Middle class influenced by Darwinian revolution, focusing on problems created by expanding industrial world. Realistic, ie took surveys and such. Henry George's Progress and Poverty and Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward set precedent. Believed world in flux, so rebel against fixed issues in every field. Unfortunately, progressivisim did not usually mean progress for blacks. .
Frances Kellor- lawyer turned social reformer, believed poverty and inequality could be eliminated and that if Americans heard truth about millions living in urban slums, they would rise up and change things. Provided documents of wrongs in industrial America.
Like many progressives, thought environment was more important than heredity in determining ability, and happiness. Better schools/housing produce better citizens, went as far to argue criminals victims of environment. Helped to found the National Committee for Immigrants in America and Division of Immigrant Education w/in Dept of Education. Supported Roosevelt's Progressive Party (which lost).
John Dewey- philosopher who wrote that ideas could be instruments for change. Experimented with progressive education, at Univ of Chicago replaced school desks with movable seats. "Child-centered, not subject-oriented" Students should learn by doing, put into action. .
William James- upheld pragmatism and denied universal truths. Ideas should be judged by their usefulness. .
The Muckrakers- group of writers exposed to corruption and other evils in American society. (dubbed by Teddy Roosevelt). Not all were reformers, some wanted to profit from scandals. Can be seen as product of the journalistic revolution of the 1890s. Atlantic, Century, Scriber's read by highly educated. American, McClure's, Cosmopolitan were slick, carried ads, sold more widely. .
Lincoln Steffens- wrote for McClure's to expose connections btw respectable businessmen and corrupt politicians. Determined to comb out dirt in government.