Essay on The Federal Government and the Progressive Era

Essay on The Federal Government and the Progressive Era

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During the Progressive Era from 1900-1920 the reformers were not very successful at bringing about reform at the national level. These reformers had worked more closely with the federal government than ever before and made some significant gains. In the period of 1900-1920 the progressive era focused on labor, trust, women’s rights and bad sanitation. With the help of the federal government they were able to achieve most of their goals.
The fight against labor received a good response from federal politicians. In the midst of this period children at a very young age were working in factories to support family. Children, under the age of fourteen, have been working eight hours a day for more than six days a week. Boys working in coal mines were crawling into newly blasted areas as well as other dangerous circumstances. Jane Addams helped bring up the facts that people were stuck in the admiration of the achievements of the industries they forgot about the children themselves (doc. C). With her influence, as well as others, the Child Labor Act was passed. There was not much impact because some industries continued to have young children working in their factories. In 1916 the Keating-Owen act was passed forbidding interstate shipment from factories employing children under the age of fourteen or children between fourteen and sixteen who work more than eight hours a day, overnight or more than six days a week. In 1918, in the Hammer vs. Dagenhart case Roland Dagenhart argued the Keating-Owen act was not a regulation of commerce (doc. G). He believed according to the tenth amendment the state should make the rules for child labor. He felt protected by the Fifth Amendment giving them the right to allow his children to work. The Supre...


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...tors, monitor meat inspections and to condemn any meat product found unfit for human consumption.
The progressive reform movements were the results of industrialization and urbanization. It started as a social movement and grew in to a political movement. The reformers felt the government involvement was necessary to ensure American Liberties and used the government to past their laws. During this period they were victorious at the national level passing the sixteenth (gave congress the power to pass an income tax), seventeenth (required direct election of senators), eighteenth (ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol) , nineteenth (guaranteed women the right to vote) amendments and trustbusting. The era liberated the labor movement from anti-trust laws. They started reforms with child labor, labor laws and equality for African Americans but were not beneficial.

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