APUSH Chapter 28

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members of a reform movement. They were against monopoly, corruption, inefficiency, and social injustice. Their purpose was "to use government as an agency of human welfare." The cure for the ills of American democracy, they earnestly believed, was more democracy.


"let-alone" An approach to governmental regulation which was very lax. It let capitalists do whatever they wanted.

Henry Demarest Lloyd

1894 charged headlong into the Standard Oil Company with his book Wealth Against Commonwealth.

Jacob Riis

Danish immigrant, a reporter for the New York Sun, shocked middle-class Americans in 1890 with Howthe Other Half Lives. His account was a damning indictment of the dirt, disease, vice, and misery of the rat-gnawed human rookeries known as New York slums. The book deeply influenced a future New York City police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Dreiser

Novelist that used his blunt prose to batter promoters and profiteers in The Financier (1912) and The Titan (1914).

Jane Addams

Built a settlement house in Chicago called Hull House which became a center for activism as well as a refuge for women and their families who needed support.

Lillian Weld

a nurse; social worker; public health official; teacher; author; editor; publisher; activist for peace Founded community health movement in America. Worked in NYC.


one of a group of popular magazines dedicated to exposing evil, digging for dirt and encouraged their reports who T Roosevelt called muckrakers.

Lincoln Steffens

reporter who wrote a series of articles in McClure’s titled "The Shame of the Cities." He fearlessly unmasked the corrupt alliance between big business and municipal government.

Ida M. Tarbell

a pioneering journalist who published a devastating but factual exposé of the Standard Oil Company. (Her father had been ruined by the oil interests.)

Thomas W. Lawson

an erratic speculator who had himself made $50 million on the stock market, laid bare the practices of his accomplices in "Frenzied Finance." This series of articles, appeared in 1905-1906, magazine Everybody’s.

David G. Phillips

wrote his series in Cosmopolitan titled "The Treason of the Senate" (1906). He charged that seventy-five of the ninety senators did not represent the people at all but the railroads and trusts. This withering indictment, buttressed by facts, impressed President Roosevelt. Phillips continued his attacks through novels and was fatally shot in 1911 by a deranged young man whose family he had allegedly maligned.

Ray Stannard Baker

Following the Color Line (1908) was a series spotlighting the plight of 9 million blacks—of whom 90 percent still lived in the South and one-third were illiterate.

John Spargo

Wrote, The Bitter Cry of the Children in 1906 which was about abuses of child labor.

Direct Primary Elections

is when people vote for candidates of their political party by direct vote instead of by delegates at a convention. It was a a favorite goal of progressives. Initiative The idea that voters could directly propose legislation themselves, thus bypassing the boss-bought state legislatures.


The idea that voters could directly propose legislation themselves, thus bypassing the boss-bought state legislatures.


A device that would place laws on the ballot for final approval by the people, especially laws that had been railroaded through a compliant legislature by free-spending agents of big business.


.. The "recall" would enable the voters to remove faithless elected officials, particularly those who had been bribed by bosses or lobbyists.

Australian Ballot

The secret Australian ballot was likewise being introduced more widely in the states to counteract boss rule making bribery was less feasible.

Millionaires’ Club

By 1900 the Senate had so many rich men that it was often sneered at as the "Millionaires’ Club."

17th Amendment

approved in 1913, established the direct election of U.S. senators.


Progressives who championed the vote for women. They cried: "Votes for Women" and "Equal Suffrage for Men and Women.." It was said that a suffragist was "one who has ceased to be a lady and has not yet become a gentleman."

Robert M. La Follette

The governor of Wisconsin, he was the most militant of the progressive Republican leaders. After a desperate fight with entrenched monopoly, he reached the governor’s chair in 1901. Routing the lumber and railroad "interests," he wrested considerable control from the crooked corporations and returned it to the people. He also perfected a scheme for regulating public utilities, while laboring in close association with experts on the faculty of the state university at Madison.

The Wisconsin Idea

Progressive-era policy to apply the expertise of the state’s university to social legislation that benefited all the state’s citizens; it led to classic programs such as regulation of utilities, workers’ compensation, tax reform, and university extension services;

Hiram W. Johnson

Republican Governor of California in 1910, this dynamic prosecutor of grafters helped break the dominant grip of the Southern Pacific Railroad on California politics and then, like La Follette, set up a political machine of his own

Charles Evans Hughes

the able and audacious reformist Republican governor of New York, had earlier gained national fame as an investigator of malpractices by gas and insurance companies and by the coal trust.

Triangle Shirtwaist Company

Shirt factory in NYC that had locked doors and other flagrant violations of the fire code turned the factory into a death trap when it caught on fire in 1911 146 women burned to death. The tragedy led to public outcry and a strike led the New York legislature to pass much stronger laws regulating the hours and conditions of sweatshop toil.

Muller v. Oregon

In the landmark case Muller v. Oregon (1908), crusading attorney Louis D. Brandeis persuaded the Supreme Court to accept the constitutionality of laws protecting women workers by presenting evidence of the harmful effects of factory labor on women’s weaker bodies. This victory had the benefit of protecting women workers, but because of its argument, closed some jobs to women.

Lochner v New York

1905Supreme Court decision which invalidated a New York law establishing a ten-hour day for bakers.

Woman’s Christian Temperance Union

by Frances E. Willard became the largest organization of women in the world. It allied with the Anti-Saloon League to fight alcoholism by closing saloons and beer halls.

Frances E. Willard

Founder of the WCTU who would fall on her knees in prayer on saloon floors to make her points.

Wet and Dry

some states and numerous counties passed "dry" laws, which controlled, restricted, or abolished alcohol. The big cities were generally "wet," (no control on the sale of alcohol) for they had a large immigrant vote accustomed in the Old Country tothe free flow of wine and beer. By 1914, nearly one-half of the population lived in "dry" territory, and nearly three-fourths of the total area had outlawed saloons.

Square Deal

The principle of Theodore Roosevelt’s program that embraced three C’s: control of the corporations, consumer protection, and conservation of natural resources.

Department of Commerce and Labor

Federal department (cabinet level body) established in 1903 designed to settle problems between labor and capitalists. It included the Bureau of Corporations, which was authorized to probe businesses engaged in interstate commerce.

Elkins Act

Act 1903act aimed primarily at the rebate evil. Heavy fines could now be imposed both on the railroads that gave rebates and on the shippers that accepted them.

Hepburn Act

1906 act that strengthened existing railroad regulations in the following ways: 1. Increased the size of the interstate commerce commission to seven members. 2. Gave the ICC the power to establish maximum rates. 3. Restricted the use of free passes. 4. Brought other common carriers such as terminals, storage facilities, pipelines, ferries and others under ICC jurisdiction. 5. Required the adoption of uniform accounting practices for all carriers. 6. Place the burden of proof on the shippers not the ICC in disputes.


A goal of the progressives designed to break up the large and very powerful trusts that had formed during the Gilded Age that were designed to make more money for the capitalists and not to help out the people.

Northern Securities Company

a railroad holding company organized by financial titan J. P. Morgan and empire builder James J. Hill. These Napoleonic moguls of money sought to achieve a virtual monopoly of the railroads in the Northwest. In 1904 the Supreme Court upheld Roosevelt’s antitrust suit and ordered Northern Securities Company to be dissolved. This greatly enhanced Roosevelt’s reputation as a trust buster.

The Jungle

A 1906 novel published by Upton Sinclair designed to call attention to the plight of the workers in the big canning factories. However its effect was to cause public outcry against unsanitary food canning factories.

Meat Inspection Act

1906 law required that the preparation of meat shipped over state lines would be subject to federal inspection from corral to can. It had the effect of regulating the large meatpackers but also help them drive smaller competitors out of business.

Pure Food and Drug Act

a companion to the Meat Inspection Act, the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was designed to prevent the adulteration and mislabeling of foods and pharmaceuticals.

Forest Reserve Act

1891 law, authorizing the president to set aside public forests as national parks and other Reserves for the public good. 46 million acres of magnificent trees were rescued from the lumberman’s saw in the 1890s.

Gifford Pinchot

dedicated conservationists and first chief of the US forest service . His work helped prepare the way for the more sweeping conservation reforms of Roosevelt.

Newlands Act

authorized to collect money from the sale of public lands in the sun-baked western states and then use these funds for the development of irrigation projects. Settlers repaid the cost of reclamation from their now-productive soil, and the money was put into a revolving fund to finance more such enterprises. The result was dozens of dams thrown across virtually every major Western River in the west.


Roosevelt’s most enduring tangible achievement. It was based on the upwelling national mood of concern about the disappearance of the frontier. Progressive conservationists believed that nature must be neither uncritically reverenced nor wastefully exploited, but must instead be efficiently utilized.

Call of the Wild

1903 novel by Jack London. It wrote about the value of the great outdoors upon the human spirit.

Boy Scouts

Scouts founded in 1910. Its goal is to train the youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities. It became the country’s largest youth organization.

Sierra Cllub

Founded in 1892, dedicated itself to preserving the wildness of the western landscape. But it was more than a major group, it was also politically active in the conservation movement.

William Howard Taft

Secretary of War under Roosevelt. He was chosen by Roosevelt as his successor. He was nominated on the first ballot to be the Republican presidential nominee at the convention of 1908.

Eugene V. Debs

The hero of the Pullman strike of 1894. He was the 1908 nominee for president by the Socialist party.

Dollar Diplomacy

the use of American investments to boost American political interests abroad. This approach to foreign-policy was a derogatory term used by Taft’s critics. The almighty dollar thereby supplanted the big stick of Roosevelt.

Rule of Reason

Supreme Court doctrine that held that only those business interest combinations that "unreasonably" restrained trade were illegal. This fine-print proviso ripped a huge hole in the government’s antitrust net.

Payne Aldrich Tariff

The progressive members of the Republican Party wanted to reduce protective tariffs. Taft called Congress into special session in 1909 to pass such a bill. But Senatorial reactionaries led by Sen. Nelson Aldrich tacked on hundreds of upward tariff revisions. This defeated the initial purpose of reducing the tariffs. Taft signed the bill anyway which made him look bad to his fellow Republicans.

Richard Ballinger

Secretary of the Interior who opened public lands in Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska to corporate development. He was sharply criticized by Gifford Pinchot, chief of the Agriculture Department’s Division of Forestry and a conservationist. Taft sided with Ballenger which made Roosevelt and his friends angry.

Gifford Pinchot

Chief of the Agriculture Department’s Division of Forestry and a strong conservationist in the Roosevelt tradition. He opposed Richard Ballenger’s opening public lands to corporate development.

Joe Cannon

Republican speaker of the house from 1903 to 1911. Criticized Roosevelt for wanting too much power. He once said, "That fellow at the other end of the avenue wants everything, from the birth of Christ to the death of the devil.

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