Describe the efforts of social reformers to aid the New Immigrants and alleviate urban problems.

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were attempts by reformers to aid the new immigrants and reduce urban problems. Several things were done to help the new immigrants.

A spirit of reform spread over the country in the late 1800s. Groups formed to help the urban poor, many of whom were immigrants. The YMCA and the Salvation helped the poor by providing services to help these people fulfill their basic needs. Some religious activities, such as bible study groups, were also conducted. The settlement house movement also helped the new immigrants. These groups, led by middle-class people such as Jane Addams, provided medical care, meals, and educational activities for the immigrants. More public schools were created and eventually compulsory school attendance laws were passed. These schools could help immigrant children get an education and learn about the American way of life.

The Progressives tried to deal with some of the urban problems. They tried to bring about political reforms to get more people involved in the political process. They wanted laws passed to make neighborhoods where people lived free from factories being nearby by passing zoning laws. Some people wanted to bring an end to the use of alcohol by banning it. The Progressives tried to take actions to reduce some of the problems that existed in the cities.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During the Progressive Era, a number of efforts were made to do these things.

With regard to helping the New Immigrants, the most famous effort was the settlement house movement.  The settlement houses were community centers designed to teach immigrant women "better," more "American" ways of raising their children, keeping their homes, etc.

But the reformers also wanted to alleviate urban problems, regardless of what the immigrants thought.  This led to such things as the push for Prohibition (to keep immigrants from drinking too much) and to get rid of the urban political machines (end corruption).