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The Progressive Era and the Family

[Originally from Joseph R. Peden and Fred R. Glahe, eds., The American Family and the State (San Francisco: Pacific Research Institute, 1986).] While the “Progressive Era” used to be narrowly designated as the period 1900–1914, historians now realize that the period is really much broader, stretching from the latter decades of the nineteenth century into the early 1920s. The broader period marks an era in which the entire American polity—from economics to urban planning to medicine to social work to the licensing of professions to the ideology of intellectuals—was transformed from a roughly laissez-faire system based on individual rights to one of state planning and control. In the sphere of public policy issues closely related

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[Originally from Joseph R. Peden and Fred R. Glahe, eds., The American Family and the State (San Francisco: Pacific Research Institute, 1986).]

While the “Progressive Era” used to be narrowly designated as the period 1900–1914, historians now realize that the period is really much broader, stretching from the latter decades of the nineteenth century into the early 1920s. The broader period marks an era in which the entire American polity—from economics to urban planning to medicine to social work to the licensing of professions to the ideology of intellectuals—was transformed from a roughly laissez-faire system based on individual rights to one of state planning and control. In the sphere of public policy issues closely related to the life of the family, most of the change took place, or at least began, in the latter decades of the nineteenth century. In this paper we shall use the analytic insights of the “new political history” to examine the ways in which the so-called progressives sought to shape and control selected aspects of American family life.


In the last two decades, the advent of the “new political history” has transformed our understanding of the political party system and the basis of political conflict in nineteenth century America. In contrast to the party systems of the twentieth century (the “fourth” party system, 1896–1932, of Republican supremacy; the “fifth” party system, 1932–? of Democratic supremacy), the nineteenth century political parties were not bland coalitions of interests with virtually the same amorphous ideology, with each party blurring what is left of its image during campaigns to appeal to the large independent center. In the nineteenth century, each party offered a fiercely contrasting ideology, and political parties performed the function of imposing a common ideology on diverse sectional and economic interests. During campaigns, the ideology and the partisanship became fiercer and even more clearly demarcated, since the object was not to appeal to independent moderates—there were virtually none—but to bring out the vote of one’s own partisans. Such partisanship and sharp alternatives marked the “second” American party system (Whig versus Democrat, approximately 1830 to the mid-1850s) and the “third” party system (closely fought Republican versus Democrat, mid-1850s to 1896).

Another important insight of the new political history is that the partisan passion devoted by rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans to national economic issues, stemmed from a similar passion devoted at the local and state level to what would now be called “social” issues. Furthermore, that political conflict, from the 1830s on, stemmed from a radical transformation that took place in American Protestantism as a result of the revival movement of the 1830s.

The new revival movement swept the Protestant churches, particularly in the North, like wildfire. In contrast to the old creedal Calvinist churches that stressed the importance of obeying God’s law as expressed in the church creed, the new “pietism” was very different. The pietist doctrine was essentially as follows: Specific creeds of various churches or sects do not matter. Neither does obedience to the rituals or liturgies of the particular church. What counts for salvation is only each individual being “born again”—a direct confrontation between the individual and God, a mystical and emotional conversion in which the individual achieves salvation. The rite of baptism, to the pietist, therefore becomes secondary; of primary importance is his or her personal moment of conversion.

But if the specific church or creed becomes submerged in a vague Christian interdenominationalism, then the individual Christian is left on his own to grapple with the problems of salvation. Pietism, as it swept American Protestantism in the 1830s, took two very different forms in North and South, with very different political implications. The Southerners, at least until the 1890s, became “salvationist pietists,” that is, they believed that the emotional experience of individual regeneration, of being born again, was enough to ensure salvation. Religion was a separate compartment of life, a vertical individual-God relation carrying no imperative to transform man-made culture and interhuman relations.

In contrast, the Northerners, particularly in the areas inhabited by “Yankees,” adopted a far different form of pietism, “evangelical pietism.” The evangelical pietists believed that man could achieve salvation by an act of free will. More particularly, they also believed that it was necessary to a person’s own salvation—and not just a good idea—to try his best to ensure the salvation of everyone else in society:

“To spread holiness,” to create that Christian commonwealth by bringing all men to Christ, was the divinely ordered duty of the “saved.” Their mandate was “to transform the world into the image of Christ.”1

Since each individual is alone to wrestle with problems of sin and salvation, without creed or ritual of the church to sustain him, the evangelical duty must therefore be to use the state, the social arm of the integrated Christian community, to stamp out temptation and occasions for sin. Only in this way could one perform one’s divinely mandated duty to maximize the salvation of others.2 And to the evangelical pietist, sin took on an extremely broad definition, placing the requirements for holiness far beyond that of other Christian groups. As one antipietist Christian put it, “They saw sin where God did not.” In particular, sin was any and all forms of contact with liquor, and doing anything except praying and going to church on Sunday. Any forms of gambling, dancing, theater, reading of novels—in short, secular enjoyment of any kind—were considered sinful.

The forms of sin that particularly agitated the evangelicals were those they held to interfere with the theological free will of individuals, making them unable to achieve salvation. Liquor was sinful because, they alleged, it crippled the free will of the imbibers. Another particular source of sin was Roman Catholicism, in which priests and bishops, arms of the Pope (whom they identified as the Antichrist), ruled the minds and therefore crippled the theological freedom of will of members of the church.

Evangelical pietism particularly appealed to, and therefore took root among, the “Yankees,” i.e., that cultural group that originated in (especially rural) New England and emigrated widely to populate northern and western New York, northern Ohio, northern Indiana, and northern Illinois. The Yankees were natural “cultural imperialists,” people who were wont to impose their values and morality on other groups; as such, they took quite naturally to imposing their form of pietism through whatever means were available, including the use of the coercive power of the state.

In contrast to evangelical pietists were, in addition to small groups of old-fashioned Calvinists, two great Christian groups, the Catholics and the Lutherans (or at least, the high-church variety of Lutheran), who were “liturgicals” (or “ritualists”) rather than pietists. The liturgicals saw the road to salvation in joining the particular church, obeying its rituals, and making use of its sacraments; the individual was not alone with only his emotions and the state to protect him. There was no particular need, then, for the state to take on the functions of the church. Furthermore, the liturgicals had a much more relaxed and rational view of what sin really was; for instance, excessive drinking might be sinful, but liquor per se surely was not.

The evangelical pietists, from the 1830s on, were the northern Protestants of British descent, as well as the Lutherans from Scandinavia and a minority of pietist German synods; the liturgicals were the Roman Catholics and the high-church Lutherans, largely German.

Very rapidly, the political parties reflected a virtually one-to-one correlation of this ethnoreligious division: the Whig, and later the Republican, party consisting chiefly of the pietists, and the Democratic party encompassing almost all the liturgicals. And for almost a century, on a state and local level, the Whig/Republican pietists tried desperately and determinedly to stamp out liquor and all Sunday activities except church (of course, drinking liquor on Sunday was a heinous double sin). As to the Catholic church, the pietists tried to restrict or abolish immigration, since people coming from Germany and Ireland, liturgicals, were outnumbering people from Britain and Scandinavia. Failing that and despairing of doing anything about adult Catholics poisoned by agents of the Vatican, the evangelical pietists decided to concentrate on saving Catholic and Lutheran youth by trying to eliminate the parochial schools, through which both religious groups transmitted their precious religious and social values to the young. The object, as many pietists put it, was to “Christianize the Catholics,” to force Catholic and Lutheran children into public schools, which could then be used as an instrument of pietist Protestantization. Since the Yankees had early taken to the idea of imposing communal civic virtue and obedience through the public schools, they were particularly receptive to this new reason for aggrandizing public education.

To all of these continuing aggressions by what they termed “those fanatics,” the liturgicals fought back with equal fervor. Particularly bewildered were the Germans who, Lutheran and Catholic alike, were accustomed to the entire family happily attending beer gardens together on Sundays after church and who now found the “fanatic” pietists trying desperately to outlaw this pleasurable and seemingly innocent activity. The pietist Protestant attacks on private and parochial schools fatally threatened the preservation and maintenance of the liturgicals’ cultural and religious values; and since large numbers of the Catholics and Lutherans were immigrants, parochial schools also served to maintain group affinities in a new and often hostile world—especially the world of Anglo-Saxon pietism. In the case of the Germans, it also meant, for several decades, preserving parochial teaching in the beloved German language, as against fierce pressures for Anglicization.

In the last three decades of the nineteenth century, as Catholic immigration grew and the Democratic party moved slowly but surely toward a majority status, the Republican, and—more broadly—pietist pressures became more intense. The purpose of the public school, to the pietists, was “to unify and make homogeneous the society.” There was no twentieth century concern for separating religion and the public school system. To the contrary, in most northern jurisdictions only pietist-Protestant church members were allowed to be teachers in the public schools. Daily reading of the Protestant Bible, daily Protestant prayers and Protestant hymns were common in the public schools, and school textbooks were rife with anti-Catholic propaganda. Thus, New York City school textbooks spoke broadly of “the deceitful Catholics,” and pounded into their children, Catholic and Protestant alike, the message that “Catholics are necessarily, morally, intellectually, infallibly, a stupid race.”3

Teachers delivered homilies on the evils of Popery, and also on deeply felt pietist theological values: the wickedness of alcohol (the “demon rum”) and the importance of keeping the Sabbath. In the 1880s and 1890s, zealous pietists began working ardently for antialcohol instruction as a required part of the public-school curriculum; by 1901, every state in the Union required instruction in temperance.

Since most Catholic children went to public rather than parochial schools, the Catholic authorities were understandably anxious to purge the schools of Protestant requirements and ceremonies, and of anti-Catholic textbooks. To the pietists, these attempts to de-Protestantize the public schools were intolerable “Romish aggression.” The whole point of the public schools was moral and religious homogenization, and here the Catholics were disrupting the attempt to make American society holy—to produce, through the public school and the Protestant gospel, “a morally and politically homogeneous people.” As Kleppner writes:

When they [the pietists] spoke of “moral education,” they had in mind principles of morality shared in common by the adherents of gospel religion, for in the public school all children, even those whose parents were enslaved by “Lutheran formalism or Romish supersitition,” would be exposed to the Bible. That alone was cause for righteous optimism, for they believed the Bible to be “the agent in converting the soul,” “the volume that makes human beings men.”4

In this way, “America [would] be Saved Through the Children.”5

The pietists were therefore incensed that the Catholics were attempting to block the salvation of America’s children—and eventually of America itself—all at the orders of a “foreign potentate.” Thus, the New Jersey Methodist Conference of 1870 lashed out with their deepest feelings against this Romish obstructionism:

Resolved, That we greatly deprecate the effort which is being made by “Haters of Light,” and especially by an arrogant priesthood, to exclude the Bible from the Public Schools of our land; and that we will do all in our power to defeat the well-defined and wicked design of this “Mother of Harlots.”6

Throughout the nineteenth century, “nativist” attacks on “foreigners” and the foreign-born were really attacks on liturgical immigrants. Immigrants from Britain or Scandinavia, pietists all, were “good Americans” as soon as they got off the boat. It was the diverse culture of the other immigrants that had to be homogenized and molded into that of pietist America. Thus, the New England Methodist Conference of 1889 declared:

We are a nation of remnants, ravellings from the Old World. . . . The public school is one of the remedial agencies which work in our society to diminish this . . . and to hasten the compacting of these heterogeneous materials into a solid nature.7

Or, as a leading citizen of Boston declared, “the only way to elevate the foreign population was to make Protestants of their children.”8

Since the cities of the North, in the late nineteenth century, were becoming increasingly filled with Catholic immigrants, pietist attacks on sinful cities and on immigrants both became aspects of the anti-liturgical struggle for a homogeneous Anglo-Saxon pietist culture. The Irish were particular butts of pietist scorn; a New York City textbook bitterly warned that continued immigration could make America “the common sewer of Ireland,” filled with drunken and depraved Irishmen.9

The growing influx of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe toward the end of the nineteenth century seemed to pose even greater problems for the pietist progressives, but they did not shrink from the task. As Elwood P. Cubberley of Stanford University, the nation’s outstanding progressive historian of education, declared, southern and eastern Europeans have served to dilute tremendously our national stock, and to corrupt our civil life. . . . Everywhere these people tend to settle in groups or settlements, and to set up here their national manners, customs, and observances. Our task is to break up these groups or settlements, to assimilate and amalgamate these people as a part of our American race and to implant in their children. . . the Anglo-Saxon conception of rightousness, law and order, and popular government. . . . 10


The molding of children was of course the key to homogenization and the key in general to the progressive vision of tight social control over the individual via the instrument of the state. The eminent University of Wisconsin sociologist Edward Alsworth Ross, a favorite of Theodore Roosevelt and the veritable epitome of a progressive social scientist, summed it up thus: The role of the public official, and in particular of the public school teacher, is “to collect little plastic lumps of human dough from private households and shape them on the social kneadingboard.”11

The view of Ross and the other progressives was that the state must take up the task of control and inculcation of moral values once performed by parents and church. The conflict between middle and upper-class urban progressive Anglo-Saxon Protestants and largely working-class Catholics was sharply delineated in the battle over control of the San Francisco public school system during the second decade of the twentieth century. The highly popular Alfred Roncovieri, a French-Italian Catholic, was the elected school superintendent from 1906 on. Roncovieri was a traditionalist who believed that the function of schools was to teach the basics, and that teaching children about sex and morality should be the function of home and church. Hence, when the drive for sex hygiene courses in the public schools got under way, Roncovieri consulted with mothers’ clubs and, in consequence, kept the program out of the schools.

By 1908, upper-class progressives launched a decade-long movement to oust Roncovieri and transform the nature of the San Francisco public school system. Instead of an elected superintendent responding to a school board elected by districts, the progressives wanted an all-powerful school superintendent, appointed by a rubber-stamp board that in turn would be appointed by the mayor. In other words, in the name of “taking the schools out of politics,” they hoped to aggrandize the educational bureaucracy and maintain its power virtually unchecked by any popular or democratic control. The purpose was threefold: to push through the progressive program of social control, to impose upper-class control over a working-class population, and to impose pietist Protestant control over Catholic ethnics. 12

The ethnoreligious struggle over the public schools in San Francisco was nothing new; it had been going on tumultuously since the middle of the nineteenth century.13 In the last half of the nineteenth century, San Francisco was split into two parts. Ruling the city was a power elite of native-born old Americans, hailing from New England, including lawyers, businessmen, and pietist Protestant ministers. These comprised successively the Whig, Know-Nothing, Populist, and Republican parties in the city. On the other hand were the foreign-born, largely Catholic immigrants from Europe, Irish, Germans, French, and Italians, who comprised the Democratic party.

The Protestants early tried to use the public schools as a homogenizing and controlling force. The great theoretician and founder of the public school system in San Francisco, John Swett, “the Horace Mann of California,” was a lifelong Republican and a Yankee who had taught school in New Hampshire before moving West. Moreover, the Board of Education was originally an all-New England show; consisting of emigrants from Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. The mayor of San Francisco was a former mayor of Salem, Massachusetts, and every administrator and teacher in the public schools was a transplanted New Englander. The first superintendent of schools was not exactly a New Englander, but close: Thomas J. Nevins, a Yankee Whig lawyer from New York and an agent of the American Bible Society. And the first free public school in San Francisco was instituted in the basement of a small Baptist chapel.

Nevins, installed as superintendent of schools in 1851, promptly adopted the rule of the New York City schools: Every teacher was compelled to begin each day by a Protestant Bible reading and to conduct daily Protestant prayer sessions. And John Swett, elected as Republican state superintendent of public instruction during the 1860s, declared that California needed public schools because of its heterogeneous population: “Nothing can Americanize these chaotic elements, and breathe into them the spirit of our institutions,” he warned, “except the public schools.”14

Swett was keen enough to recognize that the pietist educational formula meant that the state takes over jurisdiction of the child from his parents, since “children arrived at the age of maturity belong, not to the parents, but to the State, to society, to the country.”15

A seesaw struggle between the Protestant Yankees and Catholic ethnics ensued in San Francisco during the 1850s. The state charter of San Francisco in 1855 made the schools far more responsive to the people, with school boards being elected from each of a dozen wards instead of at large, and the superintendent elected by the people instead of appointed by the board. The Democrats swept the Know-Nothings out of office in the city in 1856 and brought to power David Broderick, an Irish Catholic who controlled the San Francisco as well as the California Democratic party. But this gain was wiped out by the San Francisco Vigilance Movement, a private organization of merchants and New England-born Yankees, who, attacking the “Tammany” tactics of Broderick, installed themselves in power and illegally deported most of the Broderick organization, replacing it with a newly formed People’s party.

The People’s party ran San Francisco with an iron hand for ten years, from 1857 to 1867, making secret nominations for appointments and driving through huge slates of at-large nominees chosen at a single vote at a public meeting. No open nomination procedures, primaries, or ward divisions were allowed, in order to ensure election victories by “reputable” men. The People’s party promptly reinstalled an all-Yankee school board, and the administrators and teachers in schools were again firmly Protestant and militantly anti-Catholic. The People’s party itself continually attacked the Irish, denouncing them as “micks” and “rank Pats.” George Tait, the People’s party-installed superintendent of schools in the 1860s, lamented, however, that some teachers were failing to read the Protestant Bible in the schools, and were thus casting “a slur on the religion and character of the community.”

By the 1870s, however, the foreign-born residents outnumbered the native-born, and the Democratic party rose to power in San Francisco, the People’s party declining and joining the Republicans. The Board of Education ended the practice of Protestant devotions in the schools, and Irish and Germans began to pour into administrative and teaching posts in the public school system.

Another rollback began, however, in 1874, when the Republican state legislature abolished ward elections for the San Francisco school board, and insisted that all board members be elected at large. This meant that only the wealthy, which usually meant well-to-do Protestants, were likely to be able to run successfully for election. Accordingly, whereas in 1873, 58 percent of the San Francisco school board was foreign-born, the percentage was down to 8 percent in the following year. And while the Irish were approximately 25 percent of the electorate and the Germans about 13 percent, the Irish were not able to fill more than one or two of the twelve at-large seats, and the Germans virtually none.

The seesaw continued, however, as the Democrats came back in 1883, under the aegis of the master politician, the Irish Catholic Christopher “Blind Boss” Buckley. In the Buckley regime, the post-1874 school board dominated totally by wealthy native-born, Yankee businessmen and professionals, was replaced by an ethnically balanced ticket with a high proportion of working-class and foreign-born. Furthermore, a high proportion of Irish Catholic teachers, most of them single women, entered the San Francisco schools during the Buckley era, reaching 50 percent by the turn of the century.

In the late 1880s, however, the stridently anti-Catholic and anti-Irish American party became strong in San Francisco and the rest of the state, and Republican leaders were happy to join them in denouncing the “immigrant peril.” The American party managed to oust the Irish Catholic Joseph O’Connor, principal and deputy superintendent, from his high post as “religiously unacceptable.” This victory heralded a progressive Republican “reform” comeback in 1891, when none other than John Swett was installed as superintendent of schools in San Francisco. Swett battled for the full reform program: to make everything, even the mayoralty, an appointive rather than an elective office. Part of the goal was achieved by the state’s new San Francisco charter in 1900, which replaced the twelve-man elected Board of Education by a four-member board appointed by the mayor.

The full goal of total appointment was still blocked, however, by the existence of an elective superintendent of schools who, since 1907, was the popular Catholic Alfred Roncovieri. The pietist progressives were also thwarted for two decades by the fact that San Francisco was ruled, for most of the years between 1901 and 1911, by a new Union Labor party, which won on an ethnically and occupationally balanced ticket, and which elected the German-Irish Catholic Eugene Schmitz, a member of the musician’s union, as mayor. And for eighteen years after 1911, San Francisco was governed by its most popular mayor before or since, “Sunny Jim” Rolph, an Episcopalian friendly to Catholics and ethnics, who was pro-Roncovieri and who presided over an ethnically pluralistic regime.

It is instructive to examine the makeup of the progressive reform movement that eventually got its way and overthrew Roncovieri. It consisted of the standard progressive coalition of business and professional elites, and nativist and anti-Catholic organizations, who called for the purging of Catholics from the schools. Particular inspiration came from Stanford educationist Elwood P. Cubberley, who energized the California branch of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae (later the American Association of University Women), led by the wealthy Mrs. Jesse H. Steinhart, whose husband was later to be a leader in the Progressive party. Mrs. Steinhart got Mrs. Agnes De Lima, a New York City progressive educator, to make a survey of the San Francisco schools for the association. The report, presented in 1914, made the expected case for an “efficient,” business-like, school system run solely by appointed educators. Mrs. Steinhart also organized the Public Education Society of San Francisco to agitate for progressive school reform; in this she was aided by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

Also backing progressive reform, and anxious to oust Roncovieri, were other elite groups in the city, including the League of Women Voters, and the prestigious Commonwealth Club of California.

At the behest of Mrs. Steinhart and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, which contributed the funds, Philander Claxton of the U.S. Office of Education weighed in with his report in December 1917. The report, which endorsed the Association of Collegiate Alumnae study and was extremely critical of the San Francisco school system, called for all power over the system to go to an appointed superintendent of schools. Claxton also attacked the teaching of foreign languages in the schools, which San Francisco had been doing, and insisted on a comprehensive “Americanization” to break down ethnic settlements.

The Claxton Report was the signal for the Chamber of Commerce to swing into action, and it proceeded to draft a comprehensive progressive referendum for the November 1918 ballot, calling for an appointed superintendent and an appointed school board. This initiative, Amendment 37, was backed by most of the prominent business and professional groups in the city. In addition to the ones named above, there were the Real Estate Board, elite women’s organizations such as the Federation of Women’s Clubs, wealthy neighborhood improvement clubs, and the San Francisco Examiner. Amendment 37 lost, however, by two to one, since it had little support in working-class neighborhoods or among the teachers.

Two years later, however, Amendment 37 passed, aided by a resurgence of pietism and virulent anti-Catholicism in postwar America. Prohibition was now triumphant, and the Ku Klux Klan experienced a nationwide revival as a pietist, anti-Catholic organization. The KKK had as many as 3,500 members in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1920s. The anti-Catholic American Protective Association also enjoyed a revival, led in California by a British small businessman, the anti-Irish Grand Master Colonel J. Arthur Petersen.

In opposing Amendment 37 in the 1920 elections, Father Peter C. Yorke, a prominent priest and Irish immigrant, perceptively summed up the fundamental cleavage: “The modern school system,” he declared, “is not satisfied with teaching children the 3 Rs . . . it reaches out and takes possession of their whole lives.”

Amendment 37 passed in 1920 by the narrow margin of 69,200 to 66,700. It passed in every middle- and upper-class Assembly District, and lost in every working-class district. The higher the concentration of foreign-born voters in any district, the greater the vote against. In the Italian precincts 1 to 17 of the 33rd A.D., the Amendment was beaten by 3 to 1; in the Irish precincts, it was defeated by 3 to 1 as well. The more Protestant a working-class district, the more it supported the Amendment.

The bulk of the lobbying for the Amendment was performed by the ad hoc Educational Conference. After the victory, the conference happily presented a list of nominees to the school board, which now consisted of seven members appointed by the mayor, and which in turn appointed the superintendent. The proposed board consisted entirely of businessmen, of whom only one was a conservative Irish Catholic. The mayor surrendered to the pressure, and hence, after 1921, cultural pluralism in the San Francisco school system gave way to unitary progressive rule. The board began by threatening to dock any teacher who dared to be absent from school on St. Patrick’s Day (a San Francisco tradition since the 1870s), and proceeded to override the wishes of particular neighborhoods in the interest of a centralized city.

The superintendent of schools in the new regime, Dr. Joseph Marr Gwinn, fit the new dispensation to a tee. A professional “scientist” of public administration, his avowed aim was unitary control. The entire package of typical progressive educational nostrums was installed, including a department of education and various experimental programs. Traditional basic education was scorned, and the edict came down that children should not be “forced” to learn the 3 Rs if they didn’t feel the need. Traditional teachers, who were continually attacked for being old-fashioned and “unprofessional,” were not promoted.

Despite continued opposition by teachers, parents, neighborhoods, ethnic groups, and the ousted Roncovieri, all attempts to repeal Amendment 37 were unsuccessful. The modern dispensation of progressivism had conquered San Francisco. The removal of the Board of Education and school superintendent from direct and periodic control by the electorate had effectively deprived parents of any significant control over the educational policies of public schools. At last, as John Swett had asserted nearly sixty years earlier, schoolchildren belonged “not to the parents, but to the State, to society, to the country.”


Women’s Suffrage

By the 1890s, the liturgically oriented Democracy was slowly but surely winning the national battle of the political parties. Culminating the battle was the Democratic congressional victory in 1890 and the Grover Cleveland landslide in the presidential election of 1892, in which Cleveland carried both Houses of Congress along with him (an unusual feat for that era). The Democrats were in way of becoming the majority party of the country, and the root was demographic: the fact that most of the immigrants were Catholic and the Catholic birthrate was higher than that of the pietist Protestants. Even though British and Scandinavian immigration had reached new highs during the 1880s, their numbers were far exceeded by German and Irish immigration, the latter being the highest since the famous post-potato-famine influx that started in the late 1840s. Furthermore, the “new immigration” from southern and eastern Europe, almost all Catholic—and especially Italian—began to make its mark during the same decade.

The pietists became increasingly embittered, stepping up their attacks on foreigners in general and Catholics in particular. Thus, the Reverend T.W. Cuyler, President of the National Temperance Society, intemperately exclaimed in the summer of 1891: “How much longer [will] the Republic . . . consent to have her soil a dumping ground for all Hungarian ruffians, Bohemian bruisers, and Italian cutthroats of every description?”

The first concrete political response by the pietists to the rising Catholic tide was to try to restrict immigration. Republicans successfully managed to pass laws partially cutting immigration, but President Cleveland vetoed a bill to impose a literacy test on all immigrants. The Republicans also managed to curtail voting by immigrants, by getting most states to disallow voting by aliens, thereby reversing the traditional custom of allowing alien voting. They also urged the lengthening of the statutory waiting period for naturalization.

The successful restricting of immigration and of immigrant voting was still not enough to matter, and immigration would not really be foreclosed until the 1920s. But if voting could not be restricted sharply enough, perhaps it could be expanded—in the proper pietist direction.

Specifically, it was clear to the pietists that the role of women in the liturgical “ethnic” family was very different from what it was in the pietist Protestant family. One of the reasons impelling pietists and Republicans toward prohibition was the fact that, culturally, the lives of urban male Catholics—nd the cities of the Northeast were becoming increasingly Catholic—evolved around the neighborhood saloon. The men would repair at night to the saloon for chitchat, discussions, and argument—nd they would generally take their political views from the saloonkeeper, who thus became the political powerhouse in his particular ward. Therefore, prohibition meant breaking the political power of the urban liturgical machines in the Democratic party.

But while the social lives of liturgical males revolved around the saloon, their wives stayed at home. While pietist women were increasingly independent and politically active, the lives of liturgical women revolved solely about home and hearth. Politics was strictly an avocation for husbands and sons. Perceiving this, the pietists began to push for women’s suffrage, realizing that far more pietist than liturgical women would take advantage of the power to vote.

As a result, the women’s suffrage movement was heavily pietist from the very beginning. Ultrapietist third parties like the Greenback and the Prohibition parties, which scorned the Republicans for being untrustworthy moderates on social issues, supported women’s suffrage throughout, and the Populists tended in that direction. The Progressive party of 1912 was strongly in favor of women’s suffrage; theirs was the first major national convention to permit women delegates. The first woman elector, Helen J. Scott of Wisconsin, was chosen by the Progressive party.

Perhaps the major single organization in the women’s suffrage movement was the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, founded in 1874 and reaching an enormous membership of 300,000 by 1900. That the WCTU was also involved in agitating for curfew, antigambling, antismoking, and antisex laws—ll actions lauded by the women’s suffrage movement—s clear from the official history of women’s suffrage in the nineteenth century:

[The WCTU] has been a chief factor in State campaigns for statutory prohibition, constitutional amendment, reform laws in general and those for the protection of women and children in particular, and in securing anti-gambling and anti-cigarette laws. It has been instrumental in raising the “age of protection” for girls in many States, and in obtaining curfew laws in 400 towns and cities. . . . The association [WCTU] protests against the legalization of all crimes, especially those of prostitution and liquor selling.16

Not only did Susan B. Anthony begin her career as a professional prohibitionist, but her two successors as president of the leading women’s suffrage organization, the National American Woman Suffrage Association—Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt and Dr. Anna Howard Shaw—also began their professional careers as prohibitionists. The leading spirit of the WCTU, Frances E. Willard, was prototypically born of New England-stock parents who had moved westward to study at Oberlin College, then the nation’s center of aggressive, evangelical pietism, and had later settled in Wisconsin. Guided by Miss Willard, the WCTU began its prosuffrage activities by demanding that women vote in local option referendums on prohibition. As Miss Willard put it, the WCTU wanted women to vote on this issue because “majorities of women are against the liquor traffic. . . .”17

Conversely, whenever there was a voters’ referendum on women’s suffrage, the liturgicals and the foreign-born, responding to immigrant culture and reacting against the pietist-feminist support of prohibition, consistently opposed women’s suffrage. In Iowa, the Germans voted against women’s suffrage, as did the Chinese in California. The women’s suffrage amendment in 1896 in California was heavily supported by the bitterly anti-Catholic American Protective Association. The cities, where Catholics abounded, tended to be opposed to women’s suffrage, while pietist rural areas tended to favor it. Thus, the Oregon referendum of 1900 lost largely because of opposition in the Catholic “slums” of Portland and Astoria.

A revealing religious breakdown of votes on an 1877 women’s suffrage referendum was presented in a report by a Colorado feminist. She explained that the Methodists (the most strongly pietistic) were “for us,” the (less pietistic) Presbyterians and Episcopalians “fairly so,” while the Roman Catholics “were not all against us”—clearly they were expected to be.18  And, testifying before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in favor of women’s suffrage in 1880, Susan B. Anthony presented her own explanation of the Colorado vote:

In Colorado . . . 6,666 men vote “Yes.” Now, I am going to describe the men who voted “Yes.” They were native-born men, temperance men, cultivated, broad, generous, just men, men who think. On the other hand, 16,007 voted “No.” Now, I am going to describe that class of voters. In the southern part of that State are Mexicans, who speak the Spanish language. . . . The vast population of Colorado is made up of that class of people. I was sent out to speak in a voting precinct having 200 voters; 150 of those voters were Mexican greasers, 40 of them foreign-born citizens, and just 10 of them were born in this country; and I was supposed to be competent to convert those men to let me have so much right in this Government as they had. . . 19

A laboratory test of which women would turn out to vote occurred; in Massachusetts, where women were given the power to vote in school board elections from 1879 on. In 1888, large numbers of Protestant women in Boston turned out to drive Catholics off the school board. In contrast, Catholic women scarcely voted, “thereby validating the, nativist tendencies of suffragists who believed that extension of full suffrage to women would provide a barrier against further Catholic influence.”20 During the last two decades of the nineteenth century “the more hierarchical the church organization and the more formal the ritual, the greater was its opposition to women suffrage, while the democratically organized churches with little dogma tended to be more receptive.”21

Four mountain states adopted women’s suffrage in the early and mid-1890s. Two, Wyoming and Utah, were simply ratifying, as new states, a practice they had long adopted as territories: Wyoming in 1869 and Utah in 1870. Utah had adopted women’s suffrage as a conscious policy by the pietistic Mormons to weight political control in favor of their polygamous members, who contrasted to the Gentiles, largely miners and settlers who were either single men or who had left their wives back East. Wyoming had adopted women’s suffrage in an effort to increase the political power of its settled householders, in contrast to the transient, mobile, and often lawless single men who peopled that frontier region.

No sooner had Wyoming Territory adopted women’s suffrage, than it became evident that the change had benefited the Republicans, particularly since women had mobilized against Democratic attempts to repeal Wyoming’s Sunday prohibition law. In 1871, both houses of the Wyoming legislature, led by its Democratic members, voted to repeal women’s suffrage, but the bill was vetoed by the Republican territorial governor.

Two additional states adopting women’s suffrage in the 1890s were Idaho and Colorado. In Idaho the drive, adopted by referendum in 1896, was led by the ultrapietistic Populists and by the Mormons, who were dominant in the southern part of the state. The Populist counties of Colorado gave a majority of 6,800 for women’s suffrage, while the Republican and Democratic counties voted a majority of 500 against.22

It may be thought paradoxical that a movement—women’s suffrage—born and centered in the East should have had its earliest victories in the remote frontier states of the Mountain West. But the paradox begins to clear when we realize the pietist-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant nature of the frontiersmen, many of them Yankees hailing originally from that birthplace of American pietism, New England. As the historian Frederick Jackson Turner, that great celebrant of frontier ideals, lyrically observed:

In the arid West these pioneers [from New England] have halted and have turned to perceive an altered nation and changed social ideals. . . . If we follow back the line of march of the Puritan farmer, we shall see how responsive he has always been to isms. . . . He is the Prohibitionist of Iowa and Wisconsin, crying out against German customs as an invasion of his traditional ideals. He is the Granger of Wisconsin, passing restrictive railroad legislation. He is the Abolitionist, the Anti-mason, the Millerite, the Woman Suffragist, the Spiritualist, the Mormon, of Western New York.23

Eugenics and Birth Control

Thus the women’s suffrage movement, dominated by pietist progressives, was not directed solely to achieving some abstract principle of electoral equality between males and females. This was more a means to another end: the creation of electoral majorities for pietist measures of direct social control over the lives of American families. They wished to determine by state intervention what those families drank and when and where they drank, how they spent their Sabbath day, and how their children should be educated.

One way of correcting the increasingly pro-Catholic demographics was to restrict immigration; another to promote women’s suffrage. A third way, often promoted in the name of “science,” was eugenics, an increasingly popular doctrine of the progressive movement. Broadly, eugenics may be defined as encouraging the breeding of the “fit” and discouraging the breeding of the “unfit,” the criteria of “fitness” often coinciding with the cleavage between native, white Protestants and the foreign born or Catholics—or the white-black cleavage. In extreme cases, the unfit were to be coercively sterilized.

To the founder of the American eugenics movement, the distinguished biologist Charles Benedict Davenport, a New Yorker of eminent New England background, the rising feminist movement was beneficent provided that the number of biologically superior persons was sustained and the number of the unfit diminished. The biologist Harry H. Laughlin, aide to Davenport, associate editor of the Eugenical News, and highly influential in the immigration restriction policy of the 1920s as eugenics expert for the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, stressed the great importance of cutting the immigration of the biologically “inferior” southern Europeans. For in that way, the biological superiority of Anglo-Saxon women would be protected.

Harry Laughlin’s report to the House Committee, printed in 1923, helped formulate the 1924 immigration law, which, in addition to drastically limiting total immigration to the United States, imposed national origin quotas based on the 1910 census, so as to weight the sources of immigration as much as possible in favor of northern Europeans. Laughlin later emphasized that American women must keep the nation’s blood pure by not marrying what he called the “colored races,” in which he included southern Europeans as well as blacks: for if “men with a small fraction of colored blood could readily find mates among the white women, the gates would be thrown open to a final radical race mixture of the whole population.” To Laughlin the moral was clear: “The perpetuity of the American race and consequently of American institutions depends upon the virtue and fecundity of American women.”24

But the problem was that the fecund women were not the pietist progressives but the Catholics. For, in addition to immigration, another source of demographic alarm to the pietists was the far higher birthrate among Catholic women. If only they could be induced to adopt birth control! Hence, the birth control movement became part of the pietist armamentarium in their systemic struggle with the Catholics and other liturgicals.

Thus, the distinguished University of California eugenicist, Samuel J. Holmes, lamented that “the trouble with birth control is that it is practiced least where it should be practiced most.” In the Birth Control Review, leading organ of the birth control movement, Annie G. Porritt was more specific, attacking “the folly of closing our gates to aliens from abroad, while having them wide open to the overwhelming progeny of the least desirable elements of our city and slum population.”25 In short, the birth controllers were saying that if one’s goal is to restrict sharply the total number of Catholics, “colored” southern European or no, then there is no point in only limiting immigration while the domestic population continues to increase.

The birth control and the eugenics movement therefore went hand in hand, not the least in the views of the well-known leader of the birth control movement in the United States: Mrs. Margaret Higgins Sanger, prolific author, founder and long-time editor of the Birth Control Review. Echoing many of the various strains of progressivism, Mrs. Sanger hailed the emancipation of women through birth control as the latest in applied science and “efficiency.” As she put it in her Autobiography: 

In an age which has developed science and industry and economic efficiency to their highest points, so little thought has been given to the development of a science of parenthood, a science of maternity which could prevent this appalling and unestimated waste of womankind and maternal effort.26

To Mrs. Sanger, “science” also meant stopping the breeding of the unfit. A devoted eugenicist and follower of C.B. Davenport, she in fact chided the eugenics movement for not sufficiently emphasizing this crucial point:

The eugenists wanted to shift the birth control emphasis from less children for the poor to more children for the rich. We went back of that and sought first to stop the multiplication of the unfit. This appeared the most important and greatest step toward race betterrnent.27


Progressivism was, to a great extent, the culmination of the pietist Protestant political impulse, the urge to regulate every aspect of American life, economic and moral—even the most intimate and crucial aspects of family life. But it was also a curious alliance of a technocratic drive for government regulation, the supposed expression of “value-free science,” and the pietist religious impulse to save America—and the world—by state coercion. Often both pietistic and scientific arguments would be used, sometimes by the same people, to achieve the old pietist goals. Thus, prohibition would be argued for on religious as well as on alleged scientific or medicinal grounds. In many cases, leading progressive intellectuals at the turn of the twentieth century were former pietists who went to college and then transferred to the political arena, their zeal for making over mankind, as a “salvation by science.” And then the Social Gospel movement managed to combine political collectivism and pietist Christianity in the same package. All of these were strongly interwoven elements in the progressive movement.

All these trends reached their apogee in the Progressive party and its national convention of 1912. The assemblage was a gathering of businessmen, intellectuals, academics, technocrats, efficiency experts and social engineers, writers, economists, social scientists, and leading representatives of the new profession of social work. The Progressive leaders were middle and upper class, almost all urban, highly educated, and almost all white Anglo-Saxon Protestants of either past or present pietist concerns.

From the social work leaders came upper-class ladies bringing the blessings of statism to the masses: Lillian D. Wald, Mary Kingsbury Simkhovitch, and above all, Jane Addams. Miss Addams, one of the great leaders of progressivism, was born in rural Illinois to a father, John, who was a state legislator and a devout nondenominational evangelical Protestant. Miss Addams was distressed at the southern and eastern European immigration, people who were “primitive” and “credulous,” and who posed the danger of unrestrained individualism. Their different ethnic background disrupted the unity of American culture. However, the problem, according to Miss Addams, could be easily remedied. The public school could reshape the immigrant, strip him of his cultural foundations, and transform him into a building block of a new and greater American community.28

In addition to writers and professional technocrats at the Progressive party convention, there were professional pietists galore. Social Gospel leaders Lyman Abbott, the Reverend R. Heber Newton, and the Reverend Washington Gladden were Progressive party notables, and the Progressive candidate for governor of Vermont was the Reverend Fraser Metzger, leader of the Inter-Church Federation of Vermont. In fact, the Progressive party proclaimed itself as the “recrudescence of the religious spirit in American political life.”

Many observers, indeed, reported in wonder at the strongly religious tone of the Progressive party convention. Theodore Roosevelt’s acceptance address was significantly entitled, “A Confession of Faith,” and his words were punctuated by “amens” and by a continual singing of Christian hymns by the assembled delegates. They sang “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and finally the revivalist hymn, “Follow, Follow, We Will Follow Jesus,” except that “Roosevelt” replaced the word “Jesus” at every turn.

The New York Times of August 6, 1912, summed up the unusual experience by calling the Progressive assemblage “a convention of fanatics.” And, “It was not a convention at all. It was an assemblage of religious enthusiasts. It was such a convention as Peter the Hermit held. It was a Methodist camp following done over into political terms.”29

Thus the foundations of today’s massive state intervention in the internal life of the American family were laid in the so-called “progressive era” from the 1870s to the 1920s. Pietists and “progressives” united to control the material and sexual choices of the rest of the American people, their drinking habits, and their recreational preferences. Their values, the very nurture and education of their children, were to be determined by their betters. The spiritual, biological, political, intellectual, and moral elite would govern, through state power, the character and quality of American family life.


It has been known for decades that the Progressive Era was marked by a radical growth in the extension and dominance of government in America’s economic, social, and cultural life. For decades, this great leap into statism was naively interpreted by historians as a simple response to the greater need for planning and regulation of an increasingly complex economy. In recent years, however, historians have come to see that increasing statism on a federal and state level can be better interpreted as a profitable alliance between certain business and industrial interests, looking for government to cartelize their industry after private efforts for cartels and monopoly had failed, and intellectuals, academics, and technocrats seeking jobs to help regulate and plan the economy as well as restriction of entry into their professions. In short, the Progressive Era re-created the age-old alliance between Big Government, large business firms, and opinion-molding intellectuals—an alliance that had most recently been embodied in the mercantilist system of the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries.

Other historians uncovered a similar process at the local level, especially that of urban government beginning with the Progressive Era. Using the influence of media and opinion leaders, upper-income and business groups in the cities systematically took political power away from the masses and centralized this power in the hands of urban government responsive to progressive demands. Elected officials, and decentralized ward representation, were systematically replaced either by appointed bureaucrats and civil servants, or by centralized at-large districts where large-scale funding was needed to finance election races. In this way, power was shifted out of the hands of the masses and into the hands of a minority elite of technocrats and upper-income businessmen. One result was an increase of government contracts to business, a shift from “Tammany” type charity by the political parties to a taxpayer-financed welfare state, and the imposition of higher taxes on suburban residents to finance bond issues and redevelopment schemes accruing to downtown financial interests.

During the last two decades, educational historians have described a similar process at work in public, especially urban, school systems. The scope of the public school was greatly expanded, compulsory attendance spread outside of New England and other “Yankee” areas during the Progressive Era, and a powerful movement developed to try to ban private schools and to force everyone into the public school system.

From the work of educational historians, it was clear that the leap into comprehensive state control over the individual and over social life was not confined, during the Progressive and indeed post-Progressive eras, to government and the economy. A far more comprehensive process was at work. The expansion of compulsory public schooling stemmed from the growth of collectivist and anti-individualist ideology among intellectuals and educationists. The individual, these “progressives” believed, must be molded by the educational process to conform to the group, which in practice meant the dictates of the power elite speaking in the group’s name. Historians have long been aware of this process.30  But the accruing insight into progressivism as a business cartelizing device led historians who had abandoned the easy equation of “businessmen” with “laissez faire” to see that all the facets of progressivism—the economic and the ideological and educational—were part of an integrated whole. The new ideology among business groups was cartelist and collectivist rather than individualist and laissez faire, and the social control over the individual exerted by progressivism was neatly paralleled in the ideology and practice of progressive education. Another parallel to the economic realm, of course, was the increased power and income accruing to the technocratic intellectuals controlling the school system and the economy.

If the action of business and intellectual elites in turning toward progressivism was now explained, there was still a large gap in the historical explanation and understanding of progressivism and therefore of the leap into statism beginning in the early twentieth century. There was still a need to explain mass voting behavior and the ideology and programs of the political parties in the American electoral system. This chapter applies the illuminating findings of recent “ethnoreligious historians” to significant changes that took place during the Progressive Era in the power of government over the family. In particular, we discuss the movement to expand the power of the public school and the educationist elite over the family, as well as the women’s suffrage and eugenics movement, all important features of the Progressive movement. In every case, we see the vital link between these intrusions into the family and the aggressive drive by Anglo-Saxon Protestant “pietists” to use the state to “make America holy,” to stamp out sin and thereby assure their own salvation by maximizing the salvation of others. In particular, all of these measures were part and parcel of the long-standing crusade by these pietists to reduce if not eliminate the role of “liturgicals,” largely Roman Catholics and high-church Lutherans, from American political life. The drive to stamp out liquor and secular activities on Sundays had long run into successful Catholic and high-church Lutheran resistance. Compulsory public schooling was soon seen as an indispensable weapon in the task of “Christianizing the Catholics,” of saving the souls of Catholic children by using the public schools as a Protestantizing weapon. The neglected example of San Francisco politics was urged as a case study of this ethnoreligious political battle over the schools and hence over the right of Catholic parents to transmit their own values to their children without suffering Anglo-Saxon Protestant obstruction. Women’s suffrage was seized upon as a means of increasing Anglo-Saxon Protestant voting power, and immigration restriction as well as eugenics was a method of reducing the growing demographic challenge of Catholic voters.

In sum, recent insights into the cartelizing drive of various business interests have provided an important explanation of the rapid growth of statism in the twentieth century. Ethnoreligious history provides an explanation of mass voting behavior and political party programs that neatly complement the cartelizing explanation of the actions of business elites.

1.The quotations are, respectively, from the Minutes of the Ohio Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1875, p. 228; and the Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Maine Baptist Missionary Convention. 1890. p. 13. Both are cited in Paul Kleppner, The Third Electoral System, 1853–1892: Parties. Voters. and Political Culture (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979), p. 190. Professor Kleppner is the doyen of the “new political,” also known as the “ethnocultural,” historians See also his The Cross of Culture: A Social Analysis of Midwestern Politics, 1850–1900 (New York: The Free Press, 1970).

2.In contrast to previous Christian groups, which were either amillennial (the return of Jesus will bring an end to human history) or premillennial (the return of Jesus will usher in a thousand-year reign of the Kingdom of God on earth), most evangelical pietists were postmillennialists. In short. whereas Catholics, Lutherans, and most Calvinists believed that the return of Jesus is independent of human actions, the postmillennialists held that Christians must establish a thousand-year reign of the Kingdom of God on earth as a necessary precondition of Jesus’ return. In short, the evangelicals will have to take over the state and stamp out sin, so that Jesus can then return.

3.Cited in David B. Tyack, The One Best System: A History of American Urban Education (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974), pp. 84–85.

4.Kleppner, Third Electoral System, n. 1, p. 222.

5.Our Church Work (Madison, Wis.), July 17, 1890. Cited in ibid., p. 224.

6.Minutes of the New Jersey Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1870, p. 24. Cited in ibid., p. 230. Similar reactions can be found in the minutes of the Central Pennsylvania Methodists in 1875, the Maine Methodists in 1887, the New York Methodists of 1880, and the Wisconsin Congregationalists of 1890.

7.Minutes of the Session of the New England Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1889, p. 85. Cited in ibid., p. 223.

8.Tyack, n. 3, p. 84.

9.Tyack, n. 3, p. 85.

10.Ellwood P. Cubberley. Changing Conceptions of Education in America (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1909), pp. 15–16.

11.Edward Alsworth Ross, Social Control (New York, 1912). Cited in Paul C Violas, “Progressive Social Philosophy: Charles Horton Cooley and Edward Alsworth Ross,” in C.J. Karier, P. C. Violas, and J. Spring. eds., Roots of Crisis: American Education in the 20th Century (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1973). Pp. 40–65.

12.The cities were already beginning to reach the point where class and ethnic divisions almost coincided, where, in other words, few working-class Anglo-Saxon Protestants resided in the cities.

13.For an excellent study and analysis of the ethnoreligious struggle over the San Francisco public schools from the mid-nineteenth through the first three decades of the twentieth century, see the neglected work of Victor L. Shradar, “Ethnic Politics, Religion, and the Public Schools of San Francisco, 1849–1933” (Ph.D. dissertation. School of Education. Stanford University, 1974).

14.Shradar, n. 13. p. 14.

15.Rousas John Rushdoony, “John Swett: The Self-Preservation of the State,” in The Messianic Character of American Education: Studies in the History of the Philosophy of Education (Nutley. N.J.: Craig Press, 1963). Pp 79–80.

16.Susan B. Anthony and Ida H. Harper. The History of Woman Suffrage. Vol. 4 (Rochester: Susan B. Anthony, 1902), pp. 1046–47.

17.Cited in Eleanor Flexner, Century of Struggle: The Woman’s Rights Movement in the United States (New York: Atheneum, 1970), p. 183.

18.Anthony and Harper, 15, Vol. 3, p. 724.

19.Quoted in Alan P. Grimes, The Puritan Ethic and Woman Suffrage (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 87.

20.Jane Jerome Camhie “Women Against Women: American Antisuffragism, 1880–1920” (Ph.D. dissertation in history, Tufts University, 1973), p. 198. See also James J, Kenneally, “Catholicism and Woman Suffrage in Massachusetts,” Catholic Historical Review 53 (April 1967): 253. Joining in the demand that only Protestants be elected to the Boston school board were, in addition to British-American clubs and numbers of Protestant ministers, the WCTU, the Loyal Women of American Liberty, the National Women’s League, and the League of Independent Women Voters. See Kleppner. Third Electoral System. n 1, p. 350. See also Tyack. n. 3, pp 105–6: and Lois Bannister Merk, “Boston’s Historic Public School Crisis,” New England Quarterly 31 (June 1958): 172–99.

21.Camhi, n. 20, p. 200. Hierarchically organized pietist churches, like the Methodist or the Scandinavian Lutheran, were no less receptive to women’s suffrage than the others.

22.Furthermore, in the Colorado legislature that submitted the women’s suffrage amendment to the voters in 1893, the party breakdown of voting was as follows: Republicans, 19 for women’s suffrage and 25 against; Democrats, 1 in favor and 8 against; Populists, 34 in favor and 4 against. See Grimes, n. 19, p. 96 and passim.

23.Frederick Jackson Turner, “Dominant Forces in Western Life,” in The Frontier in American History (New York: Holt. Rinehart & Winston, 1962), pp. 239–40. Quoted in Grimes, n. 19, pp. 97–98.

24.Cited in Donald K. Pickens. Eugenics and the Progressives (Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt University Press, 1968), p. 67.

25.Annie G. Porritt. “lmmigration and Birth Control, an Editorial,” The Birth Control Review 7 (Sept. 1923): 219. Cited in Pickens. n. 24, p. 73.

26.Quoted in Pickens. n. 24, p. 80.

27.Ibid., p. 83.

28.See Paul C Violas. “Jane Addams and the New Liberalism,” in Karier et al., eds. Roots of Crisisn. 11, pp. 66–83.

29.Cited in John Allen Gable, The Bull Moose Years: Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Party (Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1978), p. 75.

30.For further discussion of education, see Robert B. Everhart. ed., The Public School Monopoly: A Critical Analysis of Education and the State in American Society (San Francisco: Pacific Institute for Public Policy Research, 1982).

Murray N. Rothbard
Murray N. Rothbard, a scholar of extraordinary range, made major contributions to economics, history, political philosophy, and legal theory. He developed and extended the Austrian economics of Ludwig von Mises, in whose seminar he was a main participant for many years. He established himself as the principal Austrian theorist in the latter half of the twentieth century and applied Austrian analysis to historical topics such as the Great Depression of 1929 and the history of American banking.

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