IMPORTANT DATES OF THE PROGRESSIVE ERA
The events listed below are but a small fraction of the actions that were taken nationwide as the Progressive era unfolded. Progressives operated at all levelsnational, state, county, city, and so on. Child labor laws were passed in many states, ordinances to help the poorer classes were passed in towns and cities, and jurisdictions at all levels took measures to make government more efficient and responsive to people's needs.
Not all groups benefited from Progressivism. Indians and African Americans were all but excluded, and except for the very important 19th Amendment, the Progressive movement did little to help women.
1894: National Municipal League created to reform cities
1895: Anti-Saloon League founded.
1898: Erdman Act outlaws yellow dog contracts for ICC companies.
1900: Currency Act puts U.S. on gold standard; ILGWU founded; Socialist Party founded.
1901: McKinley Assassinated; Theodore Roosevelt becomes president of the U.S.
1902: Roosevelt forms Trust Policy, sues Northern Securities Company, mediates coal strike.
1902 Newlands Act (National Reclamation
Act) gets strong support from TRsets aside land sales money
for irrigation projects.
1903: Expedition Actpriority
in federal courts expedites antitrust cases.
1903: Department of Commerce and Labor includes Bureau of Corporations to help businesses clean up their acts and avoid antitrust suits.
1903: Muckrakers begin to arouse public opinion on social ills.
1904: National Child Labor Committee
1905: Industrial Workers of the World
(IWWthe “Wobblies”) foundedurged social revolution,
overthrow of capitalism. Leader is "Big Bill" Haywood.
1906: Meat Inspection Act and Pure
Food and Drug Act passed. Manufacture, sale, transportation
of adulterated, misbranded or harmful foods is illegal. (Impetus provided
by Sinclair's The Jungle.)
1907: Panic reveals basic flaws in system. Money crunch.
1908: White House Conservation Conference.
1909: Payne-Aldrich tariff lowers rates to about 38%.N.A.A.C.P. founded.
1910: Mann-Elkins Act: Places telephone,
telegraph and wireless (radio) under I.C.C.
1911: Supreme Court orders dissolution
of Standard Oil Company.
1912: Republican Party divides; TR
runs as Progressive; election demonstrates great popular endorsement
of Progressivism: 75% vote for TR, Wilson or Eugene Debs.
1913: 16th Amendment adopted: graduated
income tax redistributes wealth;
1914: Federal Trade Commission Act
guards against "unfair trade practices."
1916: Adamson Act mandates 8-hour
day, time and a half for overtime for RR workers under I.C.C.
1919: 18th Amendment outlaws sale of alcoholic beverages in the U.S. Volstead Act carries out intent through legislation. Prohibition begins.
1920: 19th Amendment declared ratified;
women have the right to vote.
1921: Sheppard-Towner Act assist pregnant women, infants with health care.
1924: Robert LaFollette gains 4.8 million votes as Progressive Party candidate for president.
Additional Progressive measures were passed in 1920s and during the New Deal.