Chapter

The Progressive Era

Price Fishback

in Government & The American Economy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780226251271
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226251295 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226251295.003.0010
The Progressive Era

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In the United States, the period between the mid-1890s and the early 1920s is known as the Progressive Era. Many general studies of the period and biographies of leading reformers emphasize the economic and political reform movements. The economic reforms included expanded regulation, increased antitrust activity, establishment of an income tax, and the development of social insurance programs. This chapter examines the changes that took place during the Progressive Era as a kaleidoscope of interest groups pushed to establish new forms of government activity. Most of the changes were small steps that set the stage for larger expansions of government in response to three major crises. This chapter first provides an overview of the American economy during the Progressive Era and then discusses major policy changes of the period. It also describes the Progressives and looks at workers' compensation laws, protective legislation codifying preexisting trends, tariff reform, antitrust laws, and workplace safety regulation. The chapter concludes by discussing the legacy of the Progressive Era.

Keywords: Progressive Era; economic reforms; interest groups; economy; Progressives; workers' compensation; tariff reform; antitrust laws; workplace safety; government

Chapter.  14175 words. 

Subjects: Economic History

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