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Progressive Essay

1023 words - 5 pages

The early 20th century marked the beginning of a new era of government in the United States where there was a lopsidedness of power between restraining monopolies and more modest companies. The large businesses ran the economy and annihilated more diminutive competitors. The small companies did not have a shot in competing because the government favored the large and wealthy businesses. In 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became the first Progressive president. Later, in 1909, Progressive President William Taft took office, and then Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Progressives wanted to bring order and control to the chaos in American society. The Populists wanted to eliminate capitalism and needed ...view middle of the document...

The Populists pressed for the inflation of currency by having a remonetization of silver to not worry about debts and low prices on farm goods since silver was cheaper than gold. Since the state legislatures were electing the representatives, the Populists were saying that they needed a direct election of senators because they wanted somebody to represent their needs. In the other hand, Progressivism was less strict compared to Populism. The Progressive presidents wanted to do many things to cure the ills of American society. They wanted to limit the power of monopolies in the economy without destroying them completely. They were willing to protect social welfare so they improved sanitation and working conditions by enacting a Pure Food and Drug Act, promote morality by having a prohibition of alcohol in 1920, and creating an economic reform to stabilize society. Both movements were a reform that had as a main goal to create justice and righteousness for everyone in society by providing equal rights and laws to the minor businesses and the wealthy businesses.
The Progressive presidents fulfilled the ambitions of the populist era through the regulation of railroads, establishments of sub treasuries, inflation of currency, and the direct election of senators. The regulation of railroads came with The Elkins and Hepburn Act, which was established by Theodore Roosevelt. This act stated that the government would have a standardized bookkeeping system to make sure that the railroads are following the laws and charging all customers equally. Instead of charging a higher price for the smaller businesses and a lower price for the large businesses for the same item, everyone had to be charged equally. The establishments of sub treasuries satisfied what the Populists wanted. President Woodrow Wilson created the Warehouse Act which extended credit to farmers when they stored their crops in federally owned warehouses and they received money for their crops. It provided farmers the opportunity to gain a profit by storing more crops. Since the Populist wished for an inflation of currency, he also established the Carter Glass Act which enforced the separation of investment banking and commercial banking. It was also seen as a Federal Reserve that oversaw banks and regulated currency. The Federal notes, or paper...

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