of inflation following the American Civil War. Populists also sought to replicate their cooperative system on a national scale; to lower transportation costs by nationalizing the railroads; to achieve a more equitable distribution of the costs of government by means of a graduated income tax; to institute direct popular elections of U.S. senators; and to inaugurate the 8-hour workday. The results of the first election in which the Populists took part, that of 1892, were promising; the Populist presidential candidate, James B. Weaver, received 1,029,846 votes.

          Despite the brevity of its existence, the Populist movement exercised a profound influence on subsequent U.S. political life; almost all the original Populist demands, which at one time were widely viewed as radical and contradictory to America's free enterprise system, were eventually enacted into law.

SOURCE: "Populism," Microsoft (R) Encarta. Copyright (c) 1994 Microsoft Corporation. Copyright (c) 1994 
Funk & Wagnall's Corporation. 



DBQ Question created by:

Mr. Jim Tomlin
Corona del Mar High School
Newport Beach, CA  92660
created in: March, 2000