The Progressive Era Timeline
|1890||National American Woman Suffrage Association|
|1901||William McKinley assassinated; Theodore Roosevelt becomes president|
Newlands Reclamation Act
United Mine Workers strike
Hepburn Act Pure
Food and Drug Act
|1908||William Howard Taft elected president|
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
|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: