For of all corrupt things surely our politics is the corruptest: Reform in the Progressive Era

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Aware of the problems of a modern industrial, urbanized society, Progressivism shared some of the same sentiments as earlier reform movements, but differed in key ways. Progressivism was arguably the most successful reform movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Despite its designation as a movement, Progressivism itself had diverse approaches and goals. In this discussion, you will discuss Progressivism’s origins, its ideology, and the impact of Progressive policies on American society.

In preparation for the assignment, read: “The Progressive Era” in The American Yawp; and view The Progressive Era.

The purpose of this week’s discussion is to understand reformers in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and to put them in context of the Progressive movement. You will read Henry George’s “The Paradox of Capitalist Growth” (1879) and then select one of the primary source documents listed below:

Using the primary and secondary source materials above as evidence, consider the following in a post of at least 300 words:

  • How does the document you chose compare to the document by Henry George? Do you think the authors have a similar outlook?
  • What elements of American society did the person you chose especially wish to reform, and why?
  • Was your chosen reformer’s agenda able to gain political traction and result in legislation? How and why (or why not)?
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