Columbus North High School

Industrialism & Reform

The Populists and the Progressives


The Industrial Age brought a higher standard of living to many Americans and helped bring about a “society of plenty’ that became the envy of the world.  But this radical transformation of society was not without its costs.  The wretched living conditions of the tenements, the abject poverty that plagued so many of the workers, the racial and ethnic prejudice and discrimination, and the staggering abuse of women and children in the workforce are all examples of that cost.  America was not blind to the abuse or deaf to the roar of the oppressed.  The American people harnessed the “can do” attitude that helped conquer the frontier and produce the Age of the Machine, to bring about the reforms needed to make the American ideal of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” a reality.  In this webquest you will research the reform movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Populism and Progressivism. 



1.     Students will compare and contrast the Populist and Progressive reform


2.       Students will evaluate the impact of the Populist and Progressive

              movements on American society.

3.       Students will analyze the impact of the Populist and Progressive movements

on the role of women in American society.


The Tasks


1.     Write a minimum 3 page typed paper on the following prompt.


To what extent did the economic, political, and social reforms of the Populist and

Progressive eras change the role of women in American society? 

You must use a minimum of 4 primary sources with quotes from the documents, and 4 secondary sources to support your answer.  A complete and correct bibliography must be included.  The paper must be typed with a 12 point Times New Romanor Rockwell  font.  Correct spelling, punctuation and grammar are expected.



     2   Create a power point on the history and accomplishments of the Populist and

          Progressive movements in America.  Your work should be biased presentation

to be presented to a group of non-Americans that carry a long held belief that America is an evil nation concerned only with the acquisition of wealth and the

power needed to exploit the environment and society to get it.

          The Power Point must detail the beginnings of the movement, the struggles to

bring about reform, the important people and events that instituted the reforms,

and the accomplishments of these movements.  All Power Points must have sound

and video with an accurate array of visuals to accentuate your points.  Bibliography

of a minimum of 8 sources.



     You may work with a partner on #1 or a group of 3 on #2.  All work is due by Monday,   February 2.



Here are some websites to aid you in your research.  Please feel free to use other websites that will help you produce a project of quality that reflects your hard work, intelligence, and creativity.



Describes and defines Progressivism, factors contributing to the movement,

distinctive characteristics of immigrants, reforms and an assessment of the


Details Progressivism, labor reforms and prominent national figures during the

Progressive Era in US. Time line for US Constitution


Details Eleanor Roosevelt’s opinions, thoughts and actions on the Progressive

Era Wisconsin enacted

innovative workplace legislation as early as the 1860s. It also is important to note

that the Progressives emphasized workplace reform not during Robert

LaFollette's time as governor but during the administration of Gov. Francis

McGovern (1911-15). A brief description of John

Patterson the businessman. Progressive Era


Thematic Timeline for the Progressive era

Government Regulation of Workers' Safety and Health, 1877-1917

ml#s110 Brief description on Industrialization and urbanization

On line resources for people and events of the Progressive Era. Progressive Era

timeline – 20th Century Fact sheets


How Scholars have Interpreted the Populist Movement from ... Documents on the Populist Movement · Links to Other Populism Websites.

Last Modified on January 13, 2009