"P" is for Progressive Movement

May 17, 2019

Credit SC Public Radio

"P" is for Progressive Movement. South Carolina progressives, like reformers throughout the United States, emerged primarily from the town-based middle class.  These progressives pushed for economic and social improvements in their state from roughly 1900 through the 1920s. Fundamentally, progressives deemed an educated population to be essential to all other reform efforts.  Moreover, they focused on strengthening the economy with improved agriculture by helping South Carolina diversify its agriculture and encourage scientific agricultural methods. During Richard I. Manning’s governorship  (1915-1919) a significant number of progressive reforms became law: statewide prohibition, child labor restrictions, compulsory school attendance, creations of the state tax commission, a reorganized state mental hospital, and most importantly, state aid for public schools. The onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s finally halted a generation of progressive reform in South Carolina.