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History Exam Essay

1809 words - 8 pages

1. The progressive period was a movement that exposed the problems in society. A lot of progressive reformers focused on the dilemmas caused by the major growth of factories and cities. These progressive reformers attacked businesses that they believed to be corrupt. In the very beginning of 20th century a group of American writers called the muckrakers were formed. These journalists continued with the goal of the progressives. One famous Muckraker was Upton Sinclair. Sinclair wrote The Jungle; this book exposed the horrors of the meat packing industry. He shocked society by describing this industry as disease ridden, filthy and unsanitary. These writers helped build major public support. ...view middle of the document...

During this time period the sale, transportation, consumption and manufacturing of alcohol was made illegal. Speakeasies were formed during prohibition. These speakeasies were parts of establishments that served alcohol but were concealed. Prohibition helped jumpstart what’s known as the roaring twenties. Since the public wasn’t aloud to drink alcohol that was the one thing they deeply desired to do. During prohibition the average American was now a criminal. Something as simple and common as enjoying a beer was now illegal. Prohibition is viewed as one of the biggest mistakes in the history of the United States. The goal of prohibition was to reduce criminal activity however prohibition became ironic when it only increased criminal activity.
4. In order to help alleviate the Great Depression president Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted a New Deal program. This program had a multitude of measures that were put in place to better the economy. One act in particular was the Glass-Steagall Act, also known as the Banking Act of 1933. This act at first was only part of the New Deal however it became it’s own measure in 1945. This act prohibits banks from investing in businesses. During the Great Depression roughly 5,000 banks went bankrupt. This caused many businesses to fail because they relied on the banks. Not only did the already horrible economy worsen, the public lost confidence in the banking system. The financial section of the US government was no longer trusted. Congress created this act to help bring back confidence back in banking practices. The public saw the government’s attempts to right the banks wrongs and started to believe in the government again.
5. The Meat Inspection Act was a step in the right direction for the United States. This Acted required the USDA to inspect meat, poultry and eggs. In 1906 Upton Sinclair published The Jungle revealing the unsanitary practices of Chicago’s meat packing industries. In result of this novel the public demanding reforms for the meat industry. This outcry from the public caused by Sinclair helped push President Roosevelt to pass this act. Roosevelt sent in Charles P. Neil to review the company’s practices. Neil’s returning report was worse than expected. Congress then passed the Meat Inspection Act in 1906. This act changed the way the country regulated food. It established a stricter attitude towards all companies that handled food. The United States Department of Agriculture was now a force to be reckoned with.
America is home of many attitudes, beliefs and conflicts. One conflicting debate that America still faces until this day is the idea of change versus established beliefs. We often here this debate referred to as liberals versus conservatives. While liberals believe in moving forward and abandoning the old ways conservatives believe in sticking to the old ways and going by what has been working. In the case of liberals, this idea of moving forward had to originate from somewhere....

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