The Progressive Era
The Progressive Era was a time of reform as the United States evolved into an industrialized world power. The country was coming into a new age of large scale corporations and factories. The country was changing and it was necessary for the government to find their place in business and in the welfare of the people. The industrialists, factory workers, immigrants, women, and politicians developed the history of the Progressive Era and forever affected the future of America.
Industrialists escorted new inventions, factories, companies, and production methods into the twentieth century. They also employed cut-throat business practices and created big-business monopolies and trusts. Many big bosses bought their way and their supporters into government positions. David G. Philips in “The Treason of the senate” (1906) accused that seventy-five of the ninety senators did not represent the people at all but the railroads and trusts.”(705). The big names were William H. Vanderbilt, J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller. Some tried to control all aspects of their corporations by eliminating competition and middlemen. Industrialists created a need for immigrants and factory workers to fill their businesses with laborers. The working conditions, working hours and wages would all provoke the reforms to come.
Factory workers and immigrants were forced into the mercy of their big bosses. Without government regulations that were soon to come, there were not yet laws against 12 or more hour workdays, child labor or unsafe machinery. Factories and railroads brought in immigrants for cheaper labor. If someone were to protest they would be fired and replaced shortly thereafter. The jobs were plentiful but the conditions were terrible. The available work brought millions of people into the cities. Families lived in one room tenements. With the expansion of cities there was also a growth in crime, poverty and disease. There of course...
Cited: Kennedy, David M., Cohen, Lizabeth, Bailey, Thomas A. The American Pageant. Boston:
Suzanne Jeans, 2010, 2006. Print.
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