Why did progressivism emerge as a movement?

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Progressivism emerged as a response to the problems created by the rapid industrialization and urbanization of the United States. They were not opposed to these developments, but sought to manage them in a way that would make a more humane and rational society. So progressives at the turn of the century sought to regulate the trusts, to clean up urban political machines, to improve living conditions in the tenements, and to make politics more responsive to the people. They wanted regulations on working conditions, restrictions on the giant monopolies that had formed in the late nineteenth century, more funding of, and standardization for, public education, and (some of them, anyway) advocated such reforms as temperance and woman suffrage. Progressives were not, for the most part, radicals in the sense that they wanted revolutionary change, and as mentioned above, they generally welcomed the modernization of society that occurred after the Civil War. But recognized that these changes had significant human costs, and they hoped to use the powers of government to shape those changes in ways that would benefit more people. 

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