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Progressive Reforms

The muckrakers and activists we discussed yesterday were successful in creating great change in America, Today we will discuss those changes.

I. Progressive Changes

A. Election of new reform mayors:

-Hazen Pingree of Detroit

-Samuel Jones of Toledo

-18 Socialist Mayors.

B. Changes in city government and administration

1. Commission form of government - experts appointed to head commission's.

2. Council / Manager form of government - elected council that sets laws. Appointed manager to run city departments.

C. Election of Progressive Governors

-Robert La Follette, Wisconsin - Robert M. "Fightin' Bob" LaFollette (1855-1925)--Progressive Era political leader who served as US Congressman 1885-1891, governor of Wisconsin from 1900-1905 and U.S. Senator 1905-1925. In 1924 he ran as an independent Progressive candidate for President, polling nearly 6 million votes out of some 30 million cast, but won only Wisconsin's electoral votes.

Robert LaFollette


-Charles Ayacock, North Carolina

-John A. Johnson, Missouri

D. State Reforms

1. Oregon System (Efforts of private citizen William S. U'Ren)

  • Secret Ballot
  • Initiative - The idea that a citizen could introduce legislation.
  • Recall - The ability of citizens to recall an elected official.
  • Referendum - A Yes/No on critical issues held by citizens.

2. Direct Primary first in Wisconsin in 1903. (As opposed to choice by machine)

3. Led to direct election of Senators in the 17th Amendment - 1913 (As opposed to choice by legislature.)

E. Progressive Legislation

1. Child labor law

2. Pure Food and Drug act, 1906

3. Meat Inspection Act (1906)

4. Other laws we will discuss in conjunction with TR and Woodrow Wilson.

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