Progressive era

Progressive Era Timeline

  • Coal Strike of 1902

    Coal Strike of 1902
    A strike led by the United Mine Workers of America called for better wages, hours, and union recognition. Teddy Roosevelt intervened in the conflict by urging the UMW to accept arbitration. Roosevelts intervening and the results of the strike proved as the first time the Government had judged a labor dispute without automatically siding with management. Progressive Roosevelt proved that labor disputes could be settled in an orderly way via negotiation instead of fighting against workers.
  • Formation of the National Child Labor Committee

    Formation of the National Child Labor Committee
    A major issue progressives sought to address was child labor. The formation of the National Child Labor Committee, helped to deal with this issue by investigating labor conditions around the nation and sought to end child labor, alongside provide free education for all children. Thirty years after its formation, the efforts of this committee payed off with the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, which set federal standards for child labor. 
  • Publication of "The Jungle"

    Publication of "The Jungle"
    "The Jungle," written by Upton Sinclair, raised a ton of public awareness about the terrible working conditions for those working in the meat-packaging industry. The book paved the way for progressives to achieve their goals of a safer workplace by being a major influence in the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Acts alongside the Meat Inspection Act.
  • Publication of "The Bitter Cry of the Children"

    Publication of "The Bitter Cry of the Children"
    Muckraker John Spargo's book exposed the evils of child labor by detailing his upsetting accounts of children dealing with the harsh conditions of coal mines. The horrific reports within the book helped in the progressive campaign against child labor, as many states began to pass laws that set a minimum age for employment and
    other limits on child labor, while other states began passing education legislation requiring young children to attend school rather than work. 
  • Meat Inspection Act/Pure Food and Drug Act Passed

    Meat Inspection Act/Pure Food and Drug Act Passed
    Both of these acts of US legislation were passed on the same day and granted the USDA authority to inspect business operations and ensure that products were safe before they could be sold to the public. These acts helped to make the progressives' goal of getting their government to improve US society more of a reality, as they marked a change in the relationship between government and business. These acts meant that consumers would know what was in their food, and the food would be safer.
  • Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

    Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
    A preventable fire on the top floors of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company took 146 of the factory’s 500 workers' lives. This tragedy created public awareness of the fact that fire precautions and inspections were inadequate and illustrated how poor the working conditions in factories were. As a result, New York created a Factory Investigating Commission, which soon led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards, something progressives had long sought after. 
  • Ratification of the 16th Amendment

    Ratification of the 16th Amendment
    The 16th Amendment taxes income, regardless of its source, something that was called for by progressives who found it unjust that income taxes were being placed on the wages of working-class Americans but not on the income of wealthier people whose income mainly stems from property. The ratification of this constitutional amendment advanced the beliefs of progressives by helping to create economic fairness and paved the way for a more progressive income tax system.
  • Ratification of the 17th Amendment

    Ratification of the 17th Amendment
    The 17th Amendment allowed voters in the states to cast direct votes for senators. Prior to this amendment, senators were selected by state legislatures; however, many progressives found that this granted party bosses too much influence. As progressives sought expanded voting rights and more political power for the individual voter during this era, the ratification of this constitutional amendment fulfilled this wish by granting the "common man" voter more say in their government.  
  • Federal Trade Commission Act

    Federal Trade Commission Act
    The Federal Trade Commission Act was antitrust legislation that gave the US government tools to combat unfair and deceptive practices within every area of commerce. The FTC emerged from progressives who sought to manage large-scale industrial capitalism, combat monopolies, and protect consumers from unjust practices within the marketplace.
  • Ratification of the 19th Amendment

    Ratification of the 19th Amendment
    The 19th Amendment guaranteed women the right to vote after a long battle fought by women for equality. The women’s suffrage movement proved to be one of the biggest movements during the progressive era. The ratification of this amendment gave women a voice, an ability to promote reforms within society, and marked a change in women's role in society. It also advanced progressive beliefs of political equality and working towards improving the lives of individuals.