Americans began the 1910s still with great optimism about the new century. The sinking of the Titanic (April 15, 1912) brought a realization concerning the limits of technology. The Progressive Era began about 1895. Major progressive reforms were enacted during the Roosevelt Administration in the 1900s. Taft continued actions against monoploles. A split in the Republican Party resulted in the election of Democrat Woodrow Wilson (1912). The Wilson Administration enacted further progressive reforms. The Progressive Movement essentially ended with America's entry into World War I. Progressive was made on major issues like child and women labor. A Federal Reserve was created. Labor unions while growing were still unable to effective negotiate with major corporations. Progress was made in state legislatures while Congress proved unwilling go dress many issues involving work place issues.
The decade began with the horendous Triangle Waist Factory Fire in New York City which exposed the conditions under which immigrant children and young women were forced to work and the lack of any fire or industrial saftey measures (1911). The immediate impact was measures to require fire saftey, but there were even more important long term consequences for American politics. A Commission found that the status of children in America was still apauling with inadequate nutrition and housing. As bad as conditions were, they were preferable to those in Europe and untill the outbreak of World War I (1914), immigrants continued to flood into the counyty. American had become greatest undustrial power in the world. A major factor here had been the mass production of automobiles. Ford introduced the first moving assembly line (1914) and in 1915, the one millionth Model T (costing $345) rolled off the assembly line. Industrial expansion had created huge numbers of jobs and great propsperity. Rising incomes had profound social consequences and the continued expansion of the middle class. Whole new industries appeared to capitalize on expanding purchasing power, including motion pictures and phonographs. Expanding trade and internation events like the Olympics were also seen as harbingers of a new age. im Thorpe, an American Indian, electtrified American by winninning gold medals at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. The increasing integration and prosperity in Europe to many meant that a major war was no longer possible. America was shocked with the outbreak of World War I and the terrible killing. Tragically the War proved to be the major event of the decade and laid the basis for much of the subsequent gistory of the 20th century. German resumtion of unrestricted subnmrine warfare brought America into the War. The United Strates entered late in the War (1917), but American particiupation was critical, blunting a German offensive which almost sized Paris and then initiating an offensive that broke the German lines, forcing them to seek an Armistace (1918). American intervebntion had sealed German's defeat. President Wilsom was a leading figure at the Paris Peace Conference and in crafting the Versailles Peace Conference and advocated a League of Nations. Republicans in the United States Senate succeeded in rejecting the Treaty and with it the League. American involvement had prevented Germany from dominating Europe, but after the War American involvement becme widely viewed as a mistake. It was the beginning of an isolationist consensus that would have terrible consequences in the 1930s. At the end of the decade amendments were passed providing for women's suferage (1919) and initiating an unprecedented national campaign--prohibition. Oppression of black Americans continued in the South an many fled north to major indudstrial cities. The end of the decade also brought the National Park Service. The Girl Scouts of America were formed to provide oportunities compsarable to the Boy Scouts. The Russian Revolution (1917) led to a Red Scatre sand demands for limits om immigration.
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