History

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When looking at today’s society, one must wonder if our society and politics are similar to another time point in the United States history. Between 1865 and the 1920’s, two extremely important time periods occurred in the United States of America. The Gilded Age and the Progressive Era vastly impacted the United States as well as influenced politics and culture still around today. However, one of these time periods was more influential than the other. The Gilded Age occurred from 1865-1900. This age is infamous for its weak and forgettable presidents, corrupt politicians, and corporate magnates. The name “Gilded Age” indicates a time that greed and corruption ran out of control, while displays of respectability, generosity, and reform were non-existent. (Gilded Age, American History). The 1890’s-1920’s is known for the notable attempts of some of the most influential Progressives and activists to improve the United States society through reforms, both governmental and societal. This period is known as the Progressive era. Progressivism had its ancestry in the European social reform. German thinkers brought the idea across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States. Progressives are primarily characterized as middle class, white American men and women who shared trepidation about threats to society. Progressives believed these threats were brought upon by industrialization and urbanization. (Progressive Era, American History) Progressivism is seen as a reaction to the many problems developed by industrialization, rapid urbanization, and political corruption. All of these developments caused many problems to increase: crime rates in large cities, pollution in streets and bodies of water, and the number of poor and destitute people. Other problems were prominent at this point such as farmers and workers being exploited by railroads, factory owners, bankers and others, and lastly doctors and lawyers were practicing without the proper credentials. All of these issues...
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