The Progressive Era

Good Essays
The Progressive Era

The turn of the century was marked by a movement known as the Progressive Era, during which many groups sought to reshape the nation's government and society in response to the pressure of urbanization and industrialization. Progressives were mainly members of the Post-Civil War generation that made an attempt to master a world much different then that of their parents.

With the rise of big business and industrialization came several problems associated with the economic boom. The rich were getting richer. The poor were getting poorer. The gap between the "haves" and the "have nots

was widening. Working conditions were not regulated, and at the turn of the century, the United States had a terrible record of workplace safety. During the Progressive Era, many steps were taken in order to correct the mounting problems facing an industrial America. The National Consumers League, for example, formed in 1898 sought to monitor businesses and ensure decent working conditions.

There were also problems associated with the rising rates of urbanization. Due in part to the increasing number of immigrants and the trend to move toward the cities, many sanitation and safety issues came into question. Members of the working class made their homes in ghettoes and tenements where they faced overcrowding, lack of sanitation and general safety concerns. Laws such as the New York Tenement House Law of 1901 came into existence with the purpose of establishing a regulated housing code for safety and sanitation.

The Progressive Era also brought up social issues.

Muckrakers, journalists who exposed social, economic and political evils, controlled media and therefore had profound influence over the th...

... middle of paper ...

...ted at the prospect of Rachel traveling with a comic opera company, but her beautiful daughter turns down the fruitful offer. Instead, Rachel volunteers to go out to the Rectangle and spread the word of God and the joy of her singing. This relates to the role that women played in this time period. Women were placed in a role of bettering society. Many women took up roles in organizations that were devoted to make a positive difference in American Society. Women lobbied for Child's labor reform and woman suffrage. Rachel Winslow demonstrates these qualities in the novel.

In conclusion, the parallel existent in the novel and in real life is quite obvious. The novel accurately depicts the time period in an entertaining, thought provoking manner. The Progressive Era certainly marked a change in American Society, and many positive things came out of it.
Get Access