Progressive Reform

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At the end of the nineteenth century the United States seemed to be racing forward in many areas, such as technological advancement, more efficient manufacturing, modernizing transportation, and of course, making money. America was, on the surface, improving greatly; underneath however, there were many problems including corrupt businesses and a growing lower class stricken by poverty. In 1900 to 1920 the Progressive Reform Movement swept the nation; progressive reformers rallied for equal treatment and better working conditions; the federal government adopted regulations that attempted to satisfy the wishes of the reformer; both groups had successes and limitations that ultimately led to an overall beneficial effect on the nation.

The Progressives, a group of mainly middle class Americans, were intent on bettering their society and preventing a social revolution through a series of reforms that would ultimately allow social progress for many people. Some progressives wanted to restore a democratic government, others wanted to create more equal opportunities for both the poor and foreign people, and others wanted to create cleaner and better working conditions. They were very successful in many ventures but some of their actions caused serious consequences and limitations. Muckrakers were a branch of progressives dedicated to exposing social problems. The Neill Reynolds Report functions as an example of muckraking and describes the horrifyingly unsanitary conditions of one meat packaging factory. The workers in the factory were ignorant of the health precautions to take when handling food so the meat was, by the time it was fully packaged and ready to leave the factory, diseased and extremely unhealthy. Some people campaigned for the rights and well being of those who were unable to speak on their own behalf. Jane Addams discusses how educators simply prepared their students with the little information they needed and sent them off to work in factories because...
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