Parties and Platforms


What election “firsts” did the Progressives establish?

During the 1890s, the Progressive movement—a broad-based reform movement of mainly middle-class, urban Americans seeking to alleviate many of the social ills plaguing American society—picked up momentum. While the movement was not cohesive or organized, the Progressives began to make inroads at the state level to reform government, with a larger goal of undermining the power of party bosses and restoring sovereignty to the people.

The three Progressive-minded presidents were Theodore Roosevelt (served 1901–1909), William Howard Taft (served 1909–1913), and Woodrow Wilson (served 1913–1921).


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