The Shame Of The Cities: Theodore Roosevelt's Impact On American Society

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In 1906, an investigative reporter named David Graham Philips published a series of exposés that accused powerful and influential senators of drafting legislation that benefited corporations in which they had personal financial stake. President Theodore Roosevelt felt it necessary to undercut the efforts of journalists such as Philips, mainly because many of his supporters were subjects whom Philips was attacking. During his dedication of a cornerstone of the House of Representative’s building, Roosevelt first brought about the term “muckraker”, using it to describe investigative reporters who exposed corruption. The term itself stems from a character in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, a character who was “offered a celestial crown for…show more content…
Steffens is generally credited with being the first muckraker. He was a New York reporter who launched a series of articles in McClure’s titled “The Shame of the Cities”. In these articles, Steffens unmasked the corrupt alliance between big business and municipal government.(7, p.658) He sought to expose public corruption in many major cities in America, and his ultimite goal was to provoke public outcry and thus promote reform. The Shame of the Cities, written in 1904, was followed by an investigation into state politicians, entitled The Struggle for Self-Government (1906). In 1906 Steffens joined with fellow muckrakers Ida Tarbell and Ray Stannard Baker to establish the radical American Magazine. Tarbell continued to write about corruption until 1910, when he reported on the Mexican Revolution.…show more content…
Stories That Changed America: Muckrakers of the 20th Century. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002. 2. "Muckrakers." 25 Feb. 2008 <>. 3. Weinbert, Arthur (Lila Weinberg) Edited With Notes. The Muckrakers The Era In Journalism That moved America to Reform- The Most Significant magazine Articles of 1902-1912. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1961. 4. Cook, Fred J. The muckrakers: crusading journalists who changed America. New York: Doubleday, 1972. 5. Chalmers, David Mark. The Social and Political Ideas of the Muckrakers (Essay Index Reprint Series). New York: Beaufort Books, 1970. 6. "Charles Edward Russell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Main Page - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 25 Feb. 2008 <>. 7. Bailey, Thomas A., Lizabeth Cohen, and David M. Kennedy. The American Pageant: A History of the Republic. Boston: Mcdougal Littell/Houghton Mifflin, 2005. 8. "Lincoln Steffens." Spartacus Educational - Home Page. 25 Feb. 2008 <>. 9. "Ray Stannard Baker (1870-1946)." Swarthmore College :: Home. 25 Feb. 2008

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