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Progressive Era

By Yageira Apr 26, 2013 698 Words
The Progressive Era
In the early 1900s reformers known as progressives began, with it the Progressive Era. This movement wanted to reform the United States by bringing order and efficiency to a country that had been transformed by rapid growth and new technology. The full reformation was not successful passed, however, they were able to express new idea and solve many problems troubling American society and its people. Much was done by progressives in order to improve the lives of people in America their biggest concerns were those of their jobs, education, homes, rights, and role in government. On the contrary the so called Progressive Era, were series of events that corrupted the society. It was not really fixing anything just placing bandages over the problems. This era can be seen as a step forward however it can also be seen as a corrupted era. In the Progressive Era many people felt that they were progressing because many things seemed as though they were changing for the best of the people. One example of that would be that homes were being improved for the poor and immigrants who lived in horrible urbanized areas. Through the idea of "city beautiful" they promoted the arts, music, and civic centers and the building of parks and museums to make the cities enjoyable to live in. The reason why that was done was because they believed that if they could improve their living conditions people would eventually improve as well and in the long run it would benefit the United States as a country and make it stronger. In 1907 the economy had a huge crash this lead Theodore Roosevelt to take action in it. This is shown in the political cartoon in Document A. We can see that he is stepping on bad trust, showing that he is getting rid of it. In addition to that, new ideas for education burst; these ideas essentially improved peoples live. They changed the old formal methods of education and promoted new teaching techniques that would allow students to learn more information more efficiently. They were able to pass laws such as a mandatory law for children to attend school, which was supposed to help eliminate child labor. This failed because records show that many kids were working eight hours a day for six days or more. This is demonstrated in Document G, it clearly states that, “children under the age of fourteen and sixteen years have been employed or permitted to work…”. This is a good example of how the Progressive Era was not so progressive because even though there were laws they were still being broken. Additionally this tells us that the government was not doing enough to prevent child labor from happening. As a result of all of this the new ideas and techniques that were being created were not really being used since the kids would spend more time at a factory than at school. This can be seen in Document C, were they mention the teachers, because they too were affected by this. Furthermore, organizations were created to unify workers in large numbers to be able to create easier, safer working conditions, protected wages, and gave reasonable hours for men and women. Once again these organizations were trying to help and make rights that could help the people yet the working conditions were terrible. The factories were extremely filthy that were rats running around, the workers would kill them and many times they would be mixed in with the meat that they were preparing. Along with that there was no place where they could clean themselves as a result they would be walking around with messy dirty hands. These were incredibly unsanitary conditions to be working in. In Document B, the Neill-Reynolds Report talks about the disgusting conditions in which many people worked in. In conclusion, the Progressive Era was not entirely helping to progress the country. There were many things that were trying to help create a better place for themselves and other, however, things were still not close to getting solved forever. Because even though it is called the Progressive Era many things were being corrupted.

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