Progressive Era

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The role and responsibilities of the federal government changed drastically during the Progressive Era and the New Deal. Rapid changes after the Civil War brought on a need for economic, social and political reforms. Before the Progressive Era and the New Deal, the federal government took a very hands-off approach and had little involvement in, and little care for the welfare of the American people. With the Progressive Era and the New Deal, the federal government became more involved and responsive to the public and implemented many revisions and reforms. The Progressive Era was a time of political and economic transformation. The role and responsibilities of the federal government evolved. Reform was necessary because of the changes that occurred during the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution brought on many changes, an important one being growth in the number and scope of work in factories. Factories and mechanization caused a need for less skilled workers, which in turn resulted in lower labor costs, lower wages, longer hours and appalling working conditions. Labor Unions were formed as a result of these conditions in order to protect the working class and put pressure on employers. During the Progressive Era, the federal government created labor laws, trade regulations and instituted other various measures in order to protect the public. The federal government also protected the rights of laborers to organize unions and became involved in the mediation of labor disputes in order to prevent riots from occurring.

The regulation of utilities and railroads was used to protect the public welfare from the abuses of large corporations. The federal government also began to regulate large businesses and monopolies. It accepted large-scale corporations as an essential part of the economy but also embraced the need to regulate them. Trusts were also of great concern to the federal government. The Federal Trade Commission was instituted in order to...
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