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.