The Progressive Era

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Progressives were groups of people that worked to reform social and political problems in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were primarily well-educated middle-class people who lived in cities. As mentioned in A People’s History of the United States, progressives were fighting off the socialism “intelligently and seek to remedy the abuses and conditions upon which it thrives” (Zinn 207). During progressive era, there was a huge economic gap between rich and poor (Class Notes). Few wealthy people had enormous power in their hand. Progressives believed that the wealthy shouldn’t have much power over the general public. Though several laws were passed during this era, progressives didn’t succeed in achieving what they wanted i.e. to “stabilize the capitalist system by repairing its worst defects, blunt the edge of the Socialist movement, restore some measure of class peace in a time of increasingly bitter clashes between capital and labor” (Zinn 207).
During progressive era, progressives actually “offered an impressive array of reform proposals” because at that time the country really needed some great changes in the society. Further development was not possible without introducing some policies and reforms. It was the only way forward. During that period, rich people were building their empires by forcing poor people to work more than 12 hours a day without a break. These poor people had extremely low wages. Even after working so many hours, they were struggling to

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