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Describe three important reforms that occurred during the Progressive Era in American history. Describe what each one of them was, and why each one was an important reform - Essay Example

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At that time, America experienced numerous challenges that resulted from industrialization as well as urbanization that were progressing then extremely rapidly. A reform movement by name progressivism…
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Describe three important reforms that occurred during the Progressive Era in American history. Describe what each one of them was, and why each one was an important reform
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Reforms that Occurred During the Progressive Era The progressive era refers to a period between 1900-1220 (Fishback 288).At that time, America experienced numerous challenges that resulted from industrialization as well as urbanization that were progressing then extremely rapidly. A reform movement by name progressivism together with the government addressed a number of issues in order to control social, economic as well as political welfare of the populace. This era emerged with many critical and currently celebrated reforms in all those aspects in the 20Th period leading to many advantages and eradication of the challenges (Fishback 288).
Government Reforms
Government reform encompasses one of the major changes that occurred in the reform era. Robert LaFollette who was a republican governor in Wisconsin (Mintz 2014) championed reforms in this sector. It was termed as the “Wisconsin idea” and it included changes such as a development of a railroad commission to control taxes, direct primaries to choose party nominees for public offices, as well as initiative and recall opportunities for the public (Fishback 289). These reforms were important since they increased the efficiency of the government (Fishback 289). The direct primaries gave the public an opportunity to participate in the political process and also limited the influence of city bosses in selecting there favourable personnel. The initiative device enabled the public participate in passing proposed laws through voting and recall device gave the public the power to remove elected officials from their position. These reforms put government officials on their toes and ensured they did their work with efficiency and transparency.
Civil Rights Reforms
Civil rights reforms in the progressive era are very critical and their benefits curently felt. These reforms occurred following the publication of W.E.B. Du Bois. His publication highlighted the plight of African Americans and the disparaging racism effects. Du Bois condemned the belief that African Americans could not work as manual laborers and nothing more. This publication led to the establishment of the first national civil rights movement known as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (Mintz, 2014). This organization boasted of 6,000 members by 1914 whereby it extended to establishing offices in fifty cities.
These reforms in civil rights were very important since they ensured that the rights of the colored minority were protected. Initially, the minority endured hard and forced labor, coupled with low wages as well as denial of certain necessities. They worked under brutal masters where they were constantly underwent mistreatment, assaulted besides tolerating disparaging livelihoods. The civil rights movement came to their rescue and worked to eliminate slave trade. In addition, they passed strict warning to the masters who mistreated the African American manual laborers and also ensured better employment for the minority.
Birth Control Reforms
Many reforms occurred during the progressive era and touched on women’s lives. The most important one is the issue on birth control, which enabled the female gender to control fertility. During the progressive era, the increased urbanization and industrialization saw increased population. One person that championed this issue is Margaret Sanger who was once a nurse. She opened the first birth control clinic in 1916 and despite opposition from the police; she continued to advocate that women needed the right to control their ability to give birth. She founded the Planned Parenthood organization and this eventually led to the introduction of the birth control pill in 1960 (Mintz 2014).
This was a significant reform since it enabled women control their fertility hence give birth to a number of the children that they were able to care and provide for. This therefore led to improved living standards, helped eradicate poverty levels, and ensured education for all children (Fishback 289).
Work Cited
Mintz, Steven. “Reform Movements of the Progressive Era.” The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American Institute. (2014). Web. October 18, 2014. Fishback, Price V. M. Government and the American Economy: A New History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. Internet resource. Read More
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