Social Goals During Progressive Era Essay

Main Goals Of The Progressive Movement

In the late nineteenth century to early twentieth century the Progressive Era was moving to reshape America. Progressivism was a political movement that encouraged the exposure of corruption in America in order to reshape it for the better. This time period became known for the social and political changes that took place as a result of the progressives. Progressivism ruled the country, changing the way Americans lived and the way politics affected them. One of the main goals of the progressive movement was to use democracy to regulate the government by exposing the corruption of government officials. Another area in which the progressives moved for change was business. In the late nineteenth century many large businesses were corrupt, forming monopolies and large trusts that allowed them to bypass the law and rake in obscene amounts of money. This money making included the poor treatment and even worse payment of the workers who toiled day in and day out to make the trusts’ money. The Progressive Era brought attention to the corruption of these large monopolies and with the exposure came laws to bring these trusts under control. The Sherman Anti-trust Act of 1890 was passed in an attempt to break up large, corrupt trusts. Bringing down these corrupt money making machines became known as trust busting, and was a large part of president Teddy Roosevelt’s career. Trust busting was a big part of the progressive movement and it was for the most part successful, bringing down trusts such as the large railroad tycoon Northern Securities. The Progressives were not only targeting trusts at the time however. They were also targeting social problems such as poverty and unsafe working conditions. People who exposed these things to the public came to be called muckrakers. One of the most famous muckrakers at the time was a journalist and novel writer named Upton Sinclair. He was most known for his book The Jungle, which became a worldwide bestseller and dramatically changed food regulation during the Progressive Era. Many people saw the results of this book as good, but they did not see the corruption it caused. Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle changed food regulation in America forever, but the effects that came about because of The Jungle were more detrimental than beneficial.
Upton Beall Sinclair grew up in a poor family, always moving around from city to city with his father’s job as a salesman. His mother, Priscilla Sinclair, had rich relatives on her side of the family whom Upton would visit with some regularity. As he grew up this allowed him to see how the rich and the poor lived, giving him an insight that shaped his career as a writer and journalist. He did not have a good relationship with either his mother or father, causing him to become independent at a young age. When he was just fourteen his family moved to New York city and he started writing to pay for his tuition at the City College of New York. He went on to graduate from Columbia...

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Goals of the Progressive Era Essay

1051 Words5 Pages

The term Progressivism implies a philosophy that promotes change/reform in the current political, economic, and social aspects of society while conservatism stresses gradual change in society but promotes tradition rather than change. The Progressive movement from 1901 to 1917 worked to improve aspects of society that grew out of problems which occurred during the Industrial Age. The goals of the "Progressives" were to stop monopolies, corruption, inefficiency and social injustices. Both progressive acts and amendments were being passed to deal with social ills, corruption in politics and corporate America. The period from 1901-1917 was more a victory for liberalism, mainly "modern liberalism", than a triumph of conservatism due to the…show more content…

The term Progressivism implies a philosophy that promotes change/reform in the current political, economic, and social aspects of society while conservatism stresses gradual change in society but promotes tradition rather than change. The Progressive movement from 1901 to 1917 worked to improve aspects of society that grew out of problems which occurred during the Industrial Age. The goals of the "Progressives" were to stop monopolies, corruption, inefficiency and social injustices. Both progressive acts and amendments were being passed to deal with social ills, corruption in politics and corporate America. The period from 1901-1917 was more a victory for liberalism, mainly "modern liberalism", than a triumph of conservatism due to the fact that multiple reform movements were occurring in this era changing political, economic, and social aspects in society to protect the rights of the common man.
To begin with, this era was more a victory for liberalism through many aspects one being politics. The first change progressives wanted in politics was the "initiative were voters could initiate laws instead of waiting for legislatures to do it. Another was the "referendum" were voters could vote proposed bills into law, once again taking power away from the legislatures and giving it to the people. Others included the recall, where voters could remove elected officials from power, the secret or "Australian Ballot" which allowed for more privacy when voting thus encouraging a more

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