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DBQ #1

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.


Document A

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 alarmed.

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.


Document B

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 true.

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 persons.

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.


Document C

Source: "Roosevelt the Trustbuster," Poster, 1905.


Document D

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.


Document E

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.


Document F

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.


Document G

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.


Document H

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 and deregulation.

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.


Document I

Source: Theodore Roosevelt, Autobiography: Making an Old Party Progressive.

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.


Document J

Source: "Vote Yes," Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, 1915.