*The below analysis is from a section of my research on the Progressive Era and how historians have perceived this period. For more in-depth information, fill out the contact information. I am also available for zoom sessions with groups.
At the turn of the twentieth century, American civilization made a significant shift out of an industrial revolution. The latter portion of the nineteenth century often termed the “Gilded Age,” presented critical issues such as child labor, economic inequalities, rising radical groups, problems of overcrowding in urban areas due to increasing immigration, et cetera. The turn of the century often termed the “Progressive Era,” approached these issues to take corrective measures. Historians have debated how this era should be defined. The contexts of the historiography get to the heart of when and who are the origins of the Progressive Era. The “Progressive Era” was a time of a liberal explosion of new ideas and promoting democratic ideals but failed to meet all of its objectives due to rising conservative beliefs, “The Great War,” and rising utopian forms of economic and governmental applications. While different, these discussions allow for a comprehensive understanding and in-depth analysis of a significant shift in American history. These “impulses” defined a generation to better their world through their ways, morals, and practices.
The origins of the “Progressive Era” can be complicated to understand which route correctly identifies its beginnings. Whether through the eyes of Victorian Americans, intellectuals, artists, farmers, radicals, or elitists, the era took on a major shift in the development of twentieth-century United States government policies, economics, politics, and social/cultural changes. Defining the era, its impact, and the means of their actions gives insight into this monumental development in American historiography. Whether one takes the beliefs of Michael McGerr, Elizabeth Sanders, Daniel Rodgers, Shelton Stromquist, or any other historian/political scientist of the “Progressive Era,” there is no denying the impact that it had on the history of the United States and the world.