Progressives Taking Action

Progressives were a group of folk that made an effort to progressively change things in the country. Mostly a middle-class group, they also included many important people in U.S. History, such as Teddy Roosevelt. Gaining popularity in the early 190’s progressivism was aimed at societal advancements, which were much needed at the time with the issues America was facing. With little “fairness” in the States, power was unevenly presented. Women had little rights, the workplace was horrendous, and the country was running on money grabbing white males with no intent to change. Progressives aimed to fix these issues with America with what the others refused to use… reform.

The Progressive Era was a fight for rights in a system that was not very giving. Women and children were both constantly working, in unsafe environments. The progressives were able to fight for a maximum amount of hours for women in the factory and pushed on the issue of child labor. Child labor was a very controversial topic at the time as education was not a primary place for children. Most were entering the workforce at a young age, and they stayed there for long hours, and few days off. Progressives brought this topic into a wider discussion, and they were able to push for the abolishment of child labor, and at the same time (in case abolishing it as a whole did not work) pushed for safety regulations in factories to make them safer for children. Once children were dwindling in the workforce, education became more of an initial start in their lives. The progressives were first in line to make sure that they received an adequate education to help reform and better the future of America.

The Progressives have made life tolerable to live. With rights given in the workforce to women, they had access to benefit the world in many more ways. They had their own room to push for progressive change, and they did not stop pushing. Every year it seems women and children alike progress in ways that would not be available to them without the progressive movement. Progressives have made it possible for me to be taking college courses, excelling in the workforce with rights, and being able to look forward to a bright and free future. The foundation the progressives have laid down for us was able to be built upon, a lot. As of now we still have a long ways to go. but we have turned the foundation given to us into a small town with still many big dreams. I believe that as humans we can keep on building that small town into the dreams we have for perfection, all thanks to the progressive movement.

Source: Keene, Jennifer D., et al. Visions of America: a History of the United States. Pearson, 2015.

9 thoughts on “Progressives Taking Action

  1. An overall good article. The Progressives have given more rights to women, and it’s pretty incredible just how far it’s gone. I do believe though that we have a long ways to go before we reach gender equality, as the wage gap is a real thing, and it really stinks that the problem can’t be fixed right now.

  2. Progressives definitely had a lot in mind right from the beginning. They took very large strides and accomplished one goal at a time. One goal that many people should still be thankful for today, is that of reduced working hours and safer working conditions. Often times people were working countless hours a day for small pay. This wasn’t just affecting some people, this was something that affected men, women, and children. They worked in factories, often under harsh and unsafe conditions. However, this is how it was in nearly every industry, so until the progressives stepped in there was not much else they could do. Today the working conditions have become far more favorable, and given workers a lot more benefits and options. A lot of this is due to the Progressive change.

    1. Progressives set somewhat of a standard for working conditions. Fortunately for the all the people working in this era they came along just in time. Being overworked in unsafe conditions just because you are a woman or a child was unjustified. Although there isn’t equality between men and women in the workforce today, the conditions are set to a standard and hours are regulated.

  3. I agree with and like when you said, “The Progressives have made life tolerable to live. With rights given in the workforce to women, they had access to benefit the world in many more ways.” I had similar ideas when going over the blog post and thought poverty and sanitation played a big role in this time era. What a time it would be with such disease and disregard for your well being involved in your every day lives.

  4. It seems the progressive era was instrumental in making changes for women and children. I cant imagine forcing children to work at such young ages, and in unsafe environments. Good thing for the changes for Women, as some women do not have a choice and have to work to help support their families.

    1. I agree, it really makes realize how good we actually have it these days. I can’t imagine having to watch my child go to work and worry about the unsafe working conditions. It was a sacrifice parents had to make in order to survive. Fortunately these progressives came along and made living a little easier for these people.

  5. The progressive era was needed for people to open their eyes on children working in the factories. Young children were forced to work to help provide for the family, due to the fact hours were long a pay was low. This era helped get the children out of working long hours in an unsafe factory and allowed them to go to school instead.

  6. I really like how you acknowledged that we have what we have because of the progressive era. I think of it more as a ‘kick start era’, because even today we are still changing and improving. But as far as we change, it seems there will always be issues with something.

  7. Thank goodness for the Progressive Era! Without this time in history, who knows what life would be like today. They were thinking in the right direction but it is scary how there were still a lot of people who thought child labor “abuse” was ok. And how some thought women getting “taken advantage” in the workplace wasn’t a problem. I feel like looking back at this era and today there are some similarities. Sometimes you wonder if people are just brainwashed or if they truly just don’t care if it doesn’t affect them! Good article, I enjoyed reading it.

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