Problems During The Progressive Era

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By the late 1800’s, as the Gilded Age came to an end and the country was moving into the Progressive Era, many problems such as the crude standards of health and safety and unfair treatment by boss’ to employees, began to be uncovered. As things seemed to get worse, with corruption and lack of government intervention, Progressives—namely Presidents Wilson, Taft and Roosevelt--made a decision to do everything in their power to bring change and solve the problems brought about by the Gilded Age. In a time overcome with big business and corruption, movements concerning equal rights and city conditions, and government intervention issues, the Progressive reformers sought to sort these issues out before they got any worse. At the decline of the…show more content…
From crowded tenement homes, polluted food, and rat and trash infested streets that contaminated the air, water and immune systems to unsafe working conditions in factories. As strikes occurred some owners felt obligated, initially, to give the protesting workers what they wanted, many, however, did not comply with their employee’s wishes. Reform groups also appeared, pleading for “To secure the toilers a proper share of the wealth that they create; more of the leisure; more societary advantages; more rights and privileges necessary to make them capable of enjoying the blessings of a good government” . Safety inspectors were only able to make costly suggestions to the factory owners in the rare case they went there at all, which did not help anything. As Roosevelt led the start of the Progressive Era, his Square Deal gave way to regulations regarding food and drugs. After him, Wilson made Adamson Act that regulated railroad employees to eight hours a day. This was a step in the right direction because by this time there were already child labor laws and some crude factory condition laws. This was also big because mainly immigrants worked on the railroads; this means that the Progressive President was now giving more equal rights to the people who, at the time, were cared for the least. Overall, they were pretty successful in turning this problem around. Although there was still overcrowding, at least labor laws gave way to safer conditions, as well as better hours and wages. In addition, water and sewage companies were becoming stricter—streets were better taken care of, as there was routine garbage pickup. This, in part with indoor plumbing led to a decrease in disease, as well as a less smelly and more sanitary and tolerable city. In this time, there was also a newly founded journalism type, muckraking. Through this journaling, people began to uncover just how bad conditions were. This led to more
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