1. Progressivism in US. history was a broadly based reform movement that reached its height early in the 20th century. In the decades following the Civil War rapid industrialization transformed the United States. A national rail system was completed; agriculture was mechanized; the factory system spread; and cities grew rapidly in size and number.
The progressive movement arose as a response to the vast changes brought by industrialization. Progressivism began in the cities, where
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shattered what hopes remained for the early emergence of a modernizing New South, and forced longestablished businesses into bankruptcy. It facilitated the penetration of northern capital, as outside corporations bought up bankrupt southern railroads and other enterprises. Long into the twentieth century, the South would remain the nation's foremost economic problem  a legacy not only of slavery but also of the social and economic changes that began during Reconstruction, and of Reconstruction's political failure.