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Progressive Era

  • Sherman Antitrust Act & McKinley dies

    Sherman Antitrust Act & McKinley dies
    Congress passes the Sherman Antitrust Act to prohibit trusts, which have grown rapidly over recent decades. This federal legislation supplements and further strengthens many preexisting state laws that lack the power to govern interstate commerce.
    President McKinley is shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. President McKinley dies from complications relating to his shooting and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt becomes the 26th president.
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    Progressive Era

  • ELkins Act

    ELkins Act
    Congress passes the Elkins Act, which is intended to strengthen the Interstate Commerce Act. The Elkins Act makes it a crime for railroads to grant freight rates other than those which they have published. Railroad companies themselves have lobbied for this regulation because most are tired of the rebating practice.
  • Northern Securities & the Jungle

    Northern Securities & the Jungle
    The Supreme Court orders the dissolution of the Northern Securities Company, a trust that the Roosevelt administration has pursued for years.
    Socialist author Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle, a sensationally graphic account of the meatpacking industry in Chicago's stockyards. Sinclair is trying to raise public awareness of corporate corruption and the deplorable conditions poor workers are found in.
  • Financial Panic

    Financial Panic
    A financial panic strikes the nation. Conservative Republicans incorrectly argue that Progressive reforms have caused this economic downturn. In the absence of a Federal Reserve Bank or any real regulatory control over American businesses, financiers like J.P. Morgan take steps to rectify the economic instability.
  • Progressive Movement & Mann-Elkins Act

    Progressive Movement & Mann-Elkins Act
    The word "Progressive" enters common parlance as a description of the burgeoning political movement that seeks to reform various aspects of American society and politics.
    The Mann-Elkins Act is passed in order to strengthen the Interstate Commerce Commission.
  • Public Fire

    Public Fire
    A fire breaks out in the supposedly "fireproof" Asch building where Triangle Waist Company occupied the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors. The shirtwaists that hang on lines above the workers' heads and the shirtwaist cuttings that litter the floors quickly ignite, allowing the blaze to spread rapidly. 146 people die in the blaze, all within half an hour. This incident ignites public opinion against unsafe urban working conditions and the plight of young female immigrant workers.
  • New Amendments

    New Amendments
    The Sixteenth Amendment is ratified, empowering Congress to levy income taxes. The Seventeenth Amendment is ratified, allowing for the direct election of U.S. Senators instead of through state legislators.
  • Sedition Act

    Sedition Act
    Congress passes the Sedition Act, an even more repressive measure than the Espionage Act. Along with the Sabotage Act of 20 April, it expands the penalties of the Espionage Act to apply to anyone who discourages military recruiting, interferes with government bond sales, or criticizes the government, the Constitution, service uniforms, the flag, or the war or even wartime production levels.
  • Armistice Day

    Armistice Day
    As the British, French and American armies advanced, the alliance between the Central Powers began to collapse. Turkey signed an armistice at the end of October, Austria-Hungary followed on November 3. Germany surrenders and the Allies win World War I. This comes to be known as Armistice Day.
  • Versailles Conference

    Versailles Conference
    The Versailles peace conference opens. Woodrow Wilson becomes the first sitting president to leave the United States when he travels to Paris for the occasion, as he is so deeply invested in the outcome. He wants to carry his Progressive principles to Europe and ensure a perpetual peace throughout the region. President Wilson presents the Treaty of Versailles to the Senate for ratification.