The Progressive Era

Essay by vinni119 April 2002

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The Progressive Era was a period of time when mass groups of people pushed for major changes. Some became successful while others weren't. Many different approaches were used to try and change four areas. They were protecting social welfare, promoting moral improvement, creating economic reform, and fostering efficiency. The Progressives believed in four major principles which are demonstrated in the actions they took to support them.

One objective the Progressives enforced was protecting social welfare, which they established in many ways. These groups of people wanted desperately to fix urban problems. With this mind set, the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) was founded. This association opened libraries, sponsored classes, and built swimming pools/handball courts, for the good of the city. A major supporter and leader of this reform was Jane Addams. She created settlement houses in many cities; they were homes for women to stay until they were back on their feet again.

Jane Addams' actions inspired many other women to become involved. With all that occurred during the Progressive Era, work sometimes seemed pointless, but thanks to numerous peoples' hard work and dedication, many of the organizations still exist today.

One significant goal the Progressives struggled to change was promoting morals. The Women's Christian Temperance Union became very involved during this reform. Frequently they would visit inmates and mental patients to see how they were managing during their time of hardships. WCTU believed that all women should have the right to vote. Suffrage for women was a heavily debated issue during the Progressive Era. One main leader of the moral improvement reform was Susan B. Anthony. She had no limits; she would try every law available related to voting in any way. She became a woman of power and an idol for others. Another notable...