Muckrakers and Political Reforms

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What factors stimulated Progressivism?

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There were many factors that stimulated the growth of the Progressive Movement. The muckrakers played a big role in doing this. They wrote about abuses in various areas of society. Their writings influenced the movement to bring about changes in these areas.

Upton Sinclair wrote about the unsanitary conditions in the meat industry. His book, The Jungle, exposed the practices that existed in the meat industry. This led to changes in laws dealing with the processing of food.

Lincoln Steffens wrote about how money influenced the political system in his book, The Shame of the Cities. This book, along with feelings that the common person was not very involved in the political system, led to a series of changes designed to give the average person a greater role in the political system. The initiative, referendum, and recall were introduced into the political system. Eventually, the American people got the right to choose their senators.

John Spargo, in his book, The Bitter Cry of the Children, wrote about issues with child labor. This book eventually led to the passage of child labor laws, which required kids to attend school and limited their ability to work.

There was a feeling that the average person was being squeezed by big businesses and the wealthy. This led to the passage of the Clayton Antitrust Act in 1914. It also led to the development of worker compensation laws, as well as laws dealing with workplace safety.

There were several factors that led to the growth of the Progressive Movement.

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