A Look Back: The Progressive Era: A Bridge to Modern Times

In this module/week, you will study how “The Progressive Era” became the so-called bridge between the past and today in the history of the United States. This era witnessed major changes happening that shifted the country into a new direction. The Progressive Era is the period of time between the mid-1890s and the early 1920s, which saw the expansion in the role of government that had been limited in the 19th century but expanded tremendously in the 20th century. This expansion included economic reforms, increased regulation, anti-trust activity, the imposition of income tax, the rise of social insurance programs, major shifts in voting—the right to vote by women, the fall of some of the political machines, and a professionalized government.

Explain how this was the bridge to modern times
Define the role of government
Describe Financial and Social unrest

Describe, discuss, and support your discussion, Was the rapid expansion of government in the Progressive Era “government over-reach” or “responsible government?”



Danoff & Hebert: ch. 11
Garraty: chs. 11, 14
Higgs: chs. 6–8

Danoff, B. & Herbert, L. J. (2011). Alexis de Tocqueville and the Art of Democratic Statesmanship. Lantham, MD: Lexington Books. ISBN: 9780739145319

Garraty, J. A., (editor). (2009). Quarrels That Have Shaped The Constitution. New York: Harper- Perennial. ISBN: 9780061320842.

Higgs, R. (2012). Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government. (Independent Studies in Political Economy) 25th Anniversary Edition. ISBN: 9781598131215.

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