The Progressive movement emerged in the early 1900s as a series of reform efforts designed to respond to the problems created by unregulated growth of cities and big business.
Most progressives shared a strong belief that science and knowledge could improve society, and many believed that government should take an active role in solving society's problems
Some progressives focused on making government more efficient, while others worked to make government more responsive to voters. Together these activists impacted government on the local, state, and national levels.
Many progressive women concluded that they needed the vote to promote social reform, and they rallied behind the suffrage movement. Progressives, who focused on social welfare issues such as alcohol abuse, child labor, and the health and safety of Americans, created charities and won reforms on specific issues.
Some progressives advocated the creation of government agencies to regulate big business, while others thought socialism would solve society's problems.
Progressivism entered national politics during Theodore Roosevelt's administration. Roosevelt's expanded use of presidential power changed the nature of the presidency and significantly increased the powers of the federal government.
In promoting progressive reforms, he wanted to ensure that the interests of private concerns did not hurt public interest. To this end he challenged the monopolies of trusts, created a government bureau to monitor the activities of corporations, and pushed for laws that would protect consumers.
During his administration the Interstate Commerce Commission gained the authority it needed to regulate the railroad industry. The threat of military…