- Writers who, during the Progressive Era, exposed corruption and scandal in U.S. politics, society, and economy in articles published in new, widely-circulating, weekly magazines such as McClures and Colliers which needed exciting and many times exaggerated material. Modifying the scandal mongering of yellow journalism into a mission for reform, these journalists, essayists, and novelists treated nothing as sacred and were dubbed muckrakers in 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt because they reminded him of the stereotypical characters in John Bunyan's Christian allegory, Pilgrim's Progress, who were always looking down at the bad in life and never looked up to see the good. The name stuck, but they saw themselves as fighting for the good. Some of the most prominent were Ray Stannard Baker, David Graham Phillips, Upton Sinclair, Lincoln Steffens, and Ida Tarbell, and by raising public consciousness and moral outrage, they helped bring reforms such as the Pure Food and Drug Act, new forms of city government, the Federal Reserve System, and the 17th Amendment.
- Frederick W. Taylor's method of organizing industrial production (and, later, such things as offices, personnel, government, etc.) by applying scientific techniques and engineering principles to promote order and efficiency. Taylor, who became an efficiency expert in the late 19th century, began with time and motion studies in the 1880s at Midvale Steel in Philadelphia and became widely known after presenting a paper in 1903. By 1915 he had developed proposals for increasing efficiency and production by having management control all aspects of production including material flow, work traffic, labor specialization. Taylor had two fundamental ideas for obtaining maximum production from workers: 1) separate all thinking from manual labor (management would do all the thinking, planning, etc.) and 2) remove all authority from workers on the shop floor and enforce total obedience to management. Instead of creating better labor relations, these ideas alienated labor. Taylor's disciples, however, created a new era of labor management by creating new professions such as personnel administration and industrial psychology, including Henry L. Gantt's "Gantt Chart" which correlated sound human relations with bonus payments. Scientific management is symbolic of that aspect of Progressivism which emphasized order and efficiency and giving more authority to experts.
- Woodrow Wilson's platform and philosophy in the campaign of 1912 which emphasized restoring freedoms by using government to end the need for government, principally by reopening competition and promoting moral behavior (so people would do the right thing without governmental involvement). Wilson's objectives were conservative and in tune with states rights values of his native South. Wilson, in contrast to his main rival in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt, thought monopolies should be destroyed, not regulated, and did not call for social justice legislation because, as a moralist, Wilson believed that poverty or social degradation were signs of the individual's moral weakness, not a matter of social circumstances over which the individual had little control and could not easily escape. After being elected in 1912, Wilson put the New Freedom into effect with legislation such as the Underwood Tariff, the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, and the Federal Reserve Act. Wilson, after 1914, began to accept aspects of the New Nationalism in legislation.
City Beautiful Movement
- (1890s – early 1900s)Nation-wide effort to make cities more attractive and meaningful through the provision of public parks and the construction of museums, libraries, and other institutions. Inspired by the open and clean look of "White City" designed by Daniel H. Burnham for the Chicago World Fair of 1893, the movement promoted the addition of open spaces and parks, but the movement had little direct impact on most working class central cities where housing remained filthy and overcrowded. It promoted the progressive idea that environment was more important than heredity and their idea that people are born good (rejection of the Christian belief of original sin). Quite simply, if cities were nicer people would act nicer.
- British passenger liner sunk off the coast of Ireland by a German submarine on May 7, 1915 with great loss of life, including 124 Americans. This caused a swift rise in anti-German sentiment in the U.S. despite the fact that the Germans had declared a war zone around the British Isles and issued public warnings and that the ship carried ammunition and Canadian troops. This was a sign that the German submarine warfare could push the U.S. into World War I.
- German message of February 1917, intercepted and deciphered by the British, offering Mexico the territory it had lost to the U.S. in 1848 in return for joining the Central Powers against the US if the US should enter World War I. When this was transmitted to and published in the US, it brought a public demand for war, and while Wilson continued to resist war until April 1917, the telegram was one of the factors which finally brought US entry into World War I.
- Wilson's peace plan of January 1918 which called for freedom of the seas, equal access to markets and raw materials, self-determination of all peoples, partial settlement of colonial claims, open negotiation of treaties, reduction of arms, and a League of Nations to preserve the peace. The Germans agreed to an armistice in November 1918 on the assumption that the Treaty of Versailles would be based on this plan, but for the most part it was not, leading to claims of betrayal in Germany.
- The name generally used for Great Britain, France, and Russia during World War I (which prior to WWI were known as the Triple Entente), and, to be more precise, the name adopted (as World War I progressed) for the twenty-one nations (including the U.S. after 1917) which gradually joined with Great Britain, France, and Russia to win the war. Their adversaries in World War I (the Empires of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Turks) had been known as the Triple Alliance, but especially after 1917 became known as the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary being located in Central Europe). The Allied Powers were important because they won the war, but the term is also significant as an indicator of ethnocentrism (the belief that one's own culture and ethnic group is more important than others and is central to existence, so things must be defined according to it). Hence, after the U.S. entered World War I on the side of the Triple Entente (but as an associate power, not an official member of the alliance which would be contrary to U.S. traditions of isolationism and exceptionalism), those powers had to be the Allies and the allies of the Triple Alliance could not be the Allies.
- A flowering of black culture centered in Harlem in New York City in the 1920s. It emphasized black pride, what it meant to be black in America, and the ideal of cultural diversity (as expressed in Alain Locke's The New Negro in 1925) which would end prejudice and recognize the value of different cultures existing side-by-side as a result of the "talented tenth" (W.E.B. Du Bois' term) of the white and black populations reaching out to each other and promoting mutual respect. Most whites, however, saw the Harlem Renaissance not in terms of equality but entertainment, and when the prosperity of the 1920s faded, so did the ideals of equality and respect.
- The celebrated case of 1925 in which a Dayton, Tennessee teacher, John T. Scopes, was tried and convicted of teaching evolutionary theory to a high school biology class. It is significant in that it represents both the conservative religious revival known as "fundamentalism" and, more broadly, the rural, conservative (traditionalists) counter-attack against the new, modernist, urban culture which seemed to arrive suddenly and completely with the disillusionment at the end of World War I.
Works Progress Administration
- The major work relief program of the Second New Deal. Begun in 1935, it employed about 3 million people a year on useful projects from capital construction to the arts. It was reflective of the Second New Deal's goal of helping people and employed people with particular talents or training such as dramatists, actors, historians, painters, and others in the area of their expertise rather than as unskilled labor. The WPA produced many public works such as buildings, roads, parks, and bridges but it also produced some valuable artistic and academic work which might not have been done otherwise. As a result of the latter endeavors, it was not as popular with business and conservative interests who criticized it as wasteful. It is representative of the fact that there things of value which do not produce a profit and which may therefore need some governmental support.
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
- A federal corporation established by Congress in January 1932 as part of Herbert Hoover's Twelve Point Program (December 1931) to fight the depression, principally by increasing the money supply. Modeled on the War Finance Corporation of World War I, the RFC was capitalized at $500 billion and authorized to loan money to banks, railroads, building and loan companies, insurance companies, states, and municipalities so that those entities could make more money available to businesses and potential borrowers. This program marks the first time the US government intervened directly in economy during peacetime. FDR would expand this program and others greatly in 1933.
Tennessee Valley Authority
- Public corporation established by Congress in 1933 and empowered to sell electricity and fertilizer and to promote flood control and reclamation in a seven-state area in the southeast. A New Deal agency, it represents the expanded action by the government and could be seen as revolutionary because it involved government ownership of a business which competed with the private sector.
- Unemployed World War I veterans who marched on Washington and stayed from May to July 1932 to pressure Congress to vote for immediate payment of the extra compensation which had been promised to them for their wartime service. The bonus bill had been passed in 1924 but was not to pay out until 1945, but people began to propose using it to aid the veterans during the Depression. Congress passed a bill for a loan to veterans in February 1932, but Hoover vetoed it. Democratic Congressmen then proposed an immediate cash payment of the bonus, eliciting the arrival of 15,000 veterans in Washington. After the Senate defeated the measure in June, Hoover encouraged and then ordered the 2,000 veterans who remained to leave. When they resisted, the army under General Douglas MacArthur drove them by force of arms out of Washington. This affair made Hoover look heartless and uncaring, and it contributed to the tendency of people to make Hoover into a scapegoat for the Depression and people's suffering.
- (1893-1935) Louisiana populist and leftist politician and demagogue who criticized the New Deal and developed a "Share the Wealth" program which called for the confiscation of fortunes over $5 million and a 100% tax on income above $1 million to order to provide a minimum annual income of $2 to $3 thousand for everyone. He fought for the interests of the poor--black and white, but he was raffish and as governor and then senator, he ruled Louisiana with the absolute and arbitrary control of a dictator. He was preparing to run for president in 1936 when he was assassinated in September 1935.
- The secret project organized by the U.S. government in 1942 to manufacture an atomic bomb before the Germans did. It involved over 120,000 people working in 37 factories and laboratories in 19 states at an expense of over $2 billion. The first successful detonation of an atomic device occurred on July 16, 1945 at White Sands, New Mexico. President Truman then ordered the two remaining bombs to be dropped on Japan. This was the beginning of the age of nuclear weapons, feelings of increased insecurity for many, and doubts among many scientists such as Robert Oppenheimer who recalled the lines from the Bhagavad-Gita: "I am become Death, the shatterer of worlds."
- Measures passed in 1935, 1936, 1937, and 1939 which reveal the isolationism of the 1930s. They were designed to prevent U.S. entry into another major war by making illegal the various kinds of activities which contributed to U.S. entry into World War I. The acts banned arms shipments to belligerents, prohibited Americans from traveling on belligerent vessels, banned carrying arms on U.S. vessels (all in 1935), prohibited making loans to belligerents (1936), made non-military items available to belligerents only on a cash-and-carry basis (1937). The act of 1939, passed after World War II began, allowed sales of munitions on a cash-and-carry basis thereby aiding Britain and France. Based on the assumption that U.S. participation in World War I had been a grave mistake and that the U.S. should pursue an unilateral, "American First" policy, these acts show the overwhelming desire on the part of the U.S. (and the rest of the West) to avoid another war at almost any cost. Hence, these acts did not distinguish between aggressors and those attacked or opposing aggression. That meant they encouraged the aggressors. But isolationist sentiment and the belief in the ability of the U.S. to simply withdraw from international affairs was strong. Accordingly, these acts also surrendered neutral rights, for which the U.S. had in part gone to war in 1917, in return for the possibility of simply being left alone--that surrender, rather than giving the U.S. the advantage, gave the initiative in policy to the aggressors. The aggressors gained time and strength, and as a result, the war, when it came, probably lasted longer.
- A front in Western Europe during World War II which was established on D-Day, June 6, 1944 but which Stalin demanded in 1942 to relieve pressure on the Russian army which had begun resisting the Germans on the Eastern Front after the Germans attacked the USSR in June 1941. The delay in establishing the second front had military and political consequences. Militarily, it meant that for three years the USSR faced the brunt of the Nazi war machine and began to push it back out of the USSR and eastern Europe before the Allies attacked on D-Day. That meant that the Russians were occupying and in control of eastern and central Europe at the end of World War II. Politically, it meant that the Russians' traditional suspiciousness of the West was reinforced and that the Wests' fears of Communist expansion were renewed even though Stalin's demands for a sphere of influence and friendly governments in central Europe were dictated initially more by the nationalist desire to prevent another attack on the USSR through Poland than by the ideological motive of taking over all of Europe for Communism.
Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
- Fire in a sweatshop in March 1911 in New York City in which 146 garment workers died. Although the owners were acquitted, it inspired legislation to mandate safer factory conditions and stimulated the formation of labor organizations such as the Women's Trade Union League and the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union. It represents the dangers and exploitation which often accompany unregulated industry and made the point of Progressive reformers such as Jane Addams that recent immigrants and the poor suffered and failed to become wealthy not because of moral terpitude but because of conditions beyond their control
- Socialist novel written by Upton Sinclair which described unsanitary conditions in the meat-packing industry so graphically that it inspired the passage of the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. Sinclair had written the novel to arouse the public to act in favor of the workers and thereby inspire political reform. Instead, he inspired two consumer protection acts: the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. Roosevelt said the revelations threatened U.S. exports of meat.
- (1883-1966) A public health nurse and leader of the birth control movement, she founded the American Birth Control League in 1921 which became Planned Parenthood in 1942. As a result of her efforts to provide birth control information to the immigrant and urban poor in New York City beginning about 1910, moralists and religious leaders criticized her for distributing obscene literature and for advocating "race suicide" and charged her with criminal activity under the Comstock Act of 1873. That act, advocated by "purity" crusader Anthony Comstock, made the distribution of birth control information through the mail a crime, and in 1914, after being charged, she fled the country. She returned and in 1916 opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. Sanger also was an advocate of Eugenics, and wanted through birth control and sterilization to lower the number of minorities (Negroes) and low-IQ whites. Most of her clinics were in minority neighborhoods for this purpose. Ironically, it was white middle-class women who primarily used birth control to have smaller families.
- This government agency, established by Congress in April 1917 under George Creel and appointed by Wilson, had the mission of uniting public opinion behind the war effort. The committee proceeded to try to create and shape public opinion by issuing ultra-nationalistic, often hate-filled propaganda, a practice which became known as political warfare. The result was a climate of hatred and fear in the U.S. which did not end with the war but continued into the postwar period when its anti-subversive, nationalistic attitudes were redirected against communists and anarchists, contributing to the Red Scare of 1919-1920.
- Austria-Hungary and Germany (and later the Ottoman Empire), the nations that fought against Britain, France, and Russia plus their Allies including the United States in World War I.
- Case in which two Italian aliens and self-proclaimed anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, were arrested in 1920 and convicted and sentenced to death in 1921 for a robbery and murder in Braintree, Massachusetts during the hysteria of the Red Scare. The nation and western world divided over their guilt or innocence. The trial became an international cause celebre, but despite protests at home and abroad, Sacco and Vanzetti were denied a new trial and were executed in 1927. The case continues to divide those who study it.
- Shantytowns which grew up on the edges of large cities during the early years of the Great Depression and whose names indicate how President Hoover was blamed for people's suffering. Ironically, Hoover had done more than any previous president to try to end the depression, but he did not believe in direct government aid (welfare) and his efforts had not succeeded.
Social Security Act
- New Deal measure passed in 1935 which provided old-age pensions, survivor insurance, and unemployment compensation for industrial workers and aid to dependent children and the handicapped. Part of the second New Deal, this act was designed to help the poverty-stricken elderly and provide them a guaranteed income independent of the economy including the stock market and as a safety net for people falling victim to personal or societal disasters. It is significant for revealing how government became more involved in the everyday lives of Americans. Something that had never been done before.
Civilian Conservation Corps
- New Deal agency established in 1933 to put young, urban unemployed men to work on projects designed to preserve the nation's resources. The men usually worked and lived in camps (room and board supplied) and had $25 of their $30 monthly wages sent directly to their families. The program helped both destitute families and the society at large, and it shows that FDR favored traditional values such as the work ethic rather than welfare (direct payment by government). People had to have a job before they received any payment. The work of the CCC provided some of the infrastructure of the national park system.
Agricultural Adjustment Act
- The early New Deal's principal means of trying to solve the farm problem of overproduction and low prices (which had existed since ca. 1919), the AAA (established in 1933) sought to control and reduce production of basic commodities such as wheat, corn, cotton, and milk in an effort to raise prices and provide the farmers with parity or buying power equal to other sectors of the economy as measured (initially) by the buying power of the period 1909-1914. To do this, the government granted subsidies to farmers in return for not planting crops. This policy also favored larger farm operations and forced poor farmers and tenants off the land, often causing more human suffering while prices rose but also undermining sharecropping in the South. Many in the Midwest (Okies) went to California; blacks in the South began to move to cities. The Supreme Court declared the AAA unconstitutional in U.S. v. Butler (1936), but Congress restored it in 1938 after FDR had replaced several Supreme Court justices with judges who agreed with his ideas.
- F.D. Roosevelt's radio broadcasts which were designed to explain his programs to the American people and which reveal FDR's ability to appeal to the public and restore public confidence, something which Hoover had been unable to do. They symbolize the fact that the New Deal was a personal creation of FDR and his buoyant, optimistic personality, his ability to use the media to obtain popular support, and his expansion of presidential powers. These radio broadcasts restored hope to many Americans.
- The February 1945 meeting of Churchill, F.D. Roosevelt, and Stalin on the Crimea in present-day Ukraine to discuss the course of the war in its final days and the problems of the peace settlement which have been the subject of much controversy in the postwar era. The agreement included a reassertion of the policy of unconditional surrender of Germany, the demilitarization and denazification of Germany, the division of Germany into four zones, the entry of the USSR into the war against Japan, and some territorial agreements. Later, critics of the Roosevelt Administration accused FDR of surrendering the control of eastern Europe to the USSR at Yalta. FDR did seek to obtain continued cooperation of the USSR in the postwar by being friendly and conciliatory with Stalin, but FDR and Churchill only compromised with Stalin. They did not give Stalin anything which he did not already control or could control. The control of Eastern Europe was decided not by FDR at Yalta but by the position of the armies as the war drew to a close. Many consider Yalta to be the division that began the Cold War.
Rosie the Riveter
- Popular song during World War II which was part of the government's program to encourage women to accept jobs in war industries as their patriotic duty. These were jobs which women were supposed to hold only temporarily and then return to their traditional roles, but "Rosie" became a symbol of women successfully working jobs which they had never held earlier, for higher wages than they had generally earned earlier and therefore a rejection of traditional gender roles. "Rosie" also represented the increase in the number of women in the workforce, up from 24% in 1941 to 36% in 1945. As is true of most wars, World War II had unexpected consequences including opening up opportunities within the U.S. for women and minorities.
Who invented Scientific Management?
Who wrote The Jungle?
Who was a public nurse and leader of the birth control movement?
Who was the Tennessee teacher convicted of teaching evolutionary theory?
Who was the Louisiana populist?
What 3 people attended Yalta in 1945?
Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin
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