Ironies of the Progressive Era

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The growth of the US was characterized by industrialization, immigration, and urban expansion, which led to the development of great businesses and cities. The Progressivism movement was born out of concern for citizens’ future and quality of life, which led to constitutional reforms such as the 16th, 17th, and 18th amendments. While the Progressivism movement brought some successes, such as improving citizens’ quality of life and increasing democracy, there were inconsistencies in the movement, such as some workers still working in poor conditions and some people becoming overly wealthy. Nowadays, the US still follows some of the rules set by the Progressivism movement, such as filing income tax forms and banning drinking on the beach. The movement helped the majority of the people and transformed American society and politics, but it may have also helped some more than others.

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The United States experienced growth through Industrialization, Immigration, and Urban expansion, leading to the development of notable businesses and cities. This period also brought concerns about Americans’ future and life path. Progressivism emerged as a movement that aimed to enhance citizens’ quality of life and promote democracy. The government implemented constitutional reforms, such as the introduction of an income tax via the 16th amendment.

Instead of being selected by state legislatures, the public was granted the authority to elect senators via the 17th amendment. Furthermore, the production and sale of alcoholic beverages were made illegal by the 18th amendment. These steps were meticulously planned and readied for execution. Nonetheless, despite numerous successes, not all progressive endeavors accomplished their intended results. Unfortunately, numerous laborers suffered from difficult working conditions and earned meager wages during this era, whereas a privileged few amassed vast fortunes.

The goal of Progressivism was to enhance the well-being of individuals, albeit with a bias towards certain individuals. It is important to note that some of these principles are still upheld today. Each year, we all fill out and submit our income tax forms. Drinking on the beach is forbidden and smoking is only allowed in designated areas, as dictated by regulations originating from the 18th amendment. Moreover, taxation acts as a mechanism through which the government manages our country’s economy.

The progressive era had a contradictory nature. Despite bringing advantages to certain individuals, others continued to struggle with issues like inadequate pay and prejudice. The goal of progressivism was to enhance people’s lives and achieve fairness, although its impact varied among different people. Nevertheless, it significantly altered society and American politics, ultimately benefiting the majority.

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Ironies of the Progressive Era. (2016, Dec 21). Retrieved from

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