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The Main Reason for the Growth of the Progressive Movement in the Years 1890-1912 Was Because of the Need to Regulate Big Business

Autor:   •  October 4, 2018  •  979 Words (4 Pages)  •  224 Views

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There was a country wide recession in 1893 which led to high unemployment in industrial cities such as New York and San Francisco. In these cities many Americans lived in desperate poverty and struggled to get by on a daily basis. With these conditions there became disease, Famine and death. These just helped the reasons for the growth of Progressivism. The Press also played a major role in exposing the evils in American society as they wrote ‘exposée’ articles pointing out and condemning many problems with as big businessmen and the state of the conditions in many American Cities. Finally some Americans were concerned about the growth of socialism and radicalism, especially in Europe, and felt that unless there was reform, there could be revolution. This fear continued and grew throughout the USA for the next 60 years eventually leading to the Cold War. But this fear really began with the Russian revolutions in 1917 where Socialists overthrew the Orthodox Russian Monarchy, Tzarism. The revolution was supported by some countries, such as China and Korea in Asia but was condemned by the majority of countries such as Britain, France and the USA who all fought together with Tzarist Russia in the First World War.

Overall, I personally agree with this as the evidence for is much greater and more reliable than the evidence against. An example of this is the fact that big businessmen looked down on regular people and only saw the president as equal. No businessmen should have the same amount of power as ‘the most powerful man in the world’.

In conclusion, the main reason for the growth of the progressive movement was because of the need to regulate and reform of big business. These included a series of anti-trust measures, particularly the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 and further reforms by Theodore Roosevelt which brought much greater regulation of their activities. However, the Progressive Movement did also encourage political reform, especially the increased role of the federal government. But although Theodore Roosevelt was more active in social and economic policies during his presidency, this was short-lived with his successor, Taft, being more circumspect about extending the powers of the presidency. Therefore, it can be argued that the regulation of big business was the main reasons of the growth of the Progressive Movement. Both Roosevelt and Taft introduced a series of measures which ensured that there was much greater federal control and regulation of the activities of the big trusts and corporations.


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