The Effectiveness of the Government and Progressive Era reformists in Bringing Reforms at National Level

Political Science

The Effectiveness of the Government and Progressive Era reformists in Bringing Reforms at National Level


            The federal government of the USA and the reformists in the progressive era period did a lot in bringing about reforms at national levels.  Through institutions of various committees to foresee the changes in various departments the federal government instituted reforms that changed the functionality of the whole industries.  Individual reformists such as Jane Addams wrote on various articles dealing with the changes that needed to be instituted.  The efforts to institute changes were successful in some ways despite being checkered by failure. The paper analyses the success the changes brought in the society in addition to the failures of instituting changes.

             President Theodore Roosevelt appeared in a cartoon character dressed as a hunter alongside several bears.  Different kinds of bears represent the bad trusts, the good trusts, and the neutral trusts. The cartoon character depicts the bad trusts being pinned down symbolizing the destruction of trusts that were not in line with the presidential reforms. President Roosevelt instituted reforms regarding amalgamation and mergers of various companies. The reforms aimed at creation of monopolistic forms of operation. The creation of monopolies did away with the spirit of competition. Government authority did destroy bad trusts in the aim of helping good trusts to reform themselves.  The neutral trusts representative of independent business reforms that were in neither authority were scared during the hunt down for bad trusts. In essence, the reformation of industries did scare away the independent business operations that would flourish into an neutral environment. Therefore, despite the creation of trusts in helping do away with ideas that were not working such as oligopolies, the reforms instituted underpinned potential trusts (independent businesses) that would grow and contribute significantly in the national economy.

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             In 1906, President Roosevelt through reading of a book got to know of the disturbing conditions of the Chicago Meat Packaging plants. The workers in the plant were constantly exposed to health hazards. The meat products were processed in unhygienic conditions. So as to ascertain the reality of the matter, President Roosevelt instituted a reform committee to investigate on the Meat packaging plant in Chicago. The Neil-Reynolds report confirmed the sad state of affairs in the plant. There existed no legislation that could allow the state to enforce changes within such a plant. There arose need for amendment of the existing legislation to enact new reforms that could make the processing plant be forced to enact changes in their operation.  The President made the congress to pass the Beveridge Amendment that would make the Chicago Meat packaging plant submit to constant checks from the health department on its operation. The institution of the new legislation helped in curbing the interstate transfer of unhygienic meat. Also, the legislation was successful in improving the conditions of the Meat processing plant as they took note of the various packaging and operations standards as required by the law.

              The progressive era reformists brought into light the dark side of the existing conditions concerning a particular group of people in the society. In the Spirit of the Youth and the City Streets, Jane Addams illustrate the conditions that children have been subjected to in the post-reformist era.  She points out to the societal failure in the commercial and industrial enlightenment period. Children were still co-producers with the parents. The Young people are left to follow their emotions with no restrains. Thus many slip into street delinquency so as to enjoy life. Jane Addams calls for a connection between education and life.

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The society needs to restrain and tame the young adults. The youthful emotions should be turned into social values that would be helpful in the long end.  The reforms that are advocated throughout the text are important in bringing out social change in the society. Childhood and Youthful stages of life shape the fine behavior of the people in the society.  There shall be a better society when children are allowed play space. Parents should not esteem them as an extra supply of labor but rather esteem them as children. Young adult full of energy and life should be modeled into adapting values that add value to their lives as well as to the society. Consequently, Jane Addams write up was successful in bringing up changes that would streamline the activities of the youth as well as the parents.

            In His speech, President Roosevelt, championed for institution of changes regarding voting in the United States of America. Initially, the changes constituted the right of voting for the people. The Progressive era was for the first time pointing out on the changes that needed to empower the common man in the voting powers.  The primaries during an election would greatly impact on the outcome of the general election.  The women have not had a political right to vote for so long in the pre-reformist era. Institution of reforms would serve as an advocacy for participation in the voting process. The reforms instituted in the voting process continue to make a positive Impact in USA politics up to now. In the 2008 elections, MCcain and Obamanominations were greatly impacted by the primaries that took place. The reforms were successful in having the common man directly impact the choice of leaders in the national level.

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W.E.B DuBois  in 1919, pinned down an article regarding the return to war of the American Soldiers. He applauds the soldiers for extreme performance in the civil wars, however, he urges the soldiers to continue fighting at home.  DuBois advocates for a continued fight against atrocities committed in America that are shameful to mention. There have been inequalities regarding the Negroes living in USA. For years, Negroes education has not been clearly advocated for, lynching of the Negroes have continued, and continuous propaganda against the negroes have been propagated in the society. Also, there has been robbery in that the rich have taken away land that has traditionally belonged to the Negroes. DuBois was successful in bringing about the inequalities that a government performed against its own citizens. The social reforms to be instituted would address the empowerment of the Negroes and helping in creating equality among all the members of the American society.


The Social reforms advocated by the progressive era reformists and the federal government were important in bringing national level reforms. Some of the reforms were successful while other reforms were checked with failures in terms of the limitations for instituting the reforms. Advocacy for equality among the different citizens in the USA especially while dealing with the Negroes would seem favoritism in some part. Some social impacts of the manner in which someone has been brought up could generally contribute to the adult behavior.

Jane Addams assertion of the reformation of childhood as well as youthful behaviors would call for willingness from the participants themselves. Reforms instituted through President Roosevelt’s intervention have mostly proved successful. The introduction of direct votes fosters the participation of commons in the choice of national elections. The institution of reforms in the health sectors helped in the management of meat and packaging centers and dealing with interstate transfer of meat and meat products. Therefore, reforms at national level were a combination of the individual reformists’ efforts.


Washington Post , Cartoon Character.

The Neill-Reynolds Report, June 4, 1906.

Jane Addams, The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets, 1909.

Speech by Theodore Roosevelt, February 22, 1912.

W.E.B. DuBois, The Crisis, May 1919.

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