The University of Oklahoma History Progressivism Paper
In what ways can Progressivism be seen as a response to the extremes of the Gilded Age? How did Progressive Era Americans seek to reform and regulate U.S. society, government, and economics? Be sure to address at least one document in your answer.
The American Gilded Age was a period when Americans experienced inequality, poverty, and individualism due to the rapid increase in immigrants leading to poor distribution of wealth (Foner 28). Therefore, the progressive era showed a reduction in extremes experienced during the Gilded era. For instance, both immigrant and native women had the freedom to work in cafeterias, house services, and communal nurseries (Foner 83). The progressive era had industrial freedom and industrial democracy that improved the workers’ living standards and working conditions (Foner 84). The progressive era gave workers the freedom of speech, allowing them to address their issues and look for support through meetings and street corner gatherings (Foner 87).During the progressive era, workers formed the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), which helped mobilize people to fight for freedom of speech (Foner 87). Feminist Americans, such as Margaret Sanger, helped women realize their economic opportunities and understand their freedom of expression (Foner 92). Women were able to understand their sexual expression and reproductive choices, which was vital for female emancipation (Foner 92). The progressive era’s political discussions mainly focused on industrial freedom and industrial democracy for workers, which improved living standards and the working conditions of the workers (Foner 84). Feminists such as Gilman fought for all women’s freedom, allowing them to work in cafeterias, communal nurseries, and house cleaning services like laundry (Foner 81).