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The progressive movement was born out of the emerging middle class in America. Reform by definition is to make something better. In this case rais the quality of life for many Americans. The industrial Revolution in America was met face to face with a seemingly endless suply of unskilled laborers in the form of immigrants. Essentially those who were lowest on the economic scale were pushed upward because of the influx of immigrants. The new middle class people who didn't have to work seven days a week anymore had time to think and look at the ills that industrialization caused. Literacy rates grew and the 'muckraker' was born. If compared with today they would be 'investigative journalists'. Upton Sinclair, Jacob Riis, and Ida Tarbell exposed the worst industrialization was responsible for in American society, labor and health conditions, living conditions, and wages so low a man that worked 15 hours a day could not feed his family and keep a roof over their heads. Their publications were so powerful, even presidents were swayed. Other methods were education and sheer public outcry. Margaret Sanger and Jane Addams are fine examples of progressives attempting to facilitate change through education be it birth control, domestic problems, rent, and education itself. The suffrage movement was filled with protest marches through the streets. Women were going to exercise their Constitutional rights as citizens to attain political power which was finally realized by the 19th Amendment...a woman's right to vote.
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