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Dbq 2003 Essay

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In the early 20th century, America was trying to cure many of the wrongs that society had created in the industrial age during the 19th century. At first the progressive movement began at the local level with changes being brought upon the expansion of high school and suppressing the red light district. The movement gradually moved onto the state and eventually the national level. The Progressive Era reformers and the government were fairly successful in bring about reform at the national level. However, they’re clear successes and limitations; economically, pertaining to trusts and monopolies, socially, concerning the meat inspection and civil rights, and politically, with more direct democracy.

First of all the social aspect of the Progressive Era had its ups and downs in terms of the civil rights movements of both African-Americans and Woman, labor laws, and food laws. Upton Sinclair, a socialist, published The Jungle, which exhibited the Chicago meatpacking plants. The book showed the poor working conditions for the employees and how poorly the meat was processed as shown in Document [B]. This discovery called fourth an investigation, which led to the Meat Inspection Act in 1906. Child labor was challenged that children under a certain age should not be allowed to work and instead be given time to develop themselves (Document C). Out of this dilemma arose the National Child Labor Committee, which caused nearly every state to set a minimum age for employment varying between ages twelve and sixteen. A limitation was that the African-Americans did not have their rights carried through as W.E.B. DuBois says, “This country is ours . . . is yet a shameful land” (Document I). The blacks faced continued oppression and it continued through President Woodrow Wilson as he felt no sympathy for their race.

In addition, many Progressives hoped to make the American government more alert to the voice of the people. People would now be able to have direct primaries. The 17th Amendment allows the people to vote directly for their senators instead of the corrupt party bosses. Also, citizens now had initiative, which allowed them to propose laws for consideration by the state legislature. President Theodore Roosevelt believed that the people should directly vote for their senators as well (Document D). The political aspect also had its downfall in terms of the secret ballots. The progressives were fighting to have the protection of votes of the people. Document [J] shows the decrease of people in the ballots for the presidential election. Significant changes achieved at the national levels included Prohibition with the Eighteenth Amendment and women's suffrage through to the Nineteenth Amendment

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