Spanning from 1890 to 1920, the Progressive Era is notable period of transformation for the United States. Throughout this duration, not only is it expanding its role on the world stage, it is going through a transition into a modernist society, a society of consumerism and mass production; a bottom-line business based society symbolized by assembly lines and the use of “scientific management,” and represented by the shift from rural to city life. With such rapid development in a relatively short period, progressively minded individuals sought to “alleviate the dysfunction, or the corruption, or the economic injustice, or the human suffering that had accompanied America’s explosion of industrial growth, urbanization, and new ways of
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Great prospects could be had and large fortunes accumulated by speculators and big business’s. There was a considerable fear of the impending doom if monopolies and big trusts overtook the west and its untapped wealth that was so ripe for the picking. The progressives saw an opportunity for reform and protection of the middle class population. The federal government’s control of the situation grew and with Theodor Roosevelt as president, it took even greater interest in the development of the western frontier and defending the common man.
President Roosevelt, an avid outdoorsman had a keen interest in the conservation of iconic natural landmarks. Fittingly, on his first trip to Arizona he presented a speech with the Grand Canyon as the backdrop and the focal point of a more ambitious progressive message. Roosevelt impressed upon the people to “leave it as it is” for that they could not “improve upon it” in an effort to persuade them not to succumb to the promising allure of speculators’ money and to prevent the development of scaring fixtures such as hotels and railroads from being built along the canyon. As he understood it, it was vitally important to America’s and Arizona’s future alike not to monetize all of their resources for short run profits and to “preserve them for that use, but use them so that they will not be squandered, that they will not be wasted, so that they will be of benefit to the Arizona of 1953 as well as