In today’s light, the Progressive Era is seen as a time period where people’s lives changed for the better, but none of that change would have been possible without muckrakers exposing the numerous problems that lied hidden from the American public. With the corruption of government officials, dangerous and unhealthy working conditions for young children, and poverty-ridden slums in cities, this article aims to expose three of the most prominent problems of the Progressive Era. 1) Government Corruption First exposed by Lincoln Steffens in 1902 through a magazine article called “Tweed Days in St. Louis”, government corruption was one of largest problems in the Progressive Era. Many big businesses of the time period had formed monopolies or trusts in order to control their industry and increase their power. They used this power to set high prices and increase their wealth. Political machines, which were powerful …show more content…
Many businesses and factories hired children because they were easier to exploit; they could be paid less for more work in dangerous conditions. Plus, their small size made many children idea for working with small parts or fitting into small spaces. Children as young as four could be found working in factories, though most were between eight and twelve. Despite the economic gains made by the business that employed them, many children suffered in the workplace. The industrial setting caused many health problems for the children that, if they lived long enough, they would carry with them for the rest of their lives. Children were also more likely to face accidents in the workplace, often caused by fatigue, and many were seriously injured or killed. Despite efforts by reformers to regulate child labor, it wasn’t until the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 that children under 14 were prohibited from
For the first time in history children were an important factor of the economic system, but at a terrible price. The master of the factories employed children for two reasons. One, because of their small body which can get inside the machines to clean it and use their nimble fingers. Second, the masters use to pay low wages to the children who could be easily manipulated. The average age for the parents to send their children to work was ten. Although, Conventional wisdom dictates that the age at which children started work was connected to the poverty of the family. Griffith presents two autobiographies to put across her point. Autobiography of Edward Davis who lacked even the basic necessities of life because of his father’s heavy drinking habit and was forced to join work at a small age of six, whereas the memoir of Richard Boswell tells the opposite. He was raised up in an affluent family who studied in a boarding school. He was taken out of school at the age of thirteen to become a draper’s apprentice. The author goes further and places child employees into three groups, according to the kind of jobs that were available in their neighbourhood. First group composed of children living in rural areas with no domestic industry to work in. Therefore, the average of a child to work in rural area was ten. Before that, farmers use to assign small jobs to the children such as scaring birds, keeping sheep
The kids under the age of fourteen were sent to go assist with the textile workers. They then would beat and verbally abuse the child. And if children would show up late, they would be weighted. Weighted means to put a very heavy weight on the child's back and have them walk up and down the factory aisles for hours, so other children can learn from it. This then resulted in back and neck injuries. (“Child Labor in Factories”) While this all seems really cruel, there were many positives that came out of child labor. Children were still able to contribute to their families. Money was a big struggle, and it had a major impact for poor families. Children were also getting a wide range of opportunities and work experiences for the future ahead. Although it might not be the best way to get experience, they were still helping out there families and showing respect towards them. This shows that during the Industrial Revolution, children were used harshly for labor, and the positives and negatives out of
Children as young as young as five or seven years old worked in dangerous factories. Many times if the children fell asleep while on the job, they would slip and get stuck in the machines, resulting in death. Child labor in the late 1800’s was very unsafe and put the lives of young children in danger. The children worked in very dangerous conditions, most of the time it was factories. The conditions were very poor, the factories were dirty and unsafe for children. The children would work for up to sixteen hours with little to no pay.
The labor conditions that children faced were very demanding for a human being from such a small age. For example “In the Manayunk district of Philadelphia, children as young as seven assisted in spinning and weaving of cotton and woolen goods” (Wolensky 2). The children working in the factories had their childhood freedom taken away from them. “In 1830 in a sample of 43 Manchester mills, 22.3% of the workforce was under 14 and 32.4% under 16” (Cunningham 412). This means that about 50% of the workforce in the mills were made up of children under the age of 16 and in today in the United States, a person cannot work until the age of 16. “And it is a hard thing for small children to be confined in a tight close room all day long. It affects their growth, makes them pale and sickly” (Nason). The time these children spent in the factories prevented them from spending time with their neighbors, friends, and family. The fact that young children had to work in these textile mills, created changes to American culture on how childhood years are supposed to be spent.
While we, as Americans, are currently living in the most advanced civilization up to this time, we tend to disregard problems of exploitation and injustice to nations of lesser caliber. Luckily, we don't have to worry about the exploitation of ourchildren in factories and sweet shops laboring over machines for countless hours. We, in the United States, would never tolerate such conditions. For us, child labor is a practice that climaxed and phased away during and then after the industrial revolution. In 1998 as we approach the new millenium, child labor cannot still bea reality, or can it? Unfortunately, the employment and exploitation of children inthe work force is still alive and thriving. While this phenomenon is generally confined to third world developing nations, much of the responsibility for its existence falls to economicsuper powers, such as the United States, which supply demand for the cheaply produced goods. While our children are nestled away safely in their beds, other children half way around the world are working away to the hum of machinery well into the night.
Children were useful as laborers because their size allowed them to move in small spaces in factories or mines where adults couldn’t fit, such as it was for chimney sweeping. Children were also easier to manage and control and could be paid less than adults. Supporters of child labor also argued that the employing children was beneficial to the family, the child, and to the country; the conditions were similar as it has been in cottages, farms, or up the chimneys. The work was simple enough for children and helped them make an obligatory contribution to the family’s income. To factory owners, employing children was seen as necessary for their products to remain competitive and for production to run smoothly. Additionally, Child labor can be used as a mean of preventing vice and idleness. Thus, child labor was seen as beneficial to society, to the children, and to the
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 traditions , and the economy functioned under this new industrial norm. He describes these aspirations for change as he states “progressives aimed at people more than institutions; they wanted to change big businessmen as well as big businesses “ ( McGerr 80). The people oriented movement sparked a change in thinking about how society should operate by challenging the individualized focus of society in exchange for a collective movement that benefitted for the larger part of society.
In The Age of Reform, by far the most comprehensive work discussed, Richard Hofstadter argues that the Progressive movement occurred in cities and was led by the middle class, specifically men who were used to leadership positions and were formerly considered civic leaders within their communities. However, these middle class men, whom Hofstadter refers to as mugwumps, were “Progressives not because of economic deprivations but primarily because they were the victims of an upheaval in status that took place” during the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. More specifically, this was “a changed pattern in the distribution of deference and power” often re...
The Progressive Era was a time period between the years 1900-1920 and it marked a time in American history in which society was bursting with enthusiasm to improve life in the industrial age by making political and social changes through government action that ultimately led to a higher quality of life for American citizens. Progressives were known for their beliefs in limiting the power of big business, strengthening the power of the states, and were advocators against corruption and social injustice. These progressive reformers as well as the Federal Government successfully managed to improve the quality of life and establish a precedent for a move active government, although neither was completely successful in solving significant issues the nation faced.
The Progressive era was a time where change was needed in order to eliminate social Darwinism and highlight the significance of social unity and camaraderie. Progressive movements became the response to the rising problems left by the 19th century: the evident unequal distribution of wealth and the expanding power of massive businesses. In the book Triangle: The Fire that changed America, David Von Drehle unveiled the greedy nature of corporate owners which repressed the democratic principles of the United States and its relation to the rise of social movements which shed light to many changes that occurred socially starting with the improved working conditions and in the beginning of the twentieth century.
The Progressive movement was very influential in many ways to early twentieth century America. Businesses became safer, and much more respectful towards their employees. Society accepted moral changes, and became safer communities. The government was affected by the Progressive movement becoming much more democratic, and caring more for the needs of its people. The Progressive movement was successful in reforming American business, society and its government policies in many different instances.
Bounded by the end of the nineteenth century and the American entry into World War I, the Progressive Era brought dramatic changes to the nation’s economic, political, and social sectors. Progressives included both men and women from various ethnic groups, classes, and occupations who challenged traditional attitudes about the American way of life. The roots of Progressivism date back to the mid to late 1800s, when angry farmers and small business owners formed the Grange and later the Populist Party to confront unfair practices of big business. Progressivism appealed to middle and lower-class Americans who felt helpless against industrial giants like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, whose increasing power influenced politicians and the laws and regulations they sanctioned.
Throughout time children have worked myriad hours in hazardous workplaces in order to make a few cents to a few dollars. This is known as child labor, where children are risking their lives daily for money. Today child labor continues to exist all over the world and even in the United States where children pick fruits and vegetables in difficult conditions. According to the article, “What is Child Labor”; it states that roughly 215 million children around the world are working between the ages of 5 and 17 in harmful workplaces. Child labor continues to exist because many families live in poverty and with more working hands there is an increase in income. Other families take their children to work in the fields because they have no access to childcare and extra money is beneficial to buy basic needs. Although there are laws and regulations that protect children from child labor, stronger enforcement is required because child labor not only exploits children but also has detrimental effects on a child’s health, education, and the people of the nation.
Imagine waking up at five in the morning to walk over a mile to a factory where you work until noon where you get a half hour break for lunch, then it’s back to work until nine or ten at night, when you are finally allowed to go home and you are only eight years old. Today that seems unimaginable, but during the early 19th century it was the everyday life of thousands of children whose ages range from as young as five until you died. During the Industrial Revolution many children were required to work dangerous jobs to help their families.
As industry grew in the period following the Civil War, children, often as puerile as 10 years old but sometimes much younger, labored. They worked not only in industrial settings but additionally in retail stores, on the streets, on farms, and in home-predicated industries. This article discusses the utilization of child labor in the Amalgamated States, concentrating on the period after the Civil War through the elevate of the child labor reform kinetics. These are kids who are as adolescent as 6 years old and are being coerced to fight against others. Albeit children had been auxiliaries and apprentices throughout most of human history, child labor reached incipient extremes during the Industrial Revolution. Children often worked long hours in hazardous factory conditions for very little mazuma. Children were utilizable as laborers because their size sanctioned them to move in minute spaces in factories or mines where adults couldn’t fit, children were more facile to manage and control and perhaps most importantly, children could be paid less than adults. Children are working at puerile ages endeavoring to fortify their family with the little pay that they are fortuitous to get. Children who are in economic child labor are less liable to be in school. Of the total children aged 5 to 14 years in economic child labor, about 15 percent were not in school. Child labor is generally defined as