Progressive Era Reformers

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From 1900-1920 in the United States of America the reformers of the Progressive Era and the Federal Government were effective bringing about reform dealing with reforms to improve the social disgrace of the working conditions, the enthusiasm to be a nation of self-governed people, and the individual interests of presidents despite limitations in the rulings of court cases, the application of reforms reached, and the varying effectiveness of presidents. Reformers looking to improve the working conditions of the progressive Era made significant headway in their attempted reforms, though they were eventually limited by the decisions of the supreme courts. Muckrakers (people who wrote critiques on society and its faults) like Upton Sinclair wrote pieces of literature that called for reform. In particular Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle was one of the sole motivations for Congress to pass the United States Meat Inspection Act of 1906. The federal government took action and implemented the Neil-Reynolds report, which found problems in conditions that not only affected the quality of the food but also the workers’ physical health (Document B). The president and government found this unacceptable and multiple laws that regulated food inspection were passed after the report – laws that directly resulted from the muckrakers’ reforming work. The fight for child labor also used literature to express their protests. Many reformers protested children being introduced to the factory life at the age allowed by the state because it was thought to have a negative effect on both the child’s mental as well as physical health (Document C). The ruling in Hammer vs. Dagenhart (concerning Congress’ control over the flow of goods that was manufactured with child labor) was a limit of the success of the reformers. The courts stated that Congress did not have the authority to interfere with the circulation of goods. Despite this limitation, the success with the physical working conditions and...
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