The progressive era was a peri…
The progressive era was a period of political and social change.The American people came together in unity to overcome a portion of the debasement in the government system, most progressives being middle class fought for gender equality and equal rights, Some of the accomplishments include the regulation of child workers in factories and sweatshops, regulating the sale of alcohol and determining whether to let immigrants become citizens or stop immigration as a whole. More importantly, though, reformers sought to stop the corrupted perspectives of the government that were happening during the time, not only to improve working condition but taking power away from the government and instead giving more control and say to the people. Reformers succeeded in changing major things,like giving women the right to vote, replacing the city council, introducement of the political machine, and the passing of other amendments that were very important in the 19th and 20th century , some which include the 17th amendment which was ratified to counter the corruption in the Senate, and the 18th amendment that prohibited the selling and manufacturing of all types of alcohol. Other laws were also passed to protect the environment and to raise awareness to pollution levels.
The Progressives were sick and tired of the inefficiency and injustices of the previous age, the gilded age, where the rich and powerful took advantage over the economy and the government.They were determined to completely change and reform the stubbornness of the state and improve the connections between what the people wanted and what the government did. A lot of the things enacted, would change things nationally, including the income tax (16th amendment) which would be a tax imposed on people that varied with their respective income and profit yearly, the most being companies and business.In summary, Congress would have the power to lay down and collect taxes depending on incomes, from multiple types of sources. Representatives and direct taxes are appointed in the respective states which depends on their population numbers, Congress also has the power to pay debts and provide for the common defense and welfare of the united states as long as everything is uniform throughout all states. Also, directly electing senators(17th amendment), would establish the popular election of senators by the people in the united states. It also changes the procedure of taking jobs in the Senate, known as vacancies, allowing the governors to make temporary adjustments until another election can be held.
Another change the people were fighting for was the push for prohibition, the banning of alcoholic beverages and by making the production, transportation and the selling of liquor illegal, There were multiple ways they used to enforce this, one of them being the Volstead act. Eventually, the eighteenth amendment was repealed in 1933 by the twenty-first amendment, being ratified on December 5th, the twenty-first amendment is the only amendment to the constitution made just for repealing a prior amendment.Women’s suffrage was also used to stop fraud and corruption through the nineteenth amendment. This amendment gave women the voting right like everyone else, in 1920 this amendment was ratified and created a domino effect on other countries that also gave women more power before world war II. By doing this, the nineteenth amendment overruled minor v happersett which was a court case in missouri that denied specifically females the right to vote,even the supreme court went against it and stated that the fourteenth amendment did not give females that liberty, and insisted on upholding and refusing to register a woman as a lawful voter because “it held that the constitutionally protected privileges of citizenship did not include the right to vote” meaning that only men were allowed to vote in all history of the united states until 1910 when the women’s movements started. At the time the movements for change had started, magazines were a very popular source of media, some even had subscriptions of over a hundred thousand people . Thanks to the rapid expansion of advertising, there was a ton of coverage over the latest news about corruption in politics, big business and the biggest companies.
The journalists who wrote for the popular magazines just to expose the political scandals were known as muckrakers, which investigated on their own and even reported on other social issues like poverty, and working conditions such as child labor. Thanks to these types of journalists, like ray baker, George Creel, and Lincoln Steffens brought to the public much frauds that were involved in the selling of medical treatments and medicine. Upton Sinclair wrote a novel called The Jungle which talked about the horrific way meat was packaged and shipped.All over the country, mainly middle class women, got together on behalf of reforms during this era. Using the idea of municipal housekeeping women were able to push some reforms including Prohibition, women’s suffrage, child saving and public health. These women also made clubs and groups locally which led to the 1890 general federation of women’s clubs, which was a federation of over a thousand clubs in the united states which helped promote civic improvements through services like volunteering, and although most of the activities and projects of the federation were independent in local communities the federation maintained over 100,000 members.During the progressive era, the number of rich families climbed rapidly.
From barely around 100 millionaires in the 1860s to over five thousand in 1890 and sixteen thousand in 1916. Many followed the views of Andrew Carnegie’s which were that the rich owed a duty to society, that called for philanthropic giving money to colleges, medical establishments like hospitals and to further medical research, but also to libraries, museums and even to religious and social places to better the environment overall.