Sample History Essay Paper on Progressive Movement

Progressive Movement

Michael Johnson wrote, “Progressive sought to reunite Americans” and find “some middle ground between conflicting groups” (Johnson, 102). The study accentuates that the Progressives were in fact not willing to unite the Americans and find a middle ground for the conflicting groups. The study argues that though the progressive sought to erase evil in the society, it established worse social vices that profoundly affected the stability of United States. The progressive was an effort formed by the majority elite with the hope of sustaining the achievements of the American industrial revolution and spread its benefits widely. It began as a social movement before developing into a political faction.

The progressive rejected the Social Darwinism, as they believed that the problems prevalent in the society could be solved perfectly through good education, safe environment, and effective work positions. The government, the progressives as Jane Addams perceived was a tool for change and hence they concentrated on exposing evils of organizational greed and encouraged the citizens to think over the meaning of democracy (Johnson, 106). Instead of focusing on the goodness of the developments and allow the Americans enjoy the quietness and peace they long desired, the progressives encouraged them to register for votes, fight political corruption and allow their public voting decide on issues such as referendum. Up to 1900, the nation adopted urban industry, which offered protective tariff to nurture manufacturers, subsidized expansion of the railroads and telegraph developments. These activities resulted to the availability of the natural riches within the continent as the strong dollar commitment through the gold standard ensured satisfaction and stability among the financiers. By the end of the century, the nation was a premier-manufacturing nation globally and the richest nation per capita wealth. This prosperity, though unevenly spread failed to satisfy all the factions in the population. The progressives used this weakness to tamper with the national development and stability. They led farmers to object the tariffs, resulted to higher premiums on manufacturing products, harder life to the debtors and higher rates paid by the rural shippers. Laborers were encouraged to revolt against the tariffs, and preferred the income tax instead, which resulted to harder life (Johnson, 112).

Progressives received a upper hand when president Theodore Roosevelt assumed presidency as he asserted that, “corporate behavior must be watched to ensure that corporate greed did not get out of hand” (Johnson, 127). Roosevelt was a progressive activism who spread his policies to foreign policy and executive power. He operated as a buttress within the newly formed position in the world leadership forum. He was convinced of the aptitude of the congress in foreign affairs, and depended on the executive authority to influence vigorous foreign policies, which at times stretched the authority of the presidency beyond the legal limits. The Panama dealings further proved his position as he keenly guided the Monroe’s doctrines. In the dealings, Columbia refused to sell the land to the United States, an act that resulted to New York Investors prompting the Panamas to stage a successful uprising. Regardless of the relationship between the United States and Latin America, Roosevelt enacted the Monroe Doctrine, which affirmed that the US would not intervene in its Affairs as long as the nation refused to operate in their desired decency. This further prompted the US police officers in the western hemisphere to serve a notice to the European powers to keep off Latin American’s affairs. Progressives demand resulted to the commencement of World War 1 as they exposed the cruelty of the people. This is further emphasized by the progressive language of war of President Woodrow Wilson who commonly asserted that, “the war to make the world safe for democracy” (Johnson, 138).

Work Cited

Johnson, P. Michael. ed., Reading the American Past. (5th Ed). Vol. 2. Boston: Boston

University. 2012. Print.