The Progressive Era and Its Technological Inventions Essay

October 14, 2020 by Essay Writer

The Progressive Era refers to the period in American history, which lasted from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. The Progressive Era was an enlightened age, which transformed various sectors in society. These transformations affected American citizens either positively or negatively based on the particular field (Hatfield and Hatfield, 2010). Moreover, the period marked the shift from the agrarian to the urban society, and many critics referred to it as the age of reforms in American history. Such notable figures as John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, and President Theodore Roosevelt pioneered this great age. Different aspects that range from politics, the birth of democracy, innovations, women’s suffrage, liberalism, and policies underwent radical changes in the stipulated period. Basing on the analytical analysis of the period, the paper discusses the technological advancement in American history (Cocks et al., 2009).

America as a nation experienced new inventions in the early twentieth century. These new inventions and ideas revolutionized the way American industries operate up to now. By the year 1920, the country had transformed into the most industrialized nation on the earth surpassing the likes of Germany, Britain, and France. New inventions ranged from the automobile, the assembly line, the radio, television, and efficiency engineering. The Progressive Era had extraordinary technological pioneers such as Henry Ford and Thomas Edison (Hatfield and Hatfield, 2010).

Henry Ford’s invention of the automobile transformed the lives of the American citizens, for most of them earlier depended on horseless carriages. He transformed the automobile sector from a rich man’s asset to a common person’s method of transportation from one point to the other. Moreover, the automobile pioneered the growth of another sector in the rubber industry for manufacturing tires and the petroleum refinery industry. Consequently, the discovery of the assembly lines accelerated the productivity of different factories, which ranged from the food industry to the automobile industries. Since the idea became successful, Ford’s industries sought to mass-produce due to the growing number of middle-class citizens (Cocks et al., 2009).

On the other hand, Frederick Taylor pioneered the idea of competence engineering (Cocks et al., 2009). This noble concept helped industrialists to improve the productivity of their factories. His machine attempted to increase factory productivity levels and obtain results in the least possible time. He further developed different theories that helped industries reduce production time, which influenced positively their output levels. Furthermore, other famous figures such as the Wright brothers discovered that humans could actually fly in the year 1903 (Jaycox, 2005). They invented the first airplane, which made the flight across America easier. They were the first ones to engineer, pilot control, powerful airplane engines, and design efficient propellers during this great era.

Conclusively, all these discoveries in the technological sector, improved factory effectiveness, productivity levels, and minimize industrial strikes. Economically, American agriculture improved and even the farms became more productive in the country than in any other nation on the globe. As a result, there was an increase in population, which paved more room for growing of crops and advancement of labor saving machines. In addition, these discoveries improved working conditions of American laborers, and their wages and benefits were put into consideration for the first time. Industrial risks became noticeable at ease, which led the American government to pass legislations that protected common labors from industrial exploitation (Hatfield and Hatfield, 2010). This Era played a crucial role in shaping the modern day America as a world superpower. Technology reformed various sectors such as industries, finance, medicine, government and public education (Jaycox, 2005).


Cocks, C., Holloran, P. C., & Lessoff, A. (2009). Historical dictionary of the Progressive Era. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press.

Hatfield, Z. J., & Hatfield, M. J. (2010). Progressivism: Our road to serfdom. Bloomington, IN.: Trafford On Demand Pub.

Jaycox, F. (2005). The progressive era. New York: Facts on file.

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