Populism and Progressivism
In the latter part of the 19th century carrying into the first quarter of the 20th century saw the emergence of the Populist movement and Progressive Era; these movements were a response to the changing climate in American society due to rapid industrialization, an ethnically diverse personality of a young nation, and birth of American imperialism. Disgruntled American farmers that wished to advance their economic position thwarted the Populist movement. Progressives pushed to improve urban labor conditions, dismantle trusts and monopolies, conserve of environment, and to install an active government. This era signaled the birth of the modern age, and the outcomes of these movements still linger within U.S policy today.
The populist and Progressive Era happened in the years following the Civil War, after the U.S. began to rapidly industrialize, in turn creating wealth, growth of big businesses, technological advances, population shifts from rural to urban centers, and large scale immigration of different ethnic groups. Within this business-oriented society money began to replace morality in national politics. The transformation of landscape and cityscape projected people into new material surroundings causing a metamorphosis of personal values, political ideas, and group identities . Massive production and the new factory system altered the character of the originally agriculturally oriented society into a consumer culture. Americans began to have time off from work, spending it enjoying sports, shopping, dancing, and music.
The Populists were a grass roots movement. Their intention was to unite together to improve the conditions of farmers and the people in the lower income brackets as as compared to the wealthy interests. There were haves and have nots, the haves were primarily eastern interests, such as the railroads and banks, the have nots were (in the Populist groups) primarily western...