Freedom In The Progressive Era

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The early twentieth century brought many people who were looking for a change in the way America was handling their government and politics. Many people, such as women and industrial workers, noticed that their rights given to them by the government did not give them the freedom that they had hoped for. Significant figures and groups of people tried to induce change in the system and some of them found success, changing the way the government and politics would be handled forever. This era of change came to be known as the Progressive Era. Muckrakers exposed the ill conditions of industrial and urban life, unions bonded workers together to create industrial freedom, women created settlement houses and spread female activism, and Progressive…show more content…
Many of these people felt like their personal autonomy was taken away because instead of wanting to start their own businesses and work for themselves, they always worked for someone else, no matter how high up they were in the company. When the Progressive Era came around, the idea of “industrial freedom” originated from Progressives who believed “they key to increasing industrial freedom lay in empowering workers to participate in economic decision making via strong unions” (Foner, 704). The beginning of unions was a key point in how these workers would begin to feel like they had control over their work and had a say in economic developments that may affect them. From this, workers were beginning to feel the start of their industrial freedom. The government’s response was in favor of the formations of these strong union, especially for Supreme Court member Louis D. Brandeis, who stated “unions embodied an essential principle of freedom – the right of the people to govern themselves” (Foner, 704). The creation of unions by workers created industrial freedom and changed the way the government would handle the rights of…show more content…
They were the first mass movement made up of all sorts of women from all backgrounds that led campaigns throughout the country with the purpose of gaining women’s suffrage (Foner, 721). These campaigns led to many successes, such as full woman suffrage in Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah, and women being able to hold public offices in the West (Foner, 721). This is an important contribution towards women in the Progressive Era because many were beginning to realize their rights and freedoms they should be given by the government. This can be seen when NAWSA membership “grew from 13,000 in 1893 to more than 2 million by 1917” (Foner, 721). These contributions by Jane Addams and NAWSA forever shaped the way American government and politics would change to begin to allow women to participate in political events and give them rights so they could be treated as equals of

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