Progressivism in America
Elkwood High School
Industrialization and urbanization led to the progressive movement in America. Progressives were concerned with a variety of social issues, such as women’s suffrage and temperance. They made many reforms to try to improve society. In 1914 World War I began and American society was heavily affected. The late 1800s and early 1900s brought major political, social, economic, technological and cultural developments to America.
The Progressive era, which started in the late 1800s, was a period of social and political reform in the United States. Those in the Progressive movement, called Progressives, focused on improving society with the use of scientific and technological principles. Progressivism was not an organized movement, so there were many different ideas on how to address societal issues. One form of progressivism “focused on ways to use business practices to make government more efficient” (2006, p.328). These efficiency progressives believed that if a government worked properly, then problems in society would be solved. They also wanted a commission plan where a city’s government would be divided into departments under the control of a skillful commissioner. Another form of progressivism focused on the federal government’s regulation of big business. Progressives believed that wealth was too present in certain people’s hands; however, they disagreed over how to regulate big business. Some progressives even advocated socialism. A main issue that progressives also focused on was social welfare problems. Health and safety codes were created to protect workers and the public. Child labor laws were passed as well.
Another crucial social reform was the temperance movement that worked to moderate alcohol. The leaders of this movement consisted mostly of women who believed that alcohol caused problems in society. Although there was little support of this movement initially, it later became the 18th...