Progressivism began as a movement in the 1890s, but people began believing this way before this time period. The belief that Social Darwinism is not the only factor to a person’s place in society, and that there were many rights that people deserved that they weren’t getting.
Just like any other movement or belief, their were two main groups. The Rationalists and the Radiacals. The Rational Progressives believed that people could be swayed with reason toward their movement, as well as conversation based and looking for reforms. They also looked at what the outcome of their actions could be. This was the earlier type of progressive. They believed that society would change given time, and thought the best of people in a kind and trusting way. The Radical Progressives were action driven, thinking that what others believed was what they had formed in their mind from childhood. They didnt want to keep the status quo, and fought to change the way people were treated within the workplace.
As the movement began, it was mainly rational progressives that believed these things, but as it changed from a social movement to a political, radicals began rising up.
Theodore Roosevelt was a progressive when he entered the white house, and supported a strong business class, but he fought for the safety and treatment for the workers that they deserved. He believed that would improve the workers life, in turn improving the quality of life and the workers desire to do a better job. Insentives started to be put in place within certain businesses following this movement to encourage workers to maintain a certain level of success in the workplace.
Trusts were broken up and businesses were kept under watch to keep them honest about what they were doing.
Though This movement changed many things in this time period, it came to an end. When World War I began, people saw that not everybody was kind, and that there were many cruel people out there, and that was the end of the Progressive Movement.
Silver, Nate. “The Two Progressivisms.” FiveThirtyEight, FiveThirtyEight, 7 May 2014, fivethirtyeight.com/features/two-progressivisms/.
“The Progressive Era (1890 – 1920).” The Elenor Roosavelt Papers Project, www2.gwu.edu/~erpapers/teachinger/glossary/progressive-era.cfm.