53. Progressive reformers, 1890-1920

  • Sherman Antitrust Act

    This act promised that the federal government would investigate, pursue, and stop any trusts or monopolies.
  • Populist Party

    Populist Party
    This party arose when groups of southern and western farmers became concerned about the high cost of money that they needed for land and agricultural equipment. The party's platform urged people to take the power away from the wealthy. They also supported labor unions, fewer work hours, and the new income tax.
  • Eugene Debs

    Eugene Debs
    Debs strongly believed in socialism, which is a political and economic theory in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned as a community as a whole. He ran for president in the election of 1900 as a candidate for the Socialist Party. Although he received some of the vote, he lost.
  • Ida Tarbell

    Ida Tarbell
    Ida Tarbell was the writer of The History of the Standard Oil Company. In 1902 she interviewed workers of the Standard Oil Company who opened up to her about the industry. These interviews helped her write her negative expose which broke up this Standard Oil monopoly. Ida Tarbell was one of the many known “muckrakers,” a term used for progressive reformers that tried to expose society problems to the public.
  • The Jungle

    The Jungle
    This novel, written by Upton Sinclair, focused on the corruption of the American meatpacking industry. As another muckraker, Sinclair exposed all that was going on in the meat packaging factories, what workers were doing to the meat, and what was actually in the meat. After reading the book, President Theodore Roosevelt called upon Congress to establish the Food and Drug Administration, which set up federal inspection standards for meat.
  • Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

    Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
    This disaster killed 146 garment workers who died from the fire or jumped to their deaths. The fire started because of bad working conditions. This also spurred the development of many new labor unions that fought for better working conditions in factories.
  • 16th Amendment

    Congress now had the right to impose a Federal income tax on its citizens.
  • 17th Amendment

    Citizens could elect U.S. Senators directly now, instead of prior to this when many became senators through corrupt bargains.
  • 18th Amendment

    18th Amendment
    This amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale, transportation, and consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  • 19th Amendment

    19th Amendment
    This amendment granted women the right to vote.