Jacob Riis: The Progressive Movement

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From 1890 to 1920, there were social, political, and economic reactions to industrialization and urbanization. A reform movement swept the nation as many people focused their energies on domestic reform, on improving conditions within the United States. The Progressive movement was made up of groups and individuals who worked to change the negative effects of industrialization and urbanization in the United States. Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson were all Progressive presidents who implemented bold domestic reform programs at the national level. Attempts to end the poverty, crowding, and disease in American cities began before 1900. A well-known urban reformer was Jacob Riis, who used writings and photographs to show the need for better housing for the poor. In How the Other Half Lives, Jacob Riis tells us that three-fourths of people lived in tenements (Document 1). During this time period, the prevalence of tenements and slums was on the rise (Document 1). New York was one of the worst areas for slums and as Riis said, “New York’s tough represents the essence of…show more content…
Progressives recognized that states exercised control over many of their cities. Thus, changes in the way state governments worked were part of the Progressive program. In a primary, voters were now allowed to select the party’s candidate, instead of the party leaders (Document 3). The initiative is a system that allows voters petition the legislature to consider a proposed law (Document 3). In a referendum, voters, not the legislature, decide whether a given bill or constitutional amendment should be passed (Document 3). Recall is a form of petition used by voters to force elected officials out of office (Document 3). All of these reforms made during the Progressive movement granted citizens greater participation in state
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