American Economic Reform in the Progressive Era:

American Economic Reform in the Progressive Era:

[THIS IS A FORMAT SAMPLE for doing Assignment 2 using our ecree platform. The usual SWS form calls for double spacing and a title page (so did APA)—but when we use ecree (as in this HIS105 class), we won’t use double-spacing or a title page. It will be important to write good quality, distinct paragraphs and to organize the paper in the four-part structure called for by the instructions. So, this “format sample” of Assignment 2 has no title page and is single-spaced—except between paragraphs and between source entries at the end. It still has in-text citations (see third paragraph below) and it still has the sources list at the end—you do need those. As required by the instructions, the sources used in this sample are from the REQUIRED list on the instructions sheet. This sample does not really help you on content, but this gives you guidance on each part of the paper—and illustrates the four-part set-up of the paper and the sourcing. Regulations Helping our Economy is the sample title here—and I put it with the first paragraph. (with another thesis, you might choose Regulations Hurting our Economy). Feel free to word your title to fit your thesis. ]

Regulations Helping our Economy– PART ONE: INTRODUCTION WITH THESIS Notice how this first line of the paragraph and the heading can go together in this ecree approach to the paper. The PART ONE heading is optional, but probably useful for your own clarity while writing and my clarity when I grade it. You have no worry here about indenting or double-spacing; not needed or wanted for ecree. In terms of content, a format sample like this does not provide that—this sheet just shows the form and organization—and samples of citing. And I provide a few tips here. Keep in mind the paper mostly focuses on a long period—from 1865 to the 1930s; and you will eventually need specific examples from four different decades in that period (and one example MUST be from the 1930s). But, in this first paragraph, you will have an introduction to your paper and you will also include your thesis statement as the last sentence of the paragraph. Perhaps you feel that overall the government interventions and regulations of the era did prove beneficial to the overall economy and to common workers. Or, perhaps you feel the government interventions of the era, whatever their intent, usually hurt the overall economy and the common workers. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, most government economic regulations were supported by the “Progressive” reform movements of the day—a term you see much in chapter 19. But, by the 1930s (chapter 22), government economic interventions are associated with a new label—Roosevelt’s New Deal, a wide-ranging program attempting to address the problems of the Great Depression. As you explore the class text for examples, chapters 16 through 22 may be reviewed. Keep in mind, you want FOUR EXAMPLES from different decades—and one of them from the 1930s. How do you view these things? Will your thesis statement be something like this?: From the late 1800s to the end of the 1930s, increasing government interventions and regulations of business tended to help the overall economy and the common workers. Or, perhaps you will you take this position: From the late 1800s to the end of the 1930s, increasing government interventions and regulations of business tended to hurt the overall economy and the common workers.

PART TWO—FOUR EXAMPLES: The second and third paragraphs will cover your four SPECIFIC examples supporting your thesis. Caution—don’t get bogged down in describing long trends here, or events that don’t support your thesis. At times the government got involved in stopping labor strikes (Schultz, 1, p. 324). At other times it guaranteed the right to form labor unions (Schultz, 1, p. 425). Leonard (2) describes a progressive commission’s work in 1913-1916 that led many states to adopt legislation on “minimum-wage, maximum-hour, and working conditions” (p. 128), and many debate the benefits of such mandates. Even as early as 1871, a report like that by Whitaker (3) on unhealthy factory conditions might be used as a reason for regulating the workplace. Government intervention with the 18th Amendment made illegal the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors” (Schultz, 1, p. 402); we know thisby the term “Prohibition”. Besides choosing an example, you also must determine whether or not you feel such regulation was beneficial. Notice that in the lines above you have illustrations of what SWS style in-text citations look like. In each case, you see the number matches the number on the list at the end. For a book like Schultz, you should always include a page number as well.

EXAMPLES CONTINUED–In this part of the paper you really start developing the topic and your position and evidence. It normally takes two paragraphs to cover your four examples, but stay focused on the examples and don’t get sidetracked from supporting your thesis. Be concise. By the way, you can make valid arguments for either thesis, and present an “A” paper in doing so. The assignment requires you to use the Schultz textbook and at least two other sources from the list on the instruction sheet (don’t use other sources not listed). Since those sources are listed in SWS form and also have a convenient link with them, one can easily copy/paste the ones you use for your sources list at the end. And, with the link, each source is very easy to access.

PART THREE: OPPOSING VIEW This third section of the paper involves some critical thinking on your part. How might a reasonable person disagree with you and give a different position or counter-argument? Keep this in mind—they are opposing the THESIS you chose to argue for in your paper. So, in effect, think of them as adopting the other thesis—the one you did not choose. For example, perhaps you argued that government interventions and regulations of business tended to be beneficial in this period. The opposing view would be that that government interventions of that period tended to have negative effects. In this paragraph, then, you would need to make the reasoned argument that they did have benefits (pointing to evidence you gave) and to provide a very short critique of the opposing view. Debate—but don’t be dismissive. Normally, this part is not so much doing more research or providing more examples. Instead it is about suggesting what that different position might be, and then your own logical rationale for favoring your own position instead. It is just critical thinking on your part.


This fourth and concluding paragraph of the paper does not normally involve researching information. It does involve some reflection about the issues covered in your paper and ways those issues perhaps are still around (maybe in a different form). In any profession that you are currently in or to which you aspire, there are numerous government regulations. Are they good? Are they burdensome paperwork for new businesses? Safety rules, tax and pay records, hiring regulations and records, standards on hours and wages, etc. Social security withholding. As the seeds of such things were born in the era studied in this paper, you should think of ways to connect the modern situation to the history you have written about. Again, this fourth part is normally a paragraph or so—lengthy treatment not needed here. This fourth part should normally serve as the conclusion of the paper. Be sure your paper ends in some way that wraps up succinctly. FOR SOURCES–Then, in ecree, click on the word “Conclusion” to add new paragraph boxes below it that you can use for source entries—it works best if you can get each source into its own paragraph box. As below, each source must be numbered and should be in SWS style (as can be copied from the instruction sheet). Just do your best with ecree.


  1. Kevin M. Schultz. 2018. HIST: Volume 2: U.S. History since 1865. 5th ed.
  2. T. C. Leonard. Spring, 2009. American Economic Reform in the Progressive Era: Its Foundational Beliefs and their Relation to Eugenics.
  3. J. Whitaker. 1871. The Impact of the Factory on Worker Health. Retrieved from

[It is best if you can get each source into its own paragraph box. As below, each source must be numbered and should be in SWS style (as can be copied from the instruction sheet). ]

[Tip, if you upload a Word file of your paper to ecree, have the Sources list very close to the end of your last paragraph—like an inch or so below it. If you have a lot of space between the last paragraph and the list, the upload not include the Sources list.]

[LAST PART—try this on last part, but don’t worry if you can’t get it just right. Your final essay paragraph will ideally be in the box “Conclusion”. Once typed, then click on that word “Conclusion and it will create a new box below with three dots. Keep clicking “Conclusion” until you have 4 or more “three-dot” boxes—one for the heading Sources and one for each source entry on your list of sources. If you cannot quite get this to work, don’t worry about it—just be sure you have a final paragraph (Part 4—Conclusion—Legacy) followed by the list of sources. Even if those boxes seem mislabeled, I will figure it out ok in the grading. Don’t get worried about that.]


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