The Immense Pain Caused by the Progressive Era

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Aug 30, 2023
Cite this
Date added
Pages:  3
Order Original Essay

How it works

Slavery, racism, rape, and abuse are all sad, real things that have happened and still happen today. Many people have suffered while others have looked the other way. This was the case during the Progressive Era. The people of that time period turned a blind eye by disregarding inappropriate behavior. Ironically, it’s called the “Progressive Era.” If it were truly progressive, there wouldn’t have been so much struggle and heartbreak. Children would not have been put in harm’s way, and black women would have been treated fairly regardless of their age, gender, or skin color.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

The worst aspects of the Progressive Era were the harmful working conditions and the discriminatory practices towards black women.

The harmful working conditions were one of the most adverse aspects of the Progressive Era. This was because children had to work for long periods, most days of the week. According to the “Child Labor and John Spargo” article by Brittany Hunter, children worked 10 to 12 hours per day, six days a week (Scoop.It!.com). If children are working 10 to 12 hours per day, they’re missing valuable school time. Not only is their education being lost, but they’re also working excessively, which could cause stress and anxiety. For example, children attending school every day for ten months from 7:35 to 4:37 on weekdays is too long and stressful. Children should not have to be in school for more than six hours a day.

The dangerous environment that the children were subjected to played a significant role in why child labor was one of the worst aspects of that era. The Texas Education Agency discussed this issue, noting that “Out of the 20,000 child labor-related accidents each year, approximately 2% resulted in the death of the child and 20% resulted in the child being disabled for life” ( These children were working in mills and factories barehanded, without any protection. For example, coal miners working in tunnels are in a dangerous situation because of dust, rodents, etc. Child labor is wrong, and the lives of those children who were lost shall forever be mourned!

Another negative aspect of the Progressive Era was the discriminatory practices towards black women. This was a negative aspect because black women weren’t treated as equally as men. Allison Lange points out that the 14th amendment only allowed men to vote ( This wasn’t fair because the government was being sexist towards women when everyone is supposed to be equal. This precipitated a long and arduous fight for women’s rights, which continues to this day. Consider the case of the household burden placed on women.

They’re expected to cook, clean, and babysit while the men work harder jobs outside their homes. Not only did Black women have to fight for the right to vote, but they also faced judgment from different races. Judith McDonough acknowledges the judgment Black women had to face: “Nevertheless, the movement remained largely segregated because white women feared alienating the South, and many shared the prejudicial attitudes of the time” ( This shows that instead of the whites trying to find common ground, they disregarded the Black women because of their color. All the women had the same common goal but instead of working together, judgment was in play. In other words, the theme “don’t judge a book by its cover” wasn’t taken seriously during this time period because Blacks were judged by the color of their skin. The color of their skin can’t be changed and it should never have to disadvantage them in life.

On the other hand, many people feel that the Progressive Era was effective because children learned how to work hard at a young age. They feel this way because children picked up life skills from the work they did that could become beneficial to them later in life. The “Children in the Progressive-Era America” article discusses how children were expected to wash clothes, fetch water, and cook meals during their time in forced labor ( Those skills would be useful to children because, in order to stay clean, they would need to know how to wash clothes and fetch water, and they would need to know how to cook in order to survive. It would make them stronger overall, and if any tragedy were to happen in these children’s lives, they would know how to fend for themselves.

Furthermore, living in a forest requires great life skills, and those children would have a better chance of surviving than most people would. Although it’s true that children learned life skills at a young age, they weren’t receiving the education they needed. Brittany Hunter implies that “580,000 children between ages 10 to 14 couldn’t read or write” (Scoop.It!). The children may have been picking up life skills, but how far could they get if most of them couldn’t read or write? You need to read for everything nowadays, and those children didn’t know how because they were forced to work. In the book by Russell Freedom, it also talks about how children were promised a future of illiteracy because they weren’t in school (p.2). As a matter of fact, those kids in the Progressive Era could be compared to school dropouts. This clearly shows that the Progressive Era wasn’t effective because having life skills isn’t enough if children can’t read or write.

In summary, the Progressive Era caused more harm than good. For one thing, children were overworked and victims of dangerous activities. Additionally, black women were looked down upon and treated unfairly. Regardless of these negatives, people still think of the Progressive Era positively, as children picked up life skills which increased their survival chances. However, this involved more time spent away from school, which wasn’t beneficial for the children’s education. Now that we’ve unveiled the truth about the Progressive Era, everyone should see this as an opportunity to treat everyone fairly to prevent history from repeating itself.

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

The Immense Pain Caused By the Progressive Era. (2019, Jul 29). Retrieved from