Modernization and Reform in the Progressive Era


The Progressive Era was one of America’s political and social environment improvements because of how it helped to shape the American society. The Progressive Era helped people get better pay and living conditions by the end of the reform. During this movement, Muckrakers and women helped make reforms as well as the Progressive movement.              

One of the main goals of the Progressive Era was to improve American society. Another goal of the Progressive Era was to use state power. Muckrakers played a huge part in the roles of the Progressive Era. Muckrakers were journalists who exposed the dreadful conditions of families during the 20th century. (Doc A) shows consumers who wanted lower prices, women who wanted to vote and laborers who wanted higher wages wanted reform. There were 3 very important muckrakers who also played a big role :Upton Sinclair, Ida Tardell, and Jacob Riis. Upton Sinclair wrote ‘The Jungle’ which exposed the working conditions in the meat industry. He created the (FDA) Food Drug Administration which was created to avoid cross contamination within workers. Ida Tardell was a muckraker who exposed John D. Rockefeller Lastly, Jacob Riis was also a muckraker who exposed poor living conditions of poor families who received low wages by taking photos of them (Doc B). His exposure led to reforms with the development of housing codes. As you can see, muckrakers helped to change and benefit in the American society for the better of all Americans.

In addition, Women also played an important role in reform movements . (Doc C) “Women should be allowed to vote because as mothers, the rights of children should be safe- guarded. Women fought for reforms in the temperance movement, getting rights to vote and equal rights. Jane Addams who was a reformer was an advocate for women to be able to vote and to join the women’s suffrage movement. She was also part of the NAACP. (Doc B) shows that many women received low wages and had to live in such poor conditions. So, Jane Addams saw that there needed to be change in the American society. There was a huge change the reform movements did for women’s suffrage. Since, women did not agree much with having to be oppressed. Women fought for reforms which benefited the better of their lives by women creating a voice so that they could be heard to change society.

The Plessy v. Ferguson was a huge issue in the American society in the 19th century. It was an event that led to segregation between blacks and whites and blacks not having rights to vote. Jim Crow laws were a law that advocated segregation. (Doc E) “Negroes must insist continually that  voting is necessary to proper manhood”. However, this problem of segregation was solved by creating a movement that allowed black people to vote, which was called the NAACP . (Doc F) shows that the NAACP stood for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. This organization helped to ensure the removal of any racial discrimination.

The Progressive Era made a huge impact in the American society. Eventually, these reforms helped the government to improve human welfare. In general, the reform movement changed American society for the better.

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