Within the beginning of 20th century and

Within the last 150 years, Populism and Progressivism are two of the main ideologies and/or philosophies that became movements in American history. As discussed in the past semester, Populism initiated in last decade of the 19th century, after the Farmers Alliance disbanded. The Populist movement was led by the farmers to help achieve economic change. At its root, Populists believe in the power of middle class and lower class citizens. They also believed that they had a right to have control in their government, over having political leaders or the wealthy upper class incharge. Whereas Progressivism, was formed in the beginning of 20th century and was a movement of the urban middle class against the political system. They believed the government was corrupt and they wanted a more fair and orderly society. (Populism). So as seen here, there are clearly some similarities, along with differences, between these two movements.
One of the differences is that the Populists strived to improve the economy, while Progressivists were focused on bringing political reforms. One reform consisted of lessening big businesses because they were believed to be too large. This was a problem because they took out all of the little businesses. Another reform was to better the living conditions of the urban poor because they consisted of unsafe working conditions and child labor. Also, Populism brought ideas like reforms in the civil services, regulation of banks and industries, 8 hours work for labor, while Progressivism mainly revolved around the political reforms and its borne issues like inflation and corruption in the business class.


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