Womens Role in the Progressive Era

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Before the Progressive Era women found themselves in traditional roles raising the family and keeping the families moral compass pointing in the proper manner. Many of them never considered life outside of them home, as this was how they were raised. In the advent of the beginning years of the Progressive Era with many of the largest companies controlling the largest chunks of America’s financial interests these same women were looking outside. By this I mean, the very important job they had raising the family was getting increasingly more difficult as many families were forced into tenement situations. The unbidden squalor of the tenement with its poor sanitation, substandard water, as well as increasingly poor education were directly affecting the home. This picture http://www.nwhm.org/ProgressiveEra/cartoonwomensphere.html from Puck Magazine 1917 shows in simple detail that women had decided "Woman's sphere is the home wherever she makes good”. This was a critical change in the family style of thinking, these women stepped out of their houses and started volunteer organizations, conducted research and started changing our society. Starting at the local level these changes created many new safeguards on what we know today as basic services, clean water, organized sanitation, as well as setting the standards for housing reform. These local reforms would gradually expand relentlessly into state and federal levels. At the same time women like Ida Tarbell started to begin to expose the corruption in corporations like Standard Oil. The effect all of this was to be felt on all levels of society in some of the expected places healthcare, education and at least the acknowledgement of political corruption. This in conjunction with the fact that Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest president to hold office and who after being police commissioner and governor of New York was firmly seated in the knowledge of urban problems. He responded to the growing power of the...
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