Progressive Era Through The Great Depression

1768 words - 8 pages

The Progressive Era marked a time of new reforms throughout our nation and these changes have shaped the country we live in today. This era was the nation’s response to the Industrial Revolution. It affected all Americans and transformed the role of government in American society. Most racial issues and women's rights, were ignored during the progressive era, but the groundwork was laid for future reforms in those areas.
Many events occurred during the time of the Progressive Era and Great Depression that made a big contribution to today’s society. One of the first turning points of this era was the founding of the Anti-Saloon League. It was a non-partisan political pressure group ...view middle of the document...

Progressives strived to create an importance in better schools and better wages for teachers. They believed that in order for Americans to work better in their everyday jobs and be active in politics, they need to be well educated. John Dewey helped develop what was later called “Progressive Education”. He was philosopher at the University of Chicago and founded the Laboratory School. This school was structured around giving children the ability to pursue their own creative interests rather than forcing them to memorize a curriculum. He believed that this approach taught children to live in democracy and how to make good moral choices in all areas of their lives. Another effort in improving education was the creation of the General Education Board. It was established in 1902 by John D. Rockefeller. In its first seven years, Rockefeller gave the GEB over $53 million and directed its efforts primarily toward the South, where it shared personnel and funding with the Southern Education Board. The GEB helped improve primary education and opened over 500 high schools in the southern states between 1905 and 1920. Annual spending, the average length of the school year, enrollment, and teacher salaries all increased among middle-class, town-dwelling whites. The GEB offered little help to African American southerners in deliberately segregated and underfunded schools. The factors of better education are still major issues today. The improvement of schools and teacher wages are a focal point that has increased recently and it all started long ago during this Progressive Era. Inner city schools that are full of minorities still face issues of limited resources and are often underfunded compared to neighboring schools in higher income areas. The concepts that Dewey believed in are more widespread and our world as a whole believes in the importance of education for children starting at a younger age nowadays.
Henry Ford contribution to American history was another big turning point that spearheaded new ideas that helped boost the economy. The creation of the Model T Ford and the development of the assembly line changed the American way of life forever. Henry Ford did not invent the car but he produced an automobile that was within the economic reach of the average American. Instead of pocketing the profits, Ford lowered the price of his car. As a result, Ford Motors sold more cars and steadily increased its earnings while transforming the automobile from a luxury toy to a mainstay of American society. The Model T made its debut in 1908 with a purchase price of $825.00. Over ten thousand were sold in its first year, establishing a new record. Four years later the price dropped to $575.00 and sales soared. Prior to the introduction of the assembly line, cars were individually crafted by teams of skilled workmen - a slow and expensive procedure. The assembly line reversed the process of automobile manufacture. Instead of workers going to the car, the car...

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