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The Impact of the Progressive Era on American Politics and Foreign Policy

May 19, 2023 | 0 comments

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May 19, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments


The time interval of 1890 to 1920 contains the timeframe that most usually could be described as a change of the USA from a very local power to a well-known global powerhouse. This period was referred to as the progressive era and it started with an expansion of the role of the united states in the Caribbean and The southern part of the united states such as the annexation of Hawaii islands isles, success in the Spanish-American War, and following getting of Cuba, Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico. This identified the almost complete elimination of the Spanish from the nations and the southern part of Asia. Theodore Roosevelt in 1904 engaged the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which usually described that the United States could get engaged in Main and south Latin America to improve and stabilize them if it was in the interest of the United States. This removed European nations from the whole hemisphere, making it under the sphere of influence of the U.S.A, and developing the first position all over the globe under the hegemony of the United States. This period finally culminated in World War 1 when the United States intervened in a war across the sea and became one of the well-known global dominant powers. The progressive era of political reform, social activism, and foreign policy were primarily detrimental.


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Kazin et al (2010) pointed out that the progressive movement in the United States was a movement that characterized a change in the United States and was enthusiastic about enhancing team and political reform, reducing political corruption due to government devices, and reducing the political impact of huge organizations. Although many Progressives saw United States power in a foreign area as a probability to create the Contemporary domestic agenda foreign, and to improve foreign cultures, others were very much concerned about the negative results of United States treatments and colonialism which were detrimental to the global arena (Kessner et al, 1999).

According to Faragher et al (2006), the progressive movement that existed in the Progressive Era started with the domestic agenda. Progressives were enthusiastic about developing a clearer and responsible government that would work to improve the society of the United States. These reformers suggested such suggestions as a public service modification, food recommendations of security, and improved government privileges for females and United States employees. In the 1890s, the movement also started to question the power of huge organizations and monopolies after a sequence of documents exposed unclear business practices. This intervention as observed by Abbott (2000) really jeopardized the independence and operations of some of the multinational companies operating in the soil of the United States

The United States government throughout the period of the 1890s became gradually likely to depend on its army and financial power to take aspect in foreign policy goals (Muzzey, 1911). The most well-known action during this interval, the Spanish-American War, led to United States control of the former Spanish locations and colonies such as Puerto Rico and Malaysia, as well as improved impact over Cuba. These locations taken in the Spanish-American war had a different response toward the occupation of the United States. In Malaysia, The forces of the United States experienced ready insurgency, while in Puerto Rico, working-class and Contemporary Puerto Ricans saw the United States as an effective counterweight to local sugar market elites (Kazin et al, 2010).

Many Progressives, such as the president of the united states Theodore Roosevelt, saw no problem between imperialism and the home reforms to them, both were types of reforms, uplift, and enhancement, and so they saw in these new locations a probability to further the Contemporary agenda all over the globe (Kessner et al, 1999). However, especially after the Philippine-American War violence, other Progressives became gradually oral about their stage of prospective to cope with United States foreign contribution and imperialism. Still, others suggested that foreign projects would take away from much-needed societal and domestic changes which were entirely detrimental.

Faragher et al (2006) pointed out that under the power of United States Senator Bob Follette, Contemporary opposition to cope with foreign contribution further improved under the Money Diplomacy suggestions of the Republican president of the united states of America  Bill Howard Taft, and his secretary of the  State Philander Knox. However, Progressives stayed mostly enthusiastic about domestic problems, and Republican Progressives sometimes hesitated to crack their lines and party affiliations on foreign strategy, expecting to create a sure higher impact on domestic problems within the Republican Party. In the same way, Abbott (2000) observed that after the choice of Democratic president of the united states Woodrow Wilson, Democratic Progressives also handled to follow Wilson’s lead on foreign strategy problems, while the misogynistic response against them was led by the other progressives from the republican party. President Wilson also experienced the stage of level of resistance from Director-General of the Pan-American Cooperation, Bob Barrett, whom Wilson gradually pressured out of office in 1919 (Muzzey, 1911).

Kazin et al (2010) pointed out that President Wilson may have had higher bookings about the United States foreign contribution in the nations than former president Roosevelt, but he was willing to get engaged in the Mexican Revolution. Issues about possible German submarine warfare also triggered him to order United States army invasions in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and also led to purchase from Denmark the of the United States Virgin Islands. The army personnel’s integrated components of the Contemporary program, trying to set up effective local cops’ forces, create team features, reform land laws, and increase public having access to information. However, these programs were being affected by the local stage of perspective to cope with the occupation by the United States and United States policies that unintentionally confirmed insufficient. Where Contemporary policies experienced to destabilize United States power, United States authorities in cost of taking up forces determined for balance rather than genuine Contemporary changes. This was detrimental in the long run to the United States (Kessner et al, 1999).

In foreign strategy, the progressive movement was also divided over the ratification of the Agreement of Versailles. Progressive Senator Bill Borah led the strategy against ratification, and he would gradually become the champ of the isolationist action until his fatalities in 1940. Other Progressives considered anything more positively (Faragher et al, 2006).
The progressive movement in the 1920s started to be modified by several different actions. In some circumstances, such as female suffrage, Contemporary success triggered activists to lose strength to power for further reform (Abbott, 2000). The Contemporary aspect of the Republican Party was damaged by the celebration distinguishes of 1912 and 1924, which were projects to type a third, Contemporary celebration. The progressive aspect of the Democratic Party would gradually be subsumed under the wider new Deal coalition of Franklin Roosevelt. Worldwide strategy problems would gradually be targeted on the commencement of the Second World War, and Contemporary problems took a back chair to the interventionist and isolationist divided (Muzzey, 1911).

Kazin et al (2010) observed that The progressive Era was one of the typical achievements after the panic of 1893, a serious depression that ended in 1897. The panic in 1907 was short and mostly impacted creditors and financiers. However, Kessner et al (1999) stress the mistakes of the economic system in 1907–1914, connecting them to public requirements for more Modern treatments. The panic of 1907 was followed by a small loss of real earnings and an improved absence of the profession, with both styles ongoing until World War I. Campbell specializes in the leading force on public finance and the effect on the policies of the Wilson administration. The damaged economic system and serious government problems led to changes in the working plan, such as the imposition of government taxation on organizations and people and the development of the Government Source System. Government organizations were also personalized in a try to enhance control efficiency. This generally was injurious to the government, the public, and the entire nation as a whole (Faragher et al, 2006).


In conclusion, from the discussion in the essay, many factors discussed showed how the changes in American politics and foreign policy from the 1890s to 1920 were primarily detrimental. The period characterized by the progressive reforms in the international and domestic arena was promising but in the long run, proved otherwise.


Kazin, M., Edwards, R., & Rothman, A. (2010). The Princeton encyclopedia of American political history. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Kessner, T., Rosenblum, A., & the City University of New York. (1999). A graduate curriculum guide to philanthropy in American history: The elite experience, 1890-1940. New York: Center for the Study of Philanthropy.
Faragher, J. M., Buhle, M. J., Armitage, S. H., & Czitrom, D. J. (2006). Out of many: A history of the American people. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Abbott, J. (2000). American history. New York: Sheldon & Co.
Muzzey, D. S. (1911). An American history. Boston: Ginn and Co.

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