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The Progresive Reform Movement Essay

899 words - 4 pages

The Progressive Reform Movement played an instrumental role in uplifting American society to new heights. The movement was fairly successful in curing the ills brought on by the massive industrial growth of the late 19th century. Rich executives who had created monopolies and trusts were deemed to have become too powerful, and political imbalances were ruled to be unacceptable. Progressive reform was a cornerstone of the early 1900s and was the issue that defined several presidencies.
The Progressive Movement was a result of a century of economic and social neglect. It strived to correct the economic, social, political, and moral justices that had plagued the 19th century and to instill fairness and equal rights for all. Two key goals of the Progressive Movement were to reform the political system and to create fairness in the economic world. This was achieved through a series of left-leaning governments which established regulations and began to act as a check on corruption.
In order to combat political corruption the American government passed several amendments to the constitution. Two of these amendments were the 17th amendment and the 19th amendment. The 17th amendment created the direct election of Senators. Prior to the 17th amendment, the Senate was a corrupt house of government. Instead of representing its constituents, Senators represented the interests of their respective state party bosses. Although the 17th amendment was in the process of being created for nearly a century, it took the Progressive Movement to finally get it passed. Like the 17th amendment, the 19th amendment also changed the political culture in America. While the 17th amendment allowed for the direct election of senators nearly 50% of Americans were still barred equal representation in Congress. These Americans were given the right to vote via the 19th Amendment. This modification of the Constitution gave women the right to vote, and effectively created a whole new slant on politics. Corrupt governments began to falter because of the new voting bloc and political party hierarchies began to crumble.
The Progressive Movement not only revolution the political landscape of America, but also molded a brand new economic infrastructure. Prior to the movement, the US government enacted a policy of laissez-faire towards the economy. From the early 1800s till the panics of 1893 and 1907 the economy boomed. Politicians were skeptical of pushing reform because they feared that public opinion favored less regulation. However, by the turn of the century this began to change. Due to the Panics of 1893 and 1907 Americans began to demand change. The rise of a more liberal middle class began to change the political outlook of the early 1900s. These people favored fairness in the workplace...

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