American History / Progressive Period

Progressive Period

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Autor:  anton  04 March 2011
Tags:  Progressive,  Period
Words: 501   |   Pages: 3
Views: 385

The Progressive Era was the time period from 1900 to 1917 that can be described as a time when America went through reform and protest. Society at the time felt that problems could be resolved with collaboration. It was a time when there was renewed interest in improving the nation’s political, social and economic problems. During this era there was a strong sense of activism to fix the problems that plagued the nation. The movement started as small groups protesting the condition America was in as far as areas of women and minority’s rights, social classes, business practices, labor, and industry.

The major turning point of the movement that brought it to the forefront was the media attention that it received. The people who published and brought up these issues were known as Muckrakers. These Muckrakers are often seen as the moving force behind the Progressive movement. They would write articles and novels that would present the issues at hand in an interesting manner that would get plenty of attention. Many times they would research the problem and show corrupt practices and other malformed intent of government offices. Sometimes that efforts of the Muckrakers actually brought change into action such as the signing of the 1904 federal meat inspection law.

There were several reform policies that were put into effect during this era in the United States. Some of these reforms had a greater impact than the others. The greatest of these was by Theodore Roosevelt. He aimed to protect America’s capitalism from its own excessiveness by providing government intervention. Roosevelt initiated more than forty anti-trust suits against large corporations across America. In 1902 he also intervened when there was a large coal strike. His actions provided the workers with the higher pay and a shorter work day. By 1903 Congress had tightened the anti-trust enforcement and government regulation. He also helped push the Hepburn Act which gave the ICC the power to set a maximum on freight rates. The Meat Inspection Act was also brought in during his presidency. He helped make some very important changes to society and the government during his time in office.

William Taft served as the president after Roosevelt. He had a lot of controversy surrounding his presidency. Most prominent was what was known as the Ballinger-Pinchot controversy. Taft’s secretary of interior, Ballinger, had turned federal lands over to investor friends. Taft, however, did establish the Bureau of Mines and the Federal Children’s Bureau and he supported the Sixteenth Amendment which created federal income tax.

Woodrow Wilson’s most important reform was the tariff reduction and the The Federal Reserve Act. This new national banking system allowed for banks to deposit a portion of its revenue to the Federal Reserve Bank. This helped form better loan systems and a more stable banking environment. He also focused on antitrust laws during his presidency.

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