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A Generation of Reformers. Early 1890’s. America’s Growth. Cities grew larger Larger businesses Untouchable wealth Bigger problems Housing Food Corruption Crime. Progressives. Looked to government to solve problems Believed in efficient government It could protect public interest

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America s growth l.jpg
America’s Growth

  • Cities grew larger

  • Larger businesses

  • Untouchable wealth

  • Bigger problems

    • Housing

    • Food

    • Corruption

    • Crime


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Progressives

  • Looked to government to solve problems

  • Believed in efficient government

    • It could protect public interest

    • Restore order in society

  • Believed experts could solve the problems of the society


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Education

  • College enrollment way up

    (10 fold increase from 1870 to 1920)

    • New departments (economics, political science, sociology) analyzing human society

  • Lester Ward

    • Applied scientific method to human problems

    • Argued that people can change their social environments – with the help of government


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Muckrakers

  • Writers

    • Interested in challenging the powerful

  • Long investigative articles on

    • Exploitation of child labor by wealthy corporations

    • Police corruption

    • Prestigious churches


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Ida Tarbell

  • Famous Muckraker

  • Wrote a series on the rise of the Standard Oil Company

    • Exposed methods used to crush competition (including Tarbell’s father)

    • SOC was owned by John D. Rockefeller


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Upton Sinclair

  • A novelist

    • Wrote The Jungle

      • About immigrant workers in the meat packing industry

      • People reacted to Sinclair’s graphic portrayal of unsanitary conditions not the mistreatment of workers

      • “I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.” – Sinclair


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Religious Reformers

  • Social gospel movement

    • Emphasized role of the church in improving life on Earth peoples lives

  • Walter Rauschenbush

    • Minister

    • Became a pastor in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen

    • Believed that economic competition and social conditions caused the ills in society, not an individual’s personal depravity


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Activists

  • Concerned Women

    • Florence Kelley – a well known activist who rallied against child labor

  • National Consumers League

    • Mostly middle and upper-class women concerned about child labor

    • Supported settlement houses (best known was Jane Adams’ Hull House)

      • Institutions providing services to the poor

  • By the early 1920’s, almost 1 million women had joined clubs promoting the arts, education, and community health.

  • Right to vote for women


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African American Activists

  • Not accepted within the mainstream progressive movement

  • Antilynching movement

    • Ida B. Wells one of the best known antilynching leaders

  • NAACP founded in 1909

  • National Urban League in 1910

    • Fought against racial oppression


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