The first decade of the 20th
century marked the start of the Progressive Movement. Writers such as Henry George,
and Edward Bellamy helped influence progressive ideas with their books. There was
also Upton Sinclair who helped expose injustices in large corporations, labor, and the
food industry. With their books, these writers helped spark a movement that would
change America's way of life. New political parties such as the socialist, suffrage,
labor, and municipal reform parties developed, each with their own progressive
goals. Some of these major goals included ending the capitalist system,
nationalizing American industry, better work hours and wages, home rule, abolishing
political corruption, social welfare programs, and prohibition. The progressives of
this decade were helped in their cause by Theodore Roosevelt, the headstrong reformer
president of the United States. Many reformers of the day were mid to upper-class
citizens, but were supported by working class individuals as well.
The effect it had on
Americans from then to now was very important. Because of the new ideas and concepts
of that era, people's lives were changed dramatically. Examples of this can be found
with things like prohibition in the 20's, a better quality of living, and new active
presidents. When it comes to the present, can you imagine most of the politicians
being corrupt (besides the president), and living without some of the basic utilities,
living standards, and freedoms we have now. This decade has changed America in many
ways and overall it has been for the better.
Events of This Decade
*Starred Events relate to the main theme.
February 22, 1900-The
new Hawaii Territory is organized.
Washington founds the National Negro Business League with other colleagues.
1900-Congress decide on, and passes a gold standard.
1901-The first Nobel prizes
1901-Booker T. Washington's autobiography Up From
Slavery is published.
Socialists form the Socialist Party of America.
September 6, 1901-President William
McKinley is assassinated by a mentally ill anarchist named Leon Czolgosz.
McKinley was shot by:
passes the Newlands National Reclamation Act to boost the irrigation of southwestern
1902-A Coal strike occurs in the U.S.
1902-The U.S. gains control of the Panama Canal when they
bought the rights from a France construction company.
1902-The Teddy Bear was introduced, named after President
1903-First successful flight by the Wright Brothers.
1903-Teddy Roosevelt threatens arbitration to end the
United Mine Workers' strike.
silent movie, The Great Robbery, is a great success.
Union League forms to urge women to join unions, since male dominated unions seldom
recruit women members.
1903-The U.S. supports the successful Panamanian revolt
for its own gains.
of the Panama Canal begins. It is rigorous work that takes years to complete.
issues a message to Congress that becomes the Roosevelt Corollary.
1905-Albert Einstein develops his famous theory of
1905-Japan defeats Russia in the Russo-Japanese
War. President Theodore Roosevelt helped bring these two countries to peace during
this, which he won the nobel peace prize for.
*1905-A number of
outspoken African Americans come together under W.E.B. Du Bois to form the Niagra Movement
Sinclair publishes The Jungle, a shocking exposť of the meat packing industry.
1906-San Francisco suffers a violent earthquake costing
an extensive $400 million in property damage.
1906-Kellogg sells Corn Flakes for the first time.
This in now the most popular breakfast cereal in the world.
1907-California's political leaders win restrictions on
Council of the Churches of Christ is formed by religious activists.
1908-Ford produces its first Model-T automobile by the
assembly line method.
1908-The General Motors Corporation is formed, and is the
first the competition for Henry Ford and his corporation. They are the first car
company to develop a line a color painted cars.
Peary becomes the first man to reach the north pole.
Association for Advancement of Colored People is formed. (NAACP)