The progressive movement in the United States, which took place from the 1890s to the 1920s, sought to protect social welfare, promote fairness, control big business, uphold moral values and promote greater efficiency of government and business.
By 1916, new national, state and local laws established cleaner and healthier cities, safer workplaces and better treatment of workers and customers by businesses. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft were instrumental in social and political reforms. Under President Woodrow Wilson, Congress passed four constitutional amendments advancing progressive causes. Amendment 16 introduced an income tax, and Amendment 17 provided for the direct election of U.S. senators by the people. The 18th Amendment made alcohol illegal and was later repealed by the 21st Amendment. The 19th Amendment gave women the right vote.