Progressive Era

In the U.S.

Nicolaus Otto


Nicolaus Otto was the German inventor of the first internal-combustion engine to efficiently burn fuel directly in a piston chamber.

National Labor Union

1866 - 1873

The National Labor Union (NLU) was the first national labor federation in the United States. Founded in 1866 and dissolved in 1873, it paved the way for other organizations, such as the Knights of Labor and the AFL (American Federation of Labor). It was led by William H. Sylvis.

Erie War

1866 - 1873

The Erie War was a 19th century conflict between American financiers for control of the Erie Railroad, which operated in several American states and connected New York to Chicago.

The Grangers

1867 - 1896

The Grangers, aka the Farmers' Movement, was the general name for a movement between 1867 and 1896 remarkable for a radical socio-economic propaganda that came from what was considered the most conservative class of American society. In this movement, there were three periods, popularly known as the Grange, Alliance and Populist movements.

Horatio Alger


Horatio Alger was an author. He mostly wrote about the "rags-to-riches" subject, which had a big effect on America during the Gilded Age. He is most famous for his book "Ragged Dick," which is about a poor person who ends up leading a respectable middle-class life.

Knights of Labor


The Knights of Labor was the largest and one of the most important American labor organizations of the 1880s. Its most important leader was Terence V. Powderly,but it was founded by Uriah Stephens. In 1869, Stephens and James Wright established a secret union under the name the Noble Order of the Knights of Labor. The collapse of the National Labor Union in 1873, left many workers looking for organization.

Standard Oil Company

1870 - 1911

The Standard Oil Company was established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio. J.P. Morgan bought it from Andrew Carnegie, who created it. It was brought down by the Supreme Court in 1911 when Ida Tarbell exposed it as a corrupt monopoly.

Holding Company


A holding company is a company that owns other companies' outstanding stock. The first holding company was organized by John D. Rockefeller as a trust in Ohio, the Standard Oil Trust.

Farmer's Alliances

1870 - 1890

The Farmers' Alliance was an organized agrarian economic movement among American farmers that developed and flourished in the 1870s and 1880s. One of the goals of the organization was to end the adverse effects of the crop-lien system on farmers in the period following the American Civil War. The Alliance also generally supported the government regulation of railroads, establishment of an income tax, and the bimetallic standard as a way of easing inflation, which would lighten the loan repayments to debtors. The Farmers' Alliance moved into politics in the early 1890s with the name of the People's Party, commonly known as the "Populists."

Marshall Field

October 8, 1871

Marshall Field was founder of Marshall Field and Company, the Chicago-based department stores. These stores were affected by the Great Chicago Fire on October 8, 1871. This company was aquried by Macy's in 2005.

Conservation Movement


The conservation movement is a political, environmental and a social movement that seeks to protect natural resources. Both Conservationism and Environmentalism appeared in political debates during the Progressive Era in the early 20th century. The Conservationists, led by President Theodore Roosevelt, said that the laissez-faire approach was too wasteful and inefficient. In any case, most of the natural resources in the western states were already owned by the federal government. The best course of action was a long-term plan devised by national experts to maximize the long-term economic benefits of natural resources. This included building national parks such as Yellowstone in 1872.

Crime of '73


The Fourth Coinage Act was enacted by the United States Congress in 1873; it embraced the gold standard, and demonetized silver. Western mining interests, farmers, and others who wanted silver in circulation years later labeled this measure the "Crime of '73". As a result, gold became the only metallic standard in the United States.

Cornelius Vanderbilt


Cornelius Vanderbilt founded Vanderbilt University in 1873. He built his wealth in shipping and railroads.

The Farmer's Declaration of Independence


On Independence Day, 1873 (known as the Farmer's Fourth of July), the Grangers read their Farmer's Declaration of Independence, which cited all of their grievances and in which they vowed to free themselves from the tyranny of monopoly. This shows that the farmers did not like how the country was being run, and how they were being treated.

Free Silver

1873 - 1900

Free silver was a central American currency issue at the end of the 1800s. Its advocates were in favor of an inflationary monetary policy using the "free coinage of silver" as opposed to the less inflationary gold standard. They promoted bimetallism, the use of both silver and gold as currency at the ratio of 16 to 1 (16 ounces of silver would be worth 1 ounce of gold). However, their wished were not met, and in 1900 the Gold Standard Act was passed, establishing gold as the only redeemer for paper money in the U.S.

Leonidas L. Polk

1875 - 1880

Leonidas L. Polk was an American farmer, journalist and political figure. He started a weekly newspaper in 1875 called The Ansonian. In this paper, he advocated for farmers and for the Grange movement. Polk, a distant relative of President James K. Polk, became active in state politics, serving in the North Carolina House of Representatives and as a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1865–66. In 1877, he was appointed the first North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture and served until 1880.


1876 - 1904

Bourbon Democrat was a term used in the United States from 1876 to 1904 to refer to a member of the Democratic Party, conservative or classical liberal, especially one who supported Charles O'Conor in 1872, Samuel J. Tilden in 1876, President Grover Cleveland in 1884–1888/1892–1896 and Alton B. Parker in 1904. After 1904, the Bourbons faded away.

Socialist Labor Party


The Socialist Labor Party of America (SLP), established in 1876 as the Workingmen's Party, is the oldest socialist political party in the United States and the second oldest socialist party in the world still in existence. The party advocates the ideology of "socialist industrial unionism" — belief in a fundamental transformation of society through the combined political and industrial action of the working class organized in industrial unions.

Terrence Powderly

1876 - 1893

Terrence Powderly is most remembered for leading the Knights of Labor, a labor union whose goal was to organize all workers, skilled and unskilled, into one large union united for workers' rights and economic and social reform.

Gustavus Swift


Gustavus Swift founded a meat-packing empire in the Midwest during the late 19th century. He is also credited with the development of the first practical ice-cooled railroad car which allowed his company to ship dressed meats to all parts of the country and even abroad, which ushered in the "era of cheap beef."

Railroad Strikes of 1877

July 14, 1877

The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 started on July 4 and lasted a little over a month. It was in response to the cutting of wages for the second time in a year by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O). Striking workers would not allow any of the stock to roll until this second wage cut was revoked. The governor sent in state militia units to restore train service, but the soldiers refused to use force against the strikers and the governor called for federal troops. Rutherford B. Hayes was the president at this time, and he was the first president to send in federal troops to put down a strike.

Stalwarts/Roscoe Conkling


The Stalwarts were a faction of the United States Republican Party toward the end of the 19th century, led by Roscoe Conkling. Another notable stalwart was Chester A. Arthur. Stalwarts were in favor of Ulysses S. Grant, the eighteenth President of the United States (1869–1877), running for a third term. They were the "traditional" Republicans who opposed Rutherford B. Hayes' civil service reform. They were pitted against the "Half-Breeds" (moderates) for control of the Republican Party.

Half-Breeds/J. Blaine


The Half-Breeds were a political faction of the United States Republican Party that existed in the late 19th century. The Half-Breeds were a moderate-wing group, and they were the opponents of the Stalwarts, the other main faction of the Republican Party. The Stalwarts were in favor of political machines and spoils system-style patronage, while the Half-Breeds, led by Maine senator James G. Blaine, were in favor of civil service reform and a merit system. Blaine was the candidate (against Ulysses S. Grant) in the 1880 Republican Convention.

William Graham Sumner


William Graham Sumner was an American professor at Yale. He was a strong advocate of social Darwinism and wrote an essay called "Sociology" about this topic.

Henry Frick


Henry Frick founded the H. C. Frick & Company coke manufacturing company, was chairman of the Carnegie Steel Company, and played a major role in the formation of the giant U.S. Steel steel manufacturing concern. He also financed the construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Company.

James A. Garfield

March 4, 1881 - September 19, 1881

20th President (assassinated)

Chester A. Arthur

September 19, 1881 - 1885

21st President

Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act


The Pendleton Act is a federal law established in 1883 that stipulated that government jobs should be awarded on the basis of merit. This marked the end of the spoils system, or only giving jobs to your colleagues for the reason that you were aquainted, not because they were qualified.

Secret Ballot


The secret ballot is a voting method in which a voter's choices in an election are anonymous. The key aim is to ensure the voter a sincere choice by stopping attempts to influence the voter by intimidation or bribery. The U.S. version was known as the Austrailian ballot. Most states had moved to secret ballots soon after the presidential election of 1884. Therefore, the first President elected completely under the Australian ballot was president Grover Cleveland in 1892.



The Mugwumps were Republican political activists who left the United States Republican Party by supporting Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland in the United States presidential election of 1884. They switched parties because they rejected the financial corruption associated with Republican candidate James G. Blaine.

Labor Contract Law


The Alien Labor Contract Law was an act to prohibit the importation and migration of foreigners and aliens under contract or agreement to perform labor in the United States, its Territories, and the District of Columbia. This law was largely in response to the Chinese "coolie" labor.

Grover Cleveland

1885 - 1889

22nd President: only one to serve two nonconsecutive terms.

Colored Alliances


Colored Farmers' National Alliance and Cooperative Union was formed in 1886 in the American state of Texas. Both black and white farmers were hurt form the rising price of farming and the decreasing profit. However, the Southern Farmers' Alliance did not allow black farmers to join. A group of black farmers decided to organize their own alliance, to fill their need. The organization rapidly spread across the Southern United States, peaking with a membership of 1.2 million in 1891.

Wabash Case


The Wabash Case was a Supreme Court decision that severely limited the rights of states to control interstate commerce. It led to the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission. This commission regulated railroads to ensure fair rates, to eliminate rate discrimination, and to regulate other aspects of common carriers.

American Federation of Labor (AFL)

May 1886

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was one of the first federations of labor unions in the United States. It was founded in Columbus, Ohio in May 1886 by an alliance of craft unions disaffected from the Knights of Labor, a national labor association. Samuel Gompers of the Cigar Makers' International Union was elected president of the Federation.

Haymarket Riot

May 4, 1886

The Haymarket Strike was the aftermath of the bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they acted to disperse the public meeting and both police officers and civilians were wounded/killed.

Benjamin Harrison

1889 - 1893

23rd President

Hull House/Jane Addams


The Hull House was a settlement house in the United States that was co-founded in 1889 by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr. This house was open to the recently arrived European immigrants.


1890 - 1920

Progressivism is a general political philosophy advocating or favoring gradual social, political, and economic reform. Modern Progressivism emerged as part of a more general response to the vast social changes brought by industrialization. The first Progressive Era in the U.S. included the emergence of the Progressive Party founded in 1912 by Theodore Roosevelt.

Worker's Compensation Laws


Worker's Compensation laws were passed to make the workplace safer and to provide relief for those who suffered injuries on the job. In some areas employers were mandated to provide accident insurance for their employees. Building codes that mandated safe conditions in the workplace were also established, and procedures for fixing the responsibility for accidents were introduced.

Modern Corporation


The word corporation is used to describe incorporated entities. An incorporated entity is a separate legal entity that has been incorporated through a legislative or registration process established through legislation. By the end of the 19th century the Sherman Antitrust Act, New Jersey allowing holding companies, and mergers resulted in larger corporations with dispersed shareholders. The modern corporate era had begun.

Booker T. Washington

1890 - 1915

Booker T. Washington was an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to Republican presidents. He was the dominant leader in the African-American community in the United States from 1890 to 1915. He spoke on behalf of the large majority of blacks who lived in the South but had lost their ability to vote through disfranchisement by southern legislatures. Washington founded the Tuskeegee Institute, an all-black state school, in 1881. Washington urged blacks to accept discrimination for the time being and concentrate on elevating themselves through hard work and material prosperity. He believed in education in the crafts, industrial and farming skills. This, he believed, would win the respect of whites and lead to African Americans being fully accepted as citizens. He outlined this in his famous 1895 speech, the Atlanta Compromise.

Protective Tariffs


Three years before the Panic of 1893, McKinley, in an effort to gain more revenue from foreign countries, initiated protective tariffs, which once again didn't work. This was one of the causes of the depression. It also took a negative toll on the farmers, who ended up having to pay more for their everyday products.

Temperance Movement

1890 - 1920

A temperance movement is a social movement urging reduced or prohibited use of alcoholic beverages. This movement took place in the U.S. during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement's ranks were mostly filled by women who, with their children, had endured the effects of excessive drinking by many men.

McKinley Tariff

October 1, 1890

The McKinley Tariff, a.k.a. the Tariff Act of 1890, was an act of the United States Congress formed by Representative William McKinley that became law on October 1, 1890. The tariff raised the average duty on imports to almost fifty percent, an act designed to protect domestic industries from foreign competition. Protectionism, a tactic supported by Republicans, was fiercely debated by politicians and condemned by Democrats. The McKinley Tariff was replaced with the Wilson-Gorman Tariff in 1894, which promptly lowered tariff rates. This tariff was one of the effects of the Panic of 1893.

Ocala Demands

December 1890

The Ocala Demands was a platform for economic and political reform that was later adopted by the People's Party. These demands adopted at the Ocala Convention in Florida, called for the abolition of national banks, the introduction of free silver, the prohibition of alien ownership of land, removal of the tariff, the implementation of an income tax, and an amendment calling for direct election of U.S. Senators.

Populists/People's Party

1891 - 1908

The Populists, or People's Party, was established in 1891 during the Populist movement. It was most important from 1892-96, and then rapidly faded away. Based among poor, white farmers in the South and hard-pressed wheat farmers in the plains states, it represented a radical form of agrarianism and hostility to banks, railroads, and robber barons. It sometimes formed coalitions with labor unions, and in 1896 the Democrats endorsed their presidential nominee, William Jennings Bryan.

Grover Cleveland

1893 - 1897

24th President: only one to serve two nonconsecutive terms.

Panic of 1893

1893 - 1897

The Panic of 1893 was a serious economic depression in the United States that began in 1893. Similar to the Panic of 1873, it was marked by the collapse of railroad overbuilding and shaky railroad financing, resulting in a series of bank failures. One of the first clear signs of trouble came on February 23, 1893, with the bankruptcy of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. Upon becoming President, Cleveland repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which he felt was mainly responsible for the economic crisis. He was right in repealing this act because the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 required the U.S. government to buy millions of ounces of silver (driving up the price of the metal and pleasing silver miners). People attempted to redeem silver notes for gold, but the statutory limit for the minimum amount of gold in federal reserves was reached and US notes could no longer be successfully redeemed for gold. As a result of the panic, stock prices fell, 600 banks were closed, 15 000 businesses failed, and farms were closing down. Many industrialists and farmers alike were hurt.

Pullman Strike


The Pullman Strike was a nationwide conflict in the summer of 1894 between the new American Railway Union (ARU) and railroads that occurred in the United States. Founded in 1893 by Eugene V. Debs, the ARU was an organization of unskilled railroad workers. Debs brought in ARU organizers to George Pullman and signed up many of the disgruntled workers. When the Pullman company refused arbitration, the ARU called a strike against the factory, but it showed no sign of success. To win the strike, Debs decided to stop the movement of Pullman cars on railroads.

Coxey's Army


Coxey's Army was a protest march by unemployed workers from the United States, led by Ohio businessman Jacob Coxey. They marched on Washington D.C. in 1894, the second year of the Panic of 1893. the "army" lobbied for the government to create jobs which would involve building roads and other public works improvements, with workers paid in paper currency which would expand the currency in circulation, consistent with populist ideology.

Wilson-Gorman Tariff

August 27, 1894

The Wilson-Gorman Tariff or the Revenue Act slightly reduced the United States tariff rates from the numbers set in the 1890 McKinley tariff and imposed a 2% income tax. This was put in place because of the Panic of 1893, which was caused from the McKinley Tariff.

Dingley Tariff

1897 - 1909

The Dingley Tariff of 1897 raised tariffs in United States to counteract the Wilson–Gorman Tariff Act of 1894, which had lowered rates. Following the election of 1896, McKinley followed through with his promises for protectionism. Congress imposed duties on wool and hides which had been duty-free since 1872. Rates were increased on woolens, linens, silks, china, and sugar (the tax rates for which doubled). The Dingley Tariff remained in effect until the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act of 1909.

William McKinley

March 4, 1897 - September 1901

25th President (assassinated)

Square Deal

1901 - 1908

The Square Deal was President Theodore Roosevelt's domestic program formed upon three basic ideas: conservation of natural resources, control of corporations, and consumer protection. These three demands were often referred to as the "three C's" of Roosevelt's Square Deal. Thus, it aimed at helping middle class citizens and involved attacking bad trusts while at the same time protecting business from the most extreme demands of organized labor. In contrast to his predecessor William McKinley, Roosevelt was a Republican who believed in government action to regulate social evils.

U.S. Steel

February 25, 1901

J.P. Morgan and the attorney Elbert H. Gary founded U.S. Steel in 1901 (incorporated on February 25) by combining Andrew Carnegie's Carnegie Steel Company with Gary's Federal Steel Company and William Henry Moore's National Steel Company. The company still exists today.

Newlands Act


The Newlands Reclamation Act is a United States federal law that funded irrigation projects for the arid lands of 20 states in the West. As a result, the West became one of the most prominent agricultural areas in the world.

UMW Strike 1902


The United Mine Workers Strike, more commonly known as the Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902, was a strike by the United Mine Workers of America in the anthracite coal fields of eastern Pennsylvania. Miners were on strike asking for higher wages, shorter workdays and the recognition of their union. The UMWA were organized under John Mitchell, who went to go meet and argue the cause to Theodore Roosevelt. Also present was J.P. Morgan, who owned the coal regions where the strikes were occuring. Roosevelt sent in federal troops, not to force the strikers to go back to work, but to take their place in the mines. This was the first time the government had sided with the strikers.

Lincoln Stefffens


Lincoln Steffens was a New York reporter who launched a series of articles in McClure's that would later be published together in a book titled The Shame of the Cities. He is famous for investigating corruption in municipal government in American cities and for his early support for the Soviet Union.

Niagara Movement


The Niagara Movement was a black civil rights organization founded in 1905 by a group led by W. E. B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter. It was named for the "mighty current" of change the group wanted to effect. The Niagara Movement was a call for opposition to racial segregation and disenfranchisement, and it was opposed to policies of accommodation and conciliation promoted by African American leaders such as Booker T. Washington.

Hepburn Railroad Act 1906


The Hepburn Act is a 1906 United States federal law that gave the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) the power to set maximum railroad rates and extend its jurisdiction. This led to the discontinuation of free passes to loyal shippers. Along with the Elkins Act of 1903, the Hepburn Act was part of one of President Theodore Roosevelt's major goals: railroad regulation.

Panic of 1907


The Panic of 1907 was a financial crisis that occurred in the United States when the New York Stock Exchange fell almost 50% from its peak the previous year. Primary causes of the run include a retraction of market liquidity by a number of New York City banks and a loss of confidence among depositors.

City-Manager Plan


A city-manager plan is a scheme of government that assigns responsibility for municipal administration to a nonpartisan manager chosen by the city council because of their administrative expertise. This plan was very popular during the Progressive Era. In 1908, Staunton, Virginia, appointed the first city manager.

Payne-Aldrich Tariff


The Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act began in the United States House of Representatives as a bill lowering certain tariffs on goods entering the United States. It was the first change in tariff laws since the Dingley Act of 1897. The Payne Act, a compromise bill, had the immediate effect of frustrating both proponents and opponents of reducing tariffs. In particular, the bill greatly angered Progressives, who began withdrawing support from William H. Taft, president at the time.

W.E.B. DuBois


W.E.B. DuBois was an African-American civil rights activist. He was educated at Harvard and Fisk, and was the first black man to receive a PhD from Harvard. Du Bois was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. Du Bois rose to national prominence as the leader of the Niagara Movement, a group of African-American activists who wanted equal rights for blacks. Du Bois and his supporters opposed Booker T. Washington's Atlanta Compromise. Instead, Du Bois advocated political action and a civil rights agenda. He argued that social change could be accomplished by developing the small group of college-educated blacks he called the "Talented Tenth."


February 12, 1909

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is an African-American civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909. Its mission was “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination”. W.E.B. DuBois played a key role in the founding of the organization.

Taylorism/Scientific Management

1910 - 1920

Scientific Management, a.k.a. Taylorism, was a theory of management that analyzed workflows. Its main objective was improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. It was created by Frederick Winslow Taylor and was at its peak in the 1910s.

New Nationalism

August 31, 1910 - 1912

New Nationalism was Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive political philosophy during the 1912 election. Roosevelt made the case for what he called the New Nationalism in a speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, on August 31, 1910. The central issue he argued was government protection of human welfare and property rights, but he also argued that human welfare was more important than property rights. He insisted that only a powerful federal government could regulate the economy and guarantee social justice, and that a President can only succeed in making his economic agenda successful if he makes the protection of human welfare his highest priority.

Ida Tarbell


Ida Tarbell was one of the most prominent muckrakers of the Progressive era. Her greatest achievement was exposing and in the end bringing down John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company in 1911. She first brought up this point when she was writing for McClure's, a muckraking magazine. Her most famous book, written in 1904, was called The History of the Standard Oil Company, which exposed the company and Rockefeller as corrupt.

Progressive Party/Bull Moose


The Progessive Party, a.k.a. the Bull Moose Party, of 1912 was a political party formed by former President Theodore Roosevelt, after a split in the Republican Party between himself and President William Howard Taft. Roosevelt ran in the 1912 elction for this partt against William Taft and Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson. The underdog, Wilson, ended up winning the presidency because the Republican vote was split between two candidates.

R. Ballinger Scandal


The Ballinger Scandal, a.k.a. the Pinchot-Ballinger Controversy, was a dispute between U.S. Forest Service Chief Gifford Pinchot and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Richard Achilles Ballinger that contributed to the split of the Republican Party before the 1912 Presidential Election and helped to define the U.S. conservation movement in the early 20th century. When Taft fired Pinchot, friend of Theodore Roosevelt, in the aftermath of the scandal, many progressives were alienated within the Republican party. This action also drove a wedge between Taft and Roosevelt himself, leading to the split of the Republican Party in the 1912 presidential election.

New Freedom


The New Freedom comprises the campaign speeches and promises of Woodrow Wilson in the 1912 presidential campaign. They constituted the reforms promoted by Wilson. They called for less government, but in practice as president he added new controls such as the Federal Reserve System and the Clayton Antitrust Act. More generally the "New Freedom" is associated with Wilson's first term as president (1913-1917). As President, Wilson focused on three types of reform: Tariff Reform (came throught the passage of the Underwood Tariff Act of 1913, which lowered tariffs for the first time since the American Civil War and went against the protectionist lobby), Business Reform (established in 1916 through the passage of the Federal Trade Act, which established the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and halt unfair and illegal business practices by issuing "cease and desist" orders, and the Clayton Anti-Trust Act), and Banking Reform (came in 1913 through the creation of the Federal Reserve System, and in 1916, through the passage of the Federal Farm Loan Act, which set up Farm Loan Banks to support farmers).

Direct Primary


A direct primary is a term describing a system of choosing political officeholders in which the voters directly cast ballots for the person, persons or political party that they desire to see elected. An example is the U.S. Senate election, which is by popular vote. This procedure is laid out in the 17th Amendment.

16th Amendment

February 13, 1913

The 16th Amendment in 1913 got rid of the need for tariffs. It imposed an income tax on U.S. citizens.

Underwood-Simmons Tariff

October 3, 1913

The Revenue Act, a.k.a. Underwood-Simmons Tariff, re-imposed the federal income tax following the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment (Feb 3, 1913) and lowered basic tariff rates from 40% to 25%, well below the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act of 1909. It was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson.

Federal Reserve Act

December 23, 1913

The Federal Reserve Act is an act of Congress that created and set up the Federal Reserve System, the central banking system of the United States of America, and granted it the legal authority to issue Federal Reserve Notes (now commonly known as the dollar) and Federal Reserve Bank Notes as legal tender. The Act was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson.

Smith-Lever Act


The Smith-Lever Act is a United States federal law that established a system of cooperative extension services, connected to the land-grant universities, in order to inform people about current developments in agriculture, home economics, public policy/government, leadership, economic development, and other similar areas. It helped farmers learn new agricultural techniques by the introduction of home instruction.

Federal Trade Commission Act


The Federal Trade Commission Act established the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a bipartisan body of five members appointed by the president of the for seven-year terms. The FTC Act was one of President Woodrow Wilson's major acts against trusts. Trusts and trust-busting were significant political concerns during the Progressive Era. This commission was authorized to issue “cease and desist” orders to large corporations to curb unfair trade practices. This Act also gave more flexibility to the U.S. Congress for judicial matters.

Clayton Antitrust Act

October 15, 1914

The Clayton Antitrust Act was enacted in the United States to add further substance to the U.S. antitrust law regime by seeking to prevent anticompetitive practices. That regime started with the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. The Clayton Act specified particular prohibited conduct, the three-level enforcement scheme, the exemptions, and the remedial measures.

Guinn v. U.S.


Guinn v. U.S.was an important Supreme Court decision that dealt with provisions of state constitutions that set qualifications for voters. It found grandfather clause exemptions to literacy tests to be unconstitutional. It was an exemption that favored white voters while it disfranchised black voters, most of whose grandfathers had been slaves and therefore unable to vote before 1866.

Keating-Owen Act


The Keating-Owen Child Labor Act was a statute enacted by the U.S. Congress which sought to address child labor by prohibiting the sale in interstate commerce of goods produced by factories that employed children under fourteen, mines that employed children younger than sixteen, and any facility where children under sixteen worked at night or more than eight hours daily.

Buchanan v. Warley


Buchanan v. Warley was a Supreme Court case in which the Court addressed civil government instituted racial segregation in residential areas. The Court held that a Louisville, Kentucky, city ordinance prohibiting the sale of property to African Americans violated the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court ruled that the motive for the Louisville ordinance, race, was an insufficient purpose to make the prohibition constitutional.

18th Amendment

January 16, 1919

The 18th Amendment established prohibition of alcoholic beverages in the United States. It was the source of much dislike from the American people, and was soon itself amended by the 21st Amendment, ratified on December 5, 1933.

19th Amendment

August 18, 1920

The 19th Amendment prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton drafted the amendment and first introduced it in 1878. This was the first major change in the U.S. that helped the womens' rights cause.

Charles Lindbergh

April 9, 1922

Charles Lindbergh is most remembered as an American aviator. He made his first solo flight in 1922. The flight was dangerous and he was an amateur, but he managed to take off and land. He represents one of the many following in the steps of the Wright brothers and their flight in 1903.

Robert La Follette


Robert La Follette, nicknamed Fighting Bob, was an American Republican (and later a Progressive) politician who was at different points a Wisconsin Congressman, Senator, and Governor. He ran for President as the nominee of his own Progressive Party in 1924, carrying Wisconsin and 17% of the national popular vote (this Progressive Party is not the same as Theodore Roosevelt's party).