Progressive Era through the Great Depression Essay

The United States underwent various changes between 1870 through the 1920, commonly known as the Progressive Era. These changes were from all sectors of the daily life of all Americans. The changes encompassed the social, political, economic, and their cultural life. Other changes that occurred were the growth of the country in areas such as the rights of women, the rights of the black people also known as the jack crow laws, and developments in political parties. This assignment seeks to recognize the major turning points in American history between the Progressive Era and the great depression. The assignment also analyses how some historical events shaped Americas current society, economy, politics, and culture. This task also describes the ways that women and minorities have responded to challenges and contributed to American culture. It also recognizes and discusses the ways that formal policies of the government have influenced the direction of historical and social development in the United States. The assignment also analysis the rise of the united states into a world superpower and how the acquired the status has shaped the countries internal developments in the modern epoch. It also identifies the changes in social and economic conditions and technologies have caused concurrent changes in the attitudes of the people and the policies of the government.

Various major turning points occurred in the US since the progressive era. One of the major turning points is the women’s suffrage movement. Most women advocated for the franchise for all the women and the amendment of the constitution in order to incorporate them in decision making of the country. This move provided the women with the full suffrage. The women were granted the right to vote since they were able to convince the men that they should share in the political power. Another major event that happened was the crash of the stock market in the US in October 1929. This crash later spread into the world causing a major economic slump (Goertzel, 2002).

The turning point played a major role in converting the United States history on the economic, social, and political backgrounds. One major impact is that America was converted from the wartime frontier to a peaceful time frontier, which bred economic prosperity, social cohesion, and political progression. Consequently, America became the richest nation by the gross domestic product, therefore breeding the culture of consumerism. In the social aspect, there was change that was demanded so that the country can protect and empower every citizen in America. On the political background, there were new laws that were enacted in order to protect people who ordinarily did not have a voice to air. Moreover, the country of United States developed the culture of music, sports, and entertainment culture, which were in existence but needed to be revolutionized in order to incorporate modern trends. The political parties underwent through many changes at this period of reform. Prior to this, the political parties controlled most of the aspects of the political life. This resulted to political parties staying loyal to their followers, thus maintaining the unity and tradition among them (An American Turning Point, 2011).

President Franklin Theodore Roosevelt came up with a new spirit of reform during the progressive era. His political philosophies were enthusiastic and aggressive, as he believed the presidency was a political pulpit for reform. Franklin Roosevelt, before his ascendance into power believed in racial progress but retreated later on his amidst increasing faces of criticisms and his believe in African American inferiority. Some of his reforms were more business oriented such as the move by the congress that created the department of commerce and labor with a bureau of corporations. In addition, the presidency also regulated through the anti-trust suits, remarkably, against J.P. Morgan’s Northern Securities Company and the American Tobacco Company. Furthermore, President Roosevelt, used the antitrust threats to control and regulate business (Divine et al, 2010).

The American rise into an economic and political superpower was also influenced in the conquest in the American Spanish war. The war played a great role in that the Americans managed to secure the independence of Cuba through removing the Spanish forces from the Americas, therefore establishing themselves as a military power with minimal losses. Another role is that the country’s army gained a positive change and revolution, and an upsurge in the economy as well as a strong international political influence (Stromberg, 1998). The 1920 witnessed the new discoveries and inventions in almost all fields of endeavour, which later became the foundation of most thriving businesses. This called in the patent attorneys whom did a roaring trade job whereby all men fancied themselves as inventors due to the number of patents that they went by (University of Washington, n.d.).

The federal government in the 1920 allowed people the chance to invest in the stock market under the on margin protocol, which did not exist prior to this great depression. This implies that the people could freely buy stock for a price less than their market value. Later in the 1920s, the price of stock crashed therefore calling in the margins. During this time, people did not have the money to pay up their stocks. Consequently, the prices of these stocks declined. Moreover, more margins were called in and more people could pay up, therefore forcing a further downward spiral. In the boom era, the new businesses and production methods gave way to manufacturers to make large profits. This allowed the manufacturing sector to plow back into the new factories and wage rises. Consequently, the departmental stores and the service stations stores used massive the massive power and operation efficiencies in a way to lower the prices and increase the services and choices to the people, thus the wages increased. This meant an increase in income to the people (An American Turning Point, 2011).

In conclusion, the progressive era and the great depression played a great role in revolutionizing the way the American economy is managed. The policies that have resulted from then have been embraced in other countries and they form the fundamentals of business as well as racial protocols.


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Stromberg, Joseph R. (1998). The Spanish-American War: The Leap into Overseas Empire. Retrieved from,

University of Washington (n.d.) Lesson Twenty: Modern Society in the Pacific Northwest; The Second World War as Turning Point. Retrieved from