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Who were the Progressives? In the first two decades of the twentieth century, a diverse array of Americans sought solutions to the social problems caused by industrialization and urbanization. Because they did not recognize themselves as a cohesive group — indeed, the description "Progressive" only developed late in the era — it has fallen to historians to define Progressivism and its participants as belonging to a distinct period. The 8 articles included in this volume explore who participated in the social movements considered Progressive, what their goals were, what tactics they used, and the degree to which their activity was revolutionary. Viewing the Progressive era as the precursor to the activist state that developed during World War I and more fully during the Depression, the book explores the civic imagination of a remarkable group of reformers who sought to change their society creatively, completely, and peacefully.
Note to Students
Responding to the Challenges of the Progressive Era
The Progressive Era
Historians Ask, "Who Were the Progressives?"
PART TWO.SOME CURRENT QUESTIONS
1. Do we find the roots of Progressivism in the cities or on the farms?
The Status Revolution and Progressive Leaders
Agrarian Politics and Parties after 1896
2. How much influence did middle-class businessmen have on the Progressive agenda?
Robert H. Wiebe
Richard L. McCormick
The Discovery that Business Corrupts Politics: A Reappraisal of the Origins of Progressivism
3. How does class and ethnicity complicate our conception of the Progressives?
The Crucible of Class: Cleveland Politics and the Origins of Municipal Reform in the Progressive Era
James J. Connolly
The Dimensions of Progressivism
4. How did gender affect Progressivism and which women became Progressives?
Maureen A. Flanagan
Gender and Urban Political Reform: The City Club and the Woman's City Club of Chicago in the Progressive Era
Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore
Suggestions for Further Reading