What was the Progressive Era?

The Progressive Era refers to a period of social reforms that occurred throughout the United States from 1890 to 1920. These social reforms included woman suffrage, the regulation of child labor, expansion of educational opportunities and social services for minority groups. These were all major changes that were put in place by the United States Congress and was enforced under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft and Woodrow Wilson. The Progressive era helped improve the lives of individuals within the United States.

Women suffrage was one of the biggest accomplishments of the progressive era. The women suffrage movement was a long-lasting fight where women wanted the right to vote. Supporters of the women suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched to change the American constitution and allow women to vote. By women having the right to vote this would allow them to be represented and participate in the political system. On August 18, 1920, the United States Congress ratified the 19th amendment which guarantees all American women the right to vote. This is one example of the social reforms that occurred during the progressive era.

Labor laws and specifically child labor laws were a major reform that occurred during the progressive era.  Throughout history children have been taken advantage during the Industrial Revolution this came to new extremes. Children were forced to work in dangerous factories for little money. Companies liked to hire children because they were easy to control and would often work for less money than adults. From 1902 to 1915 many committees emphasized the important of child labor laws. Some laws were passed on restricting child labor as this started the reform on child labor and labor throughout the United States.

Education changed rapidly during the progressive era. Progressive educators viewed existing teachers as too rigid and formal. The new teachers came in with classes that taught them how to teach their students. Colleges and Universities began to offer degree programs in education. These would not only help teachers but the students that these teachers would teach. Having a smarter teach would help the students learn more effectively and the correct information. Education reform is an important aspect of the progressive era because it is important to have an educated youth to have a great country in the future.

Theodore Roosevelt helped shape the progressive era by empowering the American people. Roosevelt and his administration attacked monopolies and wanted America to have many small businesses rather than having one large company. Roosevelt administration acted as the middle man in labor disputes as he wanted the American companies and American people a fair deal. During his time in presidency Roosevelt created the idea of National Parks which would conserve land and restrict private development on government lands. Roosevelt was a major contributor to the progressive era as his administration made the necessary changes to support the American people.