Progressivism is a movement that took place in the 20th century. It was maintained by people who wanted to find the best practical solution of the issues connected with modernization. They wished to make the government more efficient, eliminate corruption and improve the educational system. They were also targeted at the regulation of large corporations and assurance of charity work. It was a diverse group of people supported by the middle class, including lawyers, teachers, and people engaged in business, etc. They utilized scientific methods regarding different aspects of life, such as economics, family, and others (Oakes et al. 234).
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They were active at different levels. In this way, at the local one, they tried to improve education by expanding he schools, provide children with playgrounds and dismiss corrupt politicians. The progressives also considered the minimal salaries for females, provided the industrial accident insurance and created the limitations for the child labor at the state level. At the national one, they reduced taxes, provided the regulations to control railroad industries and banking. They administrated the meat-packing and improved the working conditions for the general public. Moreover, the Constitution was improved. The Progressives allowed the women to vote, prohibited alcohol and accepted income taxes.
Progressivism was widely discussed, and its imprint can be found in many texts. For example, John Watterson wrote Inventing Modern Football that focuses on the scandals that occur in this sport. It exposes political corruption, which interested the Progressives. To deal with it, special examination for the players was adopted by dint of which they proved that they could play on the decent level (Watterson 3).
In Saint Jane and the Ward Boss, Anne Scott discloses the battles of the progressive era (Scott 7). The essence of Progressivism is seen in the Father of the Forests that is written by T.H. Watkins. It tells about a zealot who contributed to the appearance of environmentalism, which was a crucial issue. The text is related to the readings, as it includes the information about the President Roosevelt’s ideas and believes. It proves that the Pinchots had dreams similar to those Roosevelt had.
They wanted to contribute to the creation of parks and nature preservers. Being a forester, Pinchot spent years studying forest management and utilizing his knowledge to develop the ideas of environmentalism. More than million acres of forests still exist by virtue of his work (Watkins 6). As the Progressives wanted to make the usage of natural resources efficient and minimalize benefits, this essay is useful for the understanding of the era. It describes the connection of this field to coal-mining and human rights. The involvement of such politicians as Taft, Ballinger and others is also underlined.
The significance of the Progressive era is in its determination to improvement. The government implemented a range of changes targeted at the appearance of the better living conditions for the general public. The Progressives wanted to protect people from the adverse impact of politics and business. They wanted to provide people with clean food, limited the access to addictive things such as alcohol and drugs. They provided new laws at the state, local and national levels that changed the citizens’ lives greatly to meet the needs of the society of that time. The Progressives abolished child labor, allowed women to vote, cured democracy and took care of nature. Of course, some of their ideas were not appropriate and failed, but the implemented ones made a positive impact on the country.
Oakes, James, Michael McGerr, Jan Lewis, Nick Cullathe, Jeanne Boydston, Mark Summers and Camilla Townsend. Of People. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.
Scott, Anne. “Saint Jane and the Ward Boss”. American Heritage 12.1 (1960): 1-8. American Heritage. Web.
Watkins, T.H. “Father of the Forests”. American Heritage 42.1 (1991): 1-7. American Heritage. Web.
Watterson, John. “Inventing Modern Football”. American Heritage 39.6 (1988): 1-6. American Heritage. Web.