The American Journey © 2007

Chapter 21: Progressive Reforms

Web Lesson Plans

In this chapter students have read about the reform movement that swept across the country during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Honest and efficient government, voting rights for women, conservation, and fair business practices were only a few of the issues that progressive reformers pushed forward. One of the founders of the Progressive movement was Robert La Follette of Wisconsin. In this activity students will learn more about La Follette and his willingness to fight for change.

Lesson Description
Students will visit the Career of Robert M. La Follette Web page at the Web site for the Wisconsin Historical Society. They will read a biography of former Wisconsin governor Robert La Follette and answer several questions about his political contributions. Finally, they will create a political cartoon about one of the progressive reform issues.

Instructional Objectives
  1. The learner will be able to summarize several progressive reforms.
  2. The learner will be able to summarize the achievements of Robert La Follette.
  3. The learner will be able to interact with primary source documents.
  4. The learner will be able to identify a reform issue and create a political cartoon about that issue.
Student Web Activity Answers
  1. district attorney, member of the House of Representatives, senator, governor
  2. He worked for adopting a system of direct primary nominations, equal taxation for corporate as well as other property, regulation of railroad charges, establishment of commissions of experts for the regulation of railroads and other public services, taxation of railroads on the value of their property, increased funding for education, and adopting a civil service reform.
  3. La Follette pushed for direct primary elections, giving voters the right to choose their own candidates.
  4. La Follette opposed U.S. entry in World War I because he believed that conflicts should be resolved peacefully.
  5. Students' cartoons will vary.
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