Era 7 Themes

Era 7 HIGHLIGHTS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: Populism, Spanish-American War, Russo-Japanese Treaty, national and international politics, women and the vote. Progressive Era politics and reform, changing technologies, World War I, Red Scare, people leave the countryside, foreshadows of the Great Depression

The Spanish-American War signaled the United State's new willingness to expand its sphere of influence globally. The signing of the Russo-Japanese Treaty of 1905 at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard brought diplomats to New Hampshire, international prestige to the United States, and the Nobel Prize to peace broker Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt's ties to the state continued, and, later, some prominent New Hampshire politicians encouraged and supported Roosevelt's Bull Moose Party. 

Political change washed through the state. The 1902 NH Constitutional Convention passed a resolution to submit a proposal to the people allowing women to vote. It did not pass, but New Hampshire voters did ratify the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution in August 1919.

Urbanization, industrialization, immigration, and political corruption arising from the Gilded Age following the Civil War prompted an era of reform, the Progressive Era, that attempted to solve problems
that many thought had grown out of hand. Prior to World War I, the state legislature passed much progressive legislation aimed at using the power of government to regulate business and ameliorate social ills: a law forbidding free railroad passes for government officials, establishment of a Public Service Commission, a Mother's Pension Law, a Family Desertion Act, protective labor legislation for women and children, help against tuberculosis, provisions for health inspections in schools, and a requirement to register motor vehicles. The state benefited from the Weeks Act that established the White Mountain National Forest, as part of the drive for conservation of resources. Overall, New Hampshire politicians embraced reform by government, unlike the later conservative trends in the state.

As new technologies were adopted, New Hampshire saw all aspects of daily life change. Technology also made war more brutal than ever. New Hampshire men served as soldiers in World War I,
and some women joined the armed forces as nurses, office staff, and communications operators. Women replaced servicemen in jobs left empty at home, such as shipbuilding and farming. In the decade after World War I, New Hampshire adopted technologies on a grand scale: radio, the telephone, electricity, automobiles.
The wide use of technology shortened the social and psychological distance between New Hampshire and the rest of the world in a process that would gain momentum over the century.

Cynicism and fear, often referred to as the Red Scare, reached into New Hampshire after the war. Almost 300 suspected New Hampshire Communists and labor radicals were arrested in 1920 as part of U.S. Attorney General Palmer's nationwide raids on suspected Communists and agitators.  The state took on a
more active role in the education of New Hampshire students with the 1919 school reform, removing some of the power from local towns and attempting with regulation, organization, and money to equalize educational opportunities within the state.

Throughout Era 7, much of New Hampshire's population continued to drain from the rural countryside to the cities and to other states. Governor Rollins proclaimed Old Home Day in 1899 to promote
the return of prodigal natives to their family origins. Many just stayed for the day, and by the 1920s the state was actively promoting tourism, which changed from long-term stays by rail passengers to short-term visits by people traveling in automobiles. The introduction ofskiing by immigrants from Scandinavia began an
industry that supplemented the usual summertime tourism. By the end of the era. manufacturing concerns such as the former textile giant Amoskeag Manufacturing Company showed signs of weakness, foreshadowing The Great Depression to come.

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