Department of History

History 44

Professor Bannister

Spring 1998

America in the Progressive Era

The following provides a basic outline of topics, required and recommended readings, and class assignments and format. More detailed listings of primary and secondary works, and guides to library resources, are contained in supplementary Bibliographies, copies of which are on the "Classes" fileserver as well as the WWW (see URLs below) The latter should be consulted throughout the term in connection with in-class reports, and for the term paper. For History majors, the term paper fulfills the *starred course requirement.

The weekly readings are listed under PRIM. and SEC.You are expected to read all of these, and as many of the others as you wish, especially in connection with class reports. Both sets of readings are on GENERAL RESERVE in separate
Binders labelled "Primary" and "Secondary" under History 44. Books from which one or two chapters are assigned are on General Reserve. The required reading should be considered a minimum to be supplemented with some additional reading for the in-class reports (see below). Recommended readings (REC.) include selected "classic" studies and some samples of the most recent work in the period.

Class meetings will typically combine a brief introductory presentation, a student report on the general readings and/or one or more
brief reports by members of the class on a special topic as listed. The formal work of the course consists of (1) three in class reports (3 pp. single spaced maximum), one of which should be a discussion of the historiographical issues raised in the required secondary readings for the week or any one supplementary reading. These reports must be spaced throughout the term as follows: weeks 1-4, 5-8; and 9-13.; (2) a term paper (18-20 pp. double spaced maximum), and (3) a final examination. CLASS ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION ARE IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF THE COURSE. MORE THAN ONE UNEXCUSED ABSENCE WILL RESULT IN A LOWERING OF THE GRADE BY ONE LEVEL FOR EACH UNEXCUSED ABSENCE.

Books to Purchase. The following required readings should be purchased by each member of the class, and have been ordered for the bookstore.

*John M. Cooper, The Warrior and the Priest
*Ellen Fitzpatrick, ed.
*Upton Sinclair.
The Jungle
*Kathy Peiss,
Cheap Amusements
*Ruth Rosen,
The Lost Sisterhood

The two volumes of the "New American Nation Series" for the period will be useful for students who have little background, and for general reference: George Mowry,
The Era of Theodore Roosevelt; and Arthur Link, Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive Era, located on the "American History" Honors reserve shelf . Two recent surveys are John M. Cooper, Pivotal Decades 1900-1920 (1990) and John Whiteclay Chambers, The tyranny of change : America in the Progressive Era, 1900-1917 (2nd edition), both on General Reserve. Two excellent bibliographies for the period are John D. Buenker et al., eds. Progressive Reform (1980) [Ref. Z1242.8.B84]; and Louis Filler, ed. , Progressivism and Muckraking (1976) [Ref. Z7164.S66.F54]. For biography and reference see John D. Buenker and Edward R.Kantowicz, eds. Historical Dictionary of the Progressive Era 1890-1930 (Greenwood Press, 1988) [Reference]. A version of this syllabus with bibliographies for weekly papers may be accessed on the World Wide Web with Netscape at Bibliographies

A Note on Organization of the Syllabus/Course

The syllabus is organized to correspond roughly with successive stages within the "progressive era," whether conceived in terms of the "three languages" of progressivism (Rodgers), shifting political coalitions (Thelen, Buenker), or emerging differences over "life style" issues that make it difficult or impossible to speak of a "progressive movement" at all (Filene). Thematically, the three major sections are: (1) politics and efforts to regulate the economy in which the language of "antitrust" dominated [weeks 2-4], focusing on the background and presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson; (2) the transformation of the social order, with implications for "community" among both the middle and working classes [weeks 5-6]; and (3) efforts to impose a middle class order in the name of "efficiency" and "social control" during the later part of the era, along with the responses of groups most directly affected (laborers, African-Americans, immigrants, women) [weeks 6-12]. A final two weeks considert he impact of World War I on the progressive agenda, and the legacy for post-1918 liberalism.

Cutting across this three-fold organization are several major themes that are basic to an understanding of the period: (1) bureaucratization/professionalization; (2) secularization as related to the disruption of traditional community; and (3) shifting definitions of gender. Not coincidentally, these themes also concerned seminal thinkers of the period, both in Europe and in the United States. Chief among the Europeans were Max Weber (bureaucratization) Emil Durkheim (secularization) , and Sigmund Freud (sex and gender). Their theories, in turn, opposed or supplemented an earlier tradition of class and economic analysis stemming from the work of Karl Marx and his disciples. The resulting debates echo through much of the historical literature of progressivism. Students interested in key writings may wish especially to consult, Weber, "The Essentials of Bureaucratic Organization: An Ideal-Type Construction" and Durkheim, "Concerning the definition of religious phenomena." (For Freud's most direct contribution to psychohistory see William C. Bullitt and Freud,
Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1967).

Although the approach is on competing "languages," conflicting interests, and shifting coalitions rather than the definition of a single "progressive mind" or "ethos" (as, for example in Hofstadter, Crunden), limits exclude certain individuals, movements, and social/economic developments which were part of America history from the late 1890s through 1920. "Progressive" is limited to those individuals who thought of themselves or were thought by others under this rubric. The primary cast of characters thus includes individuals from the two generations born from the late 1850s to the late 1880s, but not their intellectual mentors of the "generation of 1840" (Lester Ward, O.W. Holmes, William James, e.g.) or a younger group of radicals and bohemians who caused a stir in several major cities on the eve of the First Word War. Important cultural developments, usually considered under the term "modernism," are likewise excluded, whether in philosophy and social thought (the impact of Nietzsche or Freud, for example) or art (the New York Armory Show of 1913). Changes in the international power balance and foreign relations are also omitted, except for final consideration of the impact of World War I on the home front. A complete history of the period would reveal how these individuals, movements, and underlying changes were underlining the progressive effort to reshape America in the very years when it appeared to be most successful.

Week 1. The Problem of Progressivism (January 21)

REQ. Daniel Rodgers, "In Search of Progressivism,"
Reviews in American History (1982) [Binder:Secondary]

REC. J.D. Buenker et al.,
Progressivism (1977)
Buenker, "The Progressive Era: A Search for a Synthesis,"
Mid-America 51 (1969): 175-93 [Binder:Sec.]
Diggins, John "Republicanism and Progressivism,"
American Quarterly 37 (Fall 1985): 572-98.
Peter Filene, "An Obituary for the Progressive Movement,"
American Quarterly 22 (1970), 20-34
Richard W. Fox, "The Culture of Liberal Protestant Progressivism,"
Journal of Interdisciplinary History 23(winter 1993): 639-660.
Richard Hofstadter,
Age of Reform, chs. 4-6

TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION: Progressive Era Historiography and Social Theory. Although this is the first class, I hope everyone will be able to read and be prepared to discuss the Rodgers article listed above.

Week 2. Growing Up "Progressive" Roosevelt, Wilson and the Social/Psychological Roots of Progressivism (January 28)

SEC. Cooper,
The Warrior and the Priest, chs. 1-5
Resti, Arnoldo, "Theordore Roosevelt and the Culture of Masculinity,"
Journal of American History," 81 (1995), 1509-33 [Binder:Secondary]
Ross, Dorothy, "Woodrow Wilson and the Case for Psychohistory,"
Journal of American History 69 (1982), 659-68 [Binder:Secondary]
Chronology 1896-1920 [Binder Secondary]

REC. Glenn Davis, "The Early Years of TR,"
History of Childhood Q 2 (1974-75), 461-90
Robert Crunden,
Ministers of Reform, ch. 1.
R. Hofstadter,
The Age of Reform, ch 4
Lears, R.J.
No Place of Grace, ch 1
J. Dubbert, "Progressivism and the Masculinity Crisis," in
The American Man (1980), ed.s. E. & J. Pleck.
David Thelen, "Social Tensions and the Origins of Progressivism,"
Journal of American History 56 (9169), 323-31

TOPICS FOR REPORTS (see biblio: Roosevelt and Wilson)

Roosevelt (Davis and Cooper, op. cit. supplemented by selective reading in Morris and McCullough)

Wilson (Articles by Ross and Tucker and/or Lewis supplemented by Cooper, op. cit. See fileserver "Wilson" )

Week 3. Muckraking and the "New Politics" (February 4)

PRIM.Upton Sinclair,
The Jungle
Fitzpatrick, ed.
Muckraking, pp. 1-59, 103-121

SEC. Christopher Wilson,
Labor of Words, chs.1, 5 [General Reserve]
Warrior and the Priest, chs. 6-10
Gould,Lewis L. "Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and the Emergence of the Modern Presidency,"
Pres. Studies Q. 19 (w 89): 41-50 [Binder:Secondary]

REC. R. Bannister,
Ray Stannard Baker (1966)
Richard Hofstadter,
The Age of Reform, ch. 5
Sally Griffith,
Small Town News
George Juergens, "Theodore Roosevelt and the Press,"
Daedalus 111 (1982): 113-33; and his News from the White House: The Presidential Press Relationship in the Progressive Era (1982)
David P. Nord,
Newspapers and the New Politics (1981).
Michael Schudsen,
Discovering the News, chs. 2-3


*the class will begin with an overview of national issues and public policy 1901-1918, with reference to problems concerning the careers of T.R. and Wilson, providing background and framework for weeks 3-4.

Muckraking, Objectivity, and the Professionalization of Journalism (Schudsen with reference to Wilson, Labor of Words, and careers of Baker or Ida Tarbell, and McClure's Magazine). See Bibliographies Muckrakers, Biog/Autobiography esp. Baker, American Chronicle , chs. 11, 18-22 and Muckraking.

The Muckrakers (any one)

Lincoln Steffens and Urban Reform (see Bibliog. Politics/Cities especially titles by Weinstein and Hays, Steffens, Shame of the Cities and DiGaetano, Alan., "Urban political reform: did it kill the machine? , "Journal of Urban History v. 18 (Nov. '91) p. 37-67
(b) David Graham Phillips and the Psycho-social Roots of Muckraking. See Phillips,
Treason of the Senate and Bibliography Biog/Autobiography
(c) Upton Sinclair and the "Truth" of the Jungle. See Louise Wade, The Problem with Classroom Use of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle,"
American Studies 32 (Fall 1991), 79-101 [see me for copy] .Also bibliography Meat Inspection.

Week 4. "Corporatism," Welfare, and the Creation of the "Modern" American State (February 11)

PRIM. Sherman Act (1890), and
Clayton Act (1913) [handout and WWW]
Tarbell, in Fitzpatrick,
Muckraking, pp. 60-80

SEC. Cooper,
The Warrior and the Priest, ch. 11-16.
E. Hawley, "The Discovery and Study of 'Corporate Liberalism,'"
Business History Review 52 (1978), 309-20 [Binder: Secondary]
Skocpol, Theda, " State Formation and Social Policy in the United States,"
in Social Policy in the United States (1995), pp. 11-36 [Binder Secondary]

REC. R. Hofstadter,
Age of Reform, review pp. 215-56.
Gabriel Kolko,
The Triumph of Conservatism (1963), esp. pp. 287-305
William Letwin,
Law and Economic Policy
Ruiz, George W., "The Ideological Convergence of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson,"
Pres. Studies Q. 19 (w 89): 159-77 [xerox drawer: APH]
Stephen Skowronek,
Building a New American State , esp. chs. 1, pp. 165-76, ch. 8, Epilogue
J. Weinstein,
The Corporate Ideal, chs. 1, 3
Zunz, Olivier,
Making America corporate, 1870-1920(1990)

TOPICS FOR REPORTS: (see biblio.
Antitrust, and under topics)

Regulating Industry (any one)

(a) antitrust: the battle against Standard Oil
(b) Railroads (esp. thesis of Albro Martin with relation to Skowronek)
(c) Banking and the Creation of The Federal Reserve System

Women and Creation of the American Welfare State (see Bibliography: Women.Reform)

Week 5. Universities, Professions, Suburbs: the New Middle Class (February 18)

SEC. Gordon, Lynn D. "The Gibson girl goes to college"
American Quarterly v. 39 (Summer '87) p. 211-30
Margaret Marsh, "Suburban Men and Masculine Domesticity 1870-1915,"
American Quarterly 40 (1988): 165-86.[Binder: Secondary]
Wayne Hobson, "Professionals, Progressives, and Bureaucratization,"
Historian 39 (1977), 639-58 [Binder: Secondary]

REC.Lynn D. Gordon,
Gender and Higher Education in the Progressive Era (1990)
Jackson, Kenneth T.
Crabgrass frontier : the suburbanization of the United States (New York 1985), chs. 5-8 [HT384.U5 J33 1985
Marsh, Margaret S.,
Suburban lives ( New Brunswick, NJ , 1990).
Morantz, R.M., "Feminism, Professionalism, and Germs,"
American Quarterly 34 (1982), 459-78


Universities, Pragmatism and Gender (Gordon)
Professionalization: sources and consequences with reference to any one of the following: medicine (Morantz, Markowitz) , law, engineering [see fileserver]
Suburbanization (see biblio. Suburbs, esp. titles by Marsh, Jackson)

Week 6. Community, Consumerism, and Leisure (February 25)

PRIM. Jane Addams,
The Spirit of Youth, chs. 1,4 [Binder: Primary]

SEC. Kathy Peiss,
Cheap Amusements (1986)
Gorman, Paul R.,"Healthy recreation versus "exploiting pleasure" in the progressive era, "in
Left intellectuals & popular culture in twentieth-century (1996) [Binder.Secondary]
Steven Gelber, "Working at Playing: The Culture of the Workplace and the Rise of Baseball,"
J. Social History (1983), 3-22 [Binder:Secondary]

Lewis A. Erenberg,
Stepping Out: New York Night Life and the Transformation of American Culture 1890-1930 (Westport, CT, 1981)
Allen Guttmann,
A Whole New Ball Game, chs. 5-6
Kasson, John,
Amusing the Million
Lary May,
Screening Out the Past: The Birth of Mass Culture and the Motion Picture Industry (1980).
Rosenzweig, Roy,
Eight Hours for What We will

Working Class Entertainment (esp. titles by Peiss, Kasson, and Rosenzweig. .See Bibliog. Leisure
The Movies (see Bibliography Movies esp. title by May)
Rise of Organized Sports (see Bibliogs. Boxing, Baseball, Football, or Sports. Paper on one sport)

Week 7. From "Humanitarianism to "Social Control" (March 4))

Jane Addams, "The Subjective Necessity for Social Settlements" [Binder: Primary]
Edward A. Ross,
Social Control [Binder: Primary]

SEC. Dominck V Cavallo, "Sexual Politics and Social reform: Jane Addams from Childhood to Hull House,"
New Directions in Psychohistory [Binder, Sec.]
Sklar, Kathryn K. "Hull House in the 1890s,"
Signs 10 (1985): 658-77 [Binder:Secondary ]

REC. Lawrence Cremin,
The Transformation of the School
Joel Spring, "Education and Progressivism,"
History of Education Quarterly 10 (1970), 53-71
Norman H. Clark,
Deliver Us from Evil, [on Prohibition]
Reilly, Philip R.
The Surgical Solution, A History of Involuntary Sterilization in the United States (1991) .


Social Settlements and Social Workers (see biblio. Social settlements)

"Progressive "Education
Drinking and Prohibition. See bibliography Prohibition

Spring Break

Week 8. Race and Social Control: Jim Crow and the Black Response (March 18)

PRIM.B.T. Washington, "The Atlanta Exposition Address," [Binder: Primary]
DuBois, "Of B.T.W. and Others,"
Souls of Black Folk [Binder: Primary]
R.S. Baker,
Following the Color Line, ch. 8. [Binder: Primary]

SEC. Robert L. Factor, "Booker T. Washington and the Transformation of the Black Belt Negro,"
Building the Organization Society, ed. J. Israel [Binder: Secondary]

REC. S.P. Fullinwider,
The Mind and Mood of Black America (1969), ch. 3.
E.S. Redkey,
Black Exodus:...Back to Africa, 1890-1910
C.F. Kellogg,
NAACP:1909-20 (1967)

TOPICS FOR REPORTS: (see biblio. African-Americans )

B.T.W. : Stability or Subversion?
DuBois and the "Talented Tenth"
Racial Conflict and the Rise of The NAACP
Jim Crow and the Federal Government

Week 9. Immigration and Restriction (March 25)

PRIM. Dillingham Commission Report Excerpt [Binder: Primary]
Photos by Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine [WWW]

SEC. Yaszek, Lisa,"Them damn pictures": Americanization and the comic strip in the Progressive Era,"
Journal of American Studies 28 (Apr. '94) p. 23-38
O. Handlin, "Old Immigrants and New,"
Race and Nationality in American Life [Binder: Secondary]
Stephen Jay Gould,
The Mismeasure of Man, ch. [Binder, sec.]

REC. Alan M. Krout,
The Huddled Masses...1880-1921 (1982)
Thomas Kessner,
The Golden Door...NYC 1880-1915 (1977)
Kamin, "Psychology and the Immigrant," in
The Science and Politics of IQ, ch. 2

TOPICS FOR REPORTS: (see biblio. Immigration)

How "New " was the "New Immigration" ? (focus on any one or two groups with reference to the Handlin article on Dillingham Commission)
Immigration Restriction (see biblio. Immigration)
Images of Immigants: Riis vs. Hine

Week 10. Labor: Socialism and Scientific Management (April 1)

PRIM. Baker, "Right to Work," in Fitzpatrick, ed.
Muckraking , pp. 81-102

SEC. Daniel Nelson, "Scientific Management and Labor 1880-1915,"
Business History Review 48 (1974) [Binder: Secondary]
John P. Diggins,
The Rise and Fall of the American Left, Preface, chs. 1-4 [Gen. Res.]
David Brody, "The American Worker in the Progressive Age," in
Workers in Industrial America (1980), pp. 3-47 [Binder Sec. and Gen Res.]

REC. Harry Braverman,
Labor and Monopoly Capital (1974), chs.4, 5
Mary Jo Buehl,
Women and Socialism
John J. Cumbler,
Working Class Community in Industrial America 1880-1920
S. Haber,
Efficiency and Uplift (1964)
D. Montgomery,
Worker's Control
D. Nelson,
Managers and Workers (1975)
B. Ramirez,
When Workers Fight (1978)

TOPICS FOR REPORTS: (see biblio. Workers and Socialism)

Labor Unions and Politics
"Scientific Management" and Worker Control
Socialism and Syndicalism
Women, Labor, and Socialism

Week 11. Sex, Reproduction, and the Family (April 8)

SEC Ruth Rosen,
The Lost Sisterhood, Introd. chs 1-3, 8, Epilogue
Chauncey, George, "From Sexual Inversion to Homosexuality, in
Passion and Power, ed. K. Peiss
May, Elaine, "The Pressure to Provide: Class, Consumerism, and Divorce in Urban America 1880-1920,
Journal of Social History 12 (w. 78): 180-93. [Binder: Secondary]

REC. Linda Gordon,
Woman's Body, Woman's Rights, chs. 5-10
Barbara Hobson,
Uneasy Virtue: The Politics of Prostitution (1987)
George Chauncey,
Gay New York ...1890-1940 (1994), chs. 1-4
Mark Haller,
Mark Connelly,
The Response to Prostitution (1980)
James Reed,
From Private Vice to Public Virtue (1978)
O'Neill, "Divorce in the Progressive Era, "
American Quarterly, 18 (summer 1965): 703-17. Also book by same title


Birth Control/Abortion


Week 12. Feminism and the Woman's Movement (April 15)

PRIM. C.P. Gilman,
Women and Economics [Binder: Primary]

SEC. McGerr, Michael "Political Style and Women's Power 1830-1930,"
Journal of American History 77 (Dec. 1990): 864-85 [Binder:Sec]
Cott, "What's in a Name?"[on social feminism],
Journal of American History 76 (1989): 809-29 [Binder: Sec.]
Berkin, C."Charlotte P. Gilman," in
Portraits of American Women , ed. Barker-Benfield and C. Clinton [Binder: Sec]

REC.Carl Degler,
At Odds, chs. 14-15
Sara Evans,
Born for Liberty , ch. 7
William O'Neill,
Everyone Was Brave (1969), chs. 1-5
Nancy Cott,
Grounding of Modern Feminism, chs. 1-2
Aileen Kraditor,
Ideas of the Woman's Suffrage Movement (1965)


"Social Feminism" (see esp. Cott in JAH).
Suffragism (see biblio. Women)
Radical Feminism: C.P. Gilman

Week 13. Progressives and World War I. (April 22)

REQ. *Cooper,
Warrior and the Priest, chs. 17-21
. A. Link, "What Happened to Progressivism in the 1920s?",
American Historical Review 64 (1959)

REC. Carol Gruber,
Mars and Minerva
David Kennedy,
Over Here: The First World War and American Society (1980)
John W. Thompson,
Reformers and War: American Progressive Publicists and World War I (1987)
John F. McClymer,
War and Welfare: Social Engineering in America 1890-1925 (1980)


World War I and Progressivism (any aspect: see Kennedy, Over Here)

Week 14.A Progressive Revival? (April 29)

Review and discussion of recent use of term "progressivism" in light of materials in the course. Readings to be announced.

(no papers: general discussion and review)

Term Papers must be turned in by the time of the final examination.