1. Civil Rights-- W.E.B. Du Bois published "The Souls of Black Folk" in 1903 which called for a more proactive approach to civil rights; in 1909, the NAACP was founded by a group of black and white activists.
2. Conservationism-- Millions of acres of land and mineral sites were set aside as national property during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt for conservation and reclamation; in 1906, the National Park Service was founded by the Organic Act.
3. Government Reform-- Wisconsin governor Robert La Follette implemented the "Wisconsin Idea" which reformed taxes, elections, railroad rates, and more; he also allowed voters to have a more direct control of their government, and other states would see his actions and would follow suit.
4. Health & Medicine-- After the 1906 publication of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle", which examined the horrors of the meatpacking industry, reformers worked to create national food and drug regulations; today, we have the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure our food and medicine is safe for consumption.
5. Labor Reform-- Theodore Roosevelt became the first president to support workers by intervening in the coal strike of 1902 on behalf of the miners. Reformers also advocated for legislation regulating child labor and workplace safety. Labor reform would lead to the rise of OSHA safety standards, workers compensation, and other measures.
6. Radical Trade Unionism-- Trade unions were established for the benefit of the workers; tools such as strikes and collective bargaining were used to receive things like worker safety measures and higher pay...including the fight for a minimum living wage.
7. Socialism-- Socialism is a dirty word in this country, but it would come to the U.S. in the 1900s. Socialist candidate Eugene Debs won 800,000 votes in 1912 for the presidential election, showing how popular Socialism was at the time. Some socialist measures continue to exist in this country--such as public schools, public libraries, public emergency forces such as police, firefighters, and EMS, and more.
8. Temperance-- Temperance groups blamed violence, poverty, and other social problems on alcohol. As a result of the work carried out by temperance groups, the Eighteenth Amendment forbidding the manufacturing, sale, transportation, and consumption of alcohol was ratified to the Constitution; later, this amendment would be stricken.
9. Trust Busting-- Theodore Roosevelt used the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Act to "bust" up powerful monopolies and corporate trusts like the Northern Securities railroad trust and the Standard Oil trust.
10. Women's Rights-- Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in Brooklyn in 1916. Birth control would allow women to space out their births and to limit the number of children they had. The infamous Comstock Laws would be passed, which severely censored information and materials considered "indecent" such as information on birth control; women of all social classes rallied against these laws, and would also rally for suffrage (which I described in a post in March for Women's History Month). The Nineteenth Amendment would be ratified in 1920 and women would be granted the right to vote.
This post was a summary of the many reform movements of the Progressive Era. These reforms by no means eliminated the social ills of the day, but the goal to set out to make a better country in the wake of industrialization was fought head-on by people of all social classes who saw that moving forward technologically was not positive for everyone.