Troubled by corruption, social injustices, stubbornness, waste and inefficiency during the gilded age, progressives were dedicated to change and reform all the aspects of the society, state and the economy of the United States on America. Several changes ratified by the national government including income tax imposition that followed the sixteenth constitution amendment, election of senators following the seventeenth constitution amendment, prohibition mandated by the eighteenth amendment of the constitution, reforms of the electoral system stopping the widespread corruption and scam and lastly suffrage of women mandated by the nineteenth constitutional amendment (Cowing and Cedric 20). Progressive era in the United States was marked with massive changes in both the economic and political structure of the nation; this era led to acquisition of equity in all sectors of the economy both politically and socially.
This era marked with widespread political, regulation and social justice reforms. This period, experienced between 1890s and 1920s. It is a period when there was massive elimination of corruption in the Federal government. This movement had a primary target, which was the political machines within the Government and their godfathers (Cowing and Cedric 20). Its aim was establish a direct democracy, where there would be no social activism and political prejudice. It also targeted regulation monopolies plus corporations. The most important reform experienced in regulation of monopolies, was the introduction of antitrust laws. Antitrust laws acted as a way of creating fair competition to all legitimate competitors by offering equal chances to whoever was interested in the market. The Sherman act of 1890, Clayton Act 1914 and lastly the Federal Trade Commission of 1914 acted the statue for promoting the antitrust laws (Ross and William 14). Many citizens of the US supported prohibition in order to demolish political godfathers or rather bosses in the saloons and at the same time promoting women suffrage to get them in the voting arena. These two concerns in the country brought a movement, which led to constitutional change. The constitutional amendment in the 1917 ended the production of alcohol and the next constitutional amendment in 1919 gave women the rights to vote (Ross and William 14). This two amendments were very important in improving the democracy of the US and regulations in the business sector.
The movement began as a low level movement organized to transform a community but later with time, it expanded up to the national levels where it drew support from all the middle class citizens with supporters including ministers, lawyers, teaches and many others (Johnston and Robert 15). Several activities came together to reform the Federal government, industry, insurance, railroads, finance and others. It ended up transforming the professionalism and making scientific sciences, history in specific, political science and economics. The social justice reform marked by the progressive era was the transformation of banking system. Progressives were keen on making their steps towards reform in the United States and this was evident when they tracked underway advancement in the Western Europe and from this, they approved several policies with the main being the banking system transformation (Johnston and Robert 15). This banking system formed by creation of Federal Reserve System.
In conclusion, the Progressive reform in the US was marked the beginning of new era full of economic, social and political development. This state led massive development achievement, which has seen the United States being one of the world’s best economies. It has not only promoted development economically but also technological, surely the Federal Government has proven to be one of the best in the World.
Cowing, Cedric B. Populists, Plungers, and Progressives: A Social History of Stock and Commodity Speculation, 1868-1932. Princeton University Press, 2015.
Johnston, Robert D. “INFLUENTIAL WORKS ABOUT THE GILDED AGE AND PROGRESSIVE ERA.” A Companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (2017): 437-449.
Ross, William G. A muted fury: populists, progressives, and labor unions confront the courts, 1890-1937. Princeton University Press, 2014.