Progressive Era

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From the late 1800’s to around the 1920’s America was going through the Progressive Era. During the Progressive Era people sought out change in the way workers were treated on the job and as a citizen. There were many reforms trying to improve life for people in the time period. Ending the sales of alcohol was one of the reforms attempting to improve lives of immigrants and poor people. Passing laws controlling child labor and the amount of hours women and children can work has a larger effect on our society today than prohibition.

In the early 1900’s alcohol was blamed for many of society’s social reform issues. The drinking of alcohol was thought to be holding back immigrants and poor citizens from advancing into a higher social class. When the man of the family spent money on alcohol, the money he spent was often needed to provide for his family. Many people abused alcohol, causing problems for their communities and the families in them. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union was very strong for the prohibition of alcohol. Founded in 1873. Frances Willard, known for being a key reformist for the prohibition, was the second president of the WCTU. She led women to saloons trying to convince owners not to sale alcohol my singing and praying. In 1919 the Volstead Act was passed which said, "No person shall manufacture, sell, barter, transport, import, export, deliver, furnish or possess any intoxicating liquor.” The combination of that act and the 18th amendment started the time period known as prohibition.

In the progressive era many child would work long shifts of dangerous jobs with very few regulations helping out the needs of the workers. Children were taken advantage of and had to do tuff jobs for little pay. Reformers wanted to soften some of the harsh conditions of the industrialization of America. Florence Kelley contributed a great amount to social reform. She is known for helping legislation pass for the establishment of the minimum...
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