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Page 2Obj. 7.5.2 Explain the role of individuals and groups in focusing attention on the social, economic, and political problems of the era.Key Points: Muckrakers-a group of writers and journalist that exposed corruption in the US. They created a public demand for reform.Ida Tarbell -a muckraker who accused standard Oil of unfair tactics to force small companies out of businessUpton Sinclair– wrote The Jungle about a meat-packing plant and how dead rats end up in the sausage. He focused on poor sanitary conditions. Roosevelt signed Meat Inspection Act because of his book.Thomas Nast-cartoonist that poked fun at politicsRobert La Follette –governor of Wisconsin-the first state to establish a direct primary. He expanded democracy in his state. This was then carried over to the national level.A direct primary is when VOTERS, not conventions, choose the candidates to run for office.
ida tarbell
Ida Tarbell
  • A new generation of investigative journalists, later dubbed "muckrakers" by President Theodore Roosevelt, had set out to wage a campaign to expose corruption in business and political lawlessness. Tarbell latched onto the idea of using the story of Standard Oil to illustrate these troubling issues, persuading McClure to agree to a three-part series on the oil trust.
Tarbell wrote a detailed exposé of Rockefeller’s unethical tactics, sympathetically portraying the plight of Pennsylvania’s independent oil workers.
  • "The History of the Standard Oil Company" would be hailed as a landmark in the history of investigative journalism, as well as the most comprehensive study of the building of Rockefeller’s oil empire.
thomas nast

Thomas Nast

Political Cartoonist


Nast was a political cartoonist who worked for a magazine called Harpers Weekly.
  • Nast is often spoken of as “the first great American cartoonist. ..many of his symbols and devices have become part of the cartoonist's stock in trade.”

Artist’s self-caricature

Thomas Nast popularized the elephant as the symbol for Republicans and the donkey as the symbol for Democrats.
“Boss” Tweed
  • Thomas Nast criticized “Boss” Tweed, a crooked New York City politician
  • For Nast, Tweed personified two great evils afflicting American society after the Civil War: corruption and greed
  • Cartoon after cartoon pictured Tweed as a thief
  • Tweed lost political power and was convicted of corruption
upton sinclair and the jungle

Upton Sinclair and The Jungle

US History: Spiconardi