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One cold snowy morning in late December 1891, Florence Kelley and her three children arrived on the front steps of Hull House in Chicago. When she knocked on the door, Jane Addams answered, “We were welcomed as though we had been invited,” Kelley later wrote. At Hull House, Kelley not only found refuge but also joined the growing movement for reform. She went on to become one of the country’s leading social reformers.

the progressive movement
The Progressive Movement
  • In the late 1800’s reformers, who became known as progressives, began working to improve society.
    • Worked to fix problems such as crime, disease, and poverty
    • Focused on education, healthcare, and government reforms
  • Journalists who helped to give life to the progressive movement by writing about corruption in business and politics
    • Raked up and exposed the “muck”, or filth in society.
    • Focused on areas such as child labor, racial discrimination, and slum housing
ida tarbell
Ida Tarbell

“Very often people who admit the facts, who are willing to see that Mr. Rockefeller has employed force and fraud to secure his ends, justify him by declaring, “It’s business.” That is, “It’s business” has come to be a legitimate [acceptable] excuse for hard dealing, sly tricks, and special privelages.”

reforming city and state government
Reforming City and State Government
  • Worked for greater voter participation
  • Sought more efficient and responsive governments to local needs
city planning
City Planning
  • In response to the poor conditions of the tenement buildings
  • 1901 New York State Tenement House Act passed
  • City planning and city engineering
    • Zoning laws, building codes, public parks, sanitation, etc.
social reforms
Social Reforms
  • John Dewey – key supporter of early childhood education
    • Progressives start kindergarten
    • Children learn problem solving as opposed to simply memorizing the teachers lesson
  • Joseph McCormack –
    • Led the American Medical Association to bring local medical organizations together