The Progressive Era Essay

1273 words - 5 pages

The beginning of the twentieth century was a time of great social change and economic growth in the United States. The progressive era was a time in which Americans were innovating in social welfare. In the progressive period the government needed to take action in the role of economy, regulating big business, immigration, and urban growth. Once the great depression happened in which America’s economy faltered people started to panic. For Americans the main issues asked were how to make society work more efficiently. The great society era was a time of optimism after the post-world war II occurred. The creations of new federal programs were developed for those who were in need due to poverty, being disabled or old age.

In the progressive era there were economic, social and political developments that occurred to improve the social well-being of its people. There were many social developments happening for example the women’s suffrage campaign, the first national movement for black people and the rise of a radicle left. The women’s suffrage movement fought for many causes that gave women the opportunities we have today. They strived for the right to vote and they made it happen by marches and protests that spread through major cities. The women’s movement also campaign for family planning through birth control. The campaign was led by Margaret Sanger; she was arrested several times for sending out information on contraceptives. The American birth control league is now called the Planned Parenthood federation. The suffragettes wanted equality and most female reformer wanted protective laws to regulate the conditions in which women worked (Abramovitz, 2004). There were programs such mother’s pension that were created to allow widowed mothers to stay home to care for their children by providing cash public assistance. The settlement house led by Jane Addams was a movement that allowed wealthy women live among the poor for they could have an inside scope on poverty. They also developed group work, community organization and advocacy to help the poor. Addams was not really concern with race relations which made it hard for African Americans to survive during this era. Most reformers believed African Americans should continue being second class citizens, restricted from any participation in political life. African Americans were determine to become equals they started by creating a national organization. They formed the National Association for the Advancement of colored people (NAACP). They used education and lawsuits to advance its cause, they won the brown v. board of education a desegregation case forty years later.

During the progressive era much of the politics were focused on corruption. According to Abramowitz, corruption often meant control of city or state politics by an ethnically based political machine for reformers. This machine delivered votes, jobs, and payoffs in cities in which it used to gain power in state politics. The issue...

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