The Progressive Era and its limitations In this essay I am going tofirst show the sources of progressivism. Then I will analyze and describe various reforms. Following I will get into the limitations of these reforms for certain groups of people.
I want to show that even though the progressive era had been full of significant reforms with good intentions, it had its limitations as far as poor people, minorities and immigrants were concerned. I believe that this progressive era did bringmany great and beneficial reforms but it did not always help the poorest and the minorities. The study of the emergence of modern America begins with the Progressive era which included the nations most vibrant set of reform ideas and campaigns since the 1830s-40s.
Various aspects triggered the Progressive Reform Era.Industrialization, with all its increase in productivity and the number of consumer goods, was one of these aspects.It created unemployment and labor unrest, wasteful use of national resources and abuses of corporate power.The growing cities magnified problems of poverty, disease, crime and corruption.Influx of immigrants and rise of new managerial class upset traditional class alignments.
On top of all of these problems, the Massive depression of 1893-1897 convinced many that equal opportunity was out of reach for many Americans. The Progressives arose from all of these problematic issues.These Progressive reformers were composed of several different groups:new middle class composed of young professionals, Muckraking journalists, political reformers and socialists.The young professionals sought to apply principles of professions ( medicine, law, business, teaching) to problems of society.
They had a strong faith in progress and the ability of educated people to overcome problems.The journalists attacked corruption and scandal with a sense of outrage:Lincoln Steffens exposed city machines in "The Shame of …