Progressivism, the wave of reform movements in the early twentieth century whose stated intention was to make United States society more democratic, has undergone significant scholarly reevaluation by historians over the years. In the 1960s, leftist scholars dismissed progressive reform as a mask for the empowerment of individuals forming a corporate, capitalist elite. In the two subsequent decades, many scholars began to question whether there was any such thing as progressivism; the phenomenon seemed so diverse and amorphous that the word itself, some claimed, had no meaning. In the early 1990s, however, the tone, if not always the substance, of historical accounts of progressivism changed again. Although some scholars admitted that progressivism was diverse, they insisted that there is an identifiable "progressive minimum," a core of belief and action that lends coherence to the concept. Further, some scholars, while acknowledging that progressivism had some conservative and even reactionary results, argue that the motives behind many of the reform movements of the era were genuinely democratic.