Progressive Era Dbq

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Erin Effinger 3/10/13
IB HOA DBQ

During the Progressive Era the American society was evolving; technology, businesses and industry were advancing. However many problems rose in America. Many people faced poor working conditions including low pay and dangerous environments. Consumers were becoming aware of the horrors of the food industry. Women were seeking their right to vote, and the government was infested with the social elites who controlled industry, trusts and monopolies. Progressive reformers worked to improve the conditions people in the United States faced; they worked towards protecting consumers, improving working conditions, and expanding democracy.

Consumer protection was one of the goals many progressive reformers set to improve society. Many muckrakers like Upton Sinclair and his book, The Jungle, had exposed businesses for having unsanitary working conditions and reviled many problems. Factories were unsanitary; The Jungle told consumers details about the death and disease that reside in the meat packing industries (Doc 1). Meat industries were controlled by robber barons that ran the companies with unethical business practices; they would try to raise profits at the consumers’ expense. They would pay corrupt meat inspectors, have unsanitary slaughter houses and feed consumers disease filled cows (Doc 2). The food and drug industry was also not regulated before Roosevelt came into office; foods and medicines did not have ingredient labels and harmful drugs were sold over the counter. Due to the exposure of the horrors inside the food, drug and meat industries reformers started to take action. Theodore Roosevelt sat down with Upton Sinclair and promised him to use his power to try and eliminate the problems that Upton describes in his book. On June 30th Roosevelt kept his promise by signing into law, The Meat Inspection Act. It forced industries to put accurate labels on product, banned unhealthy...
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