A Fierce Discontent: The Progressive Movement

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Review The progressive era in the early twentieth century was a period of severe social and economic inequality. Progressivism was a reaction to a variety of problems that were becoming more known to the public. It was a time in which many Americans found themselves between class lines and often felt a loss of identity. McGerr a professor of history at the University of Indiana explains the “four quintessential progressive battles: to change other people; to end class conflict; to control big business; and to segregate society” At the same time the great wealth and prosperity for the “upper ten” was being noticed throughout the country. Social and economic hardship combined with the rise of big business and corruption in politics is what started the “fierce discontent” felt by so much of the population at the time. …show more content…

He begins by sharing the story of an immigrant child growing up working in a sewing factory and a rural farm child. He draws similarities between the way they feel about work and having to make sacrifices for their families and their new found want to break themselves away from the tribulations of being in the working class. Individualism which put the upper ten into the ruling class is now the motivating factor in these proponents of

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