Progressives thought the role of government was to...?

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Progressives believed the role of government was to protect the American people from abuses that were occurring in our country and to make reforms to correct those abuses. Progressives believed that without government regulation and control of businesses, that businesses would act only in their best interests and not in the best interests of the country or the American people.

Progressives looked at what was happening in the workplace. They saw children working long hours in factories instead of going to school. They saw unsafe working conditions in the factories. They were concerned there was no protection for workers injured on the job. They saw big companies trying to control the marketplace and charge high prices by reducing competition. The Progressives passed many laws to correct these problems. Workers compensation laws, safety regulations, antitrust laws, and child labor laws are some examples of laws that were passed to protect the working class.

Progressives saw politics being controlled by a handful of people. They believed the common person had a very limited role in government. To change this, the progressives pushed for and got a constitutional amendment that allowed the people to choose their United States senators. They pushed for an amendment to get women the right to vote. The initiative, referendum, and recall were developed to give the common person more say and a greater role in government activities. Progressives believed it was necessary to take actions that would give the common person a greater voice in our government and in determining who are leaders would be.

Progressives believed none of these changes would occur unless the government was involved in bringing about these changes. They believed businesses, politicians, and those with power wouldn’t do anything to weaken their position by building up the position of those who were impacted by the problems that existed in our society.

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