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History - Essay Example

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Date Progressivism Progressivism is illustrated as reform movement initiated following the effects of industrialisation and urbanisation in the American society. The movement reached its peak in the 20th century with the aim of purifying government structures that were deemed as corrupt and carefree…
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History

Download file to see previous pages... Social activists and reformists advocated for favourable attitude towards the urban-industrial society and called for efficient government intervention. The intervention sought to resolve economic and social disparities owing to unfriendly policies that favoured a selected few (Eisenstark et al 3). The movement argued that the government should be an agent of human welfare, an aspect that ought to cut across socioeconomic levels. In addition, progressives were against large corporations that were seen to have poor working conditions with little compensation. As such, the movement sought responsible citizenship and democracy with regard to elections, referendum, and recall. In light of this, the progressives recommended the adoption of secret ballot during elections, candidate nomination through primaries, and direct election of senators under political reforms. The movement also urged for regulation of large corporations and monopolies, which were seen to benefit top management at the expense of the employees. Progressives called for social justice to limit child and female labour and drinking. Intensive lobbying by the progressives achieved changes in various aspects of life under prevailing conditions. These changes saw social, economic, and political reforms that were geared towards quelling public dissatisfaction. Social reforms majored on education, women rights, and problems facing minorities in America society. The lack of education was illustrated as a major cause increasing levels of poverty and progressives advocated for modernisation of schools. Changes in the education system transformed schoolhouses into consolidated school districts that offered graded class. Prohibition laws were also established in an effort to curb rampant alcohol consumption in saloons, which were regarded as gathering placing for political machines (Milkis and Mileur 138). The progressives concern of alcohol consumption was based on the negative effects felt at social and economic levels. The prohibition laws served to encourage efficiency in the economic front as employers were in need of sober workers. Minority groups, particularly African Americans faced increasing violence in most parts of the country owing to the tension over economic competition. As such, African Americans were lynched and executed, which initiated calls for laws against such acts. Progressives worked to end such atrocities against the African Americans signalling the beginning of struggles against racial discrimination. African American organisations cultivated for local approvals from the majority whites to establish black educational institutions such as Tuskegee Institute. Progressive concerns about deplorable working conditions and child labour were characteristic of economic reforms. The reforms stipulated and enforced safety regulation with frequent inspections serving to improve the working conditions of workers. In addition, the employers were expected to offer injury compensation for all workers. Similarly, some states passed laws limiting working hours for women while abolishing child labour and setting a minimum age for employment. However, this did not settle in well for some families that needed more income in order to survive. In line with improving the living standards, progressives advocated for housing laws that aimed at replacing tenements with better housing. The tenements were settlement houses ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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