The Progressive Era

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Industrialization led to the rise of big businesses at the expense of the worker. Factory laborers faced long hours, low wages, and unsanitary conditions. The large corporations protected themselves by allying with political parties. The parties, in turn, were controlled by party leaders, rather than by the members. Many people felt that all power rested with the politicians and businessmen. Reformers known as Progressives attempted to undo the problems caused by industrialization. The Progressive movement sought to end the influence of large corporations, provide more rights and benefits to workers, and end the control possessed by party leaders. At the national level, Progressivism centered on defeating the power of large businesses. The Progressive Era was a period in American history in which improving working conditions, exposing corruption, improving the way of life, expanding democracy, and making reforms were the objectives at hand. With the emergence of the Progressive Era two important figures gradually emerged as well. One of the mentioned figures, President Theodore Roosevelt, succeeded to the Presidency when President McKinley was assassinated in 1901, helped the Progressive movement greatly. Another figure, although a Democrat is Woodrow Wilson who much like Roosevelt still pushed for progressive reforms. Each of the mentioned figures did their share in re-establishing a “fair” government that would work for the people and not for the large corporations and mon...

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