Progressive Reform Research Paper

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The Progressive reforms were aimed at improving various aspects of American life. In the long run, the Progressive reformers accomplished the goals they sought. Since reform is a gradual process, the first step of Progressive reform was reform at the local level. From 1870 to 1900, the urban population of the United States of America tripled. Thus, poverty levels increased, and it grew harder for local governments to get rid of garbage and provide schooling. Settlement houses served as safe havens for the poor as well as opportunities for reformers to study local conditions. Jane Addams founded Hull House, one of the most famous settlement houses, in 1889. Most of its residents were women. However, despite society’s outlook on women at the time, “they lobbied the government to pass better construction and safety laws to improve the surrounding tenement houses.” (Schultz, 2013, 336) (Schultz, 2013, 337)…show more content…
Progressive reformers realized that they needed to widen the scope of their efforts to the state level, and one of their methods was changing the way senators were elected. Progressive reformers suggested the direct election of senators by citizens as opposed to the choice of state legislatures. In 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment was added to the Constitution, another success of the Progressive reformers. Now, initiative, which allowed citizens to advocate specific ideas for the ballot, and referendum, which allowed citizens to collect signatures in support of these ideas, increased the public’s involvement in politics. The primary election and the recall were other Progressive reforms. The primary election let voters select trusted political candidates to run for public office, and the recall let petitioning citizens, through voting, “dismiss state officers, governors, and judges who [were] deemed to have violated the popular interest.” (Schultz, 2013,

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