Segment descriptions
Politics & Society in
     20th Century America
Progressive Era, Part 2
Description: Teddy Roosevelt 1

  Progressive Era, Part 2 
     sampler 4’-5”    (57’ lecture)

Teddy Roosevelt as the ”Trust Buster” – the image and the reality.

            play sampler


The Progressive Era (1901 to 1917). (continued)


Issue of Race is Ignored.  In the late 1890s, the one party South becomes dominated by upper class with no further need to woo black voters.  The Jim Crow era of overt and full segregation.  Lynching.  Fallacy of "separate but equal" education.
Federal government fails to intercede. The racist attitudes of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.


Reform Atmosphere of the Country.  Role of the Federal Government is mixed at best.  State and municipal governments show more reform efforts.  Role of investigative reporters, "muckrakers."  Labor movement weak.  Exploited immigrant labor. 


Women's Rights.  The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911.  The 15th  Amendment refuses voting rights to all women, black or white.  Suffrage rights  oppose the war but not openly so as to keep President Wilson's support for the voting rights amendment which passes in 1920.


The Jim Crow Era.  The sharply contrasting views for African-Americans advocated by Booker T. Washington, who comes from a rural South background, and W. E. B. Du Bois, who is urban and highly educated.  How these views each has its own relevancy.   The role and impact of the fighter, Jack Johnson.




The End of the Progressive Era.



U.S. Enters the War, 1917.  Wilson is reelected in 1916 on the basis, "He kept  us out of war."  Events inflame public opinion.  Wilson's view that the war requires intolerance at home to win.  Strong anti-German actions.  Opponents of the war are repressed.   Criticizing the government becomes a crime.  The anti-capitalist nature of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 causes the government to repress all radical elements. 



After the war.  There is public disillusionment with the war and its leaders.  Wilson's self-righteousness is credited with the U.S. Senate's not ratifying the League of Nations and the Treaty of Versailles.  The abrupt end to the Progressive Era.