Progressive Era and Gilded Age

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In Walter Nugent’s book Progressivism: A Very Short Introduction, he claims Progressivism emerged as a response to the Gilded Age, an unfortunate era that left the average working Americans poor while a new class of wealthier people started to rise. Nugent explains to us the breakdown of Progressivism and what occurred when it struck our nation. Progressivism began to come together in the end of the 1800s due to the ills of American Society that had developed during the great spurt of industrial growth. It shaped and progressed from 1900 to 1917 and finally started to disappear from 1917 to the early 1920s. Nugent claims Progressivism emerged as a response to the Gilded Age, an unfortunate era that left the average working Americans poor while a new class of wealthier people started to rise. For once, Americans sensed change in their society. Some change for the good but most of it for the worse. Nugent talks about how cities began growing up faster than the blink of an eye. The railroad companies started to turn into monopolies. Unfortunately, more problems started to rise in America other than this one. The rich became wealthier and the poor became poorer. The nation had also previously faced a serious recession from 1893-1896, and recovery did not actually really begin until 1897. Other factors that occurred during the progressive era: prostitution and alcohol abuse, the great railroad strike of 1877, and the Homestead Strike. The main progressive leaders, such as, Theodore Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan, and Woodrow Wilson stepped in to make a difference. Theodore Roosevelt claimed he backed up the middle class and showed no mercy toward monopolies. Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson accomplished many things such as: the 16th amendment which modified the structure of taxation, demolishing the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to dissolve trust so the railroads would not create a complete monopoly in the North West part of the country, the 18th amendment which...
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