Progressive Period Essay

1125 WordsMay 16, 20135 Pages
Progressive Period Essay In the twentieth century, U.S. society was incapable and far from a strong nation that it is today. The growth of industry and cities created problems. A small number of people held a large proportion of the nation’s wealth while others fell into poverty. Workers faced long hours, dangerous conditions, poor pay, and an uncertain future. Big business became closely allied with government, and political machines, which offered services in return for votes, controlled some city governments. As the United States entered the 20th century, demand arose to combat these ills. Lasting from the 1890's to the 1930's the Progressive Period was an attempt to cure and strengthen the nation. In order to fix the American society, different reforms were passed during the Progressive Period, three among all caused major as well as notable changes in the United States. Major reforms included child labor reforms women's suffrage, eliminating corrupt forms of politics, and finally food safety laws. One of the most persistent causes of Progressive Era reformers was child labor reform. 

The 1890 census revealed that more than one million children, ten to fifteen years old, worked in America. That number increased to two million by 1910. Industries employed children as young as five or six to work as many as eighteen to twenty hours a day. 
Physical ailments were common. Glassworks employees were exposed to intense heat and heavy fumes. Young miners sat on boards in cramped positions, breathing heavy dust, sifting through coal. Seafood workers stood for hours shucking oysters at five cents a pail. The sharp oyster shells sometimes cut their hands. Industrialization did not create child labor, but it did contribute to the need for child labor reform. The replacement of skilled artisans by machinery and the growth of factories and mills made child labor

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