The Progressive movement was more a triumph for liberalism than for conservatism, as we can see in the change in democracy, economy and the role of the government. Defining conservatism, it can be described as the maintenance of traditional institution, and social ideology. It tends to preserve and emphasize stability and continuity. However during the progressivism, the progressives had made a lot of improvements and reforms in education, social welfare, economy, which can be regarded as liberalism. From 1901 to 1917, government started to regulate the economy by intervening the free market maintained during the Glided Age. As Teddy Roosevelt became the president, he strengthened the government’s ability to regulate big business by authorizing and establishing the authority of the Interstate Commerce Commission to set railroad rates. He also had the Department to launch 44 anti-trust suits, prosecuting railroad, beef, oil, and tobacco trusts. One of the most famous cases of regulating trust was the anti-trust suit in 1906, in which Roosevelt won his case in the Supreme Court, resulting in the break up of the Standard Oil into 34 separate companies. Except for regulating big business, there were also other reforming during this period like securing a federal income tax based on the ability to pay; formulating inheritance taxes; devising a modern national banking system. However, there were also big changes and improvement in democracy and equality during the progressive period. To increase democracy, the progressive reformers tried to enhance the control of the people over the government. They successfully lobbied for direct primaries; the elimination of boss rule, the direct election of Senators and women suffrage. Women, however, played a more and more important rule in the social reforming. Women’s organizations stood at the forefront of the social reforms and policy innovations. They were especially active in efforts to end...
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