Summary: The Progressive Expansion Of The Police

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To Protect and Serve: The Progressive Expansion of the Police During the depression at the end of the 19th century, the Bradley-Martins, New York socialites who were determined to organize their most extravagant party to date, spent large sums of money to host a costume ball. This ball was highly criticized throughout the country due to the public’s antagonism towards the wealthy and prevailing public opinion that the elites were living wasteful lives. While the Bradley-Martins argued that they were throwing the party to stimulate the economy, it did not stop the Bradley-Martins from receiving police protection. Theodore Roosevelt was ordered to watch for people “likely to prove dangerous from an anarchistic viewpoint” (McGerr 5). This standoff was the quintessential example of society’s conflicts as the previous Victorian values of our society were replaced with modern values. The police institutions of America expanded in response to the demands of the rapidly modernizing society of the Progressive Era. The police expanded to maintain order in a society …show more content…
People were fascinated with psychology and looked for explanations behind human behavior. One popular argument spawned by psychology was that heredity was not absolute regarding human behavior, and the environment influenced human behavior (McGerr 79). Coincidentally, Progressives were looking to reform the morals of society, and some progressives such as Robert M. La Follete wholeheartedly accepted this argument (McGerr 80). In their crusade against human immorality, Progressives used these ideas in attempts to regulate human behavior. Police and other interest groups such as the Anti-Saloon League became interested in regulating the environment in an attempt to reduce the crime rate, and the police further increased their jurisdiction. They believed it was possible to reduce crime through elimination of alcohol, gambling, and other

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