The Progressive Movement was an effort to cure many of the ills of American society that had developed during the great spurt of industrial growth in the last quarter of the 19th century. The frontier had been tamed, great cities and businesses developed, and an overseas empire established, but not all citizens shared in the new wealth, prestige, and optimism. Efforts to improve society were not new to the United States in the late 1800s. A major push for change, the First Reform Era, occurred in the years before the Civil War and included efforts of social activists to reform working conditions, and humanize the treatment of mentally ill people and prisoners. A. Industrialization, with all its increase in productivity and the number of consumer goods, created 1) Unemployment and labor unrest 2) Wasteful use of natural resources 3) Abuses of corporate power B. Growing cities magnified problems of poverty, disease, crime, and corruption C. Influx of immigrants and rise of new managerial class upset traditional class alignments D. Massive depression (1893-1897) convinced many that equal opportunity was out of reach for many Americans. A. New middle class composed of young professionals 1. Sought to apply principles of professions (medicine, law, business, teaching) to problems of society 2. Strong faith in progress and the ability of educated people to overcome problems 3. Rise in volunteer organizations organized to address issues (American Bar Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course HIST 121 taught by Professor - during the Spring '10 term at Diablo Valley College.