The the Hull House in Chicago and the

The late 1800s saw the beginning of a new era of reformers known as the progressives. The Progressive era was a time of social reform; where people had only seen problems, they now saw solutions. The movement owes its success to the middle class, and the three presidents who made their voices heard. The Progressives succeded astonishingly where the Populists had fallen short, inspiring reform in the management of companies, cities, states, and even the federal government.In the late nineteenth century, untamed monopolies stepped on the small workers in order to elevate themselves even higher.In the early twentieth century, the developing cities faced a growing number of important issues. Growing industrialization, urbanization, and immigration left a lot of problems for city planners and those who actually moved to cities in search for a better life. The working class—immigrants and native-born alike— lived in squalor. Tenement houses held multiple families in a one room apartment (Doc 1). The ventilation was terrible, and to have a home with plumbing was nothing but a pipe-dream for most immigrants. Many wished to see urban reform, including photographer and journalist Jacob Riis. A Danish immigrant himself, Riis was horrified by what he saw in the slums of New York City. His photographs showed the public, very clearly, how inhuman the conditions the new immigrants had to face were (Doc 1). His work helped lead the reform that people in the cities had been waiting for. Nearly two decades later, Upton Sinclair, another reformer, also helped improve safety and health standards in the US. His novel The Jungle led directly to the Food and Drug Act, and the Meat Inspection Act of 1906 with its grotesque depiction of the meat industry (Doc 2). Other reformers applied Dewey’s philosophy of Pragmatism to apply the findings of science to improving society. Their use of science improved sanitation, and increased average life expectancy. Cities started offering public works to the tired, hungry and poor, such as the Hull House in Chicago and the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House in New York. The Hull House in particular improved the livelihood of Chicago’s residents below the poverty line. At this house, one could find childcare and education —a necessity for recent immigrants looking for work. The progressive movement didn’t just affect cities, though. In the spirit of progressivism, state governments also began to reform, expanding democracy. Key to this reform were progressive-minded politicians such as Robert La Follette. State legislatures began to adopt numerous policies that expanded individual citizens’ ability to affect legislature. Initiatives allowed citizens to propose bills, referendums allowed voters to decide on issues, and recalls enabled voters to remove state leaders from office if the people’s voices were not being heard. Another reform that states across the US adopted was the Australian Ballot that ensured improved fairness during elections. This went against the political machines of the late 1800s, and the political intimidation Blacks faced in the South. Western states such as Wyoming and Colorado also gave women the right to vote before the turn of the century.The movement didn’t stop at states, however. The progressive movement successfully landed three presidents, a total of 20 years, in the oval office. Many state reforms wound up making their way into federal law. The 17th Amendment modified the senate election process (Doc 7), and the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. Muckrakers such as Ida Tarbell and the aforementioned Upton Sinclair drove the progressive presidents to campaign against trusts and unethical, downright gross business practices in the food industry. Theodore Roosevelt railed against corporations “organized in the spirit of mere greed” (Doc 5). The Failed Sherman Antitrust Act was replaced by the new Clayton Antitrust Act that clarified which actions were against the law. In addition, Taft and Wilson implemented a graduated income tax through the 16th amendment and the Underwood Tariff. Roosevelt also set aside land for national parks


I'm Gerard!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out