Difference Between Populists And Progressives

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To understand the emergence of the Populists and Progressives, it must be understood why these groups came to be. Increasing industrialization, urbanization and immigration were factors reshaping American society following reconstruction. The emergence of both Populists and Progressives was a response to a growing industrial economy that resulted in disparities between rich and poor, increasing social and political conflict. The solutions of the Populists and Progressives were varied however established from the same central ideas. Despite the differences between each group, both contributed to a change in state and society and the fundamental role of government in lives of the people. Both were essential to the changing meaning of freedom …show more content…
The turn of the century marked the height of the problems that arose from the ills of industrialization, urbanization and immigration. Inequality continued to become more apparent along class lines and economic insecurity was an inescapable part of life. Following the Gilded Age principles focusing on individual freedom, the role of the state was minimal and government interference had been met with disapproval. The result was an America of insufficiencies, ills and injustices. Most often, the ‘maximization of individual rights came at the expense of group interests’. Progressives were concerned with the issues not only affecting the individual, but the communities to which those individuals belonged. Most American cities of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were characterized by poor conditions, overcrowding, slums and lack of sanitation. An continuous influx of immigrants resulted in the emergence of ethnic neighbourhoods which were often unhealthy and disease ridden due to the crowded tenements in which many lived. Lack of regulation had resulted in unsafe workplaces and a general lack of safety in the urban environment. As the city became more overrun with social ills, Progressives saw reform as the only way to improve

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