Progressive Era

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Social Studies
American History

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Progressive Era

The end of reconstruction marked the beginning of the Progressive Era. Progressives believed it the was the government's duty to fix the ills of society. They also wanted regular citizzens to have a voice in government. In Georgia poltical leaders such as the Populist Party and Rebecca Felton fought for the rights of the everyday citizen. The Populist Party gained widespread support in Georgia and Rebecca Felton eventually fought for the end of the convict lease system. At the same time, the Temperance Movement, which believed alcohol was a cause of the ills of society, also became popular.

Major Changes

1882 - Thomas Watson elected to General assembly.1908 - Convict lease system Elimated 1895- Atlanta Compromise Speech

In Georgia's political arena, the Populist Party had gained a lot of support. Led by Thomas Watson, they planned to bring on reforms. These reforms included an eight hour work day, unlimited coinage of silver, fre postal delivery to farmers, and government owned utilities. The Populist Party was set up to ensure the interests poor farmers who faced many struggles at the time.

Prison Reform

Prison reform was pushed by Rebecca Felton and her husband. She advocated the end of the convict lease system, which allowed prisoners to be leased to private companies. Most of these prisoners did not receive proper care. They were badly clothed and most of time lacked food. In 1908, the Convict Lease system was elimated and replaced by the chain gang.


Progressive Era

Progressive Movement


Civil Rights

Two major civil rights leaders for African Americansduring the progressive era were Booker T. Washingtonand W.E.B Du Bois. Both fought for the progress of the minority community and saw racism as a great obstacle. Washington argued that industrial work and material prosperitywould eventually gain African-Americans civil rights. On the other hand, liberal-arts educatedDu Bois felt that political agitation and protest would end discrimination. Washington also wasthe founder fo Tuskegee University. In addition, Du Bois lead the Niagara Movement, the precursor to the NAACP. Etiher, both men promoted racial solidarity and fought to end prejudice such as the state spnsored Jim Crow laws, which segretated blacks and whites.

Zainaldin, Jamil S. "Progressive Era." New Georgia Encyclopedia. N.p., 25 Jan. 2008. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.


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