One individual who expressed this view and promoted socialism was American author Upton Sinclair. Sinclair witnessed poverty in his lifetime in the aftermath of the Civil War and sought to strengthen the power of the working class. He exemplifies these economic beliefs in his fictional novel called The Jungle. The novel traces the journey of a Lithuanian immigrant named Jurgis, who faces unemployment, poverty, and discrimination as a working class man in a capitalist society. Sinclair emphasizes that capitalism is detrimental to the working class, and he proposes that socialism is the solution to economic inequality and the lack of power among the working class.
Upton Sinclair was born in late September of 1878 in Baltimore, Maryland. His family relocated to New York City when he was ten years old. At the age of twenty, after completing his schooling, he decided to become a serious novelist. In 1904 Sinclair was sent to Chicago to write an exposé on the mistreatment of workers in the meatpacking industry. He spent several weeks undercover gathering the research that greatly contributed to The Jungle.
To the workers, the mills were satanic and to furnish this idea, the industrial revolution, along with the mills, sparked revolts across the country. The workers considered mills as satanic as there were not many benefits to be pleased
Revealing the harsh treatment of meatpacking workers and showing the reality of the disgusting conditions found in butchery shops to the public, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle became an enduring classic by American readers throughout the early twentieth century the prompted the later creation of the Federal Drug Administration. In the early 1900s, America was explosively transitioning from an agricultural society to a thriving manufacturing-based nation. As production demand in factories grew throughout the country, the work force needed to run those factories also expanded. A new type of demanding and dangerous work became prevalent throughout the nation, as immigrants coming into the “Land of Opportunity” found themselves desperate
Upton Sinclair took the themes of Waged Slavery and Social Darwinism to create this visual representation of a Jungle in the form of political machines and corrupt bosses that would abuse of immigrants that were in the search for the “American Dream.” Just like Upton said, “All art is propaganda. It is universally and inescapably propaganda; sometimes unconsciously, but often deliberately, propaganda,”(Sinclair) and indeed this art is propaganda that served it’s purpose of delivering a strong story on the behalf of the
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.
The conditions in which immigrants worked under were not regulated by Labor Unions like they are today. One of the most dangerous working conditions were within the meat packaging industry itself. Unsanitary conditions include one of the men of the Lithuanian family, Jurgis, was first hired into the meat packaging industry. Jurgis’s job involved sweeping up animal carcasses and disposing of them. Not only is that unsanitary in itself, the floor was covered with blood which even made it feel like the workers were wading in it The conditions that Jurgis worked in were very unhealthy, the meat could be rotting on the ground and the blood could cause severe health issues.
Arguably one of the most beloved founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin has been an exceptional example of a man pursuing and living the American Dream. Today we have an immense amount primary sources that illuminate the life of Franklin and his ventures including entire volumes of correspondences with a broad spectrum of people and countless articles and pamphlets authored by himself. While these documents provide inclusive information concerning his service to his country, sciences, and other attributable accomplishments, they also paint a picture of a promiscuous man, who undoubtedly reveled in the company of many different companions. And like many white American and white Europeans during the period, he owned slaves for most of his adult
Thanks to Sinclair 's hard work, we no longer have to eat sausage that includes bits of meat scraped from the drainage hole in the factory floor (we hope). Sinclair became part of a generation of what are known as muckraker journalists – people who worked hard to uncover social problems and to educate the public. You can read more about other writer-activists like Upton Sinclair in our Shmoop US History Learning Guide on Muckrakers & Reformers of the Progressive Era. It 's through the organization and activism of independent journalists like Sinclair that tons of labor and consumer protection laws first guaranteed Americans the quality of life we currently
He tried to secure economic independence for skilled trade workers by advocating for trade unionism. This restriction of union membership was significant because it resulted in more specialized reforms and demands for that specific group. Gompers success in his work in social justice for unions affected the conditions of workers through regulation acts, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, and the Adamson Act in 1916. By creating this powerful union, Samuel Gompers contributed to the working class being treated fairly. His victories led the workers of America to an established minimum wage and fair hours, which overall improved their life quality during the hard times of