The decades before the Progressive Era, known as the Gilded Age, created problems that were not addressed until progressivism rose. The most prominent issues corrected during the Progressive Era were working conditions for the middle to lower class and the horrible standards of living for minorities. The meat packing industry infamously had some of the worst conditions workers of the time had ever encountered. Despite many people working for companies that cared so little for their employees, upper class citizens had no idea what was going on behind closed doors. It took muckrakers, investigative journalists who exposed the horrors of factory jobs, for the wealthy to see what poor, immigrant workers had to do for a living. Even the president at the time, Theodore Roosevelt, was not fully aware of what conditions these workers were subjected to. He sent two trus...
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...espite these advances, reformers failed in improving the lives of African Americans and other minorities. This time period is comparable to the Age of Reform during Andrew Jackson’s presidency. It is a ubiquitous theme in American history that periods labelled times of “reform” typically lack improvements for women and African Americans. Reform usually only affects politics and the economy, and this pattern can be seen in both the Age of Reform and the Progressive Era. Reformers and the federal government succeeded in bringing about change at the national level, but their efforts were limited. They did next to nothing to better the lives of minorities, so it would be incorrect to say that the movement was a total success. The Progressive Era was a period of significant change in the everyday lives of working class citizens, the economy, politics, and American society.
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