The Progressive Era
The Progressive Era was a time of widespread social and political change across the United States. It ushered in momentous changes in government, public education, finance, industry, railroads, and other areas.The movement was seen to address problems stemming from the industralization, immigration, and political corruption. It sought to diminish the power structure of the party bosses and their machines.
The 16th Amendment twas passed in 1909 and ratified in 1913. This amendment allow the Congress to levy tax on income of any source without apportioning it among the states and without regard of the census.
The 17th Amendment was passed by the 62nd Congress in 1912 and became part of the Constitution in 1913, It provided for the direct election of US senators by the people of the states.
The 18th Amendment twas proposed in 1917 and ratified in 1919. IT outlawed the manufacture, sale, and transportation of booze.
The 19th Amendment was passed in 1919 and ratified in 1920. It gave women the right to vote.
Department of Labor created as a cabinet level department in 1913.
The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act of 1916 introduced benefits to workers who are injured or contract illnesses in the workplace,
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair with its description of unsanitary conditions of the meat packing industry was the catalyst to The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 and The Meat Inspection Act of 1906. These acts were the foundation for the Food and Drug Administration.
The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 established the nation’s first central banking system, the Federal Reserve System. The Panic of 1907 was a financial crisis when the New York Stock Exchange in three weeks fell almost 50% from its peak the previous year. People then tried to withdraw their funds, causing a run on the banks. Without liquidity many banks failed. J P Morgan intervened and pledged large sums of money to shore up the banks.
The Adamson Act was a federal law passed in 1916 that established a 8 hour workday with additional pay for overtime for interstate railroad workers. This was the first time that federal law regulated the hours of workers of private companies.
World War I
The assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, on June 28, 1914, started World War I. The war raged with alliances formed until all of Europe was engulfed in the war – 70 million military personnel. This was one of the largest wars in history. It is estimated there were nine million combatant deaths and an additional 13 million civilian deaths. While the war raged, there was the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic; it is estimated to have caused 2.64 million deaths in Europe and 675,000 in the United States.
America did not enter the war initially and was neutral to the strife. The United Kingdom intercepted a message from the Germans to Mexico where Germany invited Mexico to the join the war as Germany’s ally. This action along with the German submarine sinking of US merchant ships caused Wilson to ask for war on April 2, 1917. Congress declared war on April 6, 1917.
The end of the war brought many changes. Four empires disappeared. Nations regained their independence. Numerous peace treaties were signed. The League of Nations was formed with the purpose of maintain global peace.
The following is a list of the favorite works from these years:
*Maine Author **Carnegie Funded
- The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane (1895)
- Dedication of the Southwest Harbor Public Library
- Tom Sawyer, Detective, Mark Twain; The Country of Pointed Firs, Sarah Orne Jewett*(1896)
- Dedication of the Waterville Public Library**
- The Invisible Man, H. G. Wells; The Children of the Night, Edwin Arlington Robinson*(1897)
- Dedication of the Ellsworth Public Library; North Gorham Public Library
- The Turn of the Screw, Henry James (1898)
- Dedication of the Cherryfield Free Public Library
- The Theory of the Leisure Class, Thorstein Veblen (1899)
- Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad(1900)
- Dedication of the Louis B, Goodall Memorial Library, Sanford; South China Library
- Kim, Rudyard Kipling(1901)
- Dedication of the Zadoc Long Free Library, Buckfield; Lewiston Public Library**
- The Hound of the Baskervilles, A. Conan Doyle(1902)
- Dedication of the McArthur Public Library, Biddeford
- The Call of the Wild, Jack London(1903)
- Dedication of the Old Town Public Library**; Rumford Public Library**
- The Cherry Orchard, Anton Chekhov(1904)
- Dedication of the Auburn Public Library**; Cary Memorial Library, Wayne; Rockland Public Library**
- The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton(1905)
- Dedication of the Merrill Memorial Library, Yarmouth
- The Jungle, Upton Sinclair(1906)
- Dedication of the Madison Public Library**; Presque Isle Public Library**; Vinalhaven Public Library**
- The Longest Journey, E. M. Forster(1907)
- Dedication of the Kennebunk Free Library; Fairfield Library, Lawrence; Naples Public Library; Pittsfield Public Library**; William Fogg Library, Eliot
- Penguin island, Anatole France(1908)
- Dedication of the Baxter Memorial Library, Gorham; Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Lovell; Guilford Public Library**; Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Public Library, Presque Isle
- Three Lives, Gertrude Stein(1909)
- Dedication of the Rangeley Public Library
- Howards End, E. M, Forster(1910)
- Dedication of the Carver Memorial Library, Searsport
- Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton(1911)
- Dedication of the Caribou Public Library**; Salmon falls Library, Hollis; Waldo Peirce Reading Room & Library, Frankfort
- The Montessori Method, Maria Montessori(1912)
- Dedication of the Friend Memorial Library, Brooklin
- Pollyanna, Eleanor H. Porter(1913)
- Dedication of the Fort Fairfield Public Library**
- Dubliners, James Joyce(1914)
- Dedication of the Freeland Holmes Library, Oxford
- The Song of the Lark, Willa Cather; Julia Ward Howe, Laura E. Richards*(1915)
- Dedication of the Oakland Public Library**; Soldiers Memorial Library, Hiram
- Mr. Britling Sees it Through, H. G. Wells(1916)
- Dedication of the Charles M. Bailey Library, Winthrop
- Jerry of the Islands, Jack London(1917)
- Dedication of the Livermore Public Library Association
- My Antonia, Willa Cather(1918)
- Dedication of the Alice L. Pendleton Library, Isleboro
- The Moon and Sixpence, W. Somerset Maugham(1919)
- Dedication of the Thomas Memorial Library, Cape Elizabeth
- Main Street, Sinclair Lewis(1920)