The Progress of the Progressives
The beginning of the twentieth century would not be a continuation of the 19th century; new issues were to dominate the 1900's. America was experiencing a call for social, economic and political reform. The instrument of this reform would be both local and federal government. And the people who would write the symphonies of change were part of the Progressive Movement. The Conductor would Theodore Roosevelt followed by Wilson.
Progressives were a diverse group that included Republicans and Democrats; people from all religions, as well as, men and women. Women, like Jane Adams who created Hull House (a settlement house) in Chicago, were very instrumental in their efforts to end child labor, unsafe working conditions, secure regulation for companies who produced items that were not healthy or safe and argue for women's voting rights. Most progressives were from a new better-educated middle class. They included journalist, businessmen, teachers, professors, and doctors.
Popular periodicals during the early 1900's published works exposing the demise of American society. There were pieces about corruption in politics, exposes about impure food, and manipulation of the stock market. These magazines had national circulation and a public that was literate who could read them. This would be the beginning of a new journalist. Writers of fiction also based their stories on real corruption in business and government. People were also very church oriented and believed that every citizen had a responsibility to make sure that the social and political order was based on values that are common amongst all religions.
Progressives were able to accomplish many things. Federal income taxes were established based upon the ability to pay, inheritance taxes, and the creation of a Federal Reserve System. Regulatory commissions who over see banking, insurance, railroads, utilities, transportation, and labor industry enforced...