The Effectiveness Of The Progressive Era Middle School/ Us History Essay

1622 words - 7 pages

During the Progressive Era (1880-1920) there were people called muckrakers/reformers who tried to reform society by exposing the issues/problems by writing books and articles and publishing pictures and they say “ A picture is worth a thousand words.” To reform, means to “make changes in (something typically a social, political, or economic institution or practice) in order to improve it. Although the reformers of the Progressive Era didn’t fix all the problems of this time, they did enough to solve most of the problems in society.
During the Progressive Era there were some laws/acts that were being neglected, such as the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Before Theodore Roosevelt received the role of being the president of the United States of America (USA), the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was passed in order to stop businesses from becoming monopolies. A monopoly is when a business has total ownership of a product or service. If businesses were to become monopolies, then they’d have more power than the government and the USA would most likely be corrupted. Although the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was already passed and put into action, several businesses neglected the new law and continued to compete to be a monopoly. Once Theodore Roosevelt was put into office, he filed 44 violations under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. As you can see, there are no longer any trusts or monopolies in modern America.
In addition, the living conditions were another issue that most people living in urban areas, during the Progressive Era, faced. At the time of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s many people (mostly immigrants) lived in tenements. A tenement was a “run-down and often overcrowded apartment house, especially in a poor section of a large city.” Tenements were merely an adequate place to live. For instance, as stated in Document 2 by Jacob Riis, “… with dark and unhealthy rooms, often over wet cellars, where extreme overcrowding is permitted.” The document also states that the tenements “ ‘… would show itself to be fouler than the mud of the gutters.’ “ Both quotes demonstrate how tenements aren’t as good as the apartment buildings that are standing tall today. Most tenements failed to have indoor plumbing, proper ventilation, windows, etc. As muckraker Jacob Riis exposed the horrid living conditions, several laws were passed to ensure that all housing buildings were an adequate place to live. In 1862 a law was passed that all tenements had to have windows. During the year 1879, a law was passed that not only were there supposed to be windows in tenements, but also there had to be proper ventilation. The tenements also had to have the shape of a dumbbell. Lastly during 1901, all tenements had to have indoor plumbing, heat, etc.
Another dilemma during the Progressive Era was women’s suffrage. As Document 4 by Elizabeth Smith Miller stated (1909), “ Women are not yet taken into full political partnership, nevertheless, they have just as much at stake in the...

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