The Success of Progressivism

During the Progressive Era from 1900 to1920, the reformers
and the federal government were very successful in bringing reform at a
national level. This reform movement had the most influential reformers
and worked more closely with the federal government than any other
previous reform movement in American history. Although not every single
sect of the progressive movement made significant gains, the regulation
of corporations, the fight against child labor and the rights of women
were three movements that were particularly aided by governmental
implementations, thereby acheiving a great deal of success.

      For the first time in American history the US government was
responsive to public grievances regarding to the regulation of American
corporations. This movement was fueled by influential journalists who
were known as muckrakers. Among these muckrakers was Henry Lloyd, who
exposed the corruption of the powerful monopolized company, Standard
Oil. Other reformers, similar to Henry Lloyd, exposed the corruption of
these companies to a large audience of citizens and furthermore put the
politicians under great duress to serve the interests of the public in
order to keep their popularity. Theodore Roosevelt was the first
president to defend the public against the powerful companies by
participating in trust busting. The political cartoon (document A)
displays Roosevelt standing upon a Bear that represented "bad trusts"
which he had just hunted down. Roosevelt was the first president to
enforce the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Trust busting was continued by
Taft, Roosevelt's successor, and was taken a step further by Wilson.
Wilson's administration past the Clayton Anti-Trust Act which was
similar to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, but, as stated in document E,
"[forbid] the antitrust Acts [from being] construed to forbid the
existence and operation of labor unions." These governmental changes,
provoked by the influential reformers of the time...