Goals of the Progressive Era Essay

Good Essays

The term Progressivism implies a philosophy that promotes change/reform in the current political, economic, and social aspects of society while conservatism stresses gradual change in society but promotes tradition rather than change. The Progressive movement from 1901 to 1917 worked to improve aspects of society that grew out of problems which occurred during the Industrial Age. The goals of the "Progressives" were to stop monopolies, corruption, inefficiency and social injustices. Both progressive acts and amendments were being passed to deal with social ills, corruption in politics and corporate America. The period from 1901-1917 was more a victory for liberalism, mainly "modern liberalism", than a triumph of conservatism due to the …show more content…

Through busting the bad trusts Theodore attempted to stop monopolies from forming. This is an example of government intervention to remedy the effects of capitalism and a liberal practice. He also started the progressive or the "Bull Moose" party. Clearly, these reform movements as well as the busting of trusts move away from the traditional aspect of politics and promotes autonomy of the individual as well as strong government to remedy the defects of capitalism, both liberal ideals.
Furthermore, economics also played a key role in describing whether liberalism or conservatism triumphed in this era. President William Howard Taft encouraged a policy known as "Dollar Diplomacy" where the United States invested in foreign countries in order to gain power. This dollar diplomacy would make money for as well strengthen the US. Later Taft went on to become more of a trust buster than Roosevelt. His most noteworthy bust was the Standard Oil Company, one of the largest trusts of the time, which was ordered to be broken into smaller companies in 1911. He then went on to attack another one of the largest trusts, The US Steel company which Roosevelt had allowed to survive since he deemed it as a good trust. Roosevelt became furious as Taft when he heard of this. Taft then passed the Payne-Aldrich bill which he unwisely named "the best bill that the Republican Party ever passed" which split the Republican Party into old school/more

Get Access