Progressive Era in The search for Order

The search for Order written by Wiebe is about the social and economic disruptions that nationalization, industrialization, mechanization, urbanization, and the experience of Post-war reconstruction placed on the different communities that made up the United States during the gilded age. He also talks about the dislocation, and the bewilderment these forces had during the nineteenth century. This happened because many people were still rooted in their small town life. Wiebe writes that “Americans in a basic sense no longer know whom or what they were.


Wiebe takes on a different interpretation on the social anxiety then, Hofstadter did in the Age of Reform in 1955. While Hofstadter argued that Progressivism was an action to the fading of the elites trying to regain their former glory. Wiebe says that progressivism was an intellectual progeny of the new middle-class taking opportunities they found in the emerging national order.

Wiebe said that the route the progressives were taking was to replace the values of the small town communities with Assumptions of bureaucratic order and rationality and administration/management.

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By doing this, it would bring the communities into a more urban industrialized world. Wiebe argues that the progressives brought a more bureaucratic view of the world to the American way of life. He thought this view would bring a more sophisticated response to the social problems than the moralistic centered mind of the communities of the old era. As Wiebe said, ‘the heart of progressivism was the ambition of the new middle class to fulfill its destiny through bureaucratic means.

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Be that as it may, while a bureaucratic introduction may have exhibited a novel path for this new white collar class to comprehend the evolving scene, such an introduction did not really suggest change or advancement as such. Indeed, Wiebe makes careful arrangements to separate from a few components of change recently thought to be dynamic, for example, muckraking and the battle against civil debasement, from the development since they didn’t typify this move toward bureaucratic request. As he puts it, ‘similarly as progressivism was rising… a rash of out-dated unite indictments spread among huge numbers of the country’s significant urban communities… to numerous at that point and later these ethical campaigns appeared the best bloom of another change. As a matter of fact [these labors]… lay outside the standard of progressivism. With no reason past revelation and conviction and almost no sorted out help behind them, they caught the features, at that point vanished.’ Thus, even at this early date in the historiography, a wedge has been driven among progressivism and advancement – given a decision among administration and change, Wiebe’s progressives earnestly picked the previous.

Without a doubt, it is this valuation of bureaucratic procedure over change objectives that in Wiebe’s throwing, at last, demonstrates progressivism’s demise, since ‘bureaucratic administration loaned itself similarly to social control and to social discharge.’ In his words, progressives ‘had conveyed a methodology instead of an answer for their works, and at last, they developed only a way to deal with change, confusing it with a completed item.’ Buying into this ‘hallucination of satisfaction,’progressives and their youngster national organization, still had of ‘a specific weak quality that reflected vulnerability, freshness, and restricted gifts,’ were poorly arranged for the more stuns to the framework that would accompany war and corporate development, stuns that ‘proposed again the amount of America’s new administration had been settling upon a questionable, dazzle confidence.’

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Progressive Era in The search for Order. (2021, Sep 22). Retrieved from

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