Citation: Social Class and Michael Mcgerr Essay

Submitted By heliosgirl
Words: 1103
Pages: 5

Shannon Burns 10/11/2014

Work McGerr, Michael E., A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920. New York: Free Press, 2003. (Kindle Edition)

Link, William A. 2004. "A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920." Journal Of American History 91, no. 3: 1048.

Fink, Leon. "The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920." American Historical Review 109, no. 5 (December 2004): 1592-1593.

The main idea of “A Fierce Discontent the Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement 1870-1920” by Michael McGerr is about the many vast progressive battles that were going on during this era. McGerr believed that four of the battles were quintessential: to change other people; to end class conflict; to control big business; and to segregate society. McGerr takes his reader deep into the lives of his characters. McGerr shows us of the political struggles and the effects of the decisions they have on the middle class. He also shows how there was political corruption and favoritism. McGerr believes that “progressivism was a radical movement….more influenced by socialism” (73 k.e.)

Michael McGerr used many references which Include bibliographical references and index. United States Politics and government 1965-1933 2. Progressivism (U.S. Politics) history 3. United States Social Conditions 1865-1918
A Fierce Discontent shows the private intimate life also of the people Michael McGerr wrote about. The focus was not just on basic values of social groups, it is also a book about parents and their children and the struggle they faced during these trying times. Michael McGerr used third person information to write his book. He obviously wasn’t alive during the progressive era. He had to rely on bibliographies, archived newspaper articles and other books for his information. While the progressive era was made up of many political and social conflicts Michael McGerr tackled only four quintessential progressive battles. With McGerr he painted a clear picture of so many different scenarios of lives and their struggles plaguing society.
Major Theses
In “A Fierce Discontent The Progressive Movement “, written by Michael McGerr discusses some of the progressive battles going on during this time, “The first being the vast struggle over how men, women, and children should live their lives in the twentieth century. This struggle reflected the many differences over fundamental values, over the nature of the individual, the family, gender roles, work, and pleasure that divided Americans.” (1501 kindle edition) Here McGerr is telling us that there was many different struggles during these times between the way people lived their lives and how people believed your life should be lived. Men were to take care of their family and women take care of the house and kids. This was the time when drinking, divorce and prostitution were on the rise. Women blamed their husbands being gone more on the saloons. It was believed that if they abolished prostitution they would be safeguarding their marriages since booze was believed to be the root of all evil. The 18th amendment was passed in 1918 forbidding the sale of alcoholic beverages.

“The hardships of the poor not to unfair economic system but to individual shortcomings”. (207 Kindle Edition) I believe this is a powerful statement that Michael McGerr quoted. He is showing the mindset of the upper 10, the business owners. McGerr goes on to describe the long hours and working conditions. I believe that’s why everything changed May 12, 1902 when the first of many began picketing. McGerr shows how hard they worked and little they were paid. After much protesting and court battles the unions became involved and some negotiations were made. But this was difficult to do when the judges who were supposed to be impartial would overturn rulings for the big