The Progressive Era started in the 1890’s and ran through the 1920’s. During this time period, the Progressives wanted to eliminate government corruption.
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They believed they could do this by eliminating political machines and political bosses. One way they wanted to accomplish this was through prohibition.
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They believe that those political bosses who operated through saloons could no longer be financed if prohibition came about. In addition, they were in favor of woman’s suffrage, the right for all women to vote, and in modernization. They believed that in all areas of society, old was bad, because it was probably inefficient. So, they were always searching for a new way to do things that they thought that would be more efficient.
One way in which they try to do this was by mimicking what was going on in Western Europe. They followed new advances in Western Europe very closely because they believed that what was going on over there was good and efficient. One example of this is the Federal Reserve System, an idea that America got from Europe. Followers of the Progressive movement were mainly middle-class Americans, and it started in a local arena, then the Progressive movement moved to the state level, and then, finally, ended up in the national arena. They believed in scientific approaches to many things, including theology, school, and family life, as well as government. And so, it was kind of a new thought this time, and just as the name implies, they were progressive, looking for new ways to do things.