by Julie Des Jardins

At the turn of the twentieth century there was a resurging impulse toward social and political reform. In some ways it continued tendencies already apparent since the industrial revolution of the early nineteenth century, in which white, Protestant, middle-class Americans organized to improve the lives of the urban poor. After the Civil War, industrialization, urbanization, and immigration intensified the inequalities between industrialist and worker, white and non-white, man and woman to such an extent that Americans believed government itself should become an instrument of reform. Particularly after the Depression of 1893 and the influx of more Asians and southern and eastern Europeans into American cities, the only solution appeared to be the systematic legislating of social justice, the curbing of political corruption, and the regulating of corporate forces to keep social strife at bay.More »

Essays

Jim Thorpe in New York, ca. 1913 (Library of Congress P&P)

Amateurism and Jim Thorpe at the Fifth Olympiad

Author: Kate Buford Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Assembly room for chassis and motors, Detroit, MI, 1929 (LOC, P&P)

Motor City: The Story of Detroit

Author: Thomas J. Sugrue Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
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Featured Primary Sources

Silas W. Mack to Clara W. Mack, April 20, 1906. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

A perspective on the San Francisco earthquake, 1906

Creator: Silas Mack Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Washington Dodge, Eyewitness account of sinking of the Titanic, April 15, 1912.

Eyewitness account of the sinking of the Titanic, 1912

Creator: Washington Dodge Curriculum Subjects: Geography, World History Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9
Lincoln Said Women Should Vote, ca. 1910 (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Suffragists invoke Lincoln, 1910

Creator: Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:
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Teaching Resources

Alice Paul: Suffragist and Agitator

Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12
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Multimedia

America between the Wars, 1917–1940, Part 1

Speaker(s): Michael Kazin Duration: 55 minutes 15 seconds

Killing for Coal: America’s Deadliest Labor War

Speaker(s): Thomas G. Andrews Duration: 1 hour 2 minutes 1 second

Lochner v. New York

Speaker(s): Larry Kramer Duration: 57 minutes 56 seconds
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Interactive Features

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