- Published: October 22, 2022
- Updated: October 22, 2022
- University / College: Vanderbilt University
- Level: Masters
- Language: English
- Downloads: 31
American History: Short Answer Quiz American History: Short Answer Quiz Explain the different ways Progressive reformers responded to the problems the nation faced in the Gilded Age
The progressive reformisms came with the notion of fixing every problem that had resulted from the Gilded Age with the problem of uneven distribution of resources taking a center stage in the minds of most reformers. Solutions to the Gilded Age problems were attained through collective effort from workers and farmers, middle-class activists and reformists within the business fraternity (Henretta & Brody, 2010). The majority of reformers believed that the social and political problems associated with concentration of resources in the urban centers could only be resolved through significant collaboration between the government and the people in addressing social problems as well as regulation of issues such as health and business.
Political progressives had supported the goal of returning sanity in the nation’s political arena through strategies such as introduction of recall aimed at removing non-performing leaders, and referendums which sought to give voters more power (Henretta & Brody, 2010). Political progressives such as Robert M. La Follette particularly played a critical role in the introduction of the direct primaries or the Wisconsin Idea as the model for selecting government leaders.
Social progressives, on the other hand, had the goal of liberating the society from social injustices such as discrimination of women and restoration of the minorities’ rights. Some of the social progressives such as Wells-Barnett, Du Bois and Washington fought against racial injustices experienced during the Gilded Age (Henretta & Brody, 2010).
Business progressives like Wilson focused on eliminating the lack of leveled grounds in the business sectors with one more landmark achievement being the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act.
2. What were the domestic effects of WWI on:
a. Business practices
The increased inflations and the severe negative impact of the war saw the government strengthen its regulation in the banking sector with the aim of reversing the situation. Woodrow had already initiated such reforms through the establishment of the Federal Bank Reserve Act which was later strengthened through the Clayton Antitrust Act (Henretta & Brody, 2010). Throughout the war period, a significant shift was away from monopolies and elimination of most unfair trade practices through the Federal Trade Commission.
b. Labor / unions
World War I resulted in significant success in the accomplishment of some of the union demands as labor became scarcer. Some of the notable achievements included the introduction of fixed wages and involvement of the government in regulating working conditions. A minimum wage and limitation of the working hours to 8 hours were arrived at through the New Deal.
c. African Americans
World War One came a blessing in disguise for the African Americans as it opened new doors for the liberation from social, political and economic oppression. Throughout the war, African Americans continued to demand for their rights as they contested the issue of American democracy (Henretta & Brody, 2010). The war gave them an opportunity to migrate to areas of their prevalence where they consolidated their numbers in order to drive their demands and make impact on the American society.
World War I resulted in women gaining recognition as full members of the society, a development that was characterized by women taking up jobs previously held by men, increased employment of women in the industrial sector, clerical jobs, and elimination of injustices such as lack of property ownership and the right to vote or be elected.
3. The New Deal was a set of government policies designed to rehabilitate the American economy in response to the Great Depression.
Explain how the government attempted to:
a. Achieve recovery in the weakest sectors of the economy
The recovery from the weakest sectors of the economy was achieved through implementation of policies that allowed collusion of the entire industrial sector in raising the minimal wages and promotion of collective bargaining. The collective bargaining between the firms and labor sector assisted weak firms in increasing their productivity. The policies were based on the assumption that collusion presented the opportunity to increase the bargaining power among the firms (Henretta & Brody, 2010). The involved policies included the New Deal Labor and Industrial Policies which were to increase wages and prices and boost competition, and the monetary insurance policy,
b. Provide relief for its citizens
The New Deal policies led to the increase in wages offered by the firms, thereby presenting a great opportunity for raising the standards of living for the workers. This was accompanied by a significant limit of the number of working hours to about 8 hours per day, thereby providing great relief to the workers especially from meager pay and overworking. Increased employment was facilitated by the Civilian Conservation Corps policy and the Civil Work Administration policy.
c. Reform economic, financial, and banking practices
The New Deal policies introduced significant changes in the economy and the banking sector with the aim of recovering from the depression. The introduction of the insurance policy particularly contributed to ending the panic that was being experienced in the banking sector (Henretta & Brody, 2010). New regulations were introduced in the banking sector to control the excesses of the bank especially in the introduction of products that put their clients at great risks. The reserve bank systems introduced significant control on the currency supply as a way of cushion the economy from inflations. The policy included the anti-cyclic policy which sought to control the activities of the banking sector.
Henretta, J., & Brody, D. (2010). America: A concise history (4th ed). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins.
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