|After-School Workshop, March 27, 2003|
Coming to Terms with "Progress":
America in an Age of Reform
Facilitator: Dr. Penelope Harper, Binghamton University
Focus on Documents:
At the CTAH we emphasize teaching with documents.
We believe that primary documents can draw students into history in ways
that challenge and excite them. Through examining documents students are
faced with the realities of history and they learn to be critical
Primary documents are an increasingly important part of the curriculum and
are now used regularly in New York State standardized tests.
Selection of documents available for use in teaching Progressive
Gilder Lehrer Institute's page of links to wide range of documents on the
Progressive Era. Some of the links are repeated below.
Urbanization and Poverty:
photos of New York City in the early 1900s
photos of urbanization in the early 1900s
hypertext edition of Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives
C-SPAN's American writers series page on Upton Sinclair and The Jungle,
with lesson ideas, Progressive Era timeline
full text of W.E. B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk
African American women writing about lynching (includes Ida B. Wells)
Roosevelt letter on conservation
Chronology of conservation movement with links to documents
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:
State and Muncipal Reform
text of speech by Wisconsin's Robert La Follette outlining reforms
selection of quotes about urban political machines
text of Roosevelt's The Strenuous Life, with links to other
Text of suffrage speech
woman suffrage timeline
Library of Congress document relating to suffrage
Documents relating to suffrage tactics
Election of 1912
Site devoted to the election of 1912, organized by issue, contains links
to speeches and cartoons
Roosevelt speech defining the New Nationalism
Wilson's 1913 inaugural speech
Cornell's site on the Triangle Fire. Contains links to many documents
Lewis Hine photos of child workers
Text of Justice Brewer's opinion in Muller v. Oregon
Full text of Lochner v. New York
selection of quotes relating to trusts and monopolies
Progressive Reform in the curriculum:
Belief in the use of government power
Increasing inequities between rich and poor
Muckrakers: The Jungle, Pure Food and Drug Act
Racial Discrimination: NAACP, anti-lynching, Ida B. Wells, Booker T.
Temperance and Prohibition: WCTU
Conservation: John Muir, Gifford Pincot, National Park System
Government and Politics
Direct election of senators: 17th amendment
Woman suffrage: 19th amendment
Election of 1912
Labor Laws: Muller v. Oregon, Lochner v. New York
Trust Busting: Clayton Anti-trust act
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Reserve System
Income Tax: 16th amendment
Essential Questions and Unit Questions
Understanding By Design, Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe
Go to the heart of a discipline.
Recur naturally throughout one's learning and in the history of a field.
Raise other important questions.
Provide subject and topic specific doorways to essential questions.
Are deliberately framed to provoke and sustain student interest.
Are focused around a particular document or event
Lead students to answer unit questions
What are Essential Questions and Unit Questions for Progressive
What scaffolding questions can we ask of these documents?
How are they related to unit and essential questions?
How could we insert them into a lesson?
Document 1: Photo of family in attic home with drying laundry
Document 2: Letter from Roosevelt, 1909
The policy of conservation is perhaps the most typical example of the
general policies which this Government has made peculiarly its own during
the opening years of the present century. The function of our Government
is to insure to all its citizens, now and hereafter, their rights to life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If we of this generation destroy
the resources from which our children would otherwise derive their
livelihood, we reduce the capacity of our land to support a population,
and so either degrade the standard of living or deprive the coming
generations of their right to life on this continent. If we allow great
industrial organizations to exercise unregulated control of the means of
production and the necessaries of life, we deprive the Americans of to-day
and of the future of industrial liberty, a right no less precious and
vital than political freedom. Industrial liberty was a fruit of political
liberty, and in turn has become one of its chief supports, and exactly as
we stand for political democracy so we must stand for industrial
democracy. . . .
Document 3: From Robert LaFollette's autobiography
. . . If it can be shown that Wisconsin is a happier and better state to
live in, that its institutions are more democratic, that the opportunities
of all its people are more equal, that social justice more nearly
prevails, that human life is safer and sweeter--then I shall rest content
in the feeling that the Progressive movement has been successful. And I
believe all these things can really be shown, and that there is no reason
now why the movement should not expand until it covers the entire nation.
While much has been accomplished, there is still a world of problems yet
to be solved; we have just begun; there is hard fighting, and a chance for
the highest patriotism, still ahead of us. The fundamental problem as to
which shall rule, men or property, is still unsettled; it will require the
highest qualities of heroism, the profoundest devotion to duty in this and
in the coming generation, to reconstruct our institutions to meet the
requirements of a new age. May such brave and true leaders develop that
the people will not be led astray. . . .
Document 4: Lewis Hine photo of Child workers
Document 5: opinion of Justice Peckham in Lochner v. New York
It is a question of which of two powers or rights shall prevail -- the
power of the State to legislate or the right of the individual to liberty
of person and freedom of contract. The mere assertion that the subject
relates though but in a remote degree to the public health does not
necessarily render the enactment valid. The act must have a more direct
relation, as a means to an end, and the end itself must be appropriate and
legitimate, before an act can be held to be valid which interferes with
the general right of an individual to be free in his person and in his
power to contract in relation to his own labor.