Reformers of the Progressive Era tried to use the federal government's power to eradicate unethical and unfair economic practices, curb corruption, and mitigate the bad social repercussions of industrialisation. The main achievements of this effort include civil rights laws, regulations for public health and safety, and programs for the conservation of nature.
These reforms aimed to improve the living standards of the average American by giving him or her access to the benefits of the new industry and technology. The progressives also sought to promote social justice by addressing such issues as poverty, unemployment, child labor, women's rights, racial equality, and the destruction of our natural environment.
The progressivism of Theodore Roosevelt was different from that of his contemporaries because it was focused on conserving the nation's natural resources and providing them to future generations rather than using government regulation to promote industry. He is often called the "prince of park managers" for creating national parks and other protected areas throughout the United States. His efforts helped to create a more sustainable environment while at the same time providing Americans with valuable opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Other presidents have also been known as "progressive"; they shared many of the same goals as the progressives but used different strategies to achieve them.
During the Progressive Era, several far-reaching reform groups aimed at eradicating government corruption, providing women suffrage, and implementing antitrust laws. These groups included such organizations as Americans for Indian Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
They also included trade unions. Unions were important because they enabled workers to fight against employers' practices that deprived them of wages or destroyed their jobs - practices that would not be possible if employees were not united behind a common cause (or if there were no unions).
Unions helped lead to changes within industry that made working conditions better for all employees. They also helped create a more equal society by giving blacks and whites alike the power to negotiate pay rates with employers.
Finally, unions played an important role in establishing laws that are still in place today. For example, employees now have the right to strike, which would be impossible without unions. Also, it is because of unions that people can work safely in dangerous occupations like mining and factory production lines. Finally, unions have helped create a system where employees can receive some form of compensation if they are injured on the job - something that did not exist before they emerged on the scene.
Progressives wanted to create a more open and responsible government that would endeavor to better American society. Civil service reform, food safety rules, and enhanced political rights for women and U.S. workers were among the reformers' priorities.
They also sought to reduce economic inequality by advocating for an 8-hour workday, an end to child labor, improved workplace conditions, and federal assistance for unemployed people. Progressive politicians often came from wealthy families or held high office under state governments that allowed them to introduce legislation without legislative immunity. They tended to support social security and other forms of welfare for needier citizens who could not afford such services themselves.
Some examples of progressive policies include:
The National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) - passed in 1935. This law provided workers with a way to fight against unfair practices at their workplaces by allowing them to form unions and engage in collective bargaining if they represented a majority of employees. The aim was to ensure fair wages and working conditions for all Americans.
The Social Security Act - passed in 1935. This law provided retirement benefits to older Americans and disability payments to those unable to work because of illness or injury. It was spearheaded by New Deal politician and former president Franklin D. Roosevelt and aimed at providing protection against poverty and unemployment.
Progressive reformers sought to eliminate political corruption, improve people's lives, and enhance government action to safeguard citizens. This wave of Progressive Era changes included the suffrage campaign. Other progressive campaigns were also led by prominent suffragists. They included efforts to reduce working hours, improve labor conditions, and combat child labor.
Women gained the right to vote in all states except Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming. The 19th Amendment was proposed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but not immediately ratified by the necessary number of states. It wasn't until after their deaths that their daughters became eligible to vote. The 22nd Amendment prohibits anyone who has been convicted of treason against the United States from being able to vote.
In addition to winning the right to vote, women achieved other important victories during this period. In 1872, they founded a newspaper called the National Woman's Suffrage Association Journal. The publication ran for four years and helped spread awareness about women's rights issues among readers across the country.
Many men at this time believed that women should not be allowed to vote because it would lead to them gaining more power over society.
Reform of the government Disgusted by the Gilded Age's waste, inefficiency, intransigence, corruption, and injustices, the Progressives were determined to change and reform every element of the state, society, and economy. They created agencies that would eventually be incorporated into the federal government, such as the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Commerce and Labor, and the Postal Service. They passed legislation that is still in effect today, such as the Pure Food and Drug Act and the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA). They advocated for an eight-hour workday and a fifty-hour workweek. They established unemployment insurance and old-age pensions programs. They also attempted to create a more equitable distribution of wealth and income through such measures as inheritance taxes, higher taxes on corporations, and tariffs to protect American industry from foreign competition.
The Chicago School is considered one of the most influential schools of economic thought today. Its founders: Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Rose D. Friedman, all taught at the University of Chicago. Their ideas have had a major impact on how economists think about both taxation and government spending. Before the Chicago Boys came onto the scene, most economists believed that when a country like America or Italy had a budget deficit, this meant that they were wasting money because they were not collecting enough in taxes.
In response to these issues, Progressive Era political reformers attempted to provide citizens the freedom to vote freely for the politicians and proposed laws that would best serve them. The purpose of reformers was to give voters back control. Previously, only people with property could vote; now any adult citizen could take part in selecting their government. Previously, votes were bought and sold; now they were given freely during election years. Previously, elections were fixed by the elite; now the average person had a voice in who ran their town hall.
The goal was to create fair and open elections where everyone had an equal chance of being selected. To do this, voters needed tools that would prevent corrupt practices by politicians or their allies. The first effort to address this issue was the electoral college, which was designed to protect voters in small towns and rural areas from being over-represented by large cities. It also gave some power back to individuals by giving each state the right to decide how they wanted to allocate their electoral votes.
After the electoral college was established, reformers turned their attention to initiatives and recalls. In both cases, citizens have the right to directly vote on issues before them. An initiative process can be used to propose new laws, while a recall allows voters to get rid of elected officials who have gone bad or lost touch with their constituents.