Explain the factors that caused Progressivism
Progressivism was the reform movement that ran from the late 19th century through the first decades of the 20th century. The main factor of the Progressive Movement was to improve American politics and society. The movement was started by the urban middle class, the factors that caused the development of Progressivism will be explored in the forthcoming paragraphs.
Arguably the most significant factor that caused Progressivism, is the need to regulate big businesses. Business formed trusts during the late 19th century. Trusts were the result of mergers and takeovers of smaller companies creating giant corporation. Trust became so powerful that they threatened to establish monopolies in particular industries. The biggest of all, however, was US Steel. US Steel became the world’s first billion-dollar corporation. These giant trusts controlled the markets in their fields. Many Americans disliked the power of the trusts: they saw them as un-American, because they meant smaller companies or new entrants into the market could not complete. Moreover influential writers such as Henry George and Edward Bellamy exposed corruption and unfair practices in the trusts. Therefore the progressives wanted to regulate the power of trusts.