Democracy: The Progressive Movement

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The progressive movement encompassed a variety of different ideas and activities of reformist pressure groups, that called for political reforms attacking bribery and corruption. Progressive reformers were sought to eliminate social reform issues which included poor working conditions, female suffrage, and child labor. They were also sought to delegate power away from the political institutions by entrusting some legislative power to commissions. It is from the initiative and referendum process that placed legislation or constitutional amendments directly before the voters. The initiative did this by circumventing the legislature, relying instead on a petition process to force a vote on a particular issue either in the legislature or by the general process. While the referendum was put on the ballot as a consequence of action in the legislature, which gave the voters the opportunity to approve or reject what the legislature has done. It is because of the progressive era that the state government reforms have helped the public have more direct control over government. In order for the public to have more direct democracy they addressed the social problem and inequality through secret ballots, initiative and referendum power, recall, and direct primary. In order to have better democracy, the California State Government …show more content…

Measures of direct democracy were part of the sweeping package of constitutional amendments the voters adopted as reforms at the election. The same election granted women in California the right to vote. It is because of this that the courts even recognize Californians’ constitutional initiative and referendum power not as rights granted to the people, but as a type of legislative power reserved by the people for themselves (Steele,

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