What role did journalists play in the progressive movement

The Progressive Era

what role did journalists play in the progressive movement

The Progressive Era - Muckrakers

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The foundation of modern America was born during the progressive era Chambers, In the late s, millions of Americans migrated west and into urban areas, and hundreds of thousands of African Americans moved to northern cities. Moreover, the United States experienced unprecedented levels of immigration at this time George Washington University, n. Rapid advances in technology and industrialization took its toll on Americans. While urban areas benefited from electricity and running water, rural farmers struggled to maintain their farms as they battled increased competition, costly machinery, and falling prices. Thus, progressivism began as a social movement to cope with the various social needs of the time and ultimately evolved into a reform movement.

At the end of the nineteenth century, American politicians, journalists, professionals, and volunteers mobilized on behalf of reforms meant to deal with a variety of social problems associated with industrialization. Woman activists, mainly from middling and prosperous social backgrounds, emphasized the special contribution that women could make in tackling these problems. By emphasizing traditional traits, female social reformers between and World War I created new spaces for themselves in local and then national government even before they had the right to vote. They carved out new opportunities for paid labor in professions like social work and public health. Regardless of sex, activists did not always value the same reforms, nor did they always agree on the nature of the problems, but as part of the progressive movement, their concerns shared some basic characteristics. Progressives also believed that modern techniques of social planning and efficiency would offer solutions to the social problems at hand.

The exploitation of the working class. Political and corporate corruption. Race relations. Food processing. Family values. These are some of the many concerns that marked the brief, exhilarating Progressive Era in American History.

Progressivism , political and social-reform movement that brought major changes to American politics and government during the first two decades of the 20th century. Progressive reformers made the first comprehensive effort within the American context to address the problems that arose with the emergence of a modern urban and industrial society. The U. Urbanization and immigration increased at rapid rates and were accompanied by a shift from local small-scale manufacturing and commerce to large-scale factory production and colossal national corporations. Technological breakthroughs and frenzied searches for new markets and sources of capital caused unprecedented economic growth. From to , manufacturing production rose by more than percent. But that dynamic growth also generated profound economic and social ills that challenged the decentralized form of republican government that characterized the United States.

The Progressive Era spanned the years from — when the United States was experiencing rapid growth. Immigrants from eastern and southern Europe arrived in droves. Cities were overcrowded, and those living in poverty suffered greatly. Politicians in the major cities controlled their power through various political machines. A concern emerged from many Americans who believed that great change was needed in society to protect everyday people. As a result, the concept of reform took place in society. This was known as the Progressive Movement.

Upton Sinclair: A Progressive Era Muckraker

The Progressive Movement in the United States began in the early s as a response to the excesses of industrialization. Progressives focused on using government resources to make life better for people through laws that provided regulations of industry and other aspects of urban life. Journalists played an important role in the Progressive Movement through publicizing the excesses of industrialization and calling the people to


Among other topics, they took on corporate power, the big trusts, and government corruption. The period of the original muckrakers did not last very long; however, muckrakers are often cited when investigative journalism resurfaces in the United States. For textbooks on muckraking methods and the memoirs of famous muckrakers, as well as more information about anthologies of muckraking, see the excellent Oxford Bibliographies article in Communication Investigative Reporting by James L. Substantial research help from Anna Kordunsky, Anamaria Lopez. Muckraking has been studied for over one hundred years, not only by historians but also by economists and political scientists. This section highlights just a few of the books and articles on the subject.

The term muckraker was used in the Progressive Era to characterize reform-minded American journalists who attacked established institutions and leaders as corrupt. They typically had large audiences in some popular magazines. In the US, the modern term is investigative journalism —it has different and more pejorative connotations in British English—and investigative journalists in the US today are often informally called "muckrakers". The muckrakers played a highly visible role during the Progressive Era period, s—s. McClure —took on corporate monopolies and political machines while trying to raise public awareness and anger at urban poverty, unsafe working conditions, prostitution, and child labor. In contemporary American use, the term describes either a journalist who writes in the adversarial or alternative tradition, or a non-journalist whose purpose in publication is to advocate reform and change.

The Progressive Era was a period of widespread social activism and political reform across the United States that spanned the s to the s. The movement primarily targeted political machines and their bosses. By taking down these corrupt representatives in office, a further means of direct democracy would be established. They also sought regulation of monopolies trust busting and corporations through antitrust laws , which were seen as a way to promote equal competition for the advantage of legitimate competitors. Many progressives supported prohibition of alcoholic beverages , ostensibly to destroy the political power of local bosses based in saloons , but others out of a religious motivation. In Michael McGerr's book A Fierce Discontent , Jane Addams stated that she believed in the necessity of "association" of stepping across the social boundaries of industrial America.



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