The Progressive Era: a Catalyst for Social Reform and Change
This essay will discuss the Progressive Era in American history as a catalyst for social reform and change. It will cover the key movements, figures, and legislative achievements of the era, focusing on issues such as labor rights, women’s suffrage, and governmental reform. The piece will examine how these reforms shaped American society and the lasting impacts of the Progressive Era on modern-day policies and social attitudes. PapersOwl showcases more free essays that are examples of Child Labour.
How it works
The Progressive Era was known as a large reform movement. The progressive Era was a period widespread social activism and political reform across the United States from the 1890’s to the 1920’s. The main objectives of the Progressive Era movement were eliminating problems caused by industrialization, urbanization, immigration and political corruption. Progressive reacted to problems caused by factories and cities. The progressive Era was effective because of child labor, working conditions and women’s suffrage.
The meat-packing industry capitalized when the growth of livestock farming in the midwest started to grow much faster.
Meat-packing companies and industries such as the “ Armour Meat-packing Company ” was one of the five leading firm companies in the meat industry. The Armour Meat-packing Company was founded in Chicago in 1867 by the Armour brothers. The Armour Meat-packing Company handled the slaughtering, processing, packaging and distribution of animals that’s including pigs, cattles, sheep and other livestock animals.
Although the meat-packing industry created jobs for people, working in a meat-packing company was not the best job to have nor was it luxurious. The meat-packing factories were super unsanitary, unregulated and dangerous to people’s health. In “ The Neill-Reynolds Report” president Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 was suspicious of sinclair’s socialist attitude and concussion in “ The Jungle. ” The Jungle was a novel written by Sinclair to expose the working conditions in the meat-packing industry. He described the meat as diseased, rotten and contaminated.
After Sinclair’s novel “ The Jungle “ was written it changed the way Americans looked at the food industry. Americans no longer trusted that the food industry had the best interest of consumers in mind when they prepared or handled food. This shocked Roosevelt and led to new federal food safety laws. The novel served as a wake up call that led to a series of improvements in the industry to make our food safer and to provide better conditions for factory workers. . He sent labor commissioner’s Charles P. Neill and social worker James Bronson Reynolds to visit meat-packing facilities.
Neill and Reynolds were revolted from what they have seen and by the conditions at the factories. Meat scraps were found being shoveled into receptacles from dirty floor. Meat was left to lie on dirty floors. These floors were damp and soggy. Employees in utter ignorance of cleanliness or danger to health. Neill and Reynolds witness meat being shoveled from filthy wooden floors, piled on tables that were rarely washed. In all of which the meat was being process it was gathering dirt, splinters floor filth even expectoration of tuberculosis and other diseased workers.
Shocked at the fact that the lack of concern of the managers of these meat-packing facilities of being cleaned and properly maintain is so low. Tables and floors should be disinfected. All utensils being used should be and must be properly cleaned. All workers must use gloves and hair neets. Meat-packing factories should not have an issue with their maintenance because that is the main thing that should be taken care of. The meat in these factories is being sold to people, there should be no reason on why the meat is not properly processed and packaged. Americans should be able to trust the meat industry in the way there food is being handled and sold to them.
Although much of this has changed today such as how meat is processed now everything is much more sanitary and safer it still crazy to say all of these problems happened only a little over a century ago.
Another major factor in The Progressive Era were that influential journalist wanted to expose the government and big business of their flaws to American citizens with using factual and proven evidence against them. There was this one group of people who lead the change when it came to exposing the corruption in politics and the unsafe work conditions millions of American workers faced in American society. These people were called “ muckrakers. “ The name muckrakers was given to them by Theodore Roosevelt, they got this name because they would go and investigate everything that the American people should know about. They were early day investigative journalists.
Muckrakers were showing the American public just what was going on in the countries government and in the large companies that most of the people were buying their food and other supplies from. Also the use of children in the coal mines, or the monopoly of the standard oil company. These journalist just wanted to let the American citizens know the real deal behind big companies and their lack of work. The muckrakers, seek out the truth of corruption among the government.
Muckrakers did the right thing of letting the American people know what was going on in big companies and created public awareness of corruption, social injustices and abuses of power. They changed the perspective of how people would see big companies especially the meat companies. The best thing about the muckrakers is that they used actual factual and prove evidence so everything they told was absolutely beliveble.
In the Progressive Era factories were utilizing children to the hard work because of such young age they had more strength and power to do much more than the older people. They employed children as young age as five to six to work almost twenty hours a day. Child labor in the United States in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Families had to find someone to work or they wouldn’t survive so they got their young ones to work because they could work more hours and do more.
They had children doing work that was physically and mentally dangerous. They made them do work which interfered with there chance of going to school and learning. In “ The Spirit of Youth and The City Streets “ spoke about how children should not be employed at such young age. People wanted children to work for them supposedly to have a good mind set in working rather than getting an education. How should kids work before learning, that does them no good. Going to school will help their income-earning potential as adults. Jane Addams argues in “ The Spirit of Youth and The City Streets “ about the importance of providing practical education for young men and women. Jane Addams rejects that children should not work at such young age or will the children start to become a different person rather than typical children. Addams wanted what was right for children which was for them to go to school than work. She wanted to make sure children went to school to get their education than them going out and causing them selves danger at work. Many laws restricting child labor were passed as part of the progressive movement. Hammer vs. Dagenhart was a United States supreme court decision involving the power of Congress to enact child labor laws. In this case the supreme court wanted to band the shipment across state lines of goods made in factories by children that were employed under the age of 14.
Kids should not be able to have jobs as young as the age of fourteen because they’ll have to work harder and work long hours. Kids should be able to enjoy life and be in school or even be active in school activities. Kids at the age of fourteen or even younger should not have to worry about going to work .Their main priority should only be school and their grades. They should stay on task on their school work. If kids are going to be stress it should honestly be because of school not because of a job. They are way too young to stress over a job, there should be no need for that. Kids should have the chance to live and grow. The best time to start working is after school so, they can only have to worry about one thing at a time.
The Progressive Era witnessed the formation of initiatives to fight political and commercial corruption and find solutions to social problems in areas such as public health, labor and education. Although suffrage constituted just one part of the wider efforts of women reforms in the Progressive Era, it was considered symbolic of the broader struggle for the recognition of women’s rights.In the 1890’s Most states in Eastern and Central U.S held restrictions on voting for women, it was said that federal action in the form of a constitutional amendment would be first step in getting women the recognition as equal citizens. Congress then upheld the 19th Amendment in ninety-twenty.It gave women the right to vote and it ended the women’s struggle for equality and the beginning of a new era in human rights.
Women’s rights are so much better now, these rights include, to live free from violence, slavery and discrimination. Women are now given the chance to be educated, able to own property, to vote and to earn a fair equal wage. Women should always be treated as equal as men. A women makes no difference to a man both a man and women can both do the same. Women could always do the same job a man does probably even more and also do it better. Women should never be underestimated just because they are women. Never underestimate the power of woman. Woman will prove you wrong and work hard for what they want just like they did for their rights.Women have went through so much to get the rights they have now. Woman had no freedom what so ever. They couldn’t go out unless they were escorted by a man or their father. They could not be out in public without a man. Woman’s job where to stay home and take care of the family. The Progressivism implies a philosophy that promotes change or reform in the current political, economic,and social aspects of society while conservatism stresses gradual change in society but promotes tradition rather than change. The Progressive movement from 1901 through 1917 worked to improve aspects of society that grew out of problems which grew during the Industrial Age.
The goals of the Progressives were to stop monopolies, corruption, inefficiency and social injustices. Progressive acts and Amendments were being passed to deal with social ills, corruption in politics and corporate America. All the Progressive Era wanted to do was to make society better. To make everything fair towards everyone and one another. Wanted to fix all the problems and get rid of drama.
Before the Progressive Era the federal government became more involved and responsive to the public and implemented many revisions and reform. The federal government made political changes on a national level with the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Amendments. The Sixteenth Amendment imposed an income tax. The Seventeenth Amendment allowed for the direct election of U.S. Senators. The Eighteenth Amendment established the prohibition of alcoholic beverages and the Nineteenth Amendment prohibited any U.S. citizen from being denied the right to vote based on sex. During the Progressive Era, social reform and cultural changes also occurred. Consumerism was at an all time high. It became a time of economic prosperity. With the introduction of electricity came household appliances. Movies, automobiles, radios, telephones, magazines, and advertising were in the forefront. Radios were a huge change. Radios became a new way to help people communicate and even became new entertainment . Radios played all different kinds of music and even had talk shows. Radios also became a new way in staying in touch with news. People no longer had to read newspapers all they had to do was turn the radio on and listen.
The progressives were successful in part because they were able to rally the better part of a generation to their ideas about reform. Although not all progressives agreed with some progressive reforms the movement still made a big change. After the Progressive Era there was now active governments that would take the initiative in reform. There was now the right of labor to have a decent salary and safe working conditions to des who worked in big factories such as the meat industry. There has been more economic and political rights for women other than having the right to vote. Women could own property now. There has also been regulations of child labor in which kids should not work at such a young age and have to work long hours.
.Progressives were in all levels of society, some were very wealthy, very poor, the middle class or in the minority group. Progressives were politicians, businessmen, workers, artists and professionals.Progressives helped America to become stronger and a better place. For example Roosevelt, taft, and Wilson, these three men made many changes in terms of making society and our environment better. They passed child labor laws and helped unions.
If there had not been no progressive era, no income would have been passed, it would have taken women longer to earn the right to vote, our meat for all we know would have dirt, wood shavings, even be contaminated with diseases from lying on the floor at the slaughterhouse. The progressive has done so much improvement to America and has helped many people. Without the progressive era i do not know what America would be like today.
America would have probably been worse today than it was before the progressive era if it wouldn’t had happened. Women would still not be able to vote nor get a job , kids would be working long hours instead of being in school, and our meat would be disgustingly dirty, the world would be upside down.