How did the Progressive Era's views on immigrants reshape America's cities and workplaces?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Progressive Era's focus on immigrants helped to bring about another level of change that helped to define the movement.  The Progresssivist thinkers of the time period were driven by the need to include more voices in the political decision making process of the time period.  While this traditionally accounted for articulating the needs of women and people of color, Progressivists quickly recognized that this is to include immigrants.  Progressive thinkers recognized that this group of people were being targeted by Nativists who did not want them here and others who manipulated the immigrants' poor grasp of English into conditions that were unfair and dis-empowering.  Progressivist reforms that changed practices in workplaces that were intended to target the immigrant as well as elimination political barriers, such as the literacy test, helped to increase the number of voices in the political discourse.  This becomes one of the lasting goals of the Progressivist movement.

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