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Progressive Era Printable Student Outline - Free to print (PDF file).
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This outline provides a basic structure for studying the Progressive Era, giving space so that students can delve deeper into each topic for a more comprehensive understanding of the period's complexities and significance. Click here to print.
I. Introduction to the Progressive Era

a. Brief overview of the era (approximately 1890-1920)

b. Context of rapid industrialization, urbanization, and social change

II. Social Reforms

a. Muckrakers and Social Exposés

i. Role of investigative journalists

ii. Notable muckrakers and their works (e.g., Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, Ida Tarbell's History of the Standard Oil Company)

b. Social Reform Movements

i. Women's suffrage and the suffragette movement

ii. Child labor reform and advocacy for children's rights

iii. Temperance and the Prohibition movement

III. Political Reforms

a. Progressive Presidents

i. Theodore Roosevelt and his "Square Deal"

ii. William Howard Taft and trust-busting

iii. Woodrow Wilson and the New Freedom

b. Election Reforms

i. The direct primary and the role of the primary election

ii. The 17th Amendment and the direct election of senators

iii. The initiative, referendum, and recall processes

IV. Economic Reforms

a. Anti-Trust and Regulation

i. Trust-busting and the Sherman Antitrust Act

ii. Creation of regulatory agencies (e.g., the FDA, FTC)

iii. The role of the Federal Reserve System in monetary policy

b. Labor Reforms

i. The role of labor unions (e.g., the AFL)

ii. Key labor strikes (e.g., the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the Pullman Strike)

iii. Labor legislation, including worker protections and the 8-hour workday

V. Civil Rights and Social Justice

a. African American Civil Rights

i. Founding of the NAACP and its objectives

ii. The Great Migration and its impact on African American communities

b. Women's Rights and Suffrage

i. The 19th Amendment and women's right to vote

ii. Feminism and the emergence of the "New Woman"

VI. Environmental Conservation

a. National Parks and Preservation

i. Role of conservationists like John Muir

ii. Creation of national parks (e.g., Yellowstone, Yosemite)

iii. The Antiquities Act and protection of cultural and natural landmarks

VII. Conclusion and Legacy

a. Recap of the impact of the Progressive Era on American society

b. Discussion of the enduring reforms and their influence on subsequent social and political movements
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