The Progressive Era (1890-1920) brought about unprecedented change in the economic, political, and social lives of Americans. These changes were needed because of the rapid industrialization, urbanization, and inequality in late nineteenth-century America. You will not be able to cover all of these facets in your research paper, but you may be able to provide examples of one aspect (i.e., factories) and explain why the reforms remain relevant to Americans's lives in 2020.
Industrialization of America was was brought about through factories, and conditions in those industrial facilities became a focal point of Progressive reformers. The titans who owned factories became enormously wealthy, but the people who worked in them were exploited in various ways. Children were employed to do dangerous, dexterous tasks. Factory workers labored ten hours a day and six days a week. A minimum wage did not exist. Labor unions were prohibited. Unsafe and crowded working conditions were the norm. In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory burned down, killing nearly 150 workers.
Today, these kind of abuses are not permitted. Children cannot work in factories, and there is a minimum wage for other employees. Factories are inspected for safety. A forty-hour week has become the standard. Unions can operate in some workplaces today. These positive changes were effected through legislation on both the state and federal level.