Progressivism and the Wisconsin Idea

In the first quarter of the twentieth century, Wisconsin leaders began to seek new answers to problems caused by an increasingly industrial and technological society. To a people born and raised mostly on farms, the explosive growth of cities, rising importance of large-scale industry, transformation of the workforce by new immigrants and rigid class stratification, and the overall speed of daily life brought uncertainty and confusion. In other states social movements such as the Greenback Party and Populist Party tried to address these changes, but little was accomplished in Wisconsin until after the year 1900 when "Progressives" gained control of... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: A survey of socialist viewpoints, 1918A survey of socialist viewpoints, 1918
Link to article: Campaign literature from Robert La FolletteCampaign literature from Robert La Follette
Link to article: A journalist reviews Progressive achievements, 1900-1930.A journalist reviews Progressive achievements, 1900-1930.
Link to article: Wisconsin passes worker's compensation law, 1911.Wisconsin passes worker's compensation law, 1911.
Link to article: Charles McCarthy, architect of progressive reforms, is recalled.Charles McCarthy, architect of progressive reforms, is recalled.
Link to article: Wisconsin voting and civil rights legislation, 1846-1929.Wisconsin voting and civil rights legislation, 1846-1929.
Link to article: A survey of progressive politics in Wisconsin, 1934A survey of progressive politics in Wisconsin, 1934
Link to artifacts: A miniature kit teaches mothers about safe homebirths, 1938A miniature kit teaches mothers about safe homebirths, 1938
Link to artifacts: A water glass used by Teddy Roosevelt after being shot, 1912A water glass used by Teddy Roosevelt after being shot, 1912
Link to book: A guide to Progressivism for women voters, 1922A guide to Progressivism for women voters, 1922
Link to book: Madison women produce a cookbook to help poor children, 1894Madison women produce a cookbook to help poor children, 1894
Link to book: A brief summary of women's suffrage legislation in the U.S. and abroad, 1907A brief summary of women's suffrage legislation in the U.S. and abroad, 1907
Link to book: A Milwaukee woman urges woman and child labor reform, 1899.A Milwaukee woman urges woman and child labor reform, 1899.
Link to book: Progressive Era educators design the ideal school, 1907Progressive Era educators design the ideal school, 1907
Link to book: Lawmakers try to end prostitution in 1914Lawmakers try to end prostitution in 1914
Link to book: A short history of prison industries, 1852-2002A short history of prison industries, 1852-2002
Link to book: Conditions in state prisons, schools, and hospitals, 1955Conditions in state prisons, schools, and hospitals, 1955
Link to book: The "Traveling Libraries" program in Wisconsin, 1897The "Traveling Libraries" program in Wisconsin, 1897
Link to images: Francis E. McGovern, Progressive Era governor.Francis E. McGovern, Progressive Era governor.
Link to manuscript: John Deitz makes his case, 1906John Deitz makes his case, 1906
Link to manuscript: The lumber company makes its case against Deitz, 1906The lumber company makes its case against Deitz, 1906
Link to manuscript: "Aunt Nellie" offers advice to farm women, 1912-1918"Aunt Nellie" offers advice to farm women, 1912-1918
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