The Progressive Reform Movement

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The Progressive Reform Movement The Progressive Era is often looked as an age of reformation from the economic boom in the Gilded Age. From around 1890 to 1920s, citizens of the progressive reform movement had plans to amplify our American government and economy. The different outlooks and biases have created many interpretations of this era, along with many others. Historians have many different interpretations of the reform movement during the Progressive Era. These different views are seen through the following articles: “Progressivism: Middle Class Disillusionment” by George Mowry, “Urban Liberalism and the Age of Reform” by Joseph Huthmacher, and “Progressivism Arrives” by Robert H. Wiebe.
The first essay written by George Mowry provides
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Huthmacher looked at these individuals as the first hand creators of the progressive reform movement. As Huthmacher states, “Unlike the middle-class reformers, who generally relied[...], and social scientists to delineate the ills of society, the urban working class knew at first hand the conditions of life on ‘the other side of the tracks’” (11). This is a main point that would stand out to the reader about Huthmacher’s interpretation because he contradicts the middle class reformers sources. The lower class lived the problems of the Progressive Era and, “Their outlook tended to be more practical and "possibilistic" than that of some middle-class Progressives who allowed their reform aspirations to soar to Utopian heights,[...]” (Joseph Huthmacher 11). One thing most of these reformers seeked was an increase in their workplaces. They were not as concerned about the monopoly factor as long as, “[...]he provided job security and adequate wages and working conditions, and passed some of the benefits of large-scale production on to consumers in the form of lower prices” (Joseph Huthmacher 13). Based on Huthmacher’s article, historians should focus more on the lower class and their thoughts, such as their real life experiences and careers, when interpreting the Progressive…show more content…
Wiebe displays the reforms of the Progressive Era and the changes they were seeking. Wiebe describes the progressive reformers as, “the new middle class” (Robert H. Wiebe 80). Ultimately, this new middle class was looking to reorder the government by themselves. A major reoccurring theme was the focus on the children based on Wiebe’s view of the progressives. This is shown when Wiebe writes, “He united the campaigns for health, education, and a richer city environment, and he dominated much of the interest in labor legislation” (Robert H. Wiebe 82). Wiebe’s viewed reformers had an overall want for better social and political reforms (like many other
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