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Who Were the Progressives Research Papers

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Based on the reading of Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, Who Were the Progressives?

Requirements for Who Were the Progressives Research Paper:

The burst of political and social reform that characterized American life at the turn of the twentieth century has long been labeled “progressivism.” However, historians have disagreed about how to define it. After having read the historical debates over the content of progressivism, the reasons for its emergence, its impact on American society, and who might be counted among the progressives, offer your own explanation for who they were.

  • Who joined the Progressive movement?
  • What were their motives?
  • What were their objectives?
  • Who were the Progressives?

How to Write a Research Paper on The Progressives

  • Who Were the ProgressivesAddress every question. Be sure to answer every question you see above. To avoid overlooking a question, it may help to use the prompt questions to organize your research paper.
  • Include an introduction. Lay out for your reader the organizational plan for the paper. State your main argument (thesis). You are encouraged to introduce the book in the first or second paragraph of your essay, so that your references are clear throughout.
  • Think for yourself. Answer the questions with your own brainpower, in your own words. This is not a research paper assignment! The American Promise is the only source outside of the assigned book that you may consult.
  • Prove your point. Provide ample evidence to support your argument(s) by providing concrete examples and illustrations from your reading. Cite relevant events, assertions, passages, and page numbers.
  • Avoid personal sentiments. Voice your view, but avoid using the first person and personal sentiments such as “I feel that…” or “I believe that…” Your essay should make an academic argument based on evidence, not opinion.

The Progressive Movement

The Progressive movement was a primarily middle-class directed movement which flourished between 1900 and the coming of World War I; It’s primary focus was on the industry generated abuses that had arisen in America over the fifty preceding years.

Unregulated capitalism had been the norm in America throughout its history. In the post-bellum era unregulated capitalism had spawned a horde of abuses including political corruption, corruption in business, and numerous human rights abuses, abuses involving “sweated labor”.

The “muckrakers,” journalists who focused on the misdeeds of the various “trusts” that operated industries which routinely exploited the workers and bilked consumers, were instrumental in rousing public anger with the status quo and the result was a movement with powerful leaders—Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, the La Follettes—who were determined to impose some government regulation on big business. Of the muckrakers books and articles, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, a docu-novel detailing conditions in the meat packing plants, was perhaps the most influential.

The results of Progressivism remain controversial to this day. Roosevelt posed as a “trust-buster,” but had only minor successes in bringing the leaders of the corporations to heel. It is generally conceded that the Progressives’ greatest failure was in refusing to address the racial issue; the “Jim Crow” laws in the south remaining intact and the lynchings continuing unabated.

Related Research Paper Topics

Roosevelt's Progressivism - Roosevelt's Progressivism can be questioned with evidence from his speeches and his actions in office.

Looking Backward - As a critic of capitalism, Bellamy's visions of an impartial economy prove accurate against the assumptions of progressive social reform.

1912 Presidential Election and Woodrow Wilson - In 1912, the United States was faced with an interesting election prospect: William Howard Taft, the Republican incumbent, was seeking re-election.

Edward Bellamy - The people of his time that took on his cause were the gross population of the progressive era.