During the twentieth century, the Progressive Era began because of industrialization, urbanization, and corrupt government. During this period, big businesses began dominating the workforce and smaller businesses found it hard to rival with them. The Progressives wanted to promote their own scheme. The middle class made up a majority of the Progressive movement. But this class lacked people and money and were looking for help from the other classes. The Progressive Party included many women, which began feminism. The Progressive Era started because the middle-class wanted workplace protection, economic help, and more education.
Throughout the 1900’s, the middle class went through poor conditions and wanted change. Big businesses were in control of the market while the small businesses couldn’t keep up with competition. For example, Rockefeller was in charge of 90% of the oil in the United States with his trust to make him rich. Workers did not have very much protection, if they were sick or injured they were fired. Progressives wanted the government to step in and create regulations to protect workers and stop monopolies. With the help of President Roosevelt the Progressives gained many of the things they were fighting for. Teddy Roosevelt realized he needed change the way America handled things or deal with the end of democracy. A few years after Roosevelt’s presidency, Woodrow Wilson was voted into the position. Wilson created a more diverse and competitive workforce, which allowed for smaller businesses to thrive. The Progressive Era brought about change especially for the middle and lower classes.
Within the Progressive Movement, women started to want a voice and change within their cities. Women were fighting for many different rights. One effective movement of the women during this time dealt with the cleanliness of milk. Women wanted all milk to be clean and disease-free for the safety of their newborn children. They succeeded with their mission to get clean milk after they took it to legislature. Women started creating their own unions, and these unions became more popular after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. People during that time believed that all females should have the right to vote. The National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) started gaining notice from 1910-1920. The NWSA was one of the main groups who fought for women’s right to vote. They won in six states: Washington, California, Arizona, Kansas, Oregon, and New York. Women fought for rights and were a part of the Progressive Movement.
Progressives fought for higher wages, sensible hours, and safe working conditions. They fought through many hardships. Women were especially impressive, they fought for basic rights such as voting and equal pay. Helped with the different presidencies of the time, Progressives sought reform by using their party to promote the idea.
Keene, Jennifer D., et al. Visions of America: A History of the United States. Pearson, 2013.