A Fierce Discontent By Michael Mcgerr Essay

A Fierce Discontent By Michael Mcgerr Essay

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During the second half of the 19th century, the United States underwent its Industrial Revolution. This massive industrialization was characterized by the substitution of the agrarian style economy and the introduction of the industrial machine based economy. In the novel A Fierce Discontent, Michael McGerr discusses the negative effects of the Industrial Revolution as it examines large-scale poverty, urbanization, monopolies, and submissive gender roles that resulted from the shift of economic system. Consequently, these new deplorable conditions became the basis for the Progressive Movement. The movement was composed of middle class reformers who had grown displeased with the negative externalities that emerged from industrialization. The large inflow of people into large industrial cities seeking new opportunities cause the industrial boom consequently leading to extensive pollution and large scale urban poverty. The devastating social sacrifices taken by citizens in exchange for advancement alerted many Americans because it divided the country in many aspects between the common worker and the “upper ten.” The government 's callous behavior towards its citizens made it evident that change was required. Thus in the novel, Michael McGerr exposes the negative effects of industrialization in the United States as a detrimental factor to the rise of the Progressive Movement and its aspirations to change the new social makeup of the country.

The Progressive Movement in the United States presents the efforts of working class citizens aiming to change what they perceived as a non-functioning state. McGerr argues that Progressive Movement’s mission was to bring change the arbitrary manner in which the American government, American tra...

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...to reconstruct childhood. Together, these campaigns added up to a bold effort to remake Americans, to create new people living by new codes of conduct “(79). The culture of objectification found in the “ upper ten,” added to the pressures of the economic system ,which created a circumstance where some groups of women required demeaning jobs to ultimately survive. McGerr illustrates the stories of Carrie Nation to contrast the living conditions that allowed Sherman to behave freely, while simultaneously victimizing women like Carrie Nation. The events offer a correlation considering Sherman’s accustomed freedom allows him to accept the notion that women could be reduced to sexual objects. Therefore, McGerr utilizes the circumstances of Sherman and Carrie Nation to exemplify the circumstances that urged progressives to reestablish morality back into the United States .

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