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The Progressive Era Research Paper

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The Progressive Era was a time of reform and rapid growth. Progressives like Jane Addams, Upton Sinclair, and Jacob A. Riis fought for change that would better America. Leaders of the Progressive movement used letters, speeches, and observations to engage the American population. The changes they sought to make would no longer go unnoticed. American cities were rapidly growing in the late Nineteenth Century, which led to new problems. Immigrants from all over were flocking to the big cities of the U.S. Many of the problems (i.e. housing, food regulation, space) can be attributed to overpopulation and a lack of resources. As the cities began to increase their populations, they were unable to sufficiently facilitate the growth. Therefore, the…show more content…
Sinclair shared his detailed description of slaughterhouses to show the President how unsanitary they are. Sinclair found that these slaughterhouses showed a “clear infraction of the law” because they had meat “which had spoiled in pickle, being pumped full of chemicals to destroy the odor” (Sinclair). This letter was persuasive because he had detailed descriptions of the slaughterhouses. He also presented statements from slaughterhouse workers that clearly stated the unsanitary/unlawful procedures they performed. Upton Sinclair wanted the President to read his letter in addition to “The Jungle” to get a sense of the slaughterhouse methods. After reading the descriptions, Sinclair wanted the President to send one of his own men to witness this for himself. Finally, Sinclair asked that the President address this issue…show more content…
Riis described the harsh reality of New York tenements. Riis shared the inhumane stories he had encountered while writing his book. He found that the tenement-house buildings were “often carried up to a great height without regard to the strength of the foundation walls” (Riis). Large rooms were divided into many other small rooms, without considering ventilation and light. These rooms were too small to contain anything, besides a bed. The lack of ventilation and proper construction led to an increased mortality rate. Riis wrote “How the Other Half Lives” to show the vast differences between the lives of the upper and lower classes. His writing unveiled the truth of tenement-houses and the owners. Riis found that the owners were overcharging for the tiny space provided to tenants. Owners did not consider the quality of life they were providing for their tenants. They never answered questions on the safety and comfort of their tenants. The owners focused solely on the profit they were making. Therefore, Riis wanted to expose this injustice, so appropriate measure could be
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