Progressive Era

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Progressive Era
The Progressive Era began the movement in reforming the nation's problems resulting from industry. The progress made was to improve the lives of American workers. The primary goal was to correct abuses caused by industry. The Progressive movement was spearheaded by the middle class. It evolved from the local level to the state and then, finally to the national level. The Progressive movement challenged the status quo in every facet of American life. The era of progressive reform was successful in bringing about effective changes economically and politically because of regulation of big business and growth of democracy; however, the government had limitations socially because the status of African Americans and children was not altered.

Regulation of big business played a major role in the Progressive Era. Theodore Roosevelt believed that it was the president's job to intervene in the nation's business industry. Often big businesses overpowered smaller businesses and didn't allow for fair competition. Throughout his presidency, Roosevelt was known for his trust busting. He believed that good and bad trusts existed. Roosevelt wanted to standardize business by getting rid of bad trusts and regulating good trusts. Roosevelt revived the Sherman- Antitrust Law, which made trust tycoons careful about how they handled their businesses. During his term, Roosevelt created the Mann-Elkins Act, which increased authority of the Interstate Commerce Commission, as well as the Hepburn Act. This act established the federal government's first true domestic economics regulatory authority. Both of these acts benefited the weaker businesses in order to improve society. President Wilson also created acts to help regulate business. Wilson's presidential platform was known as "New Freedom." Wilson wanted to restore economic democracy, restore competition, and wanted the government to act as a mandate. The Clayton Antitrust Act went along with...
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