American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Many Paths to Progressive Reform

Published July 28, 2009

Nancy Hewitt, Rutgers University
“Many Paths to Progressive Reform: New Perspectives on the Progressive Era”
The Graduate Center, CUNY
March 27, 2007

Early twentieth-century progressivism was a constellation of efforts undertaken by a wide range of people whose perspectives on reform were rooted in their race, class, region, and religion. In this talk to New York City teachers, Nancy Hewitt weaves together the “big P” progressivism of major reform campaigns, which are well represented in most history textbooks, with stories of the “little p” progressivism of workers, immigrants, women, and African Americans.

In the first part of this podcast, Hewitt describes some major progressive reform campaigns and highlights the role of Atlanta, Georgia, female activists in conservation and civic reform, known as municipal housekeeping. In the second part, starting at 22:48, she continues her discussion of municipal housekeeping by focusing on northern cities and also offers several examples of reform efforts involving both middle-class and working-class women.

Images used in this presentation:

Download full presentation here: 

Listen on the web:

Open in popup player
Download as MP3 (48 minutes, 17 seconds)

Or, subscribe on iTunes or another podacst service at (Depending on your settings, you may be able to follow this link or may instead need to paste it into your podcast app/service.)

Latest from the ASHP Podcast