The Progressive Era Through the Great Depression Essay

In this essay, I will review the major turning points in our nation’s history during the period of “The Progressive Era through the Great Depression”. I will talk about how women in the West earned the right to vote in the frontier states before the eastern and southern states. We will analyze the impact of two major historical turning points on America’s society, economy, politics, and culture. Next we will look at the legislation in the Roosevelt–Taft–Wilson progressive era years, and show how that has influenced the business of today since the time of its inception.

We will review how the Spanish American war laid the foundation for which America would develop its empire. Lastly, we will discuss some ways the Boom and Bust of the Roaring Twenties followed by The Great Depression affected the federal government’s involvement with the national economy. | During the reformist movement, urbanization brought people to the cities for work opposed to the traditional farming communities or villages’ people lived and worked in prior to the Progressive Era.

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With this change occurring in society, there came much needed changes in the way we came together as a community to provide the necessities, which would allow our new families, and communities to prosper. With America’s expansion to the west under the Homestead Act, “any man or woman twenty-one years old or the head of a family” could have 160 acres of undeveloped land granted to them by the government with the stipulation to owning it being they had to develop it and maintain a residence on it for five years. This legislation sparked the expansion west and in effect created a legal right for women to own property at the same time.

This doctrine was ahead of its time when compared to the lack of women’s rights in the east. It was at that point it appeared the west was already setting itself apart from the east by granting women the same legal rights to their household as their male counterparts. At the same time the west was expanding our borders and the freedoms of women, the eastern portion of the country went the opposite way in contrast to the Progressive movement. It was not until society’s philosophical shift from Social Darwinism to that of pragmatism that women were able to become part of the process through an activist government.

Where women gained their strength and recognition as community organizers, was through their taking the lead of correcting the wrongs man had imposed on society through corruption or mismanagement. Ultimately, women proved to be the community leaders that brought attention to these issues and rallied the citizens to demand change for the common good. While women were fighting for their suffrage rights during the Progressive Era, there were equally important events occurring in the business world during that time as well, which would result in sweeping business and economic reforms that would forever change the way America does business.

At the peak of American industrialization during the 1920s, the economy grew stronger and this increased the standard of living. Consumerism was driven by advertisers that were creating demand for their new products and the people were buying. However with the boom of business and the increase of the wealth of executives, came an increase in unethical and illegal activities on Wall Street. It wasn’t until FDR’s New Deal during the Great Depression, that strict rules and guidelines were set for business practices which eliminated those that were weakening the market and banking system and ultimately the economy.

Another key component to economic recovery came in the creation of public-owned electric power. With that also came funding for public works projects that made its way to every state in the nation. Building an Empire With the ideas of Expansionism versus Isolationism winning support of Americans and bolstered by Industrialists and Nationalists. The desire to grow the economy as well as its borders seemed to be the next step in building a truly powerful empire. In the end, it was the influence of Nationalists such as Alfred Thayer Mahan that convinced Americans that the only way to gain power was to control the seas. Moreover, the best way to control the seas was with strategic naval bases around the world. This lead the U. S to pursue the acquisition of Hawaii and later the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico. However, this expansionist philosophy did not go unchallenged and ultimately picked a fight with other nations, and later pulled the U. S. into World War 1 due to German retaliation towards the U. S for taking a neutral standpoint and allowing a British Blockade to ensue against their country.


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