2 The Progressive Era
The first two decades of the twentieth century are sometimes called the Progressive Era because the politics of the period was dominated by reformers who wanted “progress” in various areas. Progressive reformers worked to improve the lives of workers, immigrants, rural people, and the poor; they worked to improve education and public health; and they fought for laws that would allow more people to be involved in politics, make taxes fairer, and make businesses more responsible. They also tried to reform people’s morals, through efforts like Prohibition — the banning of alcohol. In this chapter, you’ll look at some of the ways reformers tried to improve life, work, and society in North Carolina.