What were the different effects of Progressivism?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Overall, the main effect of Progressivism was to establish that government could play a role in reforming society. Many reforms proposed by nineteenth and early twentieth century Progressives were implemented in the early twentieth century. Many of these reforms were political, ranging from the establishment of the council-manager form of municipal government at the local level to the Seventeenth Amendment, which mandated the direct election of senators, and, it could be argued, the Nineteenth Amendment, which established women's suffrage. Others, however, were intended to address social issues, including the Eighteenth Amendment, the capstone of the temperance movement, and numerous initiatives aimed at addressing urban poverty. Still other reforms established an increased role for the government in regulating business and the economy, including child labor legislation, food safety regulations, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, and antitrust actions by the federal government. Of course, this is only a brief summary of the effects of the progressive movement on the role of government. It had many other legacies, including public education initiatives, civil rights organizations, and the establishment of labor unions. But perhaps its most important contribution was the idea that institutional solutions could be found to difficult social and economic problems.

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