2.14 – The Progressives (2nd half)

Digital History, “The Progressive Era”

The Nation, Famous Progressives

Wittner, “Another Democratic Socialist Ran for President”

David Oshinsky, “Imbeciles” and “Illiberal Reformers”

PBS, “Unwanted Sterilization and Eugenics Programs”

Spartacus Educational, “Muckraking Journalism”

Discussion questions

What were some of the broader political and economic forces that helped lead to the creation of the progressive movement?

Who were the progressives? What was their general social and economic background?

What did progressives want? What were some of their various aims?

What did progressives think about how extensive the U.S. government’s influence on American life should be?

How did Progressives seek to use eugenics and the power of the government to safeguard the “racial character” of the U.S. population?

What role did concern for racial justice play in the progressive movement? What was the relationship between African Americans and the progressive movement?

Identify three key “muckrakers” and identity at least three laws that their investigative journalism helped garner support for.

Identify three male and three female progressives from the early 20th century and briefly explain their historical significance.


If you wish, conduct additional research to support your answers.

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