Progressivism: a term used to describe moderate socialist movements of the early 1900's
  • Reforms introduced by Theodore Roosevelt during his presidency
  • Gives middle-class Americans a "Square Deal"
  • These movements advocated for government reforms (both political and social) as well as increased social justice
  • Prevented large companies from abusing their control
  • Elkins (1903) and Hepburn (1906) Acts - stopped railroads from offering preferential treatment to some of their corporate customers
  • Improve working conditions and address food safety concerns
  • Meat Inspection (1906) and the Pure Foods and Drug Acts (1906) - addressed food safety concerns
  • William Howard Taft, Roosevelt's successor, pursued some of the progressive initiatives started by Roosevelt
  • Break up trusts - large business conglomerates that exerted monopolies
  • Have collective protection while still preserving individual rights and freedoms
  • Progressivism challenged classical liberalism [1]

Significance and Relationship to the Ebb and Flow of Liberal Economics

Theodore Roosevelt, well known for introducing progressive reforms during his presidency
Roosevelt's ideals are where we first see the concepts of modern liberalism come out. The economy was almost totally laissez-faire, with horrible working conditions and social unrest for some. Roosevelt, believed that this could change, with a little government intervention.


[1] Fielding, J. (2009). Chapter 6: The Evolution of modern liberalism. In L. M. Linton & M. Schwalbe (Eds.), Perspectives on Ideology (pp. 199-200). Ontario, Canada: Oxford University Press