The progressives were basically individuals or groups that considered urbanization and industrialization are the main cause for many of the social and political issues rises during the period of 1890 to 1920 and helped reform the social problems such as inequalities, social justice, political corruption, trusts, monopolies, workforce safety, women’s right and city services. The progressives believed that the reformation would end government corruption, and end the industrial capitalism in the society.
During the Gilded Age, America’s industry was rapidly growing along with the high number immigrant enter the United States. Even though the American industry was booming, it also brought along with lots of issues involved the people and the politic.
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First major issue was about the workforce and the laborers. Many of the companies and factories did not have any standards, regulations or instruction for the workers to follow; thus created a very dangerous workplace for the workers. In fact, many workers got hurt working at the factories and other member of the worker’s family have to fill in so that the production would not discontinue that results in the company losing profits. The companies used their power to force the workers to work longer hour with lower wages so that they could make more profits in the competitive markets. Thus, the workers were struggle supporting their lives with such low wage.
With the massive number of immigrants, there were not enough jobs to provide for all the people, so the people had to turn to each other instead of the establishment for the sake of not starve and die, and the government did not lay an eye on the people.
Second issue that was also important was the quality of foods in the country. During this period, the government had very little involve/control over the food quality that has been produce and consume in the country. Food and drug companies did not label the ingredients on their packages and also the consumers little did they know about what was in the products they were using and consuming.
The book The Jungle by Upton Sinclair showed us the underneath surface of the food industry where the manufacture condition was terribly maintained and the government had no regulations or laws in protect the consumers from the bad quality food that flowing around the country in the Gilded Age period.
Those are just the few highlights of the social problems that involved the industrialism. In addition to the industrial capitalized, there were also some political issues that made the people suffered such as the unfair election, unfair voting and neglect the people’s needs by the government.
The Progressive Era was the movement that promised to unravel all the problems since the Gilded Age from industrial to political inequality and corruption.
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