The Progressive Spirit of Reform 1868-1920 Mrs. Jennette

The Gilded Age- During the late 1800s, there was a stark contrast between the wealth of business owners who had profited from the Industrial Revolution, and the workers who labored under terrible conditions for little pay. It was also a time of corruption in politics. While the rich lived flashy lifestyles, the poor were suffering.

Gilded Age Presidents: Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley

Life in the Gilded Age...

An increasing number of Americans (including immigrants to America) settled in cities.

Political Machines used illegal means to get "their" candidates elected. They stuffed ballot boxes with extra votes and bribed vote counters, aside from intimidating the poor to vote in return for food or work.

Many believed that the government should do something to eliminate corruption and diminish inequality.

Political cartoons were used to point out the corruption of Boss Tweed and his political machine at Tammany Hall.
Muckrakers- Journalists who wrote stories that vividly described the problems in U.S. society. They "raked" up the muck, or filth, of society including child labor, racial discrimination, slum housing, and corruption in business and politics.

The term “muckraker” actually came from President Teddy Roosevelt in a 1906 speech about journalism, when Roosevelt referred to a character in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress as “the Man with the Muck-Rake.”

Although Roosevelt agreed with most of the muckrakers' charges, he worried that they would use their writing to attack some of his policies. He elaborated on this when he said, “There are, in the body politic, economic and social, many and grave evils, and there is urgent necessity for the sternest war upon them. There should be relentless exposure of and attack upon every evil man whether politician or businessman, every evil practice, whether in politics, in business, or in social life. I hail as a benefactor every writer or speaker, every man who, on the platform, or in book, magazine, or newspaper, with merciless severity makes such attack, provided always that he in his turn remembers that the attack is of use only if it is absolutely truthful.”

Progressive Era Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909), William Howard Taft (1909-1913), Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)

Progressivism- a broad movement between 1896 and 1916 led by white, middle-class professionals for legal, scientific, managerial, and institutional solutions to the ills of urbanization, industrialization, and corruption.
  • 1. RESEARCH...Choose ONE of the Progressive Reformers or Muckrakers below.
  • View the attached biography.
  • Which social ill was being fought by this muckraker/reformer? How was he/she personally affected by this problem? What catalyst (event) pushed him/her to work toward reform?
  • 2. SOURCES...Find ONE reliable online source to aid you in your research.
  • 3. CREATE...Open the link below (Padlet).
  • Create a new post, including a summary of the reformer you chose. Be sure to include the answers to the questions above. Which social ill did he/she fight against? Why was he/she personally effected by or drawn to this cause?
  • Include a picture of your muckraker in the post.
  • Include a link to the reliable website you researched.
  • 4. After reviewing the posts of your classmates, comment on ONE muckraker and his/her work to reform a social ill.

Jacob Riis- Slum Housing

Ida B. Wells- Anti-Lynching Crusade

Thomas Nast- Corruption in Government (Tammany Hall)

Upton Sinclair- Unsafe Working Conditions, Unsafe Food Industry

Carry Nation- Temperance Movement (Anti-Alcohol)

Susan B. Anthony- Women's Suffrage

Booker T. Washington- Racial Discrimination

Alice Paul- Women's Rights

W.E.B. Du Bois- Racial Injustice

John Muir- Conservationist

Jane Addams- Urban Poverty

Marcus Garvey- Racial Injustice

Florence Kelley- Child Labor

Reminder: Complete your letter to President-Elect Trump regarding the issue that you feel is most significant.


Created with images by Kheel Center, Cornell University Library - "A woman with a baby in her arms, sits next to six children sleeping on a mattress on the floor." • cliff1066™ - "Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Nineteenth President (1877-1881)" • cliff1066™ - "James Abram Garfield, Twentieth President (March-September 1881)" • Goosefriend - "Chester A Arthur 1" • cliff1066™ - "Stephen Grover Cleveland, Twenty-second President (1885-1889), Twenty-fourth President (1893-1897)" • Goosefriend - "Benjamin Harrison 1" • cliff1066™ - "William McKinley, Twenty-fifth President (1897-1901)" • WikiImages - "new york city nyc manhattan" • NIAID - "Ellis Island Public Health Service Physicians" • mandalariangirl - "Theodore Roosevelt 1901-1909" • Political Graveyard - "Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)" • cliff1066™ - "William Howard Taft, Twenty-seventh President (1909-1913)"

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