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THE PROGRESSIVE ERA ROOSEVELT AND WILSON The progressive Era began in 1900 It came to a halt in 1917 due to Americas entrance into World War 1 During this time two important Progressive presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson championed Progressives politics on the national level The History of Progressivism Progressivism was a social movement as well as a party which protested against the industrial revolution This was a grassroots response to the transformation of America from a rural to an urban industrial country Still Americans wanted to maintain the status quo while at the same time effecting reforms in a relatively conservative manner Although it sprang from deep discontent the progressive movement still lacked the drive necessary to create a new society Progressivism united many different impulses but in broad terms it was a movement to remake America in a homogenous classless and virtuous image Aims of the Progressives Progressives promoted various reforms such as regulation of big business labour legislation and womens suffrage Some of these goals were realised during the Progressive Era while others such as womens suffrage were won later in the century Despite certain internal squabbling there were three general areas on which Progressives agreed political reforms to ensure more responsible government curb the power of big business and improve the lives of the poor Political Reforms The Progressive wanted reforms which expanded the power of democracy To rein in big business they wanted to increase federal control and make use of the Sherman Antitrust Act Targeting large financial industrial and transportation corporations received widespread popular support There was probably no other issue on which so many Progressive agreed To solve the problems of labour Progressives expanded existing government powers into the field of social welfare BIBLIOGRAPHY May Ernest R The Progressive Era Time Inc New York 1964 NA Graebner PL White A History of the American People McGraw-Hill Inc New York 1971
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