Prior to the Progressive Era, America was a corrupt society where the majority of the population was abused and treated unfairly. Politics was incredibly untrustworthy, as large businesses truly conducted what was happening in the government. Towards the end of the Gilded Age, civilians became fed up with the way of life and the laissez-faire attitude from the government.
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In the Progressive Era, influential ideas and voices came from being in a constant state of manipulation. Modern unions and parties formed in the Progressive Era brought a much-needed light to the horrendous ways of life in America. Women had no rights, so they spoke out against their injustices. For the first time in American history, their voices were heard. Thanks to unions being formed, children were given support and help with labor laws. The food industry was in dire need of new laws to promote healthier ways of producing food for the entire country, and unions changed laws around meat production by setting new health standards. Although it happened later, the Progressive era was a needed revolution because it introduced a new wave of reform where actual change for minority groups was being made. The Progressive Era introduced hundreds of new ideas and action to benefit those in need. Life in America now is dramatically better than it would have been.
For decades in America, there was a lack of support for mothers and their choices over their reproductive health. Women’s bodies have been subjected to men as their minds and bodies have been under control of their male counterparts for centuries. Especially in the slums of the Gilded Age, mothers young and old were constantly reproducing children that they did not have the means to take care of. They had no control over their bodies or how their maternal care was handled, in most cases it was extremely unsanitary, unsafe and in some cases deadly. As well as a lack of maternal care, there was no public education on sexual health. The reason for this was because laws were instilled where it was extremely difficult for anyone to obtain birth control or contraceptives which were deemed illicit. There was no way for women to have any rights regarding their sexual health but during this essential time, the conversation finally changed. In the Progressive Era, there was a generous amount of women who acknowledged that they had a voice in their reproductive health and bravely spoke out against the injustices that they faced for their reproductive rights. Two women especially were important activists and reformers in this cause, Margaret Sanger and Emma Goldman. Emma Goldman was the first person to ever give a public showing of how to use contraceptives. They fought for women’s sexual rights. Margaret Sanger is best known for establishing the American Birth Control League in 1921.
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