Chapter 2 - Assignment Example

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The ills had mainly stemmed from the industrial growth of the 19th century. These ills were stemming from the inequalities of the Industrial Revolution…
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The Rise and Fall of The American Century The "Social and Intellectual Context" Of the Progressive Movement
The social context of the Progressive Movement was one that was characterized by many social ills that prevailed in the US. The ills had mainly stemmed from the industrial growth of the 19th century. These ills were stemming from the inequalities of the Industrial Revolution. While great cities, the overseas empire and enterprises had developed and the US frontiers pacified fully, many citizens remained removed from the wealth, optimism and wealth that emanated from this development. Therefore, some became richer, while many remained poorer, homeless, underpaid and therefore feeling like second-rate Americans. It is against this backdrop that intellectual standpoints advanced at the end of 19th century, in the bid to bring about positive changes. Resultantly, this intellectual context birthed the First Reform Era which bequeathed the US history with abolitionism, Reconstruction, Civil and Women’s Rights Movements and farm movements.
2. How Theodore Roosevelt Changed the Role of American Government and Helped Fuel the Expansion of the American Empire
During the years (1901-1909) Theodore Roosevelt served as American president, he expanded the power and influence and power of the executive arm of the government, particularly, the presidency. Right from the time of the American Civil War, up to the beginning of the 20th century, the US Congress had been retaining the seat of power. However, starting from 1880s, the executive arm began to get increasingly powerful, so that later on, Roosevelt extended this development. Having insisted that the President had the right to use all political power, the Office of the President became the center of American politics, in lieu of political parties and the Congress. With this increased political power, Roosevelt helped fuel the expansion of the American Empire by challenging the ideas of limited government and waging a highly aggressive foreign policy.
3. Roles Women played In the Reform Movement
Being led by strong leaders such as Dorothea Dix and Elizabeth C. Stanton, women did midwife several important reforms during the Progressive Era. Women clamored for the passage of the 19th Amendment which prohibited the act of denying any US citizen, the power to vote, with this denial of votes being based on sex. It is these same women caucuses that redefined the functions of the federal government and widened the scope of the federal government’s roles, in light of health, working conditions, wages, education, sanitation and social welfare.
4. The Election of 1912 and the Progressive Reforms of the Wilson Administration
The US Election of 1912 remains unique because it enabled Wilson to win by 42%, against Progressive candidates Taft, Roosevelt and Debs who totaled 58%, and thereby enabling Woodrow Wilson to ascend into power. The same also helped inform Wilson of the need for Progressive reforms in America, and thereby compelling Wilson to continue with Progressive reforms which he called New Freedom.
Wilson Administration passed and ratified the New Freedom reforms which included Tariff and Business reforms. This reform was unique in that for the first time since the Civil War, tariffs were being lowered, against the wishes of protectionist lobby groups. The Business Reforms also comprised the Federal Trade Act (1914) which helped set up the Federal Trade Commission to facilitate investigations and proscription of illegal business; and the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 which exempted unions from antitrust laws and legalized industrial action.
Chafe, H. W. (2009). The Rise and fall of the American Century: The United States from 1890- 2009. New York/ Oxford: Oxford University Press. Read More
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