Progressive Movement Timeline

Timeline created by Samuel McMillan
In History
  • President McKinley assassinated

    President McKinley assassinated
    Anarchist Leon Czolgosz shoots President William McKinley at a public appearance in Buffalo, New York. McKinley dies from his wounds on September 14. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt assumes the presidency.
  • National Reclamation Act signed

    National Reclamation Act signed
    Under the National Reclamation Act, public land in sixteen western states is sold to finance a series of massive irrigation projects and dams carried out by the federal government. The resulting irrigation opens up millions of acres of previously arid land to settlers.
  • President Roosevelt elected

    President Roosevelt elected
    Roosevelt wins the 1904 presidential election over Democrat Alton B. Parker. Progressives support Roosevelt’s “Square Deal” programs: increased food and drug regulations, taxation of the wealthy, and establishment of national parks and wildlife refuges.
  • Pure Food and Drug Act & Meat Inspection Act

    Pure Food and Drug Act & Meat Inspection Act
    President Roosevelt signs a comprehensive Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. The Acts, passed after “muckraking” journalists reveal unsanitary conditions in food production and the existence of fraudulent medicines, impose fines on companies that endanger the health of consumers.
  • Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire

    Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire
    The deaths of one hundred forty-six workers in a fire at New York City’s Triangle Shirtwaist Company raise awareness of urban work environments and spur reform efforts. The factory’s sweatshop conditions included overcrowding, blocked exits, and flimsy fire escapes.
  • Woodrow Wilson elected President

    Woodrow Wilson elected President
    With Republicans divided between incumbent William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt, running for the Bull Moose Party, Democrat Woodrow Wilson wins the White House. Socialist Eugene Debs receives more than 900,000 votes, or 6% of the total, the highest number the party receives in a presidential election.
  • 16th Amendment ratified

    16th Amendment ratified
    The Sixteenth Amendment is ratified, instituting a federal income tax four years after then-President Taft recommended its passage. Progressives support the income tax, believing it to be a fairer method of collecting revenue, especially from the wealthy.
  • Federal Reserve Act

    Federal Reserve Act
    Responding to Progressives’ concerns regarding the nation’s money supply, Congress passes the Federal Reserve Act. The Federal Reserve Act establishes twelve district banks and a Board of Governors who oversee the reserve banks’ dealings and policies.
  • Clayton Antitrust Act

    Clayton Antitrust Act
    The Clayton Antitrust Act, vigorously advocated by President Wilson, revises the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act. It outlaws monopolistic practices by business, including price-fixing and the purchase of a company’s stock by a competitive firm to create a virtual monopoly. The Act also affirms workers’ right to go on strike.
  • Nineteenth Amendment Ratified

    Nineteenth Amendment Ratified
    Women are guaranteed the right to vote in a simple, two-sentence amendment that is passed by both houses of Congress and sent to the states for ratification on June 4. After receiving the needed three-fourths majority of states, the Nineteenth Amendment is officially ratified on August 18.