The Progressive Movement : The Causes And Impacts Of The Progressive Era

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The Progressive Movement started in 1890 as a social movement but later grew into a political movement. The movement raised awareness to social reform issues relating to education, unionization, women’s suffrage, child labor, etcetera. The Progressive Era also exposed corruption in businesses and how the government was able to possess more power to regulate the economy. The Progressive Movement gave nearly everyone the equality and fair treatment they deserved. Throughout the entire era, there were muckrakers that exposed certain industries that would have corrupted systems or conditions that could be considered unsafe. One muckraker is Upton Sinclair. Upton Sinclair wrote about the hazardous conditions of the meat packing industries. He exposed how unclean the factories would be, describing how there were so many rats that you can see the rat droppings on the meat. After he wrote The Jungle, the Meat Inspection Act was passed because he portrayed the new industrial economy as inhumane, destructive, and uncaring. Sinclair wasn’t the only muckraker, there were many others who used different methods (like photography) to expose the abuses of industrial society and government corruption. John Spargo was another muckraker who exposed child labor by capturing photos of young boys crouched over or children looking dirty and tired. Laws that were stricter about child labor were enforced after Spargo’s photos were released. Muckrakers are known to be the first Progressives. Racial

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