The Progressive Era

"When I say I believe in a square deal I do not mean . . . to give every man the
 best hand. If the cards do not come to any man, or if they do come, and he has
 not got the power to play them, that is his affair. All I mean is that there shall
 be no crookedness in the dealing."



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  • muckraker
  • Frank Norris, Upton Sinclair, Lincoln Steffens, Ida Tarbell
  • McClure's
  • "ashcan" artists
  • Abe Ruef vs. Tom Johnson
  • city manager system
  • commission system
  • "municipal socialism"
  • Robert La Follette
  • "Wisconsin Idea"
  • "Oregon System"
  • Seventeenth Amendment
  • referendum, recall, initiative
  • Square Deal
  • Women's Christian Temperance Movement
  • Eighteenth Amendment
  • National Child Labor Committee
  • Muller v. Oregon
  • Louis Brandeis
  • Department of Commerce and Labor
  • Carrie Chapman Catt
  • Nineteenth Amendment
  • Elkins Act & Hepburn Act
  • Pure Food and Drug Act
  • Newlands Reclamation Act
  • National Conservation Conference
  • Ballinger-Pinchot controversy
  • "Bull Moose" Party
  • New Freedom
  • Underwood Tariff
  • Federal Reserve Act
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Clayton Anti-trust Act
  • Sixteenth Amendment
  • Booker T. Washington vs. William E. B. Du Bois
  • Niagara Falls meeting

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin



1.  Trace the emergence of Progressivism and discuss the movement's major themes.

2.  Explain the relationship between President Theodore Roosevelt's political, social,
     and economic beliefs and his approach to the major issues of the time.

3.  Account for the break between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. How
     did this rift affect the presidential election of 1912?

4.  Explain and evaluate the reform legislation of President Woodrow Wilson. What
     character flaws existed in Wilson that limited his reforms?

5.  Discuss the emergence of the muckrakers. Identify three of the leading muckrakers,
     their primary work and its target of reform, and the impact each work had on
     Progressive policies.

6.  What were the approaches of blacks and women to the problems they faced during
     the Progressive Era? How successful were the two groups in achieving their goals?


  1. The leading Progressive President was
    1. William McKinley.
    2. Theodore Roosevelt.
    3. William Howard Taft.
    4. Woodrow Wilson.

  2. All of the following were realized goals of the Progressives except
    1. concern for welfare of the urban poor.
    2. attempt to regulate big business.
    3. desire for government to become more responsive to the people.
    4. elimination of racial segregation in public facilities.

  3. The Supreme Court case of Muller v. Oregon (1908)
    1. outlawed monopolies.
    2. limited working hours.
    3. established strict conservation policies.
    4. regulated interstate commerce.

  4. Meat inspection legislation was accelerated by the work entitled
    1. The Jungle.
    2. The Prime Rib Chronicles.
    3. Slaughterhouse Five.
    4. The Octopus.

  5. The Progressive Era came to an abrupt halt because of
    1. American involvement in World War I.
    2. the election of Warren G. Harding to the presidency.
    3. several key Supreme Court rulings.
    4. the sudden death of President Woodrow Wilson.

Gutzon Borglum reasoned Abraham Lincoln's portrait would represent preservation of the Union (his paramount purpose for fighting the Civil War) and freedom for all people living in the United States. Theodore Roosevelt appears as emblematic of America's global responsibilities (brought on by the expansionist era) and his devoted conservation of the West. Borglum's decision to include Roosevelt arouses the most questions. Click on either face to obtain LECTURE GUIDE for this unit.