Essay about Progressivism

1920 Words8 Pages
Progressivism implies a philosophy which welcomes innovations and reforms in the political, economic, and social order. The Progressive movement, 1901 to 1917, was ultimately the triumph of conservatism rather than a victory for liberalism. In a general sense, the conservative goals of this period justified the Liberal reforms enacted by Progressive leaders. Deviating from the “traditional” definition of conservatism (a resistance to change and a disposition of hostility to innovations in the political, social, and economic order), the Conservatist triumph was in the sense that there was an effort to maintain basic social and economic relations vital to a capitalist society. The Progressive leaders essentially wanted to perpetuate…show more content…
In 1902, the United Mine Workers were willing to submit to arbitration, but the coal operators adamantly opposed any recognition of the union. Thus, the union members decided to strike over wages, safety conditions, and union recognition. The Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902 ended with the appointment by Roosevelt of an arbitration commission to rule on the issues. Business men did not regard politics (government regulation) as a necessary evil, but as an important part of their position in society. Roosevelt did not see big business as evil, but a permanent development that was necessary in a modern economy. Roosevelt couldn’t rely on the courts to distinguish between “good” or “bad” trusts. The only solution was for the executive to assume that responsibility. Roosevelt’s ingenious “square dealings” and “gentlemen’s agreements” controlled many firms. In 1903, a new cabinet position was created to address the concerns of business and labor (Department of Commerce and Labor). Within the department, the Bureau of Corporations was empowered to investigate and report on illegal activities of corporations. The abuse of economic power by railroads proposed another problem for Roosevelt. However, in 1903, the Elkins Act empowered the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission, first American federal regulatory agency) to act against
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