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2) The Progressive 1900s

Events and Policies

Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919, in office 1901 - 1909, 26th President)

- succeeded the assassinated William McKinley (1843 - 1901, in office 1901) to whom he served as Vice-President

- the first ecologically conscious president, founded many parks

- provided the name for teddy bears, spared the life of a bear at a hunting trip


- US were constituted from 45 states and 5 territories, i.e. Hawaii, Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma

- prevailing policy was that of imperialism and expansion x at the same time colonies started fight for independence

Spanish American War (1898)

- conflict between the US and Spain over Spanish colonies

- started after Spain rejected the US demand to resolve the struggle for independence at Cuba

- ended with US victory and gain of Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam

- Cuba became independent from US by the Cuban Revolution (1959) led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara

- the Philippines became independent from US in 1946

Panama Canal Construction (1902 - 1914)

- France was unsuccessfully trying to build a canal across the isthmus for some twenty years

- Roosevelt purchased the rights for the canal construction (1902)

- Panama won independence from Colombia (1903), sold the isthmus to the US, the US controlled it until 1999


Second Industrial Revolution (1870 - 1914)

- Thomas Alva Edison, Nikola Tesla, Alexander Bell: steam engine, electricity, telephone implementation

- railways: enabled quick transport of resources and goods

- assembly line: introduced by Ford Motor Company with the first American car Ford Model-T aka Tin Lizzie

- aviation: brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright constructed and flew the first plane (1903)

- mail delivery catalogues: e.g. Sears Roebuck, even houses could be ordered through the catalogues

- industrial magnates: Andrew Carnegie (steel), John D. Rockefeller (oil), the Vanderbilt family (railways)

Trade Unions

- factories were often employing poor immigrants, including women and children, for long hours and low wages

- trade unions (working unions) were introduced, e.g. Industrial Workers of the World (since 1905) aka Wobblies

- unions organized radicals, socialists, even anarchists


- population grow of urban areas caused by people looking for jobs and immigrants from southern/eastern Europe

- the cities were overcrowded, the poor lived in tenement houses, plagued by diseases from unsanitary environment

- muckrakers exposed the slum problems, the name was coined by Roosevelt, based on Sinclair's The Jungle

- Roosevelt passed the Pure Food and Drug Act (1906) prescribing sanitary regulations


Fashion: slim waists emphasizing breast and bottom size for ladies, narrow trousers for gentlemen

Gibson Girl: the ideal female beauty, modelled on actual model Evelyn Nesbit, invented by Charles Dana Gibson

Leisure activities: vaudeville, dancing, family gatherings with piano playing and song singing, reading

Harry Houdini: a magician, stunt performer, and escape artist


- Eadweard Muybridge: produced the first American proto-film, a series of photos of a running horse

- Nickelodeon (1905): the first American cinema, showed short films for a nickel, primarily for male audiences

- The Great Train Robbery (1903): a 12-minute silent western film directed and shot by Edwin S. Porter


- radios, phonographs (invented by Edison), Victrola machines (a phonograph trademark)

- Broadway musicals, operas

- Irving Berlin: Jewish-American musical producer, wrote both music and lyrics (e.g. "God Bless America")

- Scott Joplin: African-American composer and pianist, popularized ragtime music (e.g. "The Entertainer")


- Jacob August Riis, How the Other Half Lives (1891): a pioneering work of photojournalism from NY tenements

- Alfred Stieglitz, The Steerage (1907): a photo of poor immigrants crowded on the lower deck of a steamer


- painters were only finding their own way by studying European art movements

- realism, impressionism, early modernism

- Maurice Prendergast (impressionism), John Singer Sargent (portraits), Winslow Homer (landscapes), Frederick Remington (wild west scenes), Max Weber (cubism), Arthur Dove (abstract paintings)

- The Ashcan School (or, Gritty City Art): a loose group of urban realism painters, including George Luks, John Sloan, or Edward Hopper


- The Arts and Crafts Movement: bungalow architecture

- Frank Lloyd Wright: Penn Station in New York City (railway building)


- realism: William Dean Howells

- naturalism: Stephen Crane, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893); Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (1900); Frank Norris, The Octopus (1901); Jack London, The Sea-Wolf (1904); Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (1906)

- early modernism: Henry James, The Golden Bowl (1904); Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth (1905); Gertrude Stein, Three Lives (1909)

- black civil rights: W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903)

Základní údaje

  • Předmět

    America in the 20th Century.
  • Semestr

    Letní semestr 2008/09.
  • Vyučující

    Martina Knápková, Alena Kolářová.
  • Status

    Volitelný seminář pro III. blok.


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