Progressive era politics changed that belief when government corruption became commonplace. Reformers like Teddy Roosevelt in Washington and Governor Hiram Johnson in California responded to an epidemic of political and civic corruption by expanding the role of government in regulating the economy and in giving citizens, for the first time, direct access to the legislative process.
Mass urbanization was shifting the country from a rural, agricultural society to an urban, industrial one characterized by poverty, disease, crime, and cultural clash. Rapid technological advancements brought new, and often frightening, changes into daily life that left many people feeling that they had little control over their lives.
Movements for socialism, woman suffrage, and rights for African Americans, immigrants, and workers belied the rhetoric of the United States as a just and equal democratic society for all its members. Responding to the challenges presented by these problems, and fearful that without substantial change the country might experience class upheaval, groups of Americans proposed undertaking significant reforms.
Underlying all proposed reforms was a desire to bring more justice and equality into a society that seemed increasingly to lack these ideals. Yet there was no agreement among these groups about the exact threat that confronted the nation, the means to resolve problems, or how to implement reforms.
Despite this lack of agreement, all so-called Progressive reformers were modernizers. All Progressivisms were seeking a via media, a middle way between relying on older ideas of 19th-century liberal capitalism and the more radical proposals to reform society through either social democracy or socialism.
Despite differences among Progressives, the types of Progressivisms put forth, and the successes and failures of Progressivism, this reform era raised into national discourse debates over the nature and meaning of democracy, how and for whom a democratic society should work, and what it meant to be a forward-looking society.
It also led to the implementation of an activist state. ProgressivesProgressivismsdemocracyreformjusticeequalitycapitalismurbanizationimmigrationcorruption The reform impulse of the decades from the s into the s did not erupt suddenly in the s.
Previous movements, such as the Mugwump faction of the Republican Party and the Knights of Labor, had challenged existing conditions in the s and s.
Such earlier movements either tended to focus on the problems of a particular group or were too small to effect much change. The Populists lost their separate identity when the Democratic Party absorbed their agenda. The reform proposals of the Progressive era differed from those of these earlier protest movements.
Progressives came from all strata of society. Progressivism aimed to implement comprehensive systemic reforms to change the direction of the country. Political corruption, economic exploitation, mass migration and urbanization, rapid technological advancements, and social unrest challenged the rhetoric of the United States as a just and equal society.
Progressives did not seek to overturn capitalism. They wanted to replace an individualistic, competitive society with a more cooperative, democratic one. They sought to bring a measure of social justice for all people, to eliminate political corruption, and to rebalance the relationship among business, labor, and consumers by introducing economic regulation.
Social Justice Progressivism Social justice Progressives wanted an activist state whose first priority was to provide for the common welfare. Jane Addams argued that real democracy must operate from a sense of social morality that would foster the greater good of all rather than protect those with wealth and power.
Several basic premises that currently structured the country had to be rethought, and social justice Progressivism was promoted largely by women who lacked official political power.
Legal Precedent or Social Realism The existing legal system protected the rights of business and property over labor. Inthe Supreme Court in Ritchie v. The Court confined the police power of the state to protecting immediate health and safety, not groups of people in industries. New York, the Court declared that the state had no interest in regulating the hours of male bakers.
To circumvent these rulings, Kelley, Josephine Goldmark, and Louis Brandeis contended that law should address social realities. The Brandeis brief to the Supreme Court inin Muller v.Progressive Era: –s: Progressive Political Reform The American voting public of the early s was accustomed to the tenet that the best government was the least government.
Progressive era politics changed that belief when government corruption became commonplace. Florida State University Libraries Electronic Theses, Treatises and Dissertations The Graduate School movement analysis, this project addresses the shift of women (from Victorian to The Progressive Era () was a reformist period of social, political.
Start studying Textbook Chapter 9: The Progressive Era, Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Chapter The Progressive Era Created by Matthew Piccolella. STUDY. PLAY.
Progressivism. a reform development in response to desire to improve life in the industrial age, wanted to build on existing society, making moderate political changes and social improvements through government action, shared goals of limiting big business.
The Progressive Movement, Slide 1. The Progressive Movement, Between Irresponsible Standpatters and Radical Socialists: How the American Middle Class and some Strong Presidents Invented a "Politics of the Third Way". ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS Who were the Progressives?
What reforms did they seek? How successful were Progressive Era reforms in the period ? Consider: political change, social change (industrial conditions, urban life, women, prohibition).