THE ORIGINS OF PROGRESSIVISM
Four Goals of Progressivism
• Protecting Social Welfare- Many social welfare reformers sought to relieve urban problems. They opened libraries created settlement houses and eased the effects of industrialization.
• Promoting Moral Reform- felt that morality held the key to improving the lives of poor people. Did this through prohibition, and a host of other uplifting programs.
• Creating Economic Reform- sought to reform the laissez-faire capitalist system that favored big business. Reformers who wrote about the corruption in business were called muckrakers.
• Fostering Efficiency- tried to increase the efficiency of American society. The concept of scientific management ( the effort to improve efficiency in the work place by applying scientific principles to make tasks simpler and easier) helped make workers more productive and increase production overall
Major reforms promoted by the progressives
• Lobbied for political reforms that would protect consumers against dishonest business; lobbied for regulations protecting workers.
• The movement to end child labor was one of the most important efforts. Reformers succeeded in banning child labor and setting maximum work hours in every state.
• Progressives also succeeded in winning workers compensation to aid the families of workers who were hurt or killed on the job. Required employers in dangerous occupations to pay benefits to employees.
• The seventeenth amendment allowed direct election of senators by citizens. This took the power out of corrupt politicians’ hands and into the hands of the people.
• The spirit of reform also brought renewed attention to the issue of woman suffrage.
Role of Women in the Progressive Movements
• Farmwomen- women and children remained a critical part of the work force. Women did everything from sew and cook to plow and harvest.
• Domestic Workers- many women without skills...