Progressivism: A Social Movement

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A term that has been applied to a variety of responses to the economic and social problems rapid industrialization introduced to America is Progressivism. Progressivism had started out as a social movement and grew into a political movement. The progressives from the early stages had rejected Social Darwinism. In other words, they were classified as individuals who believed that the problems society was facing at the time (poverty, violence, greed, racism, class warfare) were best to be handled by providing a better education, safe environment, and an efficient workplace. Progressives lived mainly in the cities and were educated individuals. These people had believed that the government could be a tool for change. Social reformers such as …show more content…

They were a group of journalists that sought out to expose corruption practices in government and shed light on business scandals. “Muckrakers examined every facet of American life, delving into corporate and government malfeasance as well as poking to social and domestic problems such as child abuse, drunkenness, and prostitution” (LP 75). Miserable working conditions of large industries along with issues of concentration of wealth were exploited by this group. Henry Ford had introduced a lucrative pay scale for his workers during Progressive era. Among prominent ladies were Lucy Burns- an advocate of women 's rights, and Jane Adams- a social worker and first women winner of the Noble Peace Prize. As regards goals of Progressivism, one of them was 'social welfare ' aiming to provide social justice to everyone. It strived to eliminate differences in social classes. They also promoted the idea of charity and welfare by large organizations. For this purpose a large force comprising social workers was prepared and trained to perform their task effectively. Second goal of Progressivism was 'promotion of moral improvement ', for example women 's Suffrage by providing women the right to vote. Certain prohibition laws were introduced, for example Progressive leaders were of the view that usage of alcohol limited thinking and working of a person. Third goal was to provide 'economic reforms ' by regulating especially large corporations to ensure independence and remove restrictions imposed by capitalism. The fourth main goal of Progressivism was 'efficiency '. Among other ideas, it included creating professional city manager to run affairs at local, state, and national level more effectively. All of these goals played a significant role in

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