Progressivism Essay

2091 Words 9 Pages

The age of progressivism was a time where the middle and lower classes joined together to attack the upper crust elites. During the populist movement there was more of a separation of classes; the farmers blamed just about everyone, especially the more cosmopolitan population, for their economic loss at the end of the nineteenth century. Towards the beginning of the twentieth century however, the rich kept getting richer and the poor got poorer. When the Industrial Revolution was at its peak, the railroad owners and developers saw a large increase in their revenue. The gap between the middle class and the upper class very quickly became much larger. Small town community leaders, who were role models for
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In the Age of Reform, Richard Hofstadter talks about the progressive era and how it set the stage for politics in the 1950s. He critiques the motives of the movement because not all of the intentions were good however since it was a movement by the mass population, he does like the movement for the aspect of the reform. “I believe it will be clear that what I am trying to establish is not that the Populist and Progressive movements were foolish and destructive but only that they had, like so many things in life, an ambiguous character” (18). Hofstadter appreciates the progressive era as a movement lead by the people but criticizes the motivation.

Politics of the era dealt with the everyday struggle of the middle and lower classes’ lives. Influences from different organizations in their life help develop their outlook on life.

At the so-called grass roots of American politics there is a wide and pervasive tendency to believe- I hasten to add that the majority of Americans do not habitually succumb to this tendency- that there is some great but essentially very simple struggle going on, at the heart of which there lies some single conspiratorial force, whether it be the force represented by the ‘gold bugs’, the Catholic Church, big business, corrupt politicians, the liquor interests and saloons, or the Communist Party, and that this evil is something checked, and

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