Reinventing “The People”: The Progressive Movement, the by Shelton Stromquist

By Shelton Stromquist

In this a lot wanted accomplished examine of the innovative circulate, its reformers, their ideology, and the social conditions they attempted to alter, Shelton Stromquist contends that the patience of sophistication clash in the United States challenged the very defining function of Progressivism: its promise of social concord via democratic renewal.


Profiling the movement's paintings in varied arenas of social reform, politics, hard work rules and "race improvement," Stromquist argues that whereas innovative reformers can have emphasised various courses, they crafted a typical language of social reconciliation during which an imagined civic group ("the People") might go beyond parochial classification and political loyalties. As revolutionary reformers sought to reinvent a society within which classification had no enduring position, additionally they marginalized new immigrants and African american citizens as being unprepared for civic tasks. In so doing, Stromquist argues that Progressives laid the basis for twentieth-century liberals' lack of ability to determine their global at school phrases and to conceive of social treatments that will modify the buildings of sophistication power.


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Like the railroad strikes of 1877, which in the eyes of many Americans had inaugurated the period of crisis, the Pullman strike, played out on a national stage, involved the railroads and their employees as central actors. The boycott and strike saw considerable destruction of life and property and brought the massive intervention of the federal government. But unlike any other mass strike of the era, the Pullman strike manifested a degree of central organization and national coordination not seen before.

29 An abundance of evidence testifies to the distinctive class culture workers forged in the heat of late-nineteenth-century labor conflict. Depression era pressures bridged the worlds of skilled and unskilled, diminishing differences in status and income and fostering a degree of cooperation and interdependence rarely witnessed in the decades before or after. In battles over the use of public space and in contests over control of local government and police, workers made common cause despite ethnic differences or level of skill.

Violence in Chicago and other rail centers followed the introduction of troops and the arrest of the union leaders. With the union’s internal communications disrupted, federal authorities and company officials gradually restored order and increased rail traffic. 46 But the strike had left an indelible mark on a generation of reformers, none more so than Jane Addams, John Dewey, Edward Bemis, and Ray Stannard Baker. jane addams For Jane Addams, whose Hull-House had opened its doors five years earlier to serve myriad human needs in a poor and densely crowded immigrant dis- 26 .

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