These people were also disturbed by the Big business' influence in politics, making a mockery of the democratic system. Then with the failure of the interstate commerce act and the Sherman act, made big business look unstoppable. As the middle class in America began to develop and grow, they gained power. They were the people who wanted change and ultimately they won with the start of progressivism. Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, and Henry Lloyd all made significant contributions to the start of the Progressive movement with their writings.
Progressivism is basically a label for a group of individuals, mostly urban college-educated middle class supporters, who demanded reform from the government and businesses to improve working conditions, eliminate health hazards and give the public more control in the government. This movement was brought about in response to the monumental changes due to modernization, the large growth of corporations and railroads and the fear of corruption in American politics. One group in particular, labeled the “muckrakers”, which consisted of writers and journalists, reported the offensive actions of businesses and government and the terrible health and living conditions of the worker. Many wrote what was considered fictional novels that were based on the actual atrocities that were occurring in the nation at this time. Writers like Frank Norris wrote about the intimidation of the railroad companies against the farmers.
The Progressive movement was successful in reforming American business, society and its government policies in many different instances. The Progressive movement was based mainly on the improvement of human nature and businesses were treating many workers badly. Many muckrakers worked to end the terrible conditions that many workers were going through at the time. These muckrakers also exposed how dangerous it was to work in a factory and how child labor was used (u-s-history.com). Attacking this, many muckrakers used the power of journalism to document and expose the terrible working conditions at the time (u-s-history.com).
Winning woman suffrage one step at a time: Social movements and the logic of the legislative process. Social Forces, 83(3), 1211-1234. McCann, C., & Kim, S. (2013). Feminist theory reader, (3d ed.). Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.
Economic problems have plagued our nations for years now. There is one man who can save us all from destruction, or so he thinks, and that man is Michael Moore. In his movie Capitalism: A Love Story, Moore goes all over the country trying to find the people responsible for all the economic turmoil. He tells the stories of normal citizens that are affected by these problems and through these stories he tries to convince the audience that the bankers and big businesses are cruel and evil, and need to pay for their crimes. These large corporations have done many unethical acts such as taking out life insurance policies on employees and infiltrating the government to pass their agenda.
Muckrakers were writers whom of which wrote of the slums and labor abuse children were facing, bringing many of the issues being faced during this time into the open. By ending the power of big companies, progressives, whom of which included Woodrow Wilson, hoped to restore economic competition. By the government allowing for large companies to have close relations in government, Wilson felt they were ... ... middle of paper ... ...long with this, there was an anti-child labor movement created that helped gain support from the federal government and achieve much success. All in all, the progressive movement was made up of very influential events and changes that amounted in success. Even though only few of the reformers had been successful, the most important movements- to restore economic competition, making government more efficient, and stem the tide of socialism- were successful.
During the Progressive Era, pressure from labor, suffrage, and conservation movements profoundly changed the course of American history. Many of the reformers' ideas clashed with the male-dominated, capitalist economic structure present at the turn of the century. Some of the intended reforms opposed the current system, but the level of social unrest necessitated change. Businessmen and activists alike initiated the reforms during the Progressive Era. Government, due to the intention of calming the common man and quieting the seemingly more and more vocal middle class, supported them.
Although it is true that his New Deal program did aid many people during this period, extreme interaction in the American people’s lives made government dangerously big. During this period, many Americans felt that their government was moving from the ways of capitalism into the dangerous sights of socialism. This was due to new legislation that the New Deal provided that was initially intended to alleviate the pressures and disparities the great depression brought among many people. Although this was the intention, many groups “such as the American Liberty League, led by the Du Pont family, opposed the dictatorial course of the New Deal” as a result of the intervention with the American people’s money (“New Deal: Reform or Revolution”). When the “administration proposed to increase taxes on the wealthy, whose income tax could reach as high as 75 percent under this scheme”, many Americans viewed this proposal as an operation to make everyone equal therefore initiating socialism (“New Deal: Reform or Revolution”).
They understood that people could participate in government directly. (Document G) Another belief of theirs was that modernized government was completely necessary to improve and stabilize society, and that government required new and enhanced institutions, leaders, and experts. Theodore Roosevelt became president in 1901, after the assassination of McKinley. Roosevelt was a republican, whose greatest claim to fame was as a progressive. His presidency was dedicated to progressive reform, and was filled with successful changes.