The Progressive Movement
In the 1890s, the Progressive Movement arose in the United States. Political corruption and unbridled capitalism had nearly crushed the Founding Fathers’ ideals. Ordinary citizens mobilized to bring the nation back to its original promise.
Political corruption was the order of the day. “Boss” Tweed and Tammany Hall’s political machine ruled New York City. They lined their pockets at voters’ expense. And they were hardly alone. Every city and state had its political machines.
Child labor and worker abuse were rampant. Children toiled in mines and mills. 146 workers – some as young as 14 – died in the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911. They couldn’t escape because mill managers had locked them in.
America Wakes Up
Like the revolutionary heroes of 1776, ordinary Americans rose against these abuses. Union organizers like Mary Harris “Mother” Jones. Politicians like trustbuster Teddy Roosevelt. And millions more.
Corrupt politicians used bribes, threats, and police power to fight the threat. Wealthy mill and mine owners banned unions. They fired and blackballed “unruly” workers. They even hired private armies to violently put down worker protests.
In the end, our citizens won. Roosevelt and his allies defanged the robber barons. Unions won fair wages and other protections. New laws moved children out of mines and mills and into schools.
It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t easy. But it revealed the power of Progressivism.
The Progressive Movement Today
Thomas Carlyle once wrote, “Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.” In other words, if we don’t act on our beliefs, those beliefs are meaningless.
Today, a growing list of politicians – like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren – focus on the issues that spawned the Progressive movement. But Conservatives seek to dismantle the safeguards established by Progressives.
The Occupy Movement was chaotic, but it showed Progressivism isn’t dead.
The election of Donald Trump gave millions a final push. We’ve seen our rights and protections dismantled daily – all to enrich the privileged few. But there’s been a positive reaction.
We’ve seen a rebirth of Progressive ideals. And that’s where Progressive Truth comes in.
We’re a source of well-researched information. A place to find practical suggestions for action. And a haven to escape from the constant clamor of Fox News, Breitbart, and their ilk.
In spite of Trump’s claim, America never lost her greatness. Working together, we can prove just how wrong he is.