Progressivism/Imperialism Essay

Progressivism/Imperialism Essay.

While some states passed protective legislation business owners fought back claiming that such laws deprived them of their property. Courts often sided with businesses and ruled that social legislation violated a workers freedom of contract. Labor unions joined progressives to improve work conditions. Closed shop: a workplace where all employees must be a union member. Open Shop: nonunion workplace. Most workers and labor unions did not want to eliminate capitalism and the American way of life. They just wanted to improve how workers were treated.

Some workers did not want to change capitalism and they favored socialism.

Socialism: government owns most factories, transportation and utilities. Progressivism #81 The major labor union was the AFL led by Samuel Gompers. Only included skilled workers as the union felt that skilled workers could create the greatest potential for change in the workplace. Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)-known as the Wobblies. Radical group of workers that wanted to overthrow capitalism. IWW welcomed the unskilled workers, women, and minorities.

Yet their radical views, strikes, sabotage, and boycotts caused many Americans to fear them, and government largely used force against them until they finally collapsed.

Reforming the Cities By 1920, for the first time, 50% of Americans lived in cities. Cities were overcrowded from immigrants arriving for jobs in factories. Progressivism #82 Cities could not provide adequate water, lighting, fire & police protection, or sewage treatment. Dirt, noise, stench, & inadequate bathing facilities were found in most cities. Disease was wide spread, especially the White Plague which was tuberculosis. Tenement-crowded apartments in the cities. Families of 8 or more would crowd into a one room apartment. There would be a bathroom for an entire floor of a tenement.

Cities and states began to spend more tax revenue to improve water delivery, lighting, police protection as a result of progressive efforts. 1 bathroom for every 3 rooms was required. New hospitals were built which helped reduce the White Plague. Progressivism #83 Progressives believe that clean and beautiful cities would produce better citizens and instill patriotism in immigrants. City planning movement developed in many cities in U. S. Led by Daniel Burnham. City planning created parks, playgrounds for city children, building codes, and sanitation standards. Examples of city planning are the Mall in Washington D.

C. And Central Park in New York City. Moral Reform Progressives wanted to clean up immoral behavior along with cities. Many believed that social problems such as crime and family break ups were due to alcohol and saloons. Many called for Prohibition-ban on the manufacture, sale, and transport of alcohol. Progressivism #84 Some businesspersons such as Henry Ford prohibited his workers from drinking. Colleges often prohibited students from using alcohol and school textbooks often taught the dangers of alcohol. Yet many immigrants were used to drinking. The saloon was similar to the pub in their old homelands in Europe.

They were raised around beer and wine. The saloon to many immigrants was a place to meet friends and find information about jobs. The Anti-Saloon League and Women’s Christian Temperance Union led the crusade against alcohol. Carrie Nation became famous for taking her hatchet into saloons and busting kegs open. In WWI the Navy banned alcohol and people were called on to avoid beer to save hops and barley. Progressivism #85 It became patriotic not to drink. Congress passed the 18th Amendment. 18th Amendment-banned the sale, manufacture and transport of alcohol. Progressives also sought to control movies.

The Great Train Robbery was the first real movie in U. S. By 1910, millions of Americans were going to Nickelodeons (movies which cost a nickel). Movies were cheap entertainment for the entire family. Yet some progressives believed that romance movies were immoral and sources of temptation. They wanted censorship though such censorship was limited. Progressives focused their energies on the poor and not on the discrimination of African Americans and Native Americans who did not benefit greatly from progressivism. Progressivism #86 W. E. B. DuBois-first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard.

Believed that African Americans should strive for education and be political active fighting for racial equality. Later became a Communist. Cofounder of NAACP. Booker T. Washington-African American who believed that African Americans should focus on education and not fight discrimination. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)-organization formed to end racial discrimination. NAACP won their first struggle in Guinn v. US and outlawed the grandfather clause that the South used to prevent African Americans from voting. National Urban League-formed to improve racial equality in employment and housing.

Progressivism had mixed results for immigrants. They helped city life but also criticized immigrants for drinking, gambling and supporting political bosses. They wanted to Americanize the immigrant. Native Americans were largely left out of Progressivism. Formed Society of American Indians. Progressivism #87 Reforming Government Progressives wanted government to be more responsive to the people. 17th Amendment-allowed for voters to elect U. S. Senators. Before this, each state legislature chose the U. S. Senate. Initiative-allows voters to introduce legislation.

Referendum-With enough signatures on a petition, voters can cause a law passed by the legislature to be put before the people for a vote. Recall-voters can remove an elected official from office by calling a special election. In 1900, McKinley wins Presidency with Theodore Roosevelt (Teddy or TR) as VP. When McKinley was assassinated Teddy became president. Teddy had been governor of New York and was a strong Progressive creating many reforms. Youngest President ever at 42, he believed the President should use government to cause change, not to keep a hand-off approach. Gave the White House its name.

Progressivism #88 150,000 coal miners went on strike for recognition of the union (United Mine Workers) and higher pay. Some wanted TR to have the government take over the mines. TR called for Arbitration-a third party settles disputes between two opposing sides. Workers received a shorter day and better pay but mine owners did not have to recognize the union. Everybody received something and TR called it a Square Deal which became TR’s campaign slogan in 1904. Tr’s Square Deal called for limiting the power of trusts and monopolies, promoting public health and safety, and improving working conditions.

TR believed big business was essential to the nation’s growth but should be regulated a big business could be irresponsible. Progressivism #89 Trusts-large corporations that combined resources to create monopolies and control markets. TR believed some trusts were bad in that they competed unfairly, sold inferior products, and corrupted politicians. Elkins Act-forbade shipping companies from giving rebates in return for business. Hepburn Act-authorized the ICC to set railroad rates and regulate interstate commerce. Food and drug companies often sold dangerous products.

Chemists would add ingredients such as skim milk to spoiled butter to make it look fresh. Drug companies sold medicines containing alcohol, cocaine, and morphine. Progressives wanted the government to pass laws requiring pure ingredients in products. Progressivism #90 The Jungle-bestselling book by Upton Sinclair about the unsanitary conditions in the meatpacking industry. Beef would be allowed to spoil, rats would nest on stacks of beef, and saliva from workers would contaminate the beef. Workers often worked in ankle deep body fluids, sometimes with open sores.

The book created a public outcry so TR and the progressives encouraged passage laws. Meat Inspection Act-required federal government to inspect meat. Pure Food and Drug Act-Forbade the manufacture, sale, or transport of food and medicine containing harmful ingredients and required labels of ingredients. TR and progressives were also concerned about the environment. Progressivism #91 Natural resources were being overused by business. Lumber companies would destroy vast areas of timber, ranchers grazed cattle on federal lands and consumed most seedlings, while miners would strip the surface soil for minerals.

TR set aside 150 million acres of forest reserves. Congress created national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, the first being Yellowstone National Park. TR believed that future generations should experience nature and the expanse of the West. Reclamation-making damaged land productive again. In 1908, TR does not seek reelection but supports William Howard Taft, his secretary of war. TR believed Taft would continue the progressive reforms. Democrats ran William Jennings Bryan. The right of citizens outside the legislature to originate legislation. Progressivism #92

Taft won and did continue progressivism with 90 antitrust suits against big companies (TR had 44), expanding power of ICC to regulate telephone and telegraph companies, set aside more land for conservation, reforms for workers and child labor, 8 hour workday for companies doing business with federal government. Also created Dept. of Labor. 16th Amendment-first permanent income tax in America. Yet Taft was different from TR. He lacked experience, did not enjoy the publicity of the presidency, and did not want to exceed the authority of the presidency.

Taft lost support of progressives when he allowed tariffs to be raised and some public lands to be sold. TR came back from a year on safari to find that Taft had weakened progressivism. Progressivism #93 TR decides to run for president again with the campaign of New Nationalism which called for tougher laws to protect workers, public health, and regulate business. Yet Taft gets the Republican nomination and TR forms his own political party, the Progressive Party (Bull Moose Party) Republicans are split and the Democrats with Woodrow Wilson, professor and governor of New Jersey, won the election.

New Freedom-tariff reduction, bank regulation, wage benefits, and antitrust legislation. Wilson wanted to help small business. He believed that government should be the agent for change but not be too strong to hurt individual freedom. Wilson lowered tariffs and raised income taxes. 20,000 1%, 50,000 6% Progressivism #94 Banks often failed when depositors became nervous and withdrew their money. Banks had nowhere to borrow in times of emergency. Federal Reserve Act-created the Federal Reserve Board to oversee 12 Federal Reserve Banks which could lend money to small banks to prevent bank failures.

Clayton Antitrust Act-Further limited power of monopolies by forbidding companies to sell products below cost and preventing businesses from buying a competing company’s stock to create a monopoly. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)-investigate and punish corporations engaged in fraudulent business practices. The last Progressive measure was women’s suffrage. Anti-Suffragists-opposed women’s right to vote. Strong opposition as businesses feared if women had the right to vote they would require better pay. Progressivism #95

Liquor interests for years had feared women would vote for prohibition, while many men feared the vote would rob women of their beauty and charm, making them less feminine. National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA)-leading force formed by Carrie Chapman Catt with 2 million members led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. NAWSA adopted a local strategy getting the vote passed in individual states. In the West, where women were more self-sufficient, more states gave women the right to vote in state elections. National Woman’s Party-led by Alice Paul who was more radical. Adopted a national strategy.

Women contributed greatly in volunteer efforts in WWI and this helped the cause for Women’s Suffrage. 19th Amendment-granted women the right to vote in 1920. Imperialism #96 Imperialism-quest for colonial empires. Imperialism arose from the desire for new markets for products, raw materials, and power. Countries such as England, France, Germany and the Netherlands expanded their influence in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to find markets for their products as industrialized countries produced more than they could consume. Expansionism became links to imperialism. Imperialists-those who supported expansionism.

Anti-imperialists-those who opposed expansionism. It was felt that the U. S. Should expand to protect our economy by finding new markets for our products and to strengthen our military. Alfred Mahan-proposed that the U. S. Needed a strong Navy to protect our economic interests in foreign markets. Manifest Destiny- (our duty to) spread Democracy, Christianity, and Social Darwinism. Imperialism #97 A large Navy needed overseas bases, like colonies for repair and rest. Besides expanding for new markets, expansion would spread American ideals of democracy and Christianity to weak and poor countries.

Hawaii was important due to its location as a perfect place for a Navy to refit and refuel. Hawaii (Sandwich Islands) were united under King Kamehameha. The islands were also valuable for sugar cane, pineapple, and whaling. U. S. Missionaries arrived and taught the Hawaiians Christianity and English but also brought disease which reduced the population from 300,000 to 40,000. U. S. Investors began to dominate the sugar and pineapple industry and bringing in Japanese laborers as the Hawaiian population declined. A new treaty allowed Hawaiian sugar to be sold to the U. S.

Duty-free in exchange for Hawaii promising to not let any other country interfere in Hawaii. Imperialism #97 Hawaiian King Kalakaua was forced to sign a treaty (Bayonet Treaty) which gave complete control of Pearl Harbor to America. The U. S. Then withdrew the special duty-free status of sugar cane for Hawaii which severely hurt the Hawaiian economy. King Kalakaua died and his sister Liliuokalani became Queen. She sought to overthrow the Bayonet Constitution and return control of Hawaii to the Hawaiians with a new constitution. Americans who wanted to annex Hawaii to the U.

S. Then surrounded Iolani Palace and Queen Liliuokalani was arrested and forced to give up the throne. She was kept prisoner in Iolani Palace. A new government was established with Sanford Dole as President. He petitioned President Cleveland for annexation of Hawaii. Cleveland did not like the way Hawaii was taken and ordered an investigation which recommended that Queen Liliuokalani be placed back as Queen. Imperialism #98 Before this could happen, William McKinley became President and he approved annexation. Hawaii was annexed in 1897 despite opposition from most Hawaiians.

Hawaii remained a territory of the U. S. Until 1959 when it became the 50th state. Queen Liliuokalani remained in Hawaii and died the last royal in 1917. In 1993 the U. S. Congress apologized for the U. S. Role in the overthrow of the Queen. Hawaii was also valuable because of its location to trade in China with it’s huge population. Japan had attacked China making it weak. England, France, Germany, and Russia all carved out spheres of influence. Spheres of Influence: Regions where a particular country has control over mines, railroads, and trade. The U. S. wanted to participate in this trade with China.

Progressivism/Imperialism Essay

Imperialism in 19th Century Essay

Imperialism in 19th Century Essay.

1.What were the causes of the new imperialism of the 19th century and how did it differ from European expansion in earlier periods? Early European expansion was for the most part, an economic desire of the country to expand its territory and wealth. This new imperialism of the 19th century was a race to grab up non-European claimed territories to prevent their competition from gaining any advantage. It was also the need to fuel their industrial factories that emerged from the industrial revolution.

Europeans needed the raw material from the east and to open new trade markets to move the goods they produced.

2. What types of administrative systems did the various colonial powers establish in the colonies, and how did these systems reflect the general philosophy of colonialism? The general philosophy of Colonialism was based on The Social Darwinism law of “survival of the fittest”. The philosophy that the countries that changed to fit the modern times would thrive. Direct rule of British Colonies and assimilation in French Colonies were motions of overpowering and replacing authorities resistant to their new change.

Indirect rule of British Colonies in association of French Colonies were more of a collaboration of local authorities to move in to move in modernization together with both sides benefiting.

3. What factors were behind the “Scramble for Africa” and what impact did it have on the continent? The “Scramble for Africa” began in the mid-1880’s and included countries such as Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain and Portugal. There were economic factors, but the scramble was more of a fear driven conquest. The fear that if a country did not claim a territory in Africa, another European state would. The purpose of spread Christianity was also a motive. In the end, Africa was for the most part under indirect rule of various European countries, leaving local people to pay taxes and practice their own culture, but under European laws.

5. Why did the Qing Dynasty decline and ultimately collapse, and what role did the western powers play in this process? The Qing Dynasty declined and ultimately collapsed after decades of peace because of official corruption, peasant unrest, and incompetence of the courts. The booming population growth and old tyrant rule created unrest. Western powers were pushing China to open more trading ports, but China always resisted. Western powers then demonstrated their naval and military superiority. This was accomplished by denying trade during the opium wars. Forcing China to open to a modernizing world.

7. To what degree was the Meiji Restoration a “revolution”, and to what extent did it succeed in transforming Japan? The Meiji Restoration was a revolution in the sense that is changed Japan very rapidly. Change was made and outside influence was embraced and practiced willingly. Unlike other revolutions, the Restoration was done mostly without violence or revolting of the common people. Most of Japan was ready and willing for this modernization. Making the process fast and peaceful.

Imperialism in 19th Century Essay

European Imperialism in the Early 20th Century Essay

European Imperialism in the Early 20th Century Essay.

Imperialism Defined

Michael Parenti, a political scientist from Yale University, defines imperialism as “the process whereby the dominant politico-economic interests of one nation expropriate for their own enrichment the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another people”( On the other hand, for Vladimir Illich Lenin, author of the influential pamphlet Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism in 1916, “imperialism is distinct because it represents–and is the product of–a new stage in the development of capitalism”.

“If it was necessary to give the briefest possible definition of imperialism, we should have to say that imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism,” Lenin wrote (

Meanwhile, according to O.P. Austin, Africa, Latin America and Asia are green tropics that are the subjects of control of modern progressive nations located at the temperate zones in the world. These modern progressive nations “develop” the identified continents for their own benefits such as a place where they can manufacture their own needs for a lesser effort and cost.

In the end, it is the modern progressive nations that are getting more advantages over the less progressive nations.

Imperialism is more often defined as the state where a stronger country dominates a weaker one. And in the process, abusing the weaker country.

Scholars determine superpower nations when it comes to economic, social and political matters as imperialist countries such as the United States or Japan.

But for over four or five years, one significant event did not escape the pages of history— the European Imperialism.

European Imperialism

Because of the undeniable and unstoppable rise in economy and technology of the Western part of the world during the 19th century, there was a very apparent rise as well on their military dominance over the world.

“And in the later part of 19th century, European markets were becoming saturated, and union workers were beginning to secure guarantees of better wages and shorter hours. Industrialists began looking abroad for new markets and laborers. In doing so, they fulfilled predictions made in the 1840s by Karl Marx and other socialists, that the capitalist nations of Europe would inevitably become imperialist, since the forces of competition compelled capitalist powers to be always attempting to expand the areas under their economic control”


According to Parenti, the earliest victims of European imperialism were the other European countries themselves. And wherever they land their feet on, it was inevitable for them to change that land’s political, social and religious structures.

But besides its dominance over Asian and other European countries, one of the continents that were greatly affected by its supremacy, was Africa.

Colonialization of Africa

Up until the end of the 19th century, European colonizers were not giving any attention to Africa.

 But when the Prince of Portugal, Henry the Navigator, showed the first prolonged significance in Africa, there was no stopping Europe from discovering the continent and then proceeding with ethnographic studies about it.

Explorers like Dr. Stanley Livingston, started a common Western fascination about Africa in addition with other stories of adventures in this continent. It was also greatly affected by the widespread of century missionaries because during the 19th century, the influence of Catholic and Protestant missionary was on a bloom in terms of worldwide scope.

“Missionaries (especially female missionaries) were often used as an excuse to send in the troops — they were isolated in the African backcountry, and during periods of turmoil the European governments (especially the British) felt the needed to go in to “protect” them” (

After 1434, several expeditions were sent out to extend European knowledge of the African coastline southward. These expeditions were fueled by the European’s passion for knowledge, to proliferate Christianity, “search for potential allies against Muslim threats, and the hope of finding new and lucrative trade routes to the east, and sources of wealth” (

And later in history, this fascination was later transformed into economic and then sooner to political European domination over Africa.

The first wave of European domination of Africa was economic like what happened in India. It involved domination by private individual and corporate groups and not by country. Also, it was only when the economic interests of their citizens became threatened that the military forces became involved in the domination.

The domination happened so efficiently because Africans are known to be very hospitable. Hence, traders, missionaries, and scientists were able to move freely inside the continent.

European Imperialism in Africa

African control over other the countries in the continent were persistent until the last two decades of the 19th century.

 But after almost two decades, the all of the continent was generally under the dominion of the European imperialist. The only countries that retained its sovereignty were Ethiopia and Liberia.

From 1885-1945, the period of the so-called High Imperialism and the most autocratic phase of European supremacy, Africans had few political and civil rights.

Aside from this, there were several abuses done on the Africans such as a racist system and forcibly enforced form of political, economic, and cultural domination through technologically superior foreign minority on an indigenous majority. Also, a White supremacy was promulgated through “scientific” assumptions all over the continent. This in return resulted to the idea that there is an innate moral inferiority among Africans and on a wider view, furthered political repression and economic exploitation.

There was also an apparent master-slave relationship among Whites and Blacks where the Whites owned vast areas of lands best suited for farming. In terms of education, only 5% of Africans was able to enter missionary schools and they received a Western type of education. But this education was not given to help them in promoting the Africans’ wellness but rather gave them the training in order to become subordinates of the White officials or professionals in the future.

And economically speaking, Europeans generally used the system wherein they extracted raw materials from the continent and only returned the already manufactured products.

As history evolved, actual independence of African colonies was not experienced until 1957 when Ghana was “freed” from its British colonizers. There were a number of African resistances which were oftentimes fierce and violent. Africans continued finding ways on how to be freed and even used labor unions, strikes and boycotts.

European Imperialism’s Effects in Contemporary Africa

Generally, the bequest of European imperialism in Africa can still be seen today. Ever since its colonialization, the continent has not seized from experiencing instability in terms of its political and social structures.

Poverty continues to haunt the countries within this continent as it was never able to stand up from the economic set-up where there is a persisting exportation of raw materials and importation of manufactured goods.

And up to now, Africa’s governments are monopolized by specific groups of people and gained by a few. That is why people just vote yet don’t know who and why to vote. Hence, Africa still has an instable political structure.

They do not even know how to justify the taxes they pay. As one famous definition of taxation in Africa goes, “[it] is a pecuniary value that is taken by an authoritative way, without immediate obligation in view of taking care of public expenses”. This only implies that the citizens are required to pay their taxes but the authorities do not feel any responsibility to think of in what or how they should use these taxes.

In Mali for example, “import duties for over 5000 goods including essential machinery and equipment that range from 40% to 56%, industrial development has never been heard of ,  basic minimum wage is about $20 per month tied to a sack of rice and a kilo of beef meat, there is no free trade and investment, regulations abound, public revenue is derived from assorted taxes and duties that their usefulness to the payer are unknown, corruption is rife, former government functionaries who have never done private business before spend millions of US Dollars to finance their own campaigns.

Their government is also not open and participatory, but it is as you see it and are told. They still service debts and heavily saddled with foreign debts whom no one can justify the purpose of their procurement. The West taps them on the back and calls Mali “a good student of the Bretton Woods. And the ministries may be created to satisfy allies and pacify the opposition. And lastly, public revenue are allocated from the national level to state to local level” (

Today, the social structure in Africa basically exhibits a state wherein its citizens find it difficult to have peaceful association. Tribal wars are still very evident and the fight over certain issues still arises. With this, there is a very narrow process of communication and progress.

An equality of rights is ignored and hardly recognized. There is still a misunderstanding about their religious, regional and ethnic variations.

According to Walter Rodney, “neocolonialism prevails today in Africa because of the continuation after “independence” of the economic, political and social practices established by colonialism”.

He even added that “colonialism laid the roots of neocolonialism in Africa by creating Africa’s economic dependency on the international capitalist system. The introduction of capitalist relations of production and distribution, — for instance, the International Trade Commodity (ITC) exchange systems and values — created such dependency”. Rodney (1981: 244) asserts that “previous African development was blunted, halved and turned back” by colonialism without offering anything of compensatory value.

And in terms of education, Rodney stressed that European imperialism in Africa brought about a colonial type of education in this continent. And that this colonial education produces Africans that will only serve Western countries and subscribe to their standards of well-being and that it will link education to material gain only.

He said that this colonial education corrupted the minds of Africans and made them lose their sensibilities and that everything about the life of an African is irrelevant.

Rodney also analyzed the interrelationship of Christianity, colonial education and administrative systems. He said that when an African is converted to Christianity, he neglects his traditions and beliefs and thus subscribe to colonial sensibilities. Colonialism also denied Africa their right to self expression and the development of their cultural differences. And this he said is linked to the fact that colonialism denied the people of Africa their own historical importance.

The emergence of European imperialist resulted to the emergence of social classes and thus, class contradictions. And up to now, forms of class contradictions are very visible in Africa. There still exists a specific social class who is violated, oppressed and dominated as what happened during European domination over Africa.

The quest for dignity and self determination is still very afar for there are several rights and privileges that are only accessible to the bourgeoisie. And the lower class still suffers what the slaves experienced during European imperialism.

            These are some of the effects of European imperialism on the current political and social structure of Africa today. And as we can see, the history of Africa being dominated by Western politics, economics and social thoughts brought about the status of these two important aspects of African civilization.

And as many historians and philosophers believe, this cannot be reversed unless the whole African citizens act as one to achieve the wellness of their whole race.

As Lenin puts it, “The imperialist war is ushering in the era of social revolution. All the objective conditions of recent times have put the proletariat’s revolutionary mass struggle on the order of the day” (


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European Imperialism in the Early 20th Century Essay