Pivotal Decades: The United States, 1900-1920

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Pivotal Decades: The United States, 1900-1920

Author: John J. Cooper
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Copyright: 1990
Pages: 432
Cover Price: $ 24.95

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These were the years in which two of our greatest presidents--Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson--transformed the office into the center of power; in which the United States entered the world stage and fought its first overseas war; in which the government's proper role in the economy became a public question; and in which reform became an imperative for muckraking reporters, progressive politicians, social activists, and writers. It was a golden age in American politics, when fundamental ideas were given compelling expression by thoughtful candidates.

It was a trying time, however, for many Americans, including women who fought for the vote, blacks who began organizing to secure their rights, and activists on the Left who lost theirs in the first Red Scare of the century. John Cooper's panoramic history of this period shows us where we came from and sheds light on where we are.

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Background Information

Theodore Roosevelt was a progressive political leader, conservationist, war hero and adventurer. Woodrow Wilson went from President of Princeton University to President of the United States in 1912 and led the country during World War I. The Progressive Movement grew out of belief, following the Gilded Age, the government could and should do more to promote the common welfare. It took a long struggle that succeeded in many individual states before voting rights for women were granted nationally by the 19th Amendment in 1920. The Red Scare was a domestic response to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russian, bred out of fear that communism would spread to America.