Progressive Era

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The progressive era can be tied to many legal, economic, and social changes in the United States. It began as a social change campaign and quickly transitioned into an economic and political movement. After reconstruction it seemed that the North and South were united in interests of patriotism, white supremacy, and business opportunity that brought about many changes. Meanwhile, the west was increasing in population, development and cultural diversity. Much of this change was sparked by the industrialization that was introduced into American culture in the late 1800s. The legal, social, and economic changes in the Northern, Southern, and Western regions were inspired by the Industrial Revolution.
The “New America” that was developing at the
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In the “New America” that was developing, there was economic prosperity for the wealthy elite. The largest contributor to the national economic boom was the transcontinental railroad. The railroads started in the North, where the upper class was doing business in a Laisse-Faire Capitalism type manner. There were new markets for businesses to explore in free markets with limited competition. This led to the formation of corporations, monopolies, and trusts. The railroads would then transport goods out to other regions of the country. The other regions in the south and west would send the raw materials they were producing back on these same railroads creating a national trading network. The south was producing cotton in cotton mills at higher rates than ever because of the new technology industrialization provided. In addition, sharecropping and convict leasing made for extremely cheap labor. The west was included in this national network with cowboys working for the meatpacking industry among other things. The technological innovations, like the railroads, and farming and factory innovations that industrialization brought, changed the way Americans did business and made money …show more content…
In the North, there was a drastic population increase and urbanization of major cities. Most of these big cities were growing so fast because of plentiful jobs. In addition, it was easier to reach areas because of the railroads. There was a huge increase of immigrants into these northern cities. Unfortunately, this working-lower class was subject to disease and dangerous working and living conditions so while economics prospered, disease and sickness also increased. In the south, there was social controversy because African American former slaves were segregated. The white southerners were constantly trying to suppress their former slaves newly given rights. However, the slaves did have rights and because of this they were becoming more educated through programs like the Freedman’s Bureau and public school systems.They were also forming their own social organizations like black churches and the Universal Negro Improvement Association. Although they were official citizens they were still heavily and violently discriminated against which continued for a long time through lynching. Meanwhile, in the west there was a push for social and cultural assimilation of the American Indians. This led to the Indian Wars. The “wild west” image and the idea of being an independent cowboy was hugely appealing to Americans. Overall, as the railroads

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