The Unfinished Nation, Chapter 21 “The Rise of Progressivism”
Chapter 21 Main Themes:
A thorough study of Chapter 21 should enable the student to understand:
An election in which each candidate for a city council (or other representative body) is voted on by all the voters within a city (or other jurisdiction) rather than by only the residents of a specific ward (or district).
A progressive effort to limit the power of parties and improve the quality of public officials, the direct primary was an attempt to take the selection of candidates away from bosses and instead give it to the people (through a primary vote.) The direct primary was also used to disenfranchise African-Americans in the Jim Crow South.
A letter on a current issue of church concern, circulated to Roman Catholic clergy by the pope. Encyclicals, such as Rerum Novarum, are considered to constitute official church policy.
A populist innovation which allowed reformers to circumvent state legislatures by submitting new legislation directly to the voters in general elections.
Political groups who have come together on the basis of one particular interest. In the progressive era, a new pattern of politics emerged in which many individual interests organized to influence government directly rather than operating through party structures. This "interest group democracy" has continued until the present day.
Another populist-progressive reform effort, the recall gave voters the right to remove a public official from office through a special election, which could be called after a sufficient number of citizens had signed a petition.
A method devised by populist and progressive reformers by which actions of the legislature could be returned to the electorate for approval by placing an issue on the general ballot.