America’s Progressive Movement Essay Example

The Progressive Era was a widespread of social issues and political reforms across the United States. The Movement is to eliminate problems caused by industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and political corruption. During this time many of the problems were going on in our country that some people didn’t notice. With them not noticing that is what made it worse and worse. Then Theodore Roosevelt stepped in and made drastic changes. 

First, the national political leaders of the Progressive Era included Theodore Roosevelt, Robert M. La Follette Sr., Charles Evans Hughes, and Herbert Hoover on the Republican side, and William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson, and Al Smith on the Democrate side. The main objective for them is to promote the ides of morality, economic reform , efficiency and social welfare. Another is to eliminate corruption within the government. They made it a point to also focus on family, education, and many other important aspects that are still enforced today.

Second,  we have to understand what were the main causes of the progressive movement. One main cause was the negative impact of industrialization that led to an emergence of poor working conditions in the factories. Due to the factories starting to which to machines its causing the labor work more dangerous for people to perform. These machines are not just causing more danger but they are causing the unemployment rate to increase. The biggest one was child labor, at this point child labor was increasing. Children were starting to work on heavy machines and getting hurt more and more.

Many of the causes all worked together which made them more dangerous and our society out of control. The Rise of Big Business and Corporations and the greed and unchecked and unethical practices of the Robber Barons. The majority of their problems came from the ruthless living conditions, but not only where they live in the cities they lived in that had hygienic sewage. Many people had their different opinions on the progressive movement and the way we are handling it. Others against the progessive movement wanted much more democracy in the society. One man Robert M. La Follette the governor of Wisconsin was one of the most influential politicians that wanted more democracy, and he also stated the requirement of political parties to hold a direct primary.  The people who agreed with this were people who wanted to stop child labor and put major regulations on the big businesses.

Theodore Roosevelt and Randolph Bourne’s Opinions

 Theodore Roosevelt and Randolph Bourne both had very differing opinions about how citizens should be seen by themselves and their governments. The main difference between Roosevelt’s and Bourne’s theories on citizenship is the amount of domination and empowerment that was posed to the people. Roosevelt had thought that the people of American should only identify as American, even if they were born in another country. Bourne’s opinion was drastically different from Roosevelt’s by believing that the people of America should embrace their own cultures and share it with the rest of the country. Using Randolph Bourne’s “Trans-National America” and Theodore Roosevelt’s “True Americanism” this essay will show that over time Bourne’s idea of empowering the diversity of citizens has been more successful than Roosevelt’s idea of having a society that was dominated by a need for everyone to be the same. 

Thirdly, there were a few different forms of Progressivism: the muckrakers (from a character in John Bunyan's book Pilgrim's Progress) were the type of Progressives who exposed corruption. For example, Collier's and McClure's journalists, some of them secretly went as far as moving into the slums to get the full sense of what life was like for the downtrodden, and shed light on what the slumlords were allowing to happen in their buildings.

Women's Suffragists were progressive, as well, they picketed, wrote letters, to officials at all levels of government, staged women's suffrage parades, sent out pamphlets, and made speeches to anyone who would listen, and eventually, in halls of government, in from of Congress. One other type of progressive was those who were for the temperance movement (their goal was to ban alcohol, they saw it as corrupting society). Settlement house workers were progressives, too, their cause fought to improve immigrant relations in the United States. Progressives sought to change society, for the better, through their activism. Progressives hoped for stronger local governments at the level of the American people.