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Populist and Progressive reformers of the 19th century | Get Homework Help

The creation of populist and progressive movements transpired immediately after the civil warfare. The period was marked by the establishment of worker unions in the United States. The origin of the populist movement may be traced back to the 1800s, whilst the progressive movement was incepted in the 1990s. Despite the existence being traced to diverse periods, the comparisons surpass the disparities. The populist movement was rather authoritative as it incepted its political party. The critical objective entailed advocating for farmers’ interests and fostering political legislation for agrarians in the United States. The progressive movement was characterized by prevalent political and social activism, meant to alleviate suburbanization, migration, political fraud, and industrialization challenges. The essay seeks to assess the populist and progressive reformers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. It will consider the morals and civics of the agitators.

Ethics and Civics

The progressive and populist movement comprised of a varied and vast group of reformers. The populist movement, consisting of farmers and underprivileged white individuals defending the agriculturalists’ rights, advocated against unprincipled undertakings that beleaguered the farmers.[1]They were in opposition to the corrupt undertakings consisting of governing class powers over telecommunication, railways, and telephones. They similarly advocated for the legislation of policies to develop a vibrant middle class. The populist movement developed a political outfit identified as the People’s Party to suppress the Democratic Party’s dominance in the South and West. The party mandate involved advocating for the rights of farmers.

Progressive reforms were initiated by legislators drawn from the Democrat and Republican sides. Legislators from the Democrat’s side comprised of William Jennings and Woodrow Wilson, while Republican legislators consisted of Theodore Roosevelt, Evans Hughes, and Robert la Follette. Progressive members comprised the educated middle-class, whose key objective involved initiating changes within the judicial system and legislature.[2]. The alterations within the judiciary were to eradicate bribery within the government and conducting business. Moreover, they advocated for women’s voting rights, an improved working environment, better education, and reduced authority enjoyed by Robber barons. The progressive movement believed they were vital in changing America’s history.  The movement was in opposition to the country’s elite developing critical economic pronouncements that would enrich the privileged and living behind the middle class and the underprivileged.

Political corruption was a significant apprehension that activists had resolved to finish through the civil- service reorganizations at the local, state, and national level, with the expert technocrats interchanging the political class. The civil service reform act of 1883 relocated most government employees on a good and fair system and ended the system labeled as the ‘spoils system.’  The law likewise enabled the professionalization and streamlining of the administration. The progressive movement developed antitrust regulations and instituted governing rules for railroads, health, and meat corporations. The movement endured through the 1920s, and the movement’s peak years were between 1900 and 1918.  The movement was liable for four constitutional amendments- the sixteenth to the nineteenth. This statute’s result was the direct voting of representatives, government revenue taxation, and women’s suffrage.

The progressive period was not faultless as it bore its limitations. Despite making the government accountable, reducing the elite’s power, the main let-down attributed to the progressive movement involved the seclusion of marginalized groups, for instance, the black American community.[3]The period emerged concurrently with the Jim Crow age, characterized by racism and the Hispanic community’s discrimination. Legalizing the regulation to provide discrete services to the black community was enacted during the Plessey vs. Ferguson lawsuit at the Supreme Court in 1886.

Conclusion

The populist and progressive movements were liable for shaping American history. The groups advocated for farmer’s rights and the educated individuals residing in urban centers and were against any corrupt activities that the administration engaged in. The movement’s civic and ethics elements were to guarantee that women’s privileges to elect were not infringed and that each person is entitled to an equal field regarding business transactions.

 

 

 

Bibliography

Aslanidis, Paris. “Populism and social movements.” The Oxford handbook of populism (2017): 305-325.

Miller, Stephen Paul. “Enter Populists. Enter Progressives. Enter Social Workers. Enter Frances Perkins.” In The New Deal as a Triumph of Social Work: Frances Perkins and the Confluence of Early Twentieth-Century Social Work with Mid-Twentieth Century Politics and Government, pp. 38-49. Palgrave Pivot, New York, 2016.

[1] Aslanidis, Paris. “Populism and social movements.” The Oxford handbook of populism (2017): 305-325.

[2] Miller, Stephen Paul. “Enter Populists. Enter Progressives. Enter Social Workers. Enter Frances Perkins.” In The New Deal as a Triumph of Social Work: Frances Perkins and the Confluence of Early Twentieth-Century Social Work with Mid-Twentieth Century Politics and Government, pp. 38-49. Palgrave Pivot, New York, 2016.

 

[3] Miller, Stephen Paul. “Enter Populists. Enter Progressives. Enter Social Workers. Enter Frances Perkins.” In The New Deal as a Triumph of Social Work: Frances Perkins and the Confluence of Early Twentieth-Century Social Work with Mid-Twentieth Century Politics and Government, pp. 38-49. Palgrave Pivot, New York, 2016.

 

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