The Progressive Movement
The Progressive Reform Movement occurred between the 1890s and 1920s. It was a period of social and political reform in the United States. Before the reforms took place, the country was full of corruption and unfair practices. The middle-class was shrinking while poverty was increasing. Social ills such as depression, alcoholism, crime, and homelessness were frequently seen in this period. In this paper, I will provide evidence of authors George Mowry, Gabriel Kolko, Joseph Huthmacher, and Anne Firor Scott’s interpretation of the Progressive Movement.
The average age of the important Progressive leaders who upset the Southern Pacific Railroad machine in California was a little over thirty-eight (Mowry 239). In general, the reformers were young and from the upper middle-class. Some came from wealthy families but the great majority came from the “solid middle class.” A majority of a sample of four hundred reformers were lawyers. About half of the wealthy reformers went to colleges like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.
Except for women, who were predominantly Midwestern, the reformers’ places of origin were scattered over the country roughly in proportion to population densities (Mowry 240). Most of the reformers were in northern cities by the 1900s. The women reformers were mostly in the Quaker faith while the Jewish faith was a majority among the wealthy. New England played a large role in influencing the intellectual and religious ideas of the land. In addition, an overwhelming number of reformers from the twentieth-century were conservatives in the nineties.
On the surface, it looked as if the progressive movement was simply a continuation under different leadership of the Populist cause (Mowry 241). It was not a continuation of the Populist cause because the Progressive movement occurred in a period of relative prosperity while populism occurred in a time of severe depression. The people behind this movement were strong...