In my opinion, the Progressives are somewhat misnamed. To me, they were a group of rather elitist people who tried to impose their values on other people who did not necessarily share them.
The most obvious example of this was the imposition of Prohibition. The Progressives felt that immigrant culture was inferior to that of "native" Americans. Because of this, they wanted to try to "reform" the immigrants and make them more like middle class "natives." In order to do this, they did various things, the most intrusive of which was Prohibition.
In other words the Progressives tried to force their values on people who did not share them.