posted by y912f on .
How did progressivism affect the role of the federal government in the early 1900s?
(Please tell me what i can take away from my answer, because it is too long. What parts are not important that i can delete from my answer? thanks)
Historians refer to the period from 1890 to 1920 as the Progressive Era. Most progressives did not support sweeping economic and political changes; many deeply feared the violence of revolution. Most of these progressives were Americans of average wealth. Progressives wanted to free the existing government of corruption so that it could be more efficient in an expanded role as guardian of workers and the poor. Many progressives also argued that government must play a larger role in regulating economic activity. They opposed government control of business, except for those companies that supplied essential services such as water, electricity, and transportation. They also believed that government ought to increase its responsibility for human welfare, or well-being. A number of important progressive reforms were also made at the federal level. President Roosevelt urged Congress to pass laws to regulate the food and drug industries and the railroads. The Hepburn Act authorized the Interstate Commerce Commission to limit rates if shippers complained of unfair treatment. The Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act required accurate labeling of ingredients, strict sanitary conditions, and a rating system for meats. Roosevelt also urged Congress to extend the earlier steps that had been taken to protect the nation’s natural environment and resources. In 1912 the government established a Children’s Bureau. A Women’s Bureau was formed in 1920. These two bureaus supported legislation that would benefit women and children. Like the 17th amendment ratified in the same year, progressive reformers fought for the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913. This amendment authorized congress to collect income taxes. The eighteenth amendment was also pushed forward by progressive reformers and was ratified in 1919. This Amendment made it illegal for Americans to make, sell, or import liquor.