Progressive Era Through the Great Depression

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Progressive Era Through the Great Depression Tynisha Miller Assignment 2: History 105 Professor Tonya Simmons November 11, 2012 Identify at least two (2) major historical turning points in the period under discussion. The women’s suffrage is one of the major historical turning points in the Progressive Era. During this time there were two groups that pushed and furthered the cause of women’s suffrage. The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), founded in 1890, and the National Women’s Party (NWP), founded in 1913 and led by Alice Paul (Schultz,2012,pg. 41-42). The second major historical turning point in this era I will discuss is the Stock Market Crash of October 1929. The Stock Market Crash of 1929 devastated the economy and was a key factor in beginning the Great Depression. Analyze the impact of the two (2) or more major historical turning points selected on America’s current society, economy, politics, and culture. The Women’s Suffrage movement had a major impact on society, economy, politics, and culture.
In 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment was passed and women won the right to vote (Schultz, 2012, pg. 342). The enfranchisement of women was the largest expansion of the voting population in American history, significantly increasing the American electorate. This movement opened many doors for women; they now knew that they had a voice and the right to speak on political issues within the government and allowed them property rights. The stock market crash of 1929 caused fear and panic throughout the country and resulted in the beginning of the Great Depression.
All aspects of the economy were affected by this downward spiral in the stock market; it caused many banks and businesses to fail and have to fail for bankruptcy. Unemployment increased, which created a decrease in purchasing power for consumers and that led to businesses having to lower prices on merchandise. Many laborers were forced to choose between wage cuts and pink slips, others who retained their jobs saw their income shrink by a third (U. S. History). It was years before this downward cycle broke.

Speculate as to why women earned the right to vote in the frontier states of the west before eastern and southern states. Leading suffragists like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were Easterners, thought their home states would be the first to accept women's suffrage (Old West, 1889). Stanton and Anthony, accused abolitionist and Republican supporters of emphasizing black civil rights at the expense of women's rights, formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) in May of 1869 (National Archives).
The National American Women Suffrage Association campaigned for a federal amendment to enfranchise women. The American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), founded 6 months later by Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, protested the confrontational tactics of the NWSA and tied itself closely to the Republican Party while concentrating solely on securing the vote for women state by state (National Archives). In 1890 the two suffrage organizations merged into the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) (National Archives).
Stanton became its president, Anthony became its vice president, and Stone became chairman of the executive committee (National Archives). In the west the male ratio dominated women in numbers, meaning that men definitely held power in the western states. Some historians suggest western men may have been rewarding pioneer women for their critical role in settling the West (Old West, 1889). Describe at least two (2) pieces of legislation in the Roosevelt-Taft-Wilson progressive era years that have influenced the conduct of business to this day and what that influence has been.
Theodore . Roosevelt believed that industrial society was threatened by the immortality of big businessmen, who were more interested in personal gain than in the good of society (Schultz, 2012, pg. 343). Even though Roosevelt punished multiple companies for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act, his main focus was on the nation’s railroads who were accused of abusing the industry. The Elkins Act of 1903 was a part of the legislation put into place in order to end the practice of railroad companies granting shipping rebates to favorable companies (American President).
Realizing that the Elkins Act was not effective he introduced the Hepburn Act of 1906, which limited prices that railroads could charge and allowed the federal government to monitor the financial books of the large railroad (Schultz, 2012, pg. 343). Roosevelt’s successor was William H. Taft; he helped put companies under control by getting the Mann-Elkin Act passed (William Taft, 27th President). This act focused on the telephone, telegraph, radio, and cable companies as well as railroad companies, allowing the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to monitor.
President Wilson; assisted in passing the Clayton Antitrust Act in 1914, this law outlawed unfair practices among businesses, he also supported the creation of the Federal Trade Commission, a government agency that had the right to investigate business practices and issue rulings to prevent businesses from continuing such practices (Schultz,2012,pg. 344). Explain the role that the Spanish American War played in America’s development of an Empire. The war between Spain and the United States transformed the U. S. into a major overseas power (Schultz, 2012, pg. 53). For years the U. S. has been interested in gaining possession of overseas territories in order to pursue naval bases, trade agreements, and democratic ideas. Imperialist believed that if the U. S. wanted to be viewed as holding world power, then they had to show that they were a powerful nation. A leading nation had to have military might and foreign possessions (US History). Initially the decision to enter into war was not for imperialism but for humanitarian, geopolitical and commercial reasons (Schultz, 2012, pg. 53). The economy was being ruined because of the fighting between the Cubans and the Spanish. American’s understood and sympathized with Cubans’ fighting for their independence from Spain. Explain at least two (2) ways in which the boom and bust of the Roaring Twenties followed by the Great Depression affected the federal government’s involvement in the national economy. In response to the Great Depression President Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, increased federal spending tremendously.
The “New Deal” was put into place to regulate the economy, provide for national recovery, and create a social safety net for all Americans (Schultz, 2012, pg. 395). Roosevelt knew he needed to first address the banking crisis, because of this he formed the Emergency Banking Relief Act. This Act passed on March 9, 1933, established federal control over banks and, if necessary, rescued them from disaster with government loans (Schultz, 2012, pg. 396). The Federal Emergency Relief Administration was formed to create economic programs to employ the unemployed (Schultz, 2012, pg. 96). Before this the Federal Government had never released funds for public works projects. The Civilian Conservation Corps was one of FERA’s most successful of all the public works projects. The CCC enlisted unemployed young men to building and repairing highways, forest service sites, flood control projects and national park buildings (Schultz, 2012, pg. 396). References Schultz, K. M. (2012). HIST2 (Vol. 2). Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. U. S. History Online Textbook: Sinking Deeper and Deeper:1929-33: Retrieved from-http://www. shistory. org/us/48b. asp Old West (September 30, 1989) Wyoming Legislators write the first state constitution to grant women the right to vote. Retrieved from- http://www. history. com American President: Theodore Roosevelt: Domestic Affairs: Retrieved from- http://www. millercenter. org William Howard Taft: Biography: Retrieved from- http://www. biography. com/people/william-taft-9501184 United States American History. Spanish-American War: Retrieved from- http://www. u-s-history. com

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