The Progressive Era

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The Progressive Era

Progressivism in the United States took place in the period between the Spanish-American War and the entry of the United States into the great World War. It was a time for change in America in all walks of life, as well as a time for reform. It was marked by Theodore Roosevelt's 7 and a half years in office, the Rough Rider put it upon himself to make the first strides towards reform. These reforms included the cracking down on illegal monopolies and so forth. During this era large cities transformed into large metropolises, small towns into large cities and new towns sprang up nearly everywhere. Reforms also included the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth amendments. The progressive era really had significant impact in America's history.

The progressive movement had many origins. One of these was the battle against governmental corruption and inability, in other words a struggle for civil services reform. The progressive movement was initiated by liberals in both political parties, the fight for government reform can be traced back to Liberal Republicans(An Oxymoron, Mr. Jetel?) during the Grant administration and Mugwumps. Citizens were enraged, with big businesses' growing influence in all branches of government and sought ways to purify it.

Big Business was also a target of progressivism. During this time presidents like Roosevelt and William Howard Taft tried to regulate and control big business. Many well educated people of the time, as well as moderately prosperous businessmen and members of other professions(middle class) felt threatened by the increasing power of big business and the tycoons. These people were also disturbed by the Big business' influence in politics, making a mockery of the democratic system. Then with the failure of the interstate commerce act and the Sherman act, made big business look unstoppable. As the middle class in America began to develop and grow, they gained power. They were...
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