The Origins of the Progressive Movement

The Origins of the Progressive Movement
•The US was struggling on many levels by
the turn of the century.
•Political corruption was rampant in all
levels of government
•Working class and lower class American
were being exploited by big business
•Many Americans had just about given
up until a team of reformers began to
shake things up and make changes.
•Who might you ask, was this team?
It wasn’t this team, even though they are the
best ever.
Nor this team, even though these guys are very
Wasn’t these guys either, all though they
probably would have solved every problem.
Turns out it was this “team”.
The Progressive movement will appeal to many
Americans due to its broad, all encompassing goals
which are:
Protecting social welfare
Promoting moral improvement
Creating economic reform
Fostering efficiency
These broad goals will allow the movement to
attract people from all social classes,
backgrounds, professions, and political parties
By 1910 the Progressive movement is
considered the cat’s pajamas by most
• Protecting social welfare focused on solving
urban problems
• The YMCA, Salvation Army, and settlement
houses all helped
• Florence “don’t dare call me Flo the lady
from the Progrssive commercials” Kelly
became an advocate for women and children
• Promoting moral reform focuses on
• WCTU, Anti-Saloon League all fight to see
alcohol banned.
• Creating economic reform focused on correcting
the free enterprise system
• Socialism appealed to Eugene “the dancing
machine” Debs
• Muckrakers exposed the corrupt side of
government and industry
• Fostering efficiency focused on applying scientific
principles to government and industry
• Henry “the hammer” Ford applied these principles
by creating the assembly line and he made lots of
cars and lots and lots of money
• Efforts to reform corrupt local governments see the
creation of the council-manager and commission
forms of government
• State level reform is led by Wisconsin Governor
Robert “The Bigcat” LaFollette
• Other states see laws passed to protect workers.
Maximum hour, overtime, workman’s comp,
minimum wage, age restriction laws are passed in
many states
• Election reforms in some states leads to secret
ballots, initiatives, referendums, recalls, and the
17th Amendment
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