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The progressive movement grew out of the industrial revolution, the Civil War and immigration. For example:
Workplace - Upton Sinclair With the onset of industrialization the American workplace changed. The new factories were dangerous places to work and what was produced in many of the meat packing factories was unfit for humans. In 1906, the American public was introduced to the horrors of the workplace by Upton Sinclair’s book The Jungle.
Political - Lincoln Steffens One of Steffen major investigations involved exposing local government corruption. A collection of Steffen articles appeared in the book The Shame of the Cities (1904). This was followed by an investigation into state politicians, The Struggle for Self-Government (1906). Political Machines gained power due to immigration.
Big Business - Ida Tarbell She was the daughter of a small oilman drivenout of business by the Rockefeller oil monopoly, which gained power due to the industrial revolution. Tarbell is particularly well known for her two-volume History’ of the Standard Oil Company (1904), first issued as a 19- installment series in McClure’s (A highly influential magazine of the day).
Child Labor – John Spargo In the early decades of the twentieth century, the numbers of child laborers in the US. peaked. In 1906, John Spargo published The Bitter Cry of Children which exposed the horrific working conditions of child laborers.
Women - Carrie Chapman Catt The call for woman’s suffrage began in the 19th century, but was put on hold during the Civil War. After the war was over the fight to get women the right to vote began again.
Settlement Houses - Jane Addams When immigrants entered the United States in the 19th century they expanded the urban poor population. To address their need settlement houses were created. A Settlement house was a neighborhood welfare institution generally in an urban slum area, where trained workers endeavor to improve social conditions, particularly by providing community services and promoting neighborly cooperation.
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