The Progressive Era Was A Political Movement

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The Progressive Era was a political movement aimed towards eliminating the influence and corruption of corporations in politics, and making the California government more of a democracy. This took place at the beginning of the 20th century and started in the local government of big cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. At this time corporations held monopolies and these corporations, due to their size and power, were able to control much of the economic policy of the time. James Madison, a federalist and writer of Federalist #10, believed that humans were too ignorant and/or too selfish to govern themselves. The Progressives worked to shift the power with political reforms such as nonpartisanship, office block ballots, primary…show more content…
In fact, “Of more than 19,000 elected public officials in California, less than 300 are elected in partisan races.” From this one can conclude that, the Progressive Movement was a huge influence on California government and politics. Madison would have been against this because he believed that humans would choose a candidate that only helps themselves, instead of common wealth. Another reform made during the Progressive Era was primary elections. Primary elections are elections held to elect candidates to run for office. In a primary election a party nominee must receive more votes than the other nominees in that party. These types of elections are also used to select presidential candidates. Before primary elections political parties chose candidates during caucuses. Madison would have preferred caucuses because politicians are aware of what goes on where as citizens may not be as informed in politics. This reform gave voters more say in who they wanted in office and, again, gave less power to the political corporations who could drive a certain politician’s or party’s campaign and get who they wanted elected into office. The Progressives wanted more power in the hands of the people. The Progressives gave voters the power of direct democracy through initiatives, referendums and recalls. Initiatives are citizen made proposals and amendments that can be put on ballots during elections; they are the most frequently used out of the
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