Office: O'Connor 2313
Office Hours: MF 10:30-11:30
Phone: 554-6889 and by appointment
*If I were asked to designate the most thrilling years...from the year of my birth in 1873 to the present year, 1950, I would say the years between 1900 and 1914. Life was full of hope and freedom. Great movements were starting everywhere. In the United States, the loudest voice in the land was that of the liberal. Everyone was fighting for something. Everyone was sure of victory.*
--Unpublished writings, quoted in American Women in the Progressive Era, 1900-1920 by Dorothy Schneider and Carl Schneider, p. iii.
This course will examine the exciting, optimistic, frustrating, inspiring, and incredibly complex period in our nation's history known as the Progressive Era. Our goal is not *just* achieve an understanding of this elusive period, but to have that understanding illuminate our current political and social views.
According to a Chinese proverb:
I hear and I forget
I see and remember
I do and I understand.
Therefore, your grade for the course will be determined by:
Research Paper 25%
Weekly Papers 25%
The first thing you'll want to do is to subscribe to Society For Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (SHGAPE) list on H-net. SHGAPE is a very dynamic resource that includes three major programs: the daily e-mail discussion list, the website, and the book review program. Take advantage of all three.
To subscribe to the daily e-mail discussion list, address your message to Listserv@msu.edu
then send this one-line email message:
subscribe h-shgape firstname, lastname, Santa Clara U.
If you don't get a response within a day or so, notify me. Once you are on the list you will be sent a welcoming message that contains important information (like how to get OFF the list at the end of the quarter) so make sure you print and/or save that message.
The SHGAPE Website address is: http://h-net2.msu.edu/~shgape
To go directly to resources:
I cannot exaggerate the wealth of valuable information available through this website. You can examine the syllabi of progressive era courses being offered around the country--and consult extensive bibliographic materials, including a number of fine historiographical essays. Don't overlook this invaluable resource as your prepare to research your selected topic. A former colleague of mine who used to go to great pains to personally compile the most comprehensive source list possible now simply refers them to the Web.
In a seminar, informed discussion is everything. This is a very rigorous, time consuming course. Although each week's combined reading is *only* 200 pages (or less), the articles are, for the most part, sophisticated and challenging, requiring not just a quick skim through but careful reading and thoughtful reflection. Look over this syllabus (and the handout on paper requirements) carefully and make sure that you have sufficient time and energy required by this course. I guarantee that your *investment* will pay off handsomely, not only in subsequent history courses but across the disciplines and in professional life. (I eschew false modesty)
This is your opportunity to develop a number of important skills in a friendly, comfortable atmosphere. Here there are no *dumb* questions (well, very few, anyway) and students can examine and debate a variety of interpretations as they explore a complex subject. Critical thinking, curiosity, and enthusiasm are vital elements we all must bring to the table if the course is to be a success.
Each week's readings include both primary and secondary sources. All readings have been selected to present you with a variety of views on the particular week's topic. They are arranged in the order that I anticipate the discussion will naturally flow, but you may approach them in whatever order makes the most sense to you. This is your seminar. The readings are designed to facilitate discussion: my job is direct that discussion, not dominate it.
To further facilitate thoughtful discussion, a brief (2 page) paper on each week's readings will be due, in my box in O'Connor 17, by 10:30 the Wednesday morning of each class day. Late papers will NOT be accepted except in case of verifiable emergency. Make sure to bring your own copy of your paper to class. Each week's paper should begin with a general question (or two or three) the combined readings have evoked. The remainder of the paper will be your attempt to answer that question based on the most persuasive of the various views of the week's authors.
The two books required for the course are *The Tyranny of Change: America in the Progressive Era 1890-1920* by John Whiteclay Chambers II and *Amusing The Million* by John Kasson. All other readings are organized into weekly files and can be found on reserve in the library. If your budget allows, I strongly recommend that you photocopy these readings. This not only allows you unlimited access, you can mark passages you find troubling, inspiring, confusing, profound, etc., etc., and refer to them in class.
April 2 (Week 1)
Introduction to course and to the Progressive Era
April 9 (Week 2)
Your typed research proposal, including topic, tentative thesis, and working bibliography is due at the beginning of class. Origins and Meanings of Progressivism
R. James J. Connolly, *GAPE Bibliography: Progressivism* R.Bonnie Mitelman, *Rose Schneiderman and the Triangle Fire* R. (Hofstadter, pp. 28-33) Upton Sinclair, Excerpt from The Jungle
This document--and all *Hofstadter* documents will be found in the packet on reserve entitled Progressivism, introduced and edited by Richard Hofstadter
R. Peter Filene, *An Obituary for The Progressive Movement* Chambers, Preface and ch. 1 *Crisis of the 1890s* pp. vii-24 Chambers, Ch. 2 *Prelude to the 20th Century* pp.25-53 R. Stanley Caine, *The Origins of Progressivism* R. Richard Hofstadter, *The Meaning of the Progressive Movement* R. John Buenker, *Bread and Butter Liberalism: Launching the Welfare State* R. John Buenker, *Essay*
April 16 (week 3)
Progressive Era Politics
For careful review:
Chambers Ch. 5 *the Progressive Impulse*
R. in Fink *Honest Graft* by Boss Plunkett
R. in Hofstadter, William Allen White on Boss system 1910
and: David Graham Phillips Attacks a National boss and: Lincoln Steffens reports on La Follette's reforms and: Wm. Allen White on the Revival of Democracy 1910 and: Wilson Assails the Tariff Lobby 1913 and :Croly on the Techniques of Democracy, 1915 R. Link and McCormick, Ch. 2 *The Transformation of Politics and Government* R.Hays, *the Politics of Reform in America; Govt. In the Progressive era* R. Huthmacher, *Urban Liberalism and the Age of Reform* R.in Buenker, *Revamping the Political System* read carefully for main arguments, but skim his lengthy examinations of supportive evidence
April 23 (week 4)
Business in the Progressive Era
R. In Hofstadter: Ida Tarbell on Standard Oil and Pujo Committee on Money Trust and *La Follette pleads for RR reforms* and TR on Great Corporations and TR on New Nationalism and Progressive Party 1912 platform and Wilson on New Freedom and Walter Lippman Analyzes the Anti Trust ideal R. in Kennedy: *Views of Business Consolidation* by various authors Chambers Ch. 3 *The Corporate Revolution* R. Fink:Ch. 10 *New Nationalism v. New Freedom* by John Milton Cooper, Jr.
Labor in the Progressive Era
R. In Hofstadter, Croly on Unionism and National interest 1909 and Gompers Testifies on the needs of Labor 1913 R.Daniel Nelson, *Scientific Management and Labor 1880-1915,* Business History Review 48 (1974) R.Fink Ch. 10 Ironies of Protective Labor Legislation (This article appears at the end of Cooper's *New Nationalism v. New Freedom*) R.Daniel Fusfeld, *Government and the Suppression of Radical Labor, 1877-1918.* (From Statemaking and Social Movements.) Skim pp.344-360. Read pp. 360-372.
April 30 (Week 5)
Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Progressive Era
Chambers, Ch. 4 *A Changing Society and Culture* pp.80-102
R. O'Neill, *Divorce in the Progressive Era,* American Quarterly 18 (Summer 1965). R. Susan Curtis *Social Gospel and Victorian Manhood* R.In Hofstadter: Marie Van Vorst on Plight of Working Woman, 1903 and Ray Stannard Baker on Condition of Negro 1905 and John Spargo on Child Labor and Rhet Dorr on role of American Women, 1910 and Jane Addams Indicts an Ancient Evil, 112 R. Maldwyn Jones, *The Demand for Restriction, 1882-1924,* American Immigration. R.Kathryn Sklar, *Hull House in the 1890s: a Community of Women Reformers* Signs. R.Peggy Pascoe, *Gender Systems in Conflict: the Marriages of Mission-Educated Chinese American Women, 1874-1939,* Journal of Social History June, 1989. R. C. Vann Woodward, *Progressivism: for Whites Only,* Origins of the New South. R. Schneider, Dorothy, *Black Women on the Move,* American Women in the Progressive Era, 1900-1920 1993.
May 7 (Week 6)
Conservation and Environment in the Progressive Era
R. Carolyn Merchant, ed., *Resource Conservation in a Industrializing Society* (Ch. 10) R. Carolyn Merchant, ed., *Wilderness Preservation at the Turn of the Century* (Ch. 11) Chambers pp. 182-3 R. Leon Fink. ed., *Protecting the Natural and Man-Made [sic] Environments* (Ch. 12) R. James Penick, *The Progressives and the Environment: 3 Themes from the first Conservation Movement*
May 14 (Week 7)
Commercialized Leisure in the Progressive Era
Chambers. Ch. 3 continued pp. 102-131
R. Leigh Schmidt, *The Commercialization of the Calandar,* JAH 78 (Dec. 91):887-916. R.Steven Gelber, *Working at Playing: The Culture of the Workplace and the Rise of Baseball,* Journal of Social History (1983) 3-22. John Kasson, Amusing the Million
May 21 (Week 8)
Last day drafts of research papers will be accepted
Political Personalities of the Progressive Era
Chambers ch. 6 *The Washington Whirligig*
R.Edmond Morris, *Theodore Roosevelt* American Heritage, June/July 1981, Vol. 32, No. 4. R.Kathleen Dalton, *Why America Loved Teddy Roosevelt Or, Charisma is in the Eye of the Beholder,* Psychohistory Review 8, Winter 1979): 16-26. R.Judith Icke Anderson, *Taft in the Whitehouse,* and *The End of a Beautiful Friendship,* from William Howard Taft. R. Charles McCarthy Inventories Wisconsin's La Follette-Era Reforms (1909-1911) R. Max Otto, *I Meet Senator La Follette* R. Frederic Ogg, *Robert M. La Follette in Retrospect* R. Earl Warren, *Robert M. La Follette, Sr.* R. John F. Kennedy on Robert M. La Follette R.Nancy C. Unger, *The 'Political Suicide' of Robert M. La Follette: Public Disaster, Private Catharsis,* Psychohistory Review R. David Cronon, *Woodrow Wilson,* in Morton Borden, ed., America's Ten Greatest Presidents 207-31.
May 28 (Week 9)
Foreign Affairs During the Progressive Era
Chambers, Ch. 7 *Taking the Flag Overseas*
R. Fink Ch. 14 *The Language of Empire*
Chambers Ch. 8 *WWI and the Search for a New World Order, 1917-1920 R. Fink Ch. 15 *America and the Great War* R. John M. Cooper, *Progressivism and American Foreign Policy: A Reconsideration,* Mid-America 51 (1969)
June 4 (Week 10)
Final research papers due
The Meaning and Legacy of the Progressive Era
R. Daniel Rodgers, *In Search of Progressivism,* Reviews in Am. Hist 1982 Chambers Ch. 9 *the Meaning of Progressive Era* R. Link and McCormick, *the Decline and Endurance of Progressivism* R.Richard McCormick, *Evaluating the Progressives* in Fink Ch. 9 R. Dewey Grantham, *The Progressive Era and the Reform Tradition* R. Link, *What Happened to Progressivism in the 1920s?* AHR 64 (1959) R. Robert Westbrook, *Lewis Hine and the Two Faces of Progressive Photography* Fink 9 R. Gabriel Kolko, *The Triumph of Conservatism* R. William Leuchetenberg, *Tired Radicals* R. Otis Graham, *Progressivism and the New Deal* R. John Beunker, *The Progressive Era: A Search for a Synthesis*
Return to H-SHGAPE Home Page.
Patrick D. Reagan
Tennessee Technological University
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