The paper aims at investigating a number of ways through which reforms influenced the culture, economy, policy, and history of the American people in the early 20th century. Using evidence gathered and events that occurred during those days, one will be brought to a clear understanding how important the progressive movements were in developing America. Happening at a time when Americans wanted to have their own unique identity, this became very critical in the history of the country.
During the period of 1880 -1920s, Americans had a huge stirring in every aspect of their society. These sectors included the labor, political, urbanization, industrial and many other spheres. There came rapid changes that influenced the way how Americans viewed one another. Based on the happening of the time, if I were to choose the type of progressive movement, I would have chosen the political progressive movement. Why the political and not any other? This stemmed from the fact that without a proper political will to govern people, success could not be achieved in their lives.
Mainly these groups consisted of middle-class men and women who joined to improve the living standard of people and acknowledge the importance of labor in the society. The reason number one as to why I would feel motivated to follow this path could be the power it gave people to choose the leaders of their choice. It became a good thing that for the first time the women folk could be allowed to practice their right to vote. At a time when corruption was rampant in the political arena, the power given to people to decide their leaders became a formidable weapon.
If I were present during those times, my place of operation would have been in the place of the few minorities who were responsible for deciding the future of Americans. Using my power to vote, I would ensure I choose leaders who were full of conviction and visionary to help the country. Through my vote, I would ensure that I root out leaders who were only concerned in looking after their selfish interests.
A progressive movement that I would have shunned would have been caring for the customers. These people led the country in losing millions of dollars in export market due to the tainted meat they were selling into Europe markets. Due to their carelessness, America was almost being blocked from selling meat products in Europe. Had it not been Roosevelt involvement in the meatpacking and his fast move to save the problem, American meat exports would have continued to perform poorly in the market.
Such a movement would certainly not have suited me because I firmly believe that people ought to earn their money in a worthy manner. Based on the problems that had place at the time, these people were exporting tainted meat expecting that customers would buy from them. Unfortunately, this made the European market block out the meat packers. Due to this bad publicity, the labor force and the economic standing of the American people were affected. Furthermore, the industrial sector was at its early stages and a lot was needed to be done to see it flourish.
On the other hand, the ideal movement which I would choose if I belonged to that period, would be the TRs square deals. This came at a time when the labor people were greatly exploited. Especially people who worked as miners faced a lot of hardship but, with Roosevelt’s aid, a common ground was arrived at. This happened shortly after the workers had laid down their tools and boycotted working in the mines unless their demands were met. These demands included the increase of up to 20% in salary and 9 hours of working. Through Roosevelt intervention, miners got 10% increase and a 9-hour working day.
If I lived in those times, as a miner I would have face exploitation and getting little wages. For a leader like Roosevelt, I would find myself in a hot seat when helping the miners and the mine owners find a lasting solution to their problems. Other movements that are not likely to find favor with me could include the progressive women who found a reason to pick bones with every person in the society. With their new found activities including a chance to vote, all women became engrossed in defending their rights. It was not a bad thing but their increased involvement made alcohol face restriction and abolishment in given states. They also led to the formation of laws that only protected the female worker rather than everyone in the society.
The other movement which would have stroke little interest in me is the Rough Rider thunder out. This took place at the departing of William Howard who was later succeeded by William Jennings Bryan. Unlike Roosevelt, who was branded all sorts of name by his foes, William Howard was seen as a mild progress maker. However, Roosevelt remains the most prominent leader of their time; the role he played in the development of history still makes him a great leader. Roosevelt is also remembered as a radical protector of capitalism over socialism. Though he at one time helped the miners and the mine owners resolve their problems, he used improper tactics to scare owner and workers to come to an agreement. This agreement provides that every miner has been given a 10% increase in salary and the number of working hours was reduced.
Lastly, other movements helped in defining Americans and improving the future of this great nation. Though caring for the customer, the industrial sector faced many challenges which improved the quality of products they sold. Various acts were formed by the Senate i.e., the Meat Inspection Act was able to improve meat quality further preventing blockages such as was seen in Europe. The progressive women was able to give the women folk in the society, a new found voice ,and privileges they did not used to enjoy before. For the first time women took part in the voting exercises which made them decide their leaders just like their male friends. The other is the political movement. In learning new ways of conducting politics, they were able to empower and enlighten people on ways to exercise their rights using their votes. At that time, graft was something that affected the politics of that time. However, due to the development in politics, people came to learn about democracy and how using it would help boost their lives.
The paper has strived to show all the progressive movements and analyze what importance they brought to the development of the America during the time. The paper has sought to explain and shed more light on the rapid changes that marked the beginning of the 21st century. Today America is considered to have come a long way. Thanks to its increased success over time, the nations have developed and grouped to attain super power status of the world.