Essay On Progressive Reform

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Lee Winton-Burnette AP U.S. History Patricia Regan Period 4 Progressive Reform Essay The dawn of the 20th century saw the meteoric rise of a new group of reformers: the Progressives. Led by the perennial agents of change, the middle class, and supported by three like-minded presidents; the reform movements of the first two decades ushered in sweeping changes across American society. From political reformation to amelioration of economic follies, the late eighteenth and early twentieth century illuminated progressive development. With astounding success, the Progressives triumphed where the Populists had failed, inspiring revolutions in the running cities, states, and even the federal government. The burgeoning cities of the early 20th…show more content…
Many of the political reforms of the state governments were consolidated by the federal government, with 17th amendment permitting direct election of senators and the 19th amendment instigating female activist movements. Spurred by the investigative reports of muckrakers like Ida Tarbell and Upton Sinclair, Progressive presidents set out on a crusade of trust-busting and consumer protection. Under Theodore Roosevelt, the Pure Food and Drug Act and Meat Inspection Act answered questions raised in The Jungle, concerned about health violations and unsanitary practices in the meatpacking industry. The powers of the International Commerce Commission were strengthened, and where the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 fell short, a revised and improved Clayton Antitrust Act fell into place. The graduated income tax that the Populists had so desperately fought for was enacted with the 16th Amendment under William Taft as well as the Underwood Tariff under Woodrow Wilson. Progressive presidents championed the cause of conservation; Roosevelt allotted land specifically for national parks and also appointed Gifford Pinchot to his cabinet, while Taft pushed for legislation regarding mine and other natural resources. The United States felt the shockwaves of the Progressive reform movements in all stratifications in government. Through the expansion of democracy, economic improvements,
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