Towards the end of the nineteenth century, reform movements were sweeping across America. As Americans moved into the twentieth century, there was one thing that was necessary: change. The country had recently overcome a depression and a war, and it was time to make appropriate reformations in order to adjust a series of problems that had become widespread. At this time, a movement began to gain support and spread throughout the nation: the Progressive Movement. In order to understand this movement, it is important to understand the origins and the characteristics of it. Through an analysis of these two areas, we can gain a greater knowledge of the ideas and beliefs that provided the driving forces for Progressivism. .
The origins of Progressivism stemmed from many of the events occurring in the last third of the nineteenth century that left American individuals feeling socially and economically threatened. "The era between 1895 and 1920 included a series of movements, each aiming in one way or another to renovate or restore American society, values, and institutions." Ideas of reform were hardly new when the Progressive Movement uplifted. During these years prior to when Progressivism had technically started, society had transformed rapidly largely due to the great advances of the Industrial Revolution. These transformations brought with them a new emergence of wealth. There was also apparent widespread political corruption, which was influencing the economy and society at large. The changes that unfolded created conditions that individuals felt needed to be addressed desperately. It was the "class and status conflicts of the late nineteenth century that formed the driving forces that made men become reformers." .
Early attempts at reform were not very effective. The campaigns were individualistic and simple-minded with several different conflicting groups, only aiming at a quick answer to a single problem, making the protests.