The Progressive Era Of A Great Democracy Essay

The Progressive Era Of A Great Democracy Essay

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Theodore Roosevelt, the founder of the Progressive party, once stated, “A great democracy has got to be progressive or it will soon cease to be great or a democracy”
(Ranger). “Progressives believed, as their name implies, in the idea of progress” (Brinkley 477). Progressivism developed as a political party when both Democrats and Republicans became frustrated with their own political parties. The Progressive Era was the period in history from 1890 – 1920 centralized around the ideals of reforming social, political, economic and environmental issues within the United States. “The Progressive Movement was led by male and female Progressives from all walks of society including: members of the Republican and Democrat political parties, well educated middle-class Americans, poorer Americans who were often union activists, teachers, members of the clergy, and crusading Journalists, photographers and authors, also known as Muckrakers” (Alchin). “Progressives believed that people and government had the power to correct abuses produced by nature and the free market” (“Progressivism Sweeps the Nation). Some of the most influential members of this party were presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson along with the muckrakers. Muckrakers were American journalists who wrote for popular magazines about reform policies during the Progressive Era. Edward Cassady of San Francisco State College described muckraking as “a healthy phenomenon, indicating a willingness to examine the structural and moral weakness in social organization” (Cassady). Through the help of muckrakers the three Progressive presidents achieved numerous reform policies, some of which included laws protecting public health, the environment and the...

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...anted to? No, due to the wide span of politicians and citizens who made up the progressive party there were very few uniform goals. The Bull Moose Party did achieve the goal to make “progress” but not all progress made was beneficial. “Intended reforms did not necessarily produce the desired results” (Madaras, SoRelle 136). There were amendments like the 18th amendment that were only enacted for a few years before being abolished. Muckrakers were extremely successful in uprooting and exposing political corruption. “Progressives were the first group to confront the problems of modern America” (Madaras, SoRelle 136). The Progressive party had too many goals to be able to accomplish and tackle all the corruption created during the Gilded Age. Did they succeed in making several beneficial contributions to the United States? Of course, but did they go far enough?

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