United States during the Gilded Age

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Most progressives saw corruption, social inequality, and urbanization as the three primary problems of the gilded age. Corruption was a big problem during the Gilded Age, a big corruption that would occur was that many owners of big companies would pay the government money to make sure that no law would impact these companies in a negative way.

There were many problems with social inequalities during the gilded age, from the inequality that African Americans faced, the inequality women faced, and to the inequality the working class faced, etc. Urbanization was a huge problem during the gilded age. The reason that urbanization was a problem was due to the industrial revolution that was happening. Industrial Revolution led to many factories being built which meant the necessity for more workers. This need for workers drew the attention of many people which ultimately led to an overpopulation.

One reform movement that aimed to address the problem of corruption was the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914. This act was one of many antitrust laws that were created during this time. Antitrust acts were basically laws that make sure that business practices are safe and not corrupt. This Clayton Antitrust Act “exempted labor unions from antitrust laws and barred courts from issuing injunctions curtailing the right to strike” (Foner 731). This allowed workers to speak out or strike against businesses if they are being corrupt in any way. A reform movement to address a social inequality was the Women’s suffrage movement. The women’s suffrage movement was the movement for woman to gain the right to vote.

Women during this period and before this period have always been discriminated. It was important for this movement to happen because only men were allowed to have a voice in voting, which was not fair. Although it was not easy, the women’s suffrage movement ultimately ended with women being gained the right to vote, the 19th amendment. This was important because it allowed woman to finally have a voice in politics. A reform movement to aimed to address a problem of urbanization was the Labor union movement.

Labor Union were groups whose goal was to better the life of the working class. The working class was really discriminated during this period which was a reason to why Labor Unions became a thing. The main problems the working class would face was that they got paid really low, they would work nonstop, and they would work in horrible conditions. Labor Union planned on getting the working class the rights they deserved.

Muckrakers were journalist who would expose the negatives of the U.S. Muckrakers provided the spread of progressivism by raising awareness by what they were exposing to the public. The most important muckraker during this time was Upton Sinclair. Upton Sinclair was very important because he wrote a novel that exposed unsanitary slaughterhouses, and the sale of rotten meat. This was important because this brought awareness to the public and ultimately led to the Pure Food Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act of 1906 (Foner 696).

Another important muckraker during this time was Lewis Hine. Lewis Hine was important because he brought awareness to the inequality that children were facing. Hine would take pictures of child laborers and expose these pictures to the public. This was important because him exposing these pictures of child laborers led to child labor laws being changed for the better.

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United States during the Gilded Age. (2021, Nov 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/united-states-during-the-gilded-age/

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