The Progressive Era Of Social And Political Reform

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During the time from the 1890s to the 1920s a period of social and political reform took place in the United States known as the Progressive Era. “The era saw the expansion of political and economic freedom through the reinvigoration of the moment for woman suffrage, the use of political power to expand workers rights’ and efforts to improve democratic government by weakening the power of the city bosses and giving ordinary citizens more influence on legislation.” The progressive reformers from this time gained a majority of their support from the education middle-class of urban areas. Another term used to describe these reformers is Muckrakers.
Muckrakers were investigative journalists who tried to make the public aware of the problems in society that needed fixing. They stemmed from yellow journalism, which was a style of reporting that used exaggeration to attract readers. In a speech made by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, the term muckraker was used in a derogatory way, he “ borrowed the word from John Bunyan 's Puritan story Pilgrim 's Progress, which spoke of a man with a “Muck-rake in his hand” who raked filth rather than look up to nobler things.” However, it eventually came to take on a positive overtone due to the serious social issues of the progressive era the muckrakers had underlined. The muckrakers during the progressive era inspired Americans to take action and hence are responsible for the social change that took place at that time.
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