The End of The Progressive Era
'"It takes a terrible warning," William Alden Smith had declared at the U.S. Senate Inquiry "to bring us back to our moorings and senses."'
- Hugh Brewster, Guilded Lives Fatal Voyage: The Titanic's First Class Passengers And Their World
The sinking of the Titanic symbolized the end of the Progressive Era, a period where America set out to end corruption in the world, turning towards technology. Everybody was amazed by the Titanic, the invincible ship. She (the Titanic) symbolized nobility, royalty, wealth. But when she sank, so did the ideas of the Progressive Era.
People were angered over the fact that nearly all of the first and second class aboard the Titanic survived, but nearly none of the third class did (Only 88 out of 710 third class passengers survived, while 617 first and second class passengers survived). It angered many people that the first class passengers aboard lifeboats did not head back towards the sinking Titanic to fish the third class passengers out of the water.
The inquiry by the U.S. Senate into the sinking of the Titanic highlighted the rising power of the United States of America. Many British felt miffed that a British ship was subjected to an American inquiry.
"There were some in the lifeboats that could not believe any first class passengers had been left behind. "I thought it was the steerage on rafts and that they were all hysterical" claimed one first class passenger. Mary Eloise Smith, an eighteen year old congress man's daughter thought that the cries were from seamen, or possibly steerage who had overslept."
-Hugh Brewster, Guilded Lives Fatal Voyage