Progressivism Historiography Essay

2107 WordsNov 27, 20139 Pages
Awesome Student Mrs. Aars CIS American History 15 March, 2013 My Take on the Progressives The common thought about progressivism before the 1950s were that it was a movement by the common people to curb the excessive power of powerful people such as urban bosses, corporate moguls, and corrupt officials. However, when George Mowry wrote his Progressivism: Middle Class Disillusionment, he challenged the common idea that the progressives were middle class citizens and instead considered them to be a privileged elite group of businessmen and professionals. Mowry believed that this group was trying to recover their fading influence from the capitalist institutions that has been replacing them. When Gabriel Kolko published his Triumph of…show more content…
This was a big obstacle for the Progressives as they were losing power while the capitalists were making good money. A Midwestern editor stated “trade unions in the end would either break down or be part of an “oppressive partnership” with the stronger industrial trusts; in the end it would be the middle-class who would take on the burden of industrial evolution” (qtd. in Mowry262). The labor unions and trusts showed the two dangerous classes in society, the very rich and the very poor. From greed to poverty and criminal activity the Progressives wanted to remove class consciousness and wanted altruism to prevail. Since the Progressives were not organized economically the used politics to achieve their goals of preserving themselves and reshaping society in their image. They wanted to have a classless future where individual dynamism and individual leadership were emphasized. Mowry saw the Progressives as a privileged and elite middle class that wanted to recover their influence back from the capitalists and to shape society to be like them. They liked the West because of it was rural and men were more individualistic than in the city where things were more collective. They saw that the gap between rich and poor was a big problem so they wanted to make society classless. Mowry got most of his evidence through credible sources such as government officials like James Bryce
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