Jacob Riis & Jane Addams Essay on Progressive Era

Topics: Jane Addams, Hull House, Theodore Roosevelt Pages: 2 (611 words) Published: March 31, 2013
At the turn of the twentieth century the press received a great amount of credit for the success of the Progressive movement. Notable muckrakers Jane Addams and Jacob Riis showed determination towards there being a change; each made sure to use their abilities to aid in not only a social way, but ask economically and politically, even to this day what they've done has made a massive impact.

A native of Denmark, Jacob Riis moved to the US in 1870 to pursue work. Riis worked as a police reporter, but eventually became a social reformer. He fought to eliminate the devastating slum-like conditions that were present in New York City's Lower East Side. With the use of his book “How the Other Half Lives”, Riis was able to open many of the wealthy residences eyes to how immigrants and the less fortunate lives during that era. Riis himself endured similar conditions when he first made the transition to the states; he struggled with being jobless, hungry and homeless, many nights he copes with thoughts of suicide. Three years later he acquired a job as a journalist working for the New York association.

“How the Other Half Lives” targeted the minds of wealthy citizens as a way to get them to open their eyes to what others just like them were forced to live through. Jacob Riis pointed out that there were single family dwellings that shared side walls with other houses, they were called tenements and were overcrowded and unsanitary. Riis was able to project a very concerned tone and empathize with the people that suffered with poverty, because he too himself knows what it feels like to experience such an battle. Through the pictures in his book, America was able to see what little the government did to help financially unstable people. Riis along with fellow muckrakers Upton Sinclair with his novel “The Jungle” which shed light on disgusting and filthy conditions surrounding the production of food products, and Jane Addams who created the Hull Houses as a way to provide...
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