Progressive Reform Movement in Arkansas from 1900-1920 Essay

Progressive Reform Movement in Arkansas from 1900-1920 Essay

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Progressive Reform Movement in Arkansas from 1900-1920

Arkansas agreed and adopted many of the nation’s progressive reform elements, but they did so still holding on to the racism that existed in the state. There was a great need for change in the state due to the frontier ways of life fading away. People began moving into the cities in large volumes. During this time, Arkansas began to see its first major industries, being that of timber and mining. There were many inventions during the Progressive Era that made the way people lived different. Automobiles, airplanes, electricity, and movies were all inventions created during this time period. There were also major advances in science and medicine. There was a huge urge to adjust institutions to match the modern way of life. The urban middle-class demanded changes. More people had the time and money to devote to civil reforms. The results of the Progressive Reform Movement in Arkansas were very impressive.
There was a strong need for government intervention. Action from the government was needed to solve major problems such as: big business, low wages, bad working conditions, and the need for more schools. Many progressives believed this was the responsibility of the state government.
Farmers in Arkansas did not have a large enough voice in politics. They believed that no one in power paid attention to their cries. The farmers looked at the people living in the cities as “rich folks”. The farmers found an outlet to their anger through Jeff Davis.
Jeff Davis was a lawyer raised in the city, but he had a way of reaching out to the small farmers. Davis dominated Arkansas politics for 10 years. He was seen as the champion for the poor whites over the rich. Davis...


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...children to have the smallpox vaccination. Towns began building pure water systems and sewer systems, creating a much cleaner environment.
Women took on a larger role by creating the Red Cross, Arkansas Tuberculosis Association, and the Arkansas Society for crippled children. The Arkansas Federation of Women’s Clubs began to sponsor “healthy baby’ contests to promote and reward awareness of health in the home.
The areas that benefitted the most from the Progressive Movement in Arkansas were: education, the road systems, health, prison reform, and state services. The main segment of the Arkansas society that did not benefit at all was racism. Even after the reform, blacks were still seen as unequal and were told they should go back to Africa. Blacks did not have access to many of the privileges that the whites did and this did not change during this time.


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