Progressivism was a wide reform movement in the United States that took shape during the late 19th century. Its primary objectives were to address political, social and cultural questions that had emerged due to fast changes brought about by the industrial revolution and the emergence of capitalism in America. The movement had great ideas in expressing some of the reforms that they wanted the government to embrace. Their ideas are well explained below:
They aimed to eliminate corruption in the government. Their primary targets in this area were political heavyweights. They did this by bringing to light deeds of corporate greed and encouraging Americans to register as voters. They also upheld women’s suffrage to purify the elections using the purer votes (Thompson, 7).
They had an idea of building an efficiency movement by upholding modernization through scientific, engineering and medicine. In academic fields, they professionalized social sciences which included political science, history, and economics. The movement also pushed for constitutional alterations. The Eighteenth Amendment was passed in late 1917. It banned transportation and selling of alcohol. The Nineteenth Amendment was successfully passed in 1919; it gave way to the fundamental right which was; the right to vote for women.
Political parties played a key role in the achievement of some of the objectives the movement wanted to achieve. The first progressive party was molded by Roosevelt. In his platform, he advocated for women’s suffrage, the injunction of child labor and more strict regulation of industrial combinations. The party vanished for a while after Roosevelt finished behind Republican candidate Woodrow Wilson but later returned in 1924. Wisconsin was nominated to run for president, and the party had other objectives. It strongly advocated for labor reforms, supporting farm-relief measures and lesser taxes for earners with moderate incomes. It also backed public utilities to be owned by the government (Charles H Backstrom, 423).
Woolner, David B, and John M. Thompson. Progressivism in America: Past, Present, and Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Print.
Backstrom, Charles H. The Progressive Party of Wisconsin, 1934-1946. , 1956. Print