The High Tide of Progressivism.
The high tide of the Progressive Era occurred during the 1910s, as a profusion of interest groups with competing legislative proposals made the decade one of the most turbulent and exciting in U.S. history. Reforms at the federal level included the lowering of tariffs, the introduction of the income tax, passage of antitrust laws and the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the direct election of senators, federal child-labor laws, and constitutional amendments prohibiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages and extending the vote to women. During the 1910s reformers at the state level enacted workmen's compensation laws and mothers' pensions (the first government-funded welfare plans for nonveterans). Seeking to break the power of entrenched political interests, reformers also advocated open primaries; the initiative, the referendum, and the recall; and governmental regulation of gas, water, and electrical utilities. Urban reformers sought to weaken political bosses and their machines by implementing commission government and home rule. As the emergence of the modern bureaucratic state continued, various political factions battled for control in a society being transformed by the forces of industrialization, immigration, and urbanization.
Embattled Republicans and Ascendant Democrats.
During his single term in...
(The entire section is 2715 words.)
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