Who were the Progressives? In the first two decades of the twentieth century, a diverse array of Americans sought solutions to the social problems caused by industrialization and urbanization. Because they did not recognize themselves as a cohesive group — indeed, the description "Progressive" only developed late in the era — it has fallen to historians to define Progressivism and its participants as belonging to a distinct period. The 8 articles included in this volume explore who participated in the social movements considered Progressive, what their goals were, what tactics they used, and the degree to which their activity was revolutionary. Viewing the Progressive era as the precursor to the activist state that developed during World War I and more fully during the Depression, the book explores the civic imagination of a remarkable group of reformers who sought to change their society creatively, completely, and peacefully.
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