The Evils Of The Industrial Revolution And The Progressive Era

Decent Essays
Two of the most documented time periods in the history of the United States is the Industrial Revolution and the Progressive Era. Thanks to the innovations of the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, our country and the world are what they are today. Because of the developments made during these time periods, capitalism is shaped the way it is. While the majority of Americans revere the capitalist economic system as we know it today, the country was under great criticism by protesters in the early 1900s. Although business in the early 1900s were incredibly efficient with creating profit, it came at a great cost; horrible working conditions and corruption. The huge amounts of profit generated by companies were largely thanks to the workers who, forced by their poor living conditions, were willing to work long hours for miniscule pay. Many children were also exploited for labor, hence why we have the child labor laws we have today. Of course, there were several people who protested these companies and capitalism in general. Many of these protests manifested themselves in the form of literature and art. These authors and artists were called muckrakers. One of the most popular muckrakers of the time was Upton Sinclair, who wrote dozens upon dozens of pieces dedicated to exposing the evils of capitalism at the time. One of his most famous pieces is The Jungle, a novel which depicts the struggles of a migrant family from Lithuania who traveled to Chicago in the
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