Directions: The following question requires you
to construct a coherent essay that integrates your interpretation
of Documents A-J and your knowledge of the period referred to in the
question. High scores will be earned only by essays that both cite
key pieces of evidence from the documents and draw on outside knowledge
of the period.
Question: To what extent and in what ways did reformers in United States promote social changes which benefitted a majority of Americans during the so-called Progressive Era?
In writing your answer, use the documents and your knowledge
of the period 1900-1920.
Source: "Concerning Three Articles in this Number of McClures,"
Editorial in McClure's, 1904.
"The Shame of Minneapolis" could well have served for the
current chapter of Miss Tarbell's History of Standard Oil. .
. . Miss Tarbell has our capitalists conspiring among themselves
deliberately, shrewdly, upon legal advice, to break the law
so far as it restrained them, and to misuse it to restrain others
who were in their way. . . . In "The shame of Minneapolis" we
see the administration of a city employing criminals to commit
crimes for the profit of the elected officials, while the citizens
- Americans of good stock and more than average culture, and
honest, healthy Scandinavians - stood by complacent and not
We all are doing our worst and making the public pay. The public
is the people. We forget that we all are the people; that while
each of us in his group can shove off on the rest of the bill
of to-day, the debt is only postponed; the rest are passing
it on back to us. And in the end the sum total of the debt will
be our liberty.
Source: Lincoln Steffens, The Shame of the Cities, 1904.
The honest citizens of Philadelphia have no more rights at
the polls than the negroes down South. Nor do they fight very
hard for this basic privilege. . . . If you remind the average
Philadelphian that he is in the same position, he will look
startled, then say, "That's so, that's literally true, only
I never thought of it in just that way." And it is literally
The [political] machine controls the whole process of voting,
and practices fraud at every stage. . . . The assessor pads
the list with the names of dead dogs, children, and non-existent
The machine controls the election officers, often choosing
them from among fraudulent names; and when no one appears to
serve, assigning the heeler ready for the expected vacancy.
Source: "Roosevelt the Trustbuster," Poster, 1905.
Source: Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, 1906.
If seemed as if every time you met a person from a new department,
you heard of new swindles and new crimes. There was, for instance,
a Lithuanian who was a cattle butcher for the plant where Marija
had worked, which killed meat for canning only; and to hear
this man describe the animals which came to his place would
have been worth while for a Dante or a Zola.
It seemed that they must have agencies all over the country,
to hunt out old and crippled and diseased cattle to be canned.
There were cattle which had been fed on "whisky-malt," the refuse
of the breweries, and had become what the men called "steerly"
- which means covered with boils.
Source: Jane Addams, "Ballot Necessary for Women," 1906.
Insanitary housing, poisonous sewage, contaminated water, infant
mortality, prostitution and drunkenness are the enemies which
the modern cities must face and overcome would they survive.
Logically, its electorate should be made up of those who can
bear a valiant part in this arduous contest, those who in the
past have at least attempted to care for children, to clean
houses, to prepare foods. . . . To test the elector's fitness
to deal with this situation by his ability to bear arms is absurd.
These problems must be solved, if they are solved at all, not
from the military point of view . . . but from a world, human-welfare
point of view.
Source: Progressive Party Platform, 1912.
This country belongs to the people who inhabit it. Its resources,
its business, its institutions, and its laws should be utilized,
maintained, or altered in whatever manner will best promote
the general interest. It is time to set the public welfare in
the first place.
Political parties exist to secure responsible government and
to execute the will of the people. Old parties have . . . become
the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to
serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government
sits enthroned an invisible government, owing no allegiance
and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy
this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between
corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task.
Source: Theodore Roosevelt, 1913.
"Reformers" made reform respectable in the United States, and
these "muck-rakers" [have] been the chief agent in the making
the history of "muck-raking" in the United States a National
one, conceded to be useful. [They have] preached the task of
making reform respectable in a commercialized world, and the
of giving the Nation a slogan in a phrase, is greater than the
man who preformed it is likely to think.
This globe is the capital stock of the race. It is just so
much coal and oil and gas. This may be economized or wasted.
Our water resources are immense, and we are only just beginning
to use them. Our soils are being depleted; they must be built
up and conserved.
Source: Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom: A Call for the Emancipation
of the Generous Energies of a People, 1913.
The doctrine that monopoly is inevitable and that the only
course open to the people of the United States is to submit
to and regulate it found a champion during the campaign of 1912
in the new party of the Republican Party, founded under the
leadership of Mr. Roosevelt. . . . If you have read the trust
plank in that platform as often as I have read it, you have
found it very long, but very tolerant. It did not anywhere condemn
monopoly, except in words; its essential meaning was that the
trusts have been bad and must be made to be good.
All Mr. Roosevelt explicitly complains of is lack of publicity
and lack of fairness; not the exercise of power, for throughout
that plank the power of the great corporations is accepted as
the inevitable consequence of the modern organization of industry.
All that it is proposed to do is to take them under control
Shall we try to get the grip of monopoly away from our lives,
or shall we not? Shall we admit that the creature of our own
hands is stronger than we are? We have been dreading all along
the time when the combined power of high finance would be greater
than the power of the government.
Source: Theodore Roosevelt, Autobiography: Making an Old Party
The republican Party had been obliged during the last decade
of the nineteenth century to uphold the interests of popular
government against a foolish and ill judged mock-radicalism.
. . . In all National matters, of importance to the whole people,
the Nation is to be supreme over State, county, and town alike.
We succeeded in working together, although with increasing
friction, for some years, I pushing forward and [the opponents]
handing back. Gradually, however, I was forced to abandon the
efforts to persuade them to come my way, and then I achieved
results only by appealing over the heads of the Senate and House
leaders to the people, who were the masters of both of us.
Source: "Vote Yes," Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association,