In USA history progressive movement refers to the movement for economic, political and social reforms that began around mid 1890's and lasted upto entry of USA in World War I in 1917.
Rapid industrialization of USA during the nineteenth century caused problems that could be traced to factors like rise of business monopolies, dishonesty in politics, crowding of cities and development of slums, and poor working conditions of labour force. The progressive movement made considerable contribution in 1890's and early 1900, campaigning by many reformers helped in introducing laws aimed at reducing these problems.
The reforms of progressive movement included regulation of business practices, tax reforms, control on monopolies. The tax reforms included taxes based on income rather than property.
Many reformist politician occupying government offices also worked to end corruption in law enforcement, public transportation, and other city services. Also political powers of the voters was increased by legislation which gave them additional powers such as recall of a person from public office before his or her term ended. Also cities were given right to home rule. Under referendum laws the voters could pass laws without the need for the state legislature's approval, and overrule laws adopted by the legislature. The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution adopted in 1913, provided for the direct election by the people of U.S. senators.
In the area of social reforms many states passed housing regulations to help improve the conditions in crowded slums. Centres called settlement houses were established by reformists where reformers and slum residents met and worked to improve slum conditions.
To improve working conditions of labour state laws were introduced that required safety precautions in factories and provided for compensation to workers for injuries suffered at work. Also minimum wage were introduced by some states.
What caused the Progressive Movement?
What caused the Progressive Movement? The Progressives believed that the government should take a more active role in solving the problems of society, restoring order and protecting the welfare of Americans by conservation and environmental reforms. The causes of Progressive Movement were extremely wide ranging and included in the following list. We recommend that reference is made to following articles that provide facts, information about:
Causes of the Progressive Movement
Causes of the Progressive Movement: Bribery and Corruption in politics that had been encouraged by the Spoils System
Causes of the Progressive Movement: The Political Machines that controlled the towns and cities
Causes of the Progressive Movement: The Negative impact of Industrialization that led to the emergence of poor working conditions in the factories
Causes of the Progressive Movement: The rapid Urbanization in America and lack of planning that led to appalling housing and squalid living conditions in the towns and the cities
Causes of the Progressive Movement: The economic system of Free enterprise and the concept of 'Laissez-Faire' by which private businesses operated in competition and largely free of state control.
Causes of the Progressive Movement: The Rise of Big Business and Corporations and the greed and unchecked and unethical practices of the Robber Barons
Causes of the Progressive Movement: The crusade against Alcohol, its effects on society and the call for prohibition
Causes of the Progressive Movement: Discrimination and inequality on the grounds of race, religion and ethnic background
Causes of the Progressive Movement: Discrimination against women - refer to Women's suffrage
Causes of the Progressive Movement: The rise of crime in the cities during the Urbanization in America
Causes of the Progressive Movement: The call for banking reform to help small businesses and the farmers
Causes of the Progressive Movement: The call for labor reform relating to wages, working conditions and unionization
Causes of the Progressive Movement: Protests against the use of Child Labor and the need for improved education
Causes of the Progressive Movement: The Conservation Movement and the Environmentalists fought to protect and end the waste of natural resources, the destruction of wildlife and against pollution
Causes of the Progressive Movement
Progressive Movement Goals
The Goals of the Progressive Movement were to:
● To curb power of the Trusts, Big Business and Corporations and regulate business
● To eliminate the bribery and corruption of the political machines
● To bring about political reform
● To address the issues of social injustice and inequality and bring about reform
● To raise awareness of social injustices such as child labor, and the effects of illiteracy, alcohol abuse and crime
● To improve the lifestyles, living and working conditions of Americans
● To establish Health and Safety codes
● To conserve and protect natural resources
Progressive Movement for kids: Who were the Progressives?
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, often union activists
● Crusading Journalists, photographers and authors, also known as Muckrakers
● Teachers and Educators
● Members of the clergy
Progressive Movement for kids: Names of the Leaders of the Progressive Movement
The list of names of famous Progressive Leaders, who consisted of reform activists, politicians and 'muckrakers', included Jacob Riis, John Dewey, Lester Frank Ward, Frank Norris, Ida Tarbell, Thomas Nast, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Robert La Follette, Henry Demarest Lloyd, David Graham Philips, Upton Sinclair, Charles Edward Russell, Alice Paul, John Spargo, Eugene Debs, Lincoln Steffens, Ray Stannard Baker, Jane Addams, Booker T. Washinton, W.E.B. DuBois, Theodore Dreiser, Walter Rauschenbusch and Ida B.Wells. Many of these men and women were labeled as Muckrakers. Theodore Roosevelt was the most influential of all the leaders of the progressive movement and his presidency and focused on efficiency and fairness.
Robert La Follette and the Progressive Movement
One of the famous leaders of the Progressive Movement was Robert La Follette (1855 – 1925) aka "Fighting Bob" who started his political career as an American Republican and later became a Progressive politician who initiated the Wisconsin Experiment. Robert La Follette became a rallying point of many of the progressives in the diverse sectors of the Reformist Movement. Robert La Follette, "Fighting Bob", fought against corporate monopoly in America and imperialism abroad. As a Socialist he believed that major industries, run by Big Business and corporations, should be owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies. The ideals of Socialism are based on a democratic, non-racist, classless and feminist socialist society in which working people had control over their lives and Robert La Follette, "Fighting Bob", fought for all these issues. His radical, left wing political views, attracted women, organized labor movements, minority groups including many African Americans and farmers. His militant, Progressive platform earned him the nickname of "Fighting Bob" and the admiration of the working classes and the fear of the establishment. He called for the government takeover of the railroads and the coal industry and fought for the rights of workers and unions and the abolishment of child labor. Robert La Follette ran for President on the Socialist platform in 1924 and gained 5 million votes.
Progressive Movement Accomplishments
The accomplishments of the Progressive Movement were as follows:
Accomplishments of the Progressive Movement
Progressive Movement Accomplishments: The 1887 Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) was an early example of Progressive Reforms and other helpful laws followed (refer to the timeline below)
Progressive Movement Accomplishments: Laws were passed to protect the public’s health and welfare
Progressive Movement Accomplishments: Anti-trust legislation was passed to prohibit monopolies
Progressive Movement Accomplishments: Big Business and corporations were regulated as the process of arbitration was included in the negotiation process
Progressive Movement Accomplishments: The Unionization of all the important industries
Progressive Movement Accomplishments: The commission system of local government, replacing the mayor, city council and political machine was introduced
Progressive Movement Accomplishments: The crusading 'muckrakers' raised awareness of social issues which led to the formation of pressure groups and reform
Progressive Movement Accomplishments: The federal government started to act as mediators between opposing sides
Progressive Movement Accomplishments: The number of hours that children were allowed work were limited, and education improved
Progressive Movement Accomplishments: Laws were passed to protect the environment and address pollution
Progressive Movement Accomplishments: The 17th amendment to the Constitution was ratified to counter Senate corruption
Progressive Movement Accomplishments: The 18th Amendment was passed prohibiting the sale and manufacture of alcohol
Progressive Movement Accomplishments: The 19th Amendment was passed that gave women the right to vote - refer to Women's suffrage
Accomplishments of the Progressive Movement
For additional facts refer to the articles detailing the Progressive Era Timeline and theProgressive Reforms that were introduced at city, state and federal levels.
Progressive Movement for kids: The Limits of Progressivism
The progressive movement addressed social problems, passed laws, amendments and reforms to protect workers and regulate the economy and big business but there were limits of Progressivism. The most conspicuous limit to progressivism was its failure to address African-American reform and racial issues. African-American progressives therefore took action themselves and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was formed in 1909.
Progressive Movement for kids: The End to Progressivism
The nation's problems regarding the economy, racism, immigration and labor unrest following WW1 heralded the end of the progressive movement and the Progressive Era. Warren Harding, the Republican candidate called for a return to 'normalcy' and the simpler way of life before all of the Progressive reforms. Americans agreed with his sentiments and Warren Harding won a landslide victory in the presidential election.
Progressive Movement for kids - President Theodore Roosevelt Video
The article on the Progressive Movement provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 26th American President whose presidency spanned from September 14, 1901 to March 4, 1909.
● Facts about the Progressive Movement for kids and schools
● Summary of the Progressive Movement in US history
● The Progressive Movement, a major event in US history
● Theodore Roosevelt from September 14, 1901 to March 4, 1909
● Fast, fun facts about the Progressive Movement
● Foreign & Domestic policies of President Theodore Roosevelt
● Theodore Roosevelt Presidency and Progressive Movement for schools, homework, kids and children