Progressivism Changes to America essay

ProgressivismChanges to America

Progressivismbrought significant changes in America between the 1900s and 1920s.The liberal reformers had observed the crisis that the government hadfaced and believed that it needed an action from different people andorganizations, like the churches, governments, volunteers, and otherexperts. The challenges the government faced included corruption,inefficiency in handling most businesses, immigration policies, andracial issues among others (Tindall, 2012). Reformers aimed ataddressing such issues to have a correct realignment of the mattersthey considered crucial to the life of the Americans.

Reformingthe tariffs

Duringthe 1920s, the sound work of the progressivism could be seen in thegovernment and the society as a whole following the changes that theyhad initiated. Most of the transformations took place when WoodrowWilson became the president of USA. He started with reforming thetariffs that were in existence because he believed there was anunnecessary competition that kept the prices high for the consumers.As the president, he initiated the Congress to lower the tariffs, abill that was quickly passed by the House resulting to the formationof the Underwood-Simmons Tariff that became law in the year 1913(Tindall, 2012).

Establishmentof the Federal Bank

Thebanking system and currency were also changed resulting in theintroduction of the Federal Reserve Bank in the country. FederalReserve Bank ensured that a central body administered the moneysupply instead of giving the task to the banks (Tindall, 2012). Theestablishment of the Federal Reserve Act ensured that there werestability and efficiency concerning the money supply matters. Thisbanking system corrected the major defects that were evident in theprevious systems.

Theanti-trust laws

Theanti-trust laws were enacted to ensure that the unfair tradepractices were defined to govern the businesses of the corporationsthat were conducting trading activities. Companies that violatedthese laws were subjected to some restrictions and their managementswere held liable (Tindall, 2012).

TheWomen Movement

TheWomen Movement did a recommendable job in ensuring that women wereallowed to vote in America just like men did. Following the forcebehind the movement and the effort of other progressivism activists,women were finally allowed to participate in voting. The NineteenthAmendment made the U.S the 22nd nation that recognized the suffrageof women (Eagleton Institute of Politics, 2016).

Farmand labor changes

Therewere also reforms concerning agriculture and labor issues. Specialrural banks were established to provide the necessary funds to theagricultural sector an idea which the president proposed. The passingof the Warehouse Act in 1916, by the Congress, ensured that farmerswho used the warehouses for storage purposes were allowed to get thefederal receipts that could be collateral in case they were in needof short-term loans from the banks (Tindall, 2012).


Thelabor legislation was among the agendas of the progressivismmovement. The liberal reformers had for a long time advocated for thechild labor law. The president signed the bill passed by the Congressthat prohibited the trading of goods that were made by children whowere below the age of fourteen years. This law was later declaredunconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The railroad workers alsowanted working time to be limited to eight hours a day a matter thatwas presented in the court as well. However, the court was satisfiedwith the outcome of the case since it did not contradict any law andthe workers thus workers mandated to work for a maximum of eighthours a day (Tindall, 2012).

Theaforementioned changes, which took place in the US, were as a resultof the efforts of progressivism movement during the 1920s Americawitnessed more changes as compared to the 1900s. Examining thecurrent situations, reveal that several changes that the progressivereformers were advocating for have been attained in a successfulmanner.


EagletonInstitute of Politics. (2016). AmericanPolitical History,Retrieved from May 4, 2016.

Tindall,G. B. (2012). America:Narrative History.W.W. Norton &amp Company.