9.1 Origins and Goals of the Progressives


9.1 Origins and Goals of the


Goals of Progressivism

• The Progressives picked up where the

Populists left off

• Four Goals:

• 1. Protecting Social Welfare: improving the lives of the less fortunate

– Groups like the YMCA and Salvation Army tried to meet people’s basic needs (food, shelter, etc.)

Goals of Progressivism

• 2. Promoting moral development: the big push was against alcohol

– Groups like the Woman’s Christian Temperance

Union highlighted “Christian” reasons for avoiding drinking.

Goals of Progressivism

• 3. Economic Reform: a strong push to limit one’s ability to become mega-rich.

– Ida Tarbell helped turn popular opinion against major companies like Rockefeller’s Standard Oil

– People blamed big businesses for economic problems

Goals of Progressivism

• 4. Fostering Efficiency: make the most amount of stuff with the least amount of time/resources

– “Taylorism:” timing every little process in a factory to make small improvements.

– Makes prices of goods cheaper, which means we can own more things

Local and State Govt.

• In cities, they were takin’ down the “Bosses!”

– Progressives wanted cities run by experts, not just anybody

• “Fighting Bob” La Follette was a Progressive governor, attacking the railroads

• Child-labor laws were passed at the state level

Local and State Govt.

• Lawyer Louis Brandeis argued that people needed rest, employers should shorten work shifts

– In Muller v. Oregon, Supreme Court agreed that workers needed the govt.’s protection from harsh working conditions