Can You Explain the Four Goals of Progressivism?


Quick Answer

The four goals of progressivism were to promote social welfare, to promote moral achievement, to create economic reform (by breaking up large monopolistic companies) and to foster efficiency. These goals guided many of the policy decisions of the progressive party.

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Full Answer

The economic goals of progressives had to do with breaking up the combined economic and political power of giant trusts that controlled much of the political sphere at that time. They believed that large trusts had seized power and corrupted the political process. In particular, the progressive party was concerned that small farmers and individual workers would not be able to earn a living. These economic concerns also tie into worries about the social welfare of poorer workers. The creation of The Salvation Army to feed the poor is also an example of social welfare.

In addition, progressives sought to change the political system so that a more direct link would be formed between the government and its constituents. This had a lot to do with the progressive goal of fostering efficiency.

Another goal of the progressive party had to do with promoting moral achievement. One of its biggest successful campaigns here was the establishment of Prohibition. Progressives believed that alcohol was morally corrupting, so therefore their Prohibition campaign was a moral campaign.

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