Progressivism at the Grassroots Level

A wide variety of causes fell under the Progressive label. For example, Wisconsin’s Robert M. (“Fighting Bob”) La Follette, one of the most Progressive politicians of his day, fought hard to curb the power of special interests in politics and reform the democratic process at state and local levels. Others sought out safer working conditions for factory workers. Different groups prioritized banning the sale of alcohol, which, they believed, was the root of much of the trouble for the working poor. No matter what the cause, Progressive campaigns often started with issues brought to the public’s attention by muckraking journalists.