Chapter Study Outline
[Introduction: Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire]
An Urban Age and a Consumer Society
Farms and Cities
For the last time in American history, farms and cities grew together. It was the city that became the focus of Progressive politics and of a new mass consumer society. New York was the largest city.
A new generation of journalists writing for mass-circulation national magazines exposed the ills of industrial and urban life. Lincoln Steffens
Major novelists of the era took a similar unsparing approach to social ills. Upton Sinclair
Immigration as a Global Process
Between 1901 and 1914, 13 million immigrants came to the United States, many through Ellis Island. Asian and Mexican immigrants entered the United States in fewer numbers. Asians entered through Angel Island.
The Immigrant Quest for Freedom
Like their nineteenth-century predecessors, the new immigrants arrived imagining the United States as a land of freedom. Some immigrants were "birds of passage," who planned on returning to their homeland. The new immigrants clustered in close-knit ethnic neighborhoods. Consumer Freedom
The advent of large department stores in central cities, chain stores in urban neighborhoods, and retail mail-order houses for farmers and small-town residents made available to consumers throughout the country the vast array of goods now pouring from the nation's factories. Leisure activities also took on the characteristics of mass consumption. "Nickelodeon" motion-picture theaters
The Working Woman
Traditional gender roles were changing dramatically as more women were working for wages. Married women were working more.
The working woman became a symbol of female emancipation.
Battles emerged within immigrant families of all nationalities between parents and their self-consciously "free" children, especially daughters. The Rise of Fordism
Henry Ford revolutionized manufacturing with the moving assembly line. Ford paid his employees five dollars a day so that they could afford to buy his car. The Promise of Abundance
Economic abundance would eventually come to define the American way of life, in which personal fulfillment was to be found through acquiring material goods. Earning a "living wage" came to be viewed as a natural and absolute right of citizenship. Father John A. Ryan
Mass consumption came to occupy a central place in descriptions of American society and its future. Varieties of Progressivism
Frederick W. Taylor pioneered scientific management.
Eroded freedom of the skilled workers
Many believed that unions embodied an essential principle of freedom-the right of people to govern themselves. The Socialist Presence and Eugene Debs
The Socialist Party called for immediate reforms.
Socialism flourished in diverse communities throughout the country. New York
Eugene Debs was socialism's loudest voice.
He ran for president in 1912 on the Socialist ticket.
AFL and IWW
The AFL sought to forge closer ties with forward-looking corporate leaders who were willing to deal with unions as a way to stabilize employee relations. A group of unionists who rejected the AFL's exclusionary policies formed the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The New Immigrants on Strike
Immigrant strikes demonstrated that while ethnic divisions among workers impeded labor solidarity, ethnic cohesiveness could also be a basis of unity. The Lawrence strike demonstrated that workers sought not only higher wages but the opportunity to enjoy the finer things in life. Labor and Civil Liberties
The courts rejected the claims of labor.
Labor unions fought for the right to assemble and speak freely. The New Feminism
Feminists' forthright attack on traditional rules of sexual behavior added a new dimension to the discussion of personal freedom. Issues of intimate personal relations previously confined to private discussion blazed forth in popular magazines and public debates....
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