The Progressive Era Essay

Wilson began to implement that promised change and within a year and a half in office he had produced one of the most coherent and far-reaching legislative programs ever devised by a president.His New Freedom program supported tariff reform, increased competition, and vigorous antitrust enforcement.

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They were not radicals in search of revolutionary change but rather well educated and informed men and women who wanted orderly, well-reasoned change.

Government was not unaffected by the progressives and one area of government, namely the executive branch, acquired significantly more power during this period.

The progressives were willing to intervene on people's behalf; they wanted to improve society, though they agreed about something’s, Roosevelt and Wilson were total opposites in personality.

Both presidents were able to connect with certain parts of the Progressive movement and used their connection as lead way or attention grabbers that would later attract voters.

Despite measured successes during 19 in labor, child labor, banking, business, and farming reforms, Wilson’s New Freedom was a disappointment to women and African Americans.

Partially motivated by the upcoming election, in 1916 Wilson began pushing for a multitude of reforms.Nevertheless, as America neared military intervention in the war in Europe, the reform experiment ended.Though the progressives were extremely successful in some respects regulatory commissions, child labor laws, direct primaries, and city improvements there were many social problems they did not solve. Middle class reformers created a new style of political participation in the first decade of the new century.Wilson’s New Freedom program linked liberal reform to individual initiative and the free play of markets.Wilson was able to inspire Americans with his ideas, his graceful oratory, and his passionate belief in his causes.Many felt the progressives had a main objective, and that objective was to show their concern about the outcome of urbanization, industrialization, and immigration.Progressives wanted to humanize and regulate big business.Included were the Federal Farm Loan Act, the Adamson Act, the Keating-Owen child labor law, and support for women’s suffrage.After 1916, Wilson accepted much of Roosevelt’s New Nationalism, supporting greater federal power and regulation.Despite his lack of political experience, Wilson seized the progressive initiative and pushed landmark legislation through Congress.Days after his inauguration, Wilson called Congress into special session and successfully pushed through the Underwood Tariff substantially reducing rates and levying a modest income tax to make up for the lower tariff.


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