To raise your Progressive Era homework grade:

  1. Study the correct answers to the homework below.

  2. Write out the entire correct answer for any questions you did not have correct on your homework paper. For example:

  3. You must correct all of your mistakes and/or incomplete answers to raise your grade.

  4. Hand in your original homework paper and your corrections by the beginning of your class on Friday, 12/9.

  5. Remember...what you hand in must be handwritten. No copying and pasting allowed!


Part 1:  A Better Life for Americans


Focus:  Many problems faced the U.S. in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

  1. Farmers had a hard time making a living.

  2. Many workers were working in unhealthy places for little pay.

  3. Young children worked long hours alongside older workers.

  4. Many people lived in overcrowded cities, paying high rent for poor housing.

  5. Many local government officials took bribes from businessmen in exchange for passing laws that helped only those businessmen.

  6. City governments were often political machines run by bosses who were sometimes dishonest and used their power to make money for themselves and their friends.

  7. The federal government did little to control business.

Focus: Some Americans became interested in reforming American life. 

  1. To reform means to make better.

  2. Many of the reformers were writers.

  3. Match the writers with what they wrote:

D Upton Sinclair a. A History of the Standard Oil Company
B Lincoln Steffens  b. The Shame of the Cities
A Ida Tarbell c. The Cry of the Children
E Frank Norris d. The Jungle
C John Spargo e. The Octopus
  1. President Theodore Roosevelt called the writers interested in reform muckrakers.

  2. President Roosevelt wanted to break up the large business monopolies and trusts.

  3. Roosevelt decided to enforce the Sherman Antitrust Act, and had Congress pass other reform laws.

  4. Jane Addams started Hull House to help immigrants adjust to life in America. 

  5. W.E.B. DuBois, a black leader, helped start the Niagara Movement and, later, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Focus:  Reforms were made in government.

  1. The Civil Service Act did away with “the spoils system.”

  2. The secret ballot allowed people to vote in private.   

  3. The 16th Amendment gave Congress the power to tax a person’s income

Focus: Education leads to improvement.

  1. More children began going to public school

  2. By 1900, women were allowed to attend all state universities.

Focus:  An era of reform was successful.

  1. The lives of most Americans improved between the late 1800’s and 1920.


Part 2: The Progressive Movement                  

  1. Many Americans feared that the government was in danger because wealthy and powerful business leaders were able to influence government officials to pass laws in their favor.

  2. A group of writers called muckrakers described the problems facing the U.S.

  3. Progressives:

    1.   did not like the growing power of big business

    2. felt that the cities were run poorly

    3. wanted to end child labor

    4. wanted the government to help them bring about reforms

    5. wanted the “common people” to have greater control over their local governments

  4. In many larger cities, the governments were controlled by political bosses. These people often made fortunes for themselves at the expense of the people they were supposed to serve.

  5. Under the Civil Service Act, a large number of government jobs were given only to people who passed an examination that proved their ability.

  6. The Secret Ballot allowed people to vote in private.   

  7. The Direct Primary gave people a greater voice in the selection of candidates.

  8. During the Progressive Era, a number of states began to pass laws to protect the worker (workers).

  9. The Progressives wanted Congress to pass laws that cared for the needs of the people.

  10. The Pure Food and Drug Act (1906) protected people from unsafe foods and medicine. Congress pass a law giving the government the power to inspect meat and other foods and medicine. Congress pass a law giving the government the power to inspect meat and other foods

  11. The Federal Reserve Act (1913) set up the banking that we still use today

  12. The Clayton Antitrust Act (1914):

    1. made it easier to break up trusts

    2. clearly stated what big businesses could and could not do

    3. made it easier for workers to join unions

  13. The 16th Amendment gave Congress the power to place a tax on the money people earned (tax income).

  14. The 17th Amendment stated that all U.S. Senators were to be elected directly by the people of the states.

  15. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote

  16. During the Progressive Era, the national government began to set aside land to be used as parks. The movement to save our natural resources is called conservation. The President who became a leader in the movement was Theodore Roosevelt.

  17. The Progressives changed the attitude of the government toward business. The government became concerned with the welfare of all the people of the nation.