The Successes of Progressive Era Reformers 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.
Historian Sidney Milkis describes the accomplishments of the Progressive Era as “momentous reconstructions of politics,” a portrayal that similarly applies to the several social movements that intended to better align America’s political and social order with its principles of liberty, equality, and opportunity for all. Progressives have always concentrated their moral energy against social injustice, corruption, and inequality. Progressive movement was erected on a “vibrant grassroots foundation, from the Social Gospel and labor movements” to women’s suffrage and civil rights to environmentalism, antiwar engagement, and gay
The story of the founding of the United States is a story nearly every United States citizen understands at the very least a rough version of. The story of how a group of patriots overthrew standing British power who were invading their rights to privacy, taxing them unfairly, and overall not giving the colonials a square deal. This story gives American’s pride in their identity and government. It also serves to legitimize the current US Government, for the current officials follow the same Constitution set up by those Patriots who fought the British. However, since the founding of the US Government there have been numerous cases in which the government has betrayed its people and committed corruption. When the media finds out about such a corrupt act, generally a scapegoat bears the entirety of the blame. In this paper I will argue that this is wrong, and in reality corruption occurs on several different levels and is carried out by multiple people.
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.
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.
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.
During the change over to a more industrialized economy, power-driven machines became popular in the early 1800’s. As a result of needing works, the production of child labor occurred. Child labor was a major problem due to several aspects of cruelty. There was no need for adult strength when one can hire children, while they work for continuous hours and barely paying them a dollar per week. On average children whom worked in a factory worked about twelve to eighteen hours a day, six days a week, to earn all but one dollar. Several children from poor families were either forced to work in factories since their parents could not support their needs, and/ or their heartless parents turning them over to a factory owner. Sources say about 2,000,000 school-age children were working fifty to seventy hours a week in the year of 1810. Most of the children were young boys under the age of twelve. Bystanders of this act of cruelty were outraged. Labor groups, teacher, churches, and several other citizens did not believe in the act of forcing children to work. Child Labor in the 1800s was one of the cruelest acts that have been to this day looked down upon by society. Child Labor occurred because it is easy to employ a child rather than an adult, which pays more. Not to mention they felt that it was easier to scold and teach children the proper ways to work the machines, since they were not educated and knew nothing about abuse. It was also easier for children to work with dangerous machines because the factory owners did not care if they got injured. Numerous children lost limbs and got scars from working in the factory. However, it was not a loss to factory owners since there were more children to put to work. If it were an adult ...
The Industrial Revolution’s exhibition of cruel labor and arduous conditions brought about many future laws to prevent the cruel treatment from reoccurring. In present day society, children are not allowed to work until the age of sixteen except in family-owned businesses. In addition, children may not work in hazardous jobs and their hours ar...
Children were made to work without pay and without their willingness; they were raped, beat, and sometimes killed if they did not work. The definition of child labor is the misuse of children in industries or businesses when it is consider illegal or inhumane. In the late 1900’s 18% of the American workers were under the age of 16. It didn’t matter their age the adults pushed them to their very limits. They had children at the age of 4 working long hard hours. They had the children working so young because they had really small hands and bodies unlike the adults with full grown bodies. Women and children were the ones to support their families because they were way tinier and able to do more than a man was able to in a factory.