"Fifth Annual Message of Samuel M. Jones for the Year 1901" and "The Golden Rule"
By: Samuel M. Jones
Date: February 24, 1902; April 1900
Source: Jones, Samuel M. Speeches "Fifth Annual Message of Samuel M. Jones for the Year 1901"; "The Golden Rule." Reprinted in Papers of Samuel M. Jones. Toledo Public Library, Reel 12.
About the Author: Samuel Milton Jones' (1846–1904) employment philosophy, based on a practical application of the Golden Rule, gained him a local reputation as a liberal, and the popular nickname of Golden Rule Jones. His reputation, combined with his community activities, led to his nomination as the compromise mayoral candidate of the Republican Party in 1897. Once elected, Jones applied his unique ideas to the running of the city government and became popular with the working class. Although he was regarded as a dangerous radical by Toledo's traditional power structure, he was re-elected three times. An advocate of fundamental urban reforms, the eccentric Jones was widely recognized as one of the country's leading reform mayors.
The reform impulse known as Progressivism began in response to a newly emerging industrial society in the United States. The...
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"To the Person Sitting in Darkness"
By: Mark Twain
Date: February 1901
Source: Twain, Mark. "To the Person Sitting in Darkness." North American Review. February 1901, 2–5, 7–9, 14–15.
About the Author: Even today, Mark Twain (1834–1910) is one of America's best known and most distinctive authors. Born in the Mississippi River town of Hannibal, Missouri, he was a humorist, lecturer, and author. While Twain is best known for such novels as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, he was capable of biting satire in his works. He did not hesitate to use this skill to take a stand on social and political issues.
In the century and more following the creation of the United States in 1783, the most consistent themes of
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Translation of the Proposed Constitution for Cuba, the Official Acceptance of the Platt Amendment, and the Electoral Law
By: Elihu Root
Date: November 1901
Source: Translation of the Proposed Constitution for Cuba, the Official Acceptance of the Platt Amendment, and the Electoral Law. Elihu Root, trans. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1901.
About the Author: Elihu Root (1845–1937) was a corporate lawyer and U.S. attorney who served as secretary of war from 1899 to 1903 under presidents William McKinley (served 1897–1901) and Theodore Roosevelt (served 1901–1909) and as secretary of state from 1905 to 1909 under Roosevelt. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1912, Root was one of the few Republican supporters of the League of Nations. Although he was the architect and negotiator of the Platt Amendment, it bears the name of Orville H. Platt (1827–1905), Republican senator from Connecticut, who sponsored the measure in the U.S. Senate.
For at least sixty years prior to the turn of the twentieth century, the United States pursued a special relationship with Cuba, then governed by Spain. The main reason was Cuba's strategic location near approaches to the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the Isthmus of Panama. During the 1840s and 1850s, American expansionists had made...
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"Equal Voice Essential"
By: Robert M. La Follette
Source: La Follette, Robert M. "Equal Voice Essential" Speech to Wisconsin legislature, 1901. Reprinted in Torelle, Ellen, ed. The Political Philosophy of Robert M. La Follette. Madison, Wis.: Robert M. La Follette Co., 1920, 30–40.
About the Author: Robert Marion La Follette (1855–1925) was one of the most influential leaders of the Progressive movement. The son of a prosperous Wisconsin farmer, La Follette served as a U.S. congressman from 1885 to 1891. He campaigned against corrupt political practices in unsuccessful bids for the Republican nomination for governor of Wisconsin in 1896 and 1898. After running successfully a third time, he was elected governor in 1900 and launched a thorough reform of Wisconsin politics. La Follette went on to make that state a model of Progressivism for the entire country. Elected to the Senate in 1905, he quickly became a leader of Progressive elements in Congress. In 1924, La Follette gathered a credible five million votes as the Progressive Party candidate for U.S. president.
IntroductionA fundamental difference over the meaning of the American Revolution became evident at the outset of the
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"At Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio, on the Evening of September 20, 1902"
By: Theodore Roosevelt
Date: September 20, 1902
Source: Roosevelt, Theodore. "At Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio, on the Evening of September 20, 1902." Reprinted in Presidential Addresses and State Papers of Thesodore Roosevelt, Part One. New York: Klaus Reprint, 1970.
About the Author: Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) became president of the United States (served 1901–1909) in 1901, following the assassination of President William McKinley (served 1897–1901). Born into a New York patrician family, Roosevelt was part of America's upper class. When he entered politics, he was taking an unusual step for men of his social standing. During his formative years as a politician, he generally avoided taking a position on increasing corporate abuse of economic power. As president he
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"Tweed Days in St. Louis"
By: Lincoln Steffens
Source: Steffens, Lincoln. "Tweed Days in St. Louis." 1902. Reprinted in The Shame of the Cities. New York: P. Smith, 1948, 132–136.
About the Author: Lincoln Steffens (1866–1936) was a leading journalist and Progressive reformer who captured the attention of the American public with a series of articles describing misgovernment and corruption in cities. Originally published in McClure's Magazine and later collected in a
A major catalyst for Progressive reforms was the appalling condition of American cities in the late nineteenth century. While the physical...
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Speeches Before the National American Woman Suffrage Association Conventions, 1903–1906
By: Henry Dixon Bruns, Belle Kearney, Helen Loring Grenfell, Anna Howard Shaw, and Jane Addams
Date: 1903, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906
Source: Harper, Ida Husted, ed. The History of Woman Suffrage. Volume V. New York: Little & Ives, 1922, 66–67, 82–83, 102–103, 125, 169–170, 178–179.
About the Author: Dr. Henry Dixon Bruns (1859–1933) was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on the eve of the Civil War (1861–1865). He graduated from the medical college of the University of Louisiana and spent most of his professional career in New Orleans. Belle Kearney (1863–1939) was a Mississippi-born advocate of woman suffrage. Widely traveled, Kearney was a prominent speaker who addressed audiences across the country on suffrage and temperance issues. Helen Grenfell was one of the first women in the United States elected to statewide public office. She was chosen as Colorado's superintendent of instruction in 1899. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw (1847–1919), along with Susan B. Anthony, was a leader of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, founded in 1890. The British-born Shaw was also a leading temperance activist, a licensed physician, and the first woman ordained as minister in the Methodist Protestant Church. Jane Addams (1860–1935) was an active social reformer...
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Acquiring the Panama Canal
A Statement of Action in Executing
the Act Entitled "An Act to Provide
for the Construction of a Canal
Connecting the Waters of the
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans,"
Approved June 28, 1903
By: Theodore Roosevelt
Date: January 4, 1904
Source: Roosevelt, Theodore. A Statement of Action in Executing the Act Entitled "An Act to Provide for the Construction of a Canal Connecting the Waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans," Approved June 28, 1903. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1904, 4–9.
About the Author: Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) succeeded to the U.S. presidency (served 1901–1909) following the assassination of President William McKinley (served 1897–1901) in 1901. He was far ahead of most of the country's leaders in recognizing that the United States must play an active, engaged role in international affairs. Roosevelt sincerely believed this role to be not only in the interests of the United States, but also the nation's responsibility.
"An Open Letter to John Hay"
By: Daniel Henry Chamberlain
Date: October 2, 1904
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Theodore Roosevelt to Elihu Root, May 20, 1904
By: Theodore Roosevelt
Date: May 20, 1904
Source: Roosevelt, Theodore. "Theodore Roosevelt to Elihu Root, May 20, 1904." Reprinted in The Writings of Theodore Roosevelt. William H. Harbaught, ed. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1967, 72–73.
About the Author: Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) was a president (served 1901–1909) who believed intensely in the greatness and destiny of the United States. Although he was actively engaged in supporting and sometimes leading progressive domestic reforms, his real passion was international affairs. Roosevelt took the country onto the world stage, extending American influence in the Caribbean basin, and engaging in European and Asian affairs.
The Monroe Doctrine has been a cornerstone of American foreign policy since it was announced in 1823. The concept was initially proposed by British Foreign Secretary, George Canning, as a joint United States-British pronouncement intended to dissuade European nations from intervening in colonies that had recently gained their independence from Spain. Recognizing British opposition to such intervention and reluctant to appear to be unduly swayed by Britain, President James Monroe (served 1817–1825) took a different tack, at the urging of...
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"Problems of Immigration"
By: Frank P. Sargent
Source: Sargent, Frank P. "Problems of Immigration." The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Philadelphia: American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1904, 153–158.
About the Author: Frank Pierce Sargent (1854–1908) served in the U.S. Cavalry and participated in the campaign to capture the Apache chieftain, Geronimo. He later gained prominence working for the American Federal of Labor and was twice appointed to positions in the administration of President William McKinley (served 1897–1901). President Theodore Roosevelt (served 1901–1909) later named him commissioner general of immigration. As commissioner, he attempted to represent the interests of laborers, who generally opposed unrestricted immigration.
The United States has always been a nation of immigrants. Until the late 1800s, the preponderance of immigrants came from countries in northern and western Europe—England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia. Beginning around 1880, the immigrant tide began to swell, and a shift occurred in the countries of origin. The so-called "New Immigrants" came from southern and eastern Europe, and they were generally poorer and...
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Sin and Society: An Analysis of Latter-Day Iniquity
By: Edward Alsworth Ross
Source: Ross, Edward Alsworth. Sin and Society: An Analysis of Latter-Day Iniquity. Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1965, 3–19.
About the Author: Edward Alsworth Ross (1866–1951) was a founder of American sociology and a leading intellectual
In the years following the Civil War (1861–1865), conservative ideas dominated American political, economic, and social philosophy. Conservative thinkers attributed personal success and failure to the Darwinist theory of "survival of the fittest," and the playing out of immutable natural social and economic laws. The results were thought to be...
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Declaration of Governors for Conservation of Natural Resources
By: Governors Conference on Conservation
Date: December 6, 1908
Source: Governors Conference on Conservation. Declaration of Governors for Conservation of Natural Resources. Farmers' Bulletin 340. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1908.
About the Organization: The Governors Conference on Conservation was convened by President Theodore Roosevelt (served 1901–1909) at the White House in May 1908. Governors of the forty-four states, their advisors, and scores of experts attended the three-day meeting. At the conclusion of the conference, the governors unanimously adopted a report titled Declaration of Governors for Conservation of Natural Resources, drafted by Governors Newton C. Blanchard (Louisiana), John Franklin Fort (New Jersey), J.O. Davidson (Wisconsin), John C. Cutler (Utah), and Martin F. Ansel (South Carolina).
When settlers arrived on the eastern shores of the present-day United States in the early seventeenth century, they found seemingly limitless natural resources—farmland, timber, waterways, wildlife, minerals, and ores. Over the next two hundred years, waves of immigrants expanded the thriving country as they moved steadily westward in search of new land and more resources. By...
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By: Tom Loftin Johnson
Source: Johnson, Tom Loftin. My Story. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1993, 121–130.
About the Author: Tom Loftin Johnson (1854–1911) was one of the great mayors in American history. The son of a Confederate Army officer, Johnson began his career in Louisville in the street railway business. He eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio, and became wealthy from his interests in street railways and steel. In 1891, Johnson abandoned business for the life of a reform-minded politician. He served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (served 1891–1895) and was elected to four terms as mayor of Cleveland (served 1901–1909).
Numerous critiques of the American economic and political system evolved during the two decades after the Civil War (1861–1865). One of the most influential was Progress and Poverty by Henry George, first published in 1879. In the book, George pointed out the failure of the existing system to develop into one that ensured a more equitable distribution of wealth. Despite tremendous technological advances and increases in the productive capacity of the nation, he noted, poverty was on the rise instead of being eradicated by this...
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