As troubled blacks resigned themselves to "separate
but equal" lives, Progressives planned to benefit
the world with social policies, their monument
to anti-business overuse of government.
With roots in William James, the clamor for reform
accompanied "Progressive" thinking, and the norm
of innovative business growth was under fire
from those who felt their goals were something to acquire
through government. With Prohibition, women's rights,
and preservation of the land, Progressive fights
were often well-intentioned, but injurious
to people in the longer term. It's curious
that segregation lasted, even in the North,
as "Plessy versus Ferguson" proclaimed thenceforth
that "separate but equal" policy is fair.
The Negroes lived in colonies of stark despair.
An economic path was championed by Du Bois,
and Booker Washington remained the stubborn voice
of Negro tolerance. The N.A.A.C.P.
used legal strategies. The west began to see
the preservation issue come alive: John Muir
said land was public, but his actions would ensure
a loss of benefits to most, with property
development curtailed (it's business, not decree
of government, that "saved the bison"). So a surge
of this Progressive thinking came in '12, the urge
for woman's suffrage, healthy food, and temperance.
The Socialists were soon to fade, a consequence
of World War 1 demands for vital industry.
Progressives fought a (normal) inequality
of income with the income tax, with Wilson, Taft
and "Bull Moose" Teddy Roosevelt all prepared to craft
the legislation. Wilson, first a moderate
of social thought, became a staunch confederate
of moralist reformers, with the income tax,
the Federal Reserve, and anti-trust attacks
on corporations. Prohibition, a campaign
of Women's Temperance, began against cocaine
in Coca Cola. Suffrage had the radical
and racist views of Margaret Sanger, and the full
support of moralists, Jane Addams, and a host
of misdirected "scientists." And truly, most
Progressives found their best intentions gone astray:
the quest for morals ushered Liberty away.