The Progressive Era Timeline

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By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Feb 4, 2012

Time Line

1890 National American Woman Suffrage Association
1901 William McKinley assassinated; Theodore Roosevelt becomes president

Newlands Reclamation Act

United Mine Workers strike

1903 Elkins Act
1904 Roosevelt reelected

The Jungle

Hepburn Act Pure

Food and Drug Act

1908 William Howard Taft elected president
1909 Payne-Aldrich Tariff

Progressive “Bull Moose” Party

Woodrow Wilson elected president

1913 Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments ratified

Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage

Clayton Antitrust Act


Federal Farm Loan Act

Adamson Act

1920 Nineteenth Amendment ratified


The Progressive Era 1900 - 1920

The turn of the new century brought relief to the laboring classes who had had such a severe struggle during the last half of the 1800s. Finally, a president came to the White House who would fight on behalf of the people.

Theodore Roosevelt believed that as president, it was his responsibility to look after the welfare of all the people, not only the wealthy. Roosevelt believed that a democratic republic like the United States should have no social class barriers, that all should prosper according to ability and talent, and that the government must regulate big business, since business had demonstrated that it would not treat either its workers or its customers fairly on its own.

Under Roosevelt and his successor, William Howard Taft, the federal government passed important legislation to regulate business and sued numerous trusts and monopolies. Roosevelt was concerned with reform on all levels: social, political, and economic. Meanwhile, Progressives across the nation pushed for local and state political reforms. They succeeded in making many changes in the electoral process, giving the people a greater direct voice in their own government.

Investigative journalists and novelists also concerned themselves with present-day social ills. Magazine articles exposed the shady and dishonest business dealings of men like John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil. Full-length books

informed readers about the living and working conditions of immigrants in city slums and big factories. When comfortable, middle-class Americans realized that these issues affected them directly, they were horrified and pushed for change.

Practice questions for these concepts can be found at:

The Progressive Era Practice Test

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