While some states passed protective legislation business owners fought back claiming that such laws deprived them of their property. Courts often sided with businesses and ruled that social legislation violated a workers freedom of contract. Labor unions joined progressives to improve work conditions. Closed shop: a workplace where all employees must be a union member. Open Shop: nonunion workplace.
Most workers and labor unions did not want to eliminate capitalism and the American way of life. They just wanted to improve how workers were treated. Some workers did not want to change capitalism and they favored socialism. Socialism: government owns most factories, transportation and utilities. Progressivism #81
The major labor union was the AFL led by Samuel Gompers. Only included skilled workers as the union felt that skilled workers could create the greatest potential for change in the workplace. Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)-known as the Wobblies. Radical group of workers that wanted to overthrow capitalism. IWW welcomed the unskilled workers, women, and minorities.
Yet their radical views, strikes, sabotage, and boycotts caused many Americans to fear them, and government largely used force against them until they finally collapsed. Reforming the Cities
By 1920, for the first time, 50% of Americans lived in cities. Cities were overcrowded from immigrants arriving for jobs in factories. Progressivism #82
Cities could not provide adequate water, lighting, fire & police protection, or sewage treatment. Dirt, noise, stench, & inadequate bathing facilities were found in most cities. Disease was wide spread, especially the White Plague which was tuberculosis. Tenement-crowded apartments in the cities.
Families of 8 or more would crowd into a one room apartment. There would be a bathroom for an entire floor of a tenement. Cities and states began to spend more tax revenue to improve water delivery, lighting, police protection as a result of progressive efforts. 1 bathroom for every 3 rooms was required.
New hospitals were built which helped reduce the White Plague. Progressivism #83
Progressives believe that clean and beautiful cities would produce better citizens and instill patriotism in immigrants. City planning movement developed in many cities in U.S. Led by Daniel Burnham. City planning created parks, playgrounds for city children, building codes, and sanitation standards. Examples of city planning are the Mall in Washington D.C. And Central Park in New York City. Moral Reform
Progressives wanted to clean up immoral behavior along with cities. Many believed that social problems such as crime and family break ups were due to alcohol and saloons. Many called for Prohibition-ban on the manufacture, sale, and transport of alcohol. Progressivism #84
Some businesspersons such as Henry Ford prohibited his workers from drinking. Colleges often prohibited students from using alcohol and school textbooks often taught the dangers of alcohol. Yet many immigrants were used to drinking. The saloon was similar to the pub in their old homelands in Europe. They were raised around beer and wine. The saloon to many immigrants was a place to meet friends and find information about jobs. The Anti-Saloon League and Women’s Christian Temperance Union led the crusade against alcohol. Carrie Nation became famous for taking her hatchet into saloons and busting kegs open. In WWI the Navy banned alcohol and people were called on to avoid beer to save hops and barley. Progressivism #85
It became patriotic not to drink. Congress passed the 18th Amendment. 18th Amendment-banned the sale, manufacture and transport of alcohol. Progressives also sought to control movies.
The Great Train Robbery was the first real movie in U.S. By 1910, millions of Americans were going to Nickelodeons (movies which cost a nickel). Movies were cheap entertainment for the entire family.
Yet some progressives believed that...