Pingree: The Social Reformer

Hazen PingreeWhen Pingree was in charge, as both mayor and governor, he focused on making things better for everyone, not just a certain group. He wanted to make changes for the better of the people. During his time as governor, he fought for equalized taxation, the improvement of labor standards, and he wanted to put an end to corrupt businesses. He also tried to improve the democratic process by involving innovative solutions to the challenges being added in the new urban society. Pingree was able to get the immigrants and reformers to work together in order to defeat the conservatives that ruled over Michigan’s politics for decades. All of these actions are what make us consider him a “social reformer.”

He cared for the well-being of his people, whereas in today’s society, not many politicians do. A lot of them care about the ones in their party or that will vote for them. Pingree made sure that every individual’s needs were met as best to his ability.

In our time, I think it is the people’s duty to make sure their needs are being met. I’m not saying that every single time something doesn’t go the way the majority wants that there should be outbursts and protests though. We obviously need to realize that not everything we vote for we are going to receive and instead just push through it for the time being. But I also think that higher powers can step in if necessary. It all depends on the situation.

I think Pingree was definitely a social reformer, and he did a good job trying to make sure everyone’s wants and needs were met and taken care over under his power.





11 thoughts on “Pingree: The Social Reformer

  1. I would agree with you on pingree trying to work for the people, between his ideas on tax reform and trying to stop the over charging from the power companies. It would be interesting to see how he would govern within today’s society and times.

    1. That would be interesting, because today you often see that when a politician does something good, something that you can’t argue is good, people from opposite parties will still find fault in their decision. If Pingree was a politician of today, I am sure he would have very many people rooting for him, and yet just as many booing for him too.

    2. By what I have read, it is very difficult to imagine that anyone wouldn’t like him but the wealthy business owners. He probably had many people praising him for his actions. I wonder also, if he ran for president or even governor in our modern setting, would he even be elected into office? I guess we can only speculate. My guess would be no, considering much of our modern elections are based on the donations from large organizations and corporations.

  2. I agree with your point on how Pingree focused on making things better for everyone, not just a certain group of people. He wanted to see change in society. I’m sure some people did not like him, but he was a very smart and caring man.

  3. Pingree seemed like someone with a giving soul, someone who just wanted to make the world a better place, at least his world (Detroit). He put some things aside in his own life to better that of others, to make sure that they had food on the table. He did not have to do these things, as many other wealthy people in that time and the present do not care much for the “little guys,” but he did. Although there had to have been people who did not like him, possibly the other business men, or some of the people he was helping as they might have thought he was looking down on them for needing the help.

  4. I struggle with the whole concept of social reform. Everyone is responsible for taking care of themselves, yet I feel government intervention is necessary at times. Our President is elected based on the majority votes of the people. Even though someone voted for the President, it doesn’t mean they agree with every single action taken by the President. Our current President is in the middle of a modern day social reform regarding illegal immigrants. I wish the media would stop reporting the “poor family” that a deported illegal immigrant is leaving behind and instead provide instructions for applying for US citizenship. There are rules & regulations for becoming a US Citizen that everyone needs to follow.

  5. Pingree sounded like a very admirable man that truly did care for the people and what was in the peoples best interest. I do agree with you that I also feel many politicians are not in politics to better the peoples lives. Sometimes I feel like they are just in politics for the fame and fortune. Of course this is not true of every politician. I wish more politicians today were like Pingree. Good job.

    1. I agree, you cannot always tell nowadays if politicians are trying to better our society or not. You could definitely see that Pingree cared through his actions and it definitely makes me wish we had politicians like him today.

  6. I wonder if the “immoral nineteen” that was blocking the reforms he wanted to make as governor were stopped, if we would have a less corrupt government today. One of the things he wanted to stop was the corrupt business practices.
    On another note, I also wonder how things might be different if the city would use the vacant lots to let people have community gardens (free of charge) to grow food. Or even to use the people who are looking for assistance, have them volunteer to tend the garden, and you get free food that is healthy and you have grown yourself. It might open doors and help more people without just giving free money to people.

  7. I think it is amazing how much Pingree cared. Like you said at the end of your post how he made sure everyones needs and wants were meet. Pingree did an amazing job at achieving this. Its hard to find people like that, most people are just worried about themselves.

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