The Progressive Movement



Print page

The Progressive Movement happened around 1890-1920, it was an effort to cure many of the ills of American society. Great American cities and businesses developed as an overseas industrial empire was established. This brought big profit to owners at the cost of unfair conditions and low wages for the workers.President Theodore Roosevelt was involved with the Square Deal which formed upon three basic ideas during this time:

  • conservation of natural resources,
  • control of corporations,
  • consumer protection.
U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (left) and n...
U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (left) and nature preservationist John Muir, founder of the , on Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. In the background: Upper and lower Yosemite Falls. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Progressive Movement wanted to solve the problem of horrible working conditions.  Writers and journalists known as “muckrakers” exposed the bad conditions.  Workers had long hours, low wages, no job security, no benefits and women could not even vote. these same workers were not protected by safety laws for the products they worked so hard to earn.  some packaged meat and food was not even safe to eat.

In my opinion no one should go through long hours of work with no protection and risking their life to earn minimum wage. Women also had a hard time working during the Progressive Movement because they were expected to raise their families without the support of day care and preschools.   Women working in factories often had to go through terrible working conditions and low wages with their children.

During the Progressive Movement, working-class women, alone and with middle-class women, fought to raise wages and improve working conditions.

The Progressive Movement helped women get the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment and it also brought about laws that did not work for Americans such as the Prohibition of the buying and selling of alcohol in the 18th Amendment. Overall we have benefited from this movement of American social progress.