Two Important Objectives Of Progressivism History Essay
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
There were also two important objectives of Progressivism. One was giving the people the opportunity to participate more directly in the political process. Another was to limit the power of big city bosses. Several constitutional amendments were a direct result of the Progressive movement.
The 17th Amendment was passed in 1913. This made the national government more responsive to the people. The 17th amendment provided for the direct election of senators rather than their selection by the state legislatures. State legislatures were also increasingly concerned about the welfare of the citizens in their states. Maryland became the first state to offer workmen’s compensation in 1902. Workmen’s Compensation provided for payments to workers or their families for disability or death suffered on the job. Some protection was offered to federal employees under the 1916 Workmen’s Compensation Act.
The 18th Amendment was passed in 1917. This was in response to the formation of the Anti-Saloon League in 1893 and it’s efforts to banning alchol. They were supported by Protestant churches and it pioneered single-issue politics and backed only “dry” candidates for elected office. Their strategy worked. By 1917 almost two thirds of the states had banned the manufacture and sale of alcohol. With German-Americans prominent in the brewing and distillery industries, American participation in the First World War added allegedly patriotic motives to the calls for a constitutional amendment on prohibition. The 18th amendment was approved by the states in January 1919 and went into effect a year later, banning the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol nationwide.
The 19th Amendment to the Constitution gave women the right to vote. It was passed by the Senate in June 1919 and was ratified by the states in August 1920. That was more than 70 years after the first women’s rights meeting in Seneca Falls, New York.
In this chapter, the author discusses the issues and problems leading up to the US becoming involved in World War I. On January 22, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson delivering a address that correctly declared only a “peace without victory” would be lasting in an effort to avert war. Germany responded by announcing that it would break the Sussex pledge and return to unrestricted submarine warfare. This meant that it’s U-Boats would now fire on all ships in the war zone, armed or unarmed. Wilson asked Congress for the authority to arm merchant ships, but several Midwestern senators tried to block this measure. The famous Zimmerman note was intercepted and published on March 1, 1917. It was written by German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmerman. It secretly proposed that if Mexico fought against the U.S. and the Central Powers won, Mexico would have the ability to recover Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona from the U.S. The Germans also began to sink numerous ships, proving their threats to be credible, including the tragic sinking of the RMS Lusitania in 1915. On April 2, 1917, President Wilson asked Congress to declare war. It did four days later. Wilson had lost his gamble at keeping the country neutral and out of the war.
Wilson also established the 14 Points, which were a set of goals for peace on January 8, 1917. The main points of it meant that there were to be no more secret treaties,freedom of the seas was to be maintained, a removal of economic barriers among nations, reduction of armament burdens, adjustment of colonial claims in the interests of natives and colonizers, independence for oppressed minority groups who would choose their government and a League of Nations, an international organization that would keep the peace and settle world disputes without war.
The Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 further increased American fears and paranoia about Germans and others perceived as a threat.
A military draft system was also set up at that time.
On November 11th, 1918 at 11am, the Germans put down their weapons in armistice after overthrowing their Kaiser in hopes that they could get a peace based on the Fourteen Points. “Armistice Day” later became “Veterans’ Day.” The endless number of American troops being deployed that demoralized the Germans.
Wilson lost the 1918 presidential election. Wilson decided to go to Europe personally to oversee peace proceedings.
This chapter dealt with Post WWI and the Roaring 20s.
After WWI, America went back to a policy of isolationism.
The Red Scare of 1919-1920 led to the arrest of 6000 suspected communists. This was started by Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer by using a series of raids.
This “Red Scare” cut back on free speech for a period of time. Some states made it illegal to even just advocate the overthrow of a government. During this time, the idea of anti-foreignism was all around.
During the 20s, about 800,000 immigrants came from Europe to the US. Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act in 1921 in which newcomers from Europe were restricted at any year to a quota, which was set at 3% of the people of their nationality who lived in the U.S. in 1910.
The Immigration Act of 1924 was passed and that lowered the quota to 2%. This then caused more immigrants to leave the US than arrive in the US.
The 20s also saw the arrival of the automobile, most notably the Ford Model T. By 1929, there was 1 car per 4.9 Americans. New roads were built and the gasoline industry boomed.
1920 also saw the arrival of the first transcontinental airmail route between New York and San Francisco. Charles Lindbergh became the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris solo in the Spirit of St. Louis.
The 1920s were also noted for the invention of different modes of entertainment such as radio stations for news and music and motion pictures.
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