Various reform groups with various causes developed in the US in the late 1800s and early 1900s; these are loosely called “Progressives” as they aimed to use government policies or science to improve and advance society. Also, this period was a time when the US started as a major player in international conflicts—first in the “Spanish American War and then in World War I. There were deep isolationist sentiments about such overseas entanglements, and President Wilson first has one position and then the other.
Choose and discuss (in a full paragraph or two) one of the following two topics related to the late 1800s and early 1900s.
- In the Progressive Era (roughly 1890–1920), multiple groups advocated for reforms in various aspects of government, society, and the economy. Discuss here the “muckrakers” and Taylor’s “scientific management”.
- Explain briefly the approach and aim of the “muckrakers” and that of F. W. Taylor.
- Compare their approaches and describe your feelings about them, and relate some modern situation that reminds you of one of these approaches and reform causes.
- Identify the source(s) where you read about the reform cause.
- From the text, Wilson did not maintain his own campaign slogan (“He kept us out of war”).
- Explain with some specifics why Wilson became pro-war. Describe your own feelings on that issue when you look back at it, and whether he was right to change.
- Briefly, identify a similar international consideration today—or of the last 20 years, and what lesson might be drawn from the example in Wilson’s time.
- Identify the source(s) where you read about Wilson.