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Progressive Era

By youngmini96 Dec 03, 2013 592 Words
Friday Oct 18th
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Youngmin Son

How did the Progressive movement successfully improve the lives of the average American between 1890 and 1920?

Between 1890 and 1920, the progressive movement successfully improved the lives of the average American. The purpose of the progressive was to bring reforms that would correct problems that industrialization and urbanization had created troubling social and political problems. Some problems included women’s right to vote, child labor, discrimination, poor working environment of factory workers and corrupt government with too much power. Progressivism emerged to solve these problems for better society. Progressive ideas brought reforms that still affect society today protecting the lives of the American.

Before the progressive era arrived, most children were put in factories or coal mines to work rather than school to get education. During 1870s, enrollment of children in public school was only 55% and 14% of children in U.S was employed working at places like factories , coal mines or even construction sites. These working places may cause high risk of injuries for child workers. Progressives urged the government to find a solution to end child labor, in 1916, the Congress passed the Keating-Owens Act, this act banned child labor protecting children from dangerous factories and construction sites. Also, progressives tried to improve children’s lives by improving education. Numerous number of states passed laws that every children are required to attend school until they reach a certain age. These progressive movement protected american children and creating public education for children gave chances for them to become successful improving our american society and economy.

In 1900s, United States had the highest rate of industrial accidents in the world. Workers had to work for long hours, work in poor sanitation, work with hazardous fumes and unsafe machinery threatened not only their health but also their lives. Each year, more than 30,000 workers died on the job while another half a million were injured. Progressives wanted to protect the workers from getting injured. New York passed laws to make workplaces safer, and many states adopted worker’s compensation laws, which set up funds to pay workers who were hurt on the job. Progressives also persuaded some states to pass laws limiting the workday to 10 hours. These laws protected workers from getting hurt creating safer workplace to work. Thanks to these laws, workers were able to work better for economic growth and creating better lives.

Before the reform, most meatpacking plants that poor sanitary. There would be rats going under the grinding machine, sometimes workers fell inside the grinding machine and they would become grinded like meat and dead. Americans had to eat meats that were made of rats and rotten meats. Unhealthy condition in meatpacking plants angered the people and the president. President Theodore Roosevelt urged Congress to pass the meat Inspection Act. It provided federal agents to inspect any meat sold across state lines and required federal inspection of meat-processing plants. Also, FDA(Food and Drug Administration ) was established to make sure people are not hurt by dangerous substances or dishonest labels. Roosevelt’s actions secured our people from consuming hazardous foods and drugs.

The progressive movement helped America become a better country by reforming laws and society. The progressive movement protected Americans from consuming hazardous foods and drugs. The progressive movement gave free education to children rather than making them work at dangerous working sites and protected workers from getting hurt at work places. These reforms improved the lives of Americans to live in a safer and better society. The progressive movement successfully improved and protected American between 1890 and 1920.

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