PROGRESSIVE ERA THROUGH DEPRESSION PERIOD Essay
The Progressive Era existed in the American Society and lasted for a period of approximately fort years between the years 1890s and 1920’s. This period was characterized by various societal problems and developments; the societal problems that were experienced during this period up to the Great depression period were inclusive of: Urban over-crowding, economic crises and industrialization. However, during this period there were also major events that created a turning point in the American History. A comprehensive discussion concerning two major events is provided below:
One major turning point in the American History during the progressive Era was the rapid rise of the various social movements such as: The Women and the Peace Movement, Workers Movements, The Woman Suffrage Movement, The Women Trade League as well as the African Women Reform Movement.
Another major turning point was the Depression and the Unemployment that occurred in the late 1920’s after the Great Depression; this period was characterized by extreme economic crises and high rates of unemployment. At this time several factories were shut down and many workers were laid off.
The two historical turning points discussed above led to several economic, social and political facets whose effects are still faced by the current American Society. To begin with, the rise of the social movements specifically the Labor Movements that were propagated by the Muckrakers who exposed the Corruption, poor working conditions and lack of respect to human rights that were experienced at working places. In this respect, various groups of activist were forced to take several actions geared to towards opposing the poor working conditions and the corruption at the work places. The Wisconsin Workers and Reformers Group was one the labor reforms that made important contributions in the History of American Labor; Wisconsin Labor Reform Group pushed for the implementation of various legislations that would promote improved working conditions through boycotts and labor strikes (Wisconsin University 2008).
Ultimately, the US government was forced to implement rules and regulations that would ensure workers are provided with proper remunerations and proper working conditions; such labor laws are currently still practiced to promote proper working conditions and promote proper employee-employer relationships.
The Second pertinent turning point in the history of the American Society in the progressive era through the Great depression was the unemployment and the depression that led to an extreme economic crises featured by closing of factories, over-production and high levels of unemployment. This also occurred in the early to the late 1920’s; the crash of the stock market in 1929 in the USA which caused a drastic reduction in economic growth of the nation; workers and farmers were also faced with conditions of low income. Several organizations such as the Robert La Follett’s and the Wisconsin made various attempts to formulate strategies to enable the society to enable the society to cope up with the deteriorating economy; however, their efforts were fruitless (Wisconsin University 2008).
In the Mid 1930’s the then United States’ President Roosevelt formulated the New Deal policy and the unemployment bill that was developed by the Harold Groves as an economic model succeeded in improving the economic status. These models together with the current economic models have facilitated the relative stability in the current economic status in the American Society.
The late 1980’s through the 1920’s saw the rise of several women empowerment movements and social groups for instance: The Women Suffrage Movement, Women and Peace Movement, Legacy of Women in the Progressive and the Status of Women. All these groups were focused towards empowering women; the American Society during the progressive era was characterized by the perception that women were the Moral Guardian of Society and their households and therefore was the protectors of the Society.
This ideology was applied by the leading activists to advocate for women involvement in the Public issues such as politics and economic facets. Most women activists also conducted myriad researches to enhance their efforts towards ensuring that women were successfully incorporated into the political and economic spheres of the society. This saw the allocation of equal rights to women specifically with the inclusion of the Nineteenth Amendment that supported women Enfranchisement and stipulated that no one would be prevented from voting due to his/her sexual orientation.
On the 17th of January 1935, the then President then President, Roosevelt requested the Congress to pass the Social Security Law which was enacted in August the same year. This act was geared towards ensuring that a proper welfare system was implemented to enable the retired old aged people access financial support from government that was deducted from their wages, salaries and employers’ payrolls.
Additionally, this act was formulated with an intention of the blind as well as the unemployed through the financial donations that were channeled towards provision of family health care service programs and special training services (Vocational Training). This act ensured that people employed are provided with the basic needs.
Consequently, during the governance of President Woodrow Wilson, a system of banking; the Federal Reserve System was developed in 1913 to serve various objectives; to offer the nation with a more a secure, stable and a dynamic monitory and financial services. Currently, Federal System serves four main purposes:
It conducts the monitory policy by creating effects on the money credit facets in the economic spheres in order to create a permanent employment and ensure stability in the commodity prices. The second role that is currently played by the Federal Reserve System is to offer supervisory services to banks as well as the regulation of other financial institutions to enhance security in the nation’s financial dimensions together with offering effective protection to consumers’ right.
Thirdly, the Federal Reserve Bank provided imperative financial services to the United States of American financial organs. The fourth main responsibility of the Fed is to ensure that the financial Stability of he US is maintained (Federal Reserve Bank 2012).
The Spanish – American War was considered a starting point to the American Imperialism; this was based on the Cuban fight to rebel the colonization of the Spanish Government; this was viewed by the US as threat to most of their investments that were at time in the Cuban territory. The US which was opposing colonization at that time felt that it was their responsibility to intervene.
The Spanish American war begun with the sinking of the Maine that was believed to have been done by the Spanish Soldiers, this was also propagated by a provocative letter that was written by one Spanish Ambassador to the USA back to his country. The war began in 1898 and at the end the Spanish lost the war; a condition that led to several agreements between the USA and the Spanish Government. There agreements were; the Spanish would leave Cuba in under the Colonization of the US; other agreements were that the Spanish was to leave other countries under its colony such as Guan, Philippines and the Puerto Rico to the USA. This led to the developed of the USA Empire (Wisconsin University 2008).
The bust and the boom of the economies proceeded by the Great Depression was caused by several economic factors one of them being over production in the Industrial Sector and the Agricultural Sector. These economic factors led to low income among industrial producers, low income among farmers due to over-production hence lower prices; workers were also laid-off from their jobs. Consequently, the government was forced to take several measures to restore the drastically deteriorating economy; one of the actions taken by the government was to ensure that Germany paid its debt that arose from the World War I, an action that made the economic status of the US extending internationally. The other issue was the fact that poor prices were ascribed to the Government’s inability to successfully deal with high rates of deflation.
Futurecasts. (n.d.). Futurecasts. Retrieved October 28, 2012, from http://www.futurecasts.com
USA Federal Reserve Bank. (2012). Purposes of the Federal Reserve System. San Fransisco: The Federal Reserve Bank.
Wisconsin University. (2008). Turning Points in the USA History. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society.